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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Clinic Escape

I dreamed I was in a refugee camp, and it was increasingly clear that the refugees were shipped out if they were making any sort of trouble. Since no one ever heard from them again, we assumed the worst. I decided that I needed to get out before I was labeled as one of the trouble makers. I scraped together all my coins and a couple of bits of paper money, then cleaned up my clothing, trading several shirts to get one clean white button down shirt. I managed to blacken up my shoes so they looked presentable and made my way to the camp clinic. Once there, I managed to slip out of the line, and into a closet area, where I was able to don a lab coat and walk out unchallenged to the non-public side of the clinic.

The lab coat I had on had a badge that let me leave the camp side of the building and cross into the open side of the building. I got pulled into a room to consult on a case, there was a moment of panic when I thought I would be discovered, but I was able to read the charts and look at the woman. I could see that she was malnourished and pregnant at the same time. I was dismayed to see that on the generic treatment recommendations form, lethal injection was one of the options. The rumors were likely true, then, that a visit to the camp clinic could be one's last. We agreed that the woman needed about 1400 calories a day, and a significant portion needed to be from protein.  (She had a very low iron score on her blood test results.) I suggested an iron supplement, as I knew that fresh greens were in short supply for refugees, and any protein she was likely to have access to would be vegetable and insect protein - lacking in iron. Anemia was a common problem in the camp.

The other doctor complained about making the camp even more crowded, and I joked that it was too bad we couldn't prescribe social integration. I thought I might have blown it at that point, but I could tell the doctor agreed with me.

I explained that my shift was long over and I should go, and with that, I got an orderly to carry my coat back into the dressing room, and declined a cab, saying it was a lovely day for a walk, (Which, if it wasn't in the nineties would even have been true.)

I headed into the nearby town, wondering how I was going to get myself to the coast, and on board a boat to just about anywhere else. I passed a stall that had lots of seed packets for sale, all for mere pennies. I bought a bunch of them, then made the trip back to the clinic. I found the doctor still on duty there, and handed him the seed packets. "Give one to each patient you see today, perhaps we can help fix this ourselves." He agreed and we parted again. This time I left the other doctors badge at the front desk, telling the very bored looking receptionist I had found it outside. She thanked me like this was a common thing and promised to page the doctor to have him pick it up.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Other Worldly Fall Through

I had one of those dreams that would take far longer to relate than it did to have. Myself and my cell phone were out for a walk when I crested a low ridge and fell right over the other side onto a different world.

I could tell it was different by how light I was, and the fact that the sky was full of nebulae and stars so close you could see they were small disks. There were no grasses, only broad leafed plants with leaves that turned to follow the brightest parts of the sky. I had no cell reception at all, so I turned off the phone completely to conserve the battery.

I wandered around a bit, coming across a path, whether made intentionally or a game trail of some sort, I couldn't tell. I moved down hill, figuring at least that might lead to water, eventually. The scents in the air were very purple and orange, with a touch of brine every so often. Insects flitted about, but I didn't see or hear any birds. There didn't seem to be any plants over about twelve feet tall, either. Everything had a pretty manicured look to it, though, so I began to think I'd wandered into some sort of garden.

I made my way down to the bottom of the trail, which curved along the edge of a steep slope. I looked over the slope and below me stretched out a nearly endless expanse of land and oceans. I knew in an instant it was a world far larger, and far different than our own little globe. As far as I could tell, it extended into every direction, blending in with the grey black of the sky. I could tell the little world I was currently on rotated slowly about an axis that would make this little trail eventually level or even feel like it was the top of the hill. I headed back away from the edge, hoping to find some signs of habitation.

I came across a camp of about thirty people. As soon as I entered the camp they asked what I was sent up for. It was a language that I had never heard before, so I don't know how I understood the question, nor how they would understand my answer.

I told them that I actually fell down. That was apparently the wrong thing to say as they all drew small makeshift weapons and advanced on me. As they drew close I noticed that they weren't all human, many of them had triangular ears and tails, puffs of fur grew from their cheeks like a lion's mane, and some even had whiskers and small flat noses.

"Look," I said "this is where I came from." I turned on my phone and opened up the photo gallery to show the pictures of myself and the kitties. That actually stopped them. They had never seen anything like it.

I tried to explain that it wasn't magic and the battery was not going to last long if I couldn't get back to my home to charge it.

They conferred a long time, and decided that I was some sort of wizard, and they really didn't want me there messing up their balanced society. Apparently they were all exiled here from the world below, they'd managed to scrape together enough resources to stay alive, but they were stuck as jumping off the world would likely be fatal, and they had received some supplies from below, as occasionally someone had jumped off and survived. The occasional survivor sneaked to the catapult that had put them there and fired up news and goods. The reports were also that survivors who returned to their home area were executed if caught. They knew this because their bodies had been launched up to the rock as a stern warning not to try it. I realized that the only people I could understand, and who understood me were the cat people. They had some sort of limited telepathy, it seemed.

They debated whether to strip me and take my stuff before throwing me off the rock, and during that debate I slipped away, heading to the edge of the rock, again. surveying the world below. Apparently that was not what they were expecting, as they headed for the uplands and the forests and caves to search for me. (At least what I could hear from when they discovered I was missing.) I would guess the whole rock was nor more than six or seven miles around, so a few square miles of fairly verdant territory. I found an area where there was a makeshift "Dock" at the edge of the rock. I guessed that this was the proposed drop-off point. I looked out over the edge and saw a huge water filled crater almost directly below me. I was really thinking a hang glider would come in handy right now. The sun came up, or, more precisely, the rock rotated into a position where the fiery globe in the sky that was this world's sun could reach where I was on the rock. I could see that there was a ladder on the side of the platform, so I climbed down. It turned under the rock and led down to a small ledge. I realized that if I slid down the ladder, and let go before the ledge I would be aimed right at the crater lake below the rock. So, not knowing what possessed me to do so, I let myself slide down below the rock and then let go as I neared the ledge.

Something in the mass above me seemed to counter my weight, and I didn't fall nearly as fast as I thought I would so I realized I was in danger of overshooting the lake below. I opened up my shirt and tried to use it as an air brake. That was partly successful, but wouldn't really have been effective. What was effective, however, was the force holding the rock up in the sky, it seemed to pull me into an orbit, or more accurately, a falling spiral centered on the crater lake below. My only regret now was that I had no way to protect my cell phone from getting wet. I balled it up in my shirt as best I could.

I don't remember hitting the water, but I woke in the bottom of a small boat, my shirt and phone balled up on my chest. I unwrapped it, and the inner folds of cloth were still dry. I couldn't have been in the water long.

"We fished it out first, it seemed really important to you." One of the fishing cats communicated to me quietly.

I thanked her. They dropped me off on the shore outside of a town before heading to their own village.

I looked up the street and realized that most of the signs were just pictures, but the few that contained text were completely unrecognizable.

I wandered up the street, looking at the various shops, realized that my cards and what little money I had were not likely to be worth anything here. I greeted folks as I walked, and they were friendly enough, but it was clear that no one but the cat folk were able to understand me, and even then it only seemed to be a fairly small subset of them.

I came upon what looked like a large town hall. I looked around for a seat, figuring I would just sit and watch for awhile, try to get a sense of the society, the way things work. It was pretty crowded and I eventually found myself in a little rectangular pen like area with several open stools. I sat in one, just to catch my breath and get my bearings a little bit. It was obvious after just a short while of looking around that the more cat-like cat people tended to be the less well off looking. There was a good spectrum of wealth shown among all the peoples there, but there were a couple of obvious trends like that.

I finally decided that I needed to move up to the gallery with the "poorer" folks, in the hopes that I would get some inkling of what was going on. Unfortunately, I had sat down in the "Defendants Paddock" and was no longer allowed to leave. I tried to explain what had happened but folks just laughed at me. A bailiff made me sit back down.

The judge/mayor came in, a red-haired woman who, oddly, I could mostly understand, even though she didn't look much like a cat person. I just assumed her words were so reinforced by the cat folk in the audience that I was getting them as a sort of telepathic overflow effect. There were a half dozen "cases" on the docket, not all of them criminal matters, some were civil matters. The Judge went through all of them, and then looked up to see me sitting there after all her files were done.

"Who are you?" she asked, and I could tell it WAS her that I was understanding.

When she realized that her audience couldn't understand me, and had begun wondering how she could, she had the bailiff remove me from the room.

I ended up in the police station, but not in a cell. It was obvious that I wasn't allowed to leave, but otherwise they brought me lunch and a light blanket when it started to get chilly. The evening shift came in, and one of the officers was a cat woman who was able to talk to me. The Judge arrived shortly after my interview with the officer.

The conversation, and another meal, was quite pleasant, and the Judge was pleasant, but very obviously concerned about my story. I could tell that she wasn't really willing to believe it, until I showed her the pictures on my phone, which sputtered and died after a few moments. It apparently had gotten some water in it after all. I had to convince her it wasn't magic, or at least no more so than the fact that we could understand one another.

After our long conversation about where I was from, she pointed out that she could have me arrested for being a vagrant, as I had no money and no place to stay. I could see she was weighing her options when the feline police officer rescued me, saying she had a spare room and I could stay there and help with the dogs until I found other work.

By the time the officers shift was done, I was bone tired and barely remembered the route to her home. I fell into her too small guest bed, and immediately fell to dreaming. (All I remember from the dream within this dream was sitting next to a busty woman in a blue linen jacket, immaculately tailored and with very shiny silver buttons.)

In the morning I got up and helped prepare the breakfast table and then washed up afterwards. Shortly after that the officer got up and took me out to where the dogs were. They were huge, about the height of a pony or small horse. She explained that the puppies were pretty tame, but their mother was still very feral.

She was indeed, and much larger than her children, the father of the puppies must not have been a particularly large specimen. I looked into the mother's eyes and immediately knew that she was much smarter than her handlers were giving her credit for. I jumped down into her pit. There were calls of alarm from the others, but we approached one another and greeted one another. I rubbed her face and ears and then took off the choke/spike chain from around her neck. She stood up and stretched. Then sat, looking at me. I gave her a roll I'd been saving from breakfast. I started walking her around the pit, stopping when she started to pull. (A lot like when walking J's dog Lucy.) We eventually jumped out of the pit and took a stroll around the grounds. The other handlers followed us with weapons and ropes, ready for her to make a break for it. I could tell she wouldn't as she wanted to stay close to her puppies. She kept looking at me like I was going to try to ride her, but I just ruffled her neck fur, gently rubbing down the injuries where the spikes had dug under her coat. Eventually we made our way back to the pit, and she willingly ran down the ramp and stretched out to nurse her newest litter of puppies.

I made sure I had more treats for her after dinner. As I walked out to the pit to feed her, the Judge fell into step with me. I was surprised to see her. As we walked, I realized that she was a cat person. "Did it hurt when your ears were docked?"

Her hand flew up to her ear, hidden by a tiara/turban sort of headdress, then she dropped it quickly looking around to make sure no one had seen. I also guessed that her bustle hid the fact that she had a tail, or at least the stub of a tail. I immediately felt sad for her. She could tell. I promised I wouldn't say anything, as her people adored her and were obviously prospering under her leadership.

Her conversation with me indicated that she would be much happier if I didn't stay in the area, and after seeing me feeding the "feral bitch" she lit upon the "perfect solution." When the puppies were weaned, I would take the dog and leave for a stint in the wilderness, find a feral mate for her so her puppies would be full sized next time. She also indicated that she would not be broken up if the two of us didn't return. Ever.

I told her that would be difficult, as I too was rather fond of the people of her village. I promised I would consider it, though. That seemed to strike her as true, and I realized than that the telepathy was much stronger between people who shared common passions. I think that very much disturbed her, but she knew I was serious about not being a threat to her village so she was content to let me free, but keep a close eye on me.

The dream continued on for quite some time. One night I went to a dance, like our English Country Dancing, except I had to learn the calls in a different language. I tried to dance with the cat women, as most of them could tell me the right (or left) way to go. It was a lot of fun, and everyone had good humor about my lumbering attempts to be graceful.

Another evening we had a huge bonfire and barbecue with story telling. Again I had to have "translators" for several of the stories. I showed my hippo photograph and described the San Diego Zoo. I tried to draw a picture of a giraffe, and that got everyone laughing.  I worked with the dogs, including the feral mom.

Eventually the dog and I were out working with the police, tracking large animals who'd broken into some chicken coops, or chasing after a lost child, or just patrolling the village after dark with my hostess. However, I never rode her like the police rode her grown puppies. It suited us fine. (It was then that I noticed that I was easily fourteen inches taller than any of the villagers, and bigger than all but the blacksmiths and warrior types.) I had little trouble keeping up with the pack, even when they were running. (They were a little faster, but I could run far longer.)

At some point my hostess actually paid me, and then told me about the kingdom'c bright city center, where there were rumors of magic looking glasses like my own, and people who know how to make them work again. I wasn't sure mine would fully recover from the water damage, but when I powered it up, it did come up, and there was no crackling. Still no signal, though. I agreed that a trip to the capitol was probably in order, so we spent my wages on outfitting me and the dog for travel. I was amazed when she allowed me to put a puppy backpack on her, but she seemed to be excited about the trip, too.

This was the point where I woke. I really didn't want to, as I wanted to find out more about this interesting world.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On Location: Forested Plains

I was working on a movie, helping move set pieces and vehicles around. At one point the director asked several of us to step in as extras, as were were on location in a remote area, and he didn't want to wait for people to be bused in from several hundred miles away.

We shot a fairly large number of scenes, and the writer and director liked what they saw and wrote even more for us to do, telling us it might all end up on the cutting room floor, but since we were here...

Several days later, we were wrangling the vehicles and animals onto large rail cars to be taken back to the border, where we would load them on trucks for a short hop to the next set of trains. It was getting cold and everyone was looking forward to getting back to California. I wondered how I had gone from driving vehicles to leading cows and horses, and a bear around.

Time jumped ahead, and we were in a San Diego theater for the premier party, when we arrived, there were several dozen reporters gathered around the cast and director. S, G and I were about to go by when we were spotted and dragged into the cast photos. At first I wondered why, but then saw that the image that they were using to promote the film was from one of our location shots. There S and I were, me with an ax over my shoulder, offering a quilted jacket with the other hand, S with a chain saw and G sitting on a log opening up a  steaming steel thermos, the rest of the cast huddled around a small fire looking up at us. The blue light of the Canadian dawn cast very dramatic light across our features. The funny part of this was, I knew this was an non-acting production shot, we were actually in camp trying to get our cast warmed up on a very cold morning.

When they showed the movie, that scene was part of a very touching montage (as they had no actual audio to go with the story) and it blended into the film so nicely that we were the only ones who knew that it hadn't been shot for the film. The way the film was edited, they had to have used nearly every scene they shot with our hastily written dialogue and our ad-libs as well. When it was done, there were a ton of questions from the director; about whether or not there would be a follow up to tell the story of the three woodsmen.

It was not what I was expecting. The director turned to us and asked (in front of the reporters) if we might be up for a prequel.

I looked at S and G, then back at the main cast, who were all nodding and saying things like "go for it!"

One of the reporters, a little grey-haired woman, said "please, it would be so nice to see a film with people our ages, no offence to you youngsters." She smiled over at the very twenty something main cast of our film.

It was a little weird that we were getting more press activity than the main cast, and I was thinking that wasn't really a good sign for the film.

When they unveiled the giant movie poster. Our three pictures had been added to the cast's photos along the bottom of the image. The producer and a couple of lawyers rounded us up after the photo session at the end of the night and told us they were going to offer us a slightly improved contract, as we'd taken on a slightly larger role in the film after it was all said and done. The money was nice, it was a few thousand dollars each. The offer of a new contract with us in starring roles was the real surprise.

I really didn't want to wake up from this dream.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Most Amazing Game Ever, Carrying the Baggage

I woke from a great dream about the greatest tabletop game, ever. I was certain that the game would rocket my game publishing from nearly obscure niche market to "get one in every department store, and bookstore as well as your FLGS" status.

I woke up telling myself that I would write it down as soon as I woke.

Then I went back to sleep, certain that all my future financial woes would be well taken care of....

The second dream I had found J and I at some sort of convention center together. We weren't actually attending the same event. I was presenting SP Online, and had my presentation notes in a binder with a thumbnail of each slide and video as well as my speaker notes, and places, more importantly, to take notes based on the audience reactions. I wondered why I had a binder instead of a tablet, but when I was showing the binder to someone in the halls, I pulled out a page and held it up to the light. The little images of the slides were transparent, like old 2x2 slides, and they were also animated. Very cool tech.

J and I met outside her big presentation room. I had my display storage box there, with mostly her bags and notes from her sessions in it. I managed to squeeze in my binder, but couldn't find room for my stand up, so gently rolled it into its case and tied it to the handle of the box. Closed, the box was a little over a foot square and about five feet long, so a little awkward to carry because of its size, and now, weight. Fortunately I had attached a set of small latches on one end, so I could latch the closed case to a plant caster. I had painted it black as well, so if you didn't look too close, it looked like it was part of the case.

J had one last seminar to go to, so I walked her to her seminar, and then slipped down to the car to drop off the case. I had just locked the car when J called, she needed something from inside the case.

I unloaded everything and finally made a video call so she could tell me where, in the case, the item was. Turned out it was in her purse, she'd found it when she'd put her phone back.

I put everything away and ran back up to catch the last part of a design panel before I had to go to the next panel I was speaking on.

When I woke from this dream, which was one of my hyper real seeming dreams, I realized it was so intense that I had completely forgotten what my earlier "life changing" game idea was.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Water Damage, Virtual Damage

I dreamed profusely, but only remember two little snippets. The first was being pushed into the water at a lake. I got out quickly, but my medicine bag was wet. I quickly dumped the contents, but wasn't able to prevent the water from getting into the pill box. I didn't care about the Benadryl as I had a sealed bottle in my car, but the sildenafil I didn't want to go to waste, as they were the only one's I'd brought on the trip. I scooped them out before they were just mush and was going to take them.

"You can't take those NOW!"

"The effects last a while, we'll be back to our cabin in a couple of hours."

It was a pretty funny moment.


Just before waking I was playing a video game. The game was a sort of World of Warcraft and Defiance mash up with a little bit of Diablo III or Torchlight thrown in. There was the steam punk sort of vibe mixed with the gun show and over the top magic effects all thrown in. Characters could be "pure" or mixed, and the system seemed pretty balanced except for certain challenges. I was showing one of those challenges to J. A mission where you cleared out a cave and defeated the boss, but when you went to leave, there were nearly a hundred regular mobs outside, rushing the cave. If you didn't have an Area of Effect spell or ability, it was very difficult to get out. I showed her with a Magic using sort with big AoE spells, and it was easy to let the enemies bunch up and then blow them up, retreat, and repeat until you got out.

I then showed what it was like for a non-AoE character. I had beaten the boss, then was showing how you had to lure the bad guys in and then lead them through the tunnels to thin them out so you could take them on one or two at a time. As the first bunch approached the entry to the cave, I suddenly saw the flash of a green/gold enchanted blade sweep through my character from behind, killing him in one shot. I sat, stupefied, looking at the creature with the golden glowing name over its head, it was doing a victory dance on my corpse. J was asking "what's wrong, can't you just start over?" I'd done this mission a couple of dozen times, and something like that had never happened.

A rare champion creature had spawned, without notice, right behind me in the entrance. I hadn't even had the chance to notice it was there before it struck. The game popped out to the "Your Deeds of Valor will be Remembered" screen, where it displayed the one hundred forty plus hours and all of his gear as well as naming the mob that had killed me (a golden named unique creature.) This particular character was a "hard core" character, and his death was final, no restarting, except to restart from nothing and build back up again.

"Ah, Sweetie, I'm going to need a moment..."

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Little John, Lionized. Alien Hunting,

The most memorable part of the night found me walking next to a green hillside with J and Teddy. On the hill was a lovely red fluffy tabby. He meowed an invitation to come and pay attention to him, and he reminded me so much of Little John, that I just had to climb up the hill to greet him. Up close it was obvious that he wasn't Little John, and I was a tad disappointed at that. I sat with him for a while, and we were joined by Teddy and J. We decided the day was so pleasant that we would just lay down and take a short nap in the sun.

I woke to a giant paw on my face, I opened one eye. It was a young male lion. My heart started to race, but as I looked into the lion's eyes, I realized that this was Little John. He chuffed at me, and I could hear Little John in his admittedly much louder and deeper voice. He rolled next to me, and Teddy climbed over me to lick his large face while I rubbed his belly. I grabbed his mane and scruffed him up, hugging him. I sobbed into his mane and he pulled back and licked my face with his huge raspy tongue. I always knew he was a lion at heart. I was sad that we had to leave. We bonked foreheads before he loped up the hill and then over the top out of sight. Teddy wound around my legs, and I picked him up, hugging him close as we half slid, half walked down the grassy hillside.

Later, J and I were walking in a neighborhood with lots of brick and white picket fences at the edges of perfectly manicured lawns. One side of the street was much higher than the other, and the sidewalk had a four to six foot or so retaining wall next to it. J couldn't see over the wall into the yards, and even I had to go on tiptoe to see into some of them. They had very steep driveways and we had stop and look carefully at each one. Suddenly, the sky was full of flying wings, and little aliens in jet backs fell from them, landing all around us across the lawns and on the roofs of the houses. Oddly, they didn't seem to have any interest in us, nor any people who abandoned their houses. J started calling our neighbors and telling them to run outside. Soon most of the neighborhood were outside, being ignored just like us. We could hear shooting and screams from inside some of the houses, though, so we worried that the aliens were just waiting to take us out.

Just as suddenly as the aliens had arrived, they were racing out into the streets and running away. Curious, I followed them, sending pictures back to J on the phone. The aliens gathered together in a cul-de-sac at the end of the street, then one of the flying wings flew over, and blasted them! The aliens were almost instantly charred, I could feel the heat wash across me (Good thing I'd stayed pretty far back. I could see the same thing happening across the valley, alien ship after alien ship firing on their own. I noticed that there were a couple of aliens who were delayed getting to the charred area, they looked just as shocked as I was. They dropped their weapons and jet packs, and took off, hopping over fences and running down the street. I sent video and suggested that we should try to catch them alive, or we would never know what just happened. So the great alien hunt began.

There was a third dream between these two, but I can't even recall the one word title I'd given it to try to prompt my memory. I really should do this first thing in the morning rather than waiting for my breaks.

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