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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, June 28, 2015

House Tour

Last night's dream was a perfect combination of every conversation and movie J and I experienced.

Mom  and Dad, in their 90's now, came to tour my home and to help celebrate my daughter's 16th birthday, High School Graduation, College acceptance. They had never been up to "the complex" where J and I had moved over 16 years earlier. We started in the office, I showed them the main development center, and there were the over a thousand servers that ran both our games and development software. There were no blinking lights in the entire place, as I found them too distracting. Only a couple of the team were actually working when my parents arrived for the tour, as it was quite late local time. I had to explain that the majority of our employees worked from home, or from satellite computing centers if there'd been enough of them to build one. Only just over a dozen developers and robot maintenance workers worked at the main site. Many of them had homes in another part of our business park.

A pair of cybernetic enhanced golden retrievers joined us. Part family, part guardians, they conversed, after a fashion, greeting Mom and Dad warmly. We stopped in the cafe, open around the clock and around the calendar, they catered to all of the local businesses, many of which ran around the clock as well. I explained that the kitchen was rarely closed, so if they needed something in the night, they could call over and it would be delivered to their room. The retrievers wondered if there were treats for them. I told them treats were for later, and they fell in behind us, friendly but alert.

We went outside to a nearby intersection. I pointed out a building across the street with three domes on top. You'll be staying in the red domed room, the other is empty for now, and "your grand-daughter's rooms are under the green dome. Her dome was rotating slowly and the clear windowed opening was slowly rotating out of view. "She likes to watch the stars at night when it's clear enough."

My mom commented that was just like her grumpa, and her dad.

I pointed to the rest of the complex up the hill, all solar cells and wind turbines. I was proud of the fact that our operations ran on almost wholly renewable energy resources. I had an experimental tidal generator on the coast, but it wasn't online yet. When  it was, I would be able to provide power to some of the other homes in the area as well. I was not planning on expanding the business any further.

"Cross now," one of the retrievers barked and we stopped our conversation long enough to navigate the curbs and cross the street.

We entered our home. It was very open on the bottom floor, and there were places were balconies overlooked the main hall. There were a couple of folks meeting quietly in one corner, some others playing cards. They all looked up and greeted me, so I introduced my folks around. These were friends and co-workers (employees, technically) who were using the main hall as one of the few well lit meeting places in town, I even had a robot bartender rolling around somewhere. It was the closest thing the island had to a night club.

I took my folks back up into the more private part of the residence. The retrievers got their snacks, and then headed back out to the main hall.

There was a large alcove in the master bedroom with a life sized photo of J and her five grand children, N was a young man, his little sister, M was a teenager, as was their oldest cousin. There were two younger cousins, twins, were tweens in the photograph. All of them were grown now, and a couple had provided J with great grand children, or would have if she was still alive. The family was still close with myself and my daughter, and that was a sweet set of memories. They kept J alive for me. In the photograph J was quite clearly beaming, and very pregnant. There were dozens of smaller photos lining each side of the larger photo, and there was a single perpetual candle below the center of the display. The whole thing was on an antique oak dresser with J's jewelry and some other keepsakes displayed on the top. It was quite the shrine. The whole thing brought up many bittersweet memories.

Mom wondered what had prompted us to become parents in our sixties. I answered that we'd been fortunate enough to have both the time and the money, so we did. I showed them the master bedroom, the pedestal for the California King had been refinished and modified to move the drawers closer to the edge of the bed. The headboard still held several books, a couple of teddy bears, and the love dice game.  The mattress was a climate controlled sensor bed, and the central area was the storage for the robotic paramedic that served the family. The bed spread was an antique quilt, one of the ones J had loved. In the center of the bed was a large cat, marked like a clouded leopard. He regarded us, then loped over to rub against Mom and Dad's legs. It was as though he knew they were family. "He's recently sired some kittens if you think you'd like another cat."

I eased the doors closed and we headed up to the roof, passing under the awning that made wintering through  possible, and we stopped outside my daughter's room. I knocked on her door and it opened almost immediately. She'd probably been watching the tour's progress on her tablet. She bounced out into the hallway and hugged Mom and Dad, genuinely glad to see them. she was about the same height as mom, bright blue eyes and cheekbones like her mother, brown wavy hair like mine when I was young. She was slender, but curvy, a perfect blend of our two families. (Perhaps unfortunately for her nose, it got J's bump and our length, like most teens, she was oversensitive about it.)

Mom was stooped with arthritis that had progressed too far to be treated even with modern medicine, at least not without replacing her spine, something she absolutely refused to do "I never planned on living this long!" she kept saying. At least her condition had been brought to a standstill, so would get no worse. Dad's hearing had been replaced, however, with implants, it was the only gift he'd allowed me to give him, and even then, I had to convince him that I needed his help for the "trials" of the devices, as I wanted to invest in them. (In fact my company now owned the company that made the devices, and we subsidized their distribution, about 95% of the cost for those who could afford it, 100% for anyone who couldn't. I don't think my dad actually understood why we did that.)

My daughter dragged her grandparents into her room; showing off the view and some of the awards she'd collected. Like her mother, there were piles of clothing on the floor and the beds, as I think she tried everything on every morning before heading out. She'd done her best to move the piles out of the way, or cover them with bedding.  She was, very much her mother's daughter. I was quite proud of her, thinking the J and I had done okay, and that the business, when I handed it over in a dozen years or so, would be in good hands. I had every intention of retiring and becoming a face to face game master, and gaming away the last few decades of my life with friends both old and new. (Unless, of course, we discovered the secret of immortality. Human life spans were now in the low 120s regularly, and the record was being  broken continuously by a woman who was in fact one of my virtual employees at 127 years of age. I didn't know if I would make it to that age, but it seemed likely that I would at least see Halley's Comet a second time.)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Elementary Independence Day Pageant

I had loaded six POE switches onto the back deck of my Little Red car and headed out to an elementary school to replace some of the older switches. (Putting in some new wireless and expanding the phone system as well.) When I got to the school, there was traffic control. I was directed away from the back parking lot, then told I had to wait until they had a white car and a blue car to go with me. They were having their Independence Day pageant, and wanted me to drive in their parade, because there was a shortage of red cars. I asked where the non red white and blue cars were parking, and the person indicated they were using the lot across the street. I didn't really want to lug six switches all the way across the street so decided to play along.

As I was waiting, two lines of moms went by, each in white with red stars halter tops,  blue and white striped shorts, and cork-bottomed platform clogs like the '70s. There were close to 150 of them, all with slender, nicely curved figures. Waiting suddenly did't seem like that bad of an idea. I wondered how they'd found so many good looking moms, but then remembered there were over 600 families at the school, so there were lots to pick from. There were a half dozen dads thrown in, they were in white shirts, red and blue suspenders and similar blue and white striped shorts. The dads weren't in platforms, but red and white boating shoes with one red sock and one blue sock. The men weren't uniformly attractive like the women.

We followed the parade into the main parking lot and were directed to park in our red, white, and blue order. I got out and opened up the hatch so I could carry in my switches. When I turned to head into the school, I noticed the people in costume were walking along a makeshift runway, constructed of boards and chairs, people had to step from chair to chair to make their way to the stage. I felt sorry for the women in their platform clogs, but it was quite the bouncy and shimmying spectacle. I waited for the procession to go into the school quad and then followed on with half my load of switches.

As I passed by the quad I noticed the principal trying to convince an older woman in a bright green and pink sari to move out of the front row - so that she could have people dressed in red white and blue sit there. I just shook my head, knowing that might not end well.

I swapped out the switches and decided to pop into the quad to see more of the patriotic display, the moms were waiving sparklers or pom-poms, dancing four to five on raised platforms around the quad. The principal was speaking on the center stage, and then a Sousa March started playing and the principal was marching through a number that culminated with her being lifted up by the six dads while simultaneously changing into a liberty hat and sparkling torch.

When I got back to the office I was telling J about the display with the older women and she mentioned that the principal and performers there were way out of our class, so likely wouldn't even have a second thought about asking grandma to move.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hello Nurse, Recording Job

I was sitting in a hospital bed (for flea bites, pretty sure) when a nurse came into the room. She was slender with little curve, but with shiny black short hair and bright red lipstick as well as full eye makeup.  She greeted me, and then threw a tennis ball at my head as hard as she could. The throw was wide, and because I'd propped myself up in a corner, the ball bounced right back to her, and hit her square in the zipper of her very tight white pants. I remember thinking that the "O" she made with her bright red lips was actually quite sexy. I refrained from asking if I could kiss it to make it better, but I could tell she knew I was thinking it.

Earlier, I had been asked to get six copies of a recording made, but was having trouble meeting the time deadline, so the person who needed the copies brought me six recorders which I connected together in a chain and then started recording simultaneously on them, thus reducing the time to make the copies to three hours, rather then 18 hours. My client indicated that the cost was worth it to make his deadline, and told me to keep the recorders when I was done. I wasn't convinced that I needed seven Flash/DVD recorders, but figured I could get something for them used. On the other hand, I liked the speed at which they allowed me to burn copies, and the stack of six was actually cheaper than a multi-bay burner, by several hundred dollars, in fact. (A burner, of course, would have let me make the copies in less than thirty minutes, but the client wasn't willing to buy something that expensive.) While the recordings were going on; in the back of my car, I started planning out how to build a rack for them so they wouldn't take up the whole deck space.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Tuesday before last I had great dreams.

Tuesday before last I had great dreams. I thought up two titles in the night to help me remember the  dream thoughts, as they would both have made great little stories.

No memory of either dream, or either title.


In last night's dream, as I slipped out the side door of the theater to go home to J, I remembered one title: "Destiny Dogs."

I only remember the forest, the camouflage, the weight of my gear, the fear of being found before we could find the enemy. I came across a dog, or wolf, the dog was part of a pack of wolves, and we adopted one another as neither of us fit in with our "pack."The pack had been trying to avoid all humans, but their smallest member had bumped into me. I was glad they'd found us before our enemies.  My squad adopted all of the destiny dogs, Valor, Humor, Strength, Wisdom, Greatness, etc. I did get the impression that it might have been the pack had found us, not the other way around. (I don't think you can set out to find Destiny Dogs, I think they find you.) Being some sort of mission specialist, I wasn't really armed as such, but had a bunch of other equipment and tools. Cameras, medical supplies and the like.

The wolf or Destiny Dog that adopted me was a "Murphy" dog, pretty much anything we wanted to happen would go spectacularly wrong, or be complicated in some sort of unimaginable way.

The background of this was some sort of war, so the stakes were pretty high. However, we slowly discovered that we could mitigate or even control the bad effects by rooting for the wrong side, or even by simply taking a go along and get along sort of attitude. This latter approach seemed to trigger a frying pan into the fire sort of series of events.

After getting captured, and tricking our guards into tapping into the power of the dog, we escaped. I fired a flare into the air hoping it wouldn't explode and light the forest aflame around us, and that's exactly what happened, the flare burst just above our heads and broke into six pieces that flew in all directions around us like flaming arrows. The fires lit up the night. We hit the deck, hoping for the best. The rest of my squad saw it as a signal and arrived to take out the enemy camp. Our packs were surprised to find us alive and unharmed in the middle of the fire fight.

The wolf sat dejected, thinking I was going to rejoin my pack but abandon it, it's pack didn't look to happy about finding its lost member. I'd become pretty attached, so hugged the huge shaggy animal, "we're a team. You don't abandon your destiny, or your destiny dog." I had noticed, that no matter how bad things had gotten, the two of us always managed to think our way out of the mess, sometimes directly into another, but always coming out stronger for it, and, obviously by being part of the larger pack, eventually ending up on top of the situation. I decided that the wolf wasn't really a Murphy wolf as much as an "Opportunity Knocks" wolf. I felt like I could embrace that destiny, and destiny dog.

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For some reason, the sound system controls were in the podium, on the stage. I presume the assumption was that the setup would be done once, and then no one would have to monitor the audio setup. That was probably true, if there was only one speaker.

I had to run the sound for a series of six speakers, however, and that meant I had to keep going out on stage to adjust the sound for each new person. I wondered why no one had invented an expert system to take over the sound board operator's job, it seemed like a perfect place for automation. After the speakers were done, there was a student group coming in to use the space. I stayed to help clear the stage in preparation for that event.

Unfortunately, one of the props from the previous presentation was a large safe. The people who'd placed the safe (with a forklift) were long gone. We tried lifting the safe with a half dozen burly men, but that wasn't particularly successful. I got the idea to use a couple of four by fours to use as levers to lift the safe and pivot it on one point at a time to move it upstage behind the curtain line so it was out of the way. A couple of the engineering students smacked their heads, wondering why they hadn't thought of that.

The students invited me to stay at their party, and I did for a bit, helping line up the comfy chairs for their presenters and then adjusting the sound for their music. As the crowd filed in, I noticed there were a lot of very affectionate couples, and that got me to missing J, so I excused myself and headed home.

On the way off the stage, I remembered the title of the dream from last week (which I told the folks at Pizza Night, then promptly forgot it.) "Destiny Dog."

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Over the Edge

Driving down a steep mountain road. I was in the passenger seat, enjoying the view. It was sunny and clear, amazing views and the AC was working well so the inside of the car was comfortable despite the noonday sun. We started to pick up speed, not wanting to lose the two cars ahead of us. (Even though we weren't actually travelling together.)

I wanted to say something along the lines of "no need to rush," when the two cars ahead of us didn't manage to navigate the switchback and the second car broke through the guard rail. The first car managed to spark and scrape along, but then flipped over the damaged railing just as I thought it was going to stop, toppling into a drainage culvert and vanished out of site over the edge. We were also going too fast, but now there wasn't a guard rail to keep us from sailing right out there as well. The second car had taken the already damaged rail out. The tires and brakes both screeched in protest. I tightened my belt and tilted the seat down just as we slid sideways over the edge of the road (me first.)

I sort of was hoping we'd go over front first so we might get a little steering action, and the front facing airbags might be useful, but we went sideways over the edge, and immediately lost all contact with the ground. I ducked even deeper into the seat as the car began to roll over in the air.  I could tell it would be thirty or forty feet before we were back in touch with the ground, and that ground was steep enough to still call a cliff face for another hundred feet or more. I was pretty sure there was no way we could survive this one.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Not Safe For Work

Dreamed I was going back to work at one of my old job sites. There was a big difference, however, and it involved a large number of people with an extraordinary amount of skin showing. The were engaged in very non-work like activities. It turns out I was supposed to be fixing the script, acting coach, and doubling up on lights and sound as the budget had been cut and the producer was unable to afford a full crew.

The director was an old classmate of mine who had a history of film experience, but on the other side of the camera, showing her then extraordinary skin and flexible talents. I would have to say that, in this dream, neither of us had aged well since then.

We had a very strict schedule to keep, as we only had the rooms for a few hours and had to be out and completely cleaned up before sunrise. The pressure made this all a lot less fun than the theme would otherwise indicate.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Birthday Surprise

I dreamed it was my birthday. I was just about to graduate with my degree in, of all things, law. In this dream I was about twenty seven, and was trying to get a birthday date with a cute little blonde girl who I'd taken a fancy to. Unfortunately, she wasn't that interested in me (too old) so arranged to trade places with another woman.

I'm not sure how they thought I wouldn't notice.

The woman she was trading places with was someone I knew, but I hadn't known she had a pretty severe crush on me. She even dyed her hair blonde for the switch. As I arrived to pick up my date the room exploded into a surprise "masquerade" party, and my friends slipped a mask on me.

Despite the masks, I could pretty easily tell that the buxom blonde wasn't really the woman I had hoped to spend the evening with, but until the masks came off I didn't know who it was. We danced and had a couple of jello shots, and slipped out onto the balcony to talk for a bit. I had figured out that my original date had slipped out of the party early, so had decided to make the best of my evening with who I thought was a stranger. We went for a walk, as the noise and the crowd were obviously making her uncomfortable.

It was a delightful walk, and her mask had some sort of electronics in it that disguised her voice, giving her what I thought was a rather borg-like sound. We chuckled at that. 

The clock tower in the commons struck midnight. and we turned to one another to take off our masks. She made me promise not to get mad at her and the little friend, as I had hinted that I was well aware that they were not one and the same.

I was quite surprised, and delighted, when I discovered my friend under the mask. I wasn't sure I liked the blonde hair more than her original more maple colored hair, but her outfit did an amazing job of reining in her normal curves. She opened up her overalls and showed me that she was wrapped up in bandages from hip to underarm. 

"That can't be comfortable, can it?" I was wondering how she'd been able to breathe all night.

"I could use a hand getting out of it. Would you like to unwrap your birthday gift at my place or yours?"

"You don't have too... ah, my place." She lived with three room mates, one of whom was my original date. I didn't want that confrontation just yet, so offered an arm and led her back to my place.

As we walked back arm in arm, I realized that I did, in fact, want to unwrap this birthday gift.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

House Hunting

J and I were looking at a house for sale. Initially she was not very keen on it; the previous owner had died at home. The house was technically two stories, but with a pair of small finished rooms in the attic (Pepto pink and mint green dormers, for J) it was essentially three floors, even though there was only a narrow folding ladder up to the two smaller rooms.

The flooring in each room was different from the next, and the transitions, in some cases, were rather jarring. Each bedroom was done in different colors and flooring, the halls were each different from the others and both great rooms, one upstairs and one down, were like night and day. The house was big, however, and the yard was low maintenance. There was a pool, but it was laid out like a series of interconnected ponds.

In one of the upstairs rooms, there was a circle set in the floor with a thirty inch opening down through it. It was odd, though, the room below was obviously in sunlight, but we were in the house at night. I stepped out of the room and down the stairs. The room below was paneled in dark wood, with a chocolate carpet. The room we could see through the hole was blonde oak flooring and large windows, to judge by the shadows on the floor.

J and I really wanted to jump down through the hole to see where it went. I was wishing there was a pole, like a fireman's pole, but realized the hole was too small to put one in. We both were thinking that we wanted to buy the house right then and there. Just to see where the other part of the house was (obviously somewhere in the world with sunlight, or really bright lights outside.)

We went into the chocolate room, and noticed that there was no opening in the ceiling to match the one in the floor above. I wondered if the trip was a two way trip, or if we'd better make sure we had our passports when we popped through the hole. The realtor refused to go back upstairs with us when we decided to finish the tour of the house. By the time we were done touring the four upstairs bedrooms and two bathrooms, both huge, the realtor was gone. The house keys were on the desk by the front door, and there was a copy of the deed with stickies showing where to sign, and a will.

I opened the will and began to read, the short of it was that it appeared that if there was anyone who could see the "portal" they were to inherit the estate immediately,  and the lawyer and realtor were to get a rather hefty bonus for making it happen in less than three days.... J picked up a business card, "I'll be back in twenty minutes," was written on the back in green ink. "Sign the papers if you want the house."

I tried to call my folks while J tried to call R, but we had no cell service. I assumed the realtor was going somewhere with cell service to call the law firm.

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Trouble with... Tribbles?

I was on a survey team, or a recon team. We'd slipped into a run down city and were making our way down through the ruins of a hospital. (It had a place on the roof to land our helicopter.) as we got closer to the bottom levels of the hospital, we began to see signs of habitation.

In one room, I noticed that there were sealed food containers left out, but instead of food, they looked like they were full of swatches of fur. I prodded one, and the furry scraps took off, racing across the room in all different directions and vanishing into various vents and conduits.

"You shouldn't disturb them while they're sleeping, they get hungry."

I turned around to find a slender woman, hair pulled back, dirty clothing, but her face and hands looked clean. I offered her a water bottle, which she took, and then she refused food, saying "We can't open that here." She gestured for me to follow her. I called the rest of the team to let them know we had survivors. We followed her to a surgery, she led us in, checking our clothing in the "airlock" before allowing us into the room. There was a wind up generator in the room and she gave the large hand crank a few turns and then turned on some LED lamps.

She indicated that it was okay to open up the food here. We gave her the container and she eagerly ate its contents, nervously eying the the conduits above our heads as something rattled through them. One of my colleagues reached up to open a pipe before either the woman or I could stop him. A fluffy ball fell out of the pipe and I quickly sealed the ends back together before more could fall out. It warbled pleasantly. "Are you afraid of this?" the hazard suited leader of our group asked.

"No, just...."

As we watched the critter rolled into the food container and the crumbs vanished. A few moments later, the woman was petting it, and four little puffballs fell from its back. She showed us that if you picked up one of them and petted it, it would also pop out four smaller fluff balls. "They're born pregnant."

"Well, that saves some time."

The woman gathered them all up and stuffed them into the container (not too gently, either.) "They're not all bad, though." She scanned the room and with a last look at the conduit led us out and down the hall to the Physical Therapy gym. She had the food container full of critters tucked securely under her arm. Despite being squished all together in the container, they were all trilling or cooing a very relaxing chorus of happy little noises. I couldn't help but smile, even though I had the feeling that things were going to take a less happy turn.

In the PT room, there were a couple of injured folks, the woman put the box in the lap of one of an injured woman. The baby critters were released. They climbed over the woman, each of them stopping over her injuries. Soon they were warbling a different song, sadder, somehow, then each of them began to glow. The woman lurched back and the creatures seemed to fuse with the patient. After a moment the woman opened her eyes and gently brushed the now loose fur from her body. It looked like she had gained a few pounds during the process. Her injuries were gone. Lumps began to form under her skin, and a few minutes later, the lumps began to glow. Our guide and another thin gentleman in a lab coat held her down . The gentleman , mopped her sweating brow.

"It will all be over in a few moments, hang in there."

The glows were suddenly suffused with pink, and then with a small shake, each lump separated and puffed out. The woman yelped or groaned with each separation, but when it was done there were six little fluffy warbling creatures, their hair the same color as the woman who they'd been extracted from. Each of the "births" left a half dollar sized mark on the woman that looked like a second degree burn.

The man in the white coat bandaged up the woman's new, but less severe injuries while our guide rounded up the changed babies and stuffed them back in the box.

Our leader wanted to take some of the creatures back to our airship for examination, but our guide recommended against it. She indicated that we could help them best by helping clear the creatures out of the nearby fields and farmland, so they could reliably plant and harvest before they ran out of sealed foods.

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