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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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