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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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ghost Squadron

The ready room was empty, or at least it looked empty. There were no signs of habitation either, no half finished drinks on the table, no tins of cookies, no clothes draped over the backs of chairs. The room felt used, busy even, but there was no visual sign of it, until the siren went off.

Doors flew open and pilots appeared from no where, translucent forms in uniforms from different countries and eras, but all with the same unmistakable air of people about to enter a fight for their lives.

In space, the squadron formed up and the briefing was short and sweet. Avoid the interceptors, and take out the lances and torpedo boats before they exited the transfer orbit of Jupiter. Our ships lurched under ghost thrust and we went with them. We engaged the invaders at impossible speeds, outside of time, wedded to fibre-optic synapses and finely honed machinery that spit iridium death at an enemy that didn't know fear, and little knew defeat. every encounter was a split second, magnified by our ghostlike condition to feel like several minutes. No living being could survive the speeds and energies needed to wage this sort of war, but no machine was trusted to do it alone.

Our sortie was successful, but there were a few losses on our side. Back in the barracks, the beds of the lost pilots shimmered and the pilots woke back to their previous selves, mind and flesh re-united, limited, unable to rejoin the fight, the transformation was a one time deal, no one came back from a second tour, the body and mind re-union just failed. No one knew where the spirit went from there, as none had returned to tell from the second journey.

Almost every pilot volunteered to go back in, even though it was certain death. So the decision was taken out of their hands, they were rotated out of service, placed in command of local defenses or in ships of the line where they could interface live rather than the ghost link. It was fast, and their experience made them invaluable, but it wasn't the same as pouncing intruders from a ghost ship at faster than the speed of thought.

I did not look forward to the time when I wasn't fast enough to jink around the blast of an enemy interceptor and found myself re-united with a recreation of my twenty first century body. It was a weird thing, only those of us who'd failed to move on were able to save the world. Though I'd been dead a long time, I wasn't eager to live in the flesh again, particularly in a world under assault from what appeared to be an implacable enemy. There'd been no demands, no conditions, just surveys, beachheads, and the ever increasing stream of inbound alien technology. We assumed, that like us, they were landing colonies of their own ghosts, who would resurrect once they had a successful beachhead. But, we really didn't know.


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