Friday, January 02, 2009

Nikolas's Magical Dreamland SUPERSTAR ULTRA

Another strange, vivid dream of mine, held in the grips of budding fever; this author considers that he might do well to share it upon this blagothing, given its narrative nature and perhaps entertaining bizarrity.

The setting: A postapocalyptic wasteland. The protagonist is in a group with several others; they are sent to secure and defend a specific location. They travel there, quickly though not without some fear of ambush. Their destination is a large, ugly office building, surrounded by chain-link and then by empty waste. The other members of the protagonist's group enter the building, taking up positions on the upper stories; the protagonist is left outside as a sentry, in a move that offers him little comfort.

Enemies come. The protagonist spots the first, gives warning, and sees the foe driven away; but more come, faster than the protagonist can warn of them, so he ventures outside the chain-link area surrounding the building. There he ambushes an enemy (just yards away from a group of foes, who would certainly overwhelm the protagonist if they espied him!). With this enemy's throat locked within the protagonist's elbow, he returns to within the building; only to be berated for this foolish move. The protagonist releases the foe, watching him exit only to turn into a dragon (being previously humanoid) and fly away.

This was a mistake, one of the protagonist's companions informs him (they seem to be in some manner of a leadership role?). He instructs the protagonist to look at the enemy dragon, which he does, and notes that, unlike the others (outlined in red), this one is now outlined in black; having entered the building, its defenses would now be weakened/negated against the dragon. For reasons that seem to make sense at the time, the leader now takes off in a jet-plane, with the protagonist in the co-pilot's seat.

The leader is, it proves, not a very good pilot.

They soar over the landscape; the protagonist notes the beauty which is visible in the cities from the air, being sure to remember it. But the leader does increasingly foolish things; through poor piloting, he loses lift and scrapes the plane's nose along the paving-stones of a food court; he weaves and wobbles.

The plane grows increasingly unsteady. Attempting to request the controls be transferred to his side of the board, the protagonist looks to the left, and realizes that the leader-pilot is gone, along with most of the plane. At this point the protagonist engages in desperate manuevers, attempting to save the plane. He pulls up he gives all thrust to engines; and in the end, he hits a wall of windows, bouncing off and fallin forty or fifty feet to the ground.

He lands on his feet, with no injuries more serious than a few aches; overjoyed by this seemingly miraculous landing, the protagonist pulls his iPhone from his pocket to make a note to blag about this incident. (He sees other seeds for blagoposts, higher up in the text document, somehow concerning the monstrous creatures attacking the office buildng - he doesn't remember writing those.)

(The above paragraph is about 50% of the reason I decided to blog this dream. So VERY strange that it would be a crime not to share it.)

The protagonist has landed in a darkened empty mall-courtyard (with a half-dome above, a fountain in the center); he wanders into a nearby doorway. There he finds a group of about five or six cat-people (anthropomorphized cats) in what seems to be a bedroom. They have a pair of toilets in the corner of the room; thy don't seem to care about privacy. In the cold, cruel, postapocalyptic world, the protagonist cannot afford to care about such things, either; he uses the toilet. (This section has been abridged, for the sake of the reader.) The cat-people, quite friendly, offer the use of their shower, which IS separated from the rest of the room by a curtain; the protagonist declines. (Why they have running water at all, much less for flush-toilets which seem to have been plunked down in the middle of a bedroom, is unclear.)

Exiting the bedroom, the protagonist goes to retrieve the jet-pack that is all is left of the aeroplane. (Sort of a platform to stand on, jet-thrusters on the bottom, controls on long levers at one end of the platform...) He gets it, but is now in a brightly-lit area, surrounded by other people clearly of the same tribe as those in the bedroom he entered previously; a native guide leads him through the mall, on some errand which this author has sadly forgotten. En route, the protagonist realizes that the people of the mall are in a socialist commune; this he considers unlikely to be viable elsewhere, but perhaps some characteristic property of the mall-tribe makes it possible.

He comes back from the errand (alas that I forgot its nature!), heading back towards the bedroom; en route, he notes a wall of video-game demos and packaged games, seeming almost as it might have been before the Cataclysm. Surmising that this must be the work of the socialistic society in which he finds himself, the protagonist asks what was within the game-box racks after the Cataclysm (as he calls it), before the socialist commune has time to form and recover what has been taken by thieves and looters. The native guide points, wordlessly, to a single Gamecube controller - a wired one.

(The protagonist also notes a number of Wavebirds, plugged into some strange kind of power-back; he muses for a moment on their virtues contrasted with the original Gamecube controllers.)

The protagonist returns briefly to the bedroom with the bathrooms, wondering how to phrase his question about the relationship between the denizens' cat-person-ness, their ignorance of privacy, and their socialist nature; he realizes immediately, though, that the people inside (the same as before!) are not like cats at all, and wonders how he could have thought so. He leaves.

On his way out of the mall, the protagonist encounters members of another group, people dressed rather like Santa Claus, handing out candy-canes. One, with an ugly yellow mustache, gives the protagonist a short, unintelligible spiel. Suspecting that they know about history, the protagonist asks about the Cataclysm; he learns that there were two cataclysms, one 133 years ago, and another 90 years later. The first was a standard sort of apocalypse, nuclear fire raining from the sky, etc, etc... the second was not. In the Claus-tribesman's words, "Senator [unintelligible] released a meme-virus to make people incapable of thinking about a specific alcoholic beverage [beer]; he overestimated his own constituency, though, and ended up giving the Democrats five points instead, the damn hypocritical..."

The protagonist believes the general outline of the story, but finds it unlikely that a meme-virus erasing people's comprehension of beer would really throw the world into a second apocalypse. He instead thinks it must have been something more serious, and recognizes the idea's debt to Charles Stross's Greenhouse, which had a much more plausible take on the idea of a meme-virus...

At this point, with the protagonist (this author) analyzing the literary references of the dream from within it, the dream ended. It's probably just as well - though I must wonder what tribes might have appeared next.

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