This is a story based on a dream I had a few weeks ago. I woke up from it because it was so intense! This is the beginning of the dream.
The color scheme of planet Gamma XA-113 was brown and . . . brown.
A sea of straw swayed back and forth in the distance along the banks of the swampy, brackish estuary. The sound of the grasses hushed the wildlife into hypnosis. There was no life as far as our instruments told us.
We had shifted down from our ship, the USS Venture, about twenty minutes ago. At the present we crouched on plastic tiles that covered the roof of the “longhouse”, as we had dubbed it. It resembled a Viking longhouse, if Vikings had plastic all those centuries ago.
There was an odd pattern to tiles that we were trying to identify, and we were progressing with the usual speed.
“You’ve identified it yet?” I asked my sister, Chief of Mathematics and Science. She had an artist’s eye for this kind of thing. Geometrical patterns, color communication, and a dozen other subjects. Her knowledge made my head swim.
She got up to a standing position and pulled back hair from her face. The wind was stronger now. It wasn’t cold; we wore T-shirts and cargo pants.
“I’ve identified a Fibonacci sequence in the tiles. And have you noticed how all the tiles have a sort of arrow at the end, pointing toward the middle of the longhouse?”
“Oh—of course,” I mumbled, staring at my scanner, frowning at the readouts.
She looked at me through squinted eyes. “Yeah . . . so what do you have?”
“I’m reading nothing.”
“I said nothing, and nothing means nothing.”
“Okay, okay.” She held up her hands. “I get it.”
“How are you doing down there?”
It was the atmospheric-shifter monitor. He never left us alone. He was a monitor anyway.
My sister rolled her eyes at me and made a silly face as I answered. “We’re doing fine, thank you. Miss Awesome over here has found something groundbreaking, as usual, about the longhouses.” I frowned. “Something about Fibonacci.”
I could hear his chuckle on the other end. “Perfect. Let me know when you’re ready.”
“You game to explore?” I asked my sister. I pointed downward. She wrinkled her brow.
“I’m not so sure about it.”
“Hey, it doesn’t hurt. You read anything weird in that Fibonacci pattern?”
“No, but usually a message like that would be embedded in the hue—“
“Let’s go then.” I pressed my hand to the shifter on my sleeve. A blink of darkness and slight discomfort—then I was inside.
It took a few moments for my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Cracks of sunlight forced their way in, illuminating the mist swirling inside. I coughed—it smelled like pond scum and it messed with my lungs.
My cough echoed off the plastic walls.
The odd thing was, I wasn’t coughing anymore.
The sound was raspy and hacking, almost like a kind of choking. I took a step backward—and my heart jumped into my throat.
Something cold and hard brushed up against my back. I heard the coughing again, clearer now, right in my ear.
I turned around.
I was face to face with a metal mask, edged with carbon scoring.
A tiny point in the middle of the mask spiraled out in fractals. It covered the entirety of the glowing visor.
I saw a claw of metal in the periphery of my vision, rising, and that was enough for me.
I slammed the shifter button on my sleeve with my palm.
There was darkness and discomfort—but the same kind, and nothing had changed.
I was ready to scream some colorful words but my throat was so tight I couldn’t say anything. I high-tailed out of there towards the end of the longhouse.
I ran out and felt something akin to relief as I burst out the back door. Sunlight blinded me
This was the opposite direction my sister and I had come from.
“Get out of here!” I managed to yell. I circled around the longhouse towards the site we had shifted down from. “There’s something alive in there!”
I heard her feet slamming on the roof. “What? But you said you read nothing!”
“No time to explain!”
I heard a bloodcurdling scream. She must have seen the monster.
We ran as fast as we could, but I had to admit I hadn’t been working out much lately. There were a lot of studies to catch up on, and not much time to do, you know, physical activity.
My sister wasn’t any better.
The monster was gaining on us; I could tell by the raspy breathing. I couldn’t bear look back and was afraid to, but I kept debating whether it was a good idea.
She was running a few feet in front of me. “Don’t—don’t look—back-k . . .” She sounded like she was about to burst into sobs. I felt no better.
Oh. Then it dawned on me. We didn’t have to run forever. “Monitor!” I screamed, holding the talk button down on my collar. “We need an emergency evac now!“
“Atmospheric-shifting commencing immediately. Don’t you worry now, ladies.”
Oh yeah, sure I wasn’t worrying.
You’ve probably guessed this . . . the dream is Star Trek inspired. I’ve been watching a lot of Trek so of course, my dreams reflect that. Shifting basically is beaming down.
I might write a second part—this is only the first part of the dream. Let me know if you want to hear the rest!