Fiction Fragment Friday
This weeks story is another one inspired by a dream. The dream of course was long and convoluted but like many of my dreams there were elements that I thought could make a good story. I hope you agree.
The Liger statue opened its mouth and roared. There were no visible seems in the statue’s mouth, but instead the stone moved like living flesh would. Behind the very sharp looking teeth was a glowing purple gem. The glow was soft with a pulse to it, and if I looked directly at the gem, I could see fields of stars in the glow. I instinctively know that this was called a dream gateway. The statue froze again looking like any other intricate stone carving hiding the fact that it had just moved moments ago.
I reached out cautiously and touched my right hand to dream gateway. I could feel it’s energy pulsing through my body in waves. Everything went blurry for a moment, and I could hear my partner calling out to me in concern. It sounded like she was so far away, but I knew that she was right there in the museum room next to me. I was in a museum, wasn’t I? Or was it an aquarium? What was I doing?
“Welcome to Atlantis Station 4 my son.” The woman was wearing an ornate golden dress with bracelets and necklaces that looked more expensive than my last car. She was smiling at me and I felt warm acceptance from her. She looked at me like she had known me my whole life and my mind could not make sense of the feelings I was receiving from her. I just knew how she was feeling when I looked into her eyes and though I knew it was strange my brain told me this was how the world was supposed to work.
I looked around the room. We were surrounded by technology, but it was not like anything I had ever seen before. The Atlantean technology was as much a work of art as it was functional. Gold colored with many moving parts giving it something of a steam punk vibe. On one of the screens, I could see what looked kind of like a sphere if you sliced off some of the sides to make it look like a big, rounded die. In a language I had never seen before, but somehow could read it was labeled Atlantis Station 4.
“What is this?” I asked finally managing to form words. There was so much to see and I wanted to make sure I could take it all in.
“This is Atlantis Station 4,” she replied. “Well, it was. I’m afraid the real one is likely long gone. It is where I lived and worked until it’s destruction.” I could feel loss and failure coming from her. Overshadowing both was a deep feeling of guilt. “It is where you were born.”
“Uhm no I was born in Missouri.” I was not some long lost orphan. I knew my parents and had no questions about my childhood.
She looked confused as she reached out a hand and touched my face. “Oh dear. You are not my son. You are a decedent though. He must have been your great or great great grandfather. While it is reassuring to know that he lived and made a life for himself this does mean that my failure to him is complete.”
“You look pretty young to be my great, great, great grandmother.” She looked barely older than me with long black hair that had not yet seen a strand of gray.
“That is because I’m not really a person. I’m just an imprint left behind to explain things to my son. A mission that I failed to accomplish. That is how the dream scape works though. It preserves memories and imprints as they were and while some things drift because memory is imperfect, they do not age or grow. I will be as I am now until I am forgotten.”
“What is, or I guess was, Atlantis Station 4?”
“It was a research station of sorts. One of four spread out around the planet. Our people long ago used our technology to transcend our physical forms and become beings of pure energy. At least that is how they like to describe it. In reality our solar system was dying and in a last-ditch hope to save ourselves we shifted into another universe. We gave up much just to live, but the form of existence we became was not enough for many of us. We wanted physical forms again. Thus, we returned to this universe using humans as a template for our own new bodies. Stations were our outposts were we tried to rebuild our technology from memory.”
“What happened to them?”
“Our people happened. They felt threatened by the movement to return to this plane of existence and so they struck out. My partner and I managed to keep station 4 hidden for a time, but then something unexpected happened. We fell in love. It had been so long since physical bodies had been part of our existence. We didn’t think about the consequences, and I got pregnant. While in labor we neglected our duties and because of that our people found us. I just had time to record an impression of myself into the dream scape before sending my child away into the world. I expected him to be drawn to the message and find me someday.”
“How do you know I’m your descendant?”
“If you were not the dream gateway could not have brought you here.” I could feel another wave of guilt come over her. “Now that it has though you will have been marked. Our people will come for you. You were born here into the physical world so they cannot simply lash out like they did to me. They will have to take physical form themselves. I do not know the state of politics within our people, but there was a growing resistance who did not approve of wiping us out. You may have aid but be wary of who you trust.”
“Wait they’re going to try and kill me just because I touched a rock?”
“No, they will try and kill you because of what you represent. A reminder of something that we lost but can regain. As a physical being you are no threat to them, but as an idea you are the greatest danger they have ever known.”
I awoke on the floor of the museum with Sherry shaking me in a panic. The Liger statue above me had closed its mouth and looked exactly the same as when we had arrived. I could hear Sherry’s voice but could not yet focus on it. The world felt like it was coming back slowly. No, it was more accurate to say it felt like I was returning to the world slowly. A defensive part of my mind was already trying to categorize my experience as a dream. Another part was sure it was real.
I tried to argue with Sherry, but she insisted that I be taken to the hospital to be checked out. I had been unconscious for five minutes with no response. My whole body still felt sluggish like I wasn’t quite aligned with it and my thoughts were foggy so I couldn’t put up a good enough argument against it. They strapped me into the hospital gurney so I would not fall off and loaded me into the back of the ambulance.
The paramedic leaned down to me and whispered in a calm tone, “Don’t worry sir we’re going to take good care of you.” I might have been reassured, but as I looked into his eyes, they gave off a light purple glow. A glow that I could see the star in. He closed the ambulance door before Sherry could see me start to struggle against my bonds.