Friday, June 18, 2010

"Round-up", a dream, Part 4

Part 1 Part 2Part 3Part 4

I'm back at my office, but I can't focus on my work.

I want to pull my hair out.

"It's so unfair," I rant. "They can't do this to us! They can't grab everyone like this!" I'm crying now. "They can't! They can't just grab us for something that, what, like 90% of people do?"

"Well," offers my coworker, my coworker who's the only other person still left in the office. "The aliens have a bit of a point... I mean, everyone they catch has technically broken the law..."

"No!" I wail. "No, they don't! They don't have a point!" I'm furious now, pounding my fist on the table. "The aliens can't just round up everyone who violates copyright law!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Round-up", a dream, Part 3

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

I follow the crowd to a dolphin show.

Wait, there are sharks in the tank, too! Is that safe? One of the trainers dives into the water, and the crowd cheers him on. I've got to save him! I find a valve and drain the tank, but then the dolphins start flopping on their backs, so I fill the tank back up.

I feel a tap on my shoulder. The alien has returned, and he tells me it's time to go. How did I get so distracted by the dolphin and shark show? I still haven't found my dad! I've wasted all my time! "One second," I stall, and I grab the first stranger I see.

"Please help me find 4MV-48G," I plead.

"But there won't be any way for him to contact you even if I do find him," the stranger complains.

The alien starts pulling me away from the terminal. "4MV-48G!" I scream as I'm dragged away. "Just let him know his son is looking for him!"

Continued in Part 4

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Round-up", a dream, Part 2

Part 1 Part 2 • Part 3Part 4

The alien waves at a terminal screen, and and the terminal stand crawls over to us. He hands me a joystick and tells me that this is a tele-presence device connected to a similar unit on one of the prison worlds. People on the other side can see and hear me, and I can even move the remote terminal around with my joystick.

"But there are hundreds of prison worlds!" I protest. "Is this the one my dad is on?"

The alien ignores me and walks away.

I turn to the device. I see a dimly-lit cave. Everyone there wears parkas and anoraks. They seem oddly full of energy. Rather than moping in agony, they're constantly darting to and fro. I drive the remote terminal around and try asking about my father, but hardly anyone stops long enough to even let me finish my question. The ones who hear me just shrug and move on.

There are probably millions of people here. How the hell am I supposed to find my dad just by walking around?!

Eventually, I catch the eye of one man who turns to me and stops running. He nervously scans the area. "I've seen your father," he whispers. "4MV. Ask for 4MV-48G. That's his serial number!"

I want to ask him how he knows me, and if he knows where I should look, but a mob of people rushes between us, and they sweep him away, toward a railing.

I hear a splash.

Continued in Part 3

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Round-up", a dream, Part 1

Part 1 • Part 2Part 3Part 4

An actual dream I had last month (with minor embellishments):

The world has been taken over by aliens. They've already rounded up most of the people in the world and sent them off to hellish prison worlds. They come for us one at a time. They'll leave you to conduct your own affairs in peace until the day they suddenly come for you (or until the day you foolishly try to fight back).

I was away when they landed, camping in Yosemite, and I just managed to make my way back to San Francisco. I find my mother in tears; they took my dad a few days ago.

I've got to find him! I've got to see him again, one last time, at least. But where is he? The only idea I have is to approach one of the aliens and ask.

I find an alien camp in the streets. I walk up to one and get his attention.

[an alien]
The aliens have more or less taken our form. They are 8 feet tall, clean-cut, and calm. They wear simple button-down shirts. Some even roll up their sleeves. They are emotionless but polite.

"Um.. excuse me," I sputter, "but I'm looking for my father. Do you think there's any chance you could help me find him?"

For a moment, the alien stands silently, considering my request.

"Please," he says. "Follow me."

Continued in Part 2