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Chapter 13 – Who Dur’th Awaken? (page 1 of 10)

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I was needed at the ship's helm, but I’d just awoken from a dream of most spectacular and singular nature. Regardless of what was at hand, we had our captain and it was his job to deal with emergencies like this, however admittedly poor of a unintellectualli-job he always did in such spaces of time/space. He was a throwback sort of captain, more on the lookout for icebergs than the romaine lettuces more common in deep space. My job, at least the one I’d commandeered myself for at this junction, was to satisfy the satisfying mission I’d already started.

I fiddled a pair of knobs on the quadrupremsleeperator, wondered why it didn't have a shorter name, effectively hit the snooze button, doubled-up my doses and threw myself back to my sweat-soaked mattress chanting, “Yes, Charlize. Yes, Charlize,” and within seconds I was back out of the realm of consciousness.

When you wake from a sleeping dream and try to return to it, it is very difficult but never impossible. It’s awfully close to it, but not quite all the way there to that place of impossibility. I had trained my squishy brain for optimal performance, but when you go under you have to sleep with the dreams you’ve got, not the dreams you want.

As I reentered my dreaming state I was standing in front of a perfectly sleazy bar. It was not a bar I’d ever seen but it was strangely familiar. It looked like a wayward weigh station of a galactic rest stop, but I couldn’t be sure. Something in my mind told me this was an important place to reflect on, and I knew Charlize had to be around there somewhere, so I went inside.

The bar looked like a cross between a clown college, convent, prison, Bangalore call center, slaughter house, and third-world cosmetic surgery clinic. The thick stench of infection hung heavily in the air mixed with intense clouds of hyperjectile vomit. It was just my kind of place.

I wandered from table to table but found only men, oldies, fatties, ethnis, androgynous non-humanoids and techniminerals. I’d covered the better part of the bar, not that it actually had a better part, before I came to a dimly lit table in the back corner. I found a familiar character hunched over a dozen empty drink glasses. It was Cappy and I could not have been less thrilled.

“Cappy?” I asked with futuristic disdain. “What the hell are you doing in my dream?”

Cappy looked up at me with equal surprise, his tablemate unfazed. “Oh, hey Tek.” The room seemed to be stuck in a very short cycle of repetitive activity. The bartender was pouring the same drink over and over, the jukebox was stuck in a ten-second loop and the same fight was on the verge of breaking out up by the door.

“This is my dream, Cappy, where’s Charlize?” I asked.

“Oh, you’re dreaming this? Well, it’s probably not a fantasy; this has to be your memory of me getting our sortie detail on Phobodiemos.”

He was probably right, these dreams can be just about anything and Cappy’s adventures on Phobodiemos hadn’t been detailed in my mind or memoirs just yet, but that didn’t make this blue pill any less bitter to swallow. I knew I should have taken it suppository form.

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