Sci-fi Dream Sequence Draft
Precursor: I had this dream and had to write it because it was vivid; it played out like a sci-fi film that I was supposed to run through as the main character and find out what the big military mystery was. It was set in a city and somewhat futuristic; I will make more notes as I go. After I learn where to go, I wake up and I have no idea what to think of this dream. Why was it so vivid? Why did certain events happen? I hope that I pick it up again so I can find out; if I don’t then maybe I will just make it up and write it out. All of my stories are about animals, so this one would be a very strange change of pace for me.
Me (Scarberry): I didn’t use my first name for some reason maybe having to do with my military career. I am the main character… perhaps and older and certainly physically stronger version of me. I am a singular entity in this though; I am not married and I’m not sure if my family is present at all.
John: A man I meet in a record store. He shares my values and many qualities of my real friend John; average height, blond hair cut short, broad shoulders like Mark. He wears a t-shirt and jeans and he is very smart; perhaps he is an engineer or something, but he seems like a working man.
Amelia: She has more delicate features than I do. Her hair is brown and she is wearing business attire: a tan pencil skirt and satiny top. She doesn’t make herself known right away, but she is distinctly part of my group.
The Private: He makes an appearance at the end and I don’t know if he counts as a character, but he seemed alright I guess.
I am bald, not completely, I have short golden stubble growing back, but not from the cancer; I have a distinct notion that I just left the military (I am mostly unaware of what I did in the military here; probably public health haha). I am wearing a leather jacket with jeans and knee high boots, under my jacket is a blue tank top (of course). I am walking down a side walk toward more rural looking area that lies over a bridge (It looks like the Golden Gate, but very short). The road I follow disappears into the distance; I’m not sure where I am headed.
I stop at a small record store; it had to doorways that lead out to the street. I step across a grate that connects the buildings to the street. Below is a shear drop; perhaps that is where the sewer is, maybe something else. The store itself is very shallow and has an elevator in the back and a counter to the left of the left doorway; it only has a few tables with some boxes and one brightly lit jukebox right in the middle. I sift through some old records in a box and find an Elvis one. The traffic in the store is actually quite dense for how small it is. I take my record to the juke box and insert it in the slot, but it doesn’t play. The owner informs me that it is broken. For some reason on pound the top with a fist and the thing starts playing my Elvis song. I am fully aware that I am wearing a leather jacket, so I drop the Fonzie: “Aye!” and everyone laughs.
I leave the record store and I am again all too aware of the grate I have to step over to get back to the street; it looks a little old… I am walking toward the bridge; I am leaving the city, but I don’t know where I am going. In the distance I can see a huge billowing smoke cloud out in the rural area to which I am headed. I hear something akin to jets flying over, or missiles perhaps. At this point I have a distinct sense of urgency and realize there is no place to go out there if they are under attack. Suddenly, the building across the street from the record store is hit; by what, I don’t know.
Firemen are rushing to various scenes of carnage behind me. People are taking shelter in stores and running in the streets. A Fireman nearly runs into me and tells me to get to shelter. I am led back to the record store where some Firemen and taking the service elevator down; other people are jumping on in a panic. The Firemen are doing their best to keep everyone safe and inside the store. Outside, things are falling to pieces and exploding from impacts. The military is now running the streets as well.
The elevator falls and people with it; I help a Fireman pull John from the shaft. We all gather around to edges of the store and sit in the corners. Soldiers storm the store and pound us into place un-necessarily. I am outraged; this is not how I was taught to behave as a military member. John and I stand up; we are the only ones.
“What the hell are you doing?” he yells.
“The only decent people here are the public servants,” I say, “What gives you the right to act like that?”
The soldier’s armor makes him anonymous. He points his rifle at us; I am shocked, we are civilians for crying out loud, what are we going to do? “This is a lockdown.” He says, “You will stay in the confines of this building and you will not come out until you are told.” We sit down again… He still has the business end of a gun pointed at us after all. The soldiers leave the store and I can make out what looks like a kind of force field at the doors; they are still wide open with the grate that leads to the street just outside.
Time passes. I don’t know how much time (I think I woke up at this time because I can’t remember anything happening between now and the next part), John and I are very close now and Amelia is there as well. I notice that the grate has deteriorated even more. People are looking shabby and scared still. There are ruins outside, but nobody has ventured to the doors to look outside; perhaps it has been days or weeks, perhaps it has been months? I feel the need to check. John goes ahead toward the doors; the force field shining. He touches it, but his finger pass right through. He gives me a puzzled look and steps outside onto the grate.
“No, John!” I exclaim; I don’t know what will happen, but we soon find out: passing soldiers notice promptly and wave their rifles at us.
“Get back inside.” The anonymous helmet says, “You will be hunted. There is no return to the safe zone. You have been warned once.”
John steps back inside the force field cautiously and the soldier turns away and keeps marching. I am stricken with sudden understanding. It is some sort of quarantine. They know when we leave our zones. We cannot return to our zones once we are out for too long. I don’t know why, but I seek further understanding of the situation; understanding that I will not get if I sit in the record store. I can tell that John feels the same. We cast our gazes as far as we can to the left and right of the store. The bridge I was about to cross before the crisis has fallen. The billowing smoke out in the rural area is still there, but the sky is blue; everything is clear and quiet.
“Lift me up.” I tell John. He hoists me up on his shoulders and my head is outside the force field. I can see the town square area through the ruins and distance. There are tents. The military is out there; that must be their tent city. As far away as it is, I can see a formation. They are in a dress uniform of black; twenty or so of them march forward and fire three shots into the sky in a display of what I know is some sort of celebration ceremony. I am filled with rage. Celebration?
John lets me down and beneath my feet the grate breaks and falls away; he snatches me from the abyss and we roll backward into the store. I am not used to being touched or hugged, but I am grateful to him and I know he means no romantic intentions by his embrace (I had this distinct thought, so that’s why it’s written). We get up, the grate forgotten. I struggle to see the formation again and I feel danger. What are they doing with civilians in quarantine zones if they are celebrating? Are we forgotten? Why will we be hunted if we leave? I feel that we are sitting ducks and that we are targets. I explain all of this is John and Amelia; the others are still too scared to move and the Firemen seem to have a sense of duty about them, so they don’t move either.
“We have to get out of here.” Amelia says, “I see people running past all the time. They are going away from the city.” She must have been watching the outside more than we were as I had not seen people running since the day of the incident.
“How long are we expected to survive in here?” John agrees, “There is no food now.” Food had not been an issue I thought about until now (I have no idea what we ate or for how long. Military rations?).
I said nothing but I crouched near the hole that I had almost fallen through and watched. This was the plan now; we are leaving the record store. I was slightly outside the force field and before I knew it, we were being shot at. John rushed through the other door and Amelia jumped over the grate, but the gunshots made me stumble and I found myself in a familiar predicament; half of my body dangled beneath the deteriorating grate and I held on to the remainder with my fingers. John and Amelia rushed to help. I was able to kick off of the sidewalk wall and swing myself up. We ran.
We got separated in a market type area. It was like an outdoor Walmart. As I ran through the produce sections I realized that they looked untouched as if it had been stocked that morning. Other people ran alongside me; mostly children. How long had they been out here? The soldier took aim and shot as many people as they could catch in their sights. Their armor was a pewter colored plastic metal that covered their bodies; nothing like the uniform I remember. The weapons matched them.
We scrambled in every direction until the shots began to fade and it seemed like the soldiers had taken all the life they could. I hid under and orange stand and had a distinct determination to find Amelia; she had been right in front of me. The commotion died down and I crept around corners and through several stands of produce. I reached a dead end and stepped in blood. Panic gripped me; I knew that Amelia was in danger as I could hear her sobbing. I rushed forward to a scene I could never be expected to forget (my own dream got super dark and for reality’s sake I will write it out, but I don’t want to so I’ll dumb it down a bit). Amelia was laying of the floor, bloody from the waist down, her pencil skirt shredded and stockings ripped… a soldier lay on the floor next to her; his armor was a small box-like thing next to him. Underneath the armor he looked just like any soldier I remember from my military days; they still wore the uniform under the anonymous plating.
His stupid, satisfied face gazed up at the sky and as I realized what he has done, my rage built and I wanted to tear his eyes out. It was his mistake to laying there with his stupid fucking satisfaction! I, out of pure logic, picked up with rifle instead of leaping on his face with my claws. He realized I was there all too late of course, but I didn’t shoot… yet. His eyes filled with terror as he got to his feet, his hands up, as if that would stop me. John appeared and realization struck him too; he fell to his knees to comfort Amelia. I backed the soldier into a wall of apples.
“You. Have. No. Right.” I told him as I backed him along the apple wall and out of the area. It was the direction I had come in to the dead end. I was confident that Amelia was safe with John and all I wanted was to cater to my rage. The asshole said nothing; I backed him against a stand of melons, sufficiently out of Amelia’s sights. She shouldn’t have to see this after what he had done to her. Suddenly I felt the cold metal of another rifle in my side. Shit.
“Put it down.” Another soldier told me; his anonymous helmet showed the reflection of the apples. The soldier in front of my gun smiled slightly… he had no right to do that either. “You have to put it down, or I have to shoot you.”
“You will shoot me anyway.” I growled; all I hoped was that I could kill this fucker before I got one between the ribs.
“I saw your friend.” Anonymous said, “I know what happened.” He pressed a button on the side of his neck and the helmet slid to pieces behind his neck… some armor this was. His face was young; younger than me. His head was freshly shaved and he looked shell-shocked. The smile melted from the guy in front of me. “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor will we tolerate anyone among us who does.” He recited. That’s an Academy thing; that’s what the cadets say.
“I’m your commanding officer.” My prey muttered, “Shoot the bitch.”
“You are a human! How could you kill other people?” I asked them.
The younger soldier repeated, “Put it down or I have to shoot you.” He almost seemed afraid of me; I guess he felt the need to explain himself further, “I don’t want to shoot you. I saw what happened. I am only a private… I have a wife and a two-year-old daughter in quarantine… I get it… now put it down… I will take care of it.”
“Fine.” I threw my hands up and let the rifle crash to the cement. I guess I trusted him.
“Sergeant, I will not suffer a rapist to live.” The private immediately lifted the end of his rifle from my side and before the sergeant could say a word I saw the bullet enter his head and he dropped backward, melons fell over him and concealed the carnage. I turned back to the private; what do we do now? I know his orders are to shoot civilians. He pressed the button on his neck and the helmet reformed; the shiny black mask made him once again anonymous.
“What is all this?” I ask in the hope that the person was still under the armor would have the decency to tell me about the attacks and the quarantine, but he didn’t.
“I am going to clear the area,” he says, “You have twelve hours before we return. Take care of your friend and head south.”
He leaves. I return to Amelia and John. He had used a half gallon of water from the refrigerated section to clean her up and he found a service blanket to wrap her in. Her face is streaked with tears, but hardened in a way. I know she is strong enough to deal with this situation. We have to escape and she knows. “I’ll be right back,” I say, there is a clothes section to the market, I will get her some clothes, “What’s your pants size?”
“12 usually,” she says, “14 maybe.”
“9 ½ .” she says. I leave for the clothing area and begin to sift through pairs of jeans (this part is not important, I don’t really remember much of it). I grabbed running shoes for her because I’m not sure how far we are going, it seemed like a good idea. John and I get her dressed. Her injuries are not bad and she makes so fuss about them. “It looks worse than it is.” She tells us.
“Where do we go now?” John asks. He is clearly shaken by the whole incident, but sometime during when I left to kill the sergeant and now, he had found a backpack; I can only assume he packed the thing with food and supplies.
“South,” I say, “The private said south.”