TDM 06 "The Auction Of Delights"

TDM 06 "The Auction Of Delights"

A Chapter by dw817
"

Alice looked around the saucer as if she had never seen it before and spoke in a strange high-pitched alien voice, "Leave us alone !" and then both suddenly melted in the air like a chemical burn.

"

    
 


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THE DREAM MACHINE


The Lost Saucer
Can't Get Off This Crazy Ride !


© September 2013 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission

[ CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CHAPTER ]



CHAPTER 6 - THE AUCTION OF DELIGHTS

* * *


This chapter is Rated: EVERYONE


Announcer's voice off camera as if reading from a cue card, "We now return back to our special presentation of, The Lost Saucer."


The scene shows Alice back in her octagonal prison and dramatic music plays when suddenly the panel opens up completely revealing a warm pink light beyond and the doctor we saw earlier steps inside to stoop down and talk to Alice as she is still huddled against the floor, still terribly hurt at what he told her.

He speaks soothingly and approaches on heavy footsteps against the cold unyielding stone floor, "Now now. I wouldn't worry, midear. Don't you fret, we're not going to do that with you. I promise."

He changes his tone to admiration, "Oh no ! we're going to take good care of you here, I promise you that." and then he raised his head up to look at her hair for a moment before finally placing his hand up against her forehead to scoot some hair back to look at her scalp.

She doesn't fight him. "Hmm ... Yes, that's nice. Good cranial development there. Excellent imagination I'm sure." he says in a voice of medical discernment finally pulling his hand back so her hair fell back over her forehead.

"Plenty of dreams up in there I imagine. Or, would YOU be the one - imagining, I wonder ?" He smiles at the weird joke and steps back for a moment and a person outside the entry hands him a small plastic opaque drinking cup.

The doctor faces her again and she is looking up now to see what is going to happen. He smiles, "We're going to do this the easy way, I think that's best and I really don't have time to explain everything. Here, drink this." And he thrust the cup at her.

Alice leaned her head to the side and looked past him and saw 2 guards standing at the ready just beyond the door with wicked looking laser pistols. No, there was no way she could get away. And what he told her earlier ! Not even the bullies at school she went to talked that harshly to her like he did earlier and it was still fresh in her mind.

She took the cup and glared into it seeing it really wasn't water but some kind of white pudding. Could this get any worse ?

She looked back at him like he would be crazy for her to 'drink' that. He stood up suddenly and spoke louder, the friendliness quickly leaving his voice as he became all business again, "I'm sorry, dear. You were offered a chance earlier to have a nice meal, perfectly to your satisfaction before we prepared you for installation, but you chose not to partake of it, and that's your own fault."

She looks in the cup and it's like soft-serve ice-cream except it is room temperature.

He adds, "That contains - basically the same compound, but I doubt it will taste as good being concentrated like that." He scratches his chin thoughtfully, "It should actually be about double the dose what your - friend managed to have. I don't want any more problems with you, understand ?"

She put the cup up to her mouth and tasted it and it was terrible like unsweetened vanilla yogurt and she coughed a bit dribbling down her lip.

"All of it." he said sternly. Clearly he not going to leave until she emptied the cup.

"Oh Fi and Fum, where are you ?" she said to herself miserably in what could've been a prayer. Then she finished the contents and threw the empty cup away angrily coughing at the terrible flavor.

The doctor changed to a more pleasant one as he retrieved the cup off the floor, "There, that's better isn't it ? You should feel a little dizzy here in a minute and kind of drowsy after that."

He examines the cup and pulls his nose away suddenly at the odor of the concoction, "Phew. Once you fall asleep we can begin the installation and you won't need to worry about anything else - not ever - ever again." He crumples the cup easily in his hand, "And don't worry ! We're professionals ! We have a nice place set-up for you. I guarantee you'll be comfortable."

She struggled to get up to try and punch him in her rage but suddenly fell to the side of her octagonal prison and shook her head deliriously and held out the hand she was going to hit him with in front of her to stare at it incredulously cause it felt like it was going to float away from her wrist.

"Try not to hurt yourself." he said with a smirk, clearly no concern almost melodically. "We don't want damaged goods, it doesn't look good to our customers." And with that he left and the panel slid down plunging her back into the darkness.

And sure enough, the drug was strong in that concentrated form. And she slumped against the wall and curiously despite everything being harsh metal and cold stone in here she found it comfortable, like her grandmother's own warm afghan they both sewed together years ago and in minutes she was sound asleep dreaming of being with her grandmother although soft tears continued to trickle down her face.

Meanwhile Fi And Fum were just about ready to try out their time experiment to try and retrieve the kidnapped children.

"Okay !" Fi told Fum, "Is everything aligned properly ?"

Fum shook his head no, clearly an error in his more than mangled circuitry as he spoke positively, "Yes ma'am. We are ready to all systems go !"


* * *


Fi looked at him for a second and scoffed something, then went to the main console and hit a center button.

Suddenly strange colored lights appeared inside the ship and and it tilted at a hard angle to the left. A weird kind of wailing sound appeared like human speech that was stretched out and the ghostly outlines appeared of both Alice and Jerry which mysteriously wavered into blurry focus.

"We have them !" Fi shouted in an excited voice. "Maintain that program, don't lose this position, Fum ! Give me more power !"

Fum went to the console and entered in a few more calculations. The colored lights got brighter and the ship stabilized itself. Alice and Jerry finally appeared sharper and then there was an audible pop as the colored lights burst like small crystalline balloons and both Jerry and Alice appeared to them in full sight now.

Both kids smiled at Fi as she approached them.

"How are you two doing ?" she inquired.

"Fine." they both said together, then looked at each other and smiled, perhaps because they said the same thing simultaneously.

Fi nodded relieved, "Good. I'll bet you're ready to go home now, right kids ?"

"No." Alice said in a strangely flat tone and then did something strange and creepy, she grabbed Jerry by his shoulders and scooted him behind her protectively as if Fi was going to hurt him.

"What's happening ?" Fum asked confused and approached the kids but Alice gave him a sharp look that far outweighed the innocence of her years, and in truth, despite Fum being a foot taller than her, it frightened him as often he was a coward in real life.

"Gosh, what's going on, Alice ? You feeling okay ?" he asked with hurt in his voice at the unexpected look she gave him.

"Alice ? Jerry ?" Fi asked, concerned for them both now and held out her metallic hand for comfort, hoping one of them would take it.

"No." Jerry said this time in the same strange flat tone and looked away from her like she would indeed try and harm him.

Then Alice looked around the saucer as if she had never seen it before and widening her eyes alarmingly finally spoke in a strange high-pitched alien voice, "Leave us alone !" and then both suddenly melted in the air like they were made out of sugar and it was raining water on them. Their images glowed brighter like a white chemical burn and then finally winked out of existence.

Fum lowered his head to get a better look at where they were standing and there was no trace, not even ash which should've been left behind from such an effect. "Well golllyy ! What happened, huh ?"

Fi had an answer however and clicked her tongue angrily, "Oh I was afraid of that. That wasn't really them Fum ! No, that was an echo of them that got caught up in the - look, it's hard to explain and it really doesn't matter right now. The fact is we can't reach them that way. We'll have to find another way around this planet's force-field after all."

The scene changes and there is a shift in the incidental music. The doctor is seen shaking the hands warmly of visitors arriving through a trapezoid shaped door into a large futuristic auditorium. The visitors are all wearing the same kind of strange hat that Jasper was wearing when Alice and Jerry first met him.

One enters to pull his hat off for a moment to scratch his head worried at seeing so many competing bidders for the dreams to follow. Just like Jasper, he too has a hollow spot in his head but replaces the hat to cover the bare spot and sits in the expansive auditorium.

"Have you any girls ?" a stodgy and elder woman's voice speaks up in the polite silence, breaking it, and it is one of the visitors entering. Apparently a well-off and high-class citizen as she has illustrious sparkles and jewelry around the back of her hat as if she prized her brain more than other luxurious items she could obviously afford.

The doctor smiled, "Yes ! Indeed we do. Yes, you are ? Ah ! Greta J-14, aren't you ? I've seen you several times to these functions and I almost know you like family."

She grumbled at the poor attempt for him to shmooze up to her and he laughed weakly placing a friendly hand on her back to usher her in, "Yes, you are preferential to human girls' dreams if I'm not mistaken. Not a problem. Not a problem at all. We do indeed have a girl this time and I'll make CERTAIN to keep you in mind for her dreams when we start the bidding."

It was 20-people in all and then the doctor went to the front of the auditorium. There was a crystalline disc raised up on an acrylic pillar, clearly the microphone and he approached it.

The entry door closed and 2-armed guards just like Alice and Jerry met in the historical preservation park stood at the entry way to prevent anyone else from entering.

"Distinguished guests." the doctor began, his voice echoing a little too loudly. He looked at the microphone disc and rotated it a little to the left. "Is that better ?" his voice sounded normal but clear now.

"Good ! Right, welcome to the 173rd Annual Human Dream Consignment. Before we begin as a precautionary measure, may we please have you all remove your hats for a moment ?"

The guests looked at each other. Some looked confused, others seemed to know what was going to happen and removed theirs first, eager to get on with the proceedings.


* * *


"Right." the doctor said and looked down for a moment. Then he reached into his pocket and pulling out a small, smooth, acrylic stone in the shape of a cigarette lighter and touched the top of it and traced his finger down before sliding it slightly to the left.

Suddenly there was a bright flash of light and 20 bright beams of blue-white light shot down from the ceiling to hit all of the guests directly in the top of their heads. A high-pitched whine like a super-powered laser continued to emanate at a low volume.

The doctor then left the podium to look at a far wall console where digital readings were appearing. He spoke to himself unheard by the audience.

"Yes, that's fine. Let's see, yes. Yes. Yes. Oh my, he'll certainly be an interesting one. Yes. Yes. And - Uh oh, guess who's back. Hmm ..." as the beam continued to hit them each seemed frozen in their place.

He left the wall and approached one of the guards. He spoke, "Get seat C7 out of here. She still owes us from the last dream she purchased and she's not permitted back into this assembly until she pays her due." He scratched his bristly chin for a moment as if thinking what else to do. Finally he added, "Also give her a brain reduction, ahh, what the heck, 14%, confirm that with Central. We have clearance."

The guard nodded and approached the designated seat as all the guests were still frozen in place with the lights shining brightly down on their heads, the guard tapped the muzzle of the gun up against the guest in C7, an attractive slender young woman with pretty silvery hair.

But instead of hitting the main visible trigger, he reached for a smaller trigger slightly more towards the front of the weapon and depressed it.

There was a pop of light as the beam above released her and the unwanted guest slumped over unconscious. The guard then hoisted her on his back and carried her out.

The doctor returned back to the console sniffing imperiously under his breath, "Idiot." He looked back at the console to make sure everyone else had sufficient funds, and then finally. "Good. No more problems. Right. Let's get started."

He tapped a few buttons on the console and the bright blue light suddenly got considerably dimmer and took on a pink hue. The guests in their seats stirred and some turned to talk to each other asking questions about what just happened to them.

The doctor re-approached the microphone and spoke, "Everyone okay ? Right. Sorry about that. We've had to tighten down security. Ok, what you're feeling now is a conduit to our demo dream channel. Don't worry. You're all fine. But this will give you a chance to experience and feel the dreams as we put them up on the shopping block. So it is definitely a try before you buy. We want maximum satisfaction out there and repeat business !"

He then leaned back a moment and smiled wide, "Whoever said money couldn't buy them happiness simply hasn't invested enough in their dreams !" and he held his hands out with his fists clenched and shook them in the air a few times, pausing for a dramatic effect.

Someone in the back clapped his hands tentatively and then there was more applause until everyone was cheering for the good doctor and the dreams he had stolen.

The doctor looked at them perplexed and smiled with false modesty, "What ? Who me ? Oh, you're too kind ! thank you, thank you." He jerked his head forward in an awkward salutary bow.

He leaned forward again to the microphone to make sure his voice could be heard although it echoed slightly because he was too close, "Yes, well, I'm sure it will be an unforgettable experience for all of us. I will tell you now, all your credits check out, that was part of our new security measures, perfectly harmless let me assure you. Please don't bid more than you can afford."

He paused for a moment before continuing and raised his head so they could clearly see his personage past the microphone, "And we are ready to begin - NOW !"




END OF CHAPTER 6



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