TDM 08 "The Dreamers Of Men"

TDM 08 "The Dreamers Of Men"

A Chapter by dw817
"

There is a man up on a ladder of the roof and has a solid white hammer in his hand with a wire going into his head. He is dressed as a repairmen for such a job and is frozen in place, snoring loudly.

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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 8 - THE DREAMERS OF MEN

* * *


This chapter is Rated: EVERYONE

Fi reached down to try and raise up the console but it's too heavy for her. Fum assists and they manage to upright it back up in the spindle. Suddenly the lights on it flare to life and a powering up sound occurs and it appears as if it's okay again twinkling lights and burbling movement within the semisphere plexiglass covering.

Fi is all business, "The saucer needs to be repaired first, Fum. Unfortunately, I'm the only one with the knowledge on how to do that."

Fum looks around and finally taps Fi on her lighted chest, "You could teach me and then go and rescue the kids !"

Fi looks at Fum with a smile, "That's not such a bad idea ! Okay, Fum. Hold on a second cause you'll need this." and with that she reached in the front of her chest and pulled out a small audio-cassette from her chassis to hand to Fum.

He examined it. It really is quite pretty, a small rectangle with pretty refractive rainbow paper on the edges. He wrinkles his nose up trying to see it in the dim light, "Is this it ?"

Fi nodded, "Yes. Install it now so we can begin."

Fum places the cassette inside the front of his chest himself and a new pinkish glow appears on his chest beside the collection of other twinkling lights. There is a pleasant ding like the sound of a Betty Crocker oven having finished it's sweet tarts.

Suddenly Fum stands at attention staring straight ahead with a look of marvel on his face, "I know just what I need to do !" he says proudly.

"Good." Fi says. "Stay with DORSE. I'm going out to try and find them. You repair the saucer while I'm gone. If all works well, I should be back within the hour with the kids and we can leave this terrible planet and finally try to get them back home !"

Fi leaves the saucer out the open hatchway and Fum gets to work himself. He reaches for a broom hanging on the far wall and attaches it to a connector on his arm. Then he sweep-sweep-sweeps the floor collecting all the loose wires and fallen pieces from the ceiling in a pile.

Dorse helps too by pushing some of the debris with his furry paws and nose, bawfing as he does it. He looks up at Fi who is still busily sweeping up the rest of it.

Outside it appears pleasant enough. The sky seems pretty and clear with perhaps a trace of rain in the clouds. Fi sees the stream that Dorse found earlier and being rather afraid of water she looks in both directions and there is only one wooden bridge in a bad state of repair overlapping the stream so she attempts to cross the bridge. Checking again she sees this is the only bridge for miles.

Suddenly when she is in the middle one of the rotted boards gives way ! She shrieks in fear but catches herself on a stronger railing grip and watches fearfully as the board is pulled away by the rapid current. She ponders this for a moment.

"Why doesn't someone repair or replace this bridge ?" she asks no-one in particular. Finally getting across the bridge she sees the whole thing suddenly collapse behind her and fall noisily into the turbid stream clogging it with timbers.

"That was close !" she says and travels on. In a short amount of time she comes across a large lake and standing next to it is an elderly man on the edge of a dock in full fishing gear. She can see he has a fishing rod in his hand but curiously he is not moving.

She approaches to investigate and finds that the fishing rod is solid white completely, like a mock-up. There is no line coming out of it either but there is a thin silvery wire going from the polished white reel directly into the fisherman's head, and just like all the citizens of this planet, he clearly has no brain. His fisherman's hat has a space cut into it to allow wires of this nature to enter.

"Excuse me ?" she says and steps in front of him. His eyes stare blankly ahead and his face is an ashen gray pallor and - he is snoring, rather loudly actually. "Excuse me ?" she asks again a little louder and finally taps him on his back to get his attention.

Suddenly he jerks his muscles and his eyes focus and he looks at her angrily. "What, what ? What is it ? Can't you see I'm fishing here !"

She looks curiously to see him pull free of the connector from his head and wraps it around the mock-up fishing rod while stepping away from the dock to address her.

He seems upset now and mutters, "I almost had him too, a nice big tasty whopper, biggest one in the brook right there on the line, and I was going to take home and cook him up for my supper until you showed up ! Now what is it you want anyways, woman !?"

"You're - fishing ?" Fi asked confused.

"Yes ! Yes I =WAS= anyways ! What do you think this is ? Hmm ??" and he brandishes the mock-up rod at her. He grumbled quietly, "Yes, well I suppose I can try again here in a minute."

Fi nods and tries to be polite, "Look, I'm sorry about that. I'm looking for two children ? One is a boy and the other is a young teenage girl ? Maybe you have seen them around here ?"

"Haven't seen them." he sniffed disdainfully without batting an eye. "Anything else, woman ?"

"No ?" she offers timidly.

"Then good day to you !" he snarls and turning his back on her goes back to the dock. She watches carefully. He takes the plug from the fishing rod and re-attaches it to his head. In moments he is frozen in place again, holding the fishing rod outward and is snoring loudly.

"That's - not really fishing." Fi comments to herself and leaves the strange scene.

Further on she comes across an old beat-up cabin. The wood is so rotten that large holes can be seen around it. It is in desperate need of repair. And like the dock there, too, is a strange individual here. He is up on a ladder on the roof and has a solid white hammer in his hand with a wire going into his head.

He is dressed as a repairmen for such a job and, like the fisherman, he too is frozen in place and snoring loudly.

* * *

"Oh come on !" Fi says to herself now understanding where this is going. Clearly he is DREAMING he is repairing the cabin instead of actually doing it.

"Oh wake up !" she says to him. Getting no answer, she climbs the ladder, her kindness nearly at an end and shakes him. "Wake up will ya !"

"What ? Oh ? What ? Hello ! Oh, hello there. I'm just - making some repairs here on this beautiful cabin. Uncommon workmanship, wouldn't you say ?" he asks pleasantly enough. And then unplugs the hammer from his head.

"Sure, yes. I can see that." she says with a smirk. "Look, I'm trying to find two kids. Maybe they passed by this way ? A young boy and a young teenage girl ?"

Unlike the fisherman he stops to think about it before replying, "There was something about that at the latest consignment auction today. There were two new vessels on the block. I couldn't afford it this time around with my current cut in pay so I didn't go."

"Where is this auction being held ?" she asked him.

"Oh ? Well, if you go right down this path," and he points to a dirt path leading out of the forest, "you can't miss it. But it will take you all day to get there on foot if that's how your traveling."

"I don't have all day !" she explains.

"Don't you have one of these ?" and he points to his wrist which has a large acrylic violet bracelet on it. Really quite pretty. "You can teleport there if you've been issued one by Central."

"No, I can't do that." she says and looks to the path. She sighs, it appears just as he said that it will indeed be a long walk if she does intent to go there.

He straightens up and takes on a flat tone, "Well, I'm not sure then. If you'll excuse me. I'm on a tight contract here." and with that he turned his back on her and reattached the connector from the hammer into his head. He leans down and holds the hammer over a damaged part of the roof and in seconds is frozen in place and snoring again.

"This is ridiculous !" Fi shouts but he doesn't hear her and only hiccups in his snoring. She climbs down the ladder and looks and sure enough the path ahead does appear to travel on for several miles with no sign of it ever ending.

Fi screws her face up in a frown, clearly disgusted at everything she's seen so far. "Okay, I know what to do here." Then her voice changes to a stern one. "Activate mini-jets !" and she touches several buttons on the front of her chest making pretty digital bleep-bloop sounds.

Suddenly a bright flashing light appears in the center of her chest, likely a warning to stand clear !

A moment later there is a whooshing sound and a small blue jet of flame shoots out the bottom and side of her heels and she is airborne ! She leans into the wind and several hundred feet in the air now she easily follows the path out of the forest to civilization.

Back at the auction it is over and the doctor is shaking hands of everyone on the way out. "Glad you had a good time - Yes - We'll keep you on our mailing list - Absolutely ! - What ? This is for me ? Why, that's very kind of you ! - Thank you ! Yes, please tell all your friends about us !"

As the last of the guests are leaving someone is pushing through in the opposite direction. He is polite but firm, "Excuse me - sorry - I need to get through - yes - through here."

Finally he confronts the doctor who looks at him, "This had better be important, Drugo. We made a nice profit today and I don't want any bad news to sour the profit."

He trembles knowing there are serious repercussions for incompetence but holds his ground, "Yessir minister Glask. This is indeed important. We have a satellite scan of a downed alien craft in the Reverie Woods." he hands Glask a clear acrylic board with scratches across it. Glask scans over it quickly.

"What are your orders ?" Drugo inquires politely after a moment of silence.

The camera closes up on the doctor and he sneers, "Well, this looks like our earlier uninvited guests. There were no additional tracking blips on the Attenuator ?"

"Nossir." Drugo replied.

"Good." Glask looks back at the acrylic board and taps a finger to one spot on it. "Yes, that's them. That confirms it. And I can see there are no more humans on board. Must be something else - something - we can't use, or make a profit from. I won't have our precious operations disrupted here, Drugo ! Destroy it at once !"

"Yessir !" Drugo nods and clicks his heels together with a salute, then turns around in a professional military march walks back out the door again.

Glask sits down on a ledge leading up to the podium and ponders over the acrylic board a moment further. Suddenly he looks up. "Hmm ! I had better check on those two and see they are ready for the next auction tomorrow."

So saying he sets the board down on the podium's stand and steps out the door himself.

Back with Fi she is easily sailing along in her mini-jets and finally comes across a beautiful park. A short distance from there is a large building that appears to be made up of concentric circles intertwining one another. A marvel of engineering to be sure, and likely where she needs to go. But she sets down in the park to see if she can find some more answers.

She does so and comes across one of the citizens in a park bench, an elderly woman with a kindly face. She has a bag of popcorn in her hands but just like the earlier hammer and fishing rod, it too, is solid white with a silvery cable going out of it to attach to her head. Ahead of her are models of pigeons made of stone frozen and imbedded in the ground ahead of her.

To the side of the bench is a set of complex instructions written on an acrylic slate showing how you can feed the pigeons using particular brain installing software and where it can be purchased.

Fi scoffs at the ludicrousness of it all, "This whole planet is mad !"

* * *

Back with Glask he has passed by one room that contains annoying flickering lights much like camera flashes and is hypnotic to say the least. Finally he enters the room where Alice and Jerry are. They have been placed opposite of each other. Clearly their chairs can slide along the ground and be repositioned.

He goes over to Alice and looks down curiously at her eyes seeing wetness there. He touches them with his gray finger clearly never having seen anything like this before.

"Are you hot midear ? Are you sweating ?" Puzzled he wipes it on his hand and checks out Jerry on the opposite side. He, too, is exhibiting this strange wetness around the eyes. Tears - unknown to him.

"Hmm ... most peculiar." he tells himself and goes over to a control setting and speaks, "Lower the ambient temperature in this room by 10 degrees, please."

A pretty digital female voice speaks, "Confirmed, minister Glask." and a jet of air starts up.

He approaches the pair and speaks although he knows he is only talking to himself, "I need to leave now. I want you two in fine form for tomorrow. So - keep - dreaming !" and with that he laughs cruelly and leaves the room.

The camera closes up on Alice's gray face and new tears are seen to form there.




END OF CHAPTER 8



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