Another dream of a movie that I want to see but which hasn't quite come out yet. This one - Alien: Covenant

At first, we just know that we're doomed. All of us in a sprawling industrial structure, all of us in a nightclub or cathedral. Knowing that one among us has been infected; that it will turn him to an inhuman raging beast. And knowing that the same thing is in me, pushing me, pushing me, sharpening my reactions, my assertions up to and over that 65% agitation mark of no return, and in my head I'm crawling eagerly to a point of no longer giving a shit about human limits, or morals. The woman in the trailer who points out that "we don't know what the fuck's out there?" I'm her, if she decided not to be automaticaly marked as 3rd-tier lead. If she was played by Charlize Theron, of the prequel, and of "Monster."

And in all this something that was never human in the first place has scuttled out into the terrestrial ecosystem and it will breed. And it will kill all of us.

And then the second part. We're on the ship. Or I am. And one of The Engineers is there. Only she's a pleasantly dowdy red-nosed (9' tall, extraterrestrial) British retiree caravaning by the sea in her giant biomechanical space horseshoe-with-vagina-entrance. And she's downplaying the risk of the escaped creature. To her it's nothing unusual - tea? And two other engineers come over. These ones are pale and Other. And since they may smash impudent humans, I am polite as hell with Our Makers. But one puts his hand on my head, and he knows. Because I'm this character here ( And he asks if that's what's bothering me, and I say yes. And while their weapons are terrifying, and their pets or pests might doom your planet, Engineer medicine is pretty straightforward and painless. Admittedly their idea of a typical feminine appearance is what you'd expect from a race of marble giants with genitals that speak to a larval invertebrate fixation, but it's still an improvement. And I'm gonna take it because I know they're dying and the looters will be here soon to let their demons out and into our world. And when one says that all we do is ask for things, I'm candid and mention that we feel inadequate in comparison and what's a couch to crash on for a star-trotter? And he smiles and says that he'd love to come over. And the looters will come soon, and the demon will get out, and we'll all be lucky to live.

What's curious is that I was archetypically female, and probably cis, at the top of the dream, and decidedly female - and transitioning - at the end. Like 10 years into starting hormone blockers my subconscious is saying

--- /This is real. It's happened. The world might be on fire. And you just might not survive. But you're going to be okay. /

I am grateful for the Cat. On Thursday, she arranged for her old chum to walk me through basic makeup. A week prior, she came with me for professional acting headshots in three genders. On Friday, following her advice, I took the day off and actually slept well. I will have to do more of this.

The following are steeped in dream-allegory. Usually to sci-fi and, to a rarer extend other forms of spec fic, as I consume it. On TV first, then on film, then in larp it seems (this is new!), then in text.

I am told that other people on the spectrum also relate to their world in pop nerd culture allegory.

On a side note, these are following up on an earlier week where I dreamed I was acting in contemporary American re-makes of two shows: Ghost in the Shell and... something else. Curiously, GITS and BSG are both being rebooted South of the border.

Ogres and Fairies

A woman and her partner are in a field in a large garden on a fine and misty morning. Their relationship is strained. Both are pale. Her hair is black and shoulder-length; zer hair is a dark tawny, boyish and ragged.

As if someone had torn open a bag high above, small gifts - hats, rings, and other jewellery - rain out of the sky. The partner becomes larger, more ogreish as ze sweeps them up in zer hands. The woman becomes smaller, blocked out of the showering by her partners thorny, lumpy mass.

Someone tosses a pair of homemade lace butterfly wings, the size of an actual butterfly. Perfect. Beautiful. And a carryable size. But the ogre sweeps them up in zer hands. But now, somehow, there are actual butterfly wings. The woman, now tiny, dashes out to collect them. She catches them.

I strap them onto my back and fly off.

I hide in a dugout cabin as The Owners come past. Youths all, gabbing. Terrible and dangerous. And also huge in relation to my current size. I am about to leave when a young owner, looking eight if she were a human, and her mother come in. If I am caught, it would be unpleasant. If I am caught fleeing, it would be worse.

I dart up to alight on a rafter. Their conversation sounds normal, but I can't parse a single word. Like they are exchanging the idea of speech.

Eventually they leave. So do I.

A long corridor in a hospital. Extended care. Degenerative neural diseases. I mean a *long* corridor. It is the way between Their world and ours.

I flit above everyone, on the exposed pipes and ducts all painted hospital-white.

Two patients are there, Distressed and semi-coherent,  on suicide watch. One reports surviving abuse. She is referred to a psychiatrist.

There is a police department that misses me, a Captain. The two officers do not know that I am in the room with them, listening from behind some books on a desk. They speak of the people they've interviewed. It is a procedural show that I am in then? Alright then. I'll look into this, all tiny and absent.

I flit back to the hospital. To one of the patients in interview, she shudders in an armchair. Why so distressed now? I overhear their conversation - ah - it is the psychiatrist that is abusing her. Mystery solved! Now how to go about-

-the patient is up off her chair and over to the psychiatrist. She stabs him in the neck with a screw driver six, seven, eight, nine times. And she leaves.

Well, shit. Suddenly showing up and talking to her wouldn't exactly work. She'll Disbelieve me or crush me.

I am gone.

Out, in a sunny misty street. I run into an old friend.

The pixie woman flies up at her old friend. To attract her attention. The friend sees, the refugee pixie and acknowledges her, and her changed state. This, or something like it, has happened before. The ogre-partner - there is news of zer. The specifics are... what? Strange. Depressing. Alien. Full of closure. 

I can't hear the details as I am viewing from down on the ground. Now I am wearing all green to match my tawny hair. I have no wings. I am like a grasshopper. I am her male counterpart. I leap up to participate in the conversation, feeling somewhat left out.

This is a clear reference to Changeling: the Lost, which I played on Saturday.

I have been that tawny-and-green lad before. Ze is a guide for those who journey through other states of consciousness.

I have also been a winged Fairie in dreams. But full sized, with great billowing black wings, riding the currents of night. Also female then.

An Exodus after Caprica

They never found a planet. Not one unoccupied, or one willing to receive them. The intervening decades have not been kind but they have been formative. And our generation has grown up in dark, steel-and-glass spaces between stars. It is always night for us. Harsh sunlight without an atmosphere? That is not "day." It is like one hot light in a dark theatre.

There were spaces of other survivors from other colonies - despotic and with a certain reliance on cannibalism. We learned from them. But we were compassionate.

We are here. In a garden. At night, more or less. A nice place to stroll under lattice windows that keep out the vacuum. A small sun in the distance perhaps. But always night.

I explain our history things to the latest round of nuggets, as we call any student now. It was a term favoured by a woman like my grandmother-of-position if not of-genes. Her name was Starbuck. I carry that name too.

We are here.

Look at other dreams of BSG for contrast

Why these dreams are unusual:

from John Varley's Steel Beach.

Context: Hildy Johnson is one of the few humans on Luna who grew up on Earth. Ze is a newspaper reporter. Ze lives as a newspaperman, reporting in a society where people don't really read any more, but ze's employed in large part because because the Central Computer ("CC") has figured out that if humans don't spend a few hours a week engaged in some kind of "work" - even if it's standing around staring at an automated construction site while leaning on a shovel - we start to go a bit poorly in the head.

Even someone as well-adjusted as Hildy has attempted suicide four times. The last three were at home in private. The CC intervened, then wiped zer memory of the event. Most recently however, ze deliberately got into a barfight with a very large engineered thug. Ze remembers lying on an operating table... and then waking up on a desert island? Weird.

That was a year ago. It's an easily-inhabited island, curiously so. It's been a simple enough survival effort. But today a ship stopped off and a man in a uniform came ashore, claiming to be a figurative embodiment of the Central Computer, who had created a short hallucination with a year of memories attached. i.e. a dream

Before, if things collapsed, at least there was air to breathe.

Nowhere in the solar system did humans now live where the air was free. To "forget" how to implant memories in the human brain the CC would no doubt have to forget many other things. He would have to limit his abilities and, as he pointed out, unless he decreased his intelligence deliberately to a point that might endanger the very humans he was designed to protect, he would re-chisel this particular wheel in due time. And it was also true that the CC of Mars or Triton would certainly discover the techniques on their own, though the rumor was none of the other planetary computers was so far evolved as the Lunar CC. As nations which often found themselves in competition, the Eight Worlds did not encourage a lot of intercourse between their central cybernets. So all the reasons he stated sounded reasonable. It was railroad time, so somebody would build a choo-choo. But what didn't ring true was what the CC had left out. He liked the new capability. He was as pleased as a child with a new toy monorail.

"I have one further proof," the Admiral said. "It involves something I mentioned earlier. Acts that were out of character. This is the biggest one, and it involves you not noticing something that, if these memories had been generated by you, you surely would have noticed. You would have spotted it by now yourself, except I've kept your mind occupied. You haven't had time to really think back to the operating table, and the time immediately before that."

"It's not exactly fresh in my mind."

"Of course not. It feels as if it all happened a year ago."

"So what is it? What didn't I notice?"

"That you are female."

"Well, of course I'm—"

Words fail me again. How many degrees of surprise can there be?

Imagine the worst possible one, then square it, and you'll have some notion of how surprised I was. Not when I looked reflexively down at my body, which was, as the CC had said and I had known all along, female. No, the real shock came when I thought back to that day in the Blind Pig. Because that was the first moment in one year that I had realized I had been male when I got in the fight. I had been male when I went on the operating table.

And I had been female when I appeared on the beach of Scarpa Island.


And I simply had never noticed it.


Something continues to shake loose in my unconscious. Something regendered, properly gendered. This is very healthy.

 Story idea: "Merge"

People tele-operate robots on other planets by copying their mind, and shipping it off to, say, Mars. It then loads into a mining robot and runs it for a few months, before getting broadcast back to you and merged with your "original."

Obvious enough stuff, but what does your mind #2 get up to? Mutiny? Not wanting to come back? Realizing that your marriage isn't working and has been "playing the field" of the solar-powered-rover equivalent of swinging key parties for the last two years?

Or, to re-frame. Tell it from the perspective of mind #2. Thus avoid the trap of "protagonist = default."


Given that Mars = "Osoyoos with a lens filter" and "Rover" = "puppet," this could even be a cheap screenplay.



August 2017

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