Every night I have vivid dreams. I mostly forget them but for some reason, much of this one stuck with me so I’ll write it down…
The Earth has been invaded and all major governments eliminated. There is no military left, no chance of defence, no hope. All cities are deserted, at least of the human population, and the remaining humans find themselves isolated in small pockets, hiding in apparent “safe” zones where they are not hunted by the invaders. But they re running out of food and resources.
The invaders meanwhile, are humanlike. They look identical to human beings, and for reasons unknown (this is a dream, after all), they speak our language. Their technology is similar to ours, in that they use assault type weapons with ammunition very much like our own. Their space crafts are large and clumsy, but efficient machines. They do the job and get them around. What sets these beings apart from us is that although they look like us, we are no match for them physically. Every one of them has, relative to us, superhuman strength, endurance, and is virtually invulnerable to our weapons, though not their own. Their technology produces metals and alloys that look like ours but is superior to anything we have ever produced, and hence they can harm each other, but we have virtually no chance against them.
Another way our invaders are similar to us is that they have religion. They are led by a high priestess and her assistant, neither of which has a name because not all my dream characters get names. (Most don’t.) Below the two religious leaders there is a complex hierarchy – imagine a large church like the Catholic church or the shady organization in His Dark Materials, which is really just the Catholic church in disguise anyway. Unlike us, they worship an actual being, a man who exists somewhere out there in space. He is “godlike” but no god, just a man with immense power, a being capable of destroying entire civilizations, worlds even, with a wave of his hand. They call him Chaos, and though they worship him and he has mostly enjoyed the attention for the centuries (duration unclear or forgotten) that they have done, he never asked for it. Their religion is about worship, control, conquest of other civilizations with a lot of killing, and then slavery of the conquered planets’ populations to produce their various metals, alloys, and another substance which attracts their god, and if he absorbs it, increases his power.
The dream begins when a slave, having escaped from one of the slave compounds, enters a safe zone of survivors. Having been assisted by friendly aliens, he has a limited amount of substance (I forgot the worldbuilding rules and details, the science, although I can remember there was some invented science in the dream, so fuck it, a substance of some sort is all I can remember), that will allow a group of about 20 people to be undetected. That is, they can leave the safe zone and the aliens won’t notice that they are human. They can use this substance to go undetected and get much needed resources. That’s the plan – to get food and anything else useful from the nearby abandoned city.
So our intrepid party heads out of the safe zone, and I am one of them in this dream. We don’t get far, of course, because it’s a trap. This was arranged directly by the high priestess herself, and we soon find ourselves being hunted for sport, as well as the true purpose of her trick, which was to capture one of us for a sacrifice to their god.
On the run, on foot, after bullets reach us right through a wall and kill two of our members even though we thought we were safe, our protagonist (me) gets separated from the group. In this dream I’m about a mid-twentyish man… it’s me with my sense of self but no memory of my actual normal life, which sometimes happens to me in dreams. Background info is irrelevant to the plot of this dream. It’s just a man. (Hey, at least I’m male. I’m not always a man in my dreams.)
I’m captured by the priestess herself. She’s a large woman, mid fortyish, a square faced, blonde haired, shrill voiced monstrosity who takes me with one hand and tosses me meters into the air. I’m beaten, bruised, bones broken and strung up, arms outstretched in crucifixion position, with some kind of chains, not nails at least, and subjected to torture. (The dream changed briefly to a nightmare as I tried to run away, in slow motion and unable to escape, and then I switched to being an observer and not being the one subjected to torture, broken bones and such.) The other members of the party were captured too, and are forced to watch as the protagonist is strung up, and two strange looking metallic shards are placed on his chest. They’re round, each slightly smaller than the size of a hand with all fingers outstretched, with hundreds of tiny pins in a circle coming out at about a 20 degree angle on the underside. They’re placed on the chest and then twisted while held down, to pierce the skin a few millimetres such that they stay in place. These are the shards recently made, the unknown substance that increases the power of their god, and once placed on the protagonist’s chest, they are activated (somehow?) and begin to give off an eerie red glow, as the priestess begins chanting her strange incantations to call their god, Chaos, to take his sacrifice. For some reasons these incantations are in an alien language.
At this point we switch scenes, to somewhere close to the middle of the galaxy. A lone figure floats in space. He is ancient and of almost unlimited power. So much power, he isn’t even sure. But he no longer cares. Existence after so long is without meaning, as it has been a millennia since his own race last existed, longer since the last time he had a friend or cared about anything at all. He wants to die, and that is all he still wants. But there is only one way he knows for certain that would work: He can gift his power to another. Doing so, giving away the strange energy that leaves him glowing red and able to live for eons longer than his natural life, would leave nothing to sustain his body. It would mean instant death and a final release from the pain of existence. But… the only beings he has paid any attention to are those who worship him. Though other races exist he has been indifferent to any sense of curiosity to approach them for a long time. Extremists, zealots, his worshippers are murderous fiends and he hates them. He would have destroyed them himself, as he destroyed others so many times before them, if he were not so indifferent to it all. But he would never give them his power.
So he floats aimlessly through space, as he has for (unknown length of time), but now he gets closer to the black hole in the centre of the galaxy. Uncertain of the limits of his power, he feels the pull of gravity and wonders whether it might be another path to death and release from the pain of existence. Close, ever close he floats, feeling the pull of gravity but using his power to resist being pulled in, his instinct for survival always preventing him from allowing it and finding out if it can kill him.
And then he senses it, the call of the religious fanatics, the pull of the shards that would once again increase his already near unlimited power. He turns, allows himself to feel them, feel their mad lust for blood, domination, and control and their heinous intentions which sicken him to the core. But then he shifts his attention to their victim, their sacrifice, allowing himself into the mind of our hero. He feels his pain, his loneliness, and his loss, he feels the all too familiar longing for death of the other, but it is unjustified, a result brought on be the cruelty of others. He relates to this stranger and for the first time since he can remember, he doesn’t feel alone.
In a moment he is in the sky above planet Earth where they have their victim strung up on the beach. How he got there instantly, I don’t know any more than I know how he saw them or felt their emotions from the middle of the galaxy. This is a dream, after all. Putting on one last show for his hateful worshippers, he descends slowly, increasing the crimson glow from his skin for dramatic effect. As he gets closer to the ground, he radiates heat in proportion to the glow – he doesn’t have to, but chooses to have them feel it as part of his performance, in part because he would burn previous sacrifices and this looks like he is still playing their game. But in reality Chaos has already resigned himself to non-existence. He is hardly aware of his own identity any longer, as he feels only the self and the pain of our protagonist. When he finally reaches the victim on the ground, he is gone. Our protagonist, still naked and strung up, has no hint of the shards on his chest as they were converted and absorbed, and there is not a scratch on his chest nor a blemish anywhere else on his body. Every bone is healed and all pain is gone. There is only anger, and rage.
Lord Chaos rises. Or at least, he levitates forward, breaking the chains made of metal harder that anything else on earth as if they are nothing, because they are nothing to him. I’ve switched from observer to being him in the dream again, and I reach the priestess, who seems momentarily confused. Left hand on her shoulder, I grip her around the throat and chin, and with a simple twist and pull while holding her down with the other hand, I rip her head right off, tossing it over my shoulder as her eyes watch, still conscious for a moment as her life slips away. Her head lands face down in the sand so her last sight will be the white beach sand below her, stained with her own stinking blood. Vaguely aware of the rain of bullets hitting me but not concerned with them because they do nothing, I turn to the assistant, incinerating her with a thought. Now I turn to the invaders and smile for a moment because I will begin to test my power.
At this point, lucidity kicked in. I can fly! I can fly! I concentrate on the levitation, trying to control my gently forward movement as I always do in lucid dreams. But then I wake to Misty the cat, purring in my face. It seems she is hungry this morning at 4:15AM. Glad she woke me though because I remember this dream quite well.
And that’s it. A dream from two days ago, one of very few that I remember. I don’t think it is any more remarkable than average as I have intensely vivid dreams every night. Sometimes a bit of scifi or horror, or fantasy, and they often have detailed worldbuilding better than I could ever devise consciously, most of them fade from memory in seconds. Story wise, I don’t think this one is bad… I mean, it’s workable. The gaps can be filled and it works as an actual short story, unlike dreams that are too surreal or have plots that don’t make any sense once awake. It would probably make a good graphic novel.