Monday, April 13, 2015
May 12, part 3
After making love, I got to do another of my favorite things in this world: fall asleep between Betra and Oses. Usually, I don’t have bad dreams when I’m tucked in safe and sound with my two big shipmates.
Okay, so it wasn’t really a nightmare that I had. The dream was weird and horribly violent, but in all honesty I felt exalted by the carnage. That’s a bizarre thing considering it was me committing the bloodshed in this odd trick of my subconscious.
In the dream, I was among all these armored ... well, I guess I’d have to call them people. They were not anything like Earthers or Kalquorians. The bodies were all wrong, with massive wide shoulders, arms, and legs that made mountain o’ man Oses look like a twig. The waists of these men were tiny in comparison. Their heads, while twice the circumference of mine, were also small in proportion to these great, behemoth bodies.
Clad in gray stone-like armor with attached green flesh-like pouches and tubes running all over them, I had no idea what these beings looked like beneath their war garb. The armor was freaky the way it looked like granite – or maybe even bone. I have no idea what they looked like underneath because nothing at all showed of their true selves. Even the eye openings in their helmets were covered with green lenses that matched the tubes and pouches. They were terrifying, and not just because they were inhuman and huge. The scariest thing about them was that there was no hint of what they might look like underneath all that stony plating.
I was one of them.
We stalked across a burning wasteland in a long line. There were at least two dozen of us walking abreast, a wall of pure, unstoppable destruction. Small buildings, now no more than smoking mounds of debris, fell behind us as we searched for anything living ... not to save, but to destroy. I and my companions had created this landscape of destruction, a plain of rubble and death. Charred body parts, which I recognized as belonging to a small, sentient four-legged species called the Barinem, lay scattered like breadcrumbs all around us. We stomped across the plain, crunching the bones of the dead beneath our heavy armor-plated boots.
We had already won the fight, but nothing less than complete eradication of this village would do. I growled deep in my chest, anticipating finding something to kill. I burned for my enemy’s blood. The destruction I had already wrought exalted me. I knew there was more to be had.
My growl turned into a roar as a middling group of four-legged Barinem sprang from behind a low wall forty feet away. The bedraggled remnants of my enemy’s warriors came at us at full speed, their furred red-brown legs blurring as they made their final charge. Their long ears flapped against their heads, their tongues lolled out of long muzzles with lips wrinkled back in snarls. They came at us full bore, explosive blow tubes clenched in their front teeth. They looked fierce, but the light in their eyes had been put out. Their bodies worked for now and they fought on, but the Barinem knew they were already dead. Their explosives were too weak the penetrate our armor. They were weak. We were strong and infallible. We could not be stopped.
A surge of murderous glee filled me. I brought my massive percussion blaster up in perfect sync with my fellow soldiers and sighted on the Barinem closing the distance. I squeezed the trigger.
“Shalia, wake up.”
My eyes flew open to find both Oses and Betra leaning over me. I was startled to find myself in my bed ... and human.
“That must have been a bad one,” Betra said, his gaze worried. “You sounded like you were right on the brink of a fight.”
More like the end of one, and I was winning, I thought. I actually felt irritable that I wasn’t going to get to finish the dream and taste the victory that had been within my grasp.
“I’m fine,” I grumbled. “Go back to sleep.”
Oses glared at me. “You sounded as Nobek as any man I’ve ever heard, growling and snarling. Are you sure you’re okay?”
I glared back. “I’m fine. I was dreaming about being in a fight and I had ‘em beat. You would have loved it, big man. It was a total rout. I was bad-ass to the max.”
That made the weapons commander grin. “I’m sorry we woke you then. I love dreams like that.”
My pique with the pair vanished. “I bet you do. I wish I always felt that unstoppable.”
Betra snickered, shook his head, and lay back down. “Maybe you can get back into it then, warrior woman.”
I went back to sleep fairly quickly, but I did not get to have the dream again. I guess I’ll never know what those poor, doomed Barinem were trying to protect. It occurred to me that they must have been protecting something from me and my warrior fellows. Otherwise, they would have run from what was certain death instead of meeting it head on. They’re known as a peaceful species, fighting only when it is absolutely necessary.
Boy, that dream was so real and invigorating. I’d rather not see myself as a heartless killer, but I wish I could have finished it nonetheless.