I'm running through the streets. But I'm not the only one. Everyone is running for their lives and the nonstop sounds of so many screams fill my ears that it becomes difficult to discern one from another.
The saucers are howling down from the skies. Hundreds of them. Maybe thousands. I don't stop to take count. People are running, horrified and panicking. The skies are darkening and strange beams fill the skies. A mother pushing a baby carriage and with 3 other children in tow, cower into a nearby building for some protection. A bearded man jumps into his car and drives off as fast as he can.
But there is no protection.
The saucers systematically disintegrate everything in sight. The buildings are vanishing one by one. I'm looking for Yal-hune. But she's nowhere to be found.
I try to recall how it started, but I can't. I don't even know quite how I got here or where here is. I only know I must find Yal-hune. There is a building in front of me. It seems familiar, like I should know it. All at once I realize it is the warehouse in Colombia which housed the MIMIR artifacts. Maybe there is still something inside that was overlooked. Maybe there is something inside that can save the Earth.
I reach the door and it is padlocked. I pound on it with my fists till they start to bleed, but the door does not budge. So I kick the hinges again and again. The door starts to come loose from the hinges. I pry it open enough to slip through. Inside it is light. A door, I never noticed before, is at the very end of the room. I race towards it. Here might be salvation. Here might be the secret that can turn the tide. I open the door.
"You are too late." There stands Lal-atha, looking as scary, dark and demonic as the creatures he summons from the nether-worlds. He is laughing.
"Puny human - I told you that you couldn't save the Earth!"
I awaken. It was just a dream. A very bad dream. The few dreams I have had since the data transfer have been quite horrible. I now know the way many worlds have met their end. I know how whole sentient species have been extinguished by others. I know that outside our solar system are equal measures of good and evil. The galaxy and all the stars in the heavens seem simultaneously that much more wonderful - and terrifying.
I tune in to Pota-sha. I think of her eyes and that wonderful mind of hers that sees all things with equilibrium and perfect balance. The anxiety abates instantly. I can even sense the signal that broadcast that beam into my consciousness as I slept. My heightened senses allow me to follow that beam to its source and find out who enjoys making my last two nights as uncomfortable as possible. I see the Norchan broadcast center and the team of Norchans assigned to me. They sense this return signal and attempt to block it. But they can't. My consciousness has the capability to keep probing and I see them scramble to their various machines to try and redirect my thoughts away from this current inquiry. They realize the more I know about their techniques, methods and personalities - the easier it will be to catch them and block them. They will become as easily recognizable as Bozo the Clown and this they do not like.
There is a deep morose blanket over many of these people. Their jobs, their very lives, are filled with these 'possessing' activities. As a result, they have lost their own spark and vitality. These Norchans have crippled themselves in many ways. Their lives become more and more parasitic, that they can't live normal lives anymore. They almost need to live through others! It's so very sad. Their societal structure has been completely taken over by the existence of these machines and they spend more time controlling others than they do living their own lives.
I jot down elements of the dream which were placed there by my own consciousness - to alert me to things I need to look closer at. In this case the warehouse and the MIMIR artifact acquisitions. The padlock was similar to the one we used to secure the facility when we left. Was something overlooked out there? Is there something missing? A clue to something in some back room. Then it occurs to me...maybe the whole warehouse had a dummy floor. We never scanned the floors and the walls for solidity.
Yal-hune treats me a bit more like an adult - or less like a human. It's hard to distinguish the two meaningfully. The power of her mind I see in much greater detail and last night we talked for hours about the Confederation and its many unique relationship to other "Earth-type" worlds. She has been spending more time with her brother off and on as well. I know it has something to do with organizing the Confederation's new Earth quarantine enforcement directives. This other world that has been awarded this enforcement is different from our humanoid sentient life. Vague glimpses of beings with large shiny silver faces pop into my mind every now and then - from Yal-hune's thoughts in my direction when she is elsewhere. They are equally technocratic as Htra-deg but possess some sort of great collective psionic abilities which will allow them to enforce the quarantine even more efficiently. As development increases, the most powerful worlds replace technology with mind power. Yal-hune and many on Htra-deg already are great examples of this as they substitute technology which manipulates energy for energy manipulation via the mind.
I've also been feeling vague and precise things - people reaching out to me. Many other worlds monitor the Earth and some are clearly aware of what's going on here. Like a real-life soap opera for the galaxy to be entertained by, Earth is a rather repetitive daytime drama. Regardless, some beings seem to know of my new relationships and some of these beings thoughts are indeed wonderful beyond words. Love in many different ways is evident, some so unique I can't forget them, but also have no references to put them in proper context and discern deeper meaning. I can't help but notice many of them are female - or at least that's how my mind interprets them. For example, the other day I was sitting at the dining table and suddenly a wave of kindness, warmth and ever so gentle love seemed to blanket my consciousness. It was alien love, and had signals I had never felt and likewise a mood that accompanied it that was equally foreign - but quite wonderful.
Moods and feelings are some of the hardest things to describe. Words are poor substitutes for experiencing these things.
With the good comes the bad. With these wondrous new vistas and life-changing experiences come things like this mornings horrible dream.
Could life be otherwise?