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Library: I had a dream

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Author: ulver
Date:Sep 14 2009

I was riding towards north, lapland, and had been on the same long straight
road now for hours without seeing any signs of civilization. My eyes were like
on fire from watching the unchanging view. I took hold of the wheel with my
knee and closed my eyes for a brief second and scrubbed them slightly, and
that was enough, A young moose had ran on the road, and by the time I opened
my eyes, I had barely time enough to steer my car on the side. Luckily I was
driving slowly, but still, I had driven deep enough on to the side of the
road, soggy and muddy from the melting snow, that I was stuck.
I cursed my luck, and the moose, who was still looking at me from the edge of
the forest. I looked behind me on the road, from the way I had come, and
thought that there was no reason to go backwards, I hadnt seen any signs of
life, and wondered how far it might be if walked to get help. Having no
choice, I started walking, same direction, same never changing scenery. The
sun was still high, maybe three hours before dusk, which brings darkness very
quickly here up north. I had walked maybe a few kilometers, when i noticed a
road leading off the main road, with roadsign hinting of some industrial area.
That looked good enough, I hoped there would be someone with a heavy truck
there who could help me.

After a mile or so, the road ended at the yard of what looked like a farm, but
with alot of buildings too, that looked like small factories and warehouses.
The forest surrounded the place, so the sunlight faded into a near twilight,
even though there was still couple hours left of the day.
I noticed a single car on front of a farmhouse
and went on to knock on the door. After a few seconds, I heard some rattling
sounds, and approaching steps from the inside, then the door opened, and a
middle-aged man greeted me, saying he doesnt want to buy anything. He was
already closing the door, when I managed to say something. Excuse me, could
you please help me out, I almost ran to a moose, and drove off the road, and
now my car is stuck a few kilometers away. The door opened fully, and the man
said to come in. I went in, and he asked if I would like some coffee, or maybe
water. I accepted a mug of steaming coffee and sat down on a bench by a large
table taking up most of the space in the kitchen. I complimented the coffee,
which was good, far superior to those balming fluids they call coffee in gas
stations. He hadnt said anything else after offering me coffee, but was just
reading a paper intently. I calmly waited, drank my coffee, but after a while,
I coughed politely. The man raised his head from reading, stared at me
confusedly for a moment and brightened, asked if I would want to see his
premises.
I told him again, that I needed help, and he agreed to get my car
out with his tractor, but first, he wanted show me something. He didnt have
many visitors here, he said, and he was inventing things on his free time, but
had nobody to show them to.
I agreed to take the tour, if it wouldnt take long, because it was getting
darker by the minute now.

He walked out, and towards one warehouse behind the farmhouse. You couldnt see
the warehouse from the road or yard, and I was amazed how large it was. The
man opened large pair doors, and turned on the lights. I gasped and was
awestruck, my mouth prolly gaped open, but I couldnt get any words out. What
the man had build, was an ufo, flying saucer, something that I cant really
describe as anything else. It was flat, enough room to stand if you were
inside I guessed, but not really round, but oddly shaped, like it had too many
angles, bumps, curves, features that seemed to defy any common sense, and
sure, after watching it for a moment, I noticed that it was in a constant
move, the features changing place, but the thing itself didnt seem to be
moving, just floated half a meter above the ground, with no supports holding
it there. I watched the man beside me grinning, turned his head to me and and
said,
I bet you didnt expect anything like this. I said nothing still, I just stared
at the thing for a while. I asked him, if I could touch it and he nodded. I
approached the flying thing slowly, unsure where its surface really was, it
looked like water, no, like quicksilver rather. I held out my hand and touched
it, and it felt warm, nothing like I expected yes. It was like touching a
dolphin, like the one I had once had the chance to pet in an aquarium, was my
first impression, but then again, it felt bit like glass or sometype of
plastic. I withdrew my hand and went back out, asked the man only, how. He
looked at me smiling, and said, just because I can. I asked if he had flown
inside it, or could it travel into another worlds. His face turned into a
puzzled look, and with obvious confusion, asked what did I mean. I said that
it reminded me of science fiction novels descriptions of ufos or flying
saucers, and I thought that was what it was. The man started to chuckle, and
said no, that is not what it is for. He said that sure, you can ride on it,
but it didnt move anywhere from that spot, well, not up into skies atleast,
but it moved in time.

Now it was my turn to look confused. I asked the man if he was serious, that
you cannot possibly move in time, because that would mean everything runs on
specific course, destiny and all that stuff, which I had always disregarded as
same as religions, just legends. But the man said with grave expression that
it
indeed move in time, he had once tested it and it had worked, I wouldnt
make up stories like that.
The man said also, that he had spent all the fuel on the first test, so there
wouldnt be any more timetraveling with it, unless someone could somehow
provide something that doesnt exist in this world. The last part was just some
mutters, so I cannot be sure what he said exactly. He looked at the thing
proudly and said, that it was now just a piece of art, pretty to watch. and I
agreed.

I had almost forgotten why I had come, but it was getting dark now, and the
lighting up stars on the sky reminded me. I asked the man if he could now get
that tracktor and come help me. He turned off the lights, closed and locked
the doors of the warehouse, and started towards another warehouse, by the side
of the farmhouse. I walked behind, slowly, still thinking of what I had just
seen, shaking my head in disbelief, when I heard a whisper, a call of
somesort, and such a call that I couldnt resist it. It seemed to come from
behind the warehouse where the machine was, and behind that, the forest
started abruptly, border into complete darkness. But my feet didnt obey me
anymore, and I started walking towards the forest, while there remained a
spark of panic in the depths of my mind, I couldnt awaken it enough to control
myself.

I approached the first trees, and was plunged into complete darkness, and my
senses reeled, I could hear my feet shufling forwards, cracking of twigs and
hushes of grass brushing my pants, but I couldnt see anything. It felt like an
eternity, I was walking slowly, but in that eternal darkness, I started to
finally see something, some spark of light, still far away, but flickering
through the trees, which soon started to give up and disappeared quickly,
leaving me blinking under bright stars.
I saw in some distance, light, more intense by a moment, like someone building
a fire. Soon I realized, that I had control over myself again, but I felt
drawn towards the light, that, and the stars being the only sources of light
in this otherwise total darkness I had just walked through. When I walked
closer to the light, I noticed it was coming through a window of a house,
small cabin like.
After a while of walking on what felt like a grassy field, I was at the front
door of the house, but saw nobody inside. I knocked on the door, and it
opened, but still saw nothing. I was just about to step in, when I noticed a
small hatch on the floor opening up, and a smell of damp earth and rotting
smell of a bog, oozing out, along with a wrinkled old lady.
She said nothing, just beckoned me closer with a hooked finger, shriveled and
sharp, like a claw.
I hesitated, but stepped inside, crouching at the doorway,
and almost hitting my head on the ceiling which was lower than I had thought.
She pointed her finger at a low stool by a small table, possibly telling me to
sit down, so I did. Then she turned towards the fireplace, where something was
boiling in a small cauldron. She scooped some into a bowl, took a wooden spoon
from mantle, and offered me the bowl. I smelled, figured it was some stew,
meat and potatos, and tasted it. It was good, so I ate and almost licked the
last bits. I hadnt realized I was so hungry, but thinking about it made sense,
it was prolly close to midnight by now. The old crone still hadnt said
anything, but me neither. Somehow all my fears had disappeared and I had
almost forgotten where I was. Now that I realized that, I voiced my questions
and asked the old lady who she was or where I was.
She just shaked her head, said something, but in a language that I had never
heard. It sounded strange, sharp like germany with the fluency of saami, the
language spoken by the natives in lapland, but totally different from any
dialect I could think of. She was talking for a long while before she paused,
looked at me, and smiled. Then she started again, but this time, with a softer
tone, almost like chanting, and I started to feel terribly heavy, drowsy and
my eyes just closed. I crashed softly on to the floor.

When I woke up, it was already high noon, the sun pierced through the window
glass, straight on my face. I felt a bit croggy, and numb, caused most likely
from the hard and not so warm floor I had spent my night on. I slowly raised
my head, and sat up, noticing that my shirt chest was bare, my shirt and
jacket been opened, and there were some strange markings on my skin. I tried
to rub them off, but though it looked it had been drawn with charcoal, I
couldnt get it off. I just buttoned my shirt and and jacket, forgetting the
markings, and stood up.
I looked around, and noticed the cabin to be empty, not just empty, but
looking like it hadnt been used for a long long time, except for the
fireplace. I was dizzy, confused, cold, and generally miserable, and just
wanted to get home. Going outside, the brightness of the sun was almost
painful, but soon, the soothing warmth made me heavy again, and like I had
noticed on the night, there was a large grassy field surrounding the cabin,
and it felt soft, alot better than the cabin floor. I sat down to think, but
soon my thoughts escaped and the warmth and softness of the ground sang such a
lullaby that I fell asleep again.

I woke up again, but this time, the sun had sunk deeper towards the forest,
that darkness I stumbled through last night and my heart leapt, in slight
panic. I wouldnt want to stay another night on this place. What I saw coming
over the treetops made me feel light, and started to almost run towards it. It
was smoke, coming prolly from the chimney of the man who I had asked for help
the day before, and it was still light enough to follow it, even through the
trees. It wasnt as far away as I had thought, and I arrived at his yard just
in time, for the sun had almost disappeared again. I went on to the front
door, and knocked, waited, and saw the man open the door with a suprised face.
He immediately asked where I had been, for he had searched me for days, had
even dragged my car from the mud. I was shocked, I asked that it had been days
since we had met? It had felt like just a day to me I said. He asked me
inside, and offered a seat. I sat down, and saw his questioning face, and told
what had happened. When I mentioned the old lady, he almost jumped from his
seat, but remained calm until I had finished my story, but then, he snapped up
and started pacing back and forth. I asked him, if he knew her, he muttered
something, and I asked again. He stopped and looked at me. He asked me, if I
had seen any writings, markings or such and I tried to recall, but I couldnt
remember, only said that I couldn't be sure, because she came from under the
house the first we met, and I didnt go there myself. I couldnt remember the
markings on my chest, but the man tore my shirt open, and saw them, now they
had sunken deeper, like tattoo ink, but with a weird luster, no more charcoal
smudges. The man said he recognized some of those runes, but hadnt seen anyone
use them in.. then he fell quiet suddenly, deep in thought, his eyes
brightened a moment later and he continued ..in such a long time, that in
fact, he had never seen anyone use them, except once, the time he had traveled
with the timemachine. He explained, that he had traveled 
back some thousand years, but into the future. He had encountered a society,
living like nomads of today, but using some sort of magic, or technology he
couldnt understand. He had kept hidden, afraid of what would happen, and was
almost noticed when running back to the machine. He was almost certain, nobody
had followed him though, but now, with these and some other evidence, was
almost certain, that someone had found the machine when he was away, and had
stayed hidden inside somehow, and he had involuntarily brought that someone
back, to this time. I asked him, if he had any understanding of the runes
marked on my chest, and he looked at them, and shook his head. He said they
looked a little like the old runes some shamans had used, to talk with the
people who had passed away, but since you are not dead, and the runes are just
barely similiar, I guess they must have some other meaning. With a thoughtful
face, he mused, that it could be something like using you for communicating
with her own people, many of the complex runes used, need power, and there is
no power better, than a living human. But if that is the case, your body is
being used, and like all fuel, it will run out, and you will die. But, I
cannot be sure of any of this, these are just legends, and mixed with how they
were living with in the future.. I had been quiet, and after hearing all this,
I felt tired, and angry. I asked him, if he knew anything, any way, to stop
those runes from sucking my lifeforce. He looked just sad and shook his head
slowly. I sunk on the bench. Already I was feeling something, or atleast I
thought I was, like small surges of electricity running inside me. The feeling
I had, like a nightmare, certain death hanging over me, was powerful, but
maybe that was all just my imagination.

It was getting dark, and the man said I looked exhausted. He cut me slices of
bread and cheese to eat, all the while muttered about some experiments, told
me to get some sleep, and went out. There was a sofa on another room of the
house, obviously the livingroom, but to my grief, without television or even a
radio.
I sat down, chewed a slice of the stale bread with the cheese. I tried to find
something of interest from the room, but it had just bare walls, the sofa,
very low table and ragged carpet, but the sofa was comfortable atleast, I
thought after swallowing the last crumbs. I relaxed a bit, laid back a bit,
and before I could wonder where the man went to, I was asleep. I had some
weird dreams, but that was all I could remember when I woke up. I was laying
only partly at the sofa anymore. The man nudged me gently on the shoulder, and
saw from my eyes the question before i could say it and said, it is close to
sunrise. You were trashing around in your dreams, and when you finally calmed,
you threw up. Its good that I was woken to the noises. Look at your chest,
look at the runes, what do you see. I opened my shirt and looked down, saw
nothing. I looked at the man who was smiling. He lifted a bucket toward me,
and I saw something shimmering on the bottom, but I also saw some blood. The
man noticed me get startled. He said that it was possible, that I was going to
be alright, and that he had thought of why that old lady had done those runes
for. In the bucket, he explained, was the same material he had used to fuel
the time machine. How and where it had came from, he was unsure, because, it
was something that nothing we can produce with our machines. He had first
found some, buried under a pile of rocks, along with a body. After studying it
for a long time, I managed to create a sort of a bubble from a minimal amount
of it, and connecting it through certain conduits and instruments to the
remaining lump of that stuff, I managed to power it for my only time travel.
But you see, that travel ate the material almost completely. I have no idea
what is going on here, but I have suspicions, that the old lady knows more
than I can guess, and might even have plans of returning home. I remember them
using techology advanced from ours, and this is how they might power their
tools, this condensed life energy. Maybe she is too weak to
 produce it herself. But why not just use me like she did on you. It has been
some time since did the time travel, she would have had all the chances. There
has been another visitor after it, but she chose you. I was speechless, all
this information poured into my sleepy brain. I saw light coming from outside,
morning rose as fast as the nights had fallen I noticed. The man stopped
talking for a second, and continued with, Ok, lets go see the machine. He
stood up and walked out. I followed him back to the warehouse, and was again
amazed of the oddness of the machine. I hadnt noticed before, that there was a
man sized hole on the side of the thing. there was no hatch or door, just a
hole. But the material of the thing was glistening like wet, and seemed
partially see-through, like glass, that it was hard to measure its surface
really, without closer inspection.
The man unfolded a small aluminium ladder, and placed so, that we could climb
in. I wondered, how that old lady could have sneaked and climbed inside,
without them. The man climbed in first, and me closely behind. I was really
suprised on how large the inside of the thing was. It looked the size of a
small boat from outside, but inside seemed larger than the warehouse it was
in. I felt a gust of wind, gently brushing my hair just as I had entered, but
I saw nothing. The man was at the approximate middle of the thing, where there
was a small console of levers and buttons. He poured the stuff I had vomited
into a tube, it moved like candle wax, sluggishly the tube sucked it all, and
the man screwed it tightly shut. He checked some levers, counted aloud
something, and I was just about to ask what he was doing, when he said, ready
or not, here we go, and turned a lever. Everything turned into a blur, and
very bright. I had to close my eyes. I felt like I was swimming in a warm bath
during an earthquake. The warmth intensified for a brief moment, then
everything cooled, the light faded and I peeked through my fingers carefully.
I looked around me, and noticed that the man had already started to climb out.
I waited till he was out, and climbed after him.

What I saw outside, sure wasnt his warehouse, nor was there any of the forest
around either. It was all barren, rocky terrain, with small batches of woods
in the horizon and bare mounds, which looked like hills. The man said in quiet
tone, and nodded towards one of the hills, that those were where the people he
had seen, lived in. They were all carved from the inside to provide shelter.
He wasnt sure if they were natural, and he couldnt think of that many hills
around his house in his own time, but alot of things can change in long enough
time. He said that there were forests still, but something had caused this
place to be ravaged like this, maybe the people. Again I had felt a pushing
wind, but this time not going into the ship when I was at the doorway, but
rather, coming out, but only after I saw something materialize into view did I
think of it. The old lady, appeared short distance away, and looked at us. She
smiled, but this time, like a cat. Too late, I realized that it was a trap. I
heard a high pitching sound, barely audible, and the man said suddenly, that
it is what they used for signaling, he remembered someone sending that same
sound when he was escaping the last time. My chest suddenly started to ache,
burning, and stinging pain, I doubled over. I ripped open my shirt, and saw
them runes again, or parts of them, appearing on my skin. The man turned to me
and I saw fear in his eyes. Something burst around us, and a score of people
appeared. Few held some devices, that looked like my cellphone, but the pain
gripped me again and I was unable to focus on anything else. The man was
trying to climb back into the machine, but was pulled back out and held
strongly. They placed a thin band around his head and he fell limp and was
lowered on to the ground just before they placed a similar band on my head.
The pain ceased, and I noticed I was paralyzed, but soon, I heard words,
spoken in that weird language of theirs, and I was able to understand them.
Someone was addressing me, I think, he complimented me fo
r bringing them the source. Source of what, I wasnt sure. I saw them somehow
lift the man, still paralyzed, but now levitating, but me being unable to turn
my head, couldnt follow where they took him. I was rising off the ground as
well, and someone was pushing me on, and telling on how one of their leaders,
had been sent on a mission, to gather information about the doom they had
faced a little less than a thousand years ago, which had left them living
mostly in underground caves. He explained that most of the soil was spoiled,
and radiation and chemicals had caused numerous diseases and mutations over
the years. All the food had to be grown deep underground, though people had
come to tolerate some of the poisons of the outside, they still mostly lived
inside the hills or mountains, or dug deep tunnels. In the past, someone had
deviced a method of meditation, sort of like what monks of your era used, but
had managed to concentrate enough, to produce the source. What he didnt
realize, was its powers. Over the years, we learned to harness it, using small
amounts of it to power our society to grow, first time in decades. But as time
passed, so did the people who knew how to make us more. Our leader, the last
generation of the people who had the power, harnessed it to work like your
machine, to travel back in time, to gather information, but also to seek out
similar people, who might have the genetic trait, that awakens when submitted
to even a tiny amount of the source. He found several, but none strong enough
to produce enough of it, for him to use. By the runes written with it, we have
seen him die in the past, and through the eyes of man who buried him and the
remaining source, we saw our future dwindle, and we started to forget. But as
years passed, like our leader had hoped, someone found the source, refined it,
even made that machine from it, something which surpasses even our knowledge
of it. But more than we had hoped, he also managed to use it to travel with it
back into our time, where the last who holds 
the power within us, waited, and came to find you. You, you have the source
inside you. She used that to lure you to her, and by the runes written with
the source on your body, she was able to make you spew out source, enough for
her voyage back, and more. Now, your fate will serve only ours. We will keep
you alive, as long as you might live. The man you came with, we will study,
but since he is somewhat obsolete without the source, inevitable faith is that
he will die. We already have all the means to travel with his machine, a real
marvel it is too. It takes far less source to travel with than what our leader
achieved through just meditation. There are others like you in your time, you
will provide enough source for us to harvest more. You must understand, all
this is for the benefit of our people. We learned, that we cannot change the
past enough, to stop the destruction we faced. But with enough of power, we
can flourish again. I tell you all this, because we want you to know how
important you are. Now, we are approaching our home, and yours. Since the
source is only produced in quantity inside you only when you sleep, we must
keep you happy, but, this will be the last time we will talk. Is there
anything in your mind you want to ask, or say? You cannot speak, but think,
and i can sense it. I was laying paralyzed, and had seen them carry me through
a door into a hall, through lighted corridors and into a room, with rusty
brown ceiling. I had lost all sense of reality and my head ached, though I
felt no pain. Then I saw the face of the one who had spoken to me, for the
first time. He was a man with silvery streaks of hair on his temples, gentle
face with a few creases around the eyes. I wanted to smile, this was absurd I
thought, I must be dreaming, I wanted to wake up. My captor disappeared again,
but I heard his voice say, I will grant your wish, you shall dream.
Immediately everything started to drift off, and I heard the last of his
words, like a whisper, Thank you.


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