The Lights Fade In And Out

As Doc sits down in the seat for their flight he notices how the seat automatically adjusts to his height and weight and adjusts accordingly. It contures to his body and warms to a pleasant temperature as it reclines. "This beats the hell out of catching a cargo plane in the army," he muses.

Steve seats himself next to him, but immediately starts fiddling with his glasses as he reviews large amounts of info from what Doc can only imagine as the World Wide Web. As Doc cranes his head, the seat adjusts again to allow him a comfortable view of Thunderhorse and Mark two rows back who are pushing all of the buttons and messing with the seats, much like kids turned loose with power tools. The stewardess politely asks them to settle down, but Thunderhorse just rubs his glasses and mutters, "Why does X-Ray mean I can see her underclothes? What is this X-ray and why does it not show me her smeltch? Mark, do you understand what this T.V. says?" Mark ignores him and beckons to the stewardess to lean closer, as there is something he wants to tell her in a whisper. Doc doesn't need the glasses translation program to read Mark's lips to know that he has made an improper suggestion to her. The loud smack of her hand striking his cheek is enough. She storms off to consult the security officer while Doc settles into the most comfortable seat the universe has had to offer so far.

Even though the anti-vibration servos are working to full capacity, Doc still notices the hum of the engines through his seat and the docking bay slides out of sight slowly in his window seat. He relaxes into the seat and closes his eyes. The hum is relaxing and the length of the day falls in upon him. The beer, long hours, and sausage have hit home. With the warmth of the seat at his back he falls into a blissful sleep of the just.

As Doc sinks deeper into sleep, his unconscious provides a little entertainment as the rest of him enjoys it's nightly shut-down.

His dream starts him off at a favorite fishing hole of his youth and he is reclining on the bank with a fishing pole in his hand and a large chew in his mouth. It is summer and the birds are singing in protest of the heat. Doc watches the bobber as it follows the current down stream and it quickly dives under water signaling a bite and he yanks back quick in an effort to snare the fish. He has snagged not a fish, but a raft and he reels it in. He steps onto the raft with the idea that he will have much better luck fishing if he rides the raft to the middle of the stream where he can cast far and wide.

Now he is dressed in camo and his fishing creel is turned into a medical bag. There are corpses of men he couldn't save floating by and his fishing pole has turned into a rifle at his feet. Ian is there with him and keeps pulling at his elbow as if he has something to say, but he is pale like a corpse too and while he mouthes the words, his speech is gone. A thunderstom fills the air and the sky crackles with lightening and all of the floating corpses look like Ian now and they all mime his soundless warning.

The corpses on the river fade from view and Ian stands behind him in a pregnant silence as displays from the Smithsonian pass by along the shoreline and Doc feels a moment of peace as the thunderstorm rolls away into the distance. But as he watches the dino bones and ancient tools slip by he notices a sword and axe that beckon to him from the shore. He finds a pole in his hands and he steers the raft to the shore to pick them up for reasons he can't understand.

"I am a healer," he contemplates, "I have no need of a sword or an axe," but he cannot bring himself to steer further down the stream without them. The bank is soft and the sword and axe climb aboard without much encouragement before the current gathers speed and rapids appear.

A balding disembodied head appears above the river and explains that this is the way. Ian nudges him in the ribs and nods his accent. The water churns and washes over the edges of the raft but Doc steers them through the slanty rocks, but not without a few scrapes along the edges. The effect is both harrowing but also enlightening. The raft fells stronger because of it but it doesn't last long.

The ropes that hold the raft together have been frayed and the raft seems to drift apart as the loosen their hold. But as Doc struggles to steer and repair the breaking ropes at once, there is a tug at his elbow. It's Ian and he is pointing towards the sky. Doc turns and looks to see the balding disembodied head hovering above the rapids ahead and the head whispers one word, "ropes" and they transform into steel cables and pull the raft into a sailboat and as the sails fill, they pull the little boat forward, faster into the rocky shoals ahead.

Doc turns back to Ian and mutters his thanks as Ian smiles. Ian is dressed in a flowing white robe and he makes a big production of uniteing his belt and retieing it after pulling it very tight. He scratches his chin and then points down stream.

The balding disembodied head is gone but a waterfall is looming and the storm in the distance has strenghtened in to a full blown hurricane, discharging not lightening bolts anymore but blistering swastikas that seem to burn the ground they struck into ruin.

Doc paddles in vain to steer the boat to shore but the pull of the current is way too strong. No amount of elbow grease is going to save him now. The sword chimes in and yells, "Here we go!" while the axe mutters about peasant tools and the dire need to stay sharp through more drinking as the boat crests the edge of the waterfall. And as the boat noses over the abyss Doc notices a glint of binoculars in the distance and hears the sound of the flutter of many wings.

Doc feels the boat fall out from underneath him as he falls and he looks into the churning water below him. The fall seems to stretch out for hours, but even as Doc clutches his medic's shoulder bag close, he twists his head in freefall looking for Ian, but he knows he has gone.

The water greets him with a cold sweat and he awakens to find the stewardess pulling the blanket up to Steve's chin even as he mumbles math in his sleep. "Could I get a glass of cold water please," he questions the stewardess. She nods and heads towards the galley, only pausing long enough to thank Mr. Johnathon Simms-Veet, the security officer, for his foresight in offering these two rowdy passengers free drinks that were spiked with "Til U Get There".

The water is painfully cold on Doc's tongue but his thirst is quenched and he rests the bottle in his hand on the armrest. When he awakens from a dreamless 9 hour sleep later, he will find the water bottle in his hand and it will still be very cold as he sips it before exiting the craft with a yawn and a stretch and pats his pockets to reassure himself that his knife and wallet are still where they belong. the Brother Pear is going to seem like home and Doc reminds himself to sharpen his knife.



ERR said...

Very interesting. I'm still trying to interpret it.

Definitely worth an XP award.

Party XP+200, Doc Level 3!

Doc said...

The river is the progress of Doc's life. The axe and sword are Thunderhorse and Mark. The disembodied head is Steve, and his word "rope" is our new armor and glasses. The waterfall, storm, and swastikas are Doc's fear of going into WW II to find Sergi.

I was a little drunk at the time and it all made perfect sence at the then.

Thanks for the xp bonus. 200 seems generous, but I'll take whatever I can get!