So, with being busy and all, I haven’t written anything new in a couple of days. This year everything was just so much busier than I thought it would be that I don’t think I can finish NaNoWriMo with 50K and that is okay. The important thing is that I got back into writing, that I had fun and that I’ll continue to have fun writing, because I am definitely not stopping now!!! I want to finish the first draft of Dreamer this year and I think that’s a manageable goal. So, that’s that for NaNo, I’ll tell you my final word count when we get to it!
Now, you already had the chance to read Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of Dreamer. I loved reading your reactions and questions and that’s why I’ll continue to share chapters. I hope you’ll share your feedback with me in return!
Wick was in a good mood as he went to work that day. He had done the impossible, the one thing a Monitor was never supposed to do and he didn’t even get into trouble for it – not every Dreamer could say that about their mischiefs. And dream-walking was one heck of a big mischief. Aurora had warned him that she would only give him the most basic cases for a while, to make sure they wouldn’t draw any more attention to him. Wick thought that they had already done that before, but apparently there were still even more boring cases waiting for him. He hadn’t seen Ely since he weirdly stormed out of the cafeteria, but Aurora had assured him that he was simply under a lot of stress. Yeah right, as if Wick didn’t know his best friend. Still, his own mind was occupied otherwise. He couldn’t shake the feeling that if an extraordinary dream-situation happened once, it could definitely happen again
As he walked down the corridor, he enthusiastically greeted his colleagues. But his face fell as soon as he entered his little cubicle of an office.
“Where is my report?” Don asked sternly, while lazily spinning in Wick’s chair.
“I’m working on it.”
“That was not the deal.”
Wick swallowed. “I’m sorry, I …”
“It doesn’t help me if you’re sorry. Both our asses are on the line here. If you messed with anything, really anything at all in the dream world, we need to know about it.”
“I know that.”
“Then work on it. Now. Aurora gave you an easy case that you would probably sleep through on a normal day, so just do the report instead. Are we clear?”
Don left the room and Wick took back his chair to slump down in it. He had tried to write the report several times, but threw away each one of his attempts. The beginning was fine, he remembered it in great detail, but as soon as the blurry something came into play, his memory turned fuzzy. No matter what he did, he couldn’t describe it. Granted, he had barely seen it, it was more of a feeling that connected him to the thing. He could sense its proximity with every fibre of his body and it was an unsettling sensation at that. But how could he write that down. Reports weren’t made for emotions, that’s what everyone had been telling him ever since his training as a little boy. Reports were facts, logic and conclusions, but never anything that couldn’t be described.
Then it finally hit him. The system should have recorded the entire dream and maybe if he could rewatch what had happened, he would know what to write. The dream Aurora had picked for him tonight ran smoothly in the background while he searched through his archives. He found a file with Clara’s name and last night’s time stamp, but when he opened it to look at it, he noticed that parts of the video were missing. Basically every scene he should have been in simply wasn’t there.
Wick quickly opened an instant messenger window for Aurora and asked her about the footage. She had some mad programming and also hacking skills, which she would deny any day if you asked her. Maybe she just wanted to help out, but she said that she wasn’t responsible for this. Wick scrambled to his feet and ran through the corridor looking for Don. He found him talking to some guy who got coffee, but whose name Wick couldn’t recall in that very moment. He waved at Don to get his attention more or less inconspicuously, until he fumingly stomped in his direction.
Don grabbed Wick by the arm and dragged him into a nearby empty office. “What do you want?”
“Did you erase some of the footage from yesterday?” Wick saw Don’s eyes widen and knew what the answer was. “But if it wasn’t you and it wasn’t Aurora …”
“You told Aurora?”
“It was kind of obvious that I would tell her.” Wick said nonchalantly.
“I told you not to tell anyone. Does ‘not anyone’ suddenly exclude little IT-nerd Aurora?”
“Dude, no need to call her that.”
“Don’t dude me. Who else did you tell?” Wick hesitated. “Damn it, Wick! Do you have some sort of death wish? This is nothing to go bragging around with!”
“I only told Aurora and Ely.” He thought Don’s head was about to explode.
“What’s Ely’s number?”
“Born in the second month, what does that make him? An Analyst, right?”
“Well, technically he was an Analyst.”
“What do you mean by ‘was’?”
“He’s a Field Agent now.” Don gave Wick a little hit on the back of his head.
“You idiot! Field Agents are the most loyal among Dreamer. Did you really think he would just let it slide?”
“He’s my best friend and the material was deleted, so I don’t think it was anyone who was trying to harm me.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure, Wick.”
Together they examined the feed again and again and again. It turned out that none of the footage was actually erased or missing, at least not in a way that the untrained eye would notice. The problem was more along the lines of the time stamps being all right, but every scene that should feature Wick simply showing a different part of the dream or Clara’s reactions instead. He was never once in the picture, but neither was the thing.
“Oh my …” It suddenly dawned on Wick.
“What?” Don inquired impatiently.
“I don’t think anyone messed with the footage.”
“What do you mean? Someone must have!”
“No, not necessarily.” Wick once again turned his attention to the dream-archive and rewound Clara’s dream to the point where he had decided to jump into the dream-landscape. It took him a moment to find the exact spot on the timeline, but once he paused and looked at Don, he saw his own confusion mirrored in his face.
“I don’t understand. What is that blurry thing right there? Nothing should be blurry in the dream, at least not for our systems.”
“I have no idea what it is or what caused it.”
“Then why are you showing it to me?”
“Because I think it is responsible for the missing footage.”
Don slumped down in his seat and Wick studied the frozen image again. He knew that something was up with the thing, but now he wasn’t just worried about the dream-landscape, but also about what the thing could do to the Dreamer system in general. Their software was supposed to be untouchable and quite frankly there wasn’t even anyone out there supposed to know that they existed. Dreamer were a species of their own, existing in their own little pocket of the universe, hidden from everything and everyone else. Their job was to analyse, monitor and control dreams, nothing else and nothing more. They didn’t have wars or fights like humans. In fact, they were so different from humans, they couldn’t even dream. And they definitely weren’t supposed to have any enemies, but somehow Wick had the feeling that that might have changed.
How are you, my fellow NaNoWriMoers? What did you think of the latest chapter? I know it doesn’t add all that much to the story, but I lost drive somewhere inbetween. It’s going to pick up soon again!