Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spaceman Spiff is going down!

The current forum short story theme is the Dredd epic to end all epics: The Apocalypse War. Here I have paraphrased the title of the first chapter of Alan Moore's revamp of Marvelman way back in Warrior magazine #1. I like this story much better than my last one but it's definitely time for me to stop the last line name reveal gimmick.

 A Dream of Falling

I dream about falling a lot. Not that unusual, apparently 95% of people regularly dream about falling, or wake suddenly with that jolt like feeling. That's called a myoclonic jerk, I read it in a textbook. You might not think Judges get time for reading but we have at least an hour a day of personal time depending on our duty roster.

Most of my sector house use it catching up on sleep, or they eat something more exciting then the nutri-packs the service droids provide. Plus there's gym time and while you're sweating it out on one of the cardios you catch up on the latest judicial updates, or review crime reports for your beat. And if you keep on top of that stuff the system allows you some personal reading material. I read psychology textbooks, I like them. They help me understand the jerks, both the myoclonic variety and the ones on the street, the perps who keep us so busy the rest of the time.

The academy techs tell us we don't dream in the sleep machines but they're wrong. We dream, the psych books say if you don't then you go crazy and most Judges keep it together better than the average Jack or Jill out there in the blocks. I reckon we all dream in the machines, but most don't remember theirs. I remember mine and I remember falling ... And I hear someone shouting? Calling to me. Weird.

Falling, the wind rushing past, that feeling that you're staying in one place and the ground is rushing towards you, the anticipation of an impact that never seems to come. The psychologists say it's natural human anxiety manifesting in our subconscious minds. The sense that we are on this unknowable rock hurtling through space, that life happens around us while we are trying to decide what to do, a feeling of lack of control ... What are they shouting?

I'm a Judge, I have plenty of control, it's been drummed into me since I was five. Sure there's uncertainty out there but we are the order in the chaos, we know right from wrong, we know what's going on, we make a difference, we do the things that have to be done.

I dream about falling a lot ... Did I say that already? Wind's howling by me now. I must have reached terminal velocity. Terminal?

Maybe this is a dream? It's different to usual. Longer and stranger.

Hypoxia can cause that. Another fact from the textbooks, the hypoxic brain dreams, that's why you get stories about drowning people seeing their life flashing before them. The dying mind fractures.

I still hear someone calling. What's that? "Sou..." South? No, that's not it. What is that word?

My mind is fractured, I've done something, I know I have, I hope it was the right thing. What's that word? I think it's a name.


I    think    that    might    have    been     me.

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