After sending a message of thanks to Lt. Leong at Lonestar, I sat down for dinner. Maybe it was food poisoning or my imagination, or maybe spirits are trying to reach me from the ether, but I had the most amazing dream, and I had to record it while the images were still fresh in my mind.
I was walking down a sterile hallway. There were nondescript doors on both sides. They seemed to stretch on for eternity. I grabbed the handle on one and turned. I knew it was the right door. Behind was a small man, our target, Ivan. He told me to follow him. We both left the room through a hole in the floor. He handed me a vial, and I drank. The world melted away, and we were floating in nothing. Small green squid passed. Ivan told me that the end would come for me, too, eventually. He drank his vial, closed his eyes, and was eaten by a dragon. The dragon looked at me as it swallowed. I could see the team in its maw. Chuckles laughed as Tenryu and Dredger struggled with the dragon’s forked tongue and teeth. It blew fire from its nostrils and then flew away. The gust of its wings sent me tumbling through space.
When the wind had subsided, I looked around and I was back in the jungle, in Gansu. Things were quiet for the jungle. I had no clothes. I decided to be a bird. I flew over a river and endless jungle canopy until I found the mouth of the river, and I flew down by the bay. I saw Misucachu there. He ignored me. He was busy eating fish from the stream. He seemed happy. I left and flew back up the river. Eventually, the river split into too many tributaries to tell which one was the real river, but at that point, I could see a large clearing with just one enormous tree in it. I landed in the tree. I could see very deep into the jungle, deeper somehow than when I had been flying. There was an area of dead things: broken trunks, brown vegetation, dead animals. I was inexplicably drawn to it. I changed back into a human and walked through it. All of the animals faced in the same direction. They were cowed by something and lay prostrate towards it. I walked in that direction. It was the Bell. I hit it as hard as I could with a fallen branch. It tolled, and the sound it made caused everything around it to evaporate. My body and mind separated. I could feel myself disintegrate. Each molecule, every subatomic piece dissociated from the others. I felt free at last.
The bell’s toll caused a wave of sound that seemed to erase everything in an expanding circle from the epicenter. Bits of earth and flesh, plant and animal alike seemed to disappear. It looked right, though. After it had caused everything to disappear, the bell vanished, too. I was left alone in astral nothing.
I awoke coated in sweat. After assuring that my lodge had not been breached, I went to work recording the dream and its details in order to analyze it.