Dreamnaut

Nemo McKay floated placidly across the colorful wastes of shapeless forms that made up the undulating chaos that was the Edge; that frontier between the Dream of One and the Other. It was a relaxing feeling, but he knew that he should not dally in such a place. Peaceful as it seemed, you only came to the Edge when One or the Other was about to enter the Waking and half of the world would cease to be. His time as a dreamnaut had taught him that much: everything that is caught in the Waking ceases to be.

Despite being inside the endless Dreamscape, it was always limited to two minds, two worlds. Two souls connected, perhaps sharing a same bed or maybe a continent apart, but each cycle a half of the world was made anew, and Nemo was the intrepid explorer. Though he was in this place physically, it was his spirit which called the shots. Channeling the ki from within towards his aetherfiber suit, Nemo propelled himself towards a patch of green and pink noise that tried to resemble land. He needed to make sure this new world that would soon rise was not a hostile one.

Time worked different in the Dreamscape, often being slower, though Nemo felt that sometimes things just rushed up and caught up with him unprepared. At least that was his excuse whenever Rachel scolded him for always being late. Rachel. Nemo sped towards the patch of land, briefly lost in thought before realizing he was going too fast and was about to crash. Immediately, he concentrated and did a flip on his axis while managing to slow enough that the impact, though somewhat rough, was not fatal. He tumbled for a bit on the ground before coming to a stop with his face above the ground. The ground itself felt both substantial and somewhat less than real, as most things here often did. After living here for so long, he still didn’t quite got used to the sense of touch of things.

The sky, or what he considered was the sky at the moment, had the color and texture of a Pollock painting he once saw, if he had rewritten the laws of physics while painting it. His eyes hurt trying to keep in all the moving details, so he looked towards the empty half of the world. The One had gone to the Waking…or was it the Other? He never really understood that bit of the Dreamscape. Rachel was the one who knew all the secrets of this place. Or at least as much as anyone could.

“Hell…”

There he was again, thinking about Rachel. He really was a sentimental guy. With a long sigh, Nemo unzipped a side pocket from his suit and pulled out a rusty zippo and a slightly flattened pack of cigarettes. One cig per year, that was the rule, though he had entered the Dreamscape with Rachel with a full pack. Now, three remained. Placing a slightly bent cigarette on his mouth, he lit it up and put the zippo and pack back inside the pocket. Taking a long drag and holding it in for a moment, he saw the empty horizon began to take shape and form. Smoke came out slowly as One or the Other entered the Dreamscape.

“Arise, arise world…”, he whispered. Her words, not his. No matter how many times the ritual repeated, Rachel would shout out to the empty half of the world as it started to take shape. Arise, arise world! A new world, new possibilities. The Dreamscape was never too fleeting, never too fickle for her. Never too dangerous. Always a place of wonder. They found out they couldn’t return to the Waking after their third day of arrival. Nemo had gotten over the Dreamscape after their first year of arrival. Rachel had died in a Waking on their fifth year.

Now, great spheres of varying sizes and colors formed in the distance, colliding with one another like great titans of myth. Swirling clouds of deep azure snaked all around them, it almost seemed like both were performing a cosmic dance. It was breathtaking. Sometimes, this place managed to still surprise him. Nemo got up while dusting off his suit. He concentraced his ki once again while bending his knees slightly, feeling the energy surge across his body to his legs, then jumped. Propelling his body, he headed in the direction of the new world. Soon, he was lost in the vastness of great spheres and azure clouds, in someone else’s dream.

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