I was watching a flannel-shirted man talk about his attempts to rehabilitate troubled youth.

"Of course, sometimes he'd rather just hop around, but, hey -- that's Paul for you!"

Laughter from the crowd. Then an old man with glasses on a strap stands up. "You're the problem with this society. You're encouraging delinquency! He'll be shooting up heroin and you'll still be making a joke about it!"

Later, I found Flannel-Shirt in another room of the castle, hugging his protege fiercely and on the verge of angry tears. "It's OK, Paul," he says. "That old bastard will never understand." For you see, Paul was a kangaroo!

Suddenly the lights go out. "RUN! RUN!" blares over the P.A. The four towers at the corners of the castle read RUN in huge fluorescent green letters. Displaying my usual caution, I decide to flee via the moat and make my way to the main gate only to find a group of my fellow castle residents, despair on their faces, filling in the moat from the inside with corpses and dirt. The gate itself is guarded by a bipedal robot with powerful weaponry instead of arms -- a Vesh! The Vesh are back!

The Vesh! A monstrous race from the depths of space whose reign of terror here still brings nightmares to those who remember it! As ruthless and invincible as Genghis Khan's Mongols, leaving the native peoples of the worlds they conquer only two choices: serve as slaves, or be brutally killed! One of their scout parties almost took over the entire planet Earth! We fought them off, but at great and terrible cost -- and we knew they would return one day in force. Now they have. Human civilisation is over.

My options were threefold: I could die, I could join the Vesh slave crew, or I could remain in hiding and try to escape the castle into the wilderness. More out of fear than anything else, I choose the latter. There is a lot of swimming and lurking. I team up with a wizard who lives in the belltower and has made contact with a newly formed tribe of freemen in the forests nearby. But with the Vesh patrolling the castle on all sides, escape seems impossible. Despairing, we concoct one final plan: lure the Vesh Prince away from his handlers, and use him as a hostage to secure our freedom! (The Vesh Prince is a smaller, orange version of his older fellow Vesh.)

I woke up in the middle of a tense, three-way armed Mexican standoff involving myself (holding the Vesh Prince as a non-human shield), the wizard, and a Vesh Duke. And felt such an incredible sense of relief. I haven't been so rattled by a dream since that time I dreamed I was an Autobot, and realised that the Decepticons would never, ever stop trying to kill me and steal my energy cubes.

I can only presume that this is my subconscious trying to process the New Orleans disaster.

(I also want to mention that Paul's kangaroohood was, in the dream, a shocking and moving revelation rather than a cheap reveal gag.)

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I am speechless.

With envy. What dreams may come my way of late are rather sallow, mundane things.

I still get good hits off fevers, though. A few weeks ago I had one resulting from a minor infection from a bad tooth. At the time I was doing some Perl programming, cleaning up a database dump for the wiki on a site I maintain (for import into a new MediaWiki). I dreamt one night that I was a program processing the database and analyzing the output of each iteration. It went on and on and on....

Nowhere near being in the same league with this of yours, of course! Color me green.


I don't often remember my dreams, but when I do, they can be intense.

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