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dream.20050215: evacuation

by Rob Friesel

There’s no distinct beginning (as dreams seldom do) but I do know pretty instantly in the dream that there’s this tremendous urgency. Earth is being evacuated. The whole damn planet. Seriously heavy shit. Whether any non-Earth civilizations are involved, I can’t recall though I assume there are. The whole evacuation is pretty organized. At least, it has the sense of being organized. We’re all in a very large terminal. Like Dulles International but much bigger. And open at one end to the quite gigantic space-going evacuation vessel. It’s one of many. You can see others off in the distance being prepped and some even taking off already.

I’m in a queue with people I know. Some of them are the people you know in dreams — archetypes maybe? — just familiar faces that happen to have names and don’t carry with them the same threatening sensations that the passively xenophobic feel fromt all strangers. Some of the close-by faces are more familiar than others though. Becca for example; a girl I knew in high school happens to be standing nearby and we’re sharing good-natured jabs at our queue-mates. For whatever reason though, I’m not with anyone that is in my waking-life day-to-day. Dream knowledge tells me that they’ve already fallen victim to whatever is forcing the rest of us to evacuate.

The queue meanders from station to station. We’re getting prepped for this evacuation in a series of different ways. There’s some light physical/medical exams. That sort of thing. No one’s being psychologically evaluated or anything along those lines. We’re not screening out the stupid or anything like that. At some point we reach this station where we’re given a pamphlet and “the gist of it” — we’ll need to be given a sedative as part of the prep. It’s the second-to-last step before we actually board and they put us in to the suspended animation. At the next station we’ll be given a couple of meds that we’re told will make us sluggish and drowsy. They don’t expect the drug to knock us out completely. Just loosen us up enough to shut down defenses that might normally block whatever drops us into suspended animation.

Something to that effect anyway.

So I tuck the pamphlet in my back pocket and let them administer the meds in full awareness that they’re designed to knock me out.

The last station is intended to be a sort of final check-out. Last chance to bail. Last chance to check your baggage. Leave us your name and number. The queue is advancing a little more slowly through this last bit. The compound is kicking in little by little and I feel my body start to drag. I was expecting this. The pamphlet told me to expect this. They guy two up from me in the queue didn’t recall being told about this though and he starts to make a scene at the booth. He starts yelling and pointing to other people. He’s getting them riled up, too. No one told us about this (he keeps yelling) this isn’t supposed to be how it is. It’s all just a set up.

This is all just a little much for me. They did tell us this would happen. They gave us the pamphlet, too. So I mustered what sluggish strength I could and broke through the queue. Somehow I managed to grab Becca along the way and drag her through the snarl of shouting refugees. At this point there’s a bunch of assorted chaos — first as we dodge our queue-mates and then as we wiggle through the remaining security. By the time we reach the boarding ramp for the ship, we’re both overcome by the medication, slumping into each other and quite out of breath.

At least we managed to get on board.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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