beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I finally woke up at like 2pm.
I guess last week was tiring.

Also I had some spectacular and intricate dreams I wanted to spend more time with.

Like, one dream, I was investigating some disappearances, cleaning staff at a particular tower, so I got some similar clothes, lifted someone's ID for the doors, and went in. But the cleaners had their own lift, the executives another, and I'd got ID for the regular employees. But there were cleaner uniforms heading for that lift, so I followed, and they made excuses but then said they wanted to see the view, just the once. They were allowed to clean the lift, so if it just happened to climb the outside of the tower while they were in it, well...

So I joined them and we 'cleaned' the handrail a bit and waited...

And it got summoned to the top floor.

So the first few floors, the view was nothing special. Grey day, grey clouds, grey view. But then the sunset broke through, and everything went glorious... for about three floors. Then it went grey with a hint of navy. Golden. Red. Grey with thunderclouds. Redder. And every three floors it changed again, but what's your first thought going to be? Weather is weird?

But no. I realised. Every three floors we were changing universe.

Which the other two laughed at, obviously, but the higher we climbed, the weirder the view got. I told them to open their minds and just consider, what if it wasn't just the angle? And then on the horizon up popped two *huge* buildings, kind of cubes made of spheres, the weirdest lumpy things you ever did see... for three floors, and then they popped out of sight again.

And we were going pretty fast now, headed for the top, skyscraper, three floors was like a second, but, there were a lot of seconds happening. And the higher it got the weirder it got, crowded and twisted, congested industrial landscapes flickering like a nightmare zoetrope, until, as the sun set, the trend reverse. At first there were lights like neon nightmares, crowded towers of light, but the closer to the top we got, the more the lights went out, until, slowly, the distant pinpoints took on a weird tone, like they might be streetlight and might be fire, and by the penthouse we were all alone in the night.

It was eerie, awesome/awful, the most incredible terrifying thing, in that way that settles in and makes you weak, not ready.

So we're a long way from home, up a building that might as well be the Burj Khalifa...

... and the lift doors open on a lobby.

The other two walk out, laughing in relief. It's light and bright and airy, everything you'd expect from that corporation, branding everywhere.

... a few steps in the stop laughing, and go about their business, silent and efficient, with a customer service smile on their lips. Their eyes, glancing back at me, are not so quiet. There's a sudden terror there.

And the doors are closing on a floor I in no way have a key for, so I have to make a choice.

I hopped out, sharpish, and went for a reconnoitre.

And then some stuff happened, it was a dream, it wasn't real great on the linking segments.

But then I bumped into someone I knew, who knew me, well enough to know when I wasn't me.

... looked like Tom Cavanagh, several steps AU from any Wells, but in this building he would be...

He could recognise there was something different about me, something that many in his world would consider wrong. But I couldn't answer his questions about what it was, because I didn't understand where he was coming from.

So he got impatient, made a gesture and then tapped me on the forehead, and I went silver white blind... briefly, until I saw him with his other hand one someone else's head, and realised he'd connected our minds.

And there was next to nothing in there.

No thoughts, no hopes, no dreams, no choices. These people, all around us, they weren't being people on the inside. Zombie world, without the rotting, just empty automatic minds.

So this Wells really, really wanted to know how I hadn't lost it, how I could be walking around with all these possibilities in me, and not even an executive or anything.

I didn't know what to tell him. I was born this way. Maybe the world couldn't get a grip on me because my brain was just different.

So he let the spell go (which was a really creepy spell, because brains should have more going on than dial tone, and interrupting someone's day to read their mind should get SOME sort of a reaction). But he stayed focused on me. A little sliver of him watching me, as I watched his world and tried to figure out what in hell was going on here.

Hell was the obvious answer. But it turned out to be more Mythos. There were small black disturbing goats running around, and weird tentacle wiggly slugs looking like oversized deep sea creatures, and everyone was just, like, oh yeah, that's the regional director, he's owned me since high school.

... people were talking about college debts incurred to specific beings you'd usually only see in the more esoteric nightmares. All the people. It was pretty routine. Something had happened in the 1920s, something catastrophic to our ways, and this was the result. Beings from beyond, just casually owning everything, and humans with their brains mostly shut down, because humans just couldn't be around beings like that.

And a few people like local Wells who had understood what passed for rules well enough to do things with it, but, mostly, everyone was losing the last vestiges of self...

... and were weirdly smiley about it.

It took me almost too long to realise I'd been captured, because the guy and girl who did it were just talking college courses and debt, and how much they could pay off if they brought a fresh one in. Not the whole debt, obviously, but wow, maybe in a single human lifetime...!

I, personally, did not want to be sacrificed to the great old ones to pay for college.

I sympathised, but nope.

So then there was exciting action sequence, and getting back to the exact same lift I got in by, and realising that the people with guns weren't after me, just in time to stop some bullets for Wells. Which I did by waving a hand at them, because thank you temporal micro manipulation, my latest default power set.

... do other people end up with super powers in dreams? Like a standard character sheet of them that gets added to over the years? Because it's really handy. I mean the sword fighting alone gets me out of many things. But temporal micro manipulation is my latest favourite.

Saving Wells nearly screwed me. He dived into the lift just fine, I could let go the bullets, they'd missed now... but the ones who fired them now had noticed me, and what I could do, in a world with plenty enough magic to do something about it. So I braced for the fight of my life, backing up all the while... and Wells yanked me back into the lift, the doors going ding only as they closed behind us.


... if we could get the buttons working the same way they had on the way in.

... Wells had executive access, but that didn't get him to my world. A native's keycard, thankfully, did.

So we got back to my Earth (and possibly left an alternate me behind to answer for us... but if alternate me also had a college degree then they'd have their own problems already...)

I headed straight for my Wells.

... who strictly speaking wasn't Wells at all. Because that's more my speed.

Mythos!Wells wanted what we had, independence, but had no idea how to get it. He'd learned all the secrets of power and blown a hole into a darker universe but he still couldn't break their hold.

This, we explained, was because they *were* the power, and the darker universe.

To get free he'd have to let it all go.

That idea would take some selling, but the comment about universes let me put the pieces together.

At one end of the elevator, a world so corrupted that even imagining freedom was beyond the vast majority. It was, from a bad thing point of view, most thoroughly conquered. And farmed. Whatever it is they were getting out of humans, they got the maximum possible out.

So they expanded their territory.

Penthouse level was a 1920s invasion? Okay, so, whenever they'd gulped one world down, they dug a hole into the next. Every world had had slightly less time to be infected. Every world had been corrupted slightly less.

And our world was the latest.

So thus far the influence was probably just that one corporation. But that one tower block had been losing cleaners, steadily, and doing nothing about it. Like having an employee suicide rate and just shrugging it off. Or hiring a private ambulance fleet because the warehouse people keep dropping. Steady erosion, starting with the people the powerful are responsible for yet unlikely to miss.

So they're getting a foothold in our world through bad corporate ethics.

... we're pretty much screwed.

My excellent if depressing logic aside, the thoroughly dark Wells was actually a really great sign. Because if even the world with the longest dark could make someone like him, willing to risk himself to change, well, there is hope.

... he insisted he just wanted out, and realised he'd never be free if it was still in him.

... I told him if he *got* free, he'd want to go back. Because getting free of evil means actually caring about doing good.

This did not convince him, or please him, but I'd been having that argument with my Wells for a while, so I was pretty sure.

So there's rules in GURPS for escaping a black magic pact. The spells a demonist learns are just ways of contacting their patron, not really ways of understanding the underlying forces. To get free they have to give them all up. No more contact. No more dark magic.

That's difficult, on many levels, including physical withdrawal symptoms.

The rulebook says staying away means locking yourself in a cell and giving up all sensual pleasures, but the rulebook's understanding of human nature is limiting. If the basic problem is being emptied of possibility, of hopes and dreams, and learning to think of other people as only things, then the route back to humanity is a little more nuanced than that. It needs art, and culture, and ways to distract the mind from all that power. It needs other possibilities, and rule sets, that can get what you need without the darker stuff. And it needs connections to other people.

... so this being my dream this involved bodypaint, for both art and writing equations in. Real physics, the least demonic route to power out there. And real beauty, the human stuff, not the brain breaky frequencies of his home.

... also a two Wells threesome.

... my asleep brain is awesome.

So having woken up from that to a Saturday where the most exciting thing in it is likely to be watching another episode of The Flash, I pretty much pulled the blankets up and decided to stay instead.

Because sure, demons and brain breaky beings from beyond, but also bodypaint and trying to save someone's soul with sex.

My living room does not compete.

The next set of dreams were also pretty cool, but mostly a chase dream though. But through a super malleable landscape, where finding two chests of drawers in a shed meant we'd got a carriage, if we could figure out the transformation, which mostly just meant pulling on it and telling it really clearly what to be. There were bits of dream where Barry Allen was there, sure his powers didn't work any more, and I saved him by insisting he eat, until he realised that only a speedster could possibly have eat that much and he must still have something going on. Also I got hugs from Jack O'Neill, who wasn't *my* O'Neill, but even in this very alternate universe was experienced enough at alternate universes that a complete stranger being all "I missed you" got a very sympathetic response.

... it has been ages since I sat down and watched SG1. And my new recorder box can play all the dvds.

... my unwatched shelf is a bit over long too, though.

There were some distressing bits, bad things happening to puppies, having to escape past teenagers who were already soldiers and realising that fighting their regulars meant pretty much hurting kids. Moral dilemmas in the middle of an escape are never pretty. And I was with a whole group of people, so I couldn't just not. Plus the trial by combat was kind of awesome, because I turned a table knife into a rapier and totally elegantly won, but the reason there needed to be such a trial was nasty. Maids are not for sale. And then only slightly stabbing the guy because he'd be more use alive, also ugh. But. Adventure.

The optimized sort of adventure where you can wake up and tell the internet about it. Escape and no consequences.

Would take a lot to beat that.

... I really need more things to do with my awake time.
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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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