465: Dream On

on November 1, 2010 in Book 16

In Which A Most Unwelcome Visitor Intrudes Upon A Dreamscape

Things were a warm pleasant blur after that, a string of sensory impressions and vague memories woven together with the feeling of interconnectedness and belonging… felt in association with Ian while we were alone, and towards the campus as a whole when we weren’t.

There was more sex… other sex, different sex. I couldn’t remember when I lost my bra, but I had very clear impressions of Ian playing with my piercings, tugging on them and sucking on them. He liked the imagery of the lock and the key, I could tell… he also liked the way my tits looked with me lying on my back.

Breasts, that is… the way my breasts looked. They were perkier then, more… life-like, almost. More like what breasts were supposed to look like.

It was a weird thing to think, but it was in my head and I was past the point of questioning it.

Ian seemed to be feeling very exploratory, like he was looking at me with a new set of eyes… and a new set of hands, too. He went everywhere. Not exactly gently, but with a kind of respectful awe. No, not respectful… it was more like appreciative. I was suffused with an understanding that he’d felt self-conscious about looking at me and touching me before, even when we were having sex, even when he was looking at me and touching me.

Now it was like barriers had been removed, either between us or inside of him, and he saw himself as having an all-access pass, and he was determined to make the most of it, like he thought he might not get another chance. Not just in terms of enjoying himself… though I had no doubt that he was, but it was also like he was trying to commit every inch of me to memory.

For my part… if I even had a part… I was just fine with lying back and letting him do it, letting him explore, letting him play. I felt a kind of peace I’d rarely felt, and absolutely no pressure or doubt.

To call it “nice” seemed a bit like an understatement, but any other word… any other emotion, even a pleasant one… felt like it would be too harsh, too hard, too solid. Nice, on the other hand… nice was just nice. Pleasant, but not overwhelming.

Relaxing.

The pleasant haze persisted in my head even after we headed downstairs… after Ian decided it was time to head downstairs and took me with him. So did the feeling of togetherness, of being together with Ian and, increasingly, of having it together in a way I’d never felt. I had the same sense of being a part of life on the campus and being connected to the crowd, but I also had my anchor, my rock… I had that, and so much… less. I felt less weighed down, more comfortable in my skin. Ian did, too.

In his skin, I meant.

There was indeed pizza, and I both barely was aware when it was in my hands and was hyperaware of it in my mouth, of the texture of the bread and the cheese, of the subtle and distinct flavors in the tomato sauce. I ate it freshly delivered and piping hot, the cheese… extra cheese… gooey and stretchy and wonderful. I ate it warm, with the cheese settling down into a thick but less unruly layer and the sauce assuming a more piquant taste. I ate it cool, when the crust was beginning to harden and reminded me of crusty salad bar breadsticks I’d eaten as a small child. I was aware of this transition through states more than I was aware of the passage of time, though that must have happened, too.

Much the same sorts of conversations wafted through the air around me and washed over me, though they seemed to have mellowed out. The same worries and doubts were there, but there was less urgency and a greater sense of grounding behind it. The crowd had changed in composition, as some had left to do homework or go to bed and others had come down to see what was happening. I wasn’t at all sure that this was responsible for the change, though. It seemed more like it was just a greater amount of time since everyone had finished their last class and had time to unwind and connect with friends and just relax and feel the place.

I couldn’t have said whether I said one more word downstairs that evening. No specific conversations stood out to me. Amaranth still hadn’t come back by the time we went upstairs, but I didn’t mind. I felt a sense of connection to her, too… sort of distant and in the back of my mind, but when I thought about her I felt an even greater sense of peace and happiness.

It wasn’t like we needed to be around each other all the time. I was still hers, even when she was with someone else. I just had to think about her even a little bit to know that for a fact.

Two seemed to accept that Ian was staying over without anything being said. It was a little uncharacteristic for her, but it was just that sort of a night. It wasn’t like we were going to do anything that would disturb or offend her… apart from the rule-breaking involved with him being there in the first place. We’d had plenty of time for that sort of thing earlier, and now we just wanted the chance to drift off in each other’s company.

Pala had disappeared at some point to get her pajamas, toothbrush, pillow, and an enormous plush boar named Mr. Ingimar that she very solemnly introduced to Hand Wash, whom Two informed her with equal solemnity was not actually real.

“I know,” Pala said. “But that is no reason to be rude.”

Sleep came fairly swiftly after what seemed like a very brief period of some rather noisy settling in on her part and ours. “Drifting off” proved to be a pretty apt description for it. It was almost like drifting away. Lying in the dark, curled around Ian’s body, I felt rather floaty to begin with… albeit anchored by his rock-like presence. As his breathing became deep and regular, the sense of that presence receded, and I found myself carried away on the tides of slumber.

The transition from lying in bed with a sense of floating to actually floating in a dream happened rather quickly, but it felt smooth rather than abrupt. There was no confusion or disorientation… I knew I was dreaming right away.

Not that it would have been easy to mistake the dream for reality. I was floating over a vast open field. Off to my side there was an enormous mountain range whose storm-ringed peaks rumbled and shifted like a giantess tossing and turning in her sleep. Down on the field below, there was an army or armies arrayed in endlessly shifting formations… not doing battle, simply arranging and re-arranging themselves like they were participating in some insanely intricate drill.

On the other side of me… on a perfectly normal scale but somehow no less imposing than the mountain… was Two, asleep in a crystal coffin like one of the princesses of the ancient kingdom that had preceded the First Empire. The “foot” of the coffin was big and protruded out in all directions, including down through whatever surface it would have been resting on if it had been resting on something and not just floating in space. I looked at it for a few seconds before I realized I was seeing the whole thing sideways… it was the pedestal of what was actually something like a display case. As soon as I saw that, I felt like I was sideways… and then either I rotated or Two did.

Her eyes opened, and she turned her head to face me.

“Hi, Mack,” she said, her voice a little muffled by the glass.

“Hi, Two,” I said.

“This is a strange dream,” she said.

“I’ve noticed this,” I said. “I’ve had to get used to strange dreams since coming here, but this is definitely not a normal dream, even for me.”

“I’m not certain I would want to see your normal dreams,” Two said. “If you start masturbating, I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to excuse me while I wake up.”

“I’m not sure you’re sleeping,” I said.

Her display case swung open and she stepped out. She looked around, her face going through the contortions of thought.

“I’m pretty sure that I am,” she concluded. “Though I don’t know how I’m doing any of this. I never learned to dream any of these things,” she said, looking down at the soldiers. “Maybe Pala’s dreaming those?” She looked past me and waved. “Hi, Pala!”

“Pala’s not…” I started to say, but I was turning automatically to see what she was looking at. The mountain range, once turned on its side, was pretty obviously Pala laying on her side. Though now she was doing that sideways in the air.

“Hello,” she said. “Is this what happens when you sleep in the dorms?”

“Not normally, no,” I said.

“Oh,” she said, sounding disappointing. “That could be interesting. Though it could also be tiring… I could see needing extra sleep if every night were like this. Though the extra sleep might just tire you out more?”

“I don’t think it would work like that,” I said. “You’d still be resting no matter what you were dreaming you were doing.”

“But you could dream you were tired and need to take a nap in the dream,” Pala said. A panicked look fell over her face. “Oh! What if that happened and I’m only dreaming that I’m dreaming? That could be why the dream is not normal.”

“I don’t think that’s it,” I said.

“But what if the first time I fell asleep I never woke up, but only dreamed that I woke up, and each time I fell asleep after that I never woke up from that dream-sleep?” Pala asked. She sounded utterly serious and yet no more than mildly alarmed by the idea. “And would that mean that I am still only a baby, or have I actually grown up?” Then her face grew brighter. “Or maybe I’ve grown more, maybe I’m only dreaming that I’m this small.”

“I’m pretty sure this is my dream, anyway,” I said.

“Well, I don’t see your name on it,” Pala said.

“It’s my dream,” Two said. She pointed up, and there was a sign hanging in the air that said “Two’s Dream”. “I put my name on it.”

“Two… that’s not how it works,” I said. “I’m dreaming about the two of you… that makes it my dream.”

“I think we are all dreaming about each other,” Pala said.

“I think so, too,” Two said. “But I still put my name on it.”

“That’s…” I started to say it was impossible, but it seemed as good an explanation as any, and not even particularly weird. “Well, I guess it’s not like I’ve never had a visitor in my dreams before.”

“It is not your dream, it’s mine,” Two said. “If you want to put your name on the dream next time, you can do it, but I thought of it first so this one is mine.”

“Why do you care whose dream it is?” I asked.

“I am tired of having the same dreams,” she said. “This one is different. I would like to have it.”

“Okay, it’s your dream,” I said. “Let’s not have an argument over whose dream it is. Let’s just… figure out what’s happening. I mean, the first thing is… is this actually happening? I mean, I’m open to the possibility… but I suppose we’ll have to see if we all remember this when we wake up.”

If we wake up,” Pala said. “This could be an enchanted sleep, and enchanted sleeps last forever.”

“Sleep can be enchanted to last forever, but that doesn’t mean that every sleep with some magical angle to it is going to last forever,” I said. “Anyway, we’re in the middle of a college campus that’s got an awesome enchantment department, so it’s not like we’d be out for long even if somebody, somehow, for some reason put us in an enchanted sleep.”

As soon as I said that, though, I felt prickles of worry running down my spine. Skilled enchanters like the kind turned out by Magisterius University would be pretty good at breaking enchantments, but they’d be even better at creating them in the first place… if it was just a single rogue student or professor having a bit of fun, someone else could undo it, but what if this was part of a concerted effort by the school administration, maybe even sanctioned by the government? It could be an attempt to target me, or to pacify all of Harlowe while something else went down…

If that line of thinking seemed a little paranoid… well, it wasn’t like the school was above being involved in conspiracies and cover-ups. Covers-up? Whatever. Embries had his own game, and it could be anything.

“What if we aren’t in the middle of the campus anymore?” Pala asked. “If we are asleep… and being prevented from waking up… we could have been moved anywhere, couldn’t we?”

Yeah… that was exactly the thought I needed to have in my head.

“Well, we’re still all together,” I said. “That strikes me as a good sign. If somebody were targeting… one of us… there wouldn’t be any reason to keep us together once we were asleep.”

“Why would somebody be targeting one of us with a spell that has all three of us?” Pala asked. “They cannot have very good aim, I think. And where is Ian Mason? He was asleep with you.”

“Maybe he went up to go to the bathroom?” I suggested.

“Maybe it’s a spell that only targets girls because they didn’t expect any boys to be in the girl’s dorm during the night,” Two said.

“I somehow doubt that,” a voice said from above.

We all looked up, and there was the second strangest looking creature I’d seen flying overhead in the past twenty-four hours. It was like a weird agglomeration of an owl and a turtle, the sort of creature that usually resulted from the odd fancy of a great wizard who achieved immortality and didn’t know what to do with all the spare time this results in.

I supposed it could have been something native to Pala’s plane

“Oh,” Two said, making as disgusted a face as I’d ever seen. “You. Hello, ridiculous owl-turtle thing.”

“You know this… thing?” I asked her. It sounded rude, but “person” seemed a bit off andI wasn’t sure “guy” was applicable. That, and Two had addressed it as a thing.

“Yes,” Two said. “That is some sort of ridiculous owl-turtle thing. He is a bad dream.”

“A martröð?” Pala asked, shaking visibly. Mr. Ingimar suddenly appeared beneath her, a giant plush riding boar. “A nightmare?”

“No,” Two said. “Just not a very good dream.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, kiddo,” the thing said. “I think you did a heck of a job.”

“This is your dream?” I said to Two.

“Yes,” she said. “We have established that it is.”

“I don’t mean the whole… the, uh, owl-turtle thing,” I said. “You dreamed that up?”

“I did,” she said. “But I thought that my friend Dee got rid of it.”

“Don’t worry, I’m only visiting,” it said. “Your friend Dee is a very good environment for someone like me. She likes to think of herself as a highly skilled telepath, when really she’s a very strong telepath.” Its head twisted around atop its shell to look at me. “Do I need to explain to you the difference between strength and skill?”

Somehow, I didn’t like this owl-turtle thing.

“So, what… you’re a figment of Two’s imagination that’s using Dee’s telepathy to mess with everybody’s minds at once?” I asked.

“Aw, heck no!” it said. “If Dee were strong enough to mess things up this badly, she would have done it a long time ago… no, I don’t think any telepath on this plane could do this. Really, the fundamental laws of reality don’t even come close to supporting what’s happening now.”

“Obviously they do, or it wouldn’t be happening,” I said.

“Oh, well… what do I know about impossible things happening? I’m just a self-aware dream that somehow gained independent existence and agency,” it said. “What’s obvious is that if the fundamental laws of this reality don’t support it, there must be another fundamental reality involved.”

“The plane of dreams?” I said. “That’s never been more than a hypothetical…”

“It’s not even that,” the thing said. “There’s no such thing. Or place. Or whatever. Trust me, I’d know… there’s no out there out there… just the insides of you peoples’ minds and the usually rare points where they intersect.”

“So what, then?” I asked. I was vaguely afraid that this was going to have something to do with me, or with the man who visited me in my dreams. He was from a different plane. He evidently knew something about minds intersecting.

“You’re sort of close… but not really,” it said, as if I had voiced the thoughts out loud. “No, this cameo appearance is being brought to you by something else that’s not supported by the laws of this reality, so it carries its own laws around with it. Seen anything disconcertingly impossible looking lately? Present company excluded.”

“The eyeless fish-beast,” I said. “It’s doing this?”

“It’s the proximate cause,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Whether it knows what it’s doing to the psychic environment or cares is hard to say… well, if the beast were fathomable it probably wouldn’t be warping reality, would it?” It pointed its flipper-wing things at Pala and me. “The effect is going to be stronger around the two of you because your extradimensional ties already weaken the structure of the world.”

“I’m pretty sure I’d notice if I were doing that,” I said.

“Me, too,” Pala said. “If I were doing it. I don’t know if I would notice if she were doing it. It would depend on how obvious she was about it, and if I would recognize such a thing if I saw it.” She paused and thought about it. “She could be doing it right now and I wouldn’t know. She probably is.”

“Oh, I don’t mean either of you are going around punching holes in reality all willy-nilly,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Just that somebody who was doing such a thing would have an ever-so-slightly easier time with you around… the effect’s going to be a lot stronger with her than you, obviously, because she’s not native.”

“But she’s got to have at least as much human blood as I do, if not more,” I said.

“Her? Nope, she’s a full-blooded giant,” it said.

“Now I know you’re lying,” I said. “Or that I’m dreaming… or whatever. I’m dreaming you’re lying.”

“Ask her yourself.”

I looked at Pala, who was looking down the length of her body. She brought her hands up to her face and squinted at them.

“I do feel pretty full of blood,” she said. “At least my heart is.”

“Were both of your parents giants?” I asked.

“Is that a rude question?” she asked.

“What? It’s not meant to be rude,” I said. “Is it rude in your culture?”

“I don’t know,” she said.”Usually when somebody asks me about my parents, it is a rude question.”

“What, were they not married or something?”

In case anybody has ever wondered: dreaming that you’re being punched by what is apparently a very compactly-built storm giant can still hurt quite a bit in the dream. I didn’t even see it coming, because she didn’t seem to move… one moment she was sitting astride her giant stuffed pig and the next she was right in front of me, punching me in the face. The proportions somehow worked themselves out so that it was a dead-on shot.

The good news was that the pain didn’t last. It was just an overwhelming rush of sensation that suffused the entirety of my being for a moment and then was gone.

It wasn’t a good moment, or one I’d be in any kind of a hurry to repeat. But it was brief, and when it passed I was horizontal and Pala was reaching a hand down towards me.

“I’m sorry for doing that, but you should not ask rude questions,” she said, helping me up. “My parents were married, but my mother died when I was very young.”

“Oh,” I said. “I’m sorry. My mother died, too… I was sort of young. It wasn’t my fault.”

“Interesting sidenote,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Bullshit.”

“Interesting sidenote,” I said. “I can punch pretty hard, too.”

“Wouldn’t hurt,” the owl-turtle thing said.

“It hurt when she hit me,” I said.

“Because you expected it to,” it said

“So for the remainder of this dream, I could choose to be completely immune to pain?” I asked.

“Oh, heavens no,” it said. “You lack the basic willpower and self-awareness for something like that. Even knowing that this is a dream, that nothing here is real, and that pain only exists as a sensation in your head because you think it should, you would still expect the pain to come and so it would. Me, on the other hand… I’m a lucid dream. I’m pretty much made of self-awareness, and that’s why you should listen to me.”

“You’re making an awful lot of assumptions for someone who just met me,” I said.

“To the contrary, I met you the same time that Two did. And I’m not making assumptions, I’m making observations… based on what she knows of you, and what I can see now, existing as I do at the moment in the spaces between all your minds.”

“If you can see my mind, then you know it’s not bullshit about my mother dying,” I said.

“If you could see your mind, you might learn a thing or two about it…” the owl-turtle thing said. It was suddenly cut off with a squawk as Pala reached up and grabbed its leg, yanking it downward to our level.

“‘Interesting sidenote’,” she said. “I am a lucid dreamer. Would you like to find out if I am better at expecting you to feel pain than you are at expecting not to feel it?”

The owl sort of swirled away into nothingness and reappeared with a pop a respectable distance away.

“Nothing to find out, I already know how that one’ll go… I don’t even know what pain feels like,” it said.

“But Two knows what pain feels like and you came from her,” I pointed out. “Your knowledge of me comes from her. Why don’t you have her experience and understanding of pain, too?”

“What, am I missing out on something great?” the owl-turtle thing said. “Is there some reason I should be rushing to add pain to the list of things that make up my semblance of an existence?”

“No, I’m just trying to get a handle on how these things work,” I said. “As much as it’s possible. For instance, why is it just the three of us here?”

“Because you’re really bad at counting, apparently,” the owl-turtle thing said.

“No, I mean… Ian was asleep in bed with me. Still is, I’m sure,” I said. “Why were we all drawn into this effect but he wasn’t? I can buy no one outside the room being close enough to share a dream with us, but he’s closer to me than Two or Pala.”

“He might be along by and by,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Like I said, the reality warp is going to be stronger around you two… and Two’s bound to be more receptive to this kind of thing than he is. She’s a very literal dreamer. Everybody within the fish-beast’s penumbra is experiencing something, and if you paid real close attention to the nothingness at the edges of your consciousness you might catch glimpses of them here and there. If your boyfriend surfaces, it’ll probably be because of the intense connection you forged with him.”

“So, are we in any actual danger here?” I said.

“What kind of danger?” it asked.

“Not waking up, having lasting mental effects… basically, anything beyond a sort of interesting diversion.”

“A big vast emptiness is interesting to you? No wonder you get along with her,” the owl-turtle thing said.

“Sharing a dream is interesting,” I said. “It’s… novel.”

“Oh, great… just what I need, cultural tourism,” the owl-turtle thing said. “I’m glad you find my way of life so thrillingly exotic. But seriously, given that this may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance, don’t you want to use it to do something more interesting than hanging around having a conversation you could be having on the elemental plane of useless bags of meat anyway?”

“Well, I am trying to figure out the parameters of this,” I said.

“What, so you’ll be ready to maybe actually do something with it if it happens again?”

“What exactly could we be doing right now that we’re not?” I asked. “What opportunity are we missing?

“I don’t know… a journey of self-discovery? Finding out what I know about your mind that you don’t? Learning interesting things about your dormmates?”

“How can we do that when they’re not here?” I asked.

“Aren’t you paying any attention?” the thing said. “They’re here… they’re all around you. You’d just have to focus on someone and sort of… tease them out, a bit.”

“So… if I wanted to bring Ian in, I could?”

“Oh, that’s seizing upon a rare opportunity,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Well, you could certainly try. Like I said, your connection could make that easier… or it could make it harder to figure out where you end and he begins. I’d be very surprised if you don’t see permanent side effects from that, you know.”

“What are you talking about?”

“This would be the ‘self-awareness’ thing I was talking about,” the owl-turtle thing said. “Though, in my limited experience, you people aren’t really equipped to know when something’s out of whack with your thoughts. You are your thoughts, so whatever’s running through the head you occupy just gets accepted as the new normal. That’s why implanted suggestions work so well… not because they have any kind of force behind them, but because a brain that finds a thought lying around is going to assume it’s meant to go somewhere and do its best to file it wherever it seems to fit. Not that I’m complaining. I wouldn’t have been able to uproot myself from one mind and insinuate myself into another if that weren’t so.”

“Whatever,” I said. “I’m not really terribly interested in snooping around my floormates’ dreams, if that’s what your suggesting we could be doing. I doubt Pala or Two would go for that, either.”

I looked at them, and they both nodded.

“Ah, well, I just thought you might want to take the opportunity while it lasts. Especially while you’re the only ones at this level of active,” it said. “If this place gets any more crowded, you might have a harder time asserting control… especially if somebody shows up who doesn’t show your compunctions about poking and prying.”

“Someone like Ceridwyn Banks-Labelle?” Pala said.

I looked at her, then looked where she was looking.

“Oh, hey!” the owl-turtle thing said. “This just got slightly less boring.”


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45 Responses to “465: Dream On”

  1. Krista says:

    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooook!

    Current score: 0
  2. Kirine says:

    Typo note : “Iin his skin, I meant.”

    So the ridiculous turtle owl thing pointed out what I’ve suspected. Mack does know more about her mother’s death than she’s letting on AND she doesn’t want to face it.

    I’ve wondered when Puddy was going to show up again.

    EPIC line “Do I need to explain to YOU the difference between strength and skill?”

    Current score: 2
    • Brenda says:

      But does she know she knows?

      Current score: 0
      • erianaiel says:

        She really does not know.
        The scarecrow in the maze asked her this question as well. For his earlier questions it knew when Mackenzie was lying or evading the truth, but for this particular question it let, after a long hesitations, her answer of ‘I do not know’ stand as truth.
        Which strongly suggests that Mackenzie knows what happened but is genuinely unable to recall it.

        Current score: 1
  3. SeanB says:

    Like the WePay option, hope it goes international soon……… I think you have some international fans that like this better than Paypal.

    Current score: 0
  4. Kevin says:

    Is that a rude question? That was pretty funny….

    Current score: 0
  5. Zathras IX says:

    Cunning linguistics:
    “Ingimar” is Old Norse for
    Yngi‘s Warrior

    Current score: 1
  6. potatohead says:

    Well, as much as I’m disappointed that the Ian/Mack scene got skimmed through, the sheer surrealness of this new…whatever’s going on is enough to pacify me.

    Current score: 0
  7. Starcloud says:

    For someone who’s normally quite introspective, Mack sure seems to be very focused on *not* finding out about herself.

    Current score: 0
    • Jechtael says:

      I doubt I’d trust the Some Sort Of Ridiculous Owl-Turtle Thing to give me a straight and/or truthful answer if I asked. Mackenzie is acting about how I act when in tabletop games when being given a probably-untrustworthy source of information or trying to pretend I don’t have out-of-character knowledge.

      Current score: 0
  8. Khavren says:

    Shit’s about to get real imaginary! Time for a group pose!

    Current score: 0
  9. Oni says:

    If this had any other two character in it, somehow I don’t think that Mack and SSoROTT would have gotten away with that mus 1-on-1. I kinda pictured those two just sitting there, watching.

    On another note, SSoROTT gets a little more disturbing each time it comes along. Dee’s lucky that someone will probably remember this dream well enough to remind her that she has a sentient dream residing in her brain, and that it should probably be checked out.

    Current score: 0
  10. OhPun says:

    Apparently Mackenzie has no trouble understanding Pala in the dream world, no matter what language either of them are dreaming in. I like Pala without translation issues. This is great:

    “I am a lucid dreamer. Would you like to find out if I am better at expecting you to feel pain than you are at expecting not to feel it?”

    Current score: 6
  11. Lunaroki says:

    Loving this whole story arc, and this chapter in particular! Mack’s emerging psychic awareness… excuse me, “subtle arts abilities”… makes for a very interesting new twist and adds a degree of new growth potential Mack has been needing badly. Not that she hasn’t been growing steadily right along but there’s just been certain aspects where her growth has been painfully stunted despite her growth in other areas. This is a unique and valuable opportunity for her and I hope she figures out to make the most of it.

    Current score: 0
  12. Dave says:

    I really like this chapter too. Though I’m wondering what to make of the fact that Ian isn’t joining in the dream. Is it significant? Maybe it’s because he’s not very good at the subtle arts, or simply that he’s not in REM sleep at the same time as the rest of them.

    Frustrating that we still don’t get to learn more about what happened to Mackenzie’s mother, but at least we now have reason to believe our suspicion that Mackenzie was suppressing certain memories is correct.

    Current score: 0
    • Malkar says:

      I think Ian might be generating the army that they are hovering over.

      Current score: 1
      • Brenda says:

        No, that was Pala, I think.

        Current score: 0
        • Rethic says:

          That’s what she implied, but I was thinking it be Shiel or Uru or whoever it is that plays that game, because if it was Ian they’d probably be fighting and not rearranging.

          Current score: 2
  13. Miss Lynx says:

    Great chapter – I particularly liked Pala’s rationale for introducing the stuffed animals, and her lucid dreamer line.

    I find it interesting that many commenters seem to be assuming, even after discovering the eyeless fish-beast’s influence, that the psychic stuff Mack was experiencing that evening was all hers. I was thinking that maybe the reason everyone seemed to be connecting so well was that they were all experiencing something along the same lines, due to the EFB’s effect on their minds. It might be more pronounced with those of at least partially extraplanar origin, as with the dream thing, but it would certain explain why the overall energy and feeling of the dorms seemed to have changed so much.

    Current score: 2
    • zeel says:

      ah but remember what the ROTT said about her connection to Ian? that wasn’t a EFB thing.

      Current score: 0
  14. Matthew Tereau says:

    Damn. Damn damn damn. Noooooo. *headdesk* Not Puddy. D: This is going to be crazy.

    Current score: 0
  15. zeel says:

    WOW. all we need is Mackenzies father.

    Current score: 0
  16. Krey says:

    W… What? Weren’t we just in a sex scene?

    Current score: 0
  17. henry alias says:

    Is it just me or does Mack seem stoned in this chapter? Memory lapses, fuzzy thinking, etc.

    On a side note I’m not so sure everyone’s assumptions about Mack having latent telepathy are on target. I’ve been thinking the fish beast had something to do with this and this chapter seems to confirm it. Perhaps it is just working harder at digging into everyone’s minds to find answers…

    Current score: 0
    • Gorgonopsid says:

      Fuzzy thinking and memory lapses are Mack’s normal state of mind.

      Current score: 1
      • Brenda says:

        Yes, but it’s not usually such obvious fuzz.

        Current score: 0
  18. Tomo says:

    so all the subtle artistry was not because of mack?

    disappointing. also, holy shit puddy.

    wait, IS it that ceridwyn? weren’t there like 5 ceridwyns?

    Current score: 0
    • Brenda says:

      Only one Ceridwyn Banks-LaBelle.

      Current score: 0
    • Zukira Phaera says:

      because she is the only one of them in Harlowe due to the fact that she is the only one who embraces her non human ancestries.

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  19. Anthony says:

    So has Pala been watching Inception?

    Current score: 0

    • The Iron Muffin says:

      Lucid dreaming has been around FAR longer than that movie.

      Current score: 0
      • sanityoptional says:

        As have dreams within dreams. People seem to forget this so easily

        Current score: 1
  20. Inquisitous says:

    id be more inclined to donate with regular updates

    Current score: 0
    • BMeph says:

      AE’d be more likely to update with regular donations…. ;þ

      Current score: 1
  21. Inquisitous says:

    I’m enjoying the current storyline however – and am also curious about what may happen next. So I may donate anyway

    Current score: 0
  22. Not her, the other girl says:

    “…one moment she was sitting astride her giant stuffed pig.. ”

    Gir! Ride the pig!

    That is all.

    Current score: 0
  23. Botec says:

    Last line before Ceridwyn is mentioned: “doesn’t _share_ your compunctions”?

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  24. Kim says:

    Little late to be saying this, and I figure folks probably won’t read it…

    But please, go vote. It’s what Two would have you do. 😉

    Current score: 0
  25. ““‘Interesting sidenote’,” she said. “I am a lucid dreamer. Would you like to find out if I am better at expecting you to feel pain than you are at expecting not to feel it?””

    and also

    ““Oh, hey!” the owl-turtle thing said. “This just got slightly less boring.””

    Rawk.

    Current score: 0
  26. themann1086 says:

    “I am the lucid dream
    The monster in your nightmares
    The fiend of a thousand faces
    Cower before my true form
    BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!”

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  27. Brine says:

    Hmmm. . . I wonder if SSOTT might be a 3rd demon or piece thierof (other than Mack Daddy and pitchy). I will have to look back in the archives, but I do not think we have any indication as to weather or not it showed up before Two’s demon summoning burns. Considering it’s comments about inserted suggestions we might want to look for hints of Dee acting not like Dee since her infection (I was going to say oddly, but I don’t think there is a clear baseline for comparison with Dee).

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  28. Helen Rees says:

    typo report:

    “You know this… thing?” I asked her. It sounded rude, but “person” seemed a bit off andI wasn’t sure “guy” was applicable. That, and Two had addressed it as a thing.

    needs a space between and & I

    Current score: 0
  29. capybroa says:

    “Who’s on first?”

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  30. tijay says:

    I felt incredibly high reading that

    Current score: 0