My eyes trace the cracks in the ceiling as the saturated hues of an artificial sun pour through my window. I sit up, sloughing off the remnants of sleep, and retrace my thoughts for any lingering tidbits of dream. And…no…there’s something there. I catch only a glimpse of it, that flicker of green, of life.
A grey cloud of sparking electricity pushes me from my mind. The All-Father, chiding me. I know I am not allowed to consider these dreams.
I stand, gathering my clothes, and breathe easy as the hot water looses steam. It clears my nose and my mind. As the purple light tints the water, I lean against the shower doors and try to remember the dream—as vaguely as possible so as not to attract his attention once more.
And then I hear it: a female voice. She whispers in my ear. My vision grows blurry. My balance lurches to the side, and I catch myself on the slippery glass. My mouth opens and closes wordlessly as pain rockets through my head.
Liquid seeps out my ears. Something is wrong, so wrong. She repeats her message, over and over, in a language I cannot understand.
I slip to the floor cradling my head.
Feet crunch against wet gravel. Metallic insects chirp, perched upon biological leaves. Their heads twitch as my eyes open, and I am blinded by a white sky. Raindrops tap against my eyes, and I hear the sound of birds.
I sit up when the footsteps sound again. I catch flashes of his flickering form outlined in green—a hologram. He holds his outstretched hand towards me and desperately repeats a message, over and over and over, but I can’t understand him.
He flickers out of existence. My fingers wilt.
The world pauses. I feel safe.
And then it pulses, cold, forbidden.
“All the things I’ve shown, and you still don’t understand,” the voice of the All-Father grinds into my head.
I scream as the sound rattles my very thoughts.
“Tell me what you see,” he continues.
“I don’t know!” I sob. He hold my head as pain rattles my skull. Light and sound overwhelm me.
Flashes of the dream cloud my vision.
Reality breaks around me, and I writhe.
And then there is peace. Voices echo in peace—or pain?
A jarring shock.
Circuits fire, trying to get me back online.
My heart thumps.
And then my eyes open. I awake on the floor, breathing hard.
My eyes trace the cracks in the ceiling as the saturated hues of an artificial moon pour through my window. I clamber to my feet and stagger to the window. The city is dark. It is night.
And then I see it—on the opposite side of the city, at the Temple of the All-Father. The circuits pulse green, beckoning me.