By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume 1I: Tests of Fire and Blood

Chapter 16




I dreamed of traveling with companions along a creek, stealthily, seeking a place to hide from enemies, when I came across the suspicious footprints distorted by water.  Together with a man that I never actually saw in the dream, we analyzed them pretty much as described.  In a separate, narcoleptic flash-dream, I found the stone cliff with the little trickle of a waterfall, and the insignificant-appearing crack that I knew lead to deeper chambers.  In yet another dream we (I and a vaguely perceived party of others) reached Petro’s home, its rough cave surfaces blanket-draped and furnished in all its stony chambers, with plenty of stone showing through the gaps.

But decades before any of those, I first dreamed of Petro as an elderly hippy (I dreamed this back in the days when all hippies were under thirty) who had sheltered and befriended Robin Royale on Earth from the policeman recruited to work for Technological Laboratories.  For this Petro died.  (Someday I hope to find those notes again!)

Yet sometimes (rarely) characters who die come back in slightly different form–often the worse for wear.  So here’s another aging shelter-giver named Petro, this one pale and crippled and traumatized, and also somewhat darker and more cynical in character, somewhat twisted from the true, yet still artistic and in love with color, still exhibiting the same bluff cheer and warmth, and under all a kindly heart, like a reincarnation from a dream earlier both in internal and external time.  And if he acts more cautiously in this life, and sets down rules, who can blame him?

I dreamed separately of a pitched battle, when I saw no way to get ammunition to my pinned-down and cut-off comrades in arms except to send it in the diaper of a baby.  It seemed clever in the dream, but it horrified me when I woke.  I dreamed of the battle happening right outside of my childhood home.

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