By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume III: Responsibility

Chapter 22




          I dreamed of Randy, in adolescence, teasingly calling Jonathan a trapmapper in my (Deirdre’s) presence.  I felt mortified, but Jonathan only raised an eyebrow and smiled.

          I know, as dream background-information, that Zora and Incense became mission-planners after their “Voluntary Reintegration”.  It would make sense, normally, that those two never ever handle a mission involving Jake, after what Zora tried to do to him (You’ll find that in “The Outlaw God”, as well as the reason why everybody blanched when Don mentioned Zora’s pendant.)  So of course, they, being oracles, would do exactly that.

          In any case, Archives would let it happen, for reasons of her own.  With a mission so vague yet so inexplicably imperative, oracles would have to handle it.  As for why specifically those two, Archives has a bias towards matching sets and chains of connection: Don and Zora are friends; Incense comes with the package, and also happens to have a positive connection with Jake; the mission needs an oracle and an oracle’s handler, Don has both in his friendclan; and Archives expects agents to buck up and handle whatever she dishes out.

          As for Lisa not going along, it occurred to me while going over the dream-notes at an early stage, that she would have been ideal for the mission, and could have easily passed for a boy—not to mention that the timeline showed her getting engaged to Don right before the mission happened.  Yet not one dream showed her in Toulin!  At that point I hadn’t yet gotten any idea, from dreams or speculation, as to what precisely had gone wrong with the school, why the boys had turned to things like human sacrifice in deadly midnight rites.  Lisa’s exclusion gave me my first real clue.  Sometimes what a dream doesn’t show matters as much as what it does.

          I thought a lot about Kief, after fictionalizing the dream of shooting him, while I lay in bed, waiting to fall asleep, when an audible hypnagogic episode made me hear, loud and clear, Kief himself saying “Real.  That’s all it is, just real.”  I’m sure it scared me almost as much as it would have Deirdre!

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