View Full Version : Red Shift Dreamer excerpt: Revival

November 6th, 2014, 02:01 AM
"God what the hell!" Dharma's excited words were nearly drowned out by the beat of tech music thudding out from a box speaker on his table. Nina looked closely. That speaker box looked familiar.She focused on the edge design. Neon green edges and perfectly square. Just like the one levitating in the desert. The desert.

“Ow.”Nina’s head hurt. She pulled her body upright, slowly, not sure how much pain she was going to feel. This was not the Seaside Bar was it? Instead of a dim-lit bar table, Nina was instead seated on a synthetic plush couch,very comfortable. She wanted to sink into a lulling sleep.

The memories returned. That motel room, the woman with the oriental blade. The stab. Nina felt herself for it. There’s no physical pain. But her head She frantically presses her sides to find the spot where it happened.

"You just don't pass out and wake up in strange places for no reason." Dharma said, laughing to himself.

"It's crazy. She, she stabbed me... somewhere." Nina said,still checking her sides. "But I can't find it. Nothing."
He gave her a once over. "No I guess you’re okay now!"

"Wait, what? But she did! What the Fharma?! I need to hear something!"

Dharma couldn't contain himself, keeping a big grin on his face as he busied himself with another random device in his hand. Its on-screen readings responded to the fluctuations of the light from the box.

"Well okay, Nina, or whatever you call yourself. We warped you outta there. Thankfully just in time. You were going under, losing vitals. Whatever business you meant about stabbings; these readings..." He turned away, murmuring to himself, hiding his worried eyebrows, shaking away unhelpful words as he scanned the medical statistics. “You were poisoned”. Poisoned, with what?

"Dharma, how does this place work? Like is this your imagination?" Nina asked. “I’m not entirely sure people can teleport just yet. That box, it can’t really tele- port? Can it?”

Dharma holds an undeniably big smile on his face. 'She must be grasping the logic of this place.' He thinks. 'It is a just a dream. But she will just be more curious if I tell her that.' But he continues.

"Well okay. I’m a dream researcher. I study dreams. I’m studying this one. Because you, I, and everyone else, we all have unlimited potential in our dreams. It’s a phenomena! And I’m going to discover it!”

“But aren't you just another part of the dream then? Your research too must be a dream” Nina asks. “Researching here won’t do you any good!”

He laughs! “Oh but it WILL, you see. No, I suppose you’re right.This isn't a dream research lab. You won’t find any cables or vitals equipment here. But don’t be so cocky just yet. I am recording it all."

"Recording what?"

"The dream!” He changes his attitude of confidence. "Well okay not yours per se. Mine actually. But the way things have been going, I’m not sure if this one is even mine anymore! Hell it was my dream before, but now… Look! See I'm wired now! Hop hop! And you! What was that place you were just at?"

Dharma showed his index finger attached to a sensor. The cable seemed to travel across the white office and fade off into nothing after a few feet. Nina laughed, amused at the thought that this man who always had an answer was perplexed. She wanted to just sink into a nice sofa and pass out. 'just at..' she thought as she slunk lower into the couch.

"So um, what does it record?" Nina asked.

"Oh whatever I say, whatever I see, whatever I write... It's just like a video camera. Whatever I think I do... it records anything! Been trying to actually PLAY the images though. That's another story." He scratched his head as he pressed play on his device.

“Photos in my mind, they get a bit complicated to see. The computer can't tell from what angle to record it or from what perspective the dream fragments are coming from so the images look like a kaleidoscope of my mind. If I could just encode it properly the playback would look more like a 3D rendering. You could zoom through these places fast and with incredible precision. For now though,navigating dream realms are a bit like witchcraft." He turns to another screen rendering textures and fragments of data. Some appear to be images and others are completely unrecognizable. Nina does recognize one corner of a fragmented image. A hint of a polka dotted shirt. Rae Lynn's.

"I’m slowly discovering, thanks to you that the dream world has too many layers to properly record. It’s almost impossible to decipher exactly one moment, or mindset, from the rest! But I'm programming diligently through this mess. Hey do any of these fragments look familiar?"

Nina scans the image. "Um that piece there kinda looks like the desert. And there, that's probably the hotel."

"Great!" Dharma presses a key and the images realign. It's still incredibly abstract... barely a difference in clarity. Still a kaleidoscope.

"I don't know how to explain it to you. So all I can really do is tell you to try and explore the world a bit more. "
Nina looked outside at the cloudless day, brilliantly lit. A forest of evergreens, sycamore and maple woods stretched for miles.

"I'm going to step outside." Nina said. Dharma quietly nodded, now deeper in concentration. She walks into the exit, washing herself with the pleasant outdoor glow. She can feel the warm sun. Dharma’s office disappears behind her.

November 8th, 2014, 04:16 AM
This might seem petty, but a lot of spaces are missing. It was impossible for me to read and evaluate at the same time. I think you can edit the post still. (Lesser problem, your spacing between paragraphs is missing.) Sorry.

November 8th, 2014, 05:31 AM
Wow oh God those missing spaces were a travesty! Thanks for pointing them out! I can't believe I let that through?!!

November 10th, 2014, 02:53 AM
Much better. Unfortunately, not my genre so it is difficult for me to comment. Things moved too fast and were too confusing for me, but it's an exerpt. And isn't that a style in science fiction?

What the Fharma was funny. Obviously, it was very creative, and I liked the idea of a dream dimension.

November 13th, 2014, 04:08 AM
Cool concept, just needs a bit more execution, I think.

For one, you have to pick a tense and stick to it. You hop back and forth between past and present, especially when you go from character to character, and that puts a damper on the whole continuity thing. Past tends to be easier to write in, and most of your story already resides there, so why not stick with it?

Another editing thing: do not include lines of dialogue from two characters in the same paragraph. Whenever possible, keep the actions and the dialogue in any paragraph limited to one person, that way, we know who does what without any questions.

Past those two formatting errors, I think you need to post something from the very beginning for me to get a good concept of the plot. Right now, I have so many questions, I don't know what to follow. Your story must be pretty intricate, and I'd love to read more, but I'd also love to know more.