Thursday, April 26, 2018

Night's Curse, Night's Blessing

My dreams are vivid. Sometimes this is cause for terror; sometimes this is cause for joy. And sometimes, one follows the other in rapid succession.

Two nights ago, I dreamed I was a young woman reporting on an uncanny phenomenon: all over the world, people were being found dead, their bodies torn apart. I, as the reporter, was part of a two-person team patrolling the streets of Leduc, watching for bodies. My partner, a grizzled, 50-something constable, drove our SUV while I rode shotgun. 

Then, the inevitable: I spotted a cluster of a half-dozen or so dismembered corpses scattered along 50th street, near the Gaiety Theatre. We pulled over and I started shooting photos with my DSLR, trying not to be sick as I documented the ugly reality. There was blood all over the concrete and asphalt; blood, and disembodied organs. 

Then, suddenly, there as a bright light, as if the Moon had suddenly become a giant flashbulb. I instinctively started recording video, and captured, to my dismay, a cluster of pedestrians who were suddenly stripped violently naked and ripped apart by invisible forces. One man's hair was ripped away in one stroke, his face torn apart in bloody chunks. My camera recorded it all, and then, in an instant, it was over. The bodies collapsed, shrieks of agony cut short. 

I was shaking with terror, not understanding why I, too, hadn't been torn apart. But I knew the importance of what I'd captured. Never before had anyone managed to collect photographic evidence of these bizarre deaths as they happened. I showed my partner, and he agreed that the footage was critical. We didn't even collect the bodies, racing into the night to deliver the images...somewhere. 

Last night was much more pleasant. I was at the theatre in West Edmonton Mall to see a film, and an employee pulled me aside for a special screening. To my amazement, a trailer for a new Star Trek: The Next Generation film unfolded before my eyes. In the trailer, which had a kickass, pulse-pounding score I wish I could replicate in real life, a gorgeous starship resembling a giant metallic butterfly rises from a world-spanning ocean, creating rainbows as it leaves the planet. Then, we see Captain Picard, Captain Riker, and Commander Barclay walking down the corridor of a sophisticated space station or settlement of some kind, being forced to march at gunpoint by a cadre of bronze, faceless robots. The severed, but still living heads of Commanders Data and LaForge appear, crawling along the floor on robot legs. "What have you DONE!?" an enraged Picard cries. Cut to a Federation restaurant on Earth or some other core world, with dozens of human and alien patrons enjoying a fine meal. Cut again to Doctor Crusher, conducting some kind of experiment in sickbay. Cut to outer space, where an upgraded Enterprise-E approaches a massive planet with multiple rings. Cut to inside the ship, where crew members are being beamed away, apparently against their will, leaving the Enterprise empty of all life. Cut again to Captain Picard, Riker, and Barclay, their uniforms ragged with wear, clambering over a rain-slick rock face, Picard pointing at something in the distance. 

When the trailer ended, I was tremendously excited - maybe the Next Generation crew would get a better sendoff than Nemesis, the last film in which they'd appeared. Even more exciting, the cast was at the theatre, in costume, answering fan questions. I asked Michael Dorn why he and Marina Sirtis weren't in the trailer; he hinted that both Worf and Deanna played crucial roles in the film, and that their absence in the trailer was deliberate. I played a round of pinball with Patrick Steward, losing badly. And I asked Brent Spiner, somewhat indelicately, how he could keep playing Data as an ageless android. "Aging chip!" he laughed. Of course, I thought. 

I left the theatre eager to text Sean, wondering if he'd seen the new trailer yet. But then I wondered why I hadn't seen a movie. I could not, in fact, remember what movie I'd even meant to see. And then I realized that Data was going to be in this new movie, despite being killed off in Nemesis. At that point the whole fantasy fell apart, and I woke up disappointed. 


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