Tensing a bit, I made minor corrections to the big cruiser's trajectory. The massive F6 Valkyrie is supremely competent at most everything I ask of her, but she requires precise guidance from her rider as well.
If I didn't do this just right she'd skip off the atmosphere instead of achieving a smooth re-entry. I wasn't sure I had the fuel to try again.
Clearly something was out of sorts here. I was on a motorcycle in a short orbit, attempting reentry. I wasn't wearing a helmet. Clearly, a helmet is needed when riding a motorcycle outside the earth's atmosphere, especially during reentry.
Hmm. That still didn't seem right...but my focus was needed elsewhere. The Valk is a fuel hog and careful management of her resources is needed. A high orbit is a long way from any affordable gas stations.
The com crackled, rudely interrupting Bon Jovi's rousing rendition of "It's My Life" that had been blasting in my mp3 earbuds.
"I repeat, you are NOT cleared to reenter. Permission to land is denied!"
I grinned and keyed up the com. "I wasn't asking for permission."
I clicked off the set. Bureaucrats. Screw 'em.
And just WHAT the hell was that twittering noise?
Without warning, the Valk died and I began a gut-wrenching fall.
That's when I knew.
Valks simply don't just die on you.
It was clearly a dream.
Yah...so...I know it's a dream, right? That didn't lessen the urgency...or the adrenaline. A gut wrenching fall. As real to me in that semi-waking dream state as falling off a cliff fully awake would be.
Adrenaline. That chemical flowed freely. Ramping up the heart rate. Dilating the arteries. Supersaturating the muscles with strength-giving oxygen-rich blood. Rock crushing strength. "Leaps tall buildings" reactions.
*tweeter* *tweeter* *tweeter*
I finally recognized the sound. It was my cell phone.
Phone? PHONE? Agh! CELL PHONE!
I can't really explain my reaction. The confused brain. The adrenaline. The fall...
The cell phone was ringing, and BY GOD I had to answer it!
I think it's perfectly clear; my brain is trying to kill me.
I think it's also perfectly clear...sooner or later it will succeed.
My first conscious recollection, I was flying across the room, horizontal, lunging for the cell phone that was on the dresser against the far wall. For some reason I was holding the cat in one hand (usually sleeps on the foot of the bed) out in front of me with a firm grip on his tail and hind leg. The dog (usually sleeps on the floor at the foot of the bed) was also airborne, nose-to-nose with me, with a startled but patiently resigned "what the hell" look clearly on his face.
The dresser was rushing to meet me. Impact was imminent, severe damage was inevitable, and there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it. Launch had already been achieved. It was far, far to late to abort.
In that crystallized moment in time, the cat, the dog, and I were all clearly thinking the same three things:
1) "What the HELL just happened?"
2) "This is going to hurt."
3) "I wonder which one of us is going to die?"
The collision was epic. The crash shook the very foundations of the house. My front half went headfirst into the dresser, the rest of me hit the window sill and the wife's dresser. Things flew. Wood splintered. Sheetrock smashed. I could hear items in OTHER ROOMS of the house falling from shelves and something large fell over in the garage.
Gasping for breath as the remnants of broken things rained down around me I couldn't help but think that a number of trips to Home Depot were in the immediate future.
The dog, a wise, aged black lab that clearly knows how to avoid damage by overexcited children and adults stumbling around in the dark, expertly landed on his haunches with his tail tucked out of the way of any major damage. I had sheltered the cat from the worst of it...tucking him into my chest and turning a shoulder as I fell.
Still unclear on what was going on, I held the cat out to the dog and said, "Here, hold this."
The dog tossed his nose in the air and headed for the living room. The cat simply vanished, leaving a slightly glowing afterimage of where he had been in the dark room.
I found I couldn't stand...the brain was stunned...the muscles still weren't working right, and worse, the adrenaline high was starting to crash, resulting in severe cramps and even more difficulty breathing.
The wife took this moment to sit up in bed and ask, "Are you okay?"
"No babe. I'm hurt. I could use some help."
"Awwh. Poor Hubby." She was sound asleep before her head hit the pillow.
Yep...my brain is definitely trying to kill me. The wife may be on its side.
That was a pretty cool dream though...I wonder if I can get back to it?