Dreamed 1992/11/22 by Chris Wayan
A gentle and rather sweet stegosaurus is wandering around looking for a date. Choosing a mate is a high priority for him. No girl stegosaurs around though, here in 6,000,000 BC. He'd know that if he stopped to think. He's in the wrong time; he ought to head back to his own era, at least 60 million years earlier.
He befriends a huge tortoise, whose head looks a bit stegosaurish, so the dinosaur asumes he thinks similarly. The closest thing to a stegosaur buddy he's likely to find now, but how close is that?
This time jumping goes both ways, though. Humans from 6,000,000 BC and dinosaur people from 67,000,000 BC have been meeting more and more, exploring each other's civilizations. Humans have an Atlantean or quasi-Egyptian society, where psychic gifts are routine. It's quite a fascinating culture.
But the dinosaurs! A multiracial society, with as many as a dozen different intelligent species, relying partly on physical technology and largely on psychic abilities. As our scientists have suspected, they were wiped out abruptly, by a comet-strike all right--but it was aimed. And they knew who did it: "The Enemy," a powerful space spirit who wants to block evolution entirely. And it worked! ALL life on Earth, not just the dinosaurs, was wiped out. Even protozoa, algae? The dinosaurs insist it was. Earth and/or the dinosaur's spirits, seeking bodies to incarnate in, had to start totally from scratch, from ash and protein soup. To them it's a miracle that in only 60 or 70 million years the planet has largely recovered and we short-lived scent-oriented mammals have managed to evolve brains at all. Even one intelligent race is a miracle.
So who censored the geologic record? If it was... maybe dinosaurs don't know or care about deepsea life, or plankton, or bacteria... My mind is open on the subject still, but I admit I'm skeptical that nothing at all survived. Life is tough.
The dinosaur people are large but not huge, mostly bipeds six to eight feet tall, though some species are quadrupeds. They seem calm, patient (long-lived?), refined, many sweet-tempered like the Stegosaurus, all very skilled at psychic projection--now that they've discovered there's someone in the far future worth visiting. A little devious, maybe...
For example, I'm in a cafeteria in Atlantis, taking a salad tray to my table. Squeeze thru a door just ahead of a sort of miniature allosaurus, and ask "Are you likely to bite me?" and the dinosaur says "No, I'm an herbivore," and promptly sticks its head in my salad bowl, grabs a mouthful, and runs off giggling.
The group I'm in is mixed, a couple of dinosaurs and five or six humans. I'm disappointed that there aren't more dinosaurs; I'm so curious about them. But it turns out one of the women is really a dinosaur disguised as human! She has a sly plan to pull something on us all. Nothing murderous, but she cherishes her secret plot, so I say nothing when I detect her. All she did was picture herself differently when she projected herself from the ancient past to our time; people really just dream- or astral-travel here, they aren't here physically, so what's to stop them from editing their holographic image to whatever they want? But most folks won't: have too much ego invested in their familiar form. Perhaps I identify with her a bit: I too have more ego invested in being clever than in being a particular species.
But there are two metaphors for time travel from the dinosaur age to ours. Tangible holography or virtual reality is only one.
I rode on the other one once.
It's the elevator of time. You get off on your era's floor. A million years per floor? And using this elevator metaphor, when you get off, you're really there, in the flesh. Which is "true?"
An old wrinkled gentleman runs it, so creased by time that you can't tell if he was born or hatched, mammal or reptile. Or a woman under that hat... But whoever and whatever s/he is, the elevator operator is the silent type. No explanations there!
All I know is, someone mentions their cousin is involved in a cross-time romance, a dinosaur girl and a human boy. And they're wondering what the kids will turn out to be like! So they're truly meeting, touching, making love--so the elevator model must be the truth. Right? But the dinosaur woman I met really did take human form just by picturing herself as human! So the holographic mind-projection model must be the "truth"...
Or truth is local. We dream our own dreams, including each other in them, psychically conversing as we construct bodies times and worlds that please us, or fit our habits, or suit our need for problems...
I "wake" to find I have homework due today: a seven-page paper. I feel like this assignment is MEANT to distract me from the dinosaur dream. I start my math homework and I'm sure. Two story problems that look like simple algebra, each with two equations in two variables, but they make no sense... till you read the stories closely and find the problems refer to each other! Four simultaneous equations. I can't solve these with mere guesswork in my head. Get a pencil and paper, label the variables x, y, n, z.
Then realize... they did it! Distracted me. I must write that dream NOW! Already lost many details, many great scenes. Write the dream down...
Then I wake again and find my notebook blank.
And despite the warning, I read the paper, find an intriguing chess problem, solve it, and send away for a prize... all before writing this fragment... this fragment, like a fossilized shard of dino egg compared to the living beast.
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