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JANEWAY'S TANGO

Dreamed 1998/10/20 by Chris Wayan


I dream I'm watching the Star Trek show "Voyager." Captain Janeway and two friends are on a mountainous world. Looks like the Alps: glacial horns, meadows, icy streams. One officer carries a camera; the other's an engineer, played by an actress who's a regular on another show, a smallish slender blonde with a gentle, likable face. She wades into a creek and faces Captain Janeway formally. They raise their arms, the camera rolls, and the two women dance. A passionate love-tango, knee-deep in the freezing creek! Captain Janeway dips. The blonde is supposed to hold her up, but Janeway's just too heavy--not so much physically as emotionally--all that power and responsibility you know, and she's never worn it lightly. The girl hangs onto the Captain, but sags down in stages till they're both on their sides in the creek. It'd be sexy except I can see them shiver and wince--it's fresh-melted ice, cold enough to burn.

Given that one of them is in a green sheath-gown ending in a mermaid's tail, I'm amazed they didn't fall sooner! After all, it takes two to tango, and only one had FEET. Even if they'd had four legs free, Janeway outweighed her partner, the current was strong, the footing looked loose and slippery--a slip waiting to happen.

Suffering for art... I'm impressed. Janeway didn't seem the type.

Only it turns out they froze for nothing. The cameraman had turned away absent-mindedly, filming alpine scenery, and lost the mermaid tango!

Retake? No way! They're bedraggled and numb...

Lost forever.

Dream: Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager is doing the tango in a mermaid suit with another woman in a red dress. They're standing in an icy mountain creek. And falling over.
NOTES THAT MORNING THE NEXT DAY

My housemate tells me (without knowing my dream) that a friend of hers submitted a STAR TREK: VOYAGER script that looks like it'll get made. In it, Captain Janeway wakes up in a mental hospital on Earth, today; they say she got obsessed with a Star Trek show she acts on, till she believed it's real. They show her the studio, panning away to show crew and cameras and the backs of sets... trying to convince her she's not real.

Well, well. "Star Trek: Voyager", Captain Janeway acting bizarre, and cameras panning away from her...

A WEEK LATER

The discrepancies between my dream and that Star Trek script make sense now--the alpine meadow, the icy stream, the girl from another story, the tango, the lost record. I just read Elizabeth Moon's book ONCE A HERO, and there they are. Briefly: a shy young officer briefly captains a starship through a crisis, and saves it. Reporters hound her; she goes home to hide. Her homeworld's Altiplano--settled by Andean people who cling to tradition--including the tango! At home, she starts recalling a trauma she'd buried since childhood. Her family lied to her about it, told her it didn't happen. She never saw how it stunted her: she fled into Starfleet, never went home, kept her ambitions small, and even now, a hero, she wants to stay in the background.

Turn that camera away! Shoot something else!

Because for us abused, invisible is safe.



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