Eric Lee Gardner’s
Theater of Dreams
Blog & Short Story Series
Cinematic Expressions of Unconsciousness©
“A Transdimensional Mystery Tour”
Any time I dream about space or space exploration, that dream immediately becomes one of my favorites. I love to go outside at night and look up at the stars. I could sit or walk for hours just staring, dreaming, wishing as I look and marvel at the vast depths of space.
Since I was young, I have always had a deep appreciation and love of space, space-based stories, and space adventures. As I’ve mentioned before, space is my happy place. But being in that happy place is as simple as staring at it for as long as I’m able on any given clear night.
The skies over my parent’s house in Vermont are especially inky black, which makes the stars stand out even more. I’ve been in major cities during my travels and I can imagine how depressing it would be to never be able to see the stars in all of their glory due to the light pollution.
Looking out at the stars ignites my imagination. I can imagine flying away in a ship, exploring, having adventures, and seeing distant alien worlds. The universe is vast and unfathomable in scope. It depresses me to think that I will be stuck here on Earth my entire life, never able to see beyond our world.
This is why I explore space through my stories, in my imagination, and even in my dreams at night. For example, this fourth dream. This dream starts straight forward and then takes a right turn into uncharted and weird territory. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Dream Journal Entry: 42 of 201
Date of Dream: 06.15.2017
“A Transdimensional Mystery Tour”
A Sci-Fi Adventure Short Story inspired by a REAL dream by ElGardner
In Earth’s Distant Future, I’m an astronaut, working for a private space exploration company. Our company’s top-secret spaceport is located on the tiny island of Málmay, just off the northern shore of Iceland. After I retired from the Air Force and received a medal of honor, I was recruited by an American / Canadian company that was looking for pilots crazy enough to participate in their experiments.
Two years ago, on the verge of bankruptcy, but on the brink of a scientific breakthrough greater than the moon landing, we were bought by a private investor in Iceland. Ever since our base has been located on a remote island.
In the days leading to our maiden voyage, the first real trip after all of our tests and seemingly endless simulations, the media and our enemies have been closing in from all sides. Our spaceport may be surrounded by freezing water, however, the heat from our enemies watching from satellites, or submarines and the mountains across the bay have us on high alert!
Leaks to the press are a fact of life and we’ve had our share, but sabotage is our greatest fear. Any number of our competitors in the new space race or worse, a hostile government with ill intent, could destroy us, take our innovations and use them for their gain. For these reasons alone, we operate in total blackout, with the utmost secrecy, always!
I had this relentless feeling of dread. There was a knot in my gut, tied tight, like a constant reminder that if something could go wrong, it probably would.
All six of us, including both me and the other pilot, were on board our experimental quad-wing spacecraft. We were checking and rechecking systems, running diagnostics, and applying two new patches to our onboard AI that runs most of our ship’s automation. We felt optimistic overall, cautious, but optimistic, as we prepared for our launch sequence.
When I was satisfied with our preparations, we idled engines and waited for the green light from master control. As usual, I kept active audio and video links, plus a third old school analog audio channel open to the master control tower, for constant communication. The command tower was located about a quarter-mile from where our ship was and we could see them through our front viewport if we unbuckled from our seats.
Without warning, the command came through all open channels, our flight was canceled and was to be scheduled for another time. We looked at each other with mixed emotions. We were mostly frustrated, partly relieved, and somewhat not surprised.
In addition to the other threats encroaching our base, our company, and our chances of achieving the scientifically incredible, massive solar flares, the news called them, “The Solar Storm of the Century!” were causing chaos throughout the solar system. The flares were causing some errant communications amoralities, but overall it wasn’t anything to be properly concerned over and I was assured it wouldn’t affect our ability to launch. This solar event was mostly speculation and media hype to sell ads and generate clicks and swipes across the internet and social media, the usual.
Later that day, the rest of my crew were inside our ship and I was outside, checking a panel on one of the back engines. We remained in our full spacesuits, ready for flight, ready for anything because we had been assured of another chance at takeoff later that day. I had just put my glove back on and was about to go inside to buckle into my seat when suddenly I felt a shudder from the engine and the panel cover slams shut.
I look forward to seeing the front airlock closing fast. Our ship had started its take-off sequence and I was still outside on the ground. In that singular moment, I closed my eyes for a split second. I felt frozen as if my worst dream was being realized. Maybe, just maybe if I opened my eyes, poof, the dream would be over and I would awake in my captain chair ready to take off, on our maiden voyage.
Instead, I opened my eyes and saw my ship lifting away from the landing pad. Like being inside of a hairdryer, the wind and heat from our ship’s four engines nearly blew me over. Dust and small rocks continually nicked against my helmet from every direction. As I watched my ship taking off without me, something inside me snapped. I did the only thing I could do, I chased after my ship and my crew, on foot!
I yell into my comms, trying to reach my crew, the tower, anyone who will listen. Silence. The comms are dead.
Our main launchpad was on the rooftop at the furthest end of the spaceport. The ship took off slowly heading toward the control tower at the other end. As it went, it passed over the other buildings along the way. My only hope would be to jump from rooftop to rooftop and use my grappling hook to catch our ship before it achieved real altitude.
Remember: This is a dream.
I ran as fast as I could, which was very uncomfortable and very difficult in my full spacesuit. Jumping from building to building in my full spacesuit was also very difficult as well! Enough can not be said about how difficult it is chasing after your ship and crew taking off without you, having to chase after them in your spacesuit, running and jumping on rooftops in a spacesuit, it’s nuts. However, I was thankful for the extra protection the suit afforded me.
Just before I reached the edge of the final rooftop, just as my ship was about to take off into the atmosphere, I aimed, shot, snagged, and grabbed the edge of our ship with my suit’s grappling hook!
My ship shot like a bullet into the atmosphere, with my dangling behind. Only a two-prong hook and a high tension cable separated me and certain death as we ascended higher and higher, up through the clouds.
If I wasn’t in a suit, I would have been dead within seconds from the cold or exfixiation. But for now, I was just dangling like a ragdoll on a string, dangerously close to death, dangerously close to burning up in Earth’s atmosphere if I didn’t get through the airlock soon!
I had to act quickly. With my right arm extended with the grappling cable, I had to reach over with my left to reach and press the button to reel in my grapple line. Thankfully the tech worked as advertised and another second later I was pulled up to the side of my ship.
As we rocketed through Earth’s atmosphere, sure I was on my ship, but I was still outside and it was too late. There’s no latch or button on the outside of the forward airlock that will allow me to enter on my own. My crew are deep inside and would never hear me over the engines.
I engaged my mag boots and pounded on the airlock with all of my strength, but no one could hear me deep inside. My mind reeled, my body shook. A tiny crack splintered across my helmet glass, it was only a matter of time before I was killed by the harsh environment. Our ship’s speed continued to mount, it required all of my strength and the magnetic lock of my boots, just to hold on.
And then I hear the unmistakable sound of our ship’s transdimensional drives engaging. The sound of these drives was unmistakable and one of a kind. However, they have only been heard during our training and testing phases of this new ship. I was sure when they were designed, no one predicted that during their maiden voyage the Transdimensional Drives would be heard from outside the fuselage of the ship!
As the ship breaks away from Earth’s gravity, its drives act similarly to a normal rocket. However, when we engage our proprietary, VERY experimental, Transdimensional Drives, they emit a low-frequency hum and a nearly subsonic flutter, over and over. This was the sound of the undiscovered country, the harbinger of death at our doorstep. My time was surely up.
My ship’s Transdimensional Drives are not four normal rockets. Once engaged at this point in the atmosphere, they become something else entirely. If our company’s 60+ years of innovation, billions of dollars, and countless hours of AI-assisted computational math are correct, these drives were going to tear a hole in spacetime, essentially creating a wormhole at the edge of space. And I had a front-row seat, as I was still mag-locked outside the airlock of my ship!
A bright light blinded me. I heard my name through my earpiece. I saw swirls of fire, light, or something bright. I don’t remember anything else after that moment.
I blacked out.
The last thing I remembered thinking before I blacked out was wondering if I could survive traversing a stable wormhole through spacetime? If that’s where we were headed? If a wormhole is what our drives created.
Strange. I never considered why our ship launched suddenly, without warning, without my knowledge or presence. I never wondered how our ship took off like that. These matters never crossed my mind because I was running and clinging for my life the entire time.
Two hours later.
I awake in our ship’s med bay and am greeted by my entire crew. I’ve suffered from short-term amnesia, so my crew fills in the gaps of the story. I was outside our ship when our ship engaged the Transdimensional Drives and a stable wormhole opened for several seconds.
During that time I lost my grip from the outside of the airlock and fell back into the wake of the wormhole, the downward drift of the dimensional drift, or tunnel. They said my mag boots held, otherwise I would have been killed instantly.
When our ship exited the wormhole we were in regular space once more, in a stable orbit around Earth. That’s when they maneuvered over to our orbiting space station and they said I helped them manually engage the landing brackets for our ship, so we could dock successfully. They thought I was conscious at that time, but when they found me after they docked, I was unconscious again. None of us know what to make of any of this.
No one of our crew knows why our ship took off without warning.
While I slept for the last two hours, my crew has been attempting to reactivate the power core of the station. We need it for warmth, life support, so we can download and analyze the mission data from our ship’s logs from the space station’s mainframe.
Later on, we gather in my favorite room on the top level of the station. This room has 360-degree windows, with breathtaking views of the stars and Earth. In the middle of the room, a large holographic display can be seen from every angle. This allowed us to playback all of our recorded mission video from 40 cameras, data from numerous instruments, and messages from the AI to tie it all together.
We start watching the video from the beginning of the day and see the scrubbed mission. We can forward to where the ship takes off, but the video looks like another day. We all look at each other in mass confusion. We keep watching…. We keep watching ourselves, all of us perform a perfect take-off from our base.
The video of that very day showed all six of us in our ship, at each of our stations, performing a perfect take-off, communicating with mission control, and engaging the Transdimension Drives.
However, there was no wormhole recorded, just regular space and our approach and dock at our company space station. We watched it again, the digital proof of what?!
Frustrated, we went our separate ways and relaxed for a couple of days before disembarking to fly back to Earth. The flight home was unremarkable. Mission control, our board of directors, and even the janitors were under strict orders not to communicate with us for the time being. All of us were told to take some time off.
I flew home to the states. I helped my Mom and Dad clean out their big old barn for a yard sale they were having one Saturday. Among the pile of old VHS tapes, in a box covered in dust, was a video labeled “Scrub, TDD” The tape must be 119 years old because it says it was recorded back in 1993. Miraculously my Dad had a working VCR in his attic and I set it up to watch this mystery tape.
I had butterflies in my stomach before pressing the play button. I needed to see this video, but I was very afraid of what I was about to find. I could not let fear control me, it never had before that day and it wouldn’t then with some old tape. I pressed play…
The tape’s footage was grainy, the colors were washed out and every ten seconds or so the video would drop out altogether. The tape kept going like a champ, marching forward to the beat of its timecode and as I watched what it was showing me, I wished the VCR had put it out of its misery from the very beginning.
I had and still have no words to describe what I saw on that tape. As I sat huddled against an old black trunk, amidst the mountains of collected memories and junk, that could only be in a family attic. Tears ran down my face. I shook my head, belligerent, defiant, determined that this wasn’t real!
But how could the tape lie?
I pressed rewind for the third time, partly to watch it again and mostly hoping the tape might be eaten by the old and hungry VCR. It stopped. Static filled the old tube television, mimicking the noise inside my head. Slowly I lean forward for the last time and press play. I hear the gears loudly whine and whirr into life as the tape begins to play the footage once more.
First, a slate fills the black screen.
“Property of OOT Dynamics”
“Official Use Only”
Next the Date: “22.07.2112” holds steady on the screen during each of the official security cameras feeds.
I watch our ship on the launch pad. I’m outside checking the back engine. There’s a bright flash in the sky, sudden, there and gone.
Our ship’s engines engage and it begins to lift off.
I chase after our ship, jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
I manage to shoot and connect my grappling hook to the ship just as it ascends over the control tower.
We disappear into the clouds.
The camera from the back left-wing watches me get pulled up to the side of the ship.
I pound on the airlock.
There’s another brilliant flash in the atmosphere above us.
The Transdimensional Drives engage, just as another flash happens and the footage returns to snow, analog static.
Am I dead? I ask myself.
I look up at my Mom, who must have been watching me from the attic stairs for a while. She has only one thing to say to me.
“Son, I’m glad you’re home.”
Real-Life Dream Influence
So far as any active influences that may have affected the genesis of this dream, they are too many to count and obvious at the same time. I’m sure I was watching The Expanse and Dark Matter when I dreamt this.
The Expanse has become one of my favorite shows because of the brilliant portrayal of space exploration using real-world mechanics, science, and situations. I was watching season three when I had this dream.
Closer to this dream is the reality of Dark Matter. Joseph Mallozzi and his brilliant team created the “Blink Drive” which very well could be the active real-world influence of my dream-based Transdimensional Drives. The Blink Drive on the Roci or the Marauder allowed instantaneous transportation to almost anywhere in the galaxy when the drive was functioning correctly.
In some episodes, however, when the drive malfunctioned or had been tampered with, the Blink Drive not only punched a hole through spacetime but smacked it across the face and called it a bad name! Because of this Team Roci ended up 600 years in the past once and in an alternate dimension another time. The latter was cool because it allowed us to see One again and have alternate versions of Two, Three, and so on.
My science fiction influences go back decades, but it’s likely that what inspired this specific dream, at least the technology were the shows I was watching at the time.
NOTE: Every Dream in the Theater of Dreams© – A Dreamer’s Journal contains the original notes, typed moments after waking from each dream. Every dream in The Theater of Dreams is original, contains zero embellishments, and is only based on what could be remembered upon awakening. All Dreams, stories, and concepts are solely owned by Eric L Gardner (ElGardner) Copyright © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED