The Captured Planet

This is a dream I had yesterday, during a nap. Its one of those long, story-type dreams and I just had to write it down. This may just become a short story or something. 

 Somehow I had crash landed on a very beautiful industrialized planet. While parts of it were reserved for the alien ecology, most of it was consumed by technology. Extremely tough, smooth golden metal lay where concrete or grass would be, the sky would be revealed sometimes due to lack of ceilings, but there would always be walls all around, and if one wanted to go somewhere, they had to pass through hallways or through little villa-like places.

The denizens, I guess, were so alien to me that instead of seeing their true selves, I saw large vibrant tree frog-like specimens and kittens, and occasionally humans, though they were always in points of authority. The interesting thing about this planet was there seemed to be a controlling, invisible almost god-like presence that surrounded everything. Well, except for me of course. I was an outsider and therefore nearly immune to it. The rest of the creatures, however, while friendly and hard-working, they usually could not do anything that the unseen presence didn’t want them to do. It was more than mind control. They had tried to escape the planet in their aircraft several times, only to be brought down as the presence increased gravity in certain spots. Where it was most active, prominent blurs of the air would appear, distorting, and a white mist as well. I witnessed the fall of one their ships, surrounded in glassy ripples as it and the pilot plummeted to its death while a crowd of numb onlookers watched.

I remember one of them saying, “it doesn’t want us to leave. We tried before, on our last planet. That’s when it first came to us. Now that planet is nothing but a dust ball, used up. And now that you’re here, it probably won’t let you leave, either.”

They were an advanced civilization, with many heavy machinery and buildings looming about, most of which were colored gold, or a pale yellow. Their military and police force was subtle and stealthy, deadly when they wanted to be but lenient when dictated by the planet’s captor. 

I explored their strange city, down many golden halls, through villas teeming with brightly colored amphibious beings, across parks where the grass was fuzzy and purple, like a shag carpet, but moving with the aid of something much more than wind. Frustrated with not only my predicament (apparently the ship I came here in was destroyed) but theirs as well, I began associating with a strikingly gorgeous blue, green and red tree frog, who became my friend and also wanted to rebel against the invisible force yet didn’t know quite how. It was like battling a ghost. How can you overcome something that you can’t see? (from this point I’ll just call the invisible presence the Manipulator. Its easier, lol)

This was like some kind of hostage situation, only there was no one persuading the Manipulator to let everyone go. The citizens of the planet were trapped, but as long as they lived how the Manipulator wanted them to live, they could have some measure of peace. Perhaps before it found them they had been a free race, maybe even less advanced, but now they were constantly building and planning under its influence. This Manipulator liked to be agreed with because it was convinced that the society it encompassed functioned solely because of the meticulous, stifling guidance. It got very mad when disliked or when rules weren’t followed. While it wasn’t such a strict psychic hold, and while all of them could still think freely, there wasn’t much they could do in life that wasn’t governed by the presence. There was no telling where it came from or why. Maybe it was an eldritch abomination who, instead of not caring about lesser beings, was a madly obsessed control freak with a need to command everything.

Somehow I got to the point where it seemed MY escape couldn’t be possible without theirs. I wanted to get off this planet, despite its beauty and strange wonder, and liberate its denizens from this decidedly parasitic energy being.

When those closest to it learned of my planned rebellion (don’t know how) they sent a few of their own after me, looking like humans. One was an old lady, the other one a large, beefy man with a sweet face, and a few others I can’t remember.

The beefy man, I think was used as an example of the Manipulator’s capacity for cruel behavior. He was taken down into a basement or cellar-like structure, and imprisoned, along with myself and my frog friend. While it wasn’t dungeon-like down there, (the yellow cobblestone-like floors and ceilings were clean and dry) it was maddening to listen to the man freak out and go nuts because he was afraid he was going to be killed. He admitted he had been tortured merely to show me what the Manipulator could do, though not physically. He didn’t specify exactly what was done to him, but I got vague impressions of a pod-shaped structure where he had been locked in for a while and experimented on in some ghastly, psychological way.

The frog mentioned that their planet’s mean guardian had killed before, especially when aircraft had been launched too far into the sky, too close to space.

While it could often read the minds of this world’s denizens, the Manipulator could not touch mine. It was pissed that it couldn’t find out what was going on inside my head, and considered me a threat. It contemplated eliminating me, but my frog friend protested, telling it that I wasn’t here to fight. 

Nearly the whole time we were in the subterranean prison, the Manipulator preached to us, telling us the rules. Where not to go, what not to eat, how we would be punished if we didn’t obey, what situations demanded a meeting with the Close Counsel, the puppets of the planet’s mind, etc. When it was done, it left us there to talk, though I knew it was somehow still aware of us. The man couldn’t decide if he was our friend or against us. I wondered why they all appeared different to me and not what they truly were. Were they shapeshifters? I never asked. The complex network of energy that filled this planet made me think the one in Avatar, only this was far more sinister.

Without a coherent course of events leading to this, somehow we got out of this place and up into the city above. That stern old woman, her hair gray and frizzy and her thin body probably much stronger than it appeared, waited at the end of a street, and we (meaning me and the frog) tried to convince her that I wasn’t here to disrupt the forced way of life. It took lots of compliments, false apologies, and lies, quite a few feats of the spoken word, which they valued more than anything. They were social, like humans, and the Manipulator didn’t really want them to be that way so much, at least in a free way. It wanted them to build, create, get beyond this planet and explore the stars. The thought occurred that this entity was bound to the planet and longed to take control of other worlds, and possibly couldn’t do this without the creatures it enslaved.

So the lady demanded that I get “counseling” of some sort, to attempt to correct my awry behavior and become a member of their society.

We were standing in an enormous almost cylindrical atrium, and all around the ‘bricks’ were colored a deep burgundy. Some kind of pulsating energy flexed around at the top of the ceiling, where an opening revealed the sky. Perhaps the Manipulator was watching us from there.

Yet again I forget what happened next. After that I was speaking with the frog again in a private place, plotting a way to startle the Manipulator and use our wills against it somehow.

Now it was convinced that I was all for it ruling the innocent denizens of this planet, and wanted to learn more about it. Perhaps it had led me around the city, showing all the numerous advanced machines and technologies it was urging them to make.

But the frog, who was now turning into a human-sized gray kitten that actually resembled my cat Simon, wanted stay and hide, live in secrecy, something that I deemed impossible because of his mental link with the Manipulator. It would always know where he went.

Yet another skip in time, and it gave me a handwritten (or typewritten) note, delivered by one of the frog-things. It said something in very weird, flawed English, several lines of text, and though I understood in the dream I don’t understand now. The letters were all wrong, perhaps signifying its accent. It seemed pleased to have another member of its “community,” even if I was an outsider from another world. It might even have been a letter requesting peace, or at least the Manipulator's twisted version of peace. 

The note dictated that I should go somewhere, so the frog and I did. (where the man went…dunno) Our plan was to suddenly burst out in blatant and boisterous insult, for one of the worst things you could do to the Manipulator was offend it in that regard. Its temper flared, and I hoped to distract it in front of the old woman as well as other city folk.

I think one of them was guarding an entrance to a place we needed to go, perhaps a place of vulnerability to the Manipulator.

Anyway, the taunting didn’t work. The woman withdrew a gun-shaped shiny black weapon of some sort, out of which came a laser-like light, but I darted aside just as it focused on me, rolling on the ground in nimble evasion that surprised even me. What might have been a bright red bullet whizzed past. She paused, an amused expression passing over her face as though no one had done this before.

Then she raised the weapon again, and I dodged to the left as another shot was fired. She said something about how I was showing off, but I just kept evading and rolling, until finally she just stopped.

The Manipulator told her to leave me alone. It seemed to be in a tolerant mood. I don’t remember much else of the dream. Perhaps I made a difference in this captured planet and its captor, but the only thing I remember is curling up to sleep on a metallic floor next to my friend, his form still that of the gray cat. We were talking about something important, yet I don’t remember what. Thin black wires were coiling out from between his fluffy white paws. I didn’t think anything of it.

It doesn’t always happen in my dreams, but I heard music. An electronic piano-sounding note and then six or seven more similar sounds. It was interesting and strange. As soon as I fell asleep, I woke up…in the real world.

The End

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