This one was really cool. Sometimes my dreams are so strange that it’s hard to know what to take away from them. They’re not really enjoyable exactly and just leave me equal parts fascinated and confused. But this one was like something out of a movie.
I was one of the first human settlers to arrive at the first Earthlike planet discovered outside of our solar system. That’s been a fantasy of mine since I was a little boy and saw Earth 2. Probably this is why the big spaceship we came out of looked like the one on that show.
But it was also blurry and angular, like N64 graphics. I want to say this is because of my memories of emerging from the crashed spaceship in the original Unreal. Elements of my dreams usually come from memories, either old or recent.
We set about constructing a base from prefab supports and panels, all of it shiny white or grey plastic. The vehicles were like caterpillars with multi segment bodies, rolling around on huge puffy balloon like tires. I am pretty sure I saw something like this at Epcot when I was very young.
While exploring the landscape in one of these vehicles, we discovered an ancient tower built into the side of a mountain. It had an opening at the top we couldn’t reach. For some reason, we had no aircraft. So, we built upwards. The towers were articulated like robot limbs so we could maneuver them towards the opening, or away if it was dangerous.
There were three towers built, with three joints each, like a giant three fingered robotic hand. For some reason there were electrical arcs going on between them, and I could see men in yellow clean room suits like from the Intel commercials still working inside of the superstructure as I rode an elevator up to the top.
Inside we found row after row of alien vehicles of two kinds. One was shaped a bit like a + symbol but more rounded, and we quickly learned it was used as a sort of underwater taxi. There was a map of the planet inside, but only the oceans, color coded by depth. By touching where you wanted to go, it would take you there.
It could float through the air, but only very slowly. It weighed too much, so it could submerge easily and not be too buoyant. Once it got into the water however it was astonishingly fast. The four round ends, at 90 degree angles to each other, each had a big dome window you could peer out of during transit.
The other type of vehicle was an air taxi. It was shaped like a manta ray but without the flappy wing dealies or tail. Like a somewhat aerodynamic pancake. It had an oval shaped windshield tinted blue and a couple of multi colored lights underneath it for unclear reasons.
The interface was the same as the underwater shuttle but instead of only showing the oceans, it showed a 3D topographical map of the entire planet. You could specify not just latitude and longitude coordinates, but also altitude. The coordinates were in incomprehensible alien characters however but the touch interface could still be used.
Somehow even though the tower was crumbling and in disrepair the vehicles were shiny, as if brand new. The commander speculated that the tower was a machine used to maintain the vehicles and keep them in good condition, but there was nobody left to maintain the tower itself.
That’s when we first began to encounter giant alien creatures. Similar to the huge six legged beast from The Mist, or the creatures from the 2010 movie Monsters. Once they became aware of our presence on the planet, they were a constant danger.
Our weapons killed them easily enough, and they showed some measure of intelligence by not continuing to run into the line of fire. They seemed to be amphibious as on occasion they would ambush us by emerging from the ocean. The underwater shuttle things were too quick for them to catch and proved to be the only safe form of oceanic travel.
Likewise the air shuttles were too quick for them. It became clear why the aliens who lived on this planet before us developed these technologies. There was just no way to overcome them and we had to live at a constant stalemate, erecting giant energy fences to keep them out of our settlements, and laying awake at night listening to their frustrated roars as they probed our defensive perimeter, searching for a way inside.
I lay there thinking that perhaps the aliens who left those vehicles behind weren’t native to this planet, and found it unsuitable for settlement because of the giant creatures. But they left the vehicles behind inside the towers, out of the creatures’ reach for the benefit of anybody who might try to colonize this planet after them.
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