[Dream Report] The Surveillance Plot of Crane City


This will be a tough one to describe. I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, though. I started out driving down the road in the sort of amorphous, generic futuristic vehicle I often inhabit in dreams, and have written about on a few prior occasions. I was arguing with a woman in overalls who wouldn’t let me pass a checkpoint.

She said she represented an eco-cooperative, some sort of self sufficient hippie colony, and would not approve the passage of cars through their territory. Rather than immediately fight her or turn back, I inquired why. She answered that they don’t believe in facilitating the use of liquid hydrocarbons as a fuel.

I told her I didn’t know what my pod vehicle ran on but that I was pretty sure it’s not gas, as there’s no tail pipe, nowhere to put gas in and it makes electric motor noises when accelerating. She inspected it all around, looking skeptical. But then gave me approval to pass the checkpoint! I felt vindicated in my approach. The most efficient way to defeat an enemy is to find out you’re not enemies in the first place.

When I arrived at crane city, I sought out a friend’s house. This is where I have to describe crane city though, what I was alluding to early on. It’s one of those visual clusterfuck dream logic kind of things. You know that little area in a crane where the pilot sits while controlling it?

Alright, now expand that so he has enough space to eat, sleep, use the bathroom and carry out the other functions of life. Now multiply that by millions of residents. The entire city was, itself, a massive industrial crane. The platform all the buildings were on slid up and down four vertical rails, with a hook on a chain dangling from the underside.

As if A lot of the imagery in my dreams seems to come from such bizarre extrapolations as this, which ignore the various practical considerations that would prevent such a thing from ever existing.

This is the best approximation I can give you, with all of the technology of mspaint at my disposal, and a budget of zero dollars. It really captures how my mind works, too. Take one thing that I become enamored with, expand on it, and whatever problems are encountered, just force it to work.

The same sort of thinking which took “I like how trains include all of the amenities of a moving hotel, or small town” all the way to “I wonder what it would take for a train to support an entire civilization of people who live full time onboard”, with the film “Snow Piercer” being the result.

For example, it was my frustration with my inability to stay underwater for any length of time while swimming which launched my interest into underwater dwellings. It’s something I imagined as a solution to my own problems before I learned there had been a real world “man in the sea” program to establish underwater labs.

I wanted to be underwater for as long as I liked, because I enjoyed having fun down there and didn’t want to stop just because I would die. Naturally the most reasonable solution is extensive life supported underwater habitat facilities I can dive down to and hang out in rather than, you know, accepting the limitations of the human body in an environment it’s maladapted for.

When I get stuck on something I want, or think is cool, the rest of my brain sort of organizes itself around making that happen. Around maximizing whatever it is about that thing that I liked, even beyond what good taste, financial or material constraints, or any other normal limiting factor would allow. The resulting solution just balloons in cost and complexity from there, simply to make what was probably an unreasonable desire in the first place come true.

Anyways, there I was in crane city trying to make sense of the convoluted street layout. On account of the whole fuckin’ city being one huge crane of some sort, you see. I eventually did manage to make it to my friend’s house, but immediately upon arrival I noticed something was amiss.

He and his wife were very awkward and nervous. I asked him how his work on a lunar particle accelerator was going. He told me that ever since proprietary secrets concerning the technologies utilized by the lunar base he worked at (in support of the largest particle accelerator in existence, around the circumference of the Moon itself) were leaked, security has become much tighter.

I took the seat they offered me. He gestured over his shoulder to a huge trap-door like section of the ceiling. It took up a full quarter of the ceiling, twenty or so feet above our heads. I didn’t understand what he was getting at.

No sooner had I said this, than a gigantic human head descended, upside down, through that huge trap door in the ceiling. It looked at me and said Then it withdrew back up into the ceiling, and the trap door closed behind it.

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