Here is the first full map depicting every unique location in my dream world:
The Rescue of Nim
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.10)
Wandering the dark city streets and abandoned theaters with old friends and new wolf dogs I found myself having to rescue my twin brother from the cruel clutches of the sinister military-industrial complex, were they were holding him for some peculiar purposes. He was extremely malnourished and almost unaware of the plight of his condition, so we had to blow the whole thing up and jumping in a stolen tank get the fuck out of dodge. Of course, I then found myself back on the familiar multi-tiered streets where I discovered a mall that had almost burned to the ground, with several of my companions in it, whom I was most joyful to see alive.
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.9)
I was a shadow runner, scrounging the streets of some major city for the kind of secrets that are hidden in plain sight. After looking for some names on maps of what might have been New York, I wandered around acquiring a laptop, dark shades, and a brightly colored serape, which didn’t go with my ensemble and I was surprised I didn’t think would make me stand out in the crowds. I may have been looking at the maps on the computer, trying to find the next run, but had more importantly also found a pair of fingerless black knit gloves, which were covered in some white slime—I wasn’t sure what it was, but I couldn’t take them off.
After a close-call confrontation with the local law enforcement agents I found myself in an apartment with a Chinese girl and maybe her landlord. The girl suggested I wear the serape sideways, so that it cloaked the gun on my hip and could be used to hide my deck if I was working on it, even though I thought it would look like I was playing with myself. The landlord left and I went to the bathroom. When I returned to the large white room, the girl had hiked her tight green dress up past her breasts and was busy guiding the head of a small grey dog between her legs. She was startled at my return, and said she wanted me, but reaching out I noticed the petulant glove again, and we were both horrified when I took it off to find that my hand was decaying underneath. The girl told me to wash it off, or come back later once it had healed, so I left.
Robbing the Movie House
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.8)
I was acquaintances with the owner of a small independent movie house, and for some reason,while watching a sparsely attended preview, I’d decided it would be a good idea to steal a sack of money from the back room. The theater was dark, so I slipped around the corner of the owner’s room in the back where I found the cash. After a search for a good hiding place I ended up sticking it in the closet under a bunch of stuff.
I left and found myself as a driver searching the highways and bypasses around the theater for the money. For some reason I thought I had thrown it from the window, so we stopped to look at random bags of garbage beside the road under the black grime sky of the city. Eventually I realized the money was still in the movie house, so I went back in to find the owner suspicious and upset because he couldn’t find his sack. I played a game of moving it around in the dark as we searched so he wouldn’t find it, and eventually he left.
Before I could get to the closet however, I was accosted by a man who wanted to feed me a couple tabs of meth, which I had not done before. I asked him how long it would fuck me up for, and he told me it would only be a few moments. Even though I knew I was in a situation that required my full concentration and caution I conceded anyway because I was always willing to try something new at least once. I watched as he pulled off two small green tabs in the flickering yellow lamplight, and put them in my mouth. Suddenly the world began to swell and contract rapidly, and as I clutched at the wall in support the man hit me in the back of the head with something heavy and blunt, knocking me to the floor. I don’t remember too much after this except everything was spinning, the walls and floor began to shift to form new passageways, the owner was after me with some weapon, and the money was gone.
Angel Lion Murders in the Infinite Museum
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.6)
We were hanging around outside the museum trying to solve a series of gruesome murders that has been taking place. It was night and several spotlights shone on the castle-like walls. Up on a high ledge that looked like a billboard I saw a blue-tinted furry winged creature of about medium height. Someone commented that it was like a pegasus, but less a winged horse than a lean winged lion, like a sphinx or griffin, but without the human or eagle features. This creature it turned out was a cherubim, one of the angels that guard the gates of heaven, and it was eating someone’s heart out, preening itself with the entrails. The scene flashed and I saw the same creature down in the dark damp tunnel beneath the museum disemboweling another victim. The scene flashed again and then other creatures entered the scene, also like winged lions, but of a wholesome nature, like bears and paladins as well. These beings walked upright, were clothed in white, and were much more like humans than demons, though it seemed both creatures were probably of the same species, as if there was civil war in eternity that had spilled out onto earth.
We entered the museum—a vast sprawling complex of infinite floors and exhibits, filled with every imaginable thing, spacious stairwells floating precariously in space surrounded by huge mobile contraptions of metal rods and glowing orbs that spun and twisted shape—and split into smaller groups. My party went right, down a thin red-lit corridor hung with art of various craft-like appearances. We were pacing warily, and a human, possibly an old security guard, entered behind us to offer his help. I wasn’t sure what such a weak body could do to help, but I told him if he wanted to he could but to be careful. At the end of the corridor was a smaller red room that seemed to be a dead end, except that there was a gaping hole torn into the floor, obviously from the demons. Wisps of steam and a putrid stench curled up from the pit. The human suggested we climb down, but I told him we had no clue how deep or wide the hole was beneath, envisioning at least a thirty foot drop into a wide chasm. So one of my companions spread his angel-like wings and flew down into the gap.
The Revelation at Musicopolis
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.5)
It was time to make use of the seed-key-tree that we had smuggled out of the Empire, and so Albion, Lucca, and I cut off some of the roots that were boiled for hours into the most noxious-smelling potion, which tasted even more noxious when consumed. In the basement of their house, Albion had invited musicians from all across the land to get together and jam, each of us jammed into a tiny little room wired with cables and microphones. After hours, when the first song was done, those of us who’d eaten of the tree stumbled out to find that all the walls had been covered with line drawings, and words denoting every power worth mentioning in this world. Crouched in the bare wooden attic under the blue flame of a candle, I had an aesthetic revelation, which I could barely explain to Albion and Lucca, let alone write here, something about each of us being ants, running through the walls of the world, leaving stigmergic messages for the other agents, the tunnels being cross-sections of time. I felt like I was a starving artist, living in some bohemian city like Paris with all my friends. But that’s when I had the true revelation: I was going to die, tomorrow, or at some point. But either way I had a deep, full realization of this finitude and decided I had to do something truly fulfilling first.
The Mayonnaise Princess
(Staring at the Sun from Underwater 2.7.4)
We were being chased through some medieval landscape, trying to protect a girl from the soldiers who were chasing us. The girl was so tiny that she was hiding in a mayonnaise jar. After leaving the city we made our way into the countryside following a dirt road. My companion was an older man, and we were dressed in brown rags. As night approached we decided to camp behind a lattice-work billboard. I had no gear or food, and laid down in the mud. My companion at least had a blanket. The army caught up and camped on the road near us. It was hard to lay low, or hide the jar as it was too conspicuous, so we pretended to eat mayonnaise sandwiches. At some point a girl had found her way into the old dude’s blanket, which I didn’t even think about. Eventually the captain approached to ask the whereabouts of the kidnapped princess, but didn’t believe us when we told him we didn’t know. Yet he felt he could do little about it. So he assigned guards to us and the army moved on. One was dressed in red armor and the other green, and they had lances and were riding on large birdlike creatures. We tried to ignore them but soon ended up in conversation. The red guard set down his lance and asked for a taste of mayonnaise from the bottom of the jar. I knew that as he did this I would have to grab his lance and attack them.