After dropping off the recruits and giving the twins a prolonged farewell, Lisbeth needed to find something to do with the rest of the night. Dream walkers never truly slept, their minds were always active. They did technically have their own dreams, but the novelty of those usually wore off rather quickly. They usually spent the nights peaking in on other peoples’ dreams; it proved to be much more entertaining than anything a dream walker could come up with using their conscious minds. So that is how Lisbeth decided to spend the rest of the night, only with slightly more purpose.

It was easy to find the dreams of people Lisbeth had been in close proximity with, that is why it had been so easy to track Devon down. The floor meeting had provided ample opportunity to be near all of her floormates, making their dreams even easier to find. So find them she did. Their dreams had some pretty common themes that Lisbeth had learned to recognize. The most common one was fear, mostly fear of the unknown and being in a new place, which was to be expected. There were also dreams of longing and a desire to return home, they weren’t as common but they were there. There were dreams of hope, of new beginnings a chance to start again with a fresh plate and no baggage.

None of these really interested Lisbeth, she just wanted to know their impressions of herself. It didn’t take too long to find a couple of dreams featuring her. Most of them featured themes of insecurity, apprehension, and oddly enough concern for her. Well good, as long as there was no fear Lisbeth was happy to appear a vulnerable as possible. Amy and Krista’s dreams did not contain any of the apprehension but they did seem to genuinely want to be friends with her. Lisbeth found that rather touching and resolved to do her best on that front.

Shelby’s dream was odd, it was one dream on repeat with different outcomes every time. It featured Lisbeth and Shelby talking, mostly. Shelby seemed to by trying to tell Lisbeth something but kept screwing it up, in increasingly embarrassing ways. It started with her mumbling or losing her voice, and escalated to Shelby falling on her face or realizing she was naked half way through the conversation. The one commonality was that Lisbeth would come to Shelby. Lisbeth stopped peeking after the second time they had sex for a series of convoluted reasons, although she was mildly tempted to join the dream. Lisbeth didn’t find out exactly what Shelby wanted to tell her, but figured if it was important enough to cause the dream she would find out eventually anyways.

The dreamer Lisbeth saved for last was Nerissa. Lisbeth wasn’t quite sure why she saved Nerissa for last but she was glad she did. Nerissa’s dream was art, a true masterpiece, all vivid colors and the little details that dreamers normally overlooked were filled in. The dream took place in what would be a stereotypical dark ages village if produced by a movie studio. All the action appeared to be happening in the town square, where a pyre had been erected with a pole sticking out of it. The citizens of the village appeared as shadowy wraiths that were gathering in large numbers and dragging a girl towards the pyre.

Upon closer inspection Lisbeth saw that the girl was herself, with admittedly exaggerated features to make her more beautiful. Lisbeth did not particularly like where this dream seemed to be going, but the exaggerated features might be a good thing. The wraiths eventually tied Lisbeth’s dream self to the pole with a truly gratuitous amount of rope. After some incoherent screams and chanting from the wraiths torches were brought out and the pyre lit. Lisbeth’s dream self did not make a sound, just appeared to be crying silently. Lisbeth herself wasn’t particularly in the mood to watch herself be burned alive and was deciding whether or not to leave or interfere. Before she could, Nerissa’s mind took care of the dilemma for her, the fires died under a massive blast of wind.

The wind came from the wings of a massive red dragon, Lisbeth quickly confirmed that it was a dream dragon and not a real one. This dragon was a mass of large claws, spikes and frills. It looked dangerous and angry, the kind of monster that would keep a child awake at night. It might have inadvertently saved Lisbeth’s dream self, but she was under no impression that it was there to help. Through the screams and dissipating smoke a sound of metal on metal could be heard, the sound of a sword being drawn. At least, it was the sound swords in movies made when being drawn; the actual sound of a sword being drawn was more of a dull thunk.

With the sound of the sword a beautiful knight in shining armor appeared. The knight was most assuredly female, since her plate mail hugged her curves in a way that would be stupid for real armor. The armor itself was white with silver trim and had a massive white cloak streaming behind it. The knight was seated upon the back of a massive white stallion. Nerissa really seemed to associate the color white with good, since the knight was undeniably good and pure. The stallion reared and gave a scream before charging at the dragon. The fight lasted quite a while and leveled most of the village, but it did eventually end with the dragon dead.

The knight appeared untouched after the fight, her massive cloak still as pure white as it had been at the start of the fight. She slowly turned and walked towards Lisbeth’s dream self, stripping off her helmet to reveal herself to be Nerissa. Lisbeth didn’t consider this to be a very big plot twist, kind of predictable really, apparently Nerissa wanted to be her knight in shining armor. Nerissa reached Lisbeth’s dream self who was still tied to the pole and covered in soot and rather aggressively kissed her. Ok not such a pure knight as originally assumed. Nerissa managed to strip Lisbeth of both her bindings and clothing with one hand, she used her other to strip her own armor. She then proceeded to, well, take Lisbeth right on top of the damn pyre, and she didn’t appear to be very tender about it either. Lisbeth watched long enough to realize that she didn’t just want to watch this, so she slipped into her dream self and got a whole lot more vocal about how much she was enjoying being in the hands of her rescuer.

Lisbeth woke up in pain, not surprising since she had spent the night on the floor. Her eyes felt puffy, probably from the crying the night before. But otherwise she felt really good, it had been a pleasant night. As she tried to massage a knot out of her neck she thought about what needed doing this day. She had to talk to Shelby at some point, also Krista and Amy. Nerissa, well she would need dealing with at some point. Lisbeth wasn’t particularly adverse to the idea of a knight in shining armor, but after all she already had the twins. In the long run it was pretty redundant, but Nerissa didn’t need to know that. Then Lisbeth caught sight of the clock on her beast: 5:45 am. Son of a bitch who the hell wakes up that early.


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