The dream walkers had been paying attention before, but now they were giving their undivided attention. They were practically on the edges of their seats. Lisbeth idly wondered if it was similar to the investors meeting when the first smartphone was announced. It seemed likely, the spokesperson was promising a game changer. A smart person could always make money off of a game changer. Lisbeth also noted happily that her report had spread beyond the initial dream and now almost everyone in the audience had a copy. Things were just getting started, and the after party was going to be great.
“The governments of the world have lied to the people, in a way sure to cause outrage. And in about a day everyone will know. Governments across all three worlds have been spying on their own citizens and sharing that information with each other. Every phone call, every email, every form of electronic communication has been recorded, for the last four years. If a person wants to have private communications, or meeting there is now only one option. Business is about to pick up.”
She generated her own information fragment containing most of the details, of what they knew so far. It wasn’t everything, but it was surprisingly in depth, suggesting very bad security, or a very high ranked whistle blower. Either way, good times.
“We have arranged this meeting to generate a community wide response, we need to appear united and of the same mind to come out as far ahead as possible, I’m now going to turn the floor over to some people who have ideas in that direction.”
The crowd was split into three groups, those who erupted into applause, those who were still reading, and those who looked worried.
When you need to get something in the range of a million people to come to a consensus it takes a little while. In the instance of the dream walkers it took three weeks, their time. In real time it took slightly less than forty five minutes. Changing the perceived passage of time was actually an easier trick than making a fully formed dream. The consensus was for a very simple plan of action. Dream walkers would no longer use electronic communication for work purposes, except for scheduling appointments. They would only be using encrypted email services, and if asked why they would only say because of increased privacy concerns for their clients. Most importantly, they would do all of this before the spying scandal hit. The biggest thing was to act like they didn’t trust any conversation to be private. Which was easy, most of them didn’t already.
The thing is after three weeks of surprisingly civil debates, no attempted mind rape whatsoever, everyone was in the mood for something fun. They even had a full fifteen minutes real world time to party. Not that they couldn’t party longer than that, but the meeting was scheduled for a hour. Lisbeth got to experience her first true dream party, the ones she had attended in the past just didn’t compare. Over a hundred interconnected dreams, all following a slightly different theme. There was a kegger next to the poker games next to the gladiatorial arena. Lisbeth found herself ballroom dancing for a solid three hours.
She eventually begged of the dance floor and headed to a dream that was all pink bubbly and low on gravity. The drinks being served were equally as pink, and fizzy, they tasted as good as only a dream could. She took the drink to what appeared to be a smoking lounge and joined a small group playing a dice game. Sure, they could all cheat, but they also would all notice. That, along with a distinct lack of actual cash kept everyone honest. Mostly honest, points were awarded for the most creative cheats, if they could slip through.
Eventually the party broke up, real world within thirteen minutes, dreams, two days of wholesome and considerably less than wholesome fun. Part way through Lisbeth found herself being passed around for introductions to just about everyone. Not only was she partially responsible for their celebrations, she was currently the youngest living dream walker. By the end far more people now knew her than she had ever met before. Apparently the knowledge of her involvement with the angels was being kept very hush hush, since no one seemed to know about it. They did know about the ‘unfortunate attack’ as they called it, but she evaded their questions on the details.
After the party Lisbeth went searching for familiar dreams, and came up somewhat short. She had to remember that it was still early afternoon were her real body was sleeping, and weeks hadn’t passed. She rather hated having to deal with reconciling real time with dream time, not that she couldn’t do it, all dream walkers could. But the whole process gave her a headache. She knew she hadn’t even been asleep long enough for Nerissa to get up, or even move. Although that was a bad judge, it was so easy to lose track of time reading those books. She probably shouldn’t have given Nerissa unrestricted access to them.
At the very least, she should have explained what the books were for, and let Nerissa make an informed decision. Too late now, but she did need to stop using them to avoid certain conversations. Mentally manipulation your girlfriend definitely fell under the slightly evil label, even if there was no ill intent. Lisbeth gave a mental sigh, she really did need to tell Nerissa the truth. Not the whole truth of course, that could be more harmful than good, but some of it. At least with the books, as the rate she was devouring them, things might start happening.
Lisbeth brought herself into wakefulness and found herself curled up next to Nerissa. Nerissa was of course reading, she didn’t even notice when Lisbeth woke up. That of course would not do at all, and direct action would need to be taken. With one hand she knocked the book out of Nerissa’s and with her other she pushed Nerissa from a sitting position to lying flat on her back. Lisbeth swung her leg over Nerissa. She looked down at Nerissa’s surprised face for a moment before going in for the kiss. It was long, and passionate.
“I’ve missed you.”
“I was here the whole time.”
“You were, I was gone for three weeks, it isn’t pleasant.”
“I thougth you did that all the time?”
“I do, but I was away from you.”
“I love you.”
“I do too. I’ve got a secret for you.”
“Yeah, it’s a big one too.”
“Oh, do tell.”
Lisbeth leaned forward and whispered secrets in Nerissa’s ear. Nerissa allowed herself a gasp of shock.