Discovery! – Jason's Dream Continues

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...

Jason awakens with a start, hurting all over and is greeted by a puppy licking his face. He rises in pain from what feel like bruises all over his body. The puppy jumps around, wagging it's tail and barking playfully at him, watching him closely.

The puppy was jumping around and yipping, as if to say, "I'm here, I'm here, play with me, show me what you want me to do."

Now, Jason likes puppies and loves dogs in general but, he has a sense of urgency to do something. So, he tried to ignore the puppy after he petted him on the head and pushed him away, preparing to rise.

Pain! Searing pain, all over.

He's not sure what that something is but, he is certain it's crucial that he do it soon. And the pain drove that feeling in an exclamation mark for punctuation.

He's in a Japanese home. Complete with woven straw mats, sliding room dividers with rice paper window panes and the normal accouterments one might find in a 16th century Japanese dwelling. Including a Katana (long sword), Wakizashi (short sword) and a Tonto (utility knife) on a display stand in a prominent place in the room he found himself in.

Jason knew a bit about Japan, as he had been stationed in Okinawa and had been to mainland Japan to hump (march) up Mt. Fugi for cold weather training.

As A Marine, Jason had done his share of drinking, fighting and skirt chasing, to be sure. Yet, generally, he took a slightly different route for enjoying the sights and experiences of foreign lands when he wasn't in combat. Jason tended to explore areas not generally frequented by rowdy Marines looking for a good time.

Places like Temples, Dojos and where craftsmen plied their trade. Jason was respectful of his elders, as he had been taught as a child and asked questions or just watched respectfully. He learned that true craftsmen, actually enjoy teaching the curious about their craft. He learned too, that people are pretty much the same everywhere and that Master Craftsmen guard their secrets with the same passion a parent guards the children they love. He had come to believe that only custom, language and religion differ among us humans.

His Training and R&R leaves were in areas where combat was not likely to occur. Hence, the term rest and relaxation leave. Good Ole Uncle Sam is smart enough not to send trainees into combat situations, he thought. Sometimes, he wasn't so sure about that though.

Jason took stock of himself, he hurt all over. His joints were extremely stiff and painful and his muscles felt as if he had strained them to the tearing point. He could find no outward cuts or visible bruises but, he felt beaten and bruised all over. Every movement brought a wave of searing pain from any muscle used for that movement. It was like the soreness he had felt in Boot Camp only multiplied by 5. Jason found himself thankful for 2 things, the first was his extreme pain tolerance and the second was the tenacity, which had been awakened deep within him, while in boot camp.

From the decor and placement of the room, Jason sensed that he was in the room of the Master of the house. Jason rose painfully, wondering where the master of this house was. He stumbled around the room in excruciating pain with every movement he made. Jason's joints were on fire, his skin was crawling all over, his muscles felt like every single muscle in his body was cramping. Like he was forcing them to move through a constant cramp and he felt like he was burning up.

Jason made his way painfully, to the only furnishing within the room, which was the cabinet, whereon, prominently sat the display of the swords and knife. Jason was naked and needed clothing of some sort. He slowly pulled open the cabinet drawer. Jason's right shoulder was screaming at him with pain and bright spots appeared before his eyes.

Within the drawer was traditional Japanese clothing and Jason donned a set of trousers and shirt known as a Gi to him. Jason thought, "Pockets would be nice." And he was suddenly wearing black, cargo-pocketed, utilities. The bright lights before his eyes seemed to flare suddenly.

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...

That voice again, "A garment made of these could become anything the wearer desired it to look like, with the proper interface. Excellent! Now, if I can only get it to store a charge and remain functional after discharge."

Silence...

Searing pain...

Jason awoke again with a start and his chest hurt. Jason looked and sure enough there was a big red splotch on his left pectoral. The puppy was still there, just as playful as ever and he was in the Japanese house again. Jason threw back the covers with a bit less pain in his muscles but, his joints were literally itching... Maddeningly itching. An insistent itch that couldn't be scratched... Maddening.

Jason didn't know how he did it but, he managed to put the itch to the side of his concentration and began to explore the place he found himself. He had some vague memories of being here before but, it was different in his memories. Jason couldn't put his finger on it but, he remembered things differently.

Muscle movement was still painful, but the pain had receded to a dull kind of ache, whenever and however he moved. And there was the itch in his joints and now on the top of his head.

There was the sliding panel with the rice paper window panes, blank, white squares of rice paper, separating this space from the rest of this dwelling Jason found himself in.

There was the sword display stand on top of a cabinet with two wide, deep drawers, made of finely crafted teak wood. Before it, were three metal ingots, each of a different size, a small, a medium and a larger one on top of a neatly folded piece of red silk of the highest quality.

There were no swords but, there were scabbards, handles and guards for two swords and one knife, also three different sizes to either side of the sword display stand, they were also laying atop folded high quality red silk. Jason got the distinct impression that whoever had put these items here, intended to make 2 swords and a knife from these assembled items.

The floor was made of woven straw mats on top of hardwood floors and Jason could hear the lapping of waves against something below the house he was in. He slid the partition open and stepped onto the walkway that surrounded the house he was in. It was chilly, and foggy, very foggy.

Jason returned to the cabinet, opened the drawer, retrieved and put his black skivvies, t-shirt and camos on. They were all there, neatly folded, waiting for him and they fit perfectly, he didn't give that much thought. Jason looked around for his socks and boots and there they were, in the corner. He put them on and he finally felt dressed for indoors.

A Bright Green arc suddenly danced above Jason, bathing the room in bright green light...

Jason heard very clearly a voice, powerful, loud and strong. “I AM.. Merlin Starfall.”

Darkness...

That voice again, "I could put the discharge nanites in gloves and the storage nanites all over the suit. Yes, that might do it."

A Bright Green flash of light...

Jason slid the divider that separated the two rooms of this dwelling open and took in the next room in it's entirety. He noticed that it contained a central forge, complete with bellows and even a large trip-hammer. There was everything a weapon-smith would need to craft a quality weapon here. That itching, that damned itching...

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...

A Bright Green flash of light...

That voice again, "Any blade made with these would indeed be a formidable weapon. It could be formed into a blade so sharp, that it could cut through armor plating like a hot knife through butter. If I could only get these to hold and then release a charge on command."

Darkness...

Silence...

Searing pain...

Jason was stripped to the waist and sweating. His chest hurt with a burning sensation in the front and the back in the left center of his chest. The itching wasn't so bad now, though. He was holding a short handled sledge hammer and working a piece of hot metal into the rough shape of a sword by heating it and hammer shaping it into a rough shape of a rectangle. Then folding it, heating it, using the trip hammer on it, heating it yet again and shaping it even more with his hand held hammer.

Jason brought the hammer up and struck the glowing metal hard, letting the head bounce up and fall again on it's own. Sparks flew. Bang, bing bing..

He struck again...

Darkness...

A Bright Green flash of light...

Jason sat in meditation on the walkway around the place he had begun to think of as home. His chest and back tingled but, didn't hurt. The top of Jason's head itched oddly, he opened his eyes to see a long courtyard with archery targets at one end and a table with a longbow and arrows sitting in the center of the courtyard nearest to him. Jason rose with much less pain, his joints tingled oddly as he walked to the archery table, picked up the longbow and an arrow.

Jason had never really tried to become proficient at archery before and he figured, what the hell. Jason fired arrow after arrow trying to hit the targets at the far end but couldn't even hit the target. He finally got close to the target with the last arrow and threw the bow on the table in disgust.

Jason stomped back inside and took his frustrations out on some steel balls that were piled on the table inside the center of a pentacle of silver. As he beat on the metal balls, he fashioned arrowheads and as if by magic and a bundle of fletched dowels were on his project table just across from him. Jason reached for the bundle.

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...

A Bright Green flash of light...

That voice again, "Any projectile made of these would most likely easily penetrate any type of body armor currently available."

Silence in the darkness...

A bright white, flash of lightening, Jason takes a knee in pain, surrounded by darkness...

It was raining and cold, they were doing a patrol of their Base Camp, looking for the sneaky little bastards they were fighting against, at the pleasure of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children and the overpaid fools in Washington. Jason was with Cpl "Hicky", Leonard Hicks, dubbed "Hicky", because of the purple birth-mark on his neck, and they had halted to take stock of their immediate area looking for signs of enemy movement.

Cpl Hicky was an imposing Marine, even to Marines, at 6'4", weighing in at 280lbs of solid muscle and pure meanness in combat.

Jason had only been "in country" for a couple of, year long months and was certain that his skivvies had a permanent pucker mark crease in them. And beside Cpl. Hicky, his 5'10", 180lbs soaking wet like now, wasn't imposing at all and he knew it. Cpl. Hicky had just extended after 2 tours and there were rumors that he was starting to "go native". But, so far as "bush-craft" was concerned, he was only passably proficient.

For some reason, unknown to him, Cpl. Hicky and he had been assigned as tent mates. Jason thought he had heard it was because his other tent-mate had been scragged on patrol or some such shit. Jason had just been promoted to Lance Corporal, so that might have had something to do with it, he figured. Jason had always thought it was kinda funny that each individual Marine was issued, 1 shelter half set. "Teamwork is obviously a core value in the Corps." Jason thought ironically.

But, bunking with a bush-craft novice, city kid, who was as big as an ox and as mean as a pissed off rottweiler in a fight, did have it's advantages. Especially if you were experienced in bush-craft, wilderness survival practices and that rottweiler was your "road dog".

At first it was tense, Jason was the newbie. A wet behind the ears, don't know shit, fresh outta boot, newbie. And Hicky outranked him.

But, that first cold and rainy night, Jason taught him to make a fire without using a precious match or having to endure the fumes of a heat tab. Jason's little "personal kit", had impressed Hicky, they were actually warm and got to eat warm "c-rats" in their tent. There wasn't anything they could do about the damp and rain but, Jason showed him how to stay as warm and dry as possible and how to use nature as an ally, not an enemy. They became as close to friends as they could be, where one of them might be dead tomorrow. It's just easier if you don't get too attached to your fellow warriors in war.

They had stopped and were crouched off to the side of a game trail, because Hicky thought he had heard something off to their left. They looked all around and were listening intently for the sound of rustling foliage or anything that would indicate something moving through the bush.

Hicky had taken to chewing tobacco and the way he spit the juice out was becoming annoying in camp. Not chewing tobacco, you understand, he would chew cigarettes. He'd just stuff a cigarette into his mouth like a stick of chewing gum and start chewing it, sometimes, filter and all. That was odd enough but, when he'd spit, it sounded like a loud, juicy fart. Thankfully, on patrol, he spit quietly. Or was swallowing it. That thought turned Jason's stomach.

They continued on their route around their base camp, checking for trip-wires and avoiding M-18 Claymore emplacements. Other than a few paranoid stops and scans, the rest of the patrol was pretty routine. They approached the gate quietly, still not safe within the camp and flash light signed to the watch of their approach. They were challenged, they countersigned and were told to advance.

They got to the gate, slung their weapons and joked with the guards that were there and agreed to a spades game after their watch. Hicky spit, sounding like a loud, long, juicy fart and his face exploded. Jason reeled in shock, his heart started racing, Jason saw stars.

Darkness...

Flash of searing pain...

Jason was in a kitchen, a 3 sided kitchen. Dishes were piled in the sink and on the counters and even the table. He looked around and could see that the floor stopped at the edge of a deep chasm. Jason heard a scream from across the chasm and a nicely shaped woman was running from a man dressed in bright, multi-colored, robes who was chasing her.

Jason yelled at the man, he stopped chasing the woman, grabbed a cup and threw it at Jason across the chasm. They stood there, separated by a very deep chasm, throwing dishes at each other while simultaneously hurling curses at each other. The man in the brightly colored robes pulled out a flashlight and pointed it at Jason. Jason threw a cup as hard as he could at the man. The man turned the flashlight on.

Bright green flash...

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...

That voice again, "My wife, I must get out of here and find my wife."

Silence in the darkness...

A Bright Green flash of light...

Jason's face was being licked by a large puppy and he was back in the Japanese dwelling that had begun to resemble, aside from it's Japanese Samurai home decor, the "in town" residence Jason had lived in, in the Philippines. There was now a table and chairs in a corner across from the cabinet with the sword display stand atop it.

The exterior sides and back of the dwelling had become concrete and Jason knew that there was a Bunka-boat with it's single outrigger float on one side, tied to the docking platform that floated on 4, 50 gallon drums.

The puppy had grown and was looking and acting more like a faithful pet than a curious, playful puppy.

Jason was fully clothed and laying on the floor but, not on the sleeping mat. The three weapons he had made were on display in their stand atop the cabinet.

The puppy had grown, Jason was dressed as a Samurai and the fog had changed into a sunny day.

The courtyard had also changed, it had the archery targets in the distance and the table up close to the walkway with several bows atop it of differing styles. But, next to that was a shooter's reloading bench/weapon table and a target on a wire that could be drawn to the table so that you didn't have to walk down to the target to see your hits. There were no firearms but, there was all the equipment needed to make ammunition for firearms, including a keg of gunpowder and a case of primers.

Jason walked down the steps to get a closer look at the new additions to this place he kept finding himself. He was confused, for some reason he kept finding himself in this place and too, it was like being at home. He knew where everything was, as if he had put it there himself. Jason could see for a great distance and saw a hawk flying far off, circling, hunting for game.

Jason stepped to the archery table where were laid several bows and a pile of arrows. He took the compound bow, as he liked the added distance you could get because of the multiplier added by the pulley system. He tested the pull of the bow, it felt like a 60/90 compound and right for his use. He picked up a single arrow, knocked it and stepped to the firing position. Jason looked down, took a slow, deep, breath and drew the bow as he stood upright in the firing position.

To his astonishment, his field of vision became like looking through a reflex combat sight without magnification. There was a horizontal and a vertical line with a circle where the lines crossed where the arrow was pointed. Jason blinked, slowly released his draw and shook his head to clear his sight. He looked again, it looked normal.

Jason shook-out and loosened up again, then drew the bowstring to his cheek and there it was, a reticle. Jason stubbornly looked down the arrow, ignoring the reticle and shot the arrow where he thought would be where he wanted the arrow to hit.

When he released the arrow, the reticle vanished and he wasn't sure but, it had been where the arrow now stuck out of the ground. He grumbled silently to himself, a little peeved, "Okay, fine. I can work with that. Let's try that again."

Just then, the puppy barked playfully and stood with his tongue and tail wagging looking intently at Jason. At his feet laid an arrow. As if he were telling Jason to try it again using the reticle, like he had just thought. Jason chuckled, gave him an affectionate rub and pat on his head, then bent to pick up the arrow.

Blackness...

Flash of searing pain..

Darkness...