I PROMISE YOU, I DID NOT WANT THIS FUTURE
Right,” exclaimed Debs as I came into the entrance hall, “do you want the good news, the bad news or the really terrible news.”
“Just give it to me in that order,” I replied.
“The good news is Captain has agreed to help search for your Mum, dead or alive. Also, he’s gonna get some good tech installed here compared to the lousy electricity the boys installed.” At this point one of them, I think it was Jason, shouted that he heard that and explained that the generator, not his skills was faulty. Well as they say a bad craftsman always blames his tools. Debs shrugged this off and continued. “Bad news, we’re going to school. Technically we knew this already, but now it’s official. Three years in America under the Council’s dominion.”
At 16 all Avalonians must attend a Cantainian school where they teach us fighting and Power control alongside the same stuff humans learn. In the end, there is a huge test, or contest, where our Powers are tested to the max. Some say our loyalty and potential is also examined. In that, if one is deemed too powerful or is against the Council’s views or even show weakness, then they will be killed and made to look like an accident. People do die, and it is usually down to a person’s awareness or lack thereof. Still, occasionally there is no clear explanation in which case suspicions arise.
“As for the really terrible news, you might wanna see it for yourself.”
And so, I was led into the living room where the TV was frozen just as the International Cantainian News began on our secret cable channel. Everyone else was sitting or standing around in a panicked state. Debs immediately pressed play as I sat down to reveal a newsreader announcing that the Council had found evidence of rebel leaders with links to the questionable monarchy. All people claiming to have four or more Powers were now to be placed on a watch list. This was terrible news, horrible news, especially now that I had found out who we were. There were then questions flying around the living room as to what was to happen to us.
“The Council will likely search all the schools. We’ll need to be cautious and not draw attention to ourselves, you three especially as you have extra Powers,” said Rachel pointing to me and my siblings.
“We are definitely going to get arrested and turned into zombie guards” Jason worried.
“Excuse me, zombie guards?” exclaimed Kat.
“Yea, there’s a rumour that any young rebel who is caught and not killed is reconditioned and turned into a totally obedient security guard for the Council buildings. They are completely blank and have no regard for their own lives, living simply to kill any unauthorised entry into their sector.” Jason replied.
This was scary, and it was all because we were simply born with royal Powers. But why now? We’ve been alive for 16 years now, and this is the first time we had heard of a proper rebel hunt aimed at people like us. Before that day, we had just been a team of minor rebels ready to fight when we were called on, not really any big deal. We had thought hiding out in school would be secure, as every rebel went to school, and only the reckless ones got caught. Now, however, I had the secret knowledge we were meant to lead the rebels. The reason the rebels hadn’t called a fight yet was because of us. Because we were the ones that needed to call it. I went to bed that night troubled and not really looking forward to the school year.
Early the next morning, the house was troubled, and I had no idea what to do. I could investigate the possibility of me being Queen, yet I knew I never wanted to fully embrace it. I had my whole life planned out; I would finish school, get a degree at Glasgow, and explore the world. I was not exactly sure of the finer details, but I was absolutely sure being Queen was not what I wanted. But then who’s to say your life always goes as you plan or as you wish. If I was to become Queen, I would need great advisors, then I realised I already had them. Rachel had the foresight, or so she said, she could predict things just before they happened and happen, they did. Jason was a good healer and surprise attacks, booby traps and whatnot. Kat was good at negotiating and strategist in battle. Debs was a bodyguard of some sorts and brilliant at magic. Peter was the swordsman, and politician amongst us knew history and politics like the back of his hand. Nidia was wise, and I went to her for all my advice. I, on the other hand, well what I went to the team for, was what the team came to me for. I didn’t exactly know how this was so at our age, knowing so much. I began to wonder if it was just the three of us siblings who had the logical Kairosa mind. With all these thoughts, I couldn’t sleep so I grabbed The Lore of the Queens and began to read.
By 9am, I was still as confused as ever, Dad had already left, and everyone else was still asleep in their beds as if the recent news never happened. the Lore foretold that it would probably be me that was to be Queen and rule over the three realms, or whatever was left of them. It described that the Queen would be drawn towards six friends, advisors, most likely family members. The Queen would have unmeasurable, but controllable Powers, of which she would divide between her fellow royals. Basically, my kingdom, with Thelga as its capital, which was a democratic monarchy aimed at equal wealth. Then there’s the expanded empire of Cantainia which was three united realms (or three continent-like areas of the planet). Together they aimed to fight against collective dark forces or evil users of Power.
The planet itself was considerably smaller than that of Earth, yet the conditions were still right to harness life. Now you might ask how I knew I was to be Queen and the answer to that is the spell that Anna herself conducted was in the Lore. Don’t ask how, as when she gave it to me, the spell had not been thought of. Maybe it has something to do with time travel. Anyway, after a lot of translating it simply states that only the eldest daughter of Cantainia and Kairosa united would be Queen. Simply put me.
Upon reading this, my hand went to my neck, where the necklace should be. I stared off into the distance for a moment, and then back to the book. To answer the question on my mind, the book flipped, of its own accord, to ‘Powers and Properties of the Merlinian Necklace’. The necklace would not usually reveal itself until the Queen turns 17. Yet, if the previous Queen is already dead before that, then the Queen to be must first believe and accept she is to be Queen and touch the necklace with a simple word. As I reluctantly uttered this word, there it was, shining red and already formed precisely as Anna had described. I didn’t know what to tell the others. They would understand, hopefully. Nidia would soon figure it out. But one thing was for sure, the Council could not find out, at least not yet. Not until we were ready to fight. I looked back to the book, trying to find a word to make the necklace disappear, in truth, I wanted to fall asleep and wake up as if the day before never happened. I know that would mean losing Dad, but having no real parents wasn’t new to me, I haven’t thought of my adopted parents as mine for many years. When I found the word, I touched the necklace, and it disappeared, but I could still feel it. I rubbed it nervously, knowing this is my fate now and I just have to go through with it.
My thoughts then went to the egg, and again the book gave me the answer. After all, it was a magical book, passed down from Queen to Queen over the centuries. Each Drakon was unique to each Queen and so named because the first Drakon was, as you may have guessed, a dragon. They had two or three forms which they could switch between. One was a riding companion, another was able to be easily transported (a mouse, for example), and the third a messenger. Other Powers consisted of telepathy only between them and the Queen, teleporting, and the casting of shields. Although there were rumours that more Powers could be found but were yet to be witnessed. A Drakon was bound to their Queen, and the egg would only hatch upon the Queen becoming Queen or when she needed them. I know I wasn’t meant to touch the egg, but I felt the pull to go downstairs and check it out.
Many of the Twilights were still asleep or resting in bed. Yet, as I wandered downstairs, I saw that the Star Flyer was no longer outside in the garden in its pure form as an actual flying saucer (classic). I suppose in an Avalonian protected area with an invisibility shield around it, it doesn’t need a disguise. The egg was where we left it last night, on the table by the TV. I wished to touch it, but I knew that it was unwise.
Nevertheless, I did notice that a crack had now appeared along the centre. I then returned it to the full size to investigate. There was a small hole in the top, yet I could tell it was broken from the inside. Only a tiny animal could have fitted through there, some sort of rodent perhaps. Upon touching the crack, I felt a waft of anxiety and fear come over me, I somehow knew it wasn’t my own, but the creature which used to reside inside, I had to find it. I then preceded to swiftly take out my wand with my left hand and cast a tracking spell. This created some glowing footprints in the shape of the creature’s, leading in the direction it took.
I followed the footprints right out into the deepest part of the forest where suddenly, they disappeared. The spell had done its work. So, I sat down on a log and called out in my mind that she would find me, at least I hoped it was a she. I couldn’t find any sign of a receiver. the Lore had no actual description of what a Drakon looked like, or what form it took when it hatched. The footprints were too small to be a real dragon, and the size of the egg didn’t make any sense either. The forest felt empty in my mind, yet I could see and hear it was full of life. Then I heard a deafening, frightening scream which made me stand up and look around. I heard it again, this time I was listening for a direction in which to run. I ran towards the noise and came face to face with an eagle the size of an elephant (maybe even bigger) which had forced a small girl into a tight corner which was too big for its head. Yet, it was slowly getting its beak in at her. The Drakon slipped from my mind, all that mattered now was getting this little girl to safety. I was quick with my wand and knocked the eagle back so that I could put myself between it and the girl.
I could somehow tell the girl was an Avalonian (maybe it was a new Power I had), but she was too young to have any Powers. I knew a few spells that would keep the eagle at bay, maybe even see me as a threat. But only dragon fire or whatever that light Power that Anna used would defeat it. I tried summoning up some fire, trying to convince the eagle that I had dragon Powers (which is possible, but very rare), but the eagle was too smart for that. After all, it was a creature of Zeus, who was said to be the wisest of the Great Lords (Athena being the wisest of Great Ladies). I then wished out loud that I had fire strong enough to send away this creature. Then, out of nowhere (well I suppose she came from behind me, but I really didn’t expect this), the little girl rushed out in front of me. A ball of dragon fire exploded from her and hit the eagle in the chest and wings. The eagle then flew away with its wings still partially on fire, and the girl collapsed to the ground in exhaustion. She passed out, which was no surprise considering her age and the Power she managed to conjure up. As she was lying there, I finally got a good look at her. I would place her around 10 years old with jet black hair and soft, familiar features. Her clothes were pretty basic, just a brown dress made from some sort of animal skin. I quickly checked for signs of life and thank goodness, she seemed alright, albeit a little worn out. I then proceeded to carry her inside and was thankful for her lightweight.
When I got back to the house, everyone was awake and having breakfast in their PJs, but no-one had noticed the egg had hatched. I carried the girl into the living room and repaired the egg. Just before the others came in with all their questions and food. To them, she was just a young girl I’d found in the woods, to me, she was a mystery.
The talk of the morning was how on earth we would attend school without the suspicion of the humans that looked after us. The school the seven of us now attend is called Lord Terryn’s Preparatory and is situated in Maine, USA. I don’t know precisely where, but it’s the best school out of the seven on offer. We had initially applied for Hillside Manor in England as it was local. Still, due to our Power level, the registration board must have transferred our application. Only the best-skilled people go to Terry’s Prep, and it requires a lot of human school knowledge as well as Avalonian Powers. Somehow Peter had managed to persuade the school to keep him back a year so that we could all go together.
Each campus was fully catered for borders age 7-university and for under 7s there was a day option from age 4. Most of the schooling is optional, apart from the last three years of high school, of which all must attend. There’s a big test after all this to determine what speciality you can study at university. The school will support you if you choose to go to a human university. Still, most prefer to study non-Cantainian subjects at Cantainian universities, which are situated on the same campuses as the school, just for the magical freedom they provide. I had never considered telling my adoptive parents about my future private education. I never had the nerve. Technically my mother has rejected talk about sci-fi, mythology, magic, or fantasy worlds. Having tones of books on the subject, as I do, was toeing the line. Nidia was also struggling as her parents may not be so old fashioned, but they were just as strict. They didn’t like the idea of private education. Kat had it easy as her foster parents never noticed her come or go, and she had already partially moved out. Peter and Debs had already moved out and the other two hardly ever stayed at the orphanage. My parents were too conservative for such matters. We could run away, but we would sever ties with our families and surrender the financial help they gave us. It wasn’t until Dad came in that I finally had a solution to all this.
“Right, there you go,” he exclaimed, slamming some more papers down on the table. “One scholarship which you can personalise and copy to your heart’s content and train tickets from Glasgow that will get you to London. To human eyes, you’re going to some really advance school for geniuses in England after passing a test you all sat in school. But you forgot to tell the people you live with about it. I have also written up a letter of persuasion in case any of your carers are reluctant to send you. Terry’s Prep has specifically asked that take non-magical transport to school this term and have real visas under your Cantainian names. However, after all the trouble your Mother and I went through to keep the Council off your backs, I don’t think that would be entirely wise. I never knew your Mother was Avalonian, but I did know that the Council was after you, for reasons unknown. It started not long after Peter was born that the Council began to hunt us and by that time Emmaline was pregnant again. By putting myself between your Mother and the Council, I thought she could get away with the three of you to safety. Once I was out of danger, I heard that the Council had apprehended and killed a woman and three young children. It was just a transmission, however, no actual follow-up to confirm it or any bodies were ever collected. I now suspect it may have been a hoax which worked very well in your favour. Thank goodness you were registered under the name ‘Smith’ to keep you in the clear all these years since.”
“Why, what is our real surname?” Nidia asked.
“Well, we listed you under your Mother’s maiden name of Kingsley as I technically don’t have one other than ‘of Kairosa’. But after doing some research into your Mother being Avalonian, I discovered that there is a reference of a second surname being used but then omitted for no reason. That name is Innanma, meaning, ‘of royal blood’ in Avalonian. The name of the Royal Family. It is also the word used to address the Queen. So really your surname is Kingsley-Innanma,” he finished.
“So, it is me, isn’t it?” I exclaimed. “That egg wasn’t just given to me because I’m going to find the Queen, I am the Queen.” This was just my way of telling the others the truth, even though I’d discovered the necklace earlier that same day.
It felt like a vast bolder had just been dropped on my shoulders, yet I was still able to stand. Reality hit me at that moment, despite several other provable situations earlier. I knew the others would agree with me, but there could be a lot of tension between us that for once, someone was actually in charge rather than a rule of equals. Even though everyone looked to me for advice and leadership, I welcomed theirs as well. I just had to hope we could still run this knights-of-the-round-table type rule for the rest of our lives. Eventually, I had to sit down, I might as well have been entering a panic attack. I just could not imagine myself being able to handle the responsibility of ruling without proper preparation. Nidia being the sister she is, then proceeded to comfort me while Debs conjured up a cup of green tea. I really believe in the healing powers of tea, but I hate the black stuff. So, I proceeded to drink, attempting to calm myself down.
Dad then noticed the little girl down on the sofa and took out his glasses to examine her. He explained that she was just exhausted but should have woken up by now. But then telepathically Dad told me that there was a mind aura connection between her and me. He theorised that to wake her, I would have to telepathically call out to her. Dad then got up to get a drink for the girl, and I shifted over to her side and proceeded to stroke her hair while the others, except Nidia who stayed beside me, went, and got dressed. It was just then that I swore I could hear a voice in the room, almost a whisper. One word, “battle”. But then again, I noticed that it was not spoken in English and realised that it must be some translator in my head. When Dad came back with the glass of water, I asked him about it.
“It takes a while to get used to it,” he explained. “Eventually you’ll be able to turn it on and off and detect the language that is being spoken. If I’m correct in thinking, she’s of Avalonian origin. If that is the case, then by her saying the word “battle”, she’s probably telling you her name. Names are tricky as they are mostly just words that mean something significant and so can be translated as an actual word or phrase. There is a name which would make sense in this case, Aristomache. It’s a female Avalonian name which was adopted by the Greeks and roughly translates to “best in battle”. Now why someone would name such a pretty girl that, it’s as if her parents wanted to train her to be some sort of warrior princess or something. You know, just try it, see what happens.” At this point, Nidia and Dad left to give me some privacy and more concentration room.
It occurred to me that softly and telepathically was probably the best way to do this, with my fingers pressed against her temple to get a more reliable connection. At first, I tried the full name, but it didn’t seem right. Not the name itself, just that it wasn’t what suited her. The only thing that came to mind was ‘Ari’. It took several attempts, but with each attempt, I could feel her getting stronger. When she finally came around, I put the water in her hand.
“Give it time before I’m ready to do that again,” she said in a laughing voice “I may be a Drakon, but one-hour old is not the best time to call upon my full Power.”
“Wait a minute,” I exclaimed “you hatched from the egg?! But you’re Avalonian and way too big to have fit through that hole in the egg.
“Normally, I can’t use any Powers without your permission,” she replied, “but there is a catch. I get one command free Power, as long as it’s minor. When I saw the eagle, I just wished I could be bigger, big enough, so I wouldn’t be breakfast. When I turned Avalonian, I couldn’t explain it. I’m probably the first Drakon in history to have an Avalonian form.”
“Just figures,” I shrugged, “the first Queen in seven hundred years and I get the Drakon with strange Powers. What’s next, you’re an actual dragon?”
“Not sure, maybe,” she replied, “I know the whole Drakon Power history, and I can tell you, that ever since the first Drakon there hasn’t been one that can turn into a dragon. Unfortunately, I know nothing about my own Powers. That is for us to find out. Wait a moment, did you say the first Queen in seven hundred years?!”
“Oh yea,” I answered “a few years after your egg was laid, a great war almost wiped out the entire Avalonian race. Every single citizen was already there for the Golden Eclipse Festival, all portals were immediately shut down by the enemy, only a hundred or so escaped. The Council have laid tyranny over us since.”
“I’m so sorry,” she said, placing her hand on my arm. “Well as it is by your Power that I hatched, here I am, called to be your steed, a weapon, a companion and, in the absence of a Queen, your mentor. So, what am I to call you?”
“Just call me Alaїs,” I replied.
At that moment, the rest of the Twilights came in all dressed for the day ahead. I lifted Ari onto my lap to let the others sit down. She snuggled into my chest, and to the others, it was obvious who she was. There were only seven seats available, so Peter, being Peter, took to sitting on the ceiling light. We really needed to get more seats in this house, but we never really imagined our little gang would expand so quickly.
While we’re on the subject, people do often ask what it’s like having “Peter Pan” for a brother? Well to start off, J.M. Barrie’s play was written way before my brother was born. Technically it’s just coincidence that they both have the same name unless time travel is involved. Yes, my brother can fly, and he has red hair, and his favourite colour is green. To be honest, it’s pretty awesome flying without the need for a plane. After Peter discovered he could fly, he figured out the methods behind it. So that if he was in a situation where he was blindfolded or weighed down, he could still fly out of it. Another similarity between my brother and the storybook Peter Pan would be that he knows a few Merpeople. All Mer can come on land, but many have a reputation of mischief. A pod of Mer lived in the loch where our house was, right at the deepest point where the humans couldn’t catch them. There is then a passageway to the sea so that they can do some long-distance swimming.
Back in the living room, everything seemed to be coming to light now. So, to stop any more secrets, I convened the first meeting of the Royal Family in a thousand years. I summoned the Lore down from my room and turned to ‘The Role of the Royal Family’. Luckily, my parents weren’t expecting me home until dinner time as I could tell this was gonna take a while.
First thing on the agenda was where the heck was Mum. Turns out we still couldn’t answer the question on whether she was dead or alive. She was listed as “sentenced to execution for treasonous acts against the Council, the body never found, nor any trace of magical signature, presumed dead”. So, technically my Mum dropped us off at our hiding places and lived out the rest of her days without using any of her Powers. I bet that was tough, with many temptations along the way. Either that or she’s dead. Technically Alaїs, Nidia and Peter Kingsley are also listed under the same category, except we get away with using our Powers because we were infants at the time. One’s “magical signature” is born within you, is totally unique and leaves traces wherever one’s Powers are used. Basically, we use it when no DNA can be found at a crime scene, and you can’t wipe it off like you can with fingerprints. Every magical signature is recorded when you take the big test at the end of high school, so it’s not easy to get away with crimes in our world. If such were true, we were gonna have a whole lot of bother once we left high school, with all those extra Powers and all. Oh, well, at least there was still hope in finding our Mum.
Secondly was sorting out the rest of the Twilights. Apparently, once I had accepted the role as Queen and my Drakon had hatched, I could bestow the Royal Powers and positions upon my chosen companions. However, I had to be confident that the six in front of me were faithful and loyal to my rule. Apparently, the Duke who started the Council was on the heir’s team before he was exiled. Basically, he betrayed the Royal Family, and once the spell was done, it couldn’t be undone or placed on a replacement unless the original died before an heir was born.
So, I gave Rachel the role of oracle and battle coordinator. Basically, all plans went through her, and she decided what one would provide the best outcome. Kat has the role as ambassador and negotiator, thanks to her ability to teleport. Debs is assigned keeper of the keys and royal guard (whenever that came around, right now she’s just my bodyguard). Jason oversees the battle strategy and training. He and Debs have to co-work on the spy and underground divisions. Peter is my co-second in command (alongside Nidia) as my domestic affairs and Prime Minister sort of guy. Last but not least, Nidia is my top advisor.
This arrangement works well to this day, several years later. Big stuff (which I’ll get to soon) has happened since then and such roles that I gave the Twilights that day have proven perfect. Of course, new positions meant new Powers. Too many to list here, but simply put, we all have magic and telekinesis alongside Powers suited to our roles and a couple of extra just-in-case. All members of the Royal Family have like five (sometimes seven) or more Powers, with me having the most. It has been known for the Queen to have all the Powers known to Avalonians. But only two have ever been recorded – the first Queen and Queen Anna II are also said to be the only ones. I suppose I’m supposed to be some sort of power reincarnation of Anna, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I had all the Powers. Even now, one year later at 17, I’m yet to discover a Power I don’t have, but I know at the same time I have yet to see myself do all the Powers. I have resisted the temptation to try every Power I see, as I know the Council would notice in an instant. I already had too many Powers when I entered school, never mind now.
To officially seal the roles within us, I had to perform a spell using my wand and necklace along with a promise spoken by each person while kneeling in front of me. Simply put, it felt like a knighting ceremony with a bit more magic involved. With this ritual, it now enabled anyone of us seven to be a parent of the next Queen. However, 90% are born to the previous Queen, 9% to siblings/ cousins, and only 1% to those outside the immediate family.
The final notion was how on earth we were gonna blend in at school. It was at that moment that Dad got a notification that a sort of fax-like message had come through in the Star Flyer. To save anyone moving, Debs did a summoning spell, and a small pile of documents landed in Dad’s hands. In it were our seven original birth certificates and the reason behind all our parents’ fates. Turns out we’re all related; Jason and Rachel’s Mum is sister to Kat’s Dad, and Kat’s Mum is sister to Debs’ Dad. Then there is some relation between Debs’ Mum and our Mum as they share a surname, but not parents. Cool, an even bigger family reunion. As for all their fates and the reason we were all targeted. That lay on the eighth sheet of paper that Dad had given us, a photocopy of an old page where the bottom was torn away. A prophesy, as spoken by a Council employed seer who was later killed for speaking a possible threat to the Council, but their warning was heeded wisely.
Seven will come before the millennium
And unless defeated by when they come of age
To them, the Council will fall.
One from the human world to signal peace,
One from both to signal unity,
Two from a heavenly claim to signal authority,
For prophecy and healing will bring the Council pain,
Three from the prophesied birth
With great Power, will they rule
The oldest female of these three to be the Sovereign Queen.
Of course, it rhymes better in Avalonian, but no one would understand it. It all added up: Kat was born of humans (or preferably two Avalonian lines who had stopped using magic, for no real human could really be Avalonian and not all Cantainians, as I now know, have Powers), Debs was a hybrid (but it now turns out that her Dad had Avalonian ancestry), no idea what “heavenly claim” meant at the time, but it applied to Rachel and Jason, then there was us three. The Council must have done a lot of research to make sure they got the right children because the chances of all seven of us being picked out correctly were tiny. I just wondered what happened to the rest of the page. Dad then explained what the line about Jason and Rachel meant.
The Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse gods were just different versions of the same group of immortal Avalonians. There were only thirty or, so members of this group recorded in history (the rest were simply made up). Still, basically, it was a group of influential, wise people given immortality and responsibility for specific forces around ten thousand years ago. Before the rise Christianity, they had too many children to count and a lot of stories to which humans are thankful for. However, since then, reports of children had no actual proof behind them. The children were either very good at keeping secrets and hiding or had no idea who their missing parent was. Anyway, according to this prophecy, Jason and Rachel were children of them and the part about healing and prophesy lead to us thinking Apollo was their Father. Religiously Avalonians knew these wise people existed (whether or not they still existed was a different matter to us at the time) and hold them in high respect. Actually, the vast majority of Avalonians are either humanitarian moralists or Christians (with slightly controversial views on our classification as witches within the faith). Only 1% take a scientific look of things. Getting to the point, the assumption of Apollo turned out to be accurate as we would later find out. Still, I’ll get to that adventure another time.
I then took a look at my birth certificate, yes there it was Alaїs Kingsley, but there in the middle name box was two names: the second one was Rebecca, my human cover name (which I don’t usually talk about, but it would be odd to see a Scottish girl brought up under an Avalonian name), the first one, however, was surprisingly Annamindia. Could this mean that Mum knew I was to be Queen? Of all the names, she could give me, it had to be the elongated name of the last Queen. I thought that I could be Queen Anna III sometime in the future. You might then wonder how I knew my actual name before this, simply I kept hearing it in dreams. The first time was when I was 10, and I just dismissed it. Still, after three times of continually hearing the same name repeatedly like someone was calling out to me, I decided to research it. After that I kind of adopted it, as it was an Avalonian name and meant Noble, Exalted and Golden which pretty much summed me up. So, there you go, you can learn a lot from your dreams. However, I was still to find out where these dreams came from.