Chapter 6:

Seven Years Later

Purple Clouds

“Yes. Don’t worry sir, I’m almost there.”

Ending his call, the motorcyclist carries on along the road through a suburban neighborhood. Scattered like snow across the sky are glittering pieces of purple dust that fly past the man as he readjusts his face covering.

“You are approaching your destination.” The navigation system says in its robotic tone.

The man takes a right turn, following the digital map displayed in the corner of his goggles. He knows that he is facing west as a huge purple cloud looms over in the far distance, causing the usual cast of yellow light from the sun to be a light purple.

“You have arrived at your destination.” the navigation system once again said coldly.

Stopping his motorcycle by the side of the road and parking, the man dismounts and takes off his helmet and goggles. He looks around the rather compact neighborhood of well built homes and fences he had found himself in, finding it to be eerily quiet.

“Of course it would be, they warned this area to take shelter after all.” he thought.

Taking his mind off the surroundings, the man takes out a bag from the storage of his motorcycle and walks towards the light blue house he had parked in front of. He courses his fingers through his lengthy hair to make himself more presentable as takes his steps towards the front door. Walking up the elevated porch, the man rings the doorbell and waits, noticing seals on the door and nearby window made hastily with tape and scrap fabrics.

“Seems like they’re prepared,” he thought.

Waiting for what seemed like a minute, the man quickly checks his worn black analog watch for the time, he is five minutes early.

“Coming,” the man hears muffled from across the door; coughing followed.

The door unlocks, revealing an older man opens holding up a piece of cloth over his mouth and nose.

“Good morning Mr. Costa.” the man says.

The older man quickly looks at him up and down before stepping aside.

“Ah, Mr. Biel, it's you. Please hurry and come in. I would’ve come to your shop personally, but figured it wouldn't be wise with how my lungs are." Mr. Costa says.

Stepping inside the house, Mr. Biel looks around the wide room before him. Lining the walls are various shelves and cabinets containing handmade wooden odds and ends. Comfortably in the middle of the room are two lounge chairs opposite sides from a low table with china set with a kettle of tea; steam rising from the cups. In the corner, the television is playing quietly this morning's news displaying today’s weather and Dream forecasts. Although the room is filled with various small sculptures, Mr. Biel could not spot a single speck of dust on anything.

“Don’t worry about it, after all I take house calls for these reasons.” Mr. Biel says.

In the corner of his eye, Mr. Biel spots an elderly lady walking by through a hallway connecting the living room to the rest of the house.

“Good morning Mrs. Costa.” he says, waving politely; she waves back while moving along.

Respecting the cleanliness of the home, Mr. Biel cleans his boots on the doormat to make sure he wouldn’t track anything into the house. As he stomped his boots clean, small puffs of purple smoke plumed before settling into the fibers of the mat.

“Here let me take that for you,” Mr. Costa says, taking his helmet while Mr. Biel cleaned his shoes.

Hanging it on a nicely tarnished wooden hat rack, Mr. Costa walks ahead of Mr. Biel, coughing into the fabric he was using to cover his face.

“That Dream is a hazard I tell you. With how much it’s covered the world it’s a miracle that it hasn’t ended yet.”

“I can’t imagine how tough it must be having to worry about breathing issues with Dream floating around.” Mr. Biel says, following closely behind.

“It's a nightmare to say the least. You never know when suddenly the wind will just pick up and the whole area is classified as level three zone.” Mr. Costa says, walking down the hallway.

“Well if it's worth anything, I’ve heard that the new pylons Mira has built are working wonders in the city. The whole city has been brought back to level zero zone now.” Mr. Biel says, looking at the various family photos and empty rooms of the house; he catches a glimpse of Mrs. Costa dusting in one of them.

Reaching the end of the corridor, the old man laughs before breaking into another coughing fit.

“Sure those pylons might work, but we’re talking about Mira here after all. They’re all just money hungry fools who’ve destroyed half the world practically.” Mr. Costa says, before opening the door.

Following Mr. Costa into the dark room, Mr. Biel was greeted with a sight unlike the rest of the house once Mr. Costa finally managed to find the light switch. Thin piles of sawdust from various woodcutting saws and drills caked the garage floor and floated about in the air as Mr. Costa walked around moving boxes of unfinished wood carvings; face uncovered. On the other side of the garage lies parked an orange muscle car, glistening pristinely with shine in contrast to the powdered mess of the garage floor.

“Ain’t she a beauty,” Mr. Costa says as he wipes his hands free the sawdust he had gathered on his hands from the boxes; sneezing as the powder floated near his face.

“She sure is.” Mr. Biel says.

Inspecting the car closer, Mr. Biel circles the car to find not a single scratch or dent on it.

“I’ve had her for almost 20 years now and I’m hoping that you can upgrade her for the Dream clouds. In case of an emergency you know?”

“20 years you say? I wouldn’t have been able to tell,” Mr. Biel says.

He opens the hood of the car, checking the engine bay.

“Not even a hint of rust or wear.” he says before closing it.

Mr. Costa laughs, before coughing.

“Thank you, I’ve done my best to maintain her. So what do you say?  Do you think it's possible?”

“Just as Dream has caused problems, it can solve it just as easily.” Mr. Biel says.

Wiping a nearby bench caked with sawdust clean with his arm, Mr. Biel takes off his backpack and sets it down. He pulls from it a glass jar labeled Dream.

“Woah, you’re going to use that stuff?” Mr. Costa says warily.

“Don’t worry, I work with this all the time. I’ll use Dream to just create a field around the intake of your car which would make a sort of filter. Hopefully it’ll let your car run fine even in a level three storm.”

“You can use Dream to do that?”

“Of course, I even use it on my mask. It lets me breathe better out there.” Mr. Biel says, flashing his face covering that was tucked away under his shirt.

“I can give you one for free if you want. I have an extra one in my motorcycle.”

“No, no, no. Thank you for your offer, but I think I’ll just continue to stick with what I have.” Mr. Costa says as he shows off his piece of fabric.

“Alright. If you change your mind let me know.” Mr. Biel says as he prepares for the job.

“I’ll leave you to it I suppose. I wouldn’t want to breathe in any more particles that would make my cough worse.” Mr. Costa says as he starts to leave the garage.

“Also if you need anything like tea or water, just let us know and we’ll be glad to get you some.” Mr. Costa says, standing by the door frame.

“I’ll let you know sir. Thank you.” Mr. Biel says before Mr. Costa leaves.

Closing the door to the garage behind him, Mr. Costa leaves Mr. Biel alone.

“Time to get started then.” Mr. Biel says to himself.

Without missing a beat, Mr. Biel takes off his watch, and places it on the garage floor before taking a few steps backwards to assess the materials at hand.

“Dream, check. Watch, check. Everything is looking good. It's time to get to work so wake up Dream.” he says.

“Show me the interface.” he says in a louder tone.

Following his commands, his watch suddenly begins to project a large holographic screen.

What shall I do for you today?

“Show me the files for the filtration project.”

The holographic display switches from the prompt screen to a 3D image of a computer file showcasing a chemical-bond like structure of Dream and various computer files which housed the coding for the filtration system. Reviewing the files, Mr. Biel swipes left in the air, the hologram reacting in accordance as it shows a new prompt.

Where shall I apply myself?

“First, use the scan structure project onto this car.”

From the jar, the Dream awakens as the projection displays a solid yellow cube. In a steady stream the machines levitate into the air, emptying out the contents of the jar. Encompassing the space above the car, the Dream had begun to form mass that nearly reached the roof of the garage. Spreading itself out in the air, the mass then slowly descended onto the car; completely sealing the car within itself without as much moving a speck of sawdust that piled by the wheels of the car. As this process occurred, Mr. Biel watched the projection of the cube as it began to form into a rough model of the car which only sharpened in fidelity as the Dream tightened its seal.

Task Completed

In synchrony, the bubble that had encompassed the car expanded as the Dream released its grip. Appearing as though the bubble popped, the particles burst away from the car, returning back to its container on the bench leaving the car untouched. Finding the results satisfactory, Mr. Biel gestures at the projection which dissected the model to reveal the interior mechanisms of the car. In a series of motions, he proceeded to dissect the projected model into multiple parts, focusing only on the intakes and exhaust of the car. Isolating these parts, he then took painstaking effort in selecting the appropriate surfaces of the models so as to not hinder their simulated airflow.

“Okay, this should work well enough.” he says as he swipes right on the projection, bringing back up the filtration project still awaiting its directions for application.

“Apply the filtration project onto these parts.”

Once again the Dream reactivates, though this time only a trickle of Dream makes its way onto the selected areas from the model onto the car. As it lined itself over each section of the vehicle, Mr. Biel walks around to assure that Dream's fusing process finishes without a hitch.

Task Completed.

Spotting that the projection had ended in the corner of his eye, Mr. Biel takes a step back to watch as the remaining Dream return back to the jar. Stepping forward, he reinspects the car again to see how well the fusing went. He passes his fingers through each intake and exhaust pipe to see that the Dream filter had applied itself properly. It would have been impossible to tell that anything had changed if there wasn't a hint of Dream's purple mixed in with the metallic silver of the pipes or the slight raise in the material where the filter was.

“It looks about right. Time to make sure that it actually does work though.” Mr. Biel says after smiling for a job well done.

Making his way back to the bench, he grabs in one hand a mound of Dream before returning to the car. Crouching down by the front, he tosses a few specks of Dream at the grills of the vent, watching as the puff was repulsed by the filter.


Standing up he goes to the rear of the car and tries the same thing on the exhaust pipe to find the same results. Returning to the front, he locates the air conditioning vent which is located under the front glass panel.

“Okay, moment of truth.”

With the remaining pile in his hand he pours the Dream over the vent and watches as the grains are rejected, pulsating in waves pattern above the vent.

“Perfect. I can’t believe I’m still impressed by this after all these years. It’s really something else.” Mr. Biel says, admiring the Dream that glittered as it bounced around in suspense before falling off to the sides of the vehicle.

“Return the Dream back to the container.”

Like sand in the wind, the Dream scattered before Mr. Biel as it found its way back to the container, refilling the jar and not leaving a single speck of Dream loose in the car. Collecting himself, Mr. Biel goes and closes the jar of Dream before putting it away in his bag and picking up his watch from the ground; ending its projection. As he dusts himself free of the stray pieces of sawdust that had gathered on his clothing, he makes one final check.

“Seems all good, now let’s get Mr. Costa to see what he thinks, right?” He says to his watch as he places it on his wrist; wiping it clean of the sawdust dirtying its chipped exterior.