In the dream I am watching Guan-Pen die. His skin is already dry and shriveled, cracking in places, exposing purple meat underneath. They are beating him to death and he is reaching toward me, speaking quickly in his native tongue. Then his jaw cracks and he squeals, a long, high-pitched note that breaks me. I cannot move, I try to go toward him, I could save him, I could start with the man on the left and destroy all four men and I could get us both out of here. There is nothing holding me but the petrifying fear that they will do to me what they are doing to them. I cannot move. I remain on my knees, watching, and now Guan-Pen just gurgles when they hit him. I watch, he dies; I wake up in pain, my arm limp at a strange angle, Novas shadow in my doorway.
As usual, when I wake, I feel nothing of the terror in my dreams; it evaporates and drifts back to the memories where it belongs.