I woke up about two hours ago. I don't have the words to describe the terror I felt. It was dark, utterly and without relief. Mindless panic rose up in me. I'd been having a dream, and the most frightening part of it was that it should have been a nightmare.
I was standing in front of people. Endless numbers of them stretching as far as the eye could see. They were on their knees, hands bound behind their backs. Calm, relaxed, eyes empty of hope. I moved from one to the next, firing a single round into each of their foreheads like a man operating the killing chute at a slaughterhouse.
In the dream I knew without doubt that they needed killing. I woke up with the image of blood and bodies around me, the lingering sense of vague satisfaction staying with me as my eyes flew open in the unrelieved blackness.
Awake, I have learned the ability to maintain calm and deal with my demons. My conscious mind has healed enough that the panic stays away. I'm functional approaching truly stable. Chalk it up to worry about the incoming settlers ratcheting up my stress levels, but my subconscious is treating me to a morality lesson.
It's probably a good thing I'm up so early. Today is going to be busy for everyone. I had planned to wake a bit before my normal time anyway to be able to post something. This is the best I have, however. I'm too shaken to safely focus on anything else without worrying about spilling some security detail I'm not supposed to share.
No matter how grown up we become, it seems we never quite eradicate our fear of the dark.