A Dream About Previous Work

It was such a long, uninterrupted dream. It involved Michele, an ex-coworker, and the BlackICE computer security product we sold and supported.

I came across Michele. She and I had worked together for ten years. She told me that BlackICE was working again. I was surprised; did it ever stop working? Not that I knew. She told me that it had ceased and then disappeared from the market. Then, suddenly, it was back. She, along with others, were trying to learn who brought it back.

I offered to help, which was gratefully accepted. She led me down a narrow path through a short field past a few trees. Going through a gray metal door, we entered a two-story place. A minimalist place, constructed from cinder blocks, it had two dirty windows. Old wooden workbenches with old, old, large computer pieces lined the walls. Up narrow metal stairs which shook when we walked up them, was a loft with an old gray desk, monitor and computer on it. Two people, men who I knew were engineers, were working, one downstairs, one up. Both greeted me.

“There it is,” one man said. “It’s live again.”

Michele had explained to me that they hoped that it would go live, allowing them to trace it. That’s what they started doing. She told me a more senior engineer was due and asked me to go outside and wait for him so I could bring him in. As I went to leave, he entered, slender with a gray beard and hair, wearing a tan trench coat, carrying a brown attaché. Someone said, “That’s Alexc,” to which I replied, “I know.” Seeing me, Alexsaid, “Oh, you.”

It sounded a little derogatory. I replied, “You know me, Alex. We’ve met before.”

He nodded, I guess acknowledging that.

Alex went to a computer, studied it, and then directed some activity. We were to continue monitoring the systems for further activity. Michele was told to go upstairs. She did. Though I wasn’t officially involved, I went up after her. There was another room up there which I hadn’t noticed before. Very dark, it lacked furniture but was loaded with stacked servers, keyboards and monitors, and was very cold. She settled on the floor in near darkness and used her jacket as a blanket. I told her, “I’ll stay up here with you if you want.”

She answered, “I appreciate that.”

I sat on the floor beside her, our backs against the wall. Alex came up to check on her. He said, “It’s going to take a very long time. We’re setting up another place. When it’s ready, I’ll send for you.” He then thanked me for helping and departed.

Michele and I began falling asleep. We decided to nudge each other to stay awake. One of the monitors leaped into life. Numbers and graphs danced across it. Jumping up, I said, “Michele, look.” Her eyes were closed and she was snoring. I shook her awake. Another engineer came up and said, “We’re set up at the new place. Come on.”

We arrived at the new place after a short walk through the night. This new facility was low and modern, cement, with blacked out glass windows. The three of us entered. Long consoles loaded with gear were manned. People greeted us. Michele was shown to her workstation. Alex asked me if I wanted to stay and be a part of it. This is where the dream ended.

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