In the dream, I'd been impaled in the shoulder with a sword.

The sight of New Los Angeles in the distance materialized before me. Its crystalline base, its open dome-like shape—it reminded me of Colony 6. Of course, many things didn't match. For one, the United States was clearly emblazoned on one side of the structure, along with the American flag. For another, I'm pretty sure Colony 6 didn't have turret emplacements.

From the city outward spread the continent—Primordia. Alien grasslands spread across wherever the eye could see (from here). Some creatures dotted the sky, lazily gliding overhead. Here and there would be the occasional hill and/or outcropping. A cool wind rippled through, and the grasslands almost became a fluid sea of green and brown.

It glanced my face, my exposed hands.

The breeze felt so good.

I looked down.

It wasn't gory, but I was used to the sight of my mangled body. Most of my torso had been broken off. Glass-like cracks bled from the exposed parts. My right hand was twisted at a funny angle, but I was too dazed to really feel anything else.

Awkwardly, I tried to pull the sword out of my shoulder. Failed.

Then another monster appeared.

Looking back on it, I haven't the faintest idea if that creature was native to Mira or not. All I could tell was that its shape was like a cross between a giraffe and a gorilla. Its powerful shoulders let it hold its neck as it swung its head down to look at me. As the view of NLA was blotted out, five red eyes glared at me.

Face to face.

Monster to monster.

I waited for it to attack—defenseless.

It bared its fangs, and its head rushed into mine.

Morbidly, I smiled for the brief relief.

And then I woke up.