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Some Assembly Required

Dreamed 1978/10/26 by Chris Wayan

A Goddess's daughter descends from Mt Olympus to the house of a rich magician. He passes for mortal, but is really a demigod--two divine ancestors, in fact, on one side of the family. He welcomes her in; they seem to be friends. She admires a new pillow of beautiful green silk, asking "Is that an original?" It's just too good to be mortal: looks like the work of her mom or aunt, back on Olympus.

"Yes, it is. So you still have the same taste for riches, eh?" teases the magician, to my surprise. Bold toward a goddess.

"You're not so poor yourself!" she says, pointing at her head. He grins. Brains, the true wealth.

I think they have a history.

She explains why she came. "I'm in search of twenty mortals, each of whom has a piece of a device that can do marvelous things if assembled. I want to trace the Twenty and see what they're up to."

"And steal a piece?" asks the magician in a dry, neutral tone. I don't think he approves of that, though he knows it's not smart to scold a goddess to her face.

"Well, I want to see one, definitely!" But she sounds a bit indignant he'd accuse her of it. It's true, she doesn't seem the type to sabotage mortals just to keep them primitive. Despite their reputation, not all gods are that spiteful. Well, Zeus is. Remember how he treated Prometheus.

The mage looks spacy for a moment, then comes back with a blink. "Hmm... none of them know what the pieces are yet. It hasn't even started coming together. I'd feel it."

The first of the Twenty that our Goddess can trace is a young woman on the phone. She looks surprisingly like the goddess; is she an unacknowledged relative, another demigod? The Goddess materializes by her shoulder, invisible. Listens a while, then touches the girl, who falls asleep. The goddess finishes the call, mimicking her voice flawlessly, to cover... and hangs up. Is she preparing to infiltrate the group?

But there is no group, that's the point! They're scattered, their wonderful assemblage still only potential... that's the key thing she learns. Every impersonation just underlines it. There's no group to infiltrate.

If she truly wants to see what they can do with it, she'll have to assemble THEM... so they'll assemble IT. She'll have to take the Frankenstein risk--that the creation may grow past the creator.


Uh-oh. I always did feel like a scattered person! But... TWENTY parts? Oh, shit!

It's good to know that there's a strong part of me (who I think I can trust) trying to stitch me together... but I hope that goddess is a hell of a diplomat. She'll need to be.

Because when did twenty human personalities ever agree on ANYTHING?

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