We were exploring a crater. It was an ancient site and someone was hoping to develop a housing complex. That is…unless we could find evidence of historical significance. We scoured the perimeter and sloping walls and then I saw a black stone carved into a distinct arrow with notches. “Here we go,” I told my companion.

As we dug further into the dirt, a trove of carvings came to light. Cat statues, tiny face masks, large stones carved into human figures, and more arrows of various angles. Then a shadow covered us and we looked up to see a small group of men dressed in clothes made from plant fibers. They spoke in a language only I understood and I attempted to communicate that we were not taking these items, but needed to know what this location meant.

I opened my eyes and was in what seemed like an airport terminal. My friend was handing me a cup and asked if I wanted a free cookie. “What a dream,” I told her. Then she handed me a “no-bake” cookie and asked if I would fill our water cups. As I walked over to the machine, a staff member dressed in black followed me.

I was filling up the water cups when he tapped my shoulder and said, “You need to get going NOW.”

Somehow, I knew what that meant. I hurried back to my friend and we ran down a hallway that became increasingly dark. We walked through a freezing cold airlock, then a lightless small tunnel. We emerged in the cabin where we were greeted warmly and told to find a seat. I heard the locks close and the air rush of pressurization.

The rumble of departure held me in place and I glanced through the window just in time to see the launch arm separation as the sky went from purple to black. We rocked forward and changed direction, now bathed in light from the nearest star.

We now had partial weightlessness. Travel has advanced enough that the ship supports a moon-like gravity, which made human existence in space less dangerous. I bounced through the cabin into the main stairwell that opened up into an atrium with a slow, three-story waterfall encased in a paper-thin, clear and flexible cylinder.

The trip was to be a short one, so I found some food (since I never had a chance to eat that cookie). Then I remembered my dream of a civilization in a crater with surviving tribe members probably close to killing me for disturbing their antiquities. There weren’t many people on this ship at the moment, so I had no one to talk with.

I decided I wanted to watch the landing from the captain level, so I squat down and then pushed off the floor and aimed for the third level. I floated slowly through the air as I ascended to the third level. Then I caught the “grabber bar” placed specifically for people who were jumping from the ground floor and then walked to greet the pilots.

I heard that a new pilot was making his first landing and a person standing to my right looked concerned. We took seats that were arranged like a movie theater and the view was as large as a screen. It showed a zoomed-in view of the street level traffic for what we were passing over at orbit level. It looked like a west coast city. The person to my right panicked as the video feed showed us approaching a building.

The screen flashed white and then through thousands of images displayed for microseconds. Person to the right screamed that we had died. I laughed and said, “This must be your first reentry!”

As we saw the landing site get closer in view, he said he was native to the planet we had just departed and had never been to Earth before. I told him about my crater civilization dream, and then he laughed at me. “That must have been your first visit! That’s how we communicate our history to new visitors – with a sleep show.”