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Trapped in a caisson
30 June
No intention set

In a place that appears to be some sort of vertical shaft. Very utilitarian. Cement circular wall. Lights at intervals all the way up the shaft. No machinery, no furniture, nothing. Just the shaft. I'm with a group of four people, three women and a man. Everyone's wearing hard hats. There's enough room in the shaft to move around without bumping in to one another. I'm there in the body of one of the women but I don't know why. Somehow I know the others work in the facility of which the shaft is part. I suspect I do as well but have no idea what I do.

We're in the shaft to do some sort of maintenance when something happens, don't know what beyond there was a loud thud that shook the walls of the shaft, and now we're trapped in the shaft. We don't know if anyone's aware we're down there or if we're alive. We decide it's up to us to rescue ourselves. At this point I realize we're underwater. Why? Don't know. But at the moment, everything's intact. No leaking, we have air and temperature controls, we even have power because the lights still function and we can see how bad our situation is. One of the women, dark hair cut in a short bob and wearing red overalls over a butter yellow turtleneck, is crying, saying over and over that we're going to die. Another woman, older and with a no-nonsense attitude, tells her to be quiet, she's not helping, and she doesn't know if we're going to die. The other woman moves to console the crying woman, saying, Give her a break. She's scared. We're all scared, says the older woman, but we're not giving up. The man, who has been quiet until now, says, We need to go up. He points upward. I look where he points and see ladder rungs embedded in the wall. I follow the rungs upward until they disappear from view way, way above. All the way up? I ask. He grins at me and says, Yeah. All the way. Ready for a climb? No, I say, But it beats standing here and waiting for the power to go out. He looks at the older woman, whom I realize is the most senior person present, which makes her the leader. We should get moving, the man says to Boss Lady, We don't know how long the power will hold. She nods, says, I agree. He continues, I logged us coming down here, but- He shrugs. I get what he's saying, that there may not be anyone around or anyone alive to let potential rescuers know we're in the shaft. Well, I say, heading for the ladder, I'm not going to hang around to find out how long I can tread water. I grab a rung and start the long, long climb to the top. The others follow behind me. The other woman has to coax Crying Woman to start climbing.

We climb for what feels like hours but I know is really just minutes when I see a platform above me. I hadn't noticed the platform before and wonder how I missed it. But I'm so glad to see it. I climb through an opening in the platform floor and step off onto the platform. Crying woman-who is still snuffling-is next, followed by other woman, guy, Boss Lady. Guy explains there are platforms spaced every hundred feet, so we can rest occasionally. We sit on the platform, not talking. Crying Woman hugs herself and says, I'm cold. I realize I can see our breath. Guy says, Temp control is failing. He looks at me and says, We're running out of time. I get up and begin climbing the ladder again.

Jump to we're standing on another platform. My hands are killing me and every muscle in my body is screaming for mercy and copious amounts of narcotic pain relievers. The main power is now gone and we're standing in the harsh glare of the lights from the emergency battery backup lights. We can hear trickling water, too, and know leaks are beginning to occur. The people with cell phones are using flashlight apps to pan around our area. I ask what we can expect to find when we reach the top. Guy says, The access port. Is it under water? I ask. No, says Boss Lady. It's well above the water line. Anyone have anything heavy so we can knock on the wall, in case anyone might hear it and know people are in here. Guy pulls a big Maglite from a previously unseen tool bel. He bangs the Maglite against the wall and asks if it's three longs, three shorts, and three longs, or the other way around. I tell him it doesn't matter, what matters is it will be a pattern. Crying Woman begins to cry again, sobbing that all this is stupid, that we're only prolonging the inevitable. She bolts the railing around the platform, yelling, I'm not going to wait to die! Other woman tries to grab Crying Woman but Crying Woman hurls herself off the railing and into the dark below. She screams all the way down, then silence. Other Woman says, We can't just leave her! Boss Lady says, I don't plan to climb down after her. Do you? Guy and I shake our heads. Boss Lady says, We're at least three hundred feet up. She was dead when she hit the bottom. You don't know that, says Other Woman. True, I say, reaching for a ladder rung, And maybe it's heartless not to want to go back down there but I'll live with that. In the meantime, I'm going to find the way out. There's always a way out, it's just a matter of finding it. I start climbing. Guy stops hammering the Maglite against the wall and follows me. Boss Lady is after him. After a few seconds of hesitation, Other Woman brings up the rear.

This dream read like a disaster movie: People trapped and trying to survive. I didn't know what happened, beyond that thud that shook the wall of the shaft.

It was like I stepped into someone else's body, too.

At first I thought the shaft was like the leg of a deep sea oil derrick. After doing some research, I knew that wasn't it. More research led me to the term caisson: This was more indicative of the shaft, which would indicate a bridge being built. Given the depth of the shaft, it would have to be a bridge over deep water.
Very interesting dream.  It sounds a lot like this botrun.

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