I had a very interesting dream the other day – one which I may eventually adapt into a short story, but for now it will make a nice blog post.
In it, I was riding on the bus with a friend of mine at the end of a pleasant evening out. I was heading home and feeling good. Things took a turn for the strange when a man riding on the bus started talking to me.
“It’s time for you to leave the simulation,” he said. “Prepare yourself, this will feel weird.”
Before I could say anything, my friend grabbed my arm and said “Make sure you don’t forget anyone. We can only survive in your mind.”
Then I experienced a sensation which I can only describe as being the opposite of slowly falling into a pleasant dream. I felt almost as if I was being sucked out of a dream – finding myself in a sensory deprivation tank.
I was let out and found myself inside a small, clinical building. Through the window, it looked as though I was in the countryside somewhere near Corsham.
The man then explained to me that I was being used to help in a murder investigation. I had been in a simulation for ten years and placed in a situation where I every person I would befriend was a suspect. All of my friends, in fact, were people who I had never met in reality. I only knew their digital copies in the virtual world.
They used this method because by building friendships with people over ten years and earning their trust, I would be able to provide a thorough insight into their minds. Everything that had happened in the last ten years had been engineered to measure their responses to certain things. Every moment recorded.
I felt a little sad thinking about a world where none of my friends had actually known me and I asked a few questions about how each of them were. Many had been dismissed as not likely to have committed the murder and they told me about their lives over the last ten years, most of which was very nice – if a little bittersweet.
I started to think about the people in the simulation. If they were autonomous copies, to what extent where they less than real people? They believed that they were real and I had formed a real connection with them. Just because it existed in another layer of reality made no difference to its significance.
When the man left the room, I took the opportunity to slip back into the simulation – and so the dream ended. It’s very weird for it to have had such a solid ‘plot’ as that, but I liked it and wanted to share it! It was one of those ones which made me feel a little emotional when I woke up.