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The Dream Changer

Three guys, held captive by a fanatic group in darkest Africa while working for their respective companies.
All different, nothing in common, but fortunately all had inner strength
Underwent life changing processes, dark, dark times
The fanatics were bullies as well  and when they were frustrated at getting a quick payoff took the three guys into a deep cave, fed them little and used them horribly.
Pitting one against another, torturing them, making them choosing between each other for whom to go next
Choosing which one would die, to let others live (the eldest’s went)
They were broken and put back together to be used by the fanatics again and again
The three guys formed a bond of brotherhood, they never gave up.  Feigning illness and madness they worked on the captors until the captors became lazy and when the time came they killed their captives and escaped.
The bonds formed during this 3 year incarnation was profound
One was a dreamer ideas innovative thinker, (Tim, the eldest), one a practical problem solver, good scientist, (Eddy) one a nerdy computer programmer working with neural imaging techniques (Gareth)
They had implicit faith in each other. With an understanding of themselves and each other, having seen the depths each could reach, and return from, now, no one could touch them again, they spent their time together, the dreamer always coming up with ideas to solve the world’s problems
And of course they dreamt and told each other about their dreams.  This lead to an interest in lucid dreaming, Tim could do this occasionally and was teaching the others.
They had all been paid-off by their respective companies under various insurance schemes. They didn’t need to work any more and had more than enough funds to keep them going.
They decided on a project, to try to work on a lucid dreaming machine – one that could help promote lucid dreaming.
Some success with tapping into the basic thought processes using new microwave imaging techniques lead by Gareth.  Developing an improved process for capturing the electromagnetic radiation from the brain and using an image processing unit to start discerning between different thought patterns
Using Tim as the experiment, they stimulated (through an induced itching in the throat which appeared in his dream state, many stimulations just woke him up or didn’t work at all). Mapping his lucid dream images in real time then spent ages working out what they represented.  Eventually, three years later, they got a good correlation between dream images, dream types against the captured images.
Now they tried reversing the process – and lo and behold, it worked pretty well, they were able to induce a particular type of dream state into Tim’s normal dreams – awaking him to relate his experiences.
They also discovered a link between the sleep depth and consciousness, and were able to induce and a stable dream state that was vividly real and had great detail, just like a lucid dream.  Tim would say – ‘just like being plucked from a parallel dimension’ when he awoke.
They worked away without any real cause or idea of where this was leading them.  It didn’t matter, they were exploring minds and doing it together, taking their own away from their nightmares.
It worked on the others too – much to Gareth’s and Eddy’s surprise, their own images were very similar for dream types and the dream state was easily controlled.
One day, Tim looked at them in that knowing way, and said ‘guys I have an idea’  This was not new – but this time, Tim had a wider concept than just making a dream machine.  He, as always wanted to change the world and saw a possible way to do it.
They understood immediately.  Their own ‘changed state’ allowed a deep instinctive knowledge of what was possible.  But could they achieve this level and depth of change?
It took them a month to put together the basic ‘Dream Changer’. It took another year before they had a working process that was effective and reliable.
Are we there do you think? says Gareth.  Does it compare? Says Tim.
The answer they knew already.
Another five years went bye.  Now totally committed, the dream changer just got better and better.  One day they knew they had it where it needed to be.  It was not perfect, it never could be, but it did the job.
Selling the idea was simplistic, they got an interview with a big player in the technical markets.  After insisting on a non disclaimer agreement, they let the guy ‘test’ run the process using their experimental assembly.  The ‘test’ was a controllable dream state demo, with lucid dreaming thrown in for fun.  He bought 5% for £10 Billion within a week.  The rest fell-in like a pack of cards.
A one year production schedule took them from prototype to newly designed chips for both processing and control plus the innovative micro wave controller / emitter.
Five separate production businesses were churning out finished headset units by the year end, providing 10 million units a week rising to 50 million within 2 months.  This was the highest volume product ever made and it was low cost due to using economic chip designs within a strong NCC light weight frame and powered by built in bio-batteries. Within the activation process was an automatic check of age using brain imaging function, this was a spin off and found to be very accurate.  This would ensure the device could not be used by children.
Six months later and they had a billion units ready for launch.
Using their partners and distribution arms – the launch cost several billion dollars world wide – billed simply as ‘The Game Changer’ it was acclaimed as ‘next century technology’ and directly (and only) by the some of the richest business leaders spanning the world.
The retail cost was just $10 dollars or equivalent.  On launch day, it sold out.
The retail units were completely dead and required activation by a wireless signal propagated across the world’s networks, allowing the turn-on across the world to be co-ordinated.
Ahead of this event, there was a tsunami across the media social networks that swept through the time zones. The device was actuated early evening, starting in the GMT time zones and spreading steadily in both time directions.
Like the aftermath of a storm, all went quiet after activation.  Europe went effectively off-line.  There were only quiet murmurings.
For the major stakeholders the sell-out had already made them their billions.  But they were looking for add-on sales, the advantage they had was their own personal knowledge of what this thing could deliver.  They were to be disappointed.
The activation had been essential to keep the real Dream Changer away from all agencies. There were dumbed-down demo versions aplenty to satisfy the people who ‘insisted’ on knowing.  These were simple play machines involving lucid dreaming techniques
They, like everyone else, especially the ‘authorities and power players’ had no knowledge of the final product and its delivery.  The demos were totally convincing, this was indeed next century technology and it certainly delivered a completely new dimension in gaming, it was a little worrying but they saw no reason to ban it.
The eerie quietness started unsettling those who hadn’t chosen to use the device.  People looked just the same, perhaps with a different air about them, but nothing untoward.
The restaurants, cafes and pubs were muted, people chose talking smaller groups rather than forming larger animated parties.  They looked knowingly at each other – those who had ‘Dreamt’.  The world continued to turn, people went to work, came home, looked after the kids and each other.
There were, of course, the people who could not cope.  These were the inevitable casualties and these fell mainly into two groups
One group was the troubled sort, the people with built-in weakness and unstable mental states.  They were pushed up to and often over the edge.
The second were the bullies, the self-righteous, the ‘power brokers’ who lived for themselves and sought always to control others for their own needs – these people were stripped of their cloaks, they walked around dazed, finding every eye uncomfortable, everyone looked at them as if they were quite naked with nowhere to hide.
Initially, the death rate soared, nearly all suicides.  Later, as the Dream Changer found its way to the farthermost corners of the world, the world became more peaceful, wars, fanatics and protagonists started talking about creating a different approach.
The Prime Minister of the UK was one of the few who had chosen not to ‘indulge’.  He was a strident man but of little intellect.  He saw an advantage to being aloof of this clearly stupid reaction ‘to a game for god’s sake’.
The rest of the cabinet asked him to reconsider, told him directly that he needed to ‘understand’.  He still refused, they simply stared him out-of-office with hardly a word being uttered.
The Dream Changer had become a game changer.  Creating a profoundly moving dream state, it lead each individual to places few had ever known.  Each person became torturer and executioner, lover and betrayer, fighter and winner, brothers-in-arms gaining the world. Losing it again, then regaining it against all odds.  Every dream was different, using memories and creating new worlds, new people, new friends, new lovers, new enemies.  Just like normal dreams, they ran their course but were nudged along into new and frighteningly real situations.  Most people awoke exhausted but into a new self.  Like Tim, Eddy and Gareth they had been fundamentally changed.  They now knew true brotherhood and what could be achieved and had seen how far they could fall.  The issue now was creating a world for everyone, nothing else lead to reason.

Our three survivors were happy with their work.  The outcome was as expected.  They had a quiet drink, gently clinking their glasses together, contented smiles, few words were needed. They had been used but had now pitted themselves against human nature and for the first time humans had out-thought nature and won - changing the world and mankind forever.  They stated to consider their next project – now what would it be? Educate the world? Or create new forms of energy for everyone? Perhaps both.  This time they wouldn’t be alone.



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