Author : Linda Breneman
“I can control a computer with my mind—from inside a dream,” New Scientist, February 2017.
At first I was content to fly like a bird and have brief tea parties with my dead mother.
Later I took to diving off buildings and bridges. Like the patron saint of lucid dreaming, the Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys, I’m a glorious fool.
When I was recruited by the government spooks, I leapt ahead. Their tech, the LD3000, is a groundbreaking headset that delivers harmless, quick zaps to the brain while you sleep, a 40-Hz alternating current transiting your cranium. When they add infusers to deliver smells linked with your favorite activities—such as flying, eating, and libidinous encounters—it’s not long before you can control the plots, the scenery, the characters, and your point of view.
Recruits: I’m sure you’re aware that we are an elite force. We move attack drones with our minds while we’re sleeping, eliminating insurgents as necessary. What you might not know is that our job doesn’t have to be unpleasant.
While stabilizing and sweetening your dreams can be difficult, it is not by any means impossible. Think of dreams as little children who do not wish to be tamed. The more intent you are, the more recalcitrant they become. But with patience, time, and a little Skinnerian conditioning, you can learn to direct your dreams like Spielberg.
It helps that the LD3000 multiplies the gamma brainwaves in your frontal lobes, temporal lobes, and hippocampus.
What’s really going on is brain regions telling their inside-out stories to each other, like the one where you’re swimming with dolphins rather than bombing villages.
When a giant baby grows the head of a camel and waltzes with you in the oasis, you know you’re getting there. All you have to do is dart your eyes right and left. That’s the signal that you’re ready to let the bombs fly.
Just between you and me, juxtapositions are your friends. Transform that desert hut into a delicious frosted cupcake you’re about to savor.
Let the convoy of Humvees on the highway become a ribbon in your lover’s hair.
Maple trees in lovely fall garb are one of my favorite morphs for fire.
If witches and monsters startle you, or if video manifestations of maimed enemy combatants leak into the dream, run straight at the apparitions with your chest open, and they’ll slip right through.
You’re a conjurer, making up the future as you go along.
You’ll almost fall in love with this job, I guarantee it, once you realize you are in control, and reality is only another place, a place filled with suffering and pain, but a place you have official permission to ignore.