Author: Evan MacKay
I lower myself into the pod slowly, feeling the cool nutrient gelatin cover my skin. A shiver ripples across me, causing hairs to stand on edge before they are submerged. My legs go first, then my sex, then my torso. Finally, I come to my head. I take a deep breath, knowing I don’t need to, but the gelatin looks too much like water for me to overcome the impulse. My head goes under in a quick splash, and I open my eyes as I sink down to the foam bed, that gently conforms to my body. I can feel myself running out of air. My heart pounds in my chest.
“Breathe,” a doctor from outside the pod says into his microphone.
I shake my head, still unwilling to release my oxygen.
“Breathe,” the doctor says again, and I feel a jolt from the cord connected to my chest. I release the air in shock and breathe in the gelatin. It is tasteless and fills my lungs. It is a strange feeling, not having to breathe. I won’t have to eat either, or piss, or shit. The gelatin will provide all the nutrients I need while I sleep. One hundred percent efficient. All I have to do is dream.
I can see the doctors moving above, they’re talking to each other. Their voices are distant, muffled. A gloved hand reaches down into the pod and begins attaching monitors, which pull at my skin uncomfortably. A helmet extends behind me, and I am instructed to slip it on. It covers my head and eyes so all I see is blackness. I feel little pinpricks in the back of my mind. Little bursts of color that tickle my thoughts. That would be the neural transmitter syncing up with my brain waves.
The doctor’s voice comes through the microphone again. “Are you all set Mr. Uthman?”
I nod my head and give a thumbs up. This is it, I’m finally doing it.
“Alright. Beginning neural transmitting. Have a good sleep, Mr. Uthman.”
I feel more pinpricks in the back of my mind. Excitement mixes with my apprehension, a nervous desire for what comes next. I was never much in life. I’d tried to be a writer, but that never panned out. Neither did my marriage. But now I was about to become something much greater.
A particularly strong pinprick hits me and my whole body convulses momentarily.
The world begins to fade, and I can feel the machine reading my thoughts and transmitting them. Soon I will begin to dream. I will dream all the stories I can imagine, all the stories I wasn’t skilled enough to write. They will be transmitted to the processor which will make them edible. Soon people will eat the dreams I produce. Soon people will live them, as perfectly as if they were happening in real life. I have become the ultimate storyteller. I shudder again, as everything fades into blackness. And I begin to dream.