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had the weirdest dream

Had a dream that I was working in the lab with an indonesian colleague of mine. I think we were doing some kind of microscopy.

Anyway halfway through there's this red drippy stuff that comes out of the ceiling and pours over the both of us. We've got no idea what's going on. I decide that this isn't good. The stuff smells like blood and there's no earthly explanation for it to be coming out of a seam in a solid cast concrete ceiling.

I get up and consider the safety shower, but it's broken. So I decide it would be better to sort this out in the carpark. I bust the fire alarm and the building goes to evacuation mode. Other people are packing up at their desks at the office. Some diehards keep doing minipreps at the bench while others bustle past to ditch their labcoats at the labcoat rack.

I get to the fire-stair doors and hold them open. I notice the light switch to "DOOR UNAVAILABLE" and the lock click. My colleague says "Go down ahead of me. I've got to get my work."

I say "No way. These doors will lock as soon as I let them go."

He says "Go. I'll meet you in the carpark." and runs away.

Down in the car park I get cleaned up. I explain to the fire wardens and the police that none of the blood is mine, and I thought I'd better be safe than sorry.

The next day (inside the dream) I'm called to the Chancellor's office. The Chancellor is a head of state, like a prime minister or president. He has nothing to do with the university hierarchy. I decide that I'm in deep shit for some reason.

I go to government citadel and sit in on a session of parliament while waiting for my audience. The parliment is dressed up in shiny foam rubber and latex outfits that look like the bastard lovechild of a star wars stormtrooper, a gundam and a ceramic salt shaker with an amusing anthropomorphic head.

The cabinet members are all standing behind pedestals which are topped with green polygonal pieces of perspex that display various government-debate relevant data, and fold away like closing flowers when not in use.

After some incomprehensible legalese, the chancellor rises from his great chair (and in my first clear view of him he's an ordinary looking white man in a black mandarin collar suit) and announces to the cameras that "Parliament will be right back with this week's Game of Life after these commercial messages". On the way out of the chamber towards the bath rooms, a member of parliament has a quiet word with him.

The Member says "Every Game of Life so far has had you checkmate the condemned prisoner. If you played to stalemate this time, it's within the constitution to make the condemned prisoner have some sort of commutation to, say, life imprisonment. That would mean the prisoner doesn't go free and you don't lose per se. It would be different, and probably make the matches more attractive to viewers."

After the break, the Chancellor plays a game with the first of the condemned prisoners and checkmates him. I'm ushered into an office, something like judges chambers, where the chancellor will see me when he is done with the next two prisoners.

In the room there are three high school age students in various exclusive school uniforms. Their parents are there too. They're watching a video that involves them (the top scoring students in the country) promoting something or other.

The video shows the students falling out of the sky wearing a backpack each. The camera centers on one of the students who pulls a ripcord. A beautiful pair of angel's wings erupts from the pack.

"In life, you are forced to make many hard choices" says a voice over.

The wings flap, slowing the student down, causing all their comrades to fall away from them.

"Where to study, where to work, but most importantly whom to love."

The student pulls another ripcord. The wings are shed from the back of her back and pull away like a drogue chute. They pull a mass of balloons free behind her, each balloon is of a different color.

"Your mother would have told you in the past, that you can only love one."

The balloons end in strings that the student holds in her hand. The student slowly lets go of balloons, which fly away into the sky as she falls slower and slower.

Finally the last balloon is tethered to her hand by its string. At the end of the string is a diamond ring that she holds in her palm.

"But new technology means that this is not necessarily so."

The ring duplicates in her palm. it becomes a chain of rings, which gently lowers her to the ground.

On the ground there's a crowd of identical students to the one that just dropped out of the sky. The student drifts down among them, holding her golden chain of rings that stretches to the heavens.

"The High Chancellor has declared that You may be selected as a member of the Clonal Elite based on a national system of testing. Now you can love everyone."

The chain of rings bursts into individual links and rains down on the crowd. Each clonal student picks up a ring from the ground and fits it on her finger. The camera pulls back to see other, massive crowds made of identical boys, and identical girls, in their different school uniforms. All of them have diamond rings.

"The High Chancellor's Clonal Elite. Are you ready?"

The Chancellor walks in and takes off his jacket and hangs it on a hatstand.

"Thankyou girls and boys. I'm sorry I'm a little late. It's so hard to play for a draw. I've got to tell you that I'm very proud of all of you, and the service you're doing for this country. In recognition of your service, I'm giving each of you, the original Unit Zeros, a medal which you and only you can wear proudly. Additionally, I also give you this matching ring that only the partner of your choice may wear."

He called their names, and handed out the baubles.

"Thankyou," he said, "I'm sorry, but I am running late. Any questions you may have, I am happy to answer through my office."

And the students were ushered out.

"So," the chancellor said to me, "I understand there was a laboratory accident at your work."

"Yes, Your Excellency," I said.

"It appears that you and your colleague Jensen were caught in a spray of hydraulic fluid from a malfunctioning ceiling unit. Similar malfunctions were occurring in your building at the time, and we do suspect sabotage. Your actions prevented further injury to your colleagues. We will compensate you for the skin burns that you have received, and I want to personally ask you to render your assistance in the investigation."

"Your Excellency?" I asked.


"My colleague, it wasn't Jensen. Jensen's a tall blond man from Norway."

"Then who was it?"

"Your Excellency, I don't remember."

"It was Jensen. I spoke to him this morning. Besides, isn't that the reason you have 'Jensen, Hydraulic fluid burn' written on your hand in biro?"

I looked down. It was written there, where it hadn't been a moment before.

"Your Excellency," I faltered.

"Here's your supervisor now. He's been called away from his office and his work, just to take you and Jensen back to the lab."

My supervisor (in the dream, not my real supervisor) arrived and shepherded me and Jensen-from-norway back to the car.

"Jensen," I said, "do you remember an Indonesian guy? I'm having trouble remembering his name."

Before Jensen could reply my supervisor leaned over from the driver's seat and handed me a conference ticket.

"For the conference on the 26th." he said.

I'd been invited as a speaker! But I hadn't discovered anything?! What the hell was I going to say? On the back there was a conference branded credit card, which I was supposed to sign to activate.

I remember being driven along with the conference packet in my hand, wondering how I was going to forget my friend existed.