Project 29

It should come as virtually no surprise that I can have fairly vivid and incredulous dreams on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes, these are dreams of torment, where my mind has delicately picked only the most terrifying and debilitating images, sensations and concepts to give me a fitful and restless sleep. Others, I can be subjected to wondrous locations, amazing tales and astounding personalities to fill my mind with riveting tales.

Sometimes, these aforementioned dreams can become ideas that I find ways to work into my stories and writings. Indeed, a particularly memorable dream helped me reshape many of the concepts that I was secretly displeased with of my primary literature franchise, Galaxy 2,000,000,000 and form it into something I am much more proud of to this day.

And yes, I am still working on the sequel. It’s a very long process.

The other night, I had another incredible dream that, upon awaking and retaining a fraction of sentience, I began re-running through my mind in order to not lose it. Occasionally, I see fit to put it in writing: typically as a page-long summary with specific points to help my recollection of the images and sensations I experienced. Others, I rely on my atrocious memory to retain the important broad-strokes and symbols if the specifics of the dream are not overly important (again, see a paragraph prior for an example). This time, however, I wish to share the concepts of the dream I had to a larger audience.

Now, if you’re wondering about the title of this blog, it’s for a very simple reason: I always label all my writing projects in chronological order based on when the idea was conceptualized. Surprisingly, this method allows me to easily retain which story is which ‘project’, and can help me recall if I’ve already had an idea that is similar enough that the two can be rolled together. And as a general aside, I reserve project titles for only stories that will become full feature-length novels. Short stories and poetry do not get such luxury.

Because I’m an elitist, I suppose.

Now, allow me to set the premise for this particular work of fiction I have in mind. This one is more of a hard science-fiction genre, something I’ve never really dabbled in before (if for no other reason that the sheer amount of research required is staggering). Set in a time where technology has become exceedingly advanced and human cybernetics are, while perhaps not common, are prevalent enough that the common human is aware of such a thing.

Enter anonymously named main character (for hereafter called An, since I literally do not have a name for her). A recent hire to an investigations department that works separately from the police and similar law enforcement, An was brought in to investigate a series of serial robberies and abductions that take place near a university in the heart of the city. The robberies and abductions are bizarre in that, if there is more than one victim, the second is abducted, while the first is only robbed. The description of the perpetrator is always the same: a young-looking girl with haunting eyes and wearing a featureless mask.

This is where An meets one of the victims of a robbery, who I shall now give the arbitrary name of Gary since I, again, do not recall what his dream name was (or even if he had one). He was one of two young men, just about to graduate from the nearby university when he and a friend, let’s call them Bob, walked through the alleyway and were attacked. The details match and it becomes apparent that that same perpetrator is at play here.

An carries on with her work and then things get foggy. If for no other reason than to keep some of the better plot developments secret so that, if I do write this project someday, I’ve not spoiled all the good twists.

Now, fast forward a couple of years, where Gary also enlists to that same investigations department with An. Since she’s been pretty good at her job, she’s received a decent raise and promotion. Because that might be important?

Now the two of them are investigating a new case where a particular prominent cybernetics corporation has been subjected to a number of attempted hacks and break-ins. As things stand, the attempted hackers have been unsuccessful in breaking in, but the CEO fears its only a matter of time before these attackers find a way in. This is bad; why? Well, this particular corporation handles a number of commissions from the government, and if some of the files are leaked, it could lead to considerable civil disaster.

Y’know, serious bad.

Well, now An and Gary must work together to find these hackers and bring them to justice (or whatever). As they work, they stumble across a seemingly unrelated group that Gary is rather interested in. Now, in my dream, this group was actually entirely unrelated to the main story, and spiralled into a really bizarre game of rock-paper-scissors on top of a wooden tower that occasionally exploded. Oddly enough, nobody was every harmed in this game.

As the story goes on, An becomes involved in an accident and enters a brief coma. This then introduces a small series of flashbacks to her youth and what sort of events made her into who she is to this day. Pretty standard stuff. When she awakens, she discovers that Gary isn’t a waste of human space and has been actively investigating while she was out-of-commission. Getting back into the saddle, she meets up with him and finds out what he’s been up to in the past two weeks.

Like I said, short coma.

This is the part where my brain actually skipped several plot developments and just left me to fill in the blanks on my own. After an unspecified time skip, An and Gary are intimate (I know, not the most original plot-twist of all time), the investigation is rapidly heating up and our two heroes are hot on the heels of this mysterious hacking group.

The group is discovered, and here come a series of bomb-shells one after another after another. For starters, Gary was an informant for this hacker organization. Shocking, right? He wasn’t actually attacked in that alley all those years back, but was put out there to see how much the investigations departments actually knew (and yes, departments is deliberately plural as there are multiple unaffiliated investigations groups in this world. Because reasons).

The next big surprise is that An knew all along about the specifics of what the big corporation was actually dealing in. Remember that promotion I mentioned? Well, turns out she was promoted to a largely unknown organization called the MiD, the Ministry of Data. There, she received a series of cybernetic implants and modifications and was tasked with keeping tabs on what the various investigations departments knew about these nationally sensitive government contracts and to investigate these various hacking groups.

The next big twist comes from the fact that the mastermind behind this hacker organization is someone An doesn’t even know. Given modern fiction, that is actually a bit of a surprise. However; their secret weapon is, in fact, someone An used to know in her past. There was a friend that An used to have that largely faded into obscurity after they graduated highschool. Rumour had it this friend fell into drug addiction and faded between the cracks of society as a result. While largely true, this friend was abducted by this hacker organization and cybernetically enhanced to become the ultimate infiltration tool.

Then comes the big finale. This old friend attacks the corporation with the help of Gary, An must defeat them both and bring them to justice, all while sorting out her own morals on what it means to have a free will in a society otherwise controlled by standards and convention.

Well, the ending is pretty obvious, right? An wins, Gary and the friend are defeated, the hacker group is taken down. All’s well that ends well. And here comes the surprise twist: the story isn’t over yet. With her new knowledge of these events, the MiD is curious to see if they could have prevented these things in a logical manner that wouldn’t show their technological hand while minimizing the collateral damage. With this in mind, An is sent back in time to when the first abduction/robbery happened to see if their analysis was proven correct.

To start, An must assassinate her younger self and seamlessly assimilate into her old life. Luckily, due to her cybernetic enhancements and the MiD’s systems, this is fairly easily achieved. Turns out the MiD has been capable of time travel for an extensive period of time, so they have specific operating systems in place to contact and merge time-travelling agents smoothly.

This is about the point where I actually woke up and the dream ended; but as you can see, the stage is really interestingly set for further exploration of the themes and plot that this story has to offer. Of course, there are many elements that I had omitted from this summary, and as mentioned earlier, either to protect the story’s more interesting plot developments, or because my dream brain is terribly easily distracted and would go off on tangents about other, unrelated things.

All in all, it’d be a really interesting story to write. Ideally I’ll work on it in the future, but seeing as I have a small mountain of other stories to write first, it could be a couple of decades before then. Let me know if you find this proposal interesting and any thoughts on it you may have! I’d love to hear from you folks.

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