One of the things that happened before we had to leave High Arka was that they stopped letting us dream (then sleep entirely, but that came second). Not really "stopped"-stopped. They just started charging for it, only a little bit and then more, to defray the general cost of dreaming and make it easier and safer for everyone to avoid some of the pitfalls of sleep. We all pitched in a little bit for our dreams.
I'm not talking about "dreams" like "I want to be a professional ballet dancer" or "I want to play for the Knicks." I mean just the sleeping kind. The kind you usually don't think that you remember. Those kinds of dreams.
Some of us, at the beginning of the charges, started to notice that our dreams had become different. They were nicer dreams, sure, and you almost always remembered them, but they were so tame. No nightmares, which was supposed to keep us safer and lower our stress levels. It was supposed to be a good thing; something to help us out.
After a while, with the same thing happening to so many of us, it seemed less like a coincidence. Then there were the kids who never knew what dreams were supposed to be--kids who had never had the real kind. When you saw it happen to the kids, it really got to you. The lack of the dreams, I mean. When you saw kids who'd never had a memory, even one memory, of an old-fashioned dream, it got to you, and you realized that your own had vanished, too, and in a few years, when you were gone, no one around would ever dream honestly anymore. It all got like weSees and plays, so that you never saw real dreams again. And the rate increases, lightspring, the rate increases were so bad you didn't even care about the fake stuff anymore. Most of us just got on the plan. Let it drop to minimum. Who even cares, anymore? It's not like you needed dreaming for anything. When you were on the plan, everyone had pretty much the same dreams, so you always had something to talk about. Made it easier to make friends. Sort of.
But then sleep itself started to feel different, which made you realize how different it had felt twenty years ago when the dreams had changed. We realized we were all sort of ghosts, always awake. Axom, how we wanted to dream again. Just a few of us, really. Most had forgotten. Most of them had decided they really didn't want to dream anymore. Seeing those ones was scarier than anything else yet. The few of us who remembered--we got together, and started coveting the last little bits of stolen sleep we could cram in, hoping for dreams, but they never came back. Even when we ripped everything out and tried to sleep the old way, the sleep never felt the same, and the dreams never came back.
Call this one borrowed from E.L. Moravic's still unreleased. (c) or whatever. That's what you do here, right? So yeah. Believe me, I'm watching that. I'm all over that.