Dreamed 1990/8/31 by Chris Wayan
I'm trapped in a Star Trek show. Three of us are pulled off the bridge of the Enterprise, into a strange stadium by the sea. Aliens, who call themselves the Gamesters, tell us "You're gladiators now!" They give us suits with goggles and hoods. Suited gladiators can fly at great speed; and in the Games, you need a pilot's swift reactions. Bev Crusher, the doctor, has only one eye; yet when she wears the suit, she finds she has stereo vision. She's not cured; the beings who brought us here have near-godlike powers and could obviously cure her, but they only care about her combat readiness.
The Powers That Be have taken many others, of course. Players appear, move, and disappear like holograms. We can't be sure if they're creating fake people or if they've really tamed all these victims. Raised them like lab rats, possibly.
We're each assigned a trainer from these tamed gladiators. One lonely man gets a seductive teacher, and seems happy to accept slavery in exchange for a lover... I'm worried about this. Then mine appears! A warm, simple-minded, sexy woman I feel quite ambivalent towards. Turned on... but I don't respect her at all!
Still, she does answer questions. "It's a huge, serious game, and the Players" (she means not us but the gods) "move us as chesspieces. I'll teach you the rules."
"I don't want to learn their rules. I won't play unless I understand the purpose of this game and agree with it." But does my trainer even know?
One thing everyone's clear about: it's no game for us. Die here, you die. Actions in the arena have full moral consequences--this is a real war of some kind, though the gods may call it a game. "It's real and your moral choices matter--JUST LIKE THAT GAME YOU CAME FROM!" she says, chillingly.
So our universe too is a construct, a game. At least these people see it that way. To them, we're just another brand of slave--slaves to a game played by less visible gods.
Or worse. Slaves to rules we made up ourselves.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
The dream echoes an old Star Trek episode, "The Gamesters Of Triskelion"--godlike gamblers who kidnap and breed slaves for their games, putting newcomers in with sexy trainers to help tame them... But one difference. The ending: the accusation that our world is simply another arena where the gods are hidden--or absent. Where we enslave ourselves.
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