Dream Diary

Dreamfuel! No longer do your dreams have to be fuzzy, half-remembered snatches of moments. No longer are you at the whim of your subconscious. With Dreamfuel, take command of your dreams! Create impossible worlds and stunning vistas within your own mind! Relive your greatest moments, or take control of your worst moments and transform them with a thought! Up to 6x time compression, for days-long vacations every night, all while you get a good night's sleep! Complete recall guaranteed! Now available in aerosol and oral as well as original intravenous!
Dreamfuel should not be taken with prescription sedatives. Possible side effects include dry mouth, restless leg syndrome, and fatigue. In rare cases, Dreamfuel users developed minor obsessive-compulsive tics. Dreamfuel users should be cautious about the content of the dreams they create, as psychological harm may result.

In the 21st century, dreams became humanity's playground.

A simple neurochemical compound that binds to the appropriate receptors in the brain could trigger a fully conscious waking state in REM sleep. Lucid dreams on demand. Solid ones, not prone to slipping away the minute you let your guard down. Complete recall, not the half-remembered snatches of sound and color we have now.

At the same time, advances in computer science and medical technologies resulted in smaller, less expensive ways of imaging the brain in realtime; by 2020, it was possible to accurately map the senses of a person, and by 2025, magnetic resonances could "write" to the brain, inserting images, sounds, tastes, smells, and tactile sensations directly into the subject's sensorium. It didn't take long for some enterprising genius to combine this with Dreamfuel. Shared dreaming was now a possibility, albeit still out of the hands of most.

But even that didn't take long to correct itself. Black market dream salons, using stolen or pirated neuroscanners specialized for dream read/write, sprung up like mushrooms all over the world. Knock-offs of Dreamfuel were already endemic. The entire world lived out a second life in their dreams. Many began to treat the waking world as the dream, going through the motions of life so they could take their Dreamfuel and get back to a world where they could do anything, be anything.

Then the nightmares started.

Nineteen days ago, millions reported having the same nightmare. Shadows, pain, terror that couldn't be banished. And the next night, the same nightmare. No one could describe it; most didn't even want to think about it. And the next night, the same. More and more people reported having the nightmare, and the most terrifying thing was, not all of them were habitual Dreamfuel users. Some had never even touched the stuff. People began to fear sleep.

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