Steer into the Weird

“What’s going on? Who are you? Why did you save me?” The target screamed at me while we ran down an alley.

[MISSION – PROTECT] my armor’s AI reminded me. “Private contract. Extract and protect until enemy is neutralized,” I said.

“What enemy?”

[DATA CLASSIFIED] “I don’t know. Another team is going after them.”

“Why are they after me?”

[DATA CLASSIFIED] “I don’t know. I’m just supposed to protect you until I get the all clear.” I switched my armor’s visor from combat to tactical mode and scanned the surrounding area. My armor fed me a composite image of the thermal, radar, and sonar data streams through my neural jack. No one was nearby. I relaxed a little and scanned the target. The relevant info printed itself on the inside of my visor.

[HUMAN – NON AUGMENTED] [AGE – 24] [HEIGHT – 5.5] [GENDER – INDETERMINATE] [NO INJURIES]

“Oh my god. Oh my god. This is just like my dream,” the target began babbling and pacing.

[HEART RATE INCREASING]

“What are you talking about?” I had seen people react to almost being killed in multiple ways but babbling about dreams was a new one for me.

“Last night, I dreamed these people were coming to kill me and you,” the target stopped and pointed at me, “you saved me.”

“Are you having deja vu?”

“No. No. No. I dreamed exactly what happened. Exactly,” the target insisted.

[POSSIBLE PRECOGNITION ABILITIES – ASSESS] “Ok, so what do we do next?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t remember the whole dream. I only remembered what was happening while it was happening. That’s how I knew about the people coming up the stairs.”

“So, in your dream we went down the stairs and got killed?”

“No, in the dream I stopped you and told you they were coming up the stairs and we went out the window.”

“How did ‘dream you’ know that they were coming up the stairs?”

“I don’t know.”

[DETERMINE DATA INPUT] “Everything happened exactly like the dream?” I confirmed.

“Yes.”

“So, you avoided the stairs because of the dream you had last night showing you avoiding the stairs,
because of the dream you had last night showing you avoiding the stairs,
because of the dream you had last night showing you avoiding the stairs,
because of the dream you had last night,” a red warning message flashed inside my visor [RECURSIVE LOGIC ERROR], “and so on. Turtles all the way down. Great another one of these.”

“Another one of what?”

[DATA INCONSISTENT WITH PRECOG ABILITIES] I reset my armor’s AI to passive scanning. It wouldn’t be a lot of help with what I was dealing with now. “I’ve seen some weird stuff like this before. Not exactly like this but kind of like this.”

“You believe me? You believe I saw the future in my dream last night?”

“Yeah. Do you remember anything else from your dream.”

“Bits and pieces. A hotel room. You yelling about a pizza. An explosion. I remember getting shot in the chest right before waking up.”

“Well, that sounds bad.” I did another scan of the area. Still clear. “Ok, lets go find us a hotel.”

The target began to panic again. “What? Why? We don’t have to follow the dream. We could drive – drive out of the city and just get lost somewhere. I don’t want to die.”

“You’re not going to die if I can help it,” I stowed my rifle and started walking toward the street. The target followed. “But you can’t avoid weird stuff like this. It’s better to just steer into it. The future knocked on your head last night but you weren’t paying attention. So, we’re going to try to jog your memory and maybe we can change things up if we’re fast and smart enough. Do you have a phone?”

The target patted a couple of pockets, “No, I left it behind.”

“That’s fine, we’ll order the pizza from the hotel room.”

-end-