I dreamed that Knoxville was taken over by some kind of paramilitary organization. Obviously, this made me somewhat reluctant to continue with my planned schedule of attending the college semester. Among the things they did were to end all science fiction programming available in Knoxville and replace it with country music, in order to gain popular support. Because of course there isn’t enough country music on southern television already. Not to mention, everyone hates scifi, and nobody understands why we even “need” a science fiction channel. Naturally, this makes me apprehensive to drive anywhere because what on earth am I going to listen to? I imagine that blasting thrash metal at top volume will most likely get me liquidated. They have a name, but I’ve forgotten it. (Or perhaps, merely the impression of a name–good enough for a dream, but not so much real life). Something like the Cohort, which is definitely a Name to Run Away From Really Fast. It’s morning, anyway, and I am simultaneously trying to get ready for school, which is beginning today, while trying to find out how to behave and what to expect from the “new normal” which is only four days old.
Next, I suddenly switch consciousness with a relatively chubby fellow in some kind of military installation. It sort of reminds me of the historical forts that my father dragged us all to when he was obsessed with the civil war. I’m in a small rectangular room with a door to the outside along the long wall near the corner of the short side of the room. Along the short side is a closet with a large weapon inside leaning against the wall. Along the long inside wall, there is a counter with all manner of different weapons behind it. The room is full of armed men in uniforms, but not standard military ones. These guys are all Cohort.
The allegiance of my meatsuit is not immediately clear to me. I try to fade into the background so as not to attract attention, maybe into this closet with the nice big gun inside it, not that I know how to use that apart from waving it around in a threatening manner. Ha. Threatening to whom? Anyway, at this point a discussion begins among the Cohort soldiers about what to do with the inhabitants of the building whom they’ve just captured. That appears to include me. Parts of the building are still not under their control, so those of us who were there before them can either help them take control of the rest of it or die.
At this point, I attract some very much not wanted attention by acting completely terrified. And apparently, my meat suit was the single most discombobulated person there, which explains why it was so easy for me to switch consciousness with him.
Now that I’ve been noticed, they start discussing different ways of proving I am not “evil” or of expunging my evil from the world. Eventually I get the mission to steal an “S-22.” I have no idea what this thing looks like or what it even does, but apparently my meat suit does so maybe that will help. At this point, to my relief, a member La Résistance shows up with a Mediterranean Spanish complexion and thick, black, wavy hair. She tells me a little more about my role and helps calm me down a little. I am supposed to play along. She offers me some rice which is holy crap totally ancient and covered in mold. I try picking out bits of it that are still good, but she says, no, I have to eat the whole thing. Obviously I can’t do that, so she finds me some that is okay. The other one is in my hand and is now crawling with ants. They stay on me after I give her back the nasty rice, and I kill a few and fling them off. Then I go into a back washroom and wash my hands.
The commander follows me in there and now I’ve got to make awkward conversation with someone who is acting obviously racist. After one particularly forced smile, a black soldier shows up, and I wonder now if I was being tested and what the results were. Anyways, I finish washing and we file through the hall and into the front room, and the Cohort files through that. However, I am diverted by the resistance member who helped me earlier, and I head out the front door.
Out here, there is an empty road that curves through a cluster of attached buildings. Down the road a little ways is what used to be a theater. Wooden steps ascend from the road to a large concrete and brick platform that extends several feet from the buildings. The part in front of the theater is covered by a sort of canopy, and is very large and spacious. I also see parking meters, or something that resembles them. Could be bike poles or just those things to prevent people from driving onto the walkway. The resistance begins some sort of spiritual ritual, and I’m disinvited by one of the members–not the woman, who I think was sort of the leader but not the kind of leader who is absolutely in charge of stuff, if you know what I mean. Someone who leads by charisma and good ideas, rather than by title and force.
Then I go looking for a bathroom, after which I wake up.