Jeremy and Cleo were indeed a strange couple, everybody mentioning them would first shake the head, but then also smile out of sympathy and even admiration. Jeremy was the scientist, the neurologist, and Cleo was an attractive science journalist, who had first met him- six years earlier- when she decided to interview him for his crazy ideas and inventions. Jeremy had been once a research director within the Global Cybernetic Neurological Department, but had been fired because of his behaviour and lack of discipline-he would never use secure passwords, he would never keep the working time, and occasionally he would disappear from work for an entire week, nobody knowing where he was. And since he was working at secret research plans for the Global Government, this could not be allowed.
He was fired, but they silently allowed him to work at home, keeping an eye on his work. And in fact, Jeremy had now realised his dream after ten years of research: a simple electronic gadget that would record your dreams, so that in the morning, you could see all what you had dreamed on the screen. The word "simple" was used by him, but it was completely false, as it was an incredibly complex way to digitalize the images of your brain by catching the weak resonance of a sparse group of neurons which were connected with REM, the rapid eye movement that accompanies dreams.
So, since several months now, Jeremy and Cleo had taken the habit of spending the first hour of the morning on watching the video of their own dreams. Often, the dreams were very intimate, about their infancy, or about past lovers, or friends who had passed away. Initially, they were discussing them, judging and commenting, but finally they had arrived at the conclusion- since several weeks now- to look at them without making any comment. Which had given them an intimacy, a kind of warm friendship, that they had not imagined.
Not all was easy with the watching. The time, for example, was often deceiving. Cleo had a dream where she was wondering long long time in a garden, but in the video, all this was only a few photograms; and what in the dream was a frantic, panicking run, appeared in the dream as a single image of a person running in the distance. Thus, Jeremy had inserted a kind of time-mouse, so as to slow down and make longer certain scenes- to make them closer to the reality of the dream. For all this, the collaboration and criticism of Cleo had been very useful.
Gordon Smith, Jeremy’s former boss, had an intuition of this discovery, and was now often coming to see them, but Jeremy wold not disclose any detail- also because Cleo didn’t like Gordon at all, she would say that he was slimy, and she would seek any excuse to accompany him at the door.
- Jeremy, listen…- Gordon would say- this is a discovery that can make you very rich. I am now in the board of the Seven Cybernetics…
- Those are global capitalist pirates, only after money! - Cleo would interrupt him.
- Maybe… maybe they are after money. But think: if one billion people on this planet would buy your gadget, say, at thousand yuan each… and you make ten percent of this money… can you calculate how much would you gain?
- I would not know would to do with money, Gordon. – Jeremy would answer shaking his shoulders- Following the advice of Cleo, I may be first write a patent with the Government.
- What a waste, Jeremy! - would sigh Gordon.
- Now please, if you want to excuse us, we have work to do…-this was Cleo, trying to usher Gordon out.
There was another person who periodically came to see them, although not so often. This was Joshy, the Chief of the House Security, the Chief of the entire Police of the Megacity. Although he was one of the highest power figures in the city, he had taken a special, personal interest in Jeremy’s work, and when he came, stayed over to talk to him and to Cleo, with whom he also became a friend. Joshy was visiting also as part of his job of chief of the national security, and, secretly, he had put two agents to closely check on the apartment of Jeremy- and also, he had put a special security field over all Jeremys’ computers. Joshy had been a medical doctor in his youth, and with Cleo he would often talk about psychotherapy. He was interested in dreams as a therapist, and for that he was often citing to them an author of several centuries ago, a certain C.G. Jung, who had the theory that dreams, coming from the inner unconscious, may reveal the innermost problems of the human psyche.
- If psychoanalysts could see the dreams of the patients in details, on the screen, and discuss them with the patient himself…think! many trauma could be healed this way!
- I have another idea in mind. - had said Jeremy looking at her. –As a derivation of my Ear Electrode discovery, we might work together on lucid dreams.
- Lucid dreams… this is when you dream and you know that you are dreaming. -answering Cleo. – I remember that you discovered years ago how to activate that state of dreaming…
- Well, the most interesting point of lucid dreams, -continued Jeremy- is, that you in the dreams can modify the dreams, and direct them. So, if you dream about yourself in a house, and you are in a lucid dream, you can decide to go in a certain room and see what is in there, you understand?
- Yes, I know…-said Cleo. - But…. what do you want to do?
- Suppose that we both are having a lucid dream, you and me, but connected with my Ear Electrodes. I would like to see whether…I can come into your dream… and vice versa!
- Oh, that would be fantastic! - cried Cleo. –Shall we try tonight?
- Yes, Cleo, we will try tonight. But…
Jeremy hesitated before speaking. Cleo knew that must be something difficult for him to say.
- We have to stay very close to each other, hold hands… because the dream communication works on the basis of empathy. The two people must be … ehm… in friendly contact with each other.
Cleo laughed. He was always and still so shy, after those years together.
- This would be no problem, Jeremy. Not for me. I will hold you tightly.
- Love is still the most beautiful thing, Cleo.
- I agree, Jeremy.
So they went to sleep that night, with their Ear Electrodes, but after that Jeremy had activated the lucid dream state. Jeremy was dreaming to be in a large park, and decided to walk around trying to see Cleo. It was not easy. At a certain point, a faint figure of a woman appeared in the distance, and Jeremy knew, she was Cleo. Cleo was trying to come towards him, and Jeremy was trying to move towards her, but there was a lot of resistance, it was like moving in a very viscous medium. They both woke up breathing heavily, and sweating.
- Not easy…-mumbled Jeremy.
- You didn’t hold me tightly enough…-smiled Cleo.
- We will do better next time…
Gordon was at the door late that evening, and had a strange expression of satisfaction on his face.
- I mentioned your invention… beh!… only the very general idea… to the General Director of the Government Main Agency. You know, the one who decided and signed your firing. He… is a kind of Minister, as you know, has great power. He was … ehm… enthusiastic about your invention and he… -so he said- would be ready to re-insert in the job, and as director of a large section. He would only like to see one sample of your Ear Electrodes…
- I don’t really care, Gordon. –was the answer of Jeremy.
- Look: I have my drone outside, we go and we will be back in a couple of hours.
And Gordon insisted so much, that Jeremy finally agreed to go with him.
- I will be back soon, Cleo!
But it was not so. The drone landed on the terrace of the Grog Tower, the seat of the Seven Cybernetics. Jeremy was taken and pushed ahead by two body guards, and then he realised to have been kidnapped.
- Gordon! what is that? – he cried to his friend.
Gordon gave no answer, keeping the head down without looking at him. He then said, head down, that he would be taken in a secret room for a dialogue with Mister Grog, the legendary Chief of the Seven Cybernetics. An honour reserved to very few people on this life, and through a series of secret doors and hallways. Finally, they took an elevator ascending to the top of a gigantic glass tower. The last door opened up into a very large room with many glass windows. Almost empty- a small metallic table in the middle, and a couple of chairs. Mister Grog was really as the mass media were depicting him: large, big square shoulders, his black hat and his black coat. And his cold smile.
Mister Grog looked at him. His smile again.
- Mister Jeremy, as you know, I don’t have much time to talk to people. Let me say two things only. The first, is that you are in a place nobody else can reach, or know about it. So, nobody can come to rescue you. Second thing: your friend Gordon made an interesting calculation, multiplying one billion time thousand yuan. You give me your patent, and you get ten percent of this enormous sum of money- and your life, and the life of your lady… Cleo, I think. What is your answer?
- Then? - the voice of Mister Grog was now irritated.
- I need some time to think about that, Sir.
- I do not like to waste time, mister Jeremy. But okay. I give you time until tomorrow morning at seven a.m.
Cleo was surprised not to hear from Jeremy that night, also because all her attempts to get in touch with him didn’t give any result. She called Joshy, the Security Chief, who got also alarmed. He immediately began to work. Cleo stretched nervously on her bed, and in the stress of the hour, she fell all at a sudden a profound need to sleep. And had a strange dream. It was a lucid dream, and Jeremy came all at a sudden from the left. He took her by the hand, and indicated a big skyscraper, and there a very high glass tower.
It was seven o’clock when the robot opened the door of the main hall. Mister Grog was in the middle of the room, and looked bigger than usual. His cold smile.
- I am listening, mister Jeremy. Just say: yes or no. Let me only repeat, in case you have forgotten it, that you are in a very secret place, nobody knows about it, and where nobody will come to save you.
- Not really! - said a voice, while the main metallic door went quite open. And the Security chief Joshy was at the door, and entered with four policemen. Clio was also there, she had been their guide.
- Mister Grog, you are under arrest! - cried Joshy. He had been waiting for many years for this moment.
Clio hugged Jeremy, who simply said:
- So, the mutual lucid dream worked well? You could find the way?
- Yes, all worked well, probably because in your dream you held me really tight…