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Dreamed 1999/5/2 by Chris Wayan

I'm working in a lab alone at night on the Stanford University campus. It's a leaky old trailer--temporary, when it was added decades ago. I'm studying slides in a microscope... doing biochemistry?

It's slow work tonight--equipment keeps malfunctioning. Only the electronic gear--simple mechanical stuff is all well behaved. A consistent pattern, and the accidents slowly turn nastier, worsen till there's no mistake: the electronic instruments in the lab are attacking me! Clumsily, blindly, but there's intelligence behind them.

They're not coming alive: they all have the same style, all the same aura. I can feel it dimly now, outside the lab. It's a telekinetic field beamed from a squat, heavy alien a hundred yards away, who can sense my approximate position but not my thoughts. Sniping at me blind!

Still, if I stay here much longer, I'm going to get killed. This lab has a power drill and a saw! I head for the door but some wheeled devices cut me off. I grab a heavy hammer, hide behind a workbench. Heap up nonelectronic junk, then turn and smash at the cheap trailer wall (figuring that to the alien, reading only my general position, I'll seem helplessly pinned) till I rip through the tin to the outside, and flee.


Half wake, I think "I HAVE to quit my lab job! It's killing me!" Interesting: I feel distinct pleasure at the idea of interviewing for a lot of people-oriented jobs.

Then, as I wake further, realize... I have no lab job. Twenty years ago I worked in a small lab for a few months, and never since.


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