“Here’s the bottom line, you’d be doing a great service to your country. That sounds corny, I mean you’d be making a difference, it could really have big impact.”

“I’m still kind of in shock, I thought I had confidentiality when I was seeing my therapist.”

“Oh, ya, maybe that wasn’t clear. Your therapist did NOT violate your confidentiality or anything like that. We have been, let’s say, “tracking” all therapists that do sleep or dream related work.”

“Okay. Is that legal?”

“It’s funny, ya know, I meet lots of people, and people who ask that question clearly don’t know how the world works.”

“Hmmmm.”

“Sorry, that sounded condescending, look it’s just been a long week.”

“So you want to clone me?”

“Well, yeah, I mean, not me personally. I’m a recruiter, not a goddamn cloning scientist. Is that like a line in a movie? I feel like that could be a line in a movie.”

“Look, you are very special. Your dreaming patterns are really unusual. We think if we understand it better we can figure out a way to reduce the number of hours of sleep we need per night by an hour. Which is huge right? I mean, imagine our top people having an extra hour every day.”

“What would the clone’s life be like?”

“Well. I can’t disclose that. I don’t even really know myself.”

“But you would study her dreaming?”

“Yeah, exactly.”

“From a baby?”

“Yeah, from a baby. I mean this isn’t a comic book, we’re not just over here growing people in a vat.”

Lena was uncomfortable by how comfortable this guy was.

“hmmmmm, I just don’t know if this is ethical.”

“Well, look, I know this is some pretty weird stuff, but our country has to do something. We have to do something if we want to compete with China. And we have reason to believe we have a headstart in this area.”

Lena let herself think about her dreams.

“In one of my dreams I was walking in a forest. I had the feeling I was being followed. Then I heard a woman scream and then I tried to put my finger through my hand, but it went into my hand, really slowly, like I was dipping it into honey.

Then I heard “It’s just foxes” and my mother was standing in front of me, wearing a hooded rain jacket.

I don’t know why exactly, but she scared me and I started running. But then I got scared I was gonna fall so I stopped. And I realized how dark it was. I mean, I saw how dark it was. I looked around and saw the reflection of fox eyes, kinda far away but really clearly. I mean, I only saw the eyes, but I assumed they were foxes.”

“I, see.”

Then I realized how wet my hair had gotten from running through the forest…and thought, oh, maybe I shouldn’t have been so scared of my mom.”

There was quiet.

Lena was calming down a bit. The break in the conversation helped too.

“Uhh, so does that mean you’ll do it?”

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