So, in my world there are these hit-men/assassins, who get all their missions/targets through their dreams. This takes place on Earth in the future. They have a dream the day before the kill, which is sent to them by the leaders. Would this be a good way to transmit this information to the hit-men? Are there any problems with this method? How would this be possible (just the concept) using their "future" technology? (no magic)

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    $\begingroup$ If you want to this without magic you need brain-to-computer interfaces, so your information will have to passed through computers - thereby it will be suspect to all security measures available for those. $\endgroup$ – Nicolai Jun 16 '17 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ Psychics and mutants get into dreams. Also Freddy Krueger. Those worlds do not otherwise necessarily have Hogwarts style magic. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jun 16 '17 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Will At no point did he say he didn't want any Hogwarts style magic, only that he wants it to be technology based. Psychics and Freddy Krueger both use a form of magic. Mutants have developed abilities which are not fully understood within their respective universes. It is possible mutant powers are also based on magic. $\endgroup$ – AngelPray Jun 16 '17 at 4:06
  • $\begingroup$ A lot of sci-fi media does transmit something through dreams regularly. Check out "star trek" for starters. They always give some half-baked bs explanation, but that's what sci-fi is. I'm sure you'll find a lot of people explaining how it worked in some episode of some show if you google it for a second $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 16 '17 at 9:27

Compared to calling the hitman and telling him what to do, or meeting him and telling him in person, or writing a letter, a dream is a terrible way to convey information. Dreams are crazy and sloppy! People morph into other people. Your high school buddies show up. Monsters. Porn stars. All sorts of strange things happen.

Which would make for a fine story. You need some reason it has to be dreams - maybe that is the only secure method to make the communication because all other methods can be intercepted. Then the story will deal with the difficulty of relying on a dream for something as important as killing a person. How to make dream communications robust? How to identify the target in the dream to a person who has never seen the target? How to weed out dream elements forcing their way in? Good stuff!

The twist (short sci fi must have a twist!) should be some sort of information, or message, or modification (not necessarily the hit) which actually is conveyed better by dreams than by any other method.

  • $\begingroup$ You can train yourself to dream different. Check out lucid dreaming. Just a random conventional dream would be terrible indeed $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 16 '17 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that just gave me an awesome idea. Instead of a hit-man it's a government agent, and the bad guys are twisting the dream messages to control him into killing good guys. $\endgroup$ – Noah Cristino Jun 16 '17 at 18:02

Let's answer them one by one.

Would this be a good way to transmit this information to the hit-men?

No, in most cases, and yes in certain interesting cases. One interesting case could be: The leader is aware that enemies are eavesdropping on him, and want a secure channel to communicate with the hit-men. Enemies are kick-ass smart with all conventional modes of communication, and they can decipher any encryption.

Are there any problems with this method?

A lot. Reality is generated and consumed by the same brain of the hit-man all the time. The only difference during dream is that reality is generated with lesser number of inputs from the environment through senses, such as vision and sound in real time.

Problem one: Hit-men might very well do the kill in their dreams, and believe that they have achieved their target. If then the leader tries to convey reality, they might get freaked out and turn against the leader

problem two: When they wake up, they can only remember half of their dream, and this worsens over time. You can't remember a dream you saw 3 days ago, while you can very well remember a place you "saw" 3 days ago. Eventually, hit-men are more likely to hit wrong targets, or get caught by enemy, or even worse, turn against the leader.

How would this be possible (just the concept) using their "future" technology? (no magic)

Understanding the fundamental element of perception is the key. Look what we have achieved with chemistry after the advent of periodic tables. Look what we achieved after understanding the fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation. Same with genes and genetic. Now imagine what we can achieve by figuring out the basic fundamental unit of thought, perception, idea, question and the very fabric of consciousness ! You are right, it is nothing short of magic. Remember, a simple Skype call will be a goddamn magic to a guy from 19th century! The term magic is meaningless without a mention to the audience and their time of existence


Why is it better to send information by dreams rather than through normal communications technology?

The obvious answer is: An Orwellian government controls all communications technology. All phones, etc. are severely locked down so you can't possibly try sending data using unapproved encryption. (e.g. you can't just install apps) And that's if you can get hold of a phone in the first place - maybe only the inner party have them.

Now your problem is, if the government controls communications technology, then how do the leaders of the assassins get their hands on the dream machine?

So there's no magic, but nearly all Sci-Fi introduces its own science to explain the technologies they have - whether that be time-travel, warp-fields, telepathy, hyperspace, etc. You'll just have to introduce your own science to do with psychology and R.E.M. sleep, etc. to invent for a dream-transmitter that the government can't detect.

  • $\begingroup$ Great thinking. They might be rebels planning to overthrow the government through dreams. $\endgroup$ – Noah Cristino Jun 16 '17 at 18:05

You are leading people's answers by suggesting this happens in the future, although this opens up a broad new possibilities.

You can achieve this by hypnotism.

Have you watched "Now You See Me" series? Although it does not really reflect what hypnotism can do, it is a good start what people think it can do.

This assassin met seemingly random people in the street. He saw a grafitti in a wall. He heard a random song played in the radio.

These all lead him to dream when he fell asleep in the train for a while, giving him dream of who, where, how the assassination should be carried out.

As in the Eye, all of these events are influenced by the leaders.

  • $\begingroup$ Great idea! I love that series by the way. The dreamer might not even be aware that he is being controlled, if they plant dreams into his brain! $\endgroup$ – Noah Cristino Jun 16 '17 at 18:04

Ok, lets assume that your future tech gives you the following possibilities:

  • We can chart an individual brain and read it's thoughts and memories. That, however, takes a bit of time and requires physical access.
  • We can also implant/alter memories and control thoughts with physical access.
  • We can also send controlled wireless neurotic stimuli. However, we can't really predict how a random recipient will interpret those stimuli. (Usually they are just filtered out) But given a well known, previously charted brain in a resting state we can get somewhat predictable results.

Now, the leaders have the assassins brains carefully charted. If they want Senator Bob assassinated, they know how each individual assassin think and feel about Senator Bob. They know what each assassin associates with Senator Bob. (Naturally they also know each assassins inner thoughts about their dirty work)

This means that they can broadcast a carefully created neuromessage. Most people will not even notice this message. Those who do will interpret it in their own subconcious way. But to one individual assassin the message will trigger a crystal-clear dream about him killing Senator Bob. Given his training he will know what that means...

The benefit of this is that the kill-order can be broadcasted. The leaders do not need to know the location of the individual assassins (and vice versa) which helps maintain security. It is very hard to intercept, since it is intrincially matched to a recipient. The decryption is literally buried in the mind of the recipient.

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    $\begingroup$ They could also subconsciously control people to do their dirty work. $\endgroup$ – Noah Cristino Jun 16 '17 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but that would be a bit harder. I was figuring an incomplete tech, where detailed mind control is too risky/uncertain. Therby making dream interaction a logical choice. $\endgroup$ – Guran Jun 19 '17 at 5:47
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking dream control, more because you could visualize the target, and the place $\endgroup$ – Noah Cristino Jun 19 '17 at 10:58

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