Chivalry for a modern era — the dream
Last night, I had this weird dream. I alluded to it on Facebook and Twitter, and Sarah challenged me to provide an interpretation. I don’t know so much about providing interpretations, but I guess I’ll describe this weird dream.
At first, I found myself panicing because I’d be late to a lunch. Apparently, this lunch was supposed to be of utmost importance and formality, and any faux pas made would be disastrous.
I wasn’t even cognizant of the purpose of the lunch (or the rest of the day’s events) for much of the dream, but all I knew was that a few other gentlemen (all other college students, I think) and I had been invited by one of my old professors for this series of formal events.
We were all aware that we were being tested, and I’m sure that if I had begun the dream earlier, I would have realized what it was for. Regardless, the “test” was a bit of a meta-game…instead, we had to act naturally (however meta that is…how can a person act naturally?)
I knew that our ability to chat cordially with each other would have some impact on whatever this lunch was for, and so I made some conversation with the others. However, I was aware of my introversion (true story), but felt that I could, as usual, mask it with my usual mask of gregariousness. I feared (for whatever reason) that sooner or later, I would run out of steam, and my annoyance with the social function would become apparent.
Eventually my old professor came and joined us and told us what our task would be. Apparently, his daughter was planning to rescue (!) some of her friends from a hospital that had been taken over by aliens (!!). Our task was to utilize gentlemanly strategy, tact, bravery, and other chivalrous qualities that seem better fit for a past era of Renaissance figures to launch an offensive and rescue as many innocent civilians as possible.
Quickly, I found myself and the others re-dressed in Halo-like armor, and we were heading out via APCs to the hospital district. Apparently, it was a military base of sorts, but since the aliens (!) had taken it over, it was silent and lonely.
The other gentlemen from the lunch and I split up. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing…I’m not so great at this stuff and wouldn’t know where to begin. Eventually, though I found one of the professor’s daughters friends. She was profoundly shaken…by something.
I saw a few more people and thought to rescue them…but the friend grew increasingly disturbed. I began to suspect something was amiss…and then I noticed…something off. These other people didn’t seem…human.
When I approached them, I realized that I was entering a trap. The aliens had hijacked human bodies, and they attacked me. I had to kill to defend myself and the friend. It was disturbing.
Eventually, I joined the daughter’s squad, and she was ecstatic that I had rescued her friend and that she, although psychologically traumatized, was still human. Our task was to shut down the generator in the center of the hospital so that the aliens would starve out (somehow). So we went.
I kinda forget what happened, but we ended up reaching lots of close calls. We nearly died setting off a bomb, but at the last moment, we were rescued by helicopter by the other groups. (Little did I know then that the other guys’ ability to find helicopters achieved them a great many more “points” in the grading.)
I was shaken a bit by the end. Why couldn’t I have handled the endeavor better? I almost got us killed. The daughter seemed eternally grateful that her friend was saved, but I felt as if her father would not be so appreciative in the final tallying.
To our dismay, the hospital bomb set off an EMP that caused our helicopter to crash on the side of some wheatfield. It grew dark and it began to rain. The daughter, after a bit of looking around, informed us that she had a relative nearby, if only we could get into contact.
By this time, I was feeling pretty drained, so I didn’t volunteer to do anything else. Some of the other guys raced off to find houses, telephones, whatever.
Eventually, we were able to get a ride back to the professor’s house…where he debriefed us. All of this was a simulation. He regretted that none of us achieved maximal points through the scenarios, but he lamentably informed us that he would still honor his end of the bargain. He announced that the highest scoring individual would now have his daughter’s hand in marriage.
I didn’t win. I was disappointed for a few moments, but then I realized that I really wouldn’t want that prize anyway. No offense to the professor’s daughter, but that’s just weird.
I guess that in the future, that’s how chivalry and courtship will be revived…