“The study was a fiasco, terminated less than halfway through the experimental procedure.”

“The subjects?”

“Some died, a few others were executed. You know how it goes; there’s no problem that the PRC has that can’t be solved with nine grams of lead, or so they say.”

“So they say. But how exactly did the study fail? Sedation overdose?”

“Suicide. The first group was sedated for a month, kept from atrophy and whatnot with the same technology used for astronauts. When they were awoken, to a man they immediately attempted to kill themselves with the nearest available implement. They only executed the ones who failed.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“I’m not sure I do either. All I know is that the sedative induced a near-constant state of REM sleep. 20–25% of total normal sleep is REM sleep, about 90–120 minutes in an average night. It’s also when the most intense dreaming takes place.”

“So they had been, essentially, dreaming for a month?”

“And they decided, to a man, that they’d rather die than face the waking world again.

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