A craze had swept the nation, involving a circuit-wiring kit or game made of cheap-looking orange plastic pieces like Lego bricks. They could be wired together to make different things, similar to building on a circuit breadboard or Arduino, but the most popular configuration was a flexible grid. Contained in each cell of the grid was a flat jewel, usually red or green, and also cheap-looking. People would make large sheets of these, which rippled like a flag in the wind.
I wasn’t sure what purpose they served, but I was very leery of them. They felt slightly sinister for some reason. People were obsessed with them, despite lacking any apparent function or real decorative value. I had a very powerful sense of having dreamed of these before.
One day, after the craze had been in full swing for awhile, ships appeared in the sky. They looked like typical sci-fi space freighters: long, angular, and roughly needle-shaped. At first I thought they were starships, but then knew they were sub-light transports, launched from a larger ship.
One of them landed nearby, and I joined a group of people greeting a passenger from it: a young bearded man, in a neat uniform, whom we all knew but hadn’t seen in a long time. I kissed and hugged him, and as I stepped back he smiled and said, “What, no tongue?”
I was startled, because this was very out-of-character for the man I remembered, although I sure wouldn’t have objected. I stammered, “Well, I can certainly do that if you like…”, but the moment passed. The young man told us that the connection between the circuit kits and the spaceships’ arrival was…
…I woke up.