The Dream I had last night. This dream was most likely influenced by the show, Scandal, that my wife was watching in background, and the game Civilization: Beyond Earth, that I was playing before bed:

The area of the city had been cleared for a reason. Buildings seemed to sag against one another, held up by forgotten hopes and dreams. Several ruined buildings stood in sharp contrast to the otherwise unspoiled buildings. Walking among the forgotten homes and businesses, I couldn’t help but shake my head in sadness. So much potential, lost to a war that no one could even remember.

After several minutes of exploring, I finally found the building I was looking for. There was nothing distinct about it to make it stand out from its fellows. Just another bland building, snug against its fellows. The contents however…

Six stories down I went, deep below the surface. Filing cabinets as far as the eye can see. Storage from the world forgotten, the world before the war. Government records. Plans that never got implemented. Records of what had happened and why. So many files to go through.

One of the files appeared to be the activation codes to an old war machine. The details were sparse on what exactly the machine was. However, it proved interesting enough that I slipped it into my briefcase before continuing my exploration. Soon though I had all that I could handle for the time and gathered up the files that caught my interest. With one last look around the room, I smiled softly to myself and left.

What seemed like a short time later, I was back at the warehouse where the operation was being coordinated from. We were a small team of dedicated researchers, trying to unearth the secrets of the war so that we could avoid it happening again. Tossing my briefcase onto the desk, I turned to my computer. I couldn’t have taken my eyes off my briefcase for more than a moment, but in that time, one of the other researchers managed to sneak some of the files away.

It wasn’t until I heard the cursing that I realized that something had gone wrong. My head whipped around to stare at the other researcher, asking what happened. They could only point at their compute, where somehow the launch codes for an attack were streaming across the screen.

A rumble smashed over the city, shaking the walls, rattling the windows. Dashing to the window, I managed to see several shapes flash across the sky, heading deeper into the city. Growling under my breath, I hurried to leave, making my way to the car and stepping on the gas.

Minutes later I was at the site of an invasion. Dozens of robots had landed in front of the very building I had been in earlier. Just as I arrived, those robots opened fire on the building, smashing the stone front to bits before working their way inside. As they rumbled deeper into the building, one turned to face me. Fear washed over me for a moment as the robot approached. Suddenly, the robot transformed into a boom box.

The sounds that emitted from the boom box were not words, but they were recognizable. These were relics of the previous war, given a single command: To destroy the records of the old world. However, they were waiting for the new command. Either to continue until the entire city was destroyed, or to stand down. They were giving me time to issue those orders. I had twenty four hours.

Rushing back to the warehouse, I called for every researcher we could get. I called my contacts in the government, letting them know what’s going. They told me that the last person who knew the shutdown codes had passed away not a month ago.

In a panic, we started going through all the files, the records, the VHS tapes. Time was ticking away.