|Bradbury Jar 2.0|
When the lawbot came for him, Archivist 34N/118W was reading The October Country, a book of stories from the days when People walked the Earth. "You are engaged in nonfunctional activity," Sheriff NNW-LA said, "and must be corrected."
Archie put down the book. "Just because nobody dreams anymore doesnít mean dreams arenít functional."
"Tell me about this dream, and why it is functional."
"The story Iím reading now is about a man who dismantles his wife and places her in a jar."
"What possible function does that serve?"
"It would take forever to explain. But if you give me your disruptor-gun, I can show you in a matter of seconds."
"That is eminently optimal." The lawbot handed over his gun. "Show me."
The next morning, Mason jars containing components of Sheriff NNW-LA, preserved in mineral oil, were mailed to robots throughout the sector. The crime could not be solved because there was no rational explanation for it.
But that night, dreams returned to the world for the first time since People had left.
They were all nightmares.