I was in some kind of grocery store or coop, and was purchasing a few items. Most of the registers seemed unoccupied, but the furthest left had an older woman who signaled me over to put my items on the conveyor.
I started taking items out of a backpack, perhaps 4 cans of food and what looked to be a flatbed scanner (similar to if not identical to a LIDE-based Canon one that I own). The checker asked me for my card, which I interpeted to be a request for something like a Safeway discount card. I was going to skip it, but my understanding turned to that she was requesting something that was more of a membership card which was required for the purpose.
Our transaction was interrupted as I fumbled around in my wallet and found a small laminated card that I realized is what she was asking for. She took me by the hand and walked me to another machine where she put the card in, and it printed out a page with some kind of tactile stickers on it...one was a red microchip-shaped thing. She said I could stick it on whatever, so I went to stick it to the back of my phone.
I put the phone down on a table near some people.
me: "The problem with putting stickers like this on the back of your phone case is that they tend to wear off. But some are better than others. I'll hope this is one of the better made ones."
The people at the table seemed annoyed or confused that I was talking to them. I returned to the line to continue my transaction, but someone else was in line. The checker seemed to grab and hug me weirdly from behind, even seeming to reach one of her hands down around my crotch. I struggled a bit to get free and look for my backpack, which I could no longer find.
This led to a boring search for the blue backpack I'd had with me, which included people directing me to the lost and found--I said it seemed like it would be awfully hasty for someone to have taken the backpack THAT quickly to lost and found. I kind of went around the local environment asking if anyone had seen a blue backpack. One Asian guy from a line next to me interrupted.
asian man: "If you're going to go about this all worried, it's bad energy, it brings people down."
me: (annoyed) "Maybe you're the one who should be able to have some empathy instead of just focusing on your selfish need to not have your shopping trip interrupted."
He turned away and something strange happened where a creepy raspy voice began narrating in my head. I kind of started raising into the air.
voice: "I'm the one who took your bag. And there was nothing in it but some empty beer cans. It's worthless. And look at you, this is why people need to learn lessons."
The levitation seemed to stop for a moment and I was returned to the ground.
me: "I didn't remember it was empty, I thought it had my scanner in it. It's not a huge deal but it's still stuff that would have to be replaced or something."
The voice came back and ranted about some other things as I was levitated in the air forward through the store and through walls like a ghost.
I was raised up to where there was a levitating thing near the ceiling that I wondered if it was what I was being raised toward, but when I looked at it I realized it was just some kind of levitating ad unit. Curious about how it worked, I grabbed it, and turned it upside down. This caused it to try and go down, at first trying to go down about as high from the ground as it had been from the ceiling...but it didn't seem to stabilize and tipped and came back up.
voice: "I'll take you back in time, to the moment the bag was taken... and you will see... do you see me now?"
A guy who looked kind of white-faced with some effects or piercings and wearing black, maybe akin to the Hellraiser character, stood out from the crowd.
I rolled my eyes, and dropped from the levitating stance and was facing him. I extended a hand for handshake.
me: "Yeah, I'm going to assume this is you, huh. Fine. My name is Brian."
He looked at me and shook my hand.
me: "Hello Brian. Not unusual for me to meet people who share the name."
him: (confused) "No, no I was just repeating your name."
He may or may not have clarified with his name, but I don't think so. We went into some kind of elevator, there were many other weird looking beings in it. The building we were in looked kind of worn down and industrial, but had a lot of lockers lining the hallways.
white faced guy: "Interestingly, I used to date women. But then, I got onto the young boys thing. More a taker than a giver."
He rambled on about the topic a bit. I couldn't really understand what he was talking about specifically; if he was saying he was a pedophile or that he just liked younger men. I didn't comment, but someone else did as we were waiting for another elevator.
Instead I just kind of looked at some kind of ripped up stickers on the old-looking doors of the elevator. I started peeling at them to see what sticker was covering up others. One seemed to say "Jenna" but when I looked closer it said "Jella" or something with the two LLs (or whatever) in a loopy stylization that was upside down, another had the Target logo in black on some words.
Someone behind me touched my neck.
neck toucher: "Hey, look at all these tattoos on the back of his neck. They're Arabic."
bystander: "What does it say?"
neck toucher: "It doesn't say anything. Just dates and times, and locations. Like cookies."
The elevator wouldn't come, and the people around me seemed nervous about it. Then there was a noise down the hall, and they all scattered. A girl indicated to me that I should get out of the way of the hall and stand behind the lockers.
girl: "Infantry! Get out of the way!"
I could see behind the lockers a little sliver of what was coming down the hall, it was a longish vehicle with armed people on it. I just kind of mirrored what everyone else seemed to be doing, which was to wait until they passed. After they passed everyone turned and saluted them, so I did too.
It seemed for a moment that things had returned to normal, but pretty soon they got in a tizzy about more infantry coming and confused about what was going on. This time I returned to a locker spot and waited.
The vehicle stopped when they got to where I was hiding and they commented on the signal coming from there, which made me resigned to the usual "oh they're coming to kill me, for whatever stupid reason".
I decided I'd try to just walk up the hall from where they'd come from to see if that helped, rather than wait for them to find me. A soldier pointed to someone.
solider: "He gets the credit for the check break. Our payment is amazing."
I was shot or something, and woke up.
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