Throughout the dream, I am a disembodied observer, like watching a movie.
At first, Preston is in a library and he’s researching lots of information. Other people think it’s weird that he wants to have all this information. Some people start asking him questions and he knows all the answers. They ask him a question that he doens’t know the answer to and he gets very excited and starts looking through all these books on this table trying to find the answer. The people, in unison, say “Smarty-pants nerd!” which sounds hilarious to say right now, but in the dream preston’s feelings were hurt. Then the camera pans away from the library and we see the whole primitive village that it’s located in, and the voice-over explains that from those roots, this person went on to study to become one of the first surgeons (and I realize that it isn’t Preston we’re seeing, but one of Preston’s distant ancestors).
The scene in the library was just before the onset of the Dark Ages, and Preston (I’m just going to keep calling him that) had access to all this information until all the libraries were done away with during the Dark Ages. So then the camera pans through some scenes of Preston dissecting cadavers in the cemetery a la da Vinci. In particular, there is a close-up of a hand and forearm with the skin peeled back and Preston studying how the tendons and muscles respond to moving the fingers.
Skip ahead 30 years or so, and Preston is a skilled surgeon working under the rule of some sort of medieval lord. He is only allowed to use his skills to work on the upper classes and his time is strictly controlled by some sort of overseer. His profession is seen very sceptically and the ruling lord keep very strict control over anyone with doctor skills. It’s unclear what has happened immediately preceeding the scene, but Preston has found someone in trouble who isn’t rich but who is somehow very important to the future of the world.
It’s as if he has found Jesus Christ wounded in a ditch and he understands the importance of fixing up this person.
He goes to the overseer and says, “Give me two of the best surgeons. It is very important. I can’t explain now.” The overseer is an unfeeling automaton who says, “I see no reason why you are not reporting for duty. You are not ill.” And the overseer tries to insist that it is time for him to report to work. Preston tries to insist that there is a very important reason why he doesn’t have to work now, there is something very worthwhile to be accomplished down the road, but the overseer doesn’t listen. They argue heatedly until the overseer grabs him by the hand and motions to the guard standing behind him. The guard steps forward and uses his sword to sever Preston’s hand at the wrist. The cut is complete and clean. Preston wails, not in pain, but in disbelief that they would damage the hand of a skilled surgeon. The overseer and guard don’t understand the importance of what they have done. “Let’s see you try to do surgery now,” they taunt him.
Cut to Preston in some sort of dungeon in shackles. His wrist is bandaged clumsily with strips of cloth, soaked through with blood. He is thinking to himself that it is his left hand that was cut off, and he could still do surgery better than most people, even with only his right hand, if only he could figure out how to escape. He still is focused on the person outside of the scene who needed his help. Preston is trying to figure out how to release another surgeon who is also being held in the dungeon.
End of Dream.