“Are you the voice we keep hearing?” Scarlett asks, awestruck at the woman, hoping for some clarity on the questions she’s been so eager to find answers to. “You may refer to me as Esotera” the voice explains, “I am the consciousness of your dreams.”
Looking to each other, Scarlett and Victoria go along with it, following the woman into an elevator just beyond the lobby desk. Pressing a button, Esotera stands with her hands folded as the doors shut and immediately reopen to another floor. “What is happening?” Scarlett asks, almost immediately overshadowed by Victoria, with the more pressing question. “More importantly, how long will we have until we wake up again?” the woman asks, putting a smile on Esotera’s face.
“I’ll answer the first question in due time, the second question however is much more simplified.” Turning one corner and approaching a long building with a few small offices for secretary’s, Esotera leads the way towards the main office floor. “The dreams before were simple dreams, they seem like it’s only been a few seconds, when in reality, it’s been a few hours in the realm of reality” Esotera explains, making it clear that they have accomplished something further than general sleep. “What you’re doing now is lucid dreaming” she continues, “You’re aware of the fact that you’re sleeping, yet you have full control over what you say and do, and no amount of thinking can break that illusion.”
“So we can think of whatever we want, but we’re still asleep in the real world?” Scarlett asks, fascinated by the feeling of everything, with every touch feeling as though it was real. “We refer to this as the ‘Beyond Realm’” Esotera explains, “It doesn’t technically exist, but it has all the understandings of the realm of reality that you call the ‘real world’.”
“So we’re still dreaming, but it feels as if this is the real world?” Victoria asks, gaining all the clarity she needs through Esotera’s nod. “In this realm, every minute in the real world is a minute here. Now that you’ve accomplished lucid dreaming, you’re free to come and go in the realm beyond as long as you’re asleep in the realm of reality.”
“How is this possible?” Scarlett asks, “people don’t share dreams.” Looking a the blonde with intrigue, Esotera asks exactly how she could treat this as just any other dream. “These sort of dreams don’t reoccur every single night, and they certainly don’t feel real regardless of whether or not they’re lucid. This realm works differently from any other concept the human mind can conjure up.”
“So how is this possible?” Victoria asks, noticing the first time she’s seen Esotera without a thorough answer. “Truthfully, I don’t exactly know” Esotera admits, “I don’t physically exist, you’ll never meet me in the realm of reality. But I know everything there is to know about this place, even if it doesn’t actually exist in the other realm. I’m a figment of your imagination, but I have a conscious all of my own, whilst also serving as the conscious of yourselves.”
Leaning over a bannister and looking down at an empty office floor with level after level of floors above all leading to a skylight in the middle, Esotera explains that this shouldn’t be possible. “I shouldn’t exist and this shouldn’t be possible, it just is. Together, we have broken existence as a concept entirely, and have established a new plane of being. For whatever reason the world has decided, it appears as though the access point to the realm beyond lays in your subconscious. Since that doesn’t physically exist, I’d prefer it if you were to picture this world as just another building… There’s only one door in, and you two are the only ones with a key.”
After thinking about it for a moment, Scarlett comes across a realization that Esotera’s hesitance to answer makes worrisome. “Even though we have a key to the building, that means there’s still the ability to break into it” Scarlett admits, watching the disappointment come over Esotera’s face. “You’re correct in your assessment” Esotera admits, “Unfortunately, I have not come across anything that would point me to where those possible break in points happen to be located.”
Figuring that the conversation could take an unwanted turn, Victoria elects to move onto another subject. “We’re clear that we can get here by falling asleep, we know we’re in here for as long as we’re asleep up there, we know all we need about that for now” Victoria concludes, “Now, why are we here?”
Following Esotera, the duo enter one office space, this one being one of the very few with a nameplate on the front door, which reads “Elvert.” Following Esotera inside, the two take a seat at a desk opposite their conscious being. “I didn’t know why I was here when I got here, I just woke up, much like you have. I knew everything about this building despite not being aware of why, and that’s what led me to this.”
Extending her arm out, Esotera hands Scarlett and Victoria a folder with papers of random statements almost spilling out of it. On the front page, the first quote reads, ‘The least effort is the feat most likely to be accomplished’, followed by an assortment of others below it. “What does this mean?” Victoria asks, ultimately informed that whilst Esotera has yet to figure out the reasoning behind them, she does understand that someone else was here before her.
“From what I can gather, anyone that exists in the realm of reality can return to it by dying inside the realm beyond. Others that reside in the realm beyond will cease to exist upon death” Esotera explains, jokingly exclaiming, “consider yourselves lucky” to conclude. “And you know all of this how?” Victoria asks, reminded of the lack of Esotera’s understanding of how this all came to be. “From what I can concur, you are not the first in the realm of reality to find yourselves entrenched in the world beyond, but you are the only example that I can find currently with the ability to enter. The others are also individuals I have yet to identify.”
“So you’re saying they could still be in here somewhere?” Victoria asks, watching Esotera acknowledge that whilst they may still be hidden within, the size of the building they find themselves hidden away in mirrors that of two planet earth’s. “This building is comprised of an almost infinite amount of space, including whatever you’d imagine to find. Every new entrant from the realm of reality only increases the internal capacity of it. You may never live long enough in this realm or the realm of reality to even stumble into each other.”
“Are we able to find them anyway?” Scarlett asks, genuinely intrigued by the concept of finding their realm beyond ancestors for any information they currently lack. “I’m sure there will be pieces of information that will help you fill in the puzzle, but until the picture is clear enough, there is just no possible way of really knowing where they could be, if they even are here to begin with.”
Realizing the amount of questions that can be asked, Esotera acknowledges that every clock in the building is set to the same time as that of the realm of reality, giving them a full knowledge of how much longer before any alarm can go off. “I am your consciousness, so whatever I know, you know as well. I’m just the shortcut to keep you from having to scan through those pieces of information… Kind of like an automatic button to help you remember a word you had on the tip of your tongue immediately.”
Standing from the desk and using the papers in the folder, Victoria and Scarlett watch Esotera hand them two guns, both living and without any capacity. “These are your service weapons, they have unlimited ammunition, and they’re one of the only things you can wake up in the realm of reality and return to the realm beyond still having. Regardless of how you wake up there, whenever you come back, you start right back where you started here, just without the ‘beast’ problem.”
“One more question” Scarlett asks, “What happens if we die in the realm of reality?” For a brief second, the air grows thin, and Victoria glances at Scarlett, who assures her it’s simply just a question for insurance purposes. “As far as I’m aware, this is the afterlife with people given the gift of the keys to the realm beyond. If you die in the realm of reality, you simply return to the realm beyond full time.”
“So there’s no such thing as heaven?” Victoria asks, with Esotera struggling for the right answer for a moment. “Whilst I’m sure there is a high chance of a heaven being possible in the realm of reality, I know for a fact that you will not go to it in favor of the realm beyond” Esotera admits, putting a disappointed look on Victoria’s face. “You alright, Vic?” Scarlett asks, watching the girl turn to her and nod. “I would’ve liked for there to be a heaven, but I’m just glad I know there’s something guaranteed on the other side” Victoria responds, thanking Scarlett as she puts her hand on her shoulder and tells her that everything will be just fine.
“Scarlett’s alarm is set for seven o’clock, Victoria’s for seven-thirty. If you’d like to join Scarlett when she wakes, put the service weapon to your head and pull the trigger, you’ll wake up in the realm of reality and be fine to start your day.” Looking at both women, watching their immediate confidence overtake them, Esotera wishes them luck as they enter the elevator and take the trip to their first stop in the realm beyond.
= Dream Sequence is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
Doors opening immediately, Scarlett and Victoria are introduced to a slouched figure with it’s back to them, bald with deteriorating skin and overgrown finger nails. “What the fuck is that?” Victoria whispers, aiming her service weapon forward and sending off a shot, immediately putting it down. Calling out for Esotera, Scarlett asks if the service weapons gives off a gunshot sound to anything else other than them. “No, you’re the only ones that can hear the shot. One shot is enough to kill almost any enemy, others may take a few shots to go down.”
“That’s pleasing” Victoria suggests, kicking the body over to reveal a shriveled face with a lack of color in the eyes. “Let’s move on” Scarlett suggests, walking down the corridor before finding an office with another nameplate on the door, this one in an unfamiliar language. “In he-” Scarlett attempts to say, only to be swept from her train of thought by the sight of a shooting star just outside of the skylight above.
“That’s strange… I’ve seen that same shooting star outside of my window the past two nights” Scarlett says, pointing it out to Victoria, who doesn’t seem to spot it. “There’s nothing there” Victoria replies, unable to see the shooting star having stopped it’s progress, now remaining stationary in the sky. “Seriously?” Scarlett asks, met with the same response as before. Brushing it off, the two enter the office and start shifting through whatever they can find to little luck. Eventually, Victoria stumbles upon a filing cabinet filled with name, most of which are written in a code indecipherable to the duo.
“Any chance this means something?” Vic asks, immediately hushed by Scarlett, who overhears footsteps just outside. “You hear that?” Scarlett asks, sneaking over to the doorway upon Vic’s nod, looking out to see if they can spot anything out of the ordinary. Eventually, they hear a whistling accompany the footsteps, which never seem to be joined by a pair of feet regardless of how close they appear.
“What is that?” Scarlett asks, immediately hearing the footsteps come to a halt before an unbodied voice asks who’s there. “Can you hear us?” Vic asks, met with a surprised but straight-forward answer of ‘yes.’
“Where are you?” the voice asks, with Scarlett explaining that they’re not present to hurt him, they just cannot seem to see him. “Are you in the office marked ‘Massaro’?” the voice asks, unable to get a clear response. “We’re in an office, we can’t seem to read the nameplate” Scarlett admits, unable to make out much more than a few groans of concern from the voice on the other end. “You must be on a separate dimension” the voice exclaims, muddling Vic and Scarlett with another level of confusion.
“Separate dimension?” Scarlett asks, with Massaro explaining that every being in the realm beyond live in separate dimensions. Each new figure that comes into the world beyond creates a new dimension, and then proceed to occupy it. “So how do we get into your dimension?” Vic asks, finding no further knowledge than she had prior to the question. “I don’t know. Quite frankly I almost didn’t believe that was true until now. I know just about as much as you” Massaro explains.
“We just got here, it’s been a sort of transition for us. What is this place if you don’t mind us asking?” asks Scarlett, leaning against the doorway and staring at the thin air she hopes to receive an answer from. “This is the realm beyond. It takes the form of an office building, the only reason I’d assume for that is because it’s ever-expanding. I don’t exactly have a clear-cut answer for it.”
“Are you a consciousness or are you an actual person?” Vic asks, receiving an even further confusion response. “Neither. I was created by the realm beyond once others entered in from the realm of reality a few years ago” Massaro explains, “I’ve been stationed in this office ever since.”
“Do you know anything that you can tell us?” Vic asks, “You’ve been here many more years than we have been, so I’m sure there’s something.” Without hesitation, Massaro cuts the truth that everyone experiences the realm beyond differently according to what dimension they inhabit. “For example, you may have gutters laying all around your dimension, but I’ve completely cleared mine out.” Asking about what a gutter is, Massaro explains that it was the name he gave to the deteriorated skin create the girls put down earlier.
“There’s going to be more of them?” Vic asks, hearing Massaro enthusiastically explain that not only will there be more of them, but they’ll evolve the longer they inhabit their dimension. “That’s the worst piece of news I’ve ever heard” Vic replies, leaving Massaro to apologize. “I hate to have to tell you this, but it’s just how the realm beyond works” the man replies, telling the girls that he needs to return to his work, but he’ll be in his office more often than not if they ever need to come back to see him for anything else.
Leaving the office and walking through the corridors, Vic and Scarlett remain cautious as to what may be lurking around ever corner whilst talking about what they do from here. “It’s not like we can just wake up and pretend like we don’t have a completely different life waiting for us” Vic admits, stating that normality died the second the picture here became clearer. “Well we have to wake up eventually” Scarlett states, avoiding the conversation of what the realm of reality becomes now that the realm beyond exists to them.
Turning the corner, the duo spot another one of the gutters before dropping it with a single shot. Attempting to move forward, the girls notice the gutter trembling, with the rapidity increasing every few seconds. “Get behind something” Vic says casually, prompting Scarlett to ask why, stubbornly looking for a reason as the trembling becomes erratic. Running over to the girl, Vic shoves Scarlett to the ground behind a stone wall and takes cover over her just as the gutter bursts into pieces, leaving a singe mark at ground zero.
“What the hell was that?” Vic asks, “If we were in a fight right there and I told you to take cover, would yo just stand by and ask ‘why’?” Apologizing, Scarlett moves on, looking to take the stairs to another level as Vic tells her that this isn’t just one or the other right here. “If we’re gonna do this together, we’re gonna do this together. Got it?” Vic asks, watching Scarlett swallow her pride and reluctantly agree, the level of stubbornness throwing Vic for a loop.
With fifteen minutes remaining before Scarlett’s alarm goes off, the duo stumble across a walled off section of the building, shielding whatever lies inside behind nothing more than an ordinary door. “I’m interested” Vic exclaims, walking towards it as Scarlett soon follows, joining the girl in preparing to open the flood gates. After a brief countdown, the pair hoist the doors open, looking inside to see nothing more than a few desks with unresponsive figures seated at them.
“Where are their faces?” Scarlett asks, noticing the lack of features other than a basic, smooth patch of skin where their facial features would normally be. “Can any oof your hear me?” Vic asks, noticing the lack of ears as well, but looking to give it a shot anyway. Reaching out to touch one, Scarlett is stopped by Vic, who admits that they don’t know what these are, let alone what signalling their presence would do.
“Let’s just look around and see what we can find” Vic says, pausing for a second to watch one of the figures stand from their desk and walk through a pair of double doors in the back. “After we figure out what’s behind that” the girl then says, changing up the plan and walking over to the doors, though is stopped by the inability to push them open.
“That’s odd” Vic states, figuring out that neither woman is able to open the doors themselves. “Let’s just wait here for someone to open the doors again and we’ll sneak through” Scarlett suggests, standing beside Vic and watching as another faceless figure stands up and walks towards the double doors. “Alright, check this one” Vic says, watching as the figure grows closer to the door, with the ground rumbling beneath the duo the closer the figure comes. The air growing harsher and the thoughts in their minds growing less audible, Vic tenses up, feeling a tension in the air refusing to be ignored.
“Go for cover!” Vic shouts, diving alongside Scarlett out of the way as the faceless figure reaches the double doors and gets obliterated by a rogue train, slamming into the wall having been taken off the rails. “Holy shit!” Scarlett shouts, standing to her feet and rushing over to the train, soon joined by Vic, who notices the rest of the faceless figures left unharmed refusing to even acknowledge anything having happened.
Climbing onto the front of the train, Scarlett looks into the conductors cabin and notices a figure completely blackened out laying dead with its head completely removed. “What the hell was that?” Vic asks, reading the writing on the side as ‘Genuine Rail 06606’, and noticing the back of it completely cutting them off from what rests within the double doors. “Whatever that was supposed to be, it doesn’t want us getting in there” Vic states, pointing out what she sees to the other girl.
“So, we just leave it alone?” Scarlett exclaims, aggravated at the idea of being kept from controlling her own realm beyond. “Fuck that, I’ve got five minutes left here… I’m getting a look at whatever I can” Scarlett says, stubbornly refusing to adhere to Vic’s warnings. Climbing into one of the cabins, Scarlett disappears into the vehicle and begins the trek in hopes of finally reaching the back.
Shaking her head and figuring that Scarlett will spend the rest of her time wandering the wreckage, Vic turns around and walks to the entry of the room, attempting to leave. As she walks through the entrance, the sound of a massive explosion behind her forces her attention to a sight of fire and debris no longer conditioned enough to house the faceless figures. “Scarlett!” Vic shouts, rushing forward to run back into the room before the double doors close on her, locking her out and leaving her to wonder over what happened for the time she has remaining in the realm beyond.
“What the fuck were you doing?” Victoria asks, catching up to Scarlett and introducing herself to Rachel. “You’re the girl Scarlett helped find her class the other day, right?” Rachel asks, assured of having remembered correctly. “Do you mind if I talk to Scarlett for a second?” Victoria asks, attempting to reply before the sight of her best friend being dragged away by a woman she just formally met interrupts her.
“What was that back there?” Victoria asks, closing the empty classroom door behind the two as Scarlett acknowledges that she simply wanted to find out what the realm beyond was hiding. “Did you honestly think it was just going to be that easy?” Victoria asks, watching Scarlett shrug and admit that she was wrong. “You’re pretty impulsive, aren’t you?” Victoria asks, watching Scarlett do a twirl and ask how she could have guessed. “Well how about we try not walking into an entirely different plane of existence trying to get ourselves killed?” Victoria suggests, watching Scarlett accept after an eye roll.
Taking in a deep breath, Victoria collects herself and reminds Scarlett exactly what they’re a part of right now. “We’re breaking the laws of existence. Those are probably the only laws impossible to be broken other than gravity, and I’m pretty sure we’ve also already done that. Let’s drop the impulsivity when we break the concept of life, alright?” Coming to an acceptance that the difference between what they experience in the realm of reality and the realm beyond deserve separate approaches, Scarlett comes to an agreement to follow Victoria just as she would her own instincts.
“Thank you” Victoria says, “Now let’s figure out how to fin-” she attempts to continue, only to catch the mounted TV at the other end of the room automatically turn on, revealing the local news. “That’s strange” Victoria responds at the occurrence, only to be unable to do more than watch the anchors run over a breaking news story revolving an incident extraordinarily familiar to them.
“It was just a few minutes ago when a passenger train commuting from Baton Rouge to Shreveport was sent off the rails, obliterating a bank just across the street. The passenger train ‘Genuine Rail 06606’ unexpectedly derailed in the middle of it’s early morning route before bursting into flames a matter of moments later. It is assumed that all two-hundred and forty-six passengers were lost in the incident, with another undisclosed amount of civilians from the crash into the banking center. We will have more on this story as it develops into the Channel 9 newsroom.”
“Vic?” Scarlett says, both girl’s mouths agape at the realization that their dreams aren’t solely exclusive to the world beyond. “Was that the same train that ran through the office?” Scarlett asks, watching Vic look towards her and nod, assuring her that the world’s have now intersected for the worst.