\ Realm of Reality /
Entering the precinct with a duffle bag in hand, Montes steps by his coworkers at random, his uniform left at home in favour of a casual t-shirt and jeans. “Toby, your shift started two hours ago!” an officer remarks, one foam cup of coffee held in his right hand. “Is the sheriff in yet?” Montes responds, disregarding the officer’s remarks as he steps past, his travels taking him toward West’s office regardless of his presence.
The brief exchange bringing more eyes toward his direction, Montes continues forward, refusing to speak to anyone other than West. Making his way to the back of the precinct, Montes throws his hand out, pushing West’s office door open with little resistance, the partially-broken man looking up at him as he enters. “Does your generation know what it means to knock?” West inquires, blenching as he leans back in his seat.
“What the fuck is this!?” Montes howls, keeping his voice below a whisper as he holds his hand high, the cubed camera resting within the palm of his hand. “That’s the camera that- by the look on your face- I’ll assume you’ve watched the video of” West replies, pressing his hand against his chest to subdue the pain.
“Have you seen this!?” Montes responds, throwing his duffle bag into a corner of the room, an unbuttoned dress shirt flowing over his blue tee as he takes a seat. “I have. I saw it just before I brought it to you” West replies, allowed to speak further amidst Montes’ paused astonishment, “have you made your decision?”
“Yeah- I have!” Montes remarks, laying the recorder on the desk before flicking it with his finger, allowing it to gently fall into West’s lap. “Do whatever you want with it. Keep it, come to your senses and turn it in- fucking burn it- I don’t care” Montes answers, giving the bag he’d packed a light smack, “I’m getting the fuck out of town before it’s too late for me.”
“Wai- what!?” West blurts out, paining himself as he suddenly jolts forward, caught by surprise, “you can’t leave!” Having already left his chair and begun to lift his bag, Montes amuses West’s reaction, “why not?” he asks, slowly lifting the bag’s strap over his shoulder. “Oh come on, do I really need to spell it out for you?” West answers, pushing his chair back as he struggles to a stand, groaning as he does, “we’re the only people in this precinct that know what we’re really facing.”
“Then clue someone else in- I don’t care” Montes responds, the strap lifting over his head, draped across his body, “I’m sure there’s other cops that’ll tell you what you want to hear.” His head hung, West places his hands against the surface of his desk, the cane leant against his seat. “I don’t a ‘yes’ man, rookie” West replies, again managing to halt Montes’ progress toward the exit, “I need someone that’ll actually help me get to the bottom of what’s going on here.”
“Why the fuck does it need to be me!?” Montes quickly inquires, no longer subduing the shouts he now emits freely, “why can’t any of these other pricks help you!?” Though his wounds still affect him greatly, West musters the power to raise one fist to the air, slamming it back upon the desk with convincing authority. “Who the hell says I want help from the other pricks!?” West shouts back, his face flushed with anger.
“You’ve got a unit chock full of guys more helpful than I could ever be-” Montes starts to reply, interrupted by West’s correction. “And yet I don’t seem to care for any of them” the sheriff replies, a retort that, in the least, sweeps Montes of his first thought. “You’ve got the passion for this stuff that I haven’t had in years and the decency of someone that actually wants to do good” West explains, his words softer as he tends to his injuries, “you’re one of the few good apples.”
Unsure of how to react, Montes stands halfway between the sheriff and the exit to his office, his adamance not strong as it had been before. “You’re the only person, believe it or not, that I think I can genuinely trust in here” West declares, hands still pressing into the workspace, “please, just see this through. Hell, I’ll even hand you walking papers so you can claim severance. Just stick the rest of this out with me, would you?”
Behind his lips, Montes’ teeth press together, his mind still set on leaving, though West’s admission throws a wrench into his plan. “I have family, sheriff” Montes replies, though the statement would be viewed as a gentle way of refusal, the deputy’s tone of voice proves his mind has still yet to be made.
“Where the fuck is he!?” a strong, affirmative voice exclaims, Montes staring to his exit just as West does, the familiar reflection emerging from the other side. Cane in hand, West limps through his office door, Montes following closely behind, the bag’s strap still across his chest. Hearing the sheriff’s grunts, Jared and Rachel turn to lock eyes with West, the sides staring at each other in awe.
= 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 =
\ Realm Beyond - Eternal Office /
“You find something new around every corner, don’t you?” Scarlett jokes, walking a few steps ahead of Vic as she follows Esotera, departing a long corridor in favour of a dark, conference space. Whilst the ground is painted a sleek grey and walls stand out with a marble finish, the room hosts a long, slim conference table in its centre a few metres below ground level, surrounded by steps leading out from the decline.
Taking the seat at the table’s end, Esotera watches Scarlett and Vic diverge upon opposite sides, Scarlett sat to her right whilst Vic occupies the chair on her left. “Alright. We’re here” Scarlett murmurs, Vic continuing to remain quiet, allowing the conversation to happen around her.
“The walls should be strong enough to keep your delusions at bay” Esotera replies, sliding her chair closer toward the table, hands folded atop it. “Are you positive they won’t happen?” Scarlett inquires, though able to trust Esotera, finds difficulty trusting much else. “Not one hundred percent- no” the extraordinary guardian replies, watching the disappointed look appear on Scarlett’s face, “but as far as meeting points go- this might be the best you’ll get.”
Holding back a sigh, Scarlett turns her face away from Esotera, her eyes following the recreated black lines that swirl within the dark brown finish in their wooden conference table. “I see one thing is undeniable, however” Esotera remarks, Vic’s attention staying upon her whilst Scarlett’s is re-earned.
“As far as these paradoxes go- while I can’t tell you whether they’re delusions or not- I can tell you that they’ve benefitted you well” Esotera remarks, her eyes setting upon Vic, “you’ve gained new powers.”
Their eyes widening, Scarlett and Vic turn their curiosity upon each other. “From what else I can gather, it seems these abilities are-” Esotera begins, both girls returning their gaze as she pauses, her chin leaning forward, “occupant-specific.”
Clearly unfamiliar with the phrase, the girls remain silent, waiting for their guardian to continue. “The two of you have discovered a power that the other cannot possess” Esotera clarifies, only further deepening each girl’s confusion, “those powers-”
“Those powers are as pre-determined as anything else in this god-forsaken realm” Suzie interjects, entering the conference room with her brutes closeby. Summoning their service weapons, Scarlett and Vic prepare for defence, a gesture Suzie assures them is fruitless. “I’m not here to kill you. Actually, I’m sort of here to help you” the trespasser explains, stepping down the short flight of stairs and walking past Vic, rounding the table’s end to sit at the last few seats on Scarlett’s side.
“Why would we want your help?” Scarlett wonders aloud, not allowing Suzie to occupy a seat before asking the question, her answer coming with just as much ease. “Because I was right about the delusions, that’s a start” Suzie answers, her elbow pressing into the table as she props her chin up with her hand, “and because I know the secrets you want answers to.”
Unable to hold a slight smirk back, Scarlett laughs through her nose and turns away, slowly climbing the stairs to make her departure. “All hail the king” Suzie calls out, watching Scarlett’s slow exit halt quickly, the young blonde staring back at her with widened eyes. Watching Scarlett’s expression shift, Vic’s eyes redirect themselves toward Suzie, the girl returning the favour.
“I can’t quite say what you’re experiencing, but I know what-” Suzie begins to add, addressing Vic before Scarlett interrupts, storming toward her with a vengeance. “How did you know-!?” Scarlett begins to shout, taking the intruder by the collar of her shirt to little success, Suzie’s equally red service blade pressed against her throat before her thought can be completed.
“Not so fast, pariah” Suzie whispers, her free hand wrapping around Scarlett’s collar just as hers resides, “I know what’s coming for you. Heed my advice and save that anger.” As swiftly as she had commanded the discourse, Suzie shoves Scarlett back, nodding her head toward the seat the younger woman had previously occupied. “Why are you here?” Vic interjects, returning Suzie’s sights toward herself, “what do you want?”
“That’s easy. I’m here to kill you” Suzie replies, smiling as the girls’ posture changes, their service weapons summoned, “relax, relax- I’m not interested in that yet.” Leaning back in her seat, Suzie extends the opposite of a defensive approach, her feet kicked upon the tabletop as she continues.
“You see, I used to be you. Before the two of you, Lincoln and I were the realm’s keepers” the woman confesses, her eyes drifting into space as she recollects. “I know exactly how the two of you started, and I know exactly how your stories are gonna end” she furthers, her voice lowering as she leans back further, “the realm may give you free will, but it’s already determined what your fate is.”
Her arms growing tense, Scarlett stares toward the woman whilst she speaks, a scowl held. “How do you know this?” Vic inquires, watching Suzie spn toward her just as the chair she sits on does, “if you’re here, we shouldn’t be- I thought that’s how it worked.” Her tongue pressed into the corner of her lip, Suzie waits for a moment, remaining quiet until the sound of thunder rolls in, shaking the walls gently.
“Technically speaking, I’m not alive” Suzie responds, the lean in her seat strengthening as she waves her hand from one side of her face to the other. “I’m a soul trapped just like the rest” Suzie replies, the features of her face vanishing in favour of a grey, drab, indistinguishable expression, “but it’s difficult to keep the devil locked in hell when he controls the damned and his seat is empty.”
With another swipe, Suzie’s face returns to normal, her eyes as distinct as her smile, the form of a person no different from Scarlett or Vic. “So you broke out of hell?” Vic repeats, obvious scepticism carried in her question, “if you’re the devil, does that make Lincoln-?”
“No, Lincoln is not god. Honestly, I’m a little offended you’d think that” Suzie interrupts, scoffing at the idea. “Lincoln is just a mortal like the rest of us, and fallible just the same” Suzie continues, a thought dawning over her as she lifts a finger toward the air, “however, he’s an example of the realm changing its rules more so than anything else.”
Correctly assuming that Suzie would answer their next question, Scarlett and Vic remain seated, watching Suzie stand up and begin pacing around the room. “When you die in the real world, your soul is supposed to belong to the realm. Well, Lincoln did just that” Suzie explains, her lip curling as her thoughts grow bitter, “when I ran my dagger across his throat, that was supposed to be the end of him.”
Her hands clasped behind her back, Suzie paces the stone steps, turning back to repeat the process each time she reaches the step’s conclusion. “I did what I needed to so I could live. He died right there and that was it” Suzie explains, her aimless wandering coming to a stop, eyes taking to one of the distant walls, “I have no idea how he’s even here right now.”
“And he wants us dead too?” Scarlett ponders aloud, her question snapping Suzie from her sullen self-reflection. “We all want each other dead, that’s how it’s supposed to go” Suzie replies, the room again beginning to shake beneath the power of distant thunder, its might unable to breach the marble walls.
“The two of you are next in line for the throne. If you die, it becomes Lincoln’s turn. If the three of you die, It’ll be my turn” Suzie answers, holding back a grin, “that’s the line of succession.”
“You said the realm rejected you before, though” Vic responds, immediately drawing the ire of the woman ahead, her scowl more than noticeable from across the room. “I wasn’t proven. I killed Lincoln out of anger, not to rule the realm” Suzie retorts, presenting a force in her tone that she doesn’t care much to hide, “killing Lincoln and the two people it chose to replace me must be enough to prove myself worthy.”
“Oh, so this could all be for show!?” Scarlett replies, matching Suzie’s rage-bitten tone with one of condescension, “you could be putting all this effort into something utterly pointless?” The balance of confrontation shifting, Suzie’s calm manner settles, revealing a combative truth as she steps across the room, engaging in the argument Scarlett baited her into.
“Listen, blondie. The only reason I don’t kill you right now is because it’d work against me” Suzie replies, her service dagger summoned just as before, “don’t question my fucking motives.” Her eyebrows furrowed, Scarlett stares at the woman, both of their eyes glowing red for just a few seconds before Vic interrupts. “You may have a reason to keep us alive- but we don’t” Vic remarks, summoning her deep blue service weapon.
Annoyed, Suzie steps back, both she and Scarlett losing the red glow in their eyes as the infiltrator retreats. “Fine. Do whatever you want and believe whatever you will” Suzie replies, releasing her dagger as she readies her hand. “I’m telling you now. If you see Lincoln, put him down. We can get this over with whenever you’d like” Suzie explains, thrusting her fingers together.
She and her brutes disappearing into thin air, Suzie leaves Scarlett and Vic to themselves, their service weapons still cradled in their grasp as they look at each other, both thinking what neither wants to say.
\ Realm of Reality /
“I think they’re still alive” Jared replies, cradling Rachel’s hand in his own as she lies atop a hospital bed, waiting for doctors to arrive. “And you said they what?” West clarifies, his cane resting against the armrest of his chair, Montes standing a few spaces beside him. “He said they made it to a beach before the plane crashed” Jared responds, West’s hand covering his eyes as his face scrunches, trying to piece together the jumbled puzzle, “they spoke like they knew they’re alive.”
“Alright, so- if the dead girls aren’t dead, where are they?” Montes inquires, Jared’s pause draining him of a hopeful high, his answers having been offered in quick succession prior. “I don’t know, but I’d imagine it’s somewhere close to where the plane went down” Jared replies, his lips pressing together as he stares off, “somewhere out in the Indian Ocean, I guess.”
“They were headed to the Maldives- that’s where their plane was flying to” West interrupts, pulling his head from the palm of his hand. “Hold on, how do they know the girls are alive?” Montes queries, sharing a glance between Jared and West whilst the question lingers. Reluctant, Jared considers his options for a moment before turning to Rachel, looking her in the eyes as he speaks softly.
“I’m gonna talk to the officers for a minute” the young man murmurs, “you just stay here and I’ll be right back, alright?” Without a word, Rachel nods to the man, releasing his hand as he backs away, walking off with the men in search of privacy. “You guys saw the thing Lincoln did, right?” Jared inquires, dipping into an unoccupied corner and lowering his voice, “well, I think the girl- Suzie- I think she could do it too. He said she did something to the plane and she didn’t deny it.”
“She’s- what?- she’s a terrorist?” West responds, his face tightened as he rests against the nearest wall, still supporting himself with the metal cane. “I- maybe? I don’t know what she’s after, but I know she wants this Lincoln guy dead” Jared whispers, opening his mouth to continue without doing so. “What?” Montes wonders aloud, the man’s lips moving nervously without making any words, “you’re not actually speaking.”
Closing his eyes with a sigh, Jared licks his teeth and shares a look with the officers, speaking quieter than before. “Whatever Lincoln and Suzie are-” Jared begins, unable to speak the second half before Montes finishes his sentence, already predicting where the dialogue has begun heading, “-you think girls are the same thing.”
Closing his eyes, Jared nods emphatically, a new wrinkle added into the officers’ case. “Hold on, you don’t really-” West begins to interject, finally reaching a moment where his original disbelief returns, only for his eyes to widen as a thought arises. “Rookie, pull up your phone” West directs, a brief second of confusion passing before Montes does as told, following the directions West reads to him before reaching his browser.
“Type in ‘Praireville building explosion’” West orders, following the officer’s thumbs with his eyes, each letter bubble growing in size as it’s pressed. “Go to ‘images’ and scroll until I tell you to stop” West orders, the process of Montes following his instructions repeating as West’s eyes catch the photo in question. “That! Those are the girls!” West exclaims, fighting through the pain to speak.
“Yeah, this picture went around everywhere. It’s why them killing the cop was so covered” Montes responds, watching West’s head shake assuredly. “Yes, but the bust just before they left! That was different!” West exclaims, again beginning to lose the younger men he speaks to. “Before they left, they traded me intel on a drug bust in the outskirts of town” West confesses, “they told me to say they were dealt with and take the drug siege in exchange for their freedom.”
“What do either of those have to do with what I just told you?” Jared inquires, his question prompting West to calm himself, speaking clearly and coherently. “They must have known about that explosion just like the bust. They knew, they knew, they knew it was going to happen” West remarks, “so they know about these two things, they become the target of some mutant serial killer, I mean- they’re the only survivors of a fucking plane crash! There must be something to this!”
“So you think it’s more of an answer than a theory?” Jared replies, his eyes narrowing as West goes to walk off, “you think what I’m saying is true?” Limping through the exam room, West approaches the curtain Rachel has been left behind, looking at Jared from over his shoulder as he steps forward. “I think we need to figure out where those girls are” West replies, taking the curtain into his hand before yanking it open.
“Surprise” Lincoln remarks, sat on the hospital cot where Rachel was last left, his legs crossed at the ankles, hands folded in his lap. Reaching for his gun on instinct, Montes’ aim is thwarted by the sudden gust of wind emptied from his lungs, the firearm sliding across the ground as it falls from his hands. “I knew the first place you’d go was the hospital” Lincoln mocks, stepping off the bed as West and Jared back away, matching his approach forward with one step back.
“Where’s Rachel!?” Jared worriedly asks, watching Lincoln’s smile only continue to grow, his eyes beginning to glow blue as he approaches. “She’s right back where you’ll be in just a moment” Lincoln replies, his insinuation failing to strike fear in the young man. Desperate for each breath, Montes rolls on the ground, his eyes staring directly into the ceiling above, its tiles beginning to fall apart.
“It’s like I said, Jared- the two of you are pawns. The longer you act like this, the more this game gets prolonged” Lincoln remarks, his smile having grown to such width that he now speaks through gritted teeth. “If you hurt her, I swear to-” Jared begins to warn, his response disallowed from continuing, Lincoln’s interruption foiling him.
“Kill me, hurt me, make me suffer?- whatever it is, you’ve said it before” Lincoln replies, extending his hand toward the second of his targets, slowly reaching out for his shirt collar. Mustering the strength to reclaim his gun, Montes turns to the confrontation happening away from him, Lincoln’s attempts at grabbing the young man striking him as unusual.
Reclaiming his breaths, Montes holsters his firearm and pushes himself upward, fighting toward the altercation just as Lincoln gets too close for his welcome. With a grunt, Montes watches Lincoln’s finger slip into the sleeve of Jared’s shirt, the young man’s efforts to retreat further proving unproductive.
Leaving his feet, Montes throws himself through the air, his hand just grazing Lincoln’s shoulder as the man snaps his free hand. The lone figure uninvolved, West watches Lincoln vanish into thin air, both Jared and Montes, disappearing alongside him. The events having unfolded with such swiftness, West falls backward, losing his balance mid-retreat as the air grows thin, the room’s emptiness yet to feel as truly barren as it does whilst he collides with the ground.
\ Realm of Reality /
Their home adorned with more furnishings than before, Scarlett and Vic occupy separate chairs across the room from each other, each girl watching the other quietly, neither wanting to speak first. Their silence amplified by the sound of rushing waves passing their patio, both girls continue to stare at the other, each trying to overwhelm their urge to speak.
The tip of her shoe tapping against the floor, Scarlett fills the room with a subtle obstruction, trying to spur Vic into addressing the elephant in the room. Without a sound, Vic looks at Scarlett, staring her in the eyes as she shakes her head, lips pressed firmly together. “Fine, whatever. Can we talk about this Suzie-Lincoln shit!?” Scarlett shouts, officially the first to break.
Silent, Vic continues not to speak, adjusting her position in the chair as she crosses one leg over the other, her hand held against the knee. “They’re playing a cat and mouse game with each other and us!?” Scarlett exclaims, continuing to speak whilst Vic looks at her quietly, continuing to retain her composure. “It’s like a multi-dimensional game of fucked-up chess and we’re the centre of it!” Scarlett exclaims, her head falling to the side as her eyes wander aimlessly, “please say something.”
Arching the corner of her mouth, Vic stares off, her thoughts too frazzled to piece together seamlessly. “Scar, if the realm’s already decided what’s gonna happen-” Vic begins, her eyes tracing the swirls in their wooden floor’s finishing, her sentence left unfinished. “If the realm’s already decided- what?” Scarlett repeats, again leaving the sentence open-ended, Vic’s head continuing to shake as she looks up, a sour face worn.
“What’s the point of fighting it then?” Vic qualms, the answer one that equally angers and disappoints the other woman. “What the fuck do you mean by that?” Scarlett responds, watching Vic sift through her own head from a place of slight offence. “I’m saying there’s no point in driving ourselves mad over shit we can’t change” Vic responds, lifting a stack of money off a nearby table as the knock they’d been waiting for arrives.
“What’s the most pressing thing that we know? That there are two people that wanna kill us because they had what we do” Vic continues, opening the door as she finishes her thought, “if that’s what they want, I’ll return the fight happily.”
“Uh? Vic!” Scarlett shouts, able to see the visitor knocking at their door before the villa’s owner has the chance to herself. Eyes guided toward the person just beyond her door, Vic’s eyes widen with shock and awe, the man that stands before her practically a ghost as far as her memory reaches.
“We have a massive problem” Sheriff West remarks, his eyes slightly empty, his breaths spaced apart. “What are you doing here!?” Scarlett angrily inquires, quickly storming up to Vic’s side, prepared for a fight West has no intentions of starting. “Rachel and Jared are missing and Lincoln did it” West replies, offering too much information for the girls to digest in one sitting.
“I- I- I know about your powers” West confesses, the girls’ eyes widening even further, “Jared said Lincoln was gonna use them to kill you and- and I- I don’t know how. But they’re- they’re in trouble and I need your help.”
Unable to wipe away the looks of sheer terror on each other’s faces, Vic and Scarlett turn to each other and lock eyes, trying to read the other’s reaction to no avail, their efforts at looking to the other for comfort in a moment where all composure is lost proving futile. Logically lost, Scarlett and Vic return their gaze upon West’s broken body, unsure of how to respond or react, instead standing there with horrified expressions, only able to react on instinct.
== Dream Sequence ==