\ Realm of Reality /
“Aagghh!” Lincoln exclaims, dragging Montes and Jared back to the fortified bunker with the snap of his finger, Montes’ momentum carrying through the sudden transportation. Swept off his feet, Lincoln slams into the cold, solid concrete shoulder-first, the inexperienced, yet adrenaline-driven officer wrapping his arms around the criminal and tackling him to the ground.
Released from Lincoln’s grasp the moment his feet touch solid ground, Jared’s body shifts backward, his legs unsteady for only a moment. Slamming into the reinforced metal wall, Jared spends little time regrouping, his arms pushing him toward Rachel’s bed. “You son of-!” Lincoln exclaims, not taking long to realise his prior efforts were not quick enough, the exclamation interrupted by Montes’ fist striking his jaw.
“Rachel!?” Jared shouts, gazing around the bunker to discover it empty aside from his presence, Montes and Lincoln’s brawl persisting whilst his fellow prisoner is nowhere to be found. Dazed, Lincoln’s thoughts blur for a moment, only able to feel the younger, deceivingly-strong man climb top him, his hand duked.
Struggling to register his predicament, Lincoln’s eyes move from the empty pit just beyond the still-open bunker door and to the bottom of its exit. Not satisfied with the small cut his first shot had drawn from the corner of Lincoln’s brow, Montes throws a second, the knuckle of his index finger pressing into the side of the killer’s face, shattering the man’s nose.
Operating off of his instinct, Montes throws another three strikes, all landing in the corner of Lincoln’s eye, each shot stripping the realm-leaper of his impenetrable mystique. Made to appear surprisingly mortal, Lincoln’s mind fails to grasp memory of his powers, only able to defend himself by pushing Montes away. Crawling to the daylight that splashes upon the floor just beyond the foxhole, Lincoln stretches his hand toward salvation, his brain barely more than scrambled gelatin.
Snarling at the man’s attempt to escape, Montes’ procedural mindset ceases to exist, his every thought rooted in the quest for violent revenge. Wiping the spit from his face, Montes climbs to his feet and charges at the bunker’s door. Throwing his foot forward, Montes kicks the entrance’s centre and pushes it forward, the only thing standing between itself and the frame it locks into being Lincoln’s sprawled-fingered, left hand.
His blood-curdling scream bouncing off the shelter’s walls, Lincoln slumps into the corner, his left hand shattered to great extent, bent fingers and bone fragments breaking through skin. Growling, Montes takes in a few deep breaths before retrieving his firearm, lifting it with one arm in an executioner’s pose.
“No, wait!’ Jared exclaims, his voice strengthening as he extends his hand, stopping Montes just before the trigger could be pulled, the rookie’s eyes turning toward him. “Rachel’s not-!” Jared begins, interrupted before he can finish his statement. Though groggy, Lincoln regains his wherewithal, the lone operational hand he has thrown forward in a fit of agonising rage.
The room momentarily bathed in a harsh, blue light, Montes’ feet leave the ground with brutal force, his finger accidentally pulling the trigger as he flies backward, colliding with the bolstered wall. Crumbling to a heap on the floor, Montes lays limp, his grasp on the weapon relinquished, allowing it to join him in toppling to the ground, laying motionless and still.
Having crossed them before his face to protect himself, Jared’s arms lower, his eyes falling upon Montes’ crumpled heap before soon firing back to Lincoln in a rage. Stirring, the killer looks to his hand once more, his fingers dangling as he holds it high. Eyes widened in pain, Lincoln looks to Montes’ body across the room from him, undisturbed by the sight of what he’d done.
Almost as if he knew enough to expect what he’d find, Lincoln turns his head toward Rachel’s bed, Jared’s irate eyes already having turned themselves toward him. For the first time, Lincoln finds himself outmatched, his injuries and head trauma severely limiting him in such a vulnerable position. Shaking his head, Lincoln moves his lips but doesn’t speak, watching Jared dash across the room with his foot raised.
At the last moment, Lincoln’s one unencumbered hand presses its fingers together, his skin dragging against itself in a snap. The bunker vanishing, Lincoln’s head crashes into the drab, lifeless tiled-floors of his home, Jared’s foot having struck the side of his skull as if it were a football in the last second. His momentum yet to cease, Jared’s foot throws itself forward as he hurls himself through the air, no longer able to depend on heavy-duty walls to halt his progress.
Through the archway, Jared slams into the floor, rolling to a stop as he slides into the legs of a long, nondescript conference table, his body surely to be bruised by the collision. “Ffuucckk” Jared groans, the side of his face pressing against the ground, his palms pressed against its boring tiled finish coloured in multiple shades of grey.
“You can’t escape me!” Lincoln shouts, slurring his words as he attempts to climb off the floor, the sound of his voice reinvigorating Jared’s anger. “I mean it- it’s impossible now” Lincoln barks, reaching for the nearest support whilst Jared pushes himself up, his right hand sinking into his back pocket. “You and your girl are already doomed!” the large man growls, making it to his knees just as Jared closes in.
Looking upward, Lincoln watches Jared’s hand pull back, his only thought being to shield himself from the teenager’s unpredictable attack. Sacrificing his lone, undamaged hand, Lincoln sprawls his fingers outward, covering his head and neck as Jared’s hand swings through the air. Pain having enraptured his body in various places by now, Lincoln fails to notice Jared’s offence at first, a few seconds passing before his eyes return to the scorned young man’s eyes.
Following his arm as if it were a trail, Lincoln’s eyes inevitably reach Jared’s hand, the plastic shiv his assailant had whittled now piercing through the rear side of his hand. With incredible force, Lincoln shouts in pain as Jared rips the weapon from his hand, the process he’d made to bury it within his palm repeated various times over, the makeshift blade persistently tearing through his flesh, leaving behind a bloody scene of destroyed tendons, muscle and bones.
His screams continuing, Lincoln finally breaks away from Jared’s grasp, his forehead pressing against the ground as he hunches over. On his knees and defenceless, Lincoln grunts in pain, unable to watch Jared pull his hand back once more, both mangled hands hidden beneath his body as he lays against the floor. “Someone!” Rachel exclaims, somewhere hidden deep within the room, her voice enough to free Jared from his initial intentions.
As if his every thought were replaced by only one goal, Jared turns to the source of the noise, leaving Lincoln tending after the irreparable damage inflicted to him. “Rachel!” Jared shouts, throwing himself into boring, featureless walls in chase of the young woman, his sights only set on the path ahead.
“I’m in here! I’m in here!” Rachel screams, the call of her name nearing closer with each shout. “Rachel!” Jared shouts once more, drawn to the dark corners her voice originates from, a poorly-lit office proving to offer his destination, the young woman he chases after left tied to a chair in its centre. “Where am I!?” Rachel exclaims, her frantic pleas for help finally answered, leaving room for the horrified fears she’d been left to stew within.
“I’m here! I’m right here, Rachel!” Jared replies, slicing away at the rope until Rachel is freed, her arms wrapping around him immediately. “I thought you were never gonna find me!” Rachel whimpers, her cheeks coloured a bright red as tears stream down her face, the back of her head held in Jared’s hand. “I’m always gonna find you- I promise” Jared whispers, his eyes kept open, still uncertain over the answer to her initial question.
Stood in a small, well-lit pod, Esotera stares at an empty wall, its walls coloured a deep blue. Motionless, Esotera faces the blank canvas with her arms at her side, eyes as stoic as the rest of her body. Without warning, Esotera’s vibrant blue walls turn to an angry shade of red, the sound of buzzers firing throughout the cramped confines.
Head turning to a small set up of computers, charts and level readings, Esotera approaches the equipment with a puzzled look, almost in disbelief of what she’s discovering. “We’ve been breached” Esotera remarks, her attention set upon one specific screen out of many, two red dots flashing in the realm’s deepest, most-obscure corridors.
= 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 of Reality /
Silent, Scarlett crosses one leg over the other, sat in a chair across the room from the sheriff she’s become all too familiar with, a look of disgust cemented across her face. Though not from a place of bitterness, West remains quiet as well, his eyes held on Scarlett’s repulsed expression, his arms laid upon the sides of his chair.
“Do you know anything?” Vic inquires, occupying the middle-most seat of the couch, sat directly between her friend and the sheriff, eyes laid upon the officer with a few skeletons in his closet. “Uh, no” West replies, almost forgetting where he was for a moment, his mind starting to draw blanks. “They were there one minute, then- then they were gone the next” West remarks, returning his eyes to the phlegmatic young woman across the room, “I have no idea where they are.”
“And you can’t trace him?” Vic continues, her right arm resting against the sofa’s back whilst her left arm sits loosely in her lap. “I’ve tried. Something must’ve happened in the- whatever they did” West replies, his mind still taken aback by various questions, “he’s a ghost as far as I know.”
Lip pressed against the roof of her mouth, Vic’s head hangs, her thoughts kept quiet as Scarlett interrupts, directing the conversation herself. “How did you know about us?” Scarlett wonders aloud, the tone of her voice making it clear to the sheriff that she feels a great scorn for him. “I didn’t until yesterday. Jared put the pieces together” West replies, his tone subdued, nearly the exact opposite of Scarlett’s, “the bust at the end there, the explosion- those were the missing pieces.”
“And you just believed it?” Scarlett quickly inquires, the man’s calm, understanding tone not compelling her to ease the approach. “I’d seen what Lincoln could do” West replies just as swiftly, wavering an open hand down the length of his own body, “I was pretty well introduced to it, wouldn’t you say?”
Silent again, Scarlett listens to the man, refusing to answer. “When Jared pieced everything together, it all just- just felt right” West continues, his voice growing more frail, exhaustion beginning to set in, “I don’t know if there’s much I can’t believe anymore.” Her fingers sloped over the armrest’s end, Scarlett’s stare persists, her eyes inspecting the man’s damaged body.
“Is there anything you do know?” Vic interjects, reclaiming West’s attention, “anything that could give us a clue as to where we should look?” His teeth pressed together, West shakes his head subtly as he stares into the distance, the Arabian Sea’s calm waves in his view. “He said they were kept in a bunker. Some unfamiliar house and neighbourhood in Praireville” West responds, rubbing the sides of his head as he thinks beyond that.
“He said Rachel had amnesia. We took her to a hospital, that’s where he snatched her back, and everything went down” West explains, the subtle headshake growing increasingly rapid. “Aside from that, there’s not much I know” West replies, his head beginning to hang before another thought enters his mind, the recollection lifting his eyes in Scarlett’s direction.
Noticing this gesture, Scarlett snaps from her oath of quietude, “what?” she asks bluntly, almost holding the answer beneath her breath. His head drifting to the side, West’s expression begins to shift, the look of sudden thought twisting into hesitation. “What were you about to say?” Scarlett repeats, leaning slightly forward in her seat, her back no longer touching the chair.
“It-” West begins before again going quiet, much to Scarlett’s dismay. Pushing herself the rest of the way from her seat, Scarlett steps forward, only stopped when Vic matches her gesture, putting herself in Scarlett’s path. “You were going to tell me something. Say it or I’ll fucking kill you!” Scarlett orders, watching West’s demeanour change, less desiring to withhold the truth from Scarlett, but more so a slight fear over what will happen.
“Scarlett, calm down” Vic murmurs, her left arm wrapped around the young woman’s upper body, trying to restrain her friend. “Get off me, Vic” Scarlett grunts, pushing her right hand into Vic’s chest, trying to force her escape. “Scarlett, this isn’t going to help!” Vic exclaims, feeling Scarlett’s palm dig into her chest cavity, trying to force her away.
“Vic, stop!” Scarlett exclaims, the struggle she presents slowly descending into an outright confrontation, her warnings continuing to be ignored. “Scarlett, for fuck’s sake! Stop!” Vic shouts, her pleas again unheeded, the woman’s need to know overpowering her better judgement. No longer able to control herself, Scarlett spins their positions around, her back now held toward West whilst Vic’s is directed to her prior seat.
Within a moment, Vic’s feet leave the ground, her efforts at restraining Scarlett backfiring. Her arms crossed, Vic tears through the patio doors, her head and neck sliced by loose shards of glass. Before long, the breath she’d pulled in proves to be her salvation, the hot, coastal-Maldives air replaced by a warm, refreshing taste of the Arabian Sea.
The parlour having doubled as a wind tunnel, West’s chair is toppled over, his wounded body rolling along the ground as the air begins to still. Her time limited, Scarlett reaches toward the ground, her hand wrapping around the collar of the sheriff’s shirt. “What were you going to say!?” Scarlett shouts, her knuckle resting beneath West’s chin as she drags him upward, holding him against the wall with one hand, effortlessly suspending him high above the ground.
“L- Lin- Lincoln!” West chokes, unable to breath with the weight of Scarlett’s hand pressing into his throat, only able to hiss the answer. “What about him!?” Scarlett exclaims, summoning her service weapon from the realm beyond, the bright red glow of her barrel held to his face. “He killed-” West begins to reply, his hands having wrapped around the woman’s wrist, trying with all of his might to capture even the slightest huff of air.
His eyes growing bloodshot, West begins to complete his thought, a sudden reprieve from his suffocation the only thing sparing him from having to do so. Capitalising on Scarlett’s preoccupation, Vic soars through the air and captures the blonde’s throat in her hand, the young woman’s feet swept as Vic holds her throat against the floor.
“Calm- the fuck- down!” Vic screams, her knees pressed on Scarlett’s left wrist whilst her free hand holds the other down. “Stay the fuck out of this, Vic!” Scarlett exclaims, her demands refusing to be met as Vic keeps steady. “Get a hold of yourself, damnit!” Vic shouts, the hold she keeps on Scarlett offering the woman beneath her little other choice.
“I lost my parents because of short-tempered bullshit like this!” Vic screams, feeling Scarlett’s struggle begin to lessen, “you’re the only family I have left! Don’t let me lose you like that, too!” Her gritted teeth falling behind her lips, Scarlett looks Vic in the eyes with sympathy, her anger slowly beginning to dwindle. “B- but you said-” Scarlett begins to mumble, her response cut short.
“My dad thought she was cheating, so he shot her” Vic replies, hairs hanging over her face whilst her eyes press together, “then he killed himself.” Mouth agape, Scarlett looks through the hanging strands of hair and into Vic’s eyes, a single tear falling from her left eye. “I collected the life insurance- don’t bother asking how” Vic concludes, her lips beginning to press together, “I moved on with life, met you- here we are.”
Hand wrapped around his injured ribs, West listens to the revelation from across the room, spectating the admission from afar. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Scarlett replies, eyes narrowing as her head shakes. “Because it wasn’t important until now” Vic responds, finally releasing her grip on Scarlett’s wrist and throat. “The point is you’re the only family I have, and I can’t lose you” Vic finishes, watching Scarlett sit up, her back against the wall, “I need you here. I need you to stick with me.”
Head lowered, Scarlett glances in the direction West lays in, thinking quietly to herself before returning her eyes to Vic’s face, only answering with a nod. Somewhat disappointed in herself, Scarlett pulls her legs close, hands resting atop her bent knees as West interjects. “I think Lincoln killed your father” West remarks, the sights of both girls dawning over him, “the shot must’ve come from a hill a few hundred yards away. It was the only possible place to take that kind of shot from.”
“Wait, wh- what-? Why?” Scarlett responds, following the man’s figure as he drags himself into the parlour’s corner, his head resting against the drywall. “There was no evidence left behind. No shell, no marks- it was like no one had ever even been there before” West replies, struggling to catch his breath, wincing with each puff, “it’s consistent with every crime I’ve connected to him by now. I’ve got no reason to think it was anyone other than him.”
“Why would he want her dad dead?” Vic soon inquires, nearly cutting his conclusion short. “I don’t know” West replies with a sigh, his head shaking, his hair ruffled by the day’s events, “why would he want Jared and Rachel? I’d assume it’s the same reason, but that’s the best I’ve got.” Her K-9 teeth sinking into the soft flesh of her bottom lip, Scarlett’s eyes begin to widen, taking West’s earlier metaphor seriously, piecing together the information she’s been given.
“He killed my dad and my friends- but he leaves Rachel and Jared alive” Scarlett mutters beneath her breath, just loud enough for Vic to overhear. “My ex boyfriend and my best friend are kept alive, but my father and friends are dead- why?” Scarlett restates, the question directed at herself. “Why do you think there’s a connection?” Vic responds, her answer given as if it were obvious.
“Why else would he torture them instead of killing them!?” Scarlett quickly replies, “there has to be a reason he’s treating them differently.”
Struggling to slide the phone from his pocket, West pulls away from the girls’ conversation to answer the call, his face going cold the moment he recognises the voice.
“It’s a two-story house just a- urgh- few miles out of the city” Montes grunts, a pool of blood filling his mouth as he lays on the asphalt parkway, an 1941 Dodge Custom Town Sedan parked just beside him. “No, West- they’re gone” Montes groans, the dark red gore that runs down his chin beginning to trickle onto the ground, “I don’t know where they went.”
His insides scrambled, Montes’ hand loses its power, the phone’s screen lighting as it falls to the ground, its sensors no longer covered by his ear. “Rookie!? ROOKIE!?” West shouts, his yells putting a natural conclusion upon Scarlett and Vic’s conversation. “What’s wrong?” Vic questions, watching West smack the small, pocket-sized device in hopes the call had simply dropped.
“How fast can we get to the outskirts of Praireville!?” West hurriedly exclaims, his breaths becoming heavy.
All three losing their balance as they appear through the veil of thin air, West is the first to fight through the shift, throwing himself toward the front of the home. Bracing against his injuries, West struggles through the slightly-overgrown grass, able to find a pair of prone legs before he even rounds the house. “Rookie!” West shouts, losing his stability as he reaches the lawn’s end, only asphalt welcoming him as he falls forward palm-first.
Glassy eyed, West crawls over to the young deputy, Scarlett and Vic soon following closely behind, helpless to do more than discover the scene. “I can’t- I can’t find- a pulse!” West shouts, his fellow officer unable to respond to the declaration of his title. “Rookie, come on- you’ve got family waiting for you!” West grunts, weakly providing CPR that ultimately offers little more than wasted effort.
“Come on, kid! It’s too soon to be your time!” West continues, Montes’ chest too broken to support his efforts, his life already lost. “Sheriff, I think-” Vic remarks, reaching out for West’s shoulder, only to have it swatted away at the last moment. “No! No, he’s-!” West exclaims, stopping himself before the sentence can be finished, slowly accepting that his attempts are futile.
Resting his head on Montes’ chest, West tries to catch his breath, Vic’s eyes looking at him apologetically whilst Scarlett’s remain indifferent.
\ Realm Beyond - Eternal Office /
“Where are you!?” Lincoln exclaims, his voice carried through narrow tunnels and corridors, echoing in the same distance that Jared and Rachel traverse. “In here!” Jared whispers, leading Rachel down a flight of stairs by the hand, their destination yet to be determined. “What is this place?” Rachel queries, prompting Jared to take his first, true glance at the realm beyond, unable to answer the question.
“I don’t know” the man whispers, again hearing Lincoln’s shout in the distance, the sound somehow seeming to always be the same length away no matter how far they travel. Choosing one characterless office space of hundreds, the mortal pair hide within the room’s dark confines, ducking behind a desk with little other options.
“There’s nowhere for you to run!” Lincoln exclaims, wandering the realm beyond aimlessly, his anger made apparent through every step. “I could say the same thing for you” Suzie replies, Razul and Kazro following closely behind as she treks down a set of stairs, closing in on her brother.
“Watch your step, Suzannah” Lincoln replies, his punctured hand still able to fight through pain in summoning his service dagger. “I swear, sometimes I have a hard time believing you were ever the realm’s chosen one” Suzie replies, reaching the bottom step whilst Lincoln backs away, continuing to create separation between them. “How do you bring mortals into the realm beyond and lose them?” Suzie inquires, her own service dagger summoned, “I can’t wrap my mind around it.”
“You don’t need to. Go back to wherever you came from and stay there” Lincoln commands, the completion of his order succeeded by the sound of roaring thunder. “I don’t think I’m going to do that” Suzie replies, continuing to step forward, her brother’s retreat gradually taking him closer to the mezzanine’s abyss.
“You don’t want to do this, Suzie” Lincoln replies, his feet leaving the ground as he reaches the floor’s edge, hovering through the air as Suzie looks on, unimpressed. “What is your plan, exactly?” the woman inquires, slowly lifting herself off the floor just as her brother does, their eyes meeting as they reach the mid-air equivalent of level ground.
“Suzie-” Lincoln begins, again interrupted by the roaring sound of thunder, the white light that shines over both the bonsai tree and the siblings turning a menacing red. “Suzie, I don’t want to kill you” Lincoln warns, the woman again refusing to heed his advice, her eyes glowing a shade of red.
“Yeah- I figured that before” Suzie replies, the thunder overhead just beginning to grow louder, ripping through the air with great aggravation. “Your reluctance is why you don’t sit on the throne” Suzie remarks, again prompting the realm to roar angrily. “And that it’s easy for you to kill your own is why you don’t” Lincoln responds, another crash slamming through the mezzanine, serving as the backdrop to their impending clash.
“I guess we’ll have to see” Suzie replies, a bright flash of light emitting from her dagger, a pulse of electricity coursing through its fine edges and sleek finish. “If that’s what you wish-” Lincoln replies, matching her gesture as he pulls his hand back, a blue light flashing from his weapon, ready for conflict, “-I’m sorry, sister.”
The realm beginning to shake, Lincoln and Suzie pull away from each other, the open drop above the realm’s chasm set as their battleground. An equal distance apart, the siblings look each other in the eye, their irises bathed in their respective colour. The first to advance, Suzie charges onward, her brother soon to follow, their daggers aimed at each other’s throats as they march forward, peace made with the fates that await them.
== Dream Sequence ==