\ Realm of Reality /
Reemerging from her unconscious state, Rachel’s head slowly lifts, her eyes staring into the harsh spotlight aimed directly into her face. A gentle groan emerging from within her core, Rachel bows her head once more and closes her eyes, the hands tied around her back making it impossible to shield herself from such headache-inducing brightness. As her eyes adjust, the room becomes more detailed, chips in its solid walls as visible as the droplets of water pooling along the floor are audible.
Groggy, Rachel takes a closer look at her surroundings, the metal walls that surround her in each direction sloping upward, a circle formed the entire way around her. Blowing a heavy gust of air forward to free her sweaty face from loose strands of hair, Rachel pulls her head back, leaning in her seat as a deep exhale leaves her lungs.
“Rachel?” Jared’s voice whispers, immediately capturing her sole, undivided attention. “Jared!” Rachel remarks in a panic, stopped from uttering a word further as the man insists she quiet down. “Shhh!” Jared hisses, actively struggling to free himself from the well-knotted binds, “you need to keep your voice down.”
Though he whispers with an emphatic swiftness, Jared’s composure remains relatively intact, his words spoken with care and calmness, his mind trying to deflect their unenviable circumstance with empty optimism. “Where are we?” Rachel inquires, barely able to hear Jared’s hands carefully grating at his restraints.
“I don’t know. Wherever it is, I don’t think it’s in the best condition” Jared replies, continuing to whittle away at the sisal-bound shackles behind his back. “Do you remember what happened?” Rachel wonders aloud, lifting her chin toward the air as sweat drips down her throat, hairs sticking to the back of her neck. “I know we got attacked” Jared replies, grimacing every few sentences as his own headache worsens, the spotlight aimed at his front profile, “wait- do you?”
In a moment of worry, Jared’s carving ceases, his ear kept out for Rachel’s answer. “Yeah, I remember” Rachel replies, her breaths kept steady as the man across from her resumes his quest for freedom, “-I remember everything.” Continuing to scrape against the binds, Jared nods his head, letting free a breath of relief, “phew. Good” he replies, maintaining his steady progress as his mind reassesses the woman’s response, a sudden curiosity dawning upon him.
“Wait, what did you just say?” Jared queries, turning his head as far back as he can manage, the same gesture reciprocated by his other half, Rachel’s eyes barely able to catch a glimpse of his own. “They all came back when Lincoln brought me into the realm. I don’t know how it happened, but all of the thoughts just- they just came back” Rachel replies, her voice wielding a great disappointment.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jared quickly wonders aloud, hearing the conflict in Rachel’s voice as she looks for the right words. “Because I didn’t want you to be mad!” Rachel replies, her dispirited face glistening as her sweat only worsens, “you were just so fucking great to me throughout all of this and, I guess in a selfish way, I thought it’d be easier to put the past behind us if it just didn’t exist at all.”
His face falling, Jared continues to sit idle, unsure of how to respond. “The way I hated you doesn’t make sense now” Rachel continues, taking Jared’s pause as an opportunity to speak with more coherence, “I didn’t know I’d like you this much.” Their eyes connecting as best they can, Jared and Rachel sit in silence for a brief moment, their faces holding a smile until a sudden snap rings through their shelter residency.
His arms dropping, Jared’s hands pull away from the chair’s back, a slight propulsion forward having freed him from his captor’s imprisonment. “Ha! I’m free!” Jared huffs, his voice kept to a minimum as his attention turns to Rachel’s chair, their backs having spent the length of their captivity facing each other.
Given a more favourable advantage, Jared drops to his knee, looking Rachel in the eyes as the blunt scalpel he brandishes is taken to her tethers. “Listen, nothing that’s happened before right now has to matter- at all” Jared explains, finally plunging his blade through the final shreds as Rachel’s hands fall, relieved of their constraints as her face falls into the man’s reach.
Reciprocating the woman’s gesture from nights prior, Jared presses his lips into Rachel’s own, offering the woman the confession that her feelings aren’t unrequited. “Everything from here on out- that’s what matters” Jared pledges, his face kept close to the woman’s, their eyes held on each other’s, “we’ll get back home, rebuild what we’ve lost, and see that future we’ve been talking about.”
The life in her eyes replenished, Rachel responds with an approving nod as their interaction is cut off. “The two of you confuse me” Suzie remarks, stood near the room’s front in the company of her brutes, Jared and Rachel’s eyes immediately drifting toward her, “at one moment, you’re dumber than rocks. In the next, it’s like you’re the reason ‘bravery’ was coined as a term.”
Pulling away from the man on instinct, Rachel finds her shoulder taken into Jared’s pull, her body returned to him as he steps forward, a protective stance taken. “How did you find us?” Jared questions, aiming the scalpel’s point toward Suzie as the woman approaches. “Because your girlfriend here decided to give her parents a ring” Suzie replies, stopping her advancement upon Jared’s confrontational gesture, “I guess she didn’t realise that area codes and country-specific banks were a thing.”
Ashamed in herself, Rachel feels the gentle rub of Jared’s hand on her shoulder, given a slight reassurance from his act of good faith. “Move out of the way and let us leave” Jared demands, the scalpel continuing to be extended toward Suzie’s face, which now turns with glee, amused at the man’s orders. “Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way you get out of here without me” Suzie responds, her head rolling from one side to the next as she approaches a door on the opposite side of the room.
“In case you haven’t noticed, you’re not on solid ground. Hell, you’re not even on ground level!” Suzie exclaims, her telekinetic powers used to gradually spin the wheel on a nearby bulkhead door. “Back when Chris and I were just starting to fall out, I figured I would need somewhere to stay where he couldn’t stab me in the middle of the night” Suzie explains, “I’d already realised I was compromised by then, so being a decent person wasn’t high on my priority list.”
Watching Suzie wander through their compartment, Jared and Rachel stand quietly, their sides pressing together as they step away from the woman’s reach. “So I located an American submarine on patrol, slaughtered its crew and fried its communications,” Suzie explains, her nonchalant tone suggestion a lack of care over the merciless actions she’d taken part in, “and that, lady and gentleman, is where you find yourselves today- two hundred metres below the Arctic Ocean.”
Presenting worry for the first time since waking, Jared’s hand begins to tremble, his weapon of choice lowering to his side as realisation begins to set in. “What do you want from us?” Rachel quickly interrupts, taking Jared’s hand into her own as she steps forward, her face millimetres away from Suzie’s own in a moment of courage. Impressed, Suzie takes a step back, a smirk held in one corner of her face as Rachel’s inquiry settles with her.
“Unlike Chris, I don’t need two teenagers to do my bidding for me. So, from a tactical standpoint, I don’t really need the two of you for anything” Suzie explains, returning to Razul and Kazro’s side, “but from an informational standpoint, you have some value.” His eyes boldening, Jared returns to Rachel’s side, the obvious question raised. “What does ‘informational standpoint’ mean?” Jared responds, “vague questions are only gonna net you vague answers.”
“I’m a bit mad to admit that these are the moments where the two of you really grow on me” Rachel quips, again stepping from her mercenaries’ side to approach the compartment’s opposite end. “I’d be willing to carry you back home- wherever the two of you consider ‘home’ to be- in exchange for some intel” Suzie replies, retrieving a leather bag from beneath a nearby desk and sitting it atop the accompanying chair, “tell me where the girls are and you’ll be on your way.”
Squinting, Rachel shares Jared’s confusion, a surprise having come over them. “You don’t know where they are?” Finally displaying a look of disappointment, Suzie unzips the large bag, refusing to reach inside until the couple have made their decision. “Their flight connected in Sri Lanka, I have no idea where they would have gone from there” Suzie replies, leaning over the bag’s top with her arms crossed, “tell me where they are and I’ll have the two of you on your way.”
“Why should we believe you?” Jared quickly interjects, his suspicions unwavering, “even if we did tell you, you’ll keep us down here until you can verify it. If you’ve massacred a naval crew to get this sub, what’s stopping you from just giving us a half-hearted ‘thank you’ and leave us to die?”
“That’s a very fair point. As a matter of fact, it’s very accurate to the complexity of my character, is it not?” Suzie responds, refusing to instil any confidence the pair have yet to build. “With that said, however, it’s important to point out that you don’t have much of a choice” Suzie replies, her shoulders shrugging as her hands slowly wrap around the bag’s handles, “I’ll get to them through you one way or another. That could be you giving them up, or me using you to lure them out.”
“Lincoln already tried that. Not only is that plan unoriginal, but it’s got some holes in it” Rachel remarks, a truth Suzie refuses to argue. “Correct. Lincoln left some holes in it, but I’m not my brother” Suzie responds, getting comfortable with her brother’s smirk in her facial expression, “and originality doesn’t matter if it works.”
“What makes you think-?” Jared begins to interrupt, voicing the question allowed to linger with no answer before stopping himself, the sight of Suzie retrieving a pistol from the bag halting his inquiries’ progress. “Because you’ll either give the girls up, or I’ll take one of you as bait” Suzie replies, aimlessly the weapon to the pair’s feet, leaving the option to them, “the one I don’t choose will be left down here with a painful death and a bullet wound for your troubles.”
Nothing left to add, Suzie returns the bag to where it was kept, watching the gears shift in the mind of those stood before her. “Take a shot at me, and I’ll stop time and drag whichever one of you lacks that trigger finger in front of the shot” Suzie warns, her arms crossing as she returns to the company of her brutes, “take a shot at yourselves, and the other will be left wondering just what would have happened if you’d taken me up on my offer.”
In silence, Jared and Rachel’s sights pull away from the weapon, their faces turning to the other’s as doubt sinks in, a fear that none of what’s been offered will allow them to escape as one. “What’s the call here, Jared?” Rachel quietly asks, her eyebrows furrowed in worry, looking to the man beside her for guidance once more, his composure needed in this moment more than any that have come before it.
= 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 /
Stood upon the villa’s terrace whilst sopping wet, Scarlett discards of a common shovel over the bannister’s top, watching it sink beneath the waves and onto the sea floor. “So...” Vic murmurs, her hands coupled behind her back as she watches Scarlett discard her soaked top, “am I supposed to ask why West is dead, how it happened, or drop it entirely?”
Squeezing the excess water from her hair whilst dampening the wooden platform beneath her, Scarlett returns to the home, stepping past Vic as she does. “Drop it” Scarlett grumbles, brushing shoulders with the woman as she makes for the house’s depths, able to hear Vic’s footsteps behind her without the woman’s voice to accompany it.
Halfway through the hall, Scarlett stops her walk, eyes rolling as her head tilts to the sky, the rest of her body turning toward the woman in her wake. “What?” Scarlett annoyedly asks, wearing a scowl as she eyes Vic, the woman’s arms crossed as she, too, stops walking. “You told me to drop it, so I’m dropping it” Vic replies, purposefully dancing around the question inquired over.
“Then why are you following me?” Scarlett wonders aloud, watching Vic’s eyes lift as she visibly considers the answers available. “Because I can” the brunette pompously replies, smiling at her friend as she does to further spike Scarlett’s irritation. “Why can’t you just accept that I want us to stay away from each other for a little while?” Scarlett queries, shaking her head as she resumes her departure, making for the room at the hall’s end.
“Because I saw how that ended. It may not have been us, but I know how this ‘distance’ ends” Vic replies, matching Scarlett’s pace as she follows, “do you think Lincoln and Suzie were all that close by the time he kicked the bucket?” Her sigh noticeable, Scarlett steps into her room and makes for the dresser, a simple objective of retrieving a fresh pair of clothes taking her mind.
“Vic, I have no clue if distance is the best choice- I don’t even know what is!” Scarlett exclaims, looking to Vic as she reaches for the first shirt her hand touches, “but you trying to force a conversation- or whatever you’re looking for- it’s not making me like you any more than I already did!”
“Then stop pulling away” Vic replies, her feet planted just ahead of Scarlett’s door as she leans against its frame, head resting against her left arm. “Vic, there are some things I’m trying to do that I do not need your help with” Scarlett responds, forcing the drawer shut as she quickly throws the orange t-shirt over her head, “we don’t need to be together twenty four-seven in order to not be distant.”
“What happened yesterday morning, then?” Vic quickly qualms, putting Scarlett’s reply to the test, “you came home like you’d just started the third world war. Why?” Shaking her head, Scarlett extends her hand through the air, a half-heartened tone carried in her voice as she replies. “I’ll see you later, Vic” Scarlett replies, deliberately refusing to answer as she teleports herself to her first thought, leaving Vic with an expression of scorn.
Running her hands through her hair, Vic paces around the room in frustration for a few moments, her composure loosening as the anger builds within her. Before long, Vic’s eyes wander toward Scarlett’s door just as her legs do, carrying her through the opening and back toward the parlour, the absence of a destination proving the effort to be largely pointless.
Her hand balled into a fist, Vic steps into the front room, the Arabian Sea’s calm, warm waters somehow only elevating her aggravation. “God-fucking-damnit!” Vic exclaims, her fist unclenching as she swipes at the air, her punch thrown with the intent of alleviating her aggravation, only for its results to be even less explainable.
With little pre-emption, Vic’s multi-million dollar villa vanishes, the spot on the floor she’d stood now turned into a mound of sand, the clear air she’d been surrounded by now dark and absent of light. The change noticed instantly, Vic takes a step back, losing her balance as she falls to the ground, its makeup composed of more, loosely-packed sand.
Her first instinct being to glance at her hand, Vic starts to worry, fearful that she’d, without being aware of it, inflicted the realm above with a reality-altering wound. Trembling, Vic pushes herself back to her feet, eyes panning around each direction of the strange, dimension-crushing environment she’s stepped through, unsure of how to depart.
Shone upon by a single spotlight, Vic’s eyes take to the patterned tent surrounding her, their circus-like appearance bringing a horrible ambience with it. The air fogged and misty, the tent’s spacious ground remains largely unoccupied, the small hill Vic had begun atop all that stands out of place, the rest of the ground level and untouched.
With a deep breath, Vic’s mind shifts itself into auto-pilot, retracing her steps in hopes of uncovering a secret escape hatch from her hallucinatinatory predicament. Her fist easing into a straight hand once more, Vic swipes her hand through the air once more, the carnival veil disappearing as suddenly as it had arrived, replaced with the original villa as hoped for.
Struggling to comprehend what’d just occurred, Vic steps back, inevitably colliding with the nearest slate of drywall. Mumbling unintelligible remarks beneath her breath, Vic steps away from the parlour, her hands pressing against anything solid, trying to convince her subconscious that reality had been restored.
\ Realm Beyond - Eternal Office /
Slowly growing used to the aftermath of her transportation, Scarlett lands with her feet flat in the realm beyond, her immediate intentions disregarded upon her first glance at the room she arrives into.
With little interest in her presence, blank faces pass her with other goals in mind, stepping around her in an effort to complete their work as if she were any other obstruction. “This isn’t wh-” the woman begins to speak, her sentence finished by a second voice, its presence more angelic and boisterous than her own.
“This isn’t where you intended to arrive” Mother replies, holding the same posture as she had in each of her prior occurrences, hands pressed together as she steps forward, her face as empty as Scarlett had always known it to be. “Y’know, if you’re gonna give me the power to freely teleport to the first place that comes to mind, you really shouldn’t fuck with it” Scarlett replies, her shoulders shrugging as Mother steps forward, “-it could really throw a girl off.”
“You say that as if you don’t already know what you’re here for” Mother responds, her progression halting just a few metres away from the intrigued blonde. “I don’t” Scarlett replies, her left eyebrow raised as she summons her service weapon, glancing into its blue strobe just for certainty before relinquishing it, “is that a problem?”
“It is” Mother answers, her head slowly lowering to one side, Scarlett’s silence offering her plenty of time to craft elaboration, “you’ve already been told what awaits you on the other end. Expecting anything less is just foolish and disingenuous.”
Having stood with one foot further outward, Scarlett’s stance adjusts, her legs resting beside each other as her body turns fully to the immortal spirit. “Maybe it’s more hopeful than you have the ability to realise” Scarlett corrects, gradually stepping closer to the woman as she speaks, “maybe you’ve spent too long here to know what the difference between foolish and optimism is.”
With a shrug, Mother’s head veers off, eying the corner Scarlett and Vic’s elusive set of double doors usually appears through. “I am the physical manifestation of this realm. There is not a life, nor a concept specific to your world that I don’t understand or have a role in” Mother responds, her face continuing to direct itself away from Scarlett’s as she paces around, the floor open for her voice to occupy.
“There’s a reason weaknesses are so difficult for regular mortals to overcome. It can’t be a weakness if people actively strive to avoid it” Mother explains, listing examples at will. “It feels rewarding to save a pig from the slaughter, it’s pure euphoria- for a short time, at least- when medicines and influence course through your veins” the apparition persists, “just as it’s easy to be delusional. You refuse to accept what you know lies ahead because it lets you avoid the end.”
“I’m not letting Suzie live to keep myself from killing Vic” Scarlett replies, her statement quickly agreed to, “oh, I know you’re not” Mother replies with sincerity. Her hands still folded, Mother inevitably circles around Scarlett entirely, returning to the place she’d initially begun the rotation before stopping. “I’m saying weaknesses were created purposefully” Mother explains, “it’s not something you could talk your way out of. You were either mentally and morally strong- or you weren’t.”
“And now you’re testing our strength?” Scarlet concludes, an implication Mother allows to sit silently for a moment, matching the woman’s gesture of keeping silent. “Neither of us asked for this to happen, alright? You chose for it to” Scarlett corrects, another few steps taken forward as she draws nearer to Mother, the figure remaining quiet, “what happened to free will? What happened to choosing how we live our lives?”
“Free will is a concept made up by mortals to better understand what they can’t- that they’ve already died before they reach the grave, but they just haven’t gotten there yet” Mother corrects, her tone slightly less frail, more command and hurry within her speech.
“It’s just the same as when you’d reshape the realm- fitting it to a one-by-one recreation of your world” Mother continues, a gesture Scarlett finds difficulty in refuting, “haven’t you noticed that- since you passed the tragedies- you haven’t seen much of it?”
Pulling her head back, Scarlett stops stepping forward, allowing Mother to continue speaking as she now proceeds closer, approaching Scarlett with her soft tone returning. “I needed mortals to have weaknesses because there can be no such thing as a ‘perfect person’” Mother explains, her face lifting toward Scarlett’s the closer she steps, “why would the realm beyond be needed if the realm above were in good hands to begin with?”
Letting free the deep inhale she’d amassed, Scarlett’s mind wraps around the statements made, attempting to piece together the claims. “So, you need a guardian for the realm for what reason?” Scarlett inquires, that question yet to be given a finite conclusion, “you’ve given yourself a body- sort of- what’s keeping you from doing the damn job yourself?”
The corners of her mouth reaching into a smile, Mother parts her hands as she closes into Scarlett, her hand resting on the woman’s shoulder. “It’s like you said” Mother responds, face again held toward Scarlett’s own, “I’m too far removed from your world to understand it.” Her eyes narrowing, Scarlett stares into the figure’s empty, featureless expression, “I guess what they say is true” Scarlett replies, her shoulders lowering, “no one- at all- is perfect.”
\ Realm of Reality /
“I know I may technically be dead, but there are still places I’d like to be” Suzie remarks, her hands folded atop her lap as she occupies the seat her bag once had, the gun still laying on the ground between the pair. “Scarlett and Vic are gonna wipe the floor with you, so we want a goddamn guarantee” Jared replies, his left leg protruding forward as his finger points toward the ground.
“It may only slightly amuse me, but I’ve got no reason to leave you down here” Suzie replies, keeping Jared from finishing his demands, “the only reason you have not to take the offer is because you don’t trust me.”
“And we have every right to!” Rachel declares, taking Jared’s posture a literal step forward, pulling away from the man to further confront their captor. “I never said you didn’t. I’m a realist- of course you do!” Suzie chuckles, resting her right arm against the nearest desk, her chin propped up with the base of her hand, “that said, it’s the only ticket- reliable or not- that two of you have at getting out of here alive.”
“Not necessarily” Jared interrupts, retrieving the weapon from the ground before stepping forward, its barrel aimed at the ground as he extends his arm. “You could hold us for answers from somewhere else” Jared remarks, his eyes switching between Suzie and her legionnaires, “face it, you statistically stand a better chance at taking them out if you caught them by surprise. Take us somewhere we stand a better chance of making it out alive from and we’ll give you what you want.”
Her eyes pressing closer together, Suzie considers the suggestion, a glance toward Razul and Kazro taken as she contemplates the offer. “You’ve got no good reason to decline that” Jared clarifies, earning Suzie’s attention once more, the look on her face suggesting his remarks may be getting him somewhere, “you get what you want just as we do. The only reason- not even a good reason, just a reason- not to accept it is if you truly don’t have any intention of letting us out of here.”
Her eyes narrowing, Suzie continues her silent observation, the man’s point having been voiced to completion, only left to wait for the answer. “I don’t trust you” Suzie replies, pushing her chair out before her hands press against its back, its wheels locked into place.
“You’re full of shit” Jared responds, retaining her attention as his retort concludes, “you wanted the element of surprise, so you dangle the illusion of freedom in front of our faces hoping we’d give them up!” Crossing her arms, Suzie shakes her head as Jared continues, breaking her motives down brick by brick. “You’d kill one of us and take the other if you could, but you held out the hope for the easier choice- that’s why we’re here” Jared remarks, “it’s all a ploy.”
“And you expected there to be blood. We’d either both die down here and you’d settle things the easy way, or we’d both die and things would get messy” Rachel finishes Jared’s point, “the amount of blood spilled would depend on whether or not you got your way.”
With a sigh, Suzie’s head shake continues with a smile, her chin beginning to nod as the truth comes to light. “You have no clue how much I hate having to see either of you die right now” Suzie replies, nearly amused to the point of laughter, “that was such good-fucking-detective work!”
Extending the gun toward their watchdog, Jared holds his aim on Suzie, the woman’s amusement slowly beginning to settle as confrontation begins. “Have I not already told you how this ends, kid?” Suzie inquires, stepping away from the desk whilst approaching the pair, the gun still held firmly in the air, ready to fire at any moment.
“You sure did. Now the easy way is off the table- you’ve gotta get your hands dirty” Jared responds, pulling away from Rachel as he turns the barrel on himself, his eyes meeting the woman’s as the tide turns. “Oh! I didn’t see that one coming!” Suzie exclaims, amused with the selfless display of heroics, her crossed arms stiffening as the couple look to each other.
“Jared, you don’t need to do this!” Rachel pleads, the man’s head shake implying he has no intentions of being talked off the ledge he stands on the brink of. “Rach’, she can use you as bait, but at the very least- you’ll make it out of here alive” Jared responds, his breaths heavy, a nervousness concealed deep within him.
Pausing for a moment, Rachel holds her hands outward, trying to keep Jared from following through with his presentation. “Jared, would you believe me if I said there was another way?” Rachel wonders aloud, able to spot the shift in the man’s expression with ease as her eyes take toward Suzie.
“There’s as much of a chance she’d let me live after all of this as there was of her letting us both out- everything that comes from her mouth is a lie” Rachel explains, gently taking Jared by the hand before pulling him close, their faces drawing near as she finishes her thought.
“She’ll kill me when we get back to land- I know it. So, if I’m gonna die, I want it to be quick- like a bullet” Rachel explains, repositioning herself beside Jared, her head lined up with the bullet’s point of exit, “we might as well not leave her the hard way either.”
Her pleased expression quickly fading, Suzie watches Rachel threaten double suicide with a look of irritation, her initial plan rapidly falling out of reach. “Alright, I’ll admit it- I did not see this coming” Suzie explains, allowing her arms to unfold as the pair look her in the eye, the only chance she has at the plan’s redemption being that of Jared’s hesitation.
Without a word, the sides keep their eyes upon each other, Jared’s finger resting on the trigger whilst Suzie’s hang by her side. Steadying his breaths, Jared watches Suzie’s hand carefully, readying to launch the first strike at a moment’s notice. “You’ve really-” Suzie proclaims, cutting herself short as her hands thrust forward, failing to catch Jared by surprise as his barrel is redirected, the trigger pulled before Suzie can leap through time.
As quickly as he’d fired the weapon, Jared’s hand sits empty, Suzie having not only disarmed him of the weapon during a time freeze, but having thrown Rachel and himself across the room from each other. Crashing into the ground, Jared watches Razul collapse from the corner of his eye, killed via the stray bullet he’d fired whilst Rachel tumbles to the ground, Suzie stood directly between them.
“-fucked up” Suzie concludes, directing her aim toward Rachel’s head as she stares into Jared’s eyes, wanting to see his reaction as the woman he’d sworn to protect falls victim to her hand. “Terrific choice, good s-” Suzie mocks, unable to finish her thought before Rachel’s counterattack strikes her first. “Aaahhh!” Rachel howls, plunging the garden dibber she’d barely managed to sneak into her waistband the night prior into Suzie’s chest cavity, immediately destabilising her shot.
Finger kept to the trigger, Suzie’s hand veers toward the vessel’s rear, the bullet she unintentionally fires off proving costly. Struck in the right eye, Kazro drops to his knees, his face bloodied as he collapses, Suzie’s second mercenary dropping dead. In shock, Suzie stammers back, keeping the dibber lodged where it last stood, using it to stop the bleeding from worsening.
Retaining the wherewithal to understand what’s unfolding, Suzie reassesses her aim, the barrel returning toward Rachel just as Jared gets involved. Still armed himself, Jared plunges the rusty scalpel into Suzie’s arm, earning another horrified yelp as the gun falls from her hand, the wounds she’s accumulated requiring attention as she loses her balance, the advantage held in the teen’s favour.
Noticing his opportunity, Jared scrambles across the floor, his hand barely able to wrap around the firearm’s grip as he takes to his feet, preparing to deliver Suzie a final, fatal attack. “Get down!” Rachel screams, trying to guide Jared back toward the ground as Suzie lunges forward, her service dagger summoned.
Unable to process the warning sooner, Jared’s aim settles, falling from Suzie as she marches forward, the red glow of her dagger’s composition driving into him out of desperation. Covering her mouth, Rachel falls silent, watching Suzie fall back as Jared hunches over, his blood spilling onto the ground as he tends to the wound, his hands pressing into his abdomen.
Struggling for breath, Jared convulses, struggling to speak as blood trickles from his mouth. “Jared! Jared, please get up!” Rachel exclaims, horrified by how the conflict had unfolded, their abductor struggling to regain her balance as the realisation of her deed sinks in. “Jared, please- please get up!” Rachel pleads, his arm taken into her hand as her face rests close to his.
“You need to go!” Jared groans, mustering the strength to take her hand into his own, the blood from his wound gracing her palm. “No, I need you to get up!” Rachel shouts, periodically glancing back as Suzie struggles to her feet, stumbling closer with her hand extended.
“Let her take you- then take her out” Jared grunts, his forehead pressing into Rachel’s as Suzie closes in, her non-dominant hand falling upon the woman’s shoulder. “Don’t let her win!” Jared shouts, his hand pulling away from Rachel’s at the last second, all physical contact broken as Suzie’s finger snaps, returning to solid ground with Rachel by her side, Jared’s refusal to return with her done in the name of self-sacrifice.
Gasping for air, Jared rolls onto his back, his mouth quickly filling with blood as he lays alone, the hand he’d held Rachel’s with kept in a fist as he passes on. “I love you” he mutters beneath his breath, not a sole around him to hear it, the frigid waters of the Arctic above ensuring the words die with him, forever buried deep within depths unattended to.
== Dream Sequence ==