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Dream Extraction

Dreamscape

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a part of Dream Extraction, by Umbrella.

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Umbrella holds sovereignty over Dreamscape, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Dream Extraction
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Dreamscape

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Dreamscape is a part of Dream Extraction.

5 Characters Here

Benjamin Buchanan [18] "Retired"
Rosemary Firth [18] Chemist
James Thyme [14] Trainee Architect
Peter Whelan [2] The mark
Virginia Shepard [2] Architect stuck in limbo

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Benjamin felt the familiar jolt from unconsciousness as he woke in James's childhood kitchen, the few seconds of blackness between reality and the dreamscape forgotten. His brain felt slightly jumbled as he tried to work together the sequence of events that brought him there. When he realized he couldn't quite make sense of it, he knew he had entered someone else's subconscious. It was a different, strange world, and Ben felt both comforted and uneasy.

He glanced around the small kitchen, which had amenities straight out of the 90s. It was quaint and outdated, but nicely kept. Sun streamed in through the window over the sink. Everything was quiet.

Ben looked at James and couldn't help the dimpled grin that spread across his face. The sight of James in a shirt from his childhood brought some much needed humor to the rather serious mission at hand, and Ben found himself laughing, more than willing to set aside the gravity of the situation, if only for a few seconds.

"Don't worry," Ben said easily, "The more you practice, the easier it will be set aside memories and thoughts from the dreamscape. You'll be able to control that, more or less, in no time."

Ben drew a breath and stepped further into the house, his gaze wandering over the place that James had grown up in. It felt normal; like the trainee had simply invited his new team members over for dinner rather than into his subconscious. Ben knew it was anything but normal. Still, it was a good sign. James had been able to conjure up the place they had discussed with ease, and so far nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. It seemed, since they had met, that James continued to surprise Benjamin with his capabilities, and Ben had to remind himself to relax.

"It looks good," Ben decided to voice his opinion. He crossed over to a bookshelf, running his fingers along the spines of a few books. They felt real to the touch. Had Ben not known they were dreaming, he would have assumed it was reality. The reassurance continued to uplift Ben's mood, but in the back of his mind, he could feel his own thoughts and memories begin to bleed through, an unfortunate side effect of the dream world. Remembering his training, he managed to get himself under control long enough to look at Rosemary and see how she was doing.

"Why don't we try some experimenting?" Ben suggested, both to distract him from his own thoughts and to get back to the reason why they went under in the first place: the mission. "You've essentially got omnipotent power here, so let's see what you can do."

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Rosemary opened her eyes in the kitchen and immediately knew she was in a dream. Not because she had unexpectedly developed incredible dreamscape skills in her two year absence from them - it was, in fact, very much the opposite - but rather, as she put herself under, her mind was whirling with her worries. Would she be able to do it at all? Would she ruin the whole dream by letting the monsters that lay in her head into it? She couldn't even go home to her bed each night for fear of her nightmares and that deep, dark panic that came every time she slept. So when she opened her eyes in the kitchen, her mind was still full of those questions, enough that it took seconds for her to realise where she was.

She felt an immediate wave of relief to see that James had managed to successfully bring them to his childhood home. Not just because it was a good sign of his capabilities, but because waking up in an amalgamation of someone's intended dreamscape and their latest nightmare is never fun. She returned Ben's look and forced a smile. She was feeling calmer now she was here and there were no monsters hiding under the table.

She had studied people's brain activity while they were under for years and she could feel the heightened activity in her amygdala. Or at least, she could feel it's affects: while the sun poured cheerily through the window, the atmosphere in the dream was buzzing with suppressed emotions. She knew her own anxieties and fears -- about the dreamscape, but the more familiar ones that fuelled her usual dreams -- were only just being held back from permeating the reality of the dream. She watched Ben as he spoke. He looked in control, but she wondered what lay beneath his cool composure. She could feel the buzzing of people's secret thoughts and dreams and tried to focus on what Ben was saying to tune it out. He must have been used to the buzz from his years of experience in dreamscapes, she thought. Even James, from his training in the academy, seemed able to ignore it relatively effectively.

Rosemary watched James grin at receiving free rein. "I almost don't know where to start." But where did one always start when discovering the ability to defy the laws of physics? James closed his eyes for a second to concentrate, but opened them again. He knew that the only way to control a dream was to make it effortless, to not concentrate, but simply know you can do it. He lifted off the ground and levitated above the floor, swimming through the air and ducking under the lampshade. Flying. It was a classic.

"Sorry," he grinned. "But it's got to be done." He lay in the air, wondering where to go next. He spotted a photograph on the wall of the family on the day they moved into this house, when James was just a baby in his mothers arm. They stood smiling with the house sat in the background. James floated over to it. He just had to believe it was already there, and it would be.

He slowly removed the photo from the wall. As he pulled it back, a formation slowly appeared behind it, as if it had been folded into the wall, squashed underneath the photo, and was opening out like a pop-up book. It was a model of his house, made from paper and ink, like the photo. As James kept pulling, paper flowers rose up at its base and tiles appeared on the roof. He could see his mother, a cut-out paper doll, moving inside one of the windows, hoovering the living room. "One of my cousins had a dolls house," James explained. "And when I was little, I was really jealous of it, but Mum refused to buy me one, so I made my own out of paper." Not that his rudimentary dolls house when he was nine had been this intricate, but he was sure that's where the idea had come from.

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Ben watched James lifted up off the ground, suddenly defying the laws of gravity. He grinned, again, his worries melting away. He had just lectured James on trusting him and Rosemary enough so that they could work seamlessly as a team, and yet here he was, being a hypocrite. He needed to stop worrying, and he needed to stop second guessing every move made by the team. They had a job to do, and Ben couldn't preach about trust when he didn't even trust himself. He needed to start trusting James's abilities, he needed to trust that Rosemary could take care of herself, and he needed to start trusting his own decisions.

The team needed work, there was no denying that. They were a bit disjointed and out of practice, but they were skilled. A few practice runs, a lesson or two on quelling dangerous thoughts, a study on subconscious security and they could be ready. They had time, they had the tools they needed for the extraction, so it was time Ben shook the worry as best he could.

He sighed inwardly. He was likely going to suffer from an early, stress inducted, death.

He watched as James pulled the photo off the wall and a paper diagram of the house unfolded from it. As he explained the genesis from where the papier-mâché house came from, Ben nodded his head in understanding

"Sounds to me like you were practically born to be an architect," Ben teased and glanced around the room. His hand twitched by his side. Being back in the dreamscape, watching the young trainee stretch the laws of physics, made Ben want to join in on the fun. It had been years since he had had a chance to morph a limitless dream and he forgot how addictive it was. They were essentially Gods in their own worlds and their own creations. There was nothing quite like it.

Again, he glanced at Rosemary. She seemed to be fairing as well as the rest of them, though perhaps a bit apprehensive. He didn't blame her. James, on the other hand, looked as comfortable and at ease as he had in the real world.

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Rosemary looked in wonder at the paper house that had folded from behind the picture. The buzzing of suppressed emotion and fears seemed to lessen as she focused upon the beauty of James' imagination. She had forgotten what it was like to be inside a dream, to be in control of a dream, because James did seem to be in control, surprisingly so, and she could sense Ben beginning to relax too. It was refreshing to be so relaxed during sleep.

James folded up his paper house and a tiny bird escaped as the photo frame once again met the wall. The little bird was only just larger than one of the buttons on Rosemary's blouse. It fluttered around the room, singing much more loudly than something so tiny -- and made of paper -- should be able to. It flew up towards the ceiling which melted away and turned into sky. Rosemary looked at James, whose eyes were focused on the paper creature, watching it with childlike pleasure. When it had flown too high to be distinguished from the white clouds, the sky metamorphosed back into the off-white, papered ceiling. James blinked, returning to the room.

Rosemary smiled at him, showing she appreciated the beauty of what he had created, before turning to Ben. "You're the one with the most experience," she said. "Perhaps you should show us what you can do?" She gave him a grin, giving him permission to show off, to impress her -- it wouldn't be that hard, she thought.