Jack Nash – John (Prime)
Reggie Carlisle – John (Beta)
Trae Mowaka- Jesse
GM- Tod Foley
The tone relaxes as Frank and Reggie listen to each other’s stories, and together they maintain the integrity of the spacetime cube. Reggie begins to feel a strong connection to Frank — both are pilots, both are dreamers — and he wants to find him. For real.
Trae makes it to the parking lot, where security is preparing the building for lockdown. Trae grabs the nearest guard and shoves a gun to his head, convincing him to cough up the location of “The Franks” in room 301. The other guard does nothing as Trae bolts inside and heads for the elevator.
Nash and Reggie, still struggling to make sense of it all, suddenly remember their slips with Charrli. This complicates things further, because they have no way of knowing which reality he sent them to. Reggie pleads with Frank, says he wants to help him. “All you have to do is wake up,” says Frank. “Somewhere down in there, you have to know you’re dreaming. Like me.” He blinks, and they’re standing on the lip of Mount Doom.
Back at Somnambula, Trae gets to the third floor just as the building goes into lockdown mode and the emergency power systems come online. He enters the room to find twelve tanks, with ten identical human males laying in them. Trae grabs the nearest one, pulls his head out of the gel and shouts “Are you Frank?”
Out in the spacetime cube, Frank hears Trae’s question. “I think he found me,” he says.
“That’s Trae!” Reggie shouts, celebrating by dreaming up a pool table and lounge adjacent to the volcano, “He did it!” But Frank says it’s not so simple. He explains his theories on transjective space. Once you lose track of dream levels, he says, there’s no way to figure out where the “real you” actually is. Reggie stares down into the swirling lava and thinks about his dreams, his paintings, this spiraling shape, his vision of the Chao, and Scilla, and now Frank, and how it’s all connected. He decides there’s only one way to find out just how connected. Lucid dreaming his body into a white liquid — a “dissolution solution” — Reggie drops into the caldera, pouring himself into Mount Doom, and the whiteness begins spreading up the walls of the volcano.
Back on Earth, Frank has not answered. The clones are sedated, unable to communicate. Trae puts a bullet through its head and moves on to the next tank. As he does so, the Frank in the spacetime cube falls to the ground in mind-splitting agony. Mount Doom disappears, replaced by an endless field of whiteness.
The blue room begins destabilizing. Alarms are sounding. There are voices in the hallway; someone’s coming. After shooting another Frank, Trae notices that reality is falling apart: his body becomes semi-transparent. Trae loses it, screaming in existential terror as he sprays automatic fire across the room. Someone opens the door, and a pink vaguely-humanoid blob tumbles into the room. All sound stops, and all color drains from space. Matter is beginning to disintegrate. Another Frank’s head explodes, and another. The walls have disappeared. Trae is bombarded by the thoughts of everybody in the building as the bullets continue spraying, and outside of space and time, Frank feels every shot pierce his body. The world ends.
There is nothing but whiteness.
For a very long time.
Trae drifts in the whiteness, screaming.
Nash hears him and moves to his side, grabbing him by the hand. Trae stops screaming.
The whiteness is Reggie. It doesn’t know whether or not it wants to wake up. It’s very comfortable being the whiteness. But then he thinks of Nash, whose tear-streamed face was the last thing he saw, and he knows he can’t leave him alone. Reggie focuses his dreaming powers and tries to take form again, but only succeeds halfway. A horrifying twisted pink shape appears in mid-air, contorting and trying to vocalize — and it has Reggie’s face.
Nash freaks out, pissing all over himself. Trae is wordless. This is too much. Frank pulls himself together and decides enough is enough. He realizes that since Reggie’s dissolution didn’t change anything, this dream must all be his own — or else Cordoba’s, in which case they’re all fucked anyway. He dreams Reggie back to form again, and creates a simple little space for them to occupy.
Trae aims his empty pistol at Frank and pulls the trigger. Click. He drops the weapon. “If you end this,” he says, “we can help you with Cordoba. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Frank is incredulous. “Do you even know where I am?” he asks.
“If we destroy the mirrors,” Trae says, “the original signal can be located.”
“You don’t get it. The minute you’re even talking about multiple Franks, you’re obviously already in a dream.”
“Maybe, but what if instead of creating multiple dream Franks, you were actually pulling in real Franks from other dimensions?”
Reggie agrees. Like the SingulaReggie. “That’s possible,” he says. “I’ve seen it.”
Frank thinks about this. It’s true that he encountered multiple versions of himself in his nightmare. But it’s just all so tiring… He’s lived through hundreds of slips, and encountered so many realities… It’s hard to think straight.
Trae continues theorizing: “What if realities could be traded off? What if Reggie could take over yours?” He knows he’s not making sense anymore. “I’m just trying to put all this together.”
“Let me help you,” Frank says. A gun has appeared in his hand, and he holds it to his temple. “Wake up, Frank.” He pulls the trigger. Blood and grey matter spray out the side of Frank’s skull.
Everything stops existing.
Nash, Reggie, and Trae find themselves standing on the dirt shoulder beside the road. Nash and Reggie are both naked. Trae is still clothed, his gun is in his hand. The air is cool. It’s a crisp winter’s day, no signs of chaos, lockdown, or panic. Just peace and quiet. They look down the road, toward the gleaming dome of the Somnambula building.
https://www.birdscoffeecompany.com/coffees/legends-of-tabletop-legendary-brew Use Code Legends10 to get 10% off your order
Theme music created by Brett Miller http://www.brettmillermusic.net/