The memory of an eclipsed field of grass slowly began to dissipate as Steven perceived the surroundings of the laboratory's second floor. Dazed, Steven asked Wellington a question. "Sounds like you know him, Chris . . ." he said, yawning.
A lab assistant rose from their chair, approaching the glass door. Looking through it, he could recognize the boy -- Marshall Rooke, who had been there previously; and a mysterious older man. He opened the door.
"Welcome back, Mr. Rooke."
Yellow, red, orange -- the rising sun in the morning was a beautiful sight to see from The Laboratory of the Mind's large amount of glass windows. The Malura bushes surrounding the laboratory blew softly in the wind.
Within the laboratory's first floor, two lab assistants sat in conversation. One had been there all night, closely studying the mysterious new people that had recently entered the laboratory. The other had arrived for their morning shift.
"So, you're telling me that Samuel allowed these new people, and an inexperienced lab assistant to participate in The Contraption?" the arriving assistant asked.
"Well; they did want to help. Not like he forced them too, I think he planned to only let them sleep here, no beds. They're on the second floor, waking up, I think. They're odd people."
"I think he should've known better. The Contraption is not something to use that likely. Considering how real the sedative makes the dream; new people can lose their sense of reality fast. That one kid was smart to leave."
"Well -- alright, sure. But I'm sure that they are fine."
"True, true . . . " The assistant's mind drifted off, reflecting on the strange new set of characters that had joined the laboratory. He thought with humor to one of the mysterious events that had occurred when Samuel brought the new people in -- Blossom Cane, a lab assistant, was quite overjoyed at the arrival of one of the members. He could not recall if Samuel allowed the two to be in their own personal dream.
"One more thing." The assistant had a final question. "Do you know who the guy that just came is? He has this strange mask."
"'Fontaine'? Don't know too much about him."
"Alright then. We could always go to the second floor to ask more; if we wanted."
"Nah." declined the assistant. "I'm sure the dream they had was most . . . difficult, intricate . . don't know the world. They might think we're Projections. Let's give them some time to get ready,"
"Funny." The arriving assistant chuckled. He placed his coat on a hanger, and prepared himself for the morning's work.
"Midgarde . . ." Speaking the name of a mysterious location, the remaining figure disassembled itself; situating themselves above Atticus. The being raised its hand towards Steven, Samuel, Chris, and Melissa. They could only watch with great awe, as their bodies were lifted from the floor and brought near Atticus and Blossom.
"A six-sided die? A simple situation -- though you chose not to use it, Aneothite." The voice was deep and muffled -- oddly familiar to Atticus; though he could not piece together where he had heard it before. "Look at the numbers, roll it, and look at them again."
Samuel could provide no explanation for what was occurring as he closed the car door, entering into the grasslands. He could only look in horror, as the sky became dark and the figures approached.
"S-Steven? Chris? Samuel? Anyone . . . ." Melissa looked in fear.
At once, what could be seen of the sun was eclipsed by a black moon. The nearing clouds distorted, curving as if this moon was a black hole. Descending from the moon onto the grass, were hundreds of metallic pieces. They were white, falling in a uniform manner. Situating itself near the seven figures, the pieces built themselves into a figure of some sort -- a thin humanoid in armor. In the distance, various parts of the armor had a strange; golden glow to them. The figure looked at the travelling dreamers.
Melissa was quite bewildered at the present situation. The voice did not sound like anything she had heard before; and she was confused on how the dreamscape could change so suddenly. "What happened?" She turned to Samuel; who was a bit of uneasy.
"That was . . . um . . . . " He could provide no answer. That voice was no projection, he thought to himself.
"Well, since we've been sitting in this car for a while; why don't we check out the barn? Might hold some more secrets."
"Sounds like a good idea . . . " Melissa said, still unsure of what is going.
"He's with Blossom, remember?" responded Samuel. "Blossom and Atticus are doing -- well, I don't know. Probably having fun though."
"You're doing a great job. The next step is to take the blade, and rest it on the figure's neck. In order to ensure this does not fail, I want you to take your left hand and hold the figure in place. Once all precautions have been mate, I need you to seep the blade into the throat."
"There is not much time. I need you to take the knife, and point it at the figure in front of you."
"Atten -- hut!" yelled Thero.
"I just need you to follow my instructions, alright? Listen, I need you to take the object in your right hand, and hold it up for me; if you can." Atticus was bewildered to the voice's instructions; but they soon became clear as reality shifted once again. Atticus found himself in a large, open; raining sea. The sky was dark and bleak. He and Blossom now sat atop a large enclosure, made of numerous logs.
Steven was happy to hear his sister was slowly becoming . . .his sister, once again. He rolled down the driver-seat window, only to notice a figure manifesting in the distance.
- - -
"I just need you to trust me, alright? Are you in pain?"
"Can you hear me?" The voice repeated itself, affirming its presence. It was deep, muffled, and had an odd reverb to it. "I know everything seems confusing at the moment, but I promise, everything will be explained soon. You may not trust me just yet, but I promise, everything will be explained soon."
Samuel looked to Melissa in awe. "Marvelous . . . Seems to be from when you were at the barn, yes. Are you sure you remember all of these? I expected these objects to just be random constructs of your mind; but whoa. . . "
"Forgetting something . . . young Aneothite?" Atticus could hear an omnipresent voice coming from somewhere.
"Well . . . . put it like this. You don't often find yourself talking much in your dreams, do you? I've done this so many times; that now I'm just taking it in, enjoying the scenery; so to say. You don't see stuff like this in Silivia . . . .well, Silivia, I mean, yes; real Silivia.." Samuel took the up the bags from his vehicle's mat, and slowly began pulling black; branded packages from them.
"As for these . . . funny story, really. I got these from one of the buildings in the city, well, this city. We've probably seen several different renditions of this - alright, getting a bit off topic.." Samuel naturally was prepared to go on a tangent on the dreamscape of Melissa's Silivia, but he decided to save that for another day. Melissa listened in fascination. "Before we picked you up, I visited a large shopping mall. It was relatively stable, I suppose. It was around thirty floors, and in them, I found these. . . ."
Samuel opened the black packages, peeling off the tape that sealed each. Within them, he presented a mysterious black dagger, an Alchemilia Corporation sign, a single bullet, and a collection of photographs of red lights.
"There, there, you go." The old man watched carefully as the young girl held the hilt of a blade. The blade was short and sharp; something the two had been working on for some time. She held her protective gloves tightly on the hilt, examining it.
"It came out good, Ian."
"You've done well, Kalyn. Zion and Narscissa would love to see something like this."
Steven continued. "Well, Melissa . . . . as Samuel commented earlier, you are preforming exceptionally well so far. There are some things that you may be unable to stop from appearing in your dream, but remember; you're still lucid. As long as your mind wants us to find them, and you focus hard on doing so, I'll just drive the car in a general direction and we'll find Chris. Confusing, I know."
"About time we go fetch him. Shouldn't be too hard." began Steven.