When I wake up, I’m no longer in my bed. I’m lying on hard ground. I feel something crawling up my leg, and I immediately bolt upright and swat my leg with ferocity. Out from my pantleg falls a beetle of some kind. I look down at myself first, and note that I’m covered with dust. The ground is, from what I can tell, stone. It’s laid intricately though. Am I in a temple?
Well hell, how could I forget that I’m actually just as skilled as Indiana Jones? Somewhere in this temple is the latest treasure I’ve been assigned to find. I knew that living in the middle of a rainforest had to be a dream. How was any of that even feasible? There were so many times that I should have caught on but didn’t.
My head starts pounding. I’m trying to remember something, but it’s as though I’m trying to rip open the plastic packaging off of an action figure. It’s really tough. But something tells me that I need to remember this. I press onward in my mind. Now it comes back to me.
Now I know. I’m dreaming.
The memory that my mind was for some reason trying to suppress was that of my previous dream, where I was finally getting a chance to be with my biggest crush, Jaycelyn. But now that I know that I’m dreaming, shouldn’t this temple disappear?
I blink, I pinch myself, but nothing. The temple is still here. And then I get an idea.
“Oh crap.” A young man in a lab coat stares at his computer screen. “Tricia, I need you here right now!”
A woman about his age, also wearing a lab coat, comes over to him. “What is it?”
“Tyler has realized he’s dreaming.”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking.”
“Well make sure to activate the locks before he begins lucid dreaming!”
“Right, right, sorry. I wasn’t thinking straight. First time this has happened to me.” He presses a couple of buttons on his keyboard. He sees a message pop up on his screen. “Are you sure you want to activate LUCID DREAM LOCK?” He presses “YES” and the program activates.
My idea is simple. Since I’m, for some reason, trapped in a dream, but I know I’m dreaming, I should be able to do anything I want. I imagine myself sitting in an armoured tank. That’ll get me out of this temple in a hurry. I imagine, but nothing happens. Huh. Maybe I need to think up something a little more familiar to me. What if I could phase through walls? I imagine that and approach the nearest wall. I gingerly put out my hand against the wall and feel its solidity.
Great, I’m stuck in a dream and I can’t even do what I want. I suppose I have no choice but to do a… dungeon crawl. I look around the room for anything that might help me. I notice a chest in the corner. I see there’s no lock, so I try prying it open. No dice. Then I notice it bears a striking similarity to the chests you encounter in Legend of Zelda games. I immediately know what to do. I kick it, and it opens to reveal a key. I shove the key in my pocket.
I see there’s nothing else of interest in this room, and so I advance down a hallway, taking cautious steps to avoid suddenly triggering a trap or something. I finally hit a locked door. Thanks, dungeon-crawling know-how! I take out my key and unlock the door. The key disintegrates as soon as I use it. Figures.
In the next room, before I even have a chance to gauge my surroundings, I’m struck by a large object. I’m winded for a second, but somehow manage to get myself up to see that my attacker is some kind of enemy that does damage by rolling in a ball. I fumble in my pockets and along my belt to see if this dream has equipped me with any weapons. It hasn’t. Figures.
I look around the room, now running to stay out of the roller-ball monster’s path. I see that one of the walls is covered with spikes. Bingo. I run a bit, and the monster continues following my path. I pick up speed now and back myself in front of the spikes. I now have a second to go. I wait a second and then dive out of the way at the last second. The monster is impaled upon the spikes. I expect blood and gore, but instead the monster fades away, I remember that this whole dungeon seems to be a Zelda tribute, and there’s certainly no blood in any of those games.
The monster’s death also causes a swirl of light to appear in the middle of the room, and a bigger chest appears. I pump my fist. Something useful! I throw open the chest, reach into it and pull out a sword! I feel like a twelve-year-old right now. I test the sword’s weight, strike the ground a few times, and now I’m ready to move on. The next door isn’t locked, thank goodness.
In the next room, I feel like I want to just fall on my sword right then and there. I see a giant creature, so large and armoured that I know this supposedly kickass sword isn’t going to do a thing. Just when then creature is about to bound toward me, though, a panel opens in a side wall, revealing a door. I see a flash of red emerge from the door, and a few seconds later the creature is reeling and falls over. It evaporates.
I feel dazed. When my head finally stops spinning from the speed of all of it I look to the centre of the room. There stands Red Robes. And for once, Red Robes doesn’t disappear. In fact, Red Robes turns around and looks at me.
Red Robes is a girl! I feel like a huge sexist for automatically thinking that an all-powerful saviour had to be a male.
“It’s about time we met,” Red Robes said.
“Get back here, Tricia!” the young man in the lab coat is getting a little nervous.
“What is it now?” Tricia asks. She doesn’t need the answer though. She, as well as her companion, both see the unfamiliar person in the monitor. This “Red Robes,” or so Tyler calls the person, has been an anomaly that the lab hasn’t figured out yet. The other technicians assumed that it was just Tyler projecting something onto someone. “We can see her face now,” Tricia says. “Run a database check and see if her face matches anyone Tyler knows.”
The young man brings up the database of Tyler’s known acquaintances. He filters out all the men, then all the women whose hair isn’t blonde. There are only a few women in that database. and none of them match the face of Red Robes.
“I think we need to call the boss,” the young man says. Tricia nods. The young man picks up the nearby phone and dials the number.
“I thought I told you to only call this number for emergencies,” the boss says. No hello or anything like that.
“This is an emergency, sir. We have an unknown person in the dream of our subject.”
“Are you sure, Marco?” Now even the boss sounds a little worried. “What does the unknown look like?”
Marco takes a look at the screen and studies Red Robes’ features carefully. “Well, she has blonde hair, a cut that falls just shy of her shoulders. Green eyes. A diamond stud on the left side of her nose. And she’s wearing all red.” There’s a silence on the other end of the line. “Sir?”
“Marco, this is no ordinary intruder. That’s Selena Amistad.”
Marco and Tricia both freeze. They know the name.
“One other question, Marco,” the boss asks. “What kind of a dream is our subject in right now?”
“It’s a dungeon-themed dream, sir,” answers Marco. “Kind of like those Legend of Zelda games.”
“This is not good at all,” the boss says. “I’m calling in reinforcements.”
No longer necessary. Subject is fully aware of his immersion in dreams.