Everybody Dreams
rating: +14+x

There was a stir in the thin, inky void. Two titans clashed, the waves of their battle washing across the endless tide of universes, at a time when all of it was new. This was the first of a conflict that would transcend time and rival creation, again and again.

At the center of their thrashing, the newly made was dashed to dust, drawn into the battle. But further, a vast distance away, the muted heat of their battle washed against countless endless husks. For in this newly birthed creation, not a soul save the two were there to witness.

But this heat turned thin reality's rules, melding together creation after creation. Soon, this molten slurry of reality coalesced into a singularity. Its pull grew stronger and soon the singularity had carved itself a sizable chunk within the void.

Then it began to think. A first.

Then it began to feel. Pain.

Then it began to see. Beauty.

It swelled with pride at as it fully realized itself, its pain now second to the joy it now experienced.

Then the two titan's fists met each others and set aflame every creation.

The singularity shattered in an instant, as every reality shattered, as all that had been was once again set to nothing.

Once more all became one, save a scarlet hate and the two titans. But reaching from the singularity of singularities, a consciousness which had just come into being reached from its depths, its arms not long enough to pull itself out of all that was.

And so it fell.

And fell.

And i-


A man covered in blood in tattoos woke up. He was suspended from a stone pole high above the ground, a chain running around his body, one end in his flesh, the other just above him.

Struggle as he may, the most he accomplished was to make his body dance beneath the sky. Long, black hair covered his face. It hid eyes lit with anger which in turn hid a soul lit with regret.

Below him, smoke and burning embers rose to the top of his pole. Their source was the ground which, as far as the man could see, was burning with nothing but molten rock.

He screamed out a name for none to hear. Had someone been there to listen, they would have heard "Ca-"


Sarah shot up from her covers, her hand slamming down on the blaring alarm clock. Yawning, she got out of bed and rushed downstairs. She was greeted first by the smell of simmering sausages and then by the glowing face of her mother.

"How's my bumpkin this wonderful morning?"

"Mom, you have no idea how excited I am," Sarah said as she hugged her mom.

"You have no idea how proud we are of you," her mom said from the other side of the hug.

From the other side of the kitchen, Sarah's dad came over carrying a pan full of perfectly cooked sausages. "So who's ready for breakfast," he said.

Sarah laughed. "Thank you guys so much."

Her parents both said in unison "Anything for you."

[…]

Sarah grabbed her cap from her mother, who hugged her once again.

"Mom, I'm going to be late."

"Bah, you have 30 minutes to spare and the walk only takes 2. You're fine."

Sarah pried herself from her mother's gift and set out of the door. "See ya later mom."

Her mom smiled as she closed the door. "Bye honey."

Sarah's heart raced as she set off across the lawn and met the sunny day. Taking a moment, she gleamed as she read the sign at their front lawn.

KLHS
CONGRATULATIONS
Sarah
Class of 76

She looked behind her to see her friend calling her.

"Hey, Sarah! M-"


A pale figure sat watching an empty TV. They sat in a tattered armchair surrounded by dust. A beam of light filtered in through a hole in the ceiling. Had the figure been alive, none would have been able to tell. Its chest did not move and a heart did not beat within its chest.

But it was still alive, if just barely. Its arm was outstretched, gripping half of a TV remote. Over and over, it just lifted its finger and pressed the long destroyed power-on button.

The house rattled, wood from the ceiling dropping onto the ground, settled dust spraying into the air, soon followed the sound of a huge explosion in the distance. The hand kept on clicking.

This happened twice more and neither time did the figure stir, not even when a piece of falling plywood tore through its arm and hit the ground. It bled nothing.

An klaxon sounded through the area followed by more booms. Another piece of wood fell, revealing a sky filled with grey and swirling with ashes. It looked almost like television static. The face of the figure was struck, revealing a dry and long rotten face, the torn skin cracking.

These cracks spread across its face as finally it grew aware. It whispered a single word: "Redemption."

Outside, a voice rang out along with the alarm. "THREAT LEVEL: ALEPH. ALL CITIZENS ARE TO MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE N-"


Rosen jerked awake as his head hit his desk. In front of him, the documents for some SCP he had been trying to read through sat. He had been about halfway through the containment procedures when he started to feel the effects of his all nighter and had just finished them when his eyes closed.

He yawned and stretched his arms as he stood up from his chair. Looking around the white room, he noted once again just how boring the windowless office space 50 meters underground was. Sighing, he headed towards the bathrooms towards the front of the space.

A co-worker making his way towards him caught his. His name was Steven and right now Rosen did not want to deal with him. Hoping that Steven hadn't noticed him yet, Rosen cast his gaze towards the ground and quickened his pace ever so slightly, hoping Steven would just walk by.

Steven had other plans. "Hey Rosen, what's poppin?"

Rosen faked a smile as his heart dropped. "Ha ha, you know, nothing much."

"Woah man, you look kind of like shit."

"Well, you know, reports to type, real life to deal with, didn't get much sleep last night."

"Yeah man I feel ya. Speaking of reports, how's your current one coming along?"

Rosen thought back to the empty document on his screen. "Pretty nicely, hoping I can knock it out early and get some sleep tonight."

"Hell yeah man, you do that. But if something happens, seriously, don't worry about it, I ca-"

Rosen cut him off. "No, no, it's fine, I said I'd have it done tomorrow, I'll have it done tomorrow. I know it's important to you."

"Alright man, whatever you say. I gotta get going, but best of luck with it and thank you much for helping out."

"Yeah, of course. See ya."

Steven went on his ways past Rosen, cheery as can be. Rosen's smile dropped as he thought about the prospect of another sleepless night.

Arriving at the bathroom, Rosen made his way to the urinal as the automatic light flicked to life.

He closed his eyes as he peed, taking in the flickering of the lights, the commotion of hushed voices and footsteps outside, and the…

Rosen's eyes peeped back open. The halls were never busy this time of the day. He quickly zipped himself up, washed his hands, then silently opened the door.

People in white labcoat and black armor streamed by, putting as much distance between them-self and whatever was happening on the other side of the hallway.

"Hey, what's going on?" Rosen hissed to the passerbys. He was met with a couple 'shhhs' and his question still unanswered.

Just then, red lights came to life on either side of the hallway. A robotic voice rang out. "All personnel, please make your way to the nearest shelter. This a Level 3 containment breach. Silence is to be maintained as much as possible. Thank you."

Rosen stared, dumbfounded as he saw the lights on the other side of the hallway cut out one by one.

"Oh, you have go-"


John snorted as a voice called him out of his light slumber. "We're here, sir." He was in a black car with a rather cramped interior. John opened the door, giving the driver a thanks as he stepped out.

Outside, the night was lit up by the thrumming of New York City. In the distance, the shell of the empire state could be seen, construction halfway through. On the other side, silent waves formed and crashed against the harbor.

John took out a cigar and lit it, taking a moment to admire the view. He turned his attention to the cars and policemen crowded around a warehouse.

"John!"

A man called out from the middle of the thrumming crowd.

"John, over here!"

John made his way over to the man calling his name. Joining him, John and the man walked through the small crowd and into the cordoned off circle of the warehouse. "Alright Clyde, what's the scoop here," John asked.

Clyde, a handsome man with a square face and round nose, put his hand on John's back. "We thought they were just a bunch of wackos squatting in the harbor but turned out the owners of the harbor were in on it to."

"And where are they?"

Clyde gestured towards the door of the harbor, sliding it open. "They're in here."

They walked into the dark interior, where Clyde made his way towards the right side. "One sec, I'll hit the lights." After a couple seconds of fumbling, there was an electric woosh and the warehouse was swamped with bright light.

John surveyed the scene in front of him. White tiling covered the floors, the walls, and the ceiling. Sliding doors and additional glass cubicles were cropped up around the area, almost like a chess board.

"What is this place?" John asked.

Clyde walked over. "We're not exactly sure. When we first wind of this place, we thought it was a drug operation, so we got a force and busted down their doors. The problem was when they started shooting back with a lot more firepower. If we didn't have numbers the force would have definitely been wiped out."

He walked to one of the glass cages. "We don't know who they are or what exactly it is they're doing, but one thing is for certain: it isn't drugs." As he said this, he took out a small plastic card and slid it across the keypad by the door. "They've got money and technology way beyond us. But that isn't what's interested me."

The glass doors slid open to reveal a pedestal with a small box on top of it. As John approached it, it lit up green and revealed a holographic display.

John turned back to Clyde. "What is this thing?" he asked.

Clyde shrugged. "Not exactly sure. But whatever it is, they called it euclid."

John turned back to the display, which only showed a shield with three arrows pointed inwards. "And they have more of this stuff?"

Clyde walked out of the room. "Every single one of these things has stuff inside of it. There's a second floor, too. One of the guys that's where they stored the 'keters,' whatever those are." He paused then turned back to John.

"Look, John, I don't know what these things are but I know one thing: they're not normal and if it weren't for these guys all this shit would be who knows where in the world."

John glared at the screen for a second then turned back to Clyde. "I know. And it isn't just these guys or these objects. A man who can't be shot or a liquor gang of wizards, the worlds been getting weird recently." He took out his cigar then threw it on the ground. "I've been gathering support for a unit to deal with these kinds of things. Better funding, better weapons, better intel. Devoted solely to protecting our nation from threats like these."

"And you want me to join?"

"It would be dangerous. Who knows what's out there, who doesn't want to be found- and what exactly they're willing to do to make sure they stay that way."

"You know I'd do anything for you, Hoover."

"Yeah, except calling me 'Hoover.' You know I don't like you calling me that."

Clyde cracked a smile. "Well, let's get going. The b-"


Its peace had been disturbed. In a rocky, primitive mind, only relief was wanted. It couldn't move, not yet. It was held in place by something.

This something had been encountered by it many times before. It seethed with anger and rage as its dreams had been disturbed. Now it was locked in here.

It saw brown and red and orange. The orange. Such a familiar color. A color which had, time and time again, locked it down, causing it to come crashing down from the heavens back to whatever this place was.

It much preferred the sight of home, of an endless grassy plain to run around in. A place to sleep however longed it wished, to eat from the ground whatever it came across.

The air hurt and stung here. It was cold. And no matter how hard it tried, it could not move an inch.

So it didn't. Angry as it was, it also new patience. So it sat, waiting and hating.

Then an opportunity. A small, fleeting moment. When it was still in that dreadful place but it could move.

So move it did, approaching an orange something in an instant, and there it wrapped its fingers around its neck and squeezed until it bro-


An owl opened its eyes upon the branch of a snowy tree. It gave a silent hoot to a passing moon then set to flight, talons ready for the prey it had just spotted.


He awoke.

He wasn't sure what that meant. Last he had known he had been doing…something. Existing, it had felt like, but it was distant. Almost like…a dream.

He was startled for a moment. He didn't know what a dream was. But the word had popped into his mind and it felt so perfect.

He had been dreaming. He looked around his surroundings. Another word flitted into his mind: alley.

That's where he was. He looked down at his body. More words went in and out of his mind: suit, gray, tie, blue, shoes, legs, arms. He closed his eyes. It was a bit too much too quickly. With his eyes closed, he explored his mind.

It was empty. Looking through his past, the last 2 or so minutes had been just about the totality of his existence. But that felt wrong. There had been something before, he was sure of it. So he dug.

But as he dug, images flipped through his mind. A first puppy, the death of a loved one, running a sword through someone's chest. They were there, clear as day. Memories.

Consciousness.

But they weren't his. He hadn't done this. At least, not while he was awake. Opening his eyes again, he realized they must have been dreams.

They still didn't answer any questions. Slowly, he got up from the ground. He looked around and took it all in. He noticed that the words and meanings that flickered through his head were also dreams. They came from other places and other people. But now they were his.

Hat. That word struck his mind as he saw a gray fedora sitting on the ground right next to him. He put it on and felt…right.

He still had questions. Looking out of the alley, he seemed to be in an endless city. His dreams told him that there should be honking cars and people but the only population right there was silence.

And there was the issue of who he was.

He wanted answers and he was going to get them.

So he took his first step.

Then set out to find out why.

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