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 Inception - Bash Job

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:03 am

"There's nuffin that could make John any more tolerable." Trevor sniped as John took Sofie's hand and twisted to push himself to his feet.

"I'm glad at least one of you finds me to be adequately tolerable." The Pointman commented, releasing Sofie's hand to straighten his suit.

"That's not what I said, gov." Trevor shot back with a grin. "I just know ya well enough ta have figured out you'll never change."

John opened his mouth, as if he were going to defend himself, but he snapped it closed again without issuing a sound.

"Oh no." Karina giggled again. "He's speechless. This might kill his ego."

"Hardly." John replied, all business now. "As stated, give me three hours to memorize everything. After that, the lot of you can get on with the next level." He turned to leave the balcony, but leaned in Sofie's direction for a second as he passed. "I knew you liked me..." It was barely audible at all, definitely not something any of the others would hear, and with that, he slipped past her and back inside the estate.

"Right then." Trevor pulled a pistol from his belt. "No reason for anyone but John and Hunter to stay..."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:26 am

Sofie watched John go, now seriously wishing she'd dropped him on his head after all.

"Well," she said, watching Trevor pull out his gun and direct it toward her. "First, I can't drop him. Now, I can't shoot him. Not one of my more memorable dreams."

Sofie sighed and pulled out a gun of her own.

"Thoughtful, really, but I'd rather sort my own exit here," she said, placing it to her temple. Hunter grimaced.

"I'd really like to not watch this," he said, backing away into the bedroom and making to shut the balcony doors.

"Sweet of you, dear," Sofie said, smiling. "Well, I'll see you two topside then."

She placed the cold edge of the barrel to her temple. There was always the faintest flicker of worry when she squeezed, that irrational fear that she would not find herself waking, but sinking deeper into something escapable.

Then the instantaneous bite of pain, and then nothing.

--------------------

Three hours later, the team found themselves standing in the hotel lobby. Hunter was looking rather worn out. Whether it was from the strain of the job or the natural toll of John's personality, Sofie couldn't be sure.

"Three hours," he muttered, and she had a sneaking suspicion which it was.

"So, this layer is yours then?" she asked him. The Architect nodded.

"Here's where we start turning the Mark against his cartel and his own subconscious. You guys ready for the tour?"

"Lead on," Sofie said, waving him forward.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:22 pm

Karina giggled softly, giving Hunter a pat on the back. "Oh, come on now. He's not that bad."

Trevor coughed to cover up a laugh of his own. "Say that after spendin three days trapped in a jail cell wiff him, love."

His wife raised an eyebrow at that. "And when did this happen?"

Trevor coughed again, motioning for Hunter to proceed. "Let's see what you've done fer us this time, shall we?"
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:22 pm

As the second layer was Hunter's own, there wasn't as much needed to specify it in detail to the others. However, he did give them a tour of the layout, showing them the entrance and the way into the conference room where the deal would go down. A secondary door lead out into a private hallway they could use, with an "out of order" service elevator that would take them express to the fifth floor. Here they would find a room equipped with a PASIV to take them down the next level.

"Some of the hallways are trick passages," Hunter explained as they left the room. "So I should be able to lose them if the gunfire becomes too heavy."

He'd been practicing his shot, but he still didn't feel too confident taking on a whole legion of militarized projections.

"You'll be waking up in the same room on the third level, so it should be easy enough to keep playing the same story of betrayal," he told them. "I added in some shortcuts to the city layout so you can make it back to the estate fast enough before the projections catch up. Hopefully. But you'll find Mia and her father dead there, and the idea should be planted."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:55 pm

Trevor nodded, running his fingers along the wall. "So, how do we introduce the embezzlement at this point?" He asked, waving his arm around the room.

Karina cleared her throat, drawing attention to herself. "Have we even considered why he's embezzling the money in the first place?" She shifted on her feet, looking somewhat annoyed. "Or what effect it might have on our plans?"

Trevor cursed under his breath. "We need ta find out on this layer, while it's already in the spotlight. Otherwise, we could find ourselves with a bigger issue at the end." He paced in a circle for a few seconds. "It complicates the job a little bit more, but that's nothin new at this point."

"Let me do it." Karina spoke up again, somewhere between an order and a request.

Her husband regarded her for a few seconds before nodding. "Information is your specialty, love." He turned to Hunter. "Can you add an empty room ta the floorplan somewhere? Just a single chair in the middle, and no doors or windows, cept for the one used to get inside?"
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:03 am

Hunter watched the exchange between Trevor and Karina before nodding.

"Yeah, should be easy enough," he said. "Just let me know where you think it would fit best into the plan."

He glanced over at Sofie, who seemed a bit preoccupied since they had left the first layer. Trevor and Karina seemed to balance business and pleasure well enough, but Sofie and John were enough to give one pause about mixing relationships and dream sharing. It could certainly be a messy thing.

"Sofie, any comments?" he asked. She blinked at being addressed, then shook her head.

"No, it all looks pretty solid, especially considering the time crunch. I'm impressed."

"Coming from you, I couldn't ask for better," the Architect replied, grinning. But almost immediately, the Forger's attention had turned away again. He had to sigh.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:12 pm

"Probably best if'n we put it somewhere near here." Trevor responded. "We'll want ta be movin him inta the next layer almost immediately after the interrogation."

Karina nodded her agreement. "He might not be in great shape for traveling after I've had a few minutes with him." She and her husband shared a look before turning back to Hunter.

"Right then." Trevor smiled at the Architect. "Let's see what you've got prepared for the endgame."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:29 am

Hunter watched the exchange between husband and wife and winced slightly.

"You guys are a little scary," he mused. Well, time to show them stage three then. Hopefully, John was faring all right on his own.

--------------------

On the next level down, they awoke inside the same room where they had used the PASIV.

"The dreamers wake in here. I've added a fire escape here around the corner that isn't on the previous level - you can't see it from the elevator so the Mark won't realize - that you can use to get down to the alley. A car should be there for you to use to get back to the estate."

Hunter led them out onto the alley and over to the car, which he ran a hand over. Only in his dreams could he own a car like this. Oh well.

"Anyway, GPS is programmed into the car to get you through the safest route through the city. You need to get to the estate and find Mia and her father before the projections can cut you off."

Sofie spoke up, looking quite serious.

"We're all going to be sedated, so the kicks are going to be vitally important. Where is the kick on this level? I assume on the previous one it's the room we're in?"

Hunter looked embarrassed for leaving this detail out.

"Oh, yeah," he said hastily. "That is the kick for the second level. I'll detonate the charges below the room to drop the floor out. On this level, the kick has to be back at the estate. I figured there might not be enough time to get back up to the balcony like on the first level so..."

"So?" Sofie pressed.

"Well, you'll have to blow the whole foundation," Hunter explained. "I tried to get the charges low enough so it won't kill you all before the kick jumps you back up, but you're going to have to be careful with it."

"I'd have preferred something with a bit more finesse," she sighed. "But it'll have to do."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:22 pm

Karina put a hand on Sofie's shoulder and shook her head in mock depression. "Men don't understand the art of finesse, chica. It's up to us ladies to make up for their shortcomings."

"No need ta get personal, love." Trevor quipped back as he examined the GPS in the car.

Turning to Hunter, he gave the Architect a pat on the back. "Well done again, gov. This layer is mostly show and tell. So, the lengthy floorplan is good for stretchin the story out. Buildin up the tension, so ta say."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:37 am

Sofie had to smile. When they'd first arrived at the plane, she hadn't cared much for Karina. As it turned out, they were rather compatible.

"That's a lot of shortcomings to make up for," Sofie lamented. "But it can't be helped."

Hunter rolled his eyes at their talk, never a huge fan of lumped-gender complaints, and turned back to Trevor.

"Thanks," he said, smiling. It was going to be challenging, but they seemed to be more than prepared.

"Well, I don't know about you guys," Hunter said, running a hand through his hair. "But I've had enough of dream sharing for one day. I think I'd like to go topside and have a real hamburger."

Sofie looked over at that.

"You know, all this work has given me an appetite too. Let's take the rest of the night off."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:46 pm

"I don't see why we can't call it a night." Trevor responded. "If'n Sofie's got the layout memorized, we've all got a day ta ourselves before the job starts."

Karina nodded in agreement. "Yes, considering the nature of what we're doing, I suspect we'll only get one try at it. So, it's best we take as much time as possible to prepare. Ferral has to be released from our custody by tomorrow night in order to avoid suspicion. That's our deadline."

"Off with ya all then." Trevor flicked his fingers at them all. "Do what ya need ta prepare. I dun wanna see any of ya again before tomorrow mornin."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:29 pm

Hunter grinned broadly at Trevor's words.

"No arguments here," he said, checking his watch. "And we should be good to go in about-"

--------------------

The next thing they knew, they were waking up in the warehouse. Hunter moved hastily to clean up his things and headed out in under five minutes. Trevor and Karina left not too long after, but Sofie lingered a bit, watching as Elliot surveyed John. He still hadn't woken up from his dream.

"Why don't you head out, professor?" she said, smiling. "I'll look after him."

Elliot looked a bit unsure, but relented. Sofie waited till he was gone, then sat down in one of the chairs beside John.

"You look a lot nicer when you sleep," she murmured. He seemed less guarded, less hard and cutting and snarky. She wondered idly what he'd been like as a boy, before he'd learned the art of lies as she had.

Her eyes drifted toward the PASIV. She wondered if she should, but then again, what could it hurt? Before she could think about it too much, Sofie took hold of one of the needles and inserted it into her arm. Almost immediately, she felt herself drifting back against the chair, sleep overtaking her.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:56 pm

The cramped space of a small room surrounds Sofie as she comes to. Several red and green lights flicker on a desk beside her, the only brightness in the otherwise dark space. Further inspection reveals them to be part of some sort of recording setup.

Ambient light spills over her shoulders, and behind her is another room, this one well-lit. Upon first glance, it would seem as if there is a window between them, but after a moment, the realization sets in. This is a two-way mirror she's looking through. The other room is painted a stark white, creating a harsh glow in comparison to the darkness that surrounds her in this one.

Both rooms have only a single door, most likely connecting them to a hallway outside. Each also contains a single person. She is standing in the observation room. John, meanwhile, is seated at the table in what is obviously an interrogation room.

A line of white powder lies on the table beside him, and John is slowly rolling a dollar bill into a makeshift straw. His fingers twitch occasionally, and he has to pause to re-tighten the roll. This process takes several seconds, maybe even a full minute, but with a triumphant grin, John leans down and snorts the powder.

The harsh intake of breath is clearly audible in the observation room, amplified by the recording devices. Almost immediately following it is the scraping of the dollar on the table as John tries to coral any remaining powder for a second snort.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:05 am

Sofie groaned, blinking back against the offending lights flickering beside her. What was it, a night light?

No. Odd... it was a recording device. Sofie's body ached a bit as she got up, obviously having been sleeping in a none-too-comfortable chair, and inspected the room. What was this? Recording devices and-

She gave a start at the sight of someone else, but quickly realized they were in a separate room, connected through glass. Two-way, from the look of it, as the other person didn't seem to notice her. She approached it, but stopped short at the sight of John.

John. John in an interrogation room. John snorting cocaine like a run-down addict.

Sofie stared, transfixed, at the scene occurring in front of her. She couldn't make sense of it. What was happening here?

She stepped back and turned away, looking once more toward the recording device. Did that have some answers?

Sofie glanced back toward John, desperately scrabbling for any leftover powder for just one more snort, then moved slowly toward the recorder and hit the playback button.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:16 am

Heroin, meth, cocaine, ecstasy, acid...

In each video, an officer would enter and sit the drugs on the table before John, along with the implements to take them.

He would always ignore them at first, choosing to instead tap his foot on the floor or rub his fingers together, but after a while, it became obvious that his resolve was failing. And the twitching... When the twitching began, he always went for what was on the table.

A dark look would usually pass over his face for a moment when he first wrapped his fingers around the poison, but it was always replaced by the grin as he drifted into oblivion...
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:21 am

Sofie watched each video, each drug, each self-torture with mounting concern. It was not only disturbing but confusing as well. Why would the police be providing him with drugs? None of this made sense.

Sofie looked back through the glass at John, then at the door. Well, there was one way to get answers, and it wasn't staying in here. She crossed over to the door and tried it. It opened without protest, and she stepped cautiously into the hallway.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:25 am

The hallway that greeted her was nothing if not uniform. Light gray walls and a carpet that was about three shades darker stretched around a corner to her right. To her left, the hallway only went a few more feet, ending at a door that presumably lead into the room where John was sitting in a cocaine stupor.

Overhead, fluorescent lights hummed an almost angry rhythm. It almost felt like no one was welcome in this place, not even the projections that inhabited it.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:29 am

Sofie surveyed her surroundings, feeling her instincts honed from years of extraction begin to kick in. Whatever might be going on in here, she felt John's subconscious was unlikely to be friendly. It would be wise to tread cautiously.

She paused to glance to her left, but that only came to a dead-end where John's room was. He wouldn't be of much use to her like this. Right it was then.

Sofie made her way down the hall, not liking the corner that blocked her visibility. She stopped short of it, then slid carefully to the edge and peered around.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:36 am

The same, standard hallway stretched around the corner, only different because of the soft glow given off by a vending machine on the right. Closer inspection of the machine would reveal that it, in fact, served up different kinds of alcohol, ranging from beer to scotch, even vodka.

Several steps further down the hall was a sliding glass door with steam coming from beneath it. Judging from the sounds of voices and laughter, it was rather obvious that some kind of party was going on inside, but the glass was fogged over, obscuring anything behind it. What little was visible appeared to be lines of white and blue from her vantage point.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:43 am

The coast appeared to be clear. Sofie made her way down the hallway, keeping an eye out for any projections. A vending machine caught her eye, serving alcohol of all kinds. She snorted. Now this was certainly familiar territory for John.

Turning away, she continued down until she came to a sliding glass door, steam seeping out from beneath it. She could hear the sounds of partying, rather at odds with the dour appearance of the rest of the building. The idea of going in didn't particularly appeal to her, but she couldn't deny that she was curious as to what this was doing here.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Sofie reached for the handle and slid the door open. More smoke greeted her, and she curled her nose in distaste before pushing her way in.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:54 am

As the steam poured over her, Sofie was greeted by what appeared to be a locker room. White tile floors and matching ceilings ran between two rows of navy lockers. A wooden bench stood in the center of the walkway, bearing three gym bags and a half dozen beach towels. A single bikini dangled from the very end, as if it had been thrown there by someone on their way deeper inside.

The voices were louder here, but still difficult to interpret, possibly because of the way the room curved off up ahead. Upon stepping further, she would pass the open door of a sauna, the cause of all the steam. It appeared to have been left open in someone's haste to leave, or perhaps whoever had left it as such was simply too distracted to care.

The next room she passed housed several showers, and the voices echoed here, coming in through open windows over the stalls. It was still hard to follow any actual conversation, but at this point, it was clear that all the voices were female. All of them save one... John's.

A few more steps forward would take her around another corner, this one bending in the direction the voices were coming from.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:06 am

Well, this was unexpected. A sauna? Sofie peered around at the bags and towels before she caught sight of a dangling bikini, and her eyes narrowed.

That was telling.

She probably shouldn't have, but she continued onward, feeling uncomfortably hot and humid. This got even worse as she entered a shower room, filled with the sound sound of running water. It sounded like all women - maybe it was a women's locker room then - but John's voice suddenly became clear, and she stopped short.

No, she definitely shouldn't keep going. There were only a few steps before the corner, at which point she would certainly catch sight of what was happening. She glanced back the way she'd come, then bit her lip and edged very quietly forward.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:16 am

Around the corner, women lined the edge of a large hot tub, set into the floor. All of them wore some form of swimwear, although not all were totally covered. John couldn't be seen from where she was standing, but judging from the sound of his laughter, he was in the middle of the group. Several of the women with their backs to Sofie leaned inward, giggling at something they apparently found funny.

Over the tops of their heads, a single woman locked eyes with Sofie, her laughter instantly coming to a stop. A second passed before the one on each side of her also went silent, staring at the figure peering around the corner. In only a moment, all of them had swiveled their attention away from each other and onto the single uninvited onlooker.

John's laughter seemed to have faded as well, an the women on the edge of the tub nearest Sofie parted as his torso appeared between them, looking for the source of his harem's apparent discomfort.

When he saw Sofie, his face paled visibly. "You..." The word sounded almost disbelieving on his lips.

"You can't be here." He sounded more confused than anything.

"I don't allow you here!" Now, his voice was accusing. "I've already banished you from this place! Now begone!"
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:07 pm

Well, it wasn't quite as bad as she'd expected. They were at least clothed... mostly. And keeping their hands to themselves.

She felt her face grow hot. It must be the heat of the sauna.

Unfortunately, she seemed to have made a slight misjudgment. One of the projections spotted her, and immediately the party died. Sofie tensed. She knew from quite a bit of experience that it was never good when the projections broke character like that.

She should run. She made up her mind to try when John suddenly appeared in the midst of the women, staring at her with the sort of expression for one seeing a ghost.

"You can't be here," he said. She bit her lip. Did he know she'd slipped into his dream?

"I don't allow you here!" he shouted. "I've already banished you from this place! Now, begone!"

The words gave her a jolt. No, he thought she was a projection, and...

This wasn't the time to ponder the implications, however. The other projections seemed to be on the verge of attack. She had to be fast, and very good. Smoothing her concerns away, she gave him a faint hint of a smile.

"I wouldn't be here if you didn't want me to be," she said quietly, locking eyes with him. The projections hesitated, then turned relaxed into the water and began to chat as though this were a normal gatecrashing.

"But with a welcome like this, I doubt I'll come back," she said dismissively, tossing her hair over her shoulder and strolling around the corner. Her heart was hammering, but she made sure to keep a steady pace until she was safely out of earshot. Then, she made a beeline for the door and swept out of the sauna in a whirlwind, shutting the door firmly behind her.

"I will never enter another sauna as long as I live," she muttered, sweeping her damp hair out of her face.

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Location : Sitting alone outside a door that someone else kicked in. I'll wait for all eternity. Won't you invite me in?

PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:25 pm

The same hallway surrounded her as Sofie stepped out of the locker room. On her left, the vending machine's lights flickered slightly, and the hum of the refrigeration unit kicking on filled the space. To her right, the hallway continued for another ten or fifteen feet, ending with a single closed door.

Closer inspection would reveal it to seem quite a bit older than everything else in the hall. Where the sliding glass door and the two doors attached to the interrogation room seemed modern and sleek, this one had seen hard years. The wood was worn, paint peeling in some places, and the handle was an old metal, probably brass.

Also unlike the other doors, this one appeared to be locked, although the lock itself seemed old and mundane. Anyone with some proficiency at breaking and entering could probably open it with a few tries.

CRACK!

The sound echoed down the hallway, sudden and eerie. Whatever its origin was resided behind that door.
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