Outside the Fuji Happy Shack®, the night is bitter-sweet. A plague of savages, wrestling with the urge to procreate and vomit all at once, passively twitch, slow reaction time, moaning at each other in low tones, nearly inaudible, only visible in that fleeting brush of light that swerves by as you shake your head. It’s all the same. Spunk and vomit. Nothing left of these streets but organic matter. The walls are dripping with living tissue. It’s not human. Well, maybe it is a little. There’s a little DNA of everything mixed into these streets.
Ninja squeezes tight against his chest. Code Name Alice is sleeping, wrapped in another world–her vaccinations incomplete, only protecting her from known diseases. The streets are full of the unknown, the undiscovered, things that perhaps were once known and cured but that evolved beyond treatment. This pestilence, this bubonic biomass, it waits for nothing. Time is only useful in measuring the speed of its growth, the countdown to our demise.
Stepping into a nearby Cinetech, the world of flesh fades out. Phosphorescent blue comes into view, a light of a nearby star, no… a planet, earthly, ripe, luscious, void of spunk and vomit. Soon to be populated by our dreams.
“Oy! You buyin’ or just breathin’? Either way, you gotta pay. This air here isn’t cheap. You think this stuff grows on trees…” The attendant pauses and looks sheepish then mutters, “…still?”
Ninja tosses the man a coin and moves closer to the holographic display. The planet zooms closer and a wave of crisp air smooths over his face. The hologram is breathing too. The dream is alive with so much use. You give enough thought to something and it starts to take those thoughts and piece them together, mashing them up in a new neural-network, using the thoughts of others who paid their own piece of mind. This dream to start anew is breathing its own verse, singing its own tune, striking a pose in front of the masses as if to say, “Dream on; feed me; I need to be true.”
Stretching out a hand, Ninja joins the other patrons in feeling the dream from the inside, caressing the rim of it and stepping in, giving all to the light.
The hologram inhales, expanding to fill the Cinetech dome, consuming the dreamers within.
Top down view; Sleep Dep Ninja, looking up, eyes wide, surprised. Two or three real butterflies are fluttering around him now.
PANEL 3 (SMALL)
SDN's view, looking up at the attacking masked ninja descending, fast moving lines streaking out from him.
PANEL 4 (SMALL)
Close up on SDN looking down at the bundle on his chest, rumbling lines of movement are layering the outer edges of the bump. SDN is still in a state of surprise. Alice giggles in her sleep and now we see a dream of a sunflower extending out of the bundle. We still can't yet see that it's a baby wrapped in his chest.
(Pictures of a sunflower)
SFX (ON ALICE)