Nash would like to thank Ethie and Voldemort's Spawn, because without the latter, this story would never have gone past the first chapter and without the former said story's latest chapter would still be below the 1000 word mark...

Speaking of marks, we've past the half-limit mark on the number of chapters I've written (as the story goes until Nash gets dragged away by Cobol and what happens after), unfortunately I don't know what the "what happens after" will be. So if ya got any suggestions (Nash would rather not die, but that's just him, I'm down with whatever) please let me know.


Churches, in my opinion, are over-used in dream scenarios. And the stain-glass windows are a bitch to design.

Sonia is confessing her sins to a projection of a priest. Wonder if he'll forgive her, since that'll mean she subconsciously forgives herself? Does she think her transgression with Saito is right, or wrong? Cobb pushes me away before I can hear his answer. I glare at him.

He glares back and shoos me away. He can't have her associating us inside the dream.

My job to steal her purse, run around, and hand it to Cobb; since that'll be where she'll keep her secrets. I briefly fumble for my inhaler, before remembering that I used to be a forger and my breathing suddenly evens out like some Olympian runner's. It's harder to forge an internal organ than an appearance, but I've had practice.

The purse strap stings my palm as I yank it from her grip and for a brief moment her nails, colored red like dried blood, scrabble across my wrist.

Fuck, why do I have to play distraction? Damn Arthur. He's faster than me, 'I have to continue to collect information on Saito, and you're a better thief,' he said, smirking. Fucker just wanted me to get ripped apart.

Her dream-self owns one ugly purse, I note half-hysterically as I yell for Cobb. It's different from the one in real life, lumpy and stained instead of pristine leather. She must think at least part of her affair with Saito is immoral. I rifle through the contents briefly: her digital camera is on and a picture of her and Saito stands out proudly. I dig deeper.

Why the hell would she carry a gun? Isn't it just easier to smash the camera if she has to? Whatever, I don't care. I drop the purse without stopping while Cobb screams for the projections to follow me.

I lurch away from a business man, his blunt nails trying to dig into my skin. I'm tired, throat itching and legs aching but they just keep on coming, hundreds and thousands of the little fuckers. Cobb must have had enough time to extract the information by now.

'Fuck it all!' I scream, a pretty redhead throws a knife at me and slices across my shoulder as I leap off the bridge. The water closes around my head like warm bath water. I take a deep breath and try not to cough on the hot air that invades my lungs.

Cobb is still down in the dream. I take a moment to compose myself. It's not the dying, I'm used to that by now, but spas aren't really conducive to a nice coat and tie. I smirk as the true reason Arthur backed out is revealed. The fag spends way too much time on his clothes.

Sonia twitches and releases a sound that can only be described as a moan. Her face, completely free of make-up, relaxes all at once and her eyes halt their frantic twitching in the familiar onset of true REM sleep. Her dark hair, a familiar shade after a few days in Venezuela, cascades around her face, free from it's thousands of layers of make-up. There are a few acne scars, I realize with a start as I move to brush a few strands of hair that fell over her face. Tiny bumps and ridges, hidden scars at the soft of her wrist as she moves to push my hand away. I wonder what Saito thinks of them, or if she ever let him see this side of her.

I wonder if she even knows that side exists.

Cobb slides awake, smoothly and without any sign of having been killed just a few moments before, and quickly packs away the PASIV device, shooting me a look of disdain. It's only as Cobb is paying off the spa attendant that I realize I had been staring at Sonia while I should have been cleaning up.

'What can I say? She has nice tits' I murmur to Cobb with the air of a co-conspirator. His grimace morphs into a full-on glare and he adjusts Sonia's robe from where it had slipped, completely without my assistance. I don't tell him it wasn't my fault. Better he think I am a lecher than a hopeless romantic.

We leave the still unconscious Sonia for her guards. Time to visit that love nest.

It's hot and damp, here in Venezuela. The cab drops us off a few block away from the place and Cobb strides forward, unaware or uncaring of the hateful, dark-skinned faces that stare at us from behind beat-up cars and broken down homes. A pimp is slapping a hooker, barely more than a girl, a few meters from where I stand and I scurry to Cobb's side and pretend I don't recognize the pink and purple fur skirt.

I almost fool myself.


The "love nest" is a dump, just as I had anticipated. The light plays softly through the grimy windows. I take careful note of it. Cobb is analyzing my every move, The room is dusty, but the bed has been recently moved, a few inches over to the right, as if jolted by some force. Sonia and Saito, together. I quickly turn to scan the floor as the image fills my head.

Hope Saito brought condoms, wonder how the press would react to that little baby's features. Venezuelan and Japanese: please give me head trauma so I never think of that again.

My toe hurts, seem to have stubbed it on the carpet while exploring the room, or maybe when I was banging my head against the wall. It's an ugly, ratty old thing. Cheap as the rest of this place, no doubt.