The Gladius program. Few knew of it's existence. The moment the Government was able to lock down Inception, Gladius was formed. Gladius served as an instant technological messaging system. Government agents used Gladius as an intel hotline. The Pentagon held control over Gladius until the Hacker Coalition made their move. It changed from a Dream world created by one of the members of the Pentagon into an artificial subconscious of algorithms and binary codes that created projections at random. The codes for Gladius were leaked to nations around the world and what had once been a secret tool became a widely used weapon among the nations of the world. Armies of secret agents flocked into Gladius. And because it had no host mind, projections roamed everywhere.
However, when a dream has no mind to dream it and yet it exists, it will realize it's existence is being violated. Soon, projections began to kick out agents one by one. The Hackers lost control immediately after publicizing it to the world and the projections developed minds of their own. Hundreds of thousands of minds. It survived because there was always someone around the world in the dream. Each mind that joined to it bore a trace of the subconscious. Each mind that joined to it became symbiote with it. And since government opperatives always used it, it survived and retaliated against those it encountered.
The year is 2034. In an instant, Gladius makes a bold and unexpected move. It talked to one of the agents. It said it's name was Selena and had created an army of projections that it called the Rebellion. Soon, government agents around the world realized they had created more than a network. They had unanimously created a living intelligent being. It felt, it thought, it reasoned. And it gained followers. Agents began defecting from the force while retaining the ability to enter Gladius and retaliate against the secret intelligence forces of the world. The dream war had begun.
Laurence stood in the alleyway between a pair of deserted buildings in a desolate city. Shady characters walked the sidewalks aimlessly as cars hissed up and down the rain smattered streets. Street lights cast narrow cones of light down on the people. He looked up and pulled the collar of his rain coat up around his neck as his black sunglasses flashed in the dim light. She was supposed to be here. Few had spoken to her in person.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small wooden yo-yo. He sent it spinning down the string and watched it spin up and down without stopping, defying the laws of physics. Laurence put it back in his pocket and looked around to make sure no one saw. He was in Gladius, alright. Problem was, where was his contact? She said in their last meeting outside of the dream to meet her here. Well, he was here. Her whereabouts were unknown to him as of late so he needed to find her here. He didn't know what she looked like since he only had talked to her over the phone. And things were getting bad. Projections were beginning to give him glances of slight suspicion. And he had a hunch they weren't part of Selena's subconscious. These were far more contemporary in appearance. Selena's wore slightly different, more futuristic garb.
These must be pentagon projections, Laurence thought wearily. He had no interest in tangling with the pentagon this early in his career. Suddenly a squad of riot police came into view at the other end of the block. Laurence cursed inwardly and headed down the alley way, pulling out his 22 pistol from his waist band and slapping in a new magazine into the handle. The police passed by the alley way and didn't recognize him there, but Laurence knew the coast was far from clear. He continued down the alley way and chose a random door that he kicked open and walked through. He had broken in to the back room of a Chinese Restaurant. The chef was in the Kitchen calling out orders to the staff so Laurence made his way to the window near the ceiling. He opened it and heaved himself through quickly with unnatural speed before reaching up and pulling himself up and onto a fire escape.
"No good." He mumbled as a police van trundled by. They were looking for him. Though the pentagon forces didn't know who he was, they were looking for him. And they were getting warmer.
Suddenly he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned only to be yanked into a room through the window. He was pulled around and felt something warm and soft press against his lips before he broke away, throwing knife in hand.
"Give back the gun." Laurence ordered without realizing who had pulled him into the room. A girl stood before him, smiling mischievously while holding Laurence's gun by the barrel in her hand.
"Good, you can cope superbly after a rather... disarming distraction." The girl mused as she held the gun dangling on her index finger by the trigger guard. Laurence went red in the face as he realized she had just kissed him and lowered the knife, but not enough that he couldn't use it at any moment's notice.
"You're the cautious type aren't you?" She added, raising an eyebrow recognizing he still didn't trust her.
"Safe. Very... safe." Laurence replied."Now tell me this, who are you?"
"If said I was you're contact, would you believe me?" The girl asked twirling a finger through her brown, auburn hair.
"Possibly..." Laurence said slowly leaving her with the same number of questions unanswered.
Then I believe the name Selena will have to suffice." She sighed and sat on the battered sofa behind her.
"Selena? You mean-"
"Yes, and don't take the kiss that seriously. After all, it's only a dream." Selena replied smiling ravishingly just because Laurence was growing redder. Laurence sighed and put the knife back in his boot.
"You like toying with people often?" Laurence asked sitting down on a metal folding chair.
"If it's a dream, then nothing is real and nothing matters on that level. Anything is within limits." Selena laughed softly.
"Well that was crossing the line if you ask me..." Laurence mumbled irritably.
"You'll get used to it."
"Maybe the lack of rules but not that one."
"Regardless, I need you're help." Selena said cutting to the point.