Rune's feet stomped down the stairwells with the repeating rapidity of a needle working on a sewing machine. He felt that little splash of stomach acid burn against his esophagus as he pumped his legs as hard as possible. "Really shoulda brought some Tums..." he reminded himself, just like his doctor told him. Chris tried to remember the last time he had a check up. Typically, a reservist must clesr a standard physical exam to return to active duty, but a Bravo leader's life typically didn't hang in the balance. Whether Chris planned to take any orders from Aura made little difference. "No more dead Crusaders."
"Funny. You think as if you possess some say in the matter."
"Ain't I? And who -
"Verily! But he must know he does not!"
"Indeed, brave Son of Odin! Revel and rejoice, for surely thou doth knoweth what fine company thou host!"
"Heckle 'n' Jeckle..."
"One might think you'd learn to use our proper names by now, Christopher ."
"Indeed! For it is known!"
"If y'all wanna bother me now, could ya do me a favor and cut the bullshit?"
"Aw... You're know fun!"
"Now, don't you think that's stretching it?"
"...Know. I don't!"
"I really do hate all y'all."
Having lost track of how many floors he'd cleared, Chris was more than grateful to hear the voice of a (half) angel hail him on the comms channel. After considering the pros and cons of having the added support in the eastern yards, Chris replied in his altered voice.
"Masa and I can manage, Seraph. Appreciate the offer, but we oughta have our flyers scanning them two spots in the west." Rune called into the comm-link, now addressing the team's archer. "Moonlight, can you give the eastern yards a thorough lookover? I don't want to run into anything blind." Chris finally hit the lobby floor, and left the team with some final words before he hit the streets. "If anyone spots anything from afar, let's regroup before we follow up. If we go in, we should go in en masse . And if anyone happens across that son of a bitch Algair before I do -" Rune passed through the lobby doors.
He found himself in the ghostly environment of Germany's Black Forest at night. Chris remembered flying along and high above the forest on his way into the city, but it had been earlier in the day then, or so he thought. Where else would all that light have come from? Chris found himself unable to answer his own question. Exotic fauna lit up the ground like a liquid lava lamp, and Chris fought waves of nausea as his feet threatened to sink into the day glo marshmallow ground beneath his bootsoles.
"This isn't right!" Chris yelled (or was he singing?) out loud. And it wasn't. Chris hadn't been in the Black Forest since that hell hunt with Spartan. "When was that?" Worry about it later. We need to talk.
Chris continued upon the psychedelic terrain as best as he could manage until he finally came upon a fence made of strings of barbed wire that lit up like fireflies. Chris followed the fence for what seemed like days or at least yogurt until he came to a gate upon which strobed a red neon sign. PLEASE CLOSE GATE said The Sign. But someone hadn't listened, and left the gate ajar, waiting. Christopher Blake accepted the invitation, and stepped into The Dreaming once again.