Dreamwinder #3

By NFDoggo

Report of Investigation – Dreamwinder - Exhibits Exhibit D – Mirage Recording – Inquisitor Lesant

Description: Centurion Min Zigira, originally presumed dead following the Siege of Rats, was found unconscious, locked in a holding cell deep within Empire black site [REDACTED] two days after the Empire regained control of the city.

Centurion Zigira prepared an official report that left many questions unanswered and included a very vague description of an unidentified individual who is believed to be a key rebel leader. The report also included a specific threat directed at Inquisitor Lesant. Following two days of unsuccessful interrogation, the Empire authorized Inquisitor Lesant’s request for emergency use of the Mirage to forcefully reconstruct Centurion Zigira’s memories.

After numerous uneventful attempts, Inquisitor Lesant successfully entered a Mirage created from the Centurion’s memories of the night of the Siege of Rats and the following was recorded. Mirage Recording – [REDACTED] – Inquisitor Lesant The Mirage depicts the inside of Centurion Zigira’s quarters, a loud explosion can be heard in the distance, which syncs with the Centurion’s report of the events immediately preceding her confrontation with the unidentified assailant.

Inquisitor Lesant enters the Mirage and begins to describe what he perceives.

Inquisitor Lesant: I can smell the smoke, did you hear an explosion before I entered, is this it?

Observer [REDACTED]: Yes, we heard it, this appears to be the right memory.

Inquisitor: Excellent! Centurion Zigira jumps to her feet, knocking her chair to the ground as reported, a dark figure materializing in the corner of the room.

Figure: Hello, Centurion (the dark figure says in a calm, male voice).

Inquisitor: Definitely male but Min wasn’t lying, his form seems to distort when you try to focus on it (Inquisitor Lesant steps next to the Centurion, observing the figure).

Inquisitor Lesant continues to observe in silence as the scene unfolds as Centurion Zigira reported until the figure rushes toward Inquisitor Lesant.

Figure: Hello, Lesant, I told you that I would come for you.

*The Mirage flickers, the image of Centurion Zigira’s room distorting until Inquisitor Lesant reappears on a ledge overlooking a ruined city inside of an underground cavern lit by a dim blue light. *

Inquisitor: Hello, [REDACTED] are you still there? What just happened?

Observer: Yes, I’m here. Not sure, you’re still in the Mirage though. Probably just some interference from the storms, give me a minute. Are you alright, what do you see?

Inquisitor: I’m fine, are you seeing this (Inquisitor Lesant motions to the cavern)?

Observer: Yes, we’re seeing it and still recording, Inquisitor.

Figure: Dogged in their pursuit, for three days the Empire’s forces hunted, driving me deeper into forgotten tunnels beneath the earth (the dark figure rematerializes next to Inquisitor Lesant). I suppose I should thank them.

Inquisitor: Who are you (Inquisitor Lesant starts to turn toward the figure but struggles, seemingly unable to face the figure directly)?

Figure: They dragged me through the streets and beat me, for what? Asking for bread? Water? But I was more than they imagined… (the figure laughs dryly) the look on the Centurion’s face when he found me sitting on his bed, drinking his wine. Some peasant circumventing their defenses, maligning their and the Centurion’s reputation, well that couldn’t stand, so they chased….

Inquisitor: You want me to feel sorry for you (Inquisitor Lesant spits at the figure’s feet)? Lots of people are going hungry, the Empire is doing what it can to feed all its citizens, you want me to feel bad because some soldiers roughed you up once?

Figure: No, I do not want you to feel sorry for me (the figure sighs), you miss my point. I was not offended by the soldiers’ actions. Instead, I awoke the next morning, bloody and bruised but full of purpose. You see (the figure pulls Inquisitor Lesant in close, but the Inquisitor’s head prevents the Mirage from recording the figure’s face), it became clear that only the strong would survive in this new world and here (the figure motions again to the ruins) I became stronger.

Inquisitor: [REDACTED] are you still there (Inquisitor Lesant' screams)? Pull me out! Observer [REDACTED]’s attempts to stop the Mirage are unsuccessful and his response does not transmit to the Mirage.

Figure: We foolishly cling to the order of this world (the figure continues, ignoring Inquisitor Lesant). Civilizations long forgotten succeeded in delaying its passing for a time, but the end is coming. You and your Empire would fight back, dooming us to forever repeat history’s mistakes. Let us embrace this new beginning and welcome our place in the chaos of the multiverse!

The Mirage suddenly ends, the scene replaced with the unaltered laboratory floor. Inquisitor Lesant’s back is to the wall and he is holding a dagger in a trembling hand, muttering to himself. Two junior magisters rush onto the floor to assist the Inquisitor but, when they approach, the Inquisitor lashes out with the dagger cutting one of their throats. The Inquisitor screams something incoherent and leaps on the other magister, stabbing him repeatedly until Mirage guards rush in and subdue him. The recording is terminated.

Author’s Note: Inquisitor Lesant continued to lash out at the guards and magisters who came to his holding cell. Though largely unintelligible, it became clear that the Inquisitor believes that he is still in the Mirage or otherwise in a dream. Attempts to pacify the Inquisitor were unsuccessful and, with magical resources limited and needed elsewhere, the Empire ordered that he be sent to [REDACTED] and be kept in an isolation chamber indefinitely.

The Inquisitor’s unfinished report was found in his guest room at the Mirage site, which was sent to me to edit and finalize based on his notes. The creature that the Inquisitor Lesant labeled the “Dreamwinder” appears to have access to a magic beyond our understanding and the Empire’s efforts to identify the cavern depicted in the Mirage have been fruitless. The Empire has since ordered that this report be sealed and all further investigations into the identity of the Dreamwinder terminated until further notice. Gods know we have more pressing and tangible problems to focus on.

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