Making Lemonade Out Of Nightmares



Scene Title Making Lemonade Out Of Nightmares
Synopsis When faced with a supposedly unending cycle of hatred and death, it may feel impossible to break free of it. Emily resolves to do her part in trying anyway.
Date December 6, 2020


Gunfire fills the air, indistinct shapes of violence haunt the periphery of all vision. It is at once a war and a massacre, a destruction that did not come to pass during the civil war to a city that survived intact. But this is not a civil war. This is not the past.

Dead soldiers lay amid the carnage, flags of foreign nations adorn their armor. Britain and Russia, the United States, countless more. All of this suffering feels like so much noise, so much senseless horror, until a single moment in time is crystallized.

Four teenagers stand against a brick wall. A soldier with a hand-held electronic device scans them one by one. They device clicks loudly, reporting a positive identification. The other soldiers raise their rifles.


Gunshots like thunder, screams and cries, desperate pleading and merciless execution. History repeats itself.


A wave of fog passes over the city, over the witnesses, and all is again a tomb.

Silent. Save for the serpent, ever hissing.

As it always was.

The voice booms from the sky.

As it will be.

Then, the proclamation:


"Hear me friends!" Eve tries to shout over the roar as the world around them changes to a place of horrors. "The Dragon tricks! It deceives! This may be a future…" Squaring her shoulders as flames rage around them. "But it's a future it wants us to see!"

And see they do. The destruction and carnage.

Eve is no stranger to visions of this kind. The burning of children still makes her eyes widen and she shakes her head. "Fire and brimstone…" She was also used to this kind of haunting. But that voice… it was so loud.

"You cannot have this world! Not you! Not Adam! It's not yours!"

Snapping her face up towards the sky, Eve shakes her head, "You want us United?! Gutes-asi?! Leave these poor souls alone!"

"God… not again." Elisabeth doesn't want to live this again. Despair tears at her stomach and her eyes seek out the people she knows… and the people she doesn't. Her jaw firms at Eve's call to arms. "One possible future! The future is not a given!" Defiance. She can still shout defiance in the face of this. "We have stopped this before." She's so tired. "We'll stop it again!" And fuck you if you think we won't! We'll rest when we're through.

Likely never. She's so tired. But Elisabeth doesn't know how to give up.

As history begins to play out in forward and reverse, all those awful moments in time, the light held in Seren's hand flickers. Its power wanes. "No," they murmur. The awful nature of the visions are devastating to bear witness to. Their hand closes, their light fading entirely. "No."

"It won't be like this," Seren tries so hard to believe. Not so long as people stand together. They fought it down before. Belatedly they turn at the sound of Silas' call of their name.

"Silas!" Seren calls out in return, and at once their heart soars with hope. They won't be alone. They rush toward him, the hopeful glow that had shrouded them coming back as a dim aura.

They rush past others, one of them being a thin young woman with fair blonde hair that sweeps over one half of her face, her hands cupped up around her mouth. Unlike Seren, Emily Epstein can do nothing but watch and bear witness, jerking away from the fog that bowls through and claims all life again, leaving only that raging silence, desolate silence she'd awoken to here. Everything she's seen is the stuff nightmares can't touch, it's a myriad of Pollepel Islands all over again.

And still she can't turn away. She listens, the hissing filling her ears. And she bears witness.

She feels the fear claw at her, render her still.

Kaylee's head shakes, denying what she is seeing. “N-n-no… This isn’t…”

Eve’s words reach the telepath, hearten her, gaze falling to the empty sockets of the skulls at her feet. Her jaw tightens.

“This isn’t the world my father worked so hard to make.” Kaylee suddenly hisses out, finding the courage to reach up to try and pull the snake off. “We won’t let this happen. This is our world to mold.” She turns her head to look at the snake in those golden eyes, Kaylee definitely growls back, “I’ll fight to my last breath before I let my world end up like this.”

Silas turns, sees Seren rushing towards him… and for them he manages to muster a tight smile, gives a quick nod. Then his head is turning towards the sky. "I see. I'm witnessing, damn you… and so help me God, so long as there's breath in my body I'll do my best to stop it!" he says.

That may very well be the equivalent of saying 'smite me, o mighty smiter', but he'll be damned if he sees something like this and doesn't say something. Doesn't try to do something.

He made that mistake once before. Never again.


Odessa shrieks and crumples to the ground, writhing and clawing at her head for the cacophony inside of her. It's like there's a nest of angry hornets buzzing in her skull and in her veins. Too much all at once. Too many emotions. Too much horror. Too much death.

Clutching at Eve's skirt, the empath wails, mourning the horrible loss they've all just witnessed. "No," she whispers, voice hoarse from screaming. "We can't let this happen."

An unending circle of death.

"There will be no fear," Yi-Min murmurs to the space around her, the assertion punctuated by the cadence of a silent breath, smiling with what looks unexpectedly like sadness. Perhaps she does not see a point in shouting at the presence directly, as others are doing. But there again: perhaps she is speaking to it after all.

"No fear."

Nathalie's eyes flutter open and closed as the scene plays out before them in reverse. She can't quite look away, can't not witness. She looks at their faces. She hears their screams. She feels their pain. She feels everything.

While others take their stand and state clearly their determination, Nathalie shudders and falls to her hands and knees, ash billowing around her. The devastation lingers. She forgets to breathe until she's left gasping.

"We fail."

Her words are barely a whisper.

"I fail."

All fail.

To say that Rory feels sick would be an understatement. This kind of thing has never happened to him before. He hadn't been here for the war, and though his native country had problems, he had never been involved in any of the riots or horrors. He had fled before he could get caught up in anything. He had thought what little he had witnessed back home had been bad.

But this.

If he had anything in his stomach, he probably would have lost it. As it is, he finds himself leaning against Nathalie's back, chin pressed against her shoulder as he wants to look away, but barely stops himself. The arm not already being held by her wraps around her, he goes down on his knees as she does. He holds her, either as comfort for her or himself or both. It might have also served to keep her with him, if she had stood up like so many around them. But she did not.

In fact, he hears her words over the various gunfire and other sounds he'd really rather not have witnessed and responds quietly in her ear. "Don't listen to it. No one's failed yet."

"No." The word is a weak croak in Devon's throat, uttered as the scene shifts, the landscape changes. Time reverses. "No." Not this. Not again. He'd lived this horror before, fought against it in two lives.

Hands cling to his face, to cover his eyes lest he see another execution. Within Liz's arm he trembles. Her support keeps him from falling to his knees. The memories that are and yet aren't his are too vivid. He doesn't need, doesn't want to realize that path. "No. We changed it. That path isn't ours." Desperation gives his voice a hard edge.

"You're wrong," is belted out at the omnipresent voice. Defiance, daring the speaker to continue with its falsehoods. "You're nothing! You gain nothing by spreading your lies!"


They will always fear. Always hunt. Always destroy. From the dawn to the dusk, so it has been.

Emily's hands shake even cupped over her mouth, but the sound of the rising voices around her give her courage she didn't think she had. She hears them. She believes them. Not because it's a more pleasant truth, but because she hears how hard everyone is willing to fight to make anything but this vision become reality.

"We'll stand together." she calls out suddenly, her voice clear and strong.

She believes. She believes so strongly.

The landscape is ever-changing, a desolate tomb one moment, then in peripheral vision a riot is happening. In some instances it doesn't even look like the right era. Old tanks lay rusted in a muddy field, two screaming British men drag an American by his arms into cover with gunshots ringing out around them. There are moments that feel distinctly out of place, silhouettes of skylines she doesn't recognize, crashing waves smashing against the side of a sunken Empire State Building, carnage unrepentant and uncaring.

The voice booming from the sky, crackling from every fire, hissing in sibilant and serpentine whispers at Kaylee's shoulder, neither heeds nor hears the protests of those around it. There is just chaos, death, carnage, and then…

This world wasn't mean for them.

The sky demands.

It wasn't meant for human kind.

The fire calls.

It was made for our kind.

The serpent insists.

The Resurrection is upon us.


New York Safe Zone

Jackson Heights

December 6, 2020


It's not abnormal for Emily to awaken from a nightmare, but it's been awhile since this particular one surfaced. The movements of it continue to fade gradually with the passage of time, but some things— some horrors remain. Strengthen, even.

And not just the horrors. But the promise to combat them.

This morning when she jolts awake, grey light filtering through her window, it's the latter that somehow bubbles most to the surface. The way she'd felt. The way she was certain everyone could… somehow…

How does one break an unending cycle?

Sitting upright with a vigor granted to her by the last bits of adrenaline, Emily passes her hand over her face to wipe her eyes clean of the horrors the Entity had made them all bear to witness. She takes in a deep breath and sighs it out slowly, still seeing two things at once for all her attempts to close out her mind to the memories resurfaced.

It takes a lanky black cat jumping onto her bed and butting against the hand on her leg for her to drag herself mostly back to the present.

"How do you think we do that, hm, Ket?" Emily murmurs down to the cat, her hand lifting so she can scritch the side of his face with the curve of her knuckle, smiling small and fleeting to herself as she pauses to let him grind his face against her hand, hoping to hit that special spot just behind his ear. She finally cups both hands around the side of his face, planting a kiss on his forehead. The youthful cat retracts back with a rapid shake of his head that rattles the tiny bell on his neck, sneezing at his roommate's audacity.

He doesn't offer an answer for her other than that, and she accepts that for what it is, palming her phone off of the nightstand and slipping out from underneath the covers to head for the kitchen. It's late enough she might as well just get an early start to her day.

This world wasn't made for them. It wasn't meant for humankind.

The words continue to haunt Emily as she makes her way to the kitchen, preparing coffee grounds for the maker and setting it to begin running. Idly, she unlocks her phone while listening to the machine begin to brew, scrolling through the newsfeed. BBC dominates the headlines, repeatedly. News about increased Sectioning neighborhoods in response to an increase in manifestations this year. News about…

It was made for our kind.

News about their kind, but none of it positive. None of it even neutral.

Something in Emily snaps. It's no great crack, like a limb well-affixed to a tree of belief, but a twig of irritation broken in two to better fuel a fire of change, a fire of passion.

She pulls down a mug from a cabinet and sets it to the countertop with particular weight, eyes dancing back and forth, not seeing the phone anymore. Like she was when she first woke from her nightmare, she's not looking at any one thing in particular while she tries to gather her thoughts.

"Where's our voice?" she wonders to the kitchen, to no one in particular.

Emily grabs hold of the phone again and begins to scroll, begins to search with fervor. "Where's our…"

Following the fall of most major American infrastructure, certain things have been slower to return than others. With the hubs of media found in hard-hit places like Hollywood, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, the spokes struggled to pick up the slack— to find their voice, and what's more — to find funding and partnerships to allow them to be heard on a nationwide or global scale.

She pushes aside the phone on the counter and heads back into the bedroom, pulling open a journal left at her bedside. Emily begins penning out the beginnings of an idea on pages meant to capture the details of dreams, but in a way, the idea came to her in one, so maybe they're not being misappropriated after all.

Her mood continues to simmer. The US deserved better than to receive word of its own state, its own movements, diluted— no, censored by outside forces. People elsewhere in the world deserved to have broadcast to them the progress and pain both that her nation went through— still goes through. Fear so often came from not knowing enough. Its partner, senseless hate, came from a lack of understanding.

There needed to be a beacon of another kind in the world— in the US. One of hope. One that spoke firm and wide and without prejudice, to normalize a reality where the Evolved were regarded in a tenor absent of fear.

When her pen leaves the paper, the question of the day has shifted from how do you break an unending cycle. In a way, she's already answered that.

You take the first step, and you see where it leads. You hope you have enough inertia granted to you by all that came before you that you're finally able to break past orbit.

Her note to herself starts more like a google search than anything else.

» What are the steps to starting your own broadcasting station?

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