Over The River Of Chocolate


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Scene Title Over The River Of Chocolate
Synopsis Wherein two masked heroes save the goddamn day. In other words: Brian's dream is joined by another for a little fun.
Date January 7, 2010


The rain pounds against the side of the building relentlessly.

I could tell it was going to be a bad night…

The words cascade over the world. As if a voice from the heavens. Or a voiceover from the heavens. The narration only falls on one pair of ears, however. And those ears happen to be covered by a white mask. Footfalls raise above the sound of the deafening rain, as a single man trapises the side of colossal building.

Of ancient Roman architecture, the building is almost all pillars and gargoyles. Sort of a colosseum skyscraper, the gigantic marvel towers above the rest of the gleaming city. The great tower seems to be the only building being rained on.

Stopping on top of a gargoyle the white masked man in the shiny trench coat looks out at the city displayed below him.

There was something in the air… It was musky and dank. It was foreshadowing

Going into a crouch on the gargoyle carved to be picking his nose, the hero looks out over the expanse of twinkling lights. Placing one wet elbow over his knee, a light sigh exhales from the mask. But then something acquires his attention.

A spotlight in the darkness shines out into the bleak night sky. A beacon. A signal.

It was my signal. Someone was in trouble, and it was probably pretty serious.

The light shines with stenciled letters to make a message in the sky. The message is kind of long. It is not the symbol of a bat, or even the letter B. It's a sentence. BRIAN. WINTERS. COME. HELP. And moments later another spotlight shines into the sky. PLEASE

The masked man stands up immediately and takes a step back. Then he is leaping forward and plummeting rapidly through the sky. As if the colosseum tower was barely off the ground, the hero's feet pound against the ground of a roof.. which is very far below the other building. Hands splaying out, the white mask looks up.

I had to hurry… They were going to be in trouble. I could feel it in my trouble bones.

Besides a voiceover and whatever being might be throwing up that very polite HELP message— broken mirror reflections of ones own subconscious, maybe— there is another presence that sort of studies this little world with the curiousity and omnipresence of a snowglobe getting turned around in hands too large to actually see. A presence that can be felt, however, like a prickle of static electricity or the sensationless knowledge of eyes on you.

The world expands, for her, consumes her. In this city of towers and statues, the weather is shit.

On the edge of a curb, Jasmine bundles her arms around her, trenchcoat flapping in the buffeting wind. Her hair is crimson and pinned in a swoop, half obscure by a feminine take on a low dipping fedora, the wide brim of which casts shadows over her face that the cat burglar mask doesn't already obscure. A streetlamp casts grey-yellow slants of illumination, stretching her shadow long and feline. A hand smooths down the lapel of her coat.

Boom. That would be the sound of a hero's landing.

Less thunderous but still attention getting, the sharp fall of her stiletto heels resonate their click-click-click from somewhere behind the other masked dreamer, Jasmine's presence slinky and as noir as a voice over.

Something about her chilled me to my bones. Perhaps it was because of the mask. Perhaps it was because it was really cold. Perhaps it was because she was madly in love with me.

The masked man glances up at the heavens as if agitated by the voice over that broadcasts itself into the world. Turning the large black holes to take in the woman, the man in the trench coat remains still as he inspects her. "You." He states quietly. "This is a dream?"

The news brought me to my knees. This couldn't be a dream. This was way too much fun

Brian looks up at the heavens again, flailing his arms momentarily at his sides. He glances back down at Jasmine, shrugging his shoulders lightly. " Thank you for helping with Delia. I'm sorry.. What is your name?"

The rim of her fedora tilts as she sends a small glance up for the sky, and her darkly painted lips hook in a small smile, coming to a halt at a respectable distance away from him. The coat obscures her body from neck to knee, buttoned and tied closed, where her shins shine with the sheer cling of stockings. "I didn't mean to ruin a good time," she says, a kind of movie-esque, femme fatale coyness to the way she says her words. "If this is a fantasy for two, then count me in."

And then hesitates, over her name, and mention of what she did, her own kind of role play dropping some with the way her shoulders loosen. "My name is Jasmine," she says, a gloved hand coming up in a wriggle fingered wave. "And you don't have to thank me. I could thank you."

Turning dramatically, his trenchcoat faps even more dramatically in the wind. Looking over at her, his lips turn in a smirk behind the mask. Bringing his hand up and scratching at the back of the mask, he looks up at the sky.

It was a tempting offer. But I knew it was trouble.

He looks back down, giving a light shrug. "It does seem like fun, doesn't it?" He takes a few steps forward, one black glove coming out. "Brian. Winters." His other hand motioning up to the beacon in the sky. "I feel like it's kind of boring for this…" He motions to his get-up. "Have any ideas for a name for me? And then.. And then we can get back to it." He sounds a little excited at that part. This is going to be a fun dream.

"Why would you thank me? Without you.." He wouldn't have had firehands.

I wouldn't have firehands

"Is it really going to keep doing that?" The masked man says with a spark of agitation. "Without you.. Well I'm sure we would have had problems. I.. How.. How do you know about us? Have we ever met?"

She takes his hand in her own gloved one, but doesn't really grip it — perches a hold on his wrist, tucks one foot behind the other ankle, and delivers a small curtsey of introduction, before retracting the touch. Jasmine's chin lifts up enough that he can see the flickering study of blue eyes through the shapes of her mask, holding more conflict and interest than she should have a right to. But her smile is there, growing a little wider at that renewed thunder of voice over.

"I'm thanking you because you looked after her. In waking and in dreaming. But you're welcome, for the… firehands."

Drifting back a step, to place distance between them once more, she shrugs. "I don't think we've had the pleasure, Brian Winters. I know Delia and Hokuto because it's a small community, for us dreamwalkers. She's been… getting around." She turns her back to him, taking in the sights of the immediate street. Coat flapping even more dramatically, and curls of red hair plaster against the nape her neck from where some have come free of artfully placed clips.

She takes a breath in, lets it out. "As for a name… I guess that depends on who you save. Why you're a hero."

His own grip isn't that firm just enough to be considered a handshake and not a pussy. Withdrawing his hand, he drops it to his side. Winters gives a light nod. "And so you're friends with her, then? I felt kind of a responsibility for her. It was my girlfriends fault that she was separated from her body in the first place." Winters lets out from the white mask. "It's nice to meet you, Jasmine." He gives a light nod.

"That other one. The ugly Russian one. You've encountered him as well?" Brian asks quietly before the last statement is made. The two empty holes look up towards the sky expectantly after she makes the statement.

Why am I a hero? It was a question I should've known the answer to. But I didn't

He looks back down. "I guess we should go find out, then."

In the very next moment, the sky is filled with noise and shapes. Jasmine grips the brim of her hat as she twists at the waist to look upwards at the swarm of helicopters buzzing through the night sky, swinging spotlights that only barely miss the two dreams in their brilliance, one oak trunk wide beam zigzagging between them and making the rain shine like diamonds for the moment it takes to pass through. Klaxons of a city in dire trouble begin to howl, and there's a rumble vibrating up the concrete of the street and through the soles of their shoes that imply the movement of tanks nearby.

The clouds that preserve the BRIAN. WINTERS. COME. HELP. PLEASE. all whorl with disruption, blurring the callsign for his help, but the anarchy that manifests in sounds and sensation calls for help on its own.

In all the city noise, Jasmine is required to raise her voice to be heard, but it still contains an airy quality to it when she invites: "After you."

The world was in chaos. All I could do was plunge into the fray with this mysterious damsel at my back And for effect the voiceover adds,

I should have stayed in bed

Dancing to the side immediately as if avoiding the rumbling in the ground, the Masked Man's hands splay out. His gloves waving around some to stabilize his balance. Dark holes move up to examine the sky where his name is being removed from the clouds. The whole world starts to drain in color, the noir sinking in firmly over the world. In the time it takes for Brian to turn from the street to the woman behind him, the world has become sharp contrasts of black and white. And the occasional red. For example, Jasmine's hair and lips.

I didn't like it

"Help!" A shrill female voice calls out, the distance of the voice could be colossal. However it manages to pierce through the rest of the world to the pair of dreamers. A moment later another female distress call sounds out, slightly different yet still echoing the first.

But what else could I do?

If alarm could be portrayed on his mask, it is now. The head whips around to face the troubled streets, his trenchcoat bedecked arms swinging easily as the man makes a few steps toward the streets.

Looking over his shoulder to the woman behind him. A finger flicks in quiet irritation. A flare of red signals up in the distance. His back bends slightly.

"Come on!" He snarls, feet propelling him into the fray.

As inevitable as the black and white cast the city and everyone in it happens to be thrown in, Jasmine follows, with Brian always several steps ahead — he, after all, has boots on his feet. She has high heels. Which by rights should be more of a hindrance than they currently are, and she lopes leggily in his wake with the clack of stiletto points hitting the slick concrete. Coat hems flare back to reveal where a silver revolver, a relic of the 20s, is strapped to her thigh, the high cut of a black dress's skirt beneath her coat probably as impractical as everything else about her.

But it's her dream too. And this is how the world can work.

"Anyone you know?" she shrills from behind him, as lightning cracks stark white in the grayscale evening, now blackly-painted mouth a stark contrast against her pale white skin, where it can be seen beneath her cat burglar mask.

One boot thunders on a piece of scrap metal, bringing the masked man to a sudden stop. The white mask rolls from this way to that as he peers across the street.

Anyone I knew, she asked. I didn't want to answer.

A thwoomp and then a loud explosion rings out not too far down their alley. Stumbling to the side, his black gloves fling out to brace himself against the wall. Flinging his arm back to attempt to catch Jasmine's wrist, he motions with his nose for them to get moving and quickly. Lowering his head, Winters sprints his way across the street. Ducking out of the way of another tank shell. Meandering onto another alley, his pace picks up. Every now and then he flings his cavernous gaze over his shoulder to make sure the stilettos aren't lagging too far behind. Another loud explosion rings out, his boots rapidly stomping to bring him to a halt. Flinging his arm out to bring Jasmine to a stop as well.

And there they were.. The 'anyones' I knew

Winters glances down this way then that. Their path has been impeded by a large expanse of river. Dark, thick, chocolate flowing down amidst the banks. Down the river, a large crowd is massing under a small tower. A woman being hauled to the top. And down the other way another tower with a different woman.

Veronica and Samara

"Look out!!"

A warning cry from right beside the masked man as he gazes up at his lady loves, past and presence, and the sudden roar of an engine. Jasmine flings herself into Brian's side with a solid bodycheck that has them both staggering sideways and spilling separate onto the pavement just as a military truck comes revving up from behind them. It nose-dives into the river of chocolate with a sickly sweet splash, sticking before slowly sinking into it, air bubbles coming up with swamp-like bursts. There's a flicker of motion inside the windows, but the driver is inevitably trapped within, to enjoy himself the best death ever.

Getting to her feet, Jasmine looks from tower to tower, hands up to resettle her mask in place. "Tell me you have laser vision," she whispers. Her hat's toppled away at some point during the action, her now near black hair coming free of its tie in wind-blown tendrils. "Flying. Firehands. Chocolatekinesis. Anything."

Swinging himself out of the way, his trenchcoat flaps at the sudden violent movement. Falling to one knee, an arm comes up to protect the side of his masked head. He then completes the tumble thanks to Jasmine's tackle, hands going out to sprawl on the debris clad ground. Pushing his black gloves against the dirt, he pushes himself up to his knees slowly. The black holes spotting the man in the truck.

I felt sorry for him. But there was nothing I could do for him.

His frustration with the world, with the voice-overs, everything culminates into a furious balled fist smashing into the ground. Which leaves him with a hurting hand. Waving the hand back and forth in pain, Winters pushes himself up with his other hand. He looks from one tower to the other as he manages to gather himself to his feet.

"God damnit.." He lets out hoarsely. Flying. Firehands. Projecticle Caramel Cannons. He is lacking of all of these things. His hands clench as his body tenses. Replicate. Save them both.

Nothing happens.

A gasp lets out as the tension is released in his body. "Nothing." He says weakly, looking back to Jasmine. "What.. What do i do?"

"You save them," Jasmine— helpfully— fills in, but even she can see what a dilemma this is supposed to be. Two girls, one man. But this time, she's here, and though neither of them could probably settle on who's meant to be thanking who when it comes to Delia Ryans' rescue, it's not improbable that maybe Jasmine owes it to him to not crush his hero dreams by being useless. Flipping back the hem of her coat, she takes out the silver revolver, flipping it cowboy style in one hand before aiming it high for the nearest tower.

She pulls the trigger, and with a hiss of friction, a black zipline on the end of a combat grappling hook goes spiraling off into the distance, where it somehow hitches onto some unnamed jagged edge, and pulls taut.

"Need a drop off?" she offers, with a flip of her grayscale stained hair.

Save them

Looking up to Jasmine, the Masked Man nods subtly. Yeah. Save them. That's what he's supposed to do. Black gloves open up as Winters springs over on his booted feet to the woman. Reaching out, his hands flail around somewhat awkwardly in her direction. "I'm not sure.. How I.." He raises his hands then lowers them. "What do I do with my…"

He shrugs. "How does this work? I don't know what to do with my hands." He says with a hint of frustration, before eventually he just hugs around her waist.

Her own hand clasps against his forearm encouragingly, sinking back into him in a coy kind of intimacy. "Just hold on… until you have to let go," Jasmine advises, before she grips the gun two handedly, and triggers some other unlikely mechanism. With a sudden jerk, the two heroes get yanked off their feet and over the chocolate river, coats flapping dramatically as the swing together for the first tower, where Samara is being manhandled.

Somehow, wind friction does nothing to their masks.

Clasping his own hands around her waist, Winters leans his head in some. The mask burrowing into her shoulder as their feet are jerked from the ground.

Heights. I hated heights.

That brings Winters' head whipping up to look at his own voiceover from the sky. He has never had a problem with heights. He was jumping off that stupid building at the beginning of this episod— dream. His subconcious is getting borderline ridiculous… Maybe this is why people don't like him..?

But there's no time to think on why stupid people are stupid. The black holes lock on the woman on the rapidly approaching wooden tower.

The hastily built structure, is little more than planks, branches, and scrapped wood lumped together for the purpose of making something tall to walk up. At the top, there is an exceptionally long plank of course that leads out and over the chocolate river.

Which has started boiling. Obviously.

"Here goes." He lets out, his hands relinquishing his hold on Jasmine's waist. And with that Winters is flying towards the tower, a few levels short of the top.

With a loud bang, and crack, the Masked Man hurtles into the tower, knocking over a few faceless men in the process. The mob of angry men has forced Samara to the top of the tower, pushing her ever so slowly towards the plank.

Pushing against the wooden ground, Brian manages to find his feet. Shaking his head rapidly. "Jasmine?" He asks, his head spinning around to find his companion. But no such luck. No friend, no weapons, no powers. This is a sucky dream.

An arm flies towards his face, immediately ducking, Winters throws up a gloved hand to grab the man's wrist. Catching the wrist then following with a follow up strike to the outside of the elbow, the Masked Man finds himself grimacing as the enemies' arm actually snaps through the skin. With an accompanied scream.

Apparently he's a badass.

Glancing up the few levels he has to travel, Winters begins fighting his madly noir fight towards the top, bad guys toppling and being thrown out of his way, one at a time.

Jasmine has since moved on, swinging in an improbable arc for the second tower across.

She bodily slams into the mob who had been tugging Veronica up the tower, men toppled off the staircase walkway under impact of bony damsel on a zipline. Release of one hand has her snatching onto a wooden pillar to prevent swinging out much further and back over the boiling river of chocolate. So she got Brian to the other tower, and she's arrived here, and what was the plan after this? She transformed her only weapon into a fucking grappling line.

Keeping a clasp of it, she begins to run for the top of the tower, a fleeting blur of black and grey out Brian's periphery, as those remaining on the tower give chase.

A faceless enemy drops here, is tossed through the material of the tower there. Another enemy drops there, until finally Brian makes his way to the top. Another enemy drops like a bag of bricks from a flurry of the Masked Mans' strikes. His hands fling out triumphantly as he turns to face the last enemy forcing Samara to her boiling chocolate-y doom.

Dreads fall to the man's back, an even more ridiculous trench coat than Brian's own worn by the man.

Calvin. I pissed him off in real life and he came to my dreams to kill my girlfriends.

The grin Calvin gives Brian is feral before the man gives a little flick of his pinky finger, and Samara goes soaring with a scream.


Brian is screaming as the world moves slower, suddenly hurling himself into action. Calvin is paid no mind as Winters rushes past him. Thundering his way towards the edge of the rickety tower, Brian stomps hard down on the plank. And plummets. A splash of boiling chocolate roars up as Brian's impromptu Choco-Board hits the waves. Soaring through the sky, his arms engulf the woman as they fly down towards the piece of wood. Landing solidly on the board the dark eyes peer down at the second board.

"Hang on."

Riding the delicious dark milk chocolate rapids towards the tower, Brian's dark cavernous eyes search for Jasmine and Veronica desperately.

What he sees is Jasmine rushing across the top of the tower, straight towards where Veronica is teetering on the edge of the plank. The other Calvin— as there appear to be two of them— simply steps back with an off-kilter pirouette to avoid getting rushed off the edge of the tower, and in one motion, Jasmine tackles herself and Veronica over the edge. The two women tumble together for sure death, until—

The rope catches taut where Jasmine's secured it in her hand, other arm cinched around Veronica's waist, and with a wide swing, both women go soaring through the air in a death defying arc. Lightning streaks the storm swept skies, hazing everything in brilliant, retina-stamping white.


A large chocolate wave catches the choco-board and sends it sky-rocketing. The duo on the plank soon joining the pair connect to the grappling gun. Unified in the sky they…

And then it's not.

Suddenly Jasmine and Brian are damsel-less. Placed in a shabby motel room. Cockroaches practically running the place. Finding himself seated on a worn out excuse for a bed, the man, still masked glances up to Jasmine.

"Well.. That was fun." He remarks dryly, looking down as the color slowly returns to the world. He looks up at Jasmine, tilting his head somewhat. "I.. Thank you. For.. That. I would have woken up feeling very upset if.." He shakes his head. "Thank you."

"Your head— "

Breathless, Jamsine steadies herself against the wall, still sort of in grayscale all over, looking windswept and a little exhausted, but smiling easily across at him. "Your head is a fun place to be, Mister Winters. Do you think maybe, when— " She hesitates, then, standing upright and smoothing, straightening her garments in self-conscious gesture. "When things get a little difficult to dream about, I could come here?" A hand drifts up, touching the edge of her own mask.

She shrugs, a jolting kind of movement, her smile taking on a hopeful tilt. "If you need a side-kick."

"Yeah. But we might be slaying dragons or discovering undersea civilizations." Brian shrugs as he turns to the wall. A calendar having appeared there while they were both not looking. It seems to be Brian's dream-planner. Notes jostled down under every date. "I've got a lot to get done before the alien invasion at the end of January." He leans back, tapping the bottom of his mask. "Looks like I'll be making friends with a talking bear on the eighteenth." He tilts his head back before turning to face Jasmine. "Sounds like a good one, you wouldn't want to miss."

He gives a light nod. "You're welcome, here." He gestures to the motel room that apparently serves as his dreaming hub. "Will I meet you in.. You know? the real world? You seem nice. You could come meet Delia in the flesh. See how she's doing." Winters offers with a friendly tone before turning to study his Dream Calendar.

And then there's hesitation, a retraction of naturally occurring friendship and tentative trust that's a little like cloud cover sweeping over the sky on a sunny day. This man did kidnap a friend of Jasmine's, that she discovered the only way she knew how — tripping over it. Not that that's something she can share. Not that that's something she's even meant to be thinking about, despite the fact she'd rushed passed such an incarnation just a few moments prior.

She smiles again. "I'll be here for the alien invasion. I can save princesses on towers and help heroes find their names. Anything more than that, Brian… maybe some day. When the weather is better." She nods towards the window, where snow falls in flakes— suddenly— from an unseen sky.

The world begins to distort, shift beneath the surface, lucidity sapping out of the dream in the way that dreamers can fall into it unknowingly, create their own logic and remember very little. Everything, from gravity, to thought processes, to the texture of the wall, seem to change in some unknown way, become detached, as Jasmine heads for the door.

As Brian opens his bleary eyes, the last thing he sees is a door closing.

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