Jesse doesn't have to sleep, but he attempts it with the same regularity a human being would. It's just that, when the nightmares wake him up, he can function physically the next day. It's just mental shattering he has to deal with. Besides, dreams aside, sleeping is awesome. Tonight isn't awesome, though. Tonight, it's 1943, and SOMEONE is having a bad World War II.
Oh shit; this better not awaken anything in him... Myles that is; sure he is sleeping in the Autumn Hollow, but really in dreams, he walks, with Jesse. It probably took him quite a while to filter through all the other interconnected dreams in the Skien - stupid Supernaturals and their stupid complicated to break into without a Pledge dreams - however?... That already piques Myles' interest - because yeah. Shit just got real. Thankfully he is cool, calm, collected - popping up as a unnoticed hovering dream spectator, from Dream-Jesse's PoV. This is gunna be good.
What there is to see is... well, 'see' might not be the right word. It's the memory of the smell that sticks with Jesse the most. Why he can't stand the scent of rotting meat, among other things. It's good that dreams are more visual things, because just the lingering edge of that putrescence isn't pleasant. There is a square of dim grey light in a field of darkness, and there are dark lines trisecting the square. Wait. No, those are bars in a dark cell. Out of one's field of vision, there are voices. The language isn't English, but since Myles is standing in Jesse's consciousness, it lends him Romanian, or at least a general comprehension of the gist.
What did he tell you?
Nothing. He acts like he doesn't know what we're talking about.
Torture him again.
Why? He'll only mend.
Exactly. And we'll document it.
Myles is... A quiet guest. Can non-sleeping Jesse feel him? Most likely not - this is where the creeping creep of fae really gets good: silently Dreamriding, doing a lil' Dreamshaping when they feel like it. How come so few fae folk do this? The prospect for glamour harvesting is insane! And yet? Myles does not do any of that yet - he rides, he watches, he gathers information. Romanian language, eh? He'll have to pick that up for future fucking-with-Jesse, because if you're going to be a oneiropomp like Myles, you've already let a Hob drink your blood in exchange for Wisdom of Dreams. Silent and slinky, like a horrible Astral Plane Eel of Autumn, he follows along with the dream. Observing for now, the not-so-sweet memories.
Here is where the record skips. Dreams aren't linear, and this is more like a handful of fuck-this beads tossed in a jar and shaken up. First they are saying what to do with this rapid-healing rascal, next there are Romanian officers, Nazi sympathizers, who look, by and large, deeply disapproving, next Myles' piggybacking in a prison barracks among men who are barely alive. Starved to skeletons, sick, covered with sores and abrasions, fingernails broken and knuckles gnarled from overwork. Pray for me, an empty-eyed man pleads quietly. Another one reaches out a weak hand. Intercede on my behalf; I have a wife, children. Maybe Myles is sick. No, wait, that gnawing agony in his gut is guilt.
What -is- this place? Who /are/ these people? Myles is searching through this dream interpretation with intense focus: gathering intel, not yet trying to adjust anything because this is the first step: reconnaissance. And yet? For all his disembodied focus, there is a pang of empathy. Ugh, dreaded empathy - the very thing that lets him scuttle through dreams like a terrible shadow. It is... Overwhelming. And yet again and again, he returns to dreams like it was a compulsion. The impetus to shadow Jesse's dreams are no different - even if the actual content of his dreams is unique and new. Nobody can feel Myles' feelings as he dreams other people's dreams - and yet those feelings are felt. Like a tree falling in a forest, the impact still echoes without a witness. Guilt. Agony. Loss. Horror. No wonder he is so Autumnal... The sleeping mind of Humanity and Super-Humanity is, well, intense.
Whoever they are, they speak Romanian, except that one guy, was that Russian? They're looking to you for deliverance, Myles. Nothing you've said has convinced them you're not a savior. An angel. You're no angel, Myles. These people will die, and they will die making no movie to escape or to save themselves, because they just know you are going to save them. You know the way dreams and memories know that the man asking for intercession won't survive the night. He'll be on the floor where he expired trying to reach you.
Myles is pulled out of the barracks. He's on a cold stone table staring up at old-timey medical lights. Cold, dry exposed. Thumpthump, thumpthump. He can hear his heartbeat. From the outside. That's not the worst part. It's the voice. How remarkable, no matter how many times we make the incision, it closes in a fraction of the time of the control subject. In another room, there is a scream, a man begging: stop, stop, stop.
But it's the voice. That cool, dispassionate voice. Who it belongs to. He was such a good little boy.
This... Is so familiar and yet so alien - or rather, Earthen. Myles is pretty composed as a lucid dreamer: he knows this isn't him, he can separate other's-feelings from self's-feelings better when he's sleeping than he can when he's awake. And yet? And yet this is strangely familiar - a little scalpel slice right to his own heartstrings. Empathy. He can't separate that shared experience, even if the setting is so mundane; dreary Ukrainian - what is this, prisoner camp? - with nasty cold table... But the setting is becoming less important to Dream Myles - the glimmer of memory of the voice? It intrigues him as much as it horrifies - because... Well Autumn. But he doesn't adjust anything, he doesn't pry, he doesn't meddle: he rides. Gotta see where he's being taken in this memory - it's not his place to change what Jesse can recall about himself. That would just be rude.
Myles knows it's coming, but it hurts every time. Just like the first time. There is no dulling of this, no fading with time. The owner of the voice, moving in periphery has a face. Once, this was a surprise, and it blind-sided so hard that all this time later it still feels like being punched in the soul. The face moves into view, peers closer. He wouldn't have put it together is the thing. Even though that face bears a passing resemblance -- only barely noteworthy and laughed off when a nurse brought it up. If the dark-haired, blue-eyed man in the white coat hadn't said his name, Jesse would've never known.
I am Dr. Nicholae Vasile. You are Toma? That was my opa's name. We will be working together. And there's the little moue of his lips that, in thirtyish years hasn't changed. It just didn't look so sadistic on an amused six year old.
There are moments where the world just sort of stops while it reboots into everything-is-horrible-forever mode.
Myles looks... Well he doesn't look like anything - what he does is /feel/. Myles *feels* scared, he feels horrified, he feels... Curious. That is the feeling that will always trump the other; a crazed Faith-based belief that for all the pain and suffering and insanity, there is meaning to be found. 'In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.' Myles is a Jungian psychotherapist for a reason: not just to reap glamour and steal secrets, but because he genuinely, no doubt, believes there are secret truths to be found in the sleeping mind. Jesse's story, his memories? They hold multitudes. Even if it hurts. This Nicholae? Is he... A grandchild? Who's grandchild tortures their opa for the sake of Science! - if this is what is happening? Myles observes. He prys. He feels.
Then he feels the table drop out from under him. It doesn't, but he feels like it does. He feels the endless fall. This man, this 'Toma,' he's still falling. At least here is an anesthetic that finally works; the sense of falling numbs the pain as Dr. Vasile makes another round of cuts. He only severs one kidney. The other is left to limp along. For now. There are a few things that go through one's mind when one is being cut open on a table while his neverending world comes crashing down. The first: he doesn't know. The second: he can't know. And the third: if I had been there, he never would have turned out like this.
'No!' Good thing Myles' thoughts and presence are not perceivable by non-Lucid Dreamers, it would be terribly embarrassing for him for Jesse to sense him react, again, with overly empathetic response to his situation. He may be Autumn, but that most definitely does not make him immune to fear all the time -- it is not an inoculation against terror, it is a profound bond: and that bond goes two ways. He could change things - but Myles’ impetus to warp the sleeping mind, while unusually strong, is kept to heel. This is a memory dream. His presence here is for reconnaissance. It would be uncouth to adapt things, and besides it would be ridiculous: you cannot change the past. Not that far back, anyway. You can only... Accept, suffer, or hang somewhere in a limbo in between. That limbo holds Myles - sleeping and yet active, riding along where Jesse's unconscious takes him.
It goes on over months, the record skipping from moment to moment, back and forth. It all blends into a pervasive sensation of emotion within the body given a knife-twist with each skip. Fear, yes. Oh god, the fear. Every time he's thrown back in the population, the begging for help he can't give. That he has to act like he could, that he would, so that when he gives away the merger scraps of food he doesn't need, it goes to the hungriest instead of a free-for-all ensuing. He lets them think he's divine to keep them in this place and docile. Which is exactly why the soldiers toss him back in with the rest from time to time. He gives them hope, and it's like a stunning bolt before a slaughter.
Fear runs deep for those men. They're going to die. Real death. It's such an alien concept now. What will happen to their souls? And Nicu. Again he's on the table, and this time Dr. Vasile is experimenting on the rate at which he replenishes blood. What will happen to Nicu? He has to protect his little Nicu. So many times he lays in pursed-lipped silence. You don't beg for mercy. That is good.
From the blur of skipping images, some going further back, some jumping forward, it appears this 'Toma' was caught in Budapest running forged IDs to Jews and Romani. This prison camp in Odessa housed mostly political prisoners and prisoners of war. Very few Jews and Romani were brought for extermination. Some, but few. It wasn't the best place to stay, and not the best time in history to stay there. Yet he relives it. Falling, still falling.
There are no words from Myles, because there needn't be - the experience of witnessing Jesse's memories through dream cuts as close as it does deep: beyond the intellectualising mind and into somewhere else, a place that even Myles doesn't have full access too. Even if he was witnessing these relieved dream events as an emotionally dull person, it would be painful and difficult. But Myles is neither unemotional or unfamiliar with the setting; it is a horrible, horrible mirror to Myles' own Durance - and yet totally different. My gods, will he /learn/ something here? Undoubtedly - this is a reminder about humility, about suffering, and through omission? Compassion. And Myles is all about compassion, in his profoundly twisted way... Back at the Ranch-- Autumn Hollow, Myles body looks still and serene - only the most careful of observers would notice his increase in heart rate. In the dream? His feelings of unrelenting dread and empathetic pain are as hidden and secret as the majority of his sins. All he can do is watch - well, for now.
At least, for what grim good it's worth, Toma wasn't plucked off the street unknowing of unspeakable pain. There are flashes within flashes of dream fragments borrowed from other nightmares. A dank place that smelled more abandoned than sick, though death hung heavy over it. Writing sigils, mixing herbs, not daring to show grief nor fear nor anger. Scant distractions, though. Reminders and possible reassurances that he already knew anguish when he got here. No, the lesson Toma learned here was that he was damned. That God has a plan, and God's plan for him was that he fall. The sin of false hope, the sin of false deity, and the punishment, being made to suffer at the hands of the one he had loved the most. The lesson here is that there is nothing better after this. Not for Toma. And the grief? Winter could grow fat here alongside Autumn.
Sometime soon, Ritter will be shaking Jesse awake to hug him close and talk him down from the thrashing and cold sweats. He has to. Otherwise it just keeps coming, over and over, each iteration showing a new facet, making cut after cut while he continues to just fall away.
Myles is a complicated fae, and his tastes are insatiable - grief or terror? Who is he to judge, all emotions are gladly accepted here at glamour harvest dreamland. In fact, the deep-seeded emotional memories of this dream?... He's probably having bit of an OD back at the Autumn Hollow - if anyone was there to see him, which they are *not*, the excess glamour would be rolling off him like mist over a valley in October. Which is an unsettling thought, and thankfully not one that Jesse need worry himself with. Nothing to see here; just an Autumn oneiropomp dreamriding his Immortal therapist. S'all cool. Things in the dream are awful, they're horrible, the cuts they keep on coming - and yet Myles does not wake himself up. He watches, experiences, feels, cries out internally and does not move away until the dream ends. Because suffering to him? Is just something that needs to be done. Repeatedly. Forever. Because sin.