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This post contains a chapter, by chapter, full synopsis ( ~5000 words ) of How LJ and Rom Saved Heavy Metal by S.D. McKinley and also a short, narrative arc version ( < 1000 words ) with chapter markers. The entirety of the written content of this post is © 2020 S.D. McKinley.
NOTE: In the longer synopsis, I will highlight in bold when a new, important character or element of the story is introduced. This post is in light of an upcoming web serialization of LJ and Rom book #2. This post will be re-blogged with an official announcement closer to time of launch.
Narrative Arc ( Short Version ):
[₀][₁] After winning another race, LJ and Rom [₂] steal the team’s rally car to embrace the open road, pick up LJ’s girlfriend Vic [₂] and then head to Donna’s house for dinner [₃] where they learn, through mystical mediums that their friend Dom will die by the hand of a disgruntled fan if they don’t do something. Upon leaving Donna’s house the exhaust noise is too loud. They talk to their friend Marlon, which is hospitalized after a movie prop fell on him. Marlon gives them a location they can swap the muffler, which is Remmy Johnson’s chop shop [₄]. They swap the muffler and hear something on the radio about zombies [₅]. Back on the road, they spot a woman in distress. After helping, the woman gives them some weapons and electronic supplies [₆].
While crossing into North Carolina, some supernatural weather patters appear along with some disappearing runner zombies that are killed by the crew [₁₀]. LJ spots a different kind of zombie called a jhaman, named by Rom. LJ shoots the jhaman in the head, but an energy from above heals the jhaman. However, the crew learns that while the jhaman’s incapacitated the runner zombies lose control, that the jhaman has a glowing, crystal heart and the runner zombies are moving in a line running all the way from east to west. They phone Marlon again which leads them to Tia’s house, to strategize.
[₁₂] Surrounding Dom’s birthday party, his pet monkey Deevin has some chemical burns. Then, the hackers are revealed to be a man and woman, targeting Dom and they inject a charged, malicious payload into Dom’s phone. After arriving at [₁₅] Tia’s house, LJ blacks out and has a vision where a child attacks. LJ awakens. They are introduced to Tia’s family members, a mystical child named Vincent [₁₆], and a faery with boots, named Dashra. They travel back in time, to a previous Earth [₁₈] to learn how to defeat the jhaman with magic. The jhaman has metal weapons it can extend from it’s arms.
[₁₉] Dom is now grieving the loss of the band, and notices that he has not had any dreams as of late and he is in denial about the dreams being a success for the methodology of his guitar riff composure. A previous success, but now a denial for him. While him and Deevin are sitting on the porch, a protesting truck arrives chanting “GET BACK WITH THE BAND” and sprays rocks on Dom’s property. Dom realizes the universe is against him.
[₂₀] The hackers then complete their first dark web job, by uploading the contents of Dom’s phone as requested. They receive their next job, which is to assassinate Dom. After gearing, up the crew leave Tia’s house [₂₁] with Dashra on the jhaman hunt. They fight and kill the jhaman [₂₂] with Dashra’s magic and learn that the jhaman is raising his minions from the dead with his electrifying arm rods. Rom takes the jhaman heart. LJ sees a man-in-black [₂₂] that tells him to move forward and not worry with killing any more jhamans.
The crew lands at a camping spot [₂₂] where LJ has a dream [₂₄] about a playing card, the eight of diamonds, which materializes itself next to the campfire [₂₅] and LJ keeps the card after he awakens. Dasrha leaves for home. They meet Kate, the race crew leader. She wages a bet on a head-to-head race. The wager is that if they lose, Rom has to go with Kate. LJ’s reckless driving causes them to win the race [₂₇].
They pick Marlon up from a hospital [₂₈] in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and make there way to save Dom. Marlon tells LJ that his eight of diamonds card is like an eight of pentacles tarot card.
[₂₉] Kirt places Val’s position between a rock in a hard place, telling her she must wear a fat-man costume while she kills Dom at the concert. [₃₀] Now, choppy office workers in Washington D.C. give new orders to Kirt to kidnap Dom and deliver him to House #29.
Just as the crew is meeting Dom, he is kidnapped by Kirt and Val [₃₁], in her fat-man costume. [₃₂] Dom wakes up in a room that resembles a jail cell, realizes he had a dream while unconscious, then is kidnapped again by an unseen force.
Marlon helps the crew locate Dom’s last known coordinates, which is House #29. They arrive at the house [₃₃], gain entry and LJ haphazardly discovers a tunnel beneath the floor. They climb down with immense pressure and shaking, which prompts LJ and Vic to climb back up to investigate. They are locked inside the house.
LJ and Vic cannot find Rom and Marlon, but climb to the bottom of the laddered tunnel into a octagon-shaped room with privacy glass. A voice comes from behind, offering for LJ to be apart of the dream recorder that Dom is hooked to. LJ denies the offer by casting his first magic spell, and in turn wakes Dom up gracefully, under the plastic dome. There is only one problem. LJ, Vic and Dom are trapped inside the room.
Location: A universe more coincidental than our own.
LJ and Rom navigate another race on the rally course, just outside of Cleveland, OH. LJ is the driver of a AWD, Mitsubishi Lancer WRC rally car and Rom is the co-driver, which calls out the upcoming changes in the race course, called pacenotes. A rally race is a blocked off, linear track, split into stages. One racer at a time competes for the best time possible. Rom has fun by leaving out a pacenote and LJ almost clips a tree on the way into the finish line. LJ has a sinking feeling of dissatisfaction and he feels like there is a change coming. Little to their surprise, they win again by beating their record time and then celebrate with the spectators and team.
After the race, LJ and Rom inspect the rally car themselves and joke around about going to ‘pick up some women’ and take it to the streets in the rally car. Rom instigates this further in LJ’s mind and expects an answer from LJ. Rom has ties to the universe itself, with things that aren’t near.
As they reach the end of the inspection, LJ’s girlfriend Vic, gives a buzz and invites them to dinner at her friend Donna‘s house. Rom orders a stop to the further activities of the rally team, because when the team owner isn’t around, he can get away with it. Kate is the race crew leader. Now, LJ and Rom steal the rally car and take off to the streets.
LJ and Rom skated down the streets in the Lancer, while LJ put his “Mullets Rule” trucker hat on and Rom flips through a Guitar World magazine. He learns about some trouble with a close friend of theirs which is a legendary Heavy Metal guitarist named Dom. The article explains the trouble with Dom as negligence to his obligations to the band he is in, but LJ and Rom aren’t satisfied with the information the article gives.
They stop to pick up Vic, which LJ associates in his mind with the Greek goddess Athena. As they move toward Donna’s house, they discuss the trouble with Dom and simply don’t feel right about it.
Donna’s house rested back in the cut of a subdivision that felt like the top-of-the-world. Her house radiated energy not like the rest of the houses in the subdivision. They entered Donna’s for dinner. Mystical things happen in the house as they eat and discuss Dom’s problem.
Just before bed, Donna presents a crystal scrying ball. Then, she states the importance of not only helping Dom, but saving his life and the future of the Heavy Metal genre of music. Donna requests that everyone verbally responds to keep what they are about to see in confidence with the crystal ball.
The crystal ball shows everyone the future death of Dom, where he is playing with a different band. Sadly, a disgruntled fan shoots him while performing on stage. LJ and Vic make love before sleep ( non-pornographic, PG-13 love scene ).
LJ, Rom and Vic wake, have coffee and hit the road. Vic complains of the loud exhaust noise coming from the Lancer; the soccer moms are cussing as they drive by. But, LJ already felt better by being on the open road.
A friend named Marlon calls and informs them he is in a hospital in Atlanta, GA, USA, after a movie prop fell on him and hurt him. Rom half-explains the problem with Dom to Marlon and the call drops. They phone another friend looking for a mechanic’s shop to swap out the muffler on the Lancer. Remmy Johnson‘s chop shop, about five blocks down.
Remmy Johnson sees the crew approaching on his advanced CCTV system, but not only that he can hear them playing loud audio as they approach which incites cussing before lunch. The chop shop was busy with workers disassembling rare, presumably stolen vehicles.
LJ entered Remmy’s office while Rom and Vic stood at the door like a couple of guard dogs. They negotiate the deal on the muffler. They rev up the car one last time to appreciate the loud exhaust. While they talk about celebrity gossip, they hear something on the radio about ‘super-hyper-geeked up monster zombies‘. LJ has a holstered, .25 caliber Saturday night special.
As they flew down the free-way they spot a woman that has fallen beside her SUV. Rom attempts to deter the crew from helping, but they stop anyways.
LJ and Rom exit to help the woman up from the ground. The first thing the woman asks about is the zombie outbreak and they learn her name is Betrina. She wishes to re-pay for the good deed, but doesn’t have any money. Instead, she offers for them to pick out three items from her trunk of goodies. They decide on two .45 caliber guns, a shovel and some electronic equipment.
NOTE: This chapter is for pure fun and doesn’t directly advance the story any.
After some speculative discussion, LJ, Rom and Vic arrive at a hotel in Wytheville, West Virginia. LJ asks Rom to get a room while him and Vic run to the store to pick up some things. They arrive back at the hotel with a most notably some alcoholic beverages, a laptop and some air soft guns. They have some party time with the items and their personalities. They learn that the band has already broken up. Vic has some difficulties navigating the room and Rom is counting the number of times she is being hap hazard and breaking things. On strike three they all go crazy and violate the hotel room.
They depart from the hotel and back onto the open road.
Location: Some dusty, dark basement in Florida
Now, we are introduced to a mysterious man in a black hoodie and woman with milk white skin, who are hacking celebrities and big money makers, hell bent on the destruction of modern civilization. They speculate about methodology of malicious intent from the hackee’s perspective.
The crew riding in the Lancer, cross into North Carolina territory. LJ is trying to light his last cigarette in the car, windows rolled up, he refuses to roll the window down or let anyone have a drag off the last cigarette. They are now near the town of Crooked Oak and the atmosphere is changing; the sky is the color of orangeish brown, clouds over cast. They turn the volume up on the radio to hear the news announcer about the weather and the zombie outbreak. A thickness in the air with unusual weather patterns, solar flares, coastal drifts, isolated cells with acidic rainfall and then the news breaks for commercial.
LJ, Rom and Vic check their guns and make sure they are ready. The news is back and they warn of a horizontal line of zombies traveling north, warning listeners to stay inside. The zombies have broken into a couple of homes, it is confirmed the zombies can die, but they don’t seem to be diminishing in numbers.
The crew spot a runner zombie that appears and disappears. LJ counts down verbally from 5 to 1 and when he reaches one, Rom double-hands the e-brake in the Lancer, rolling the window down, quick fires the .45 and kills the runner zombie. After the smoke from the tires and gun settle, they spot a planet-wide line of horror filled with zombies, extending from East to West. Then LJ sees something else.
A different kind of zombie is standing on top of a building, doing some sort of dancing ritual. Neon-green light radiates from the zombies chest, into the thick air. Rom names the creature a jhaman.
LJ releases the e-brake while skidding the tires and aiming the .45 at the jhaman’s head. LJ shoots and hits the jhaman in the forehead. The bullet leaves a large hole. Upon injury of the jhaman, the runner zombies lose control. The jhaman seizures and brings a purple energy down from the sky via the glowing mass in his chest. The sky, a reverberating mess of different colors and energy spikes, healed the jhaman. They phone their friend Marlon, looking for somewhere to rest and strategize.
Location: Hospital in Atlanta, GA, USA
Marlon Manden is sitting in the hospital watching Dom play guitar riffs on his phone. Vic calls his phone.
Vic warns about the zombies and their leader, the jhaman. They discuss Dom for a brief moment, about how he needs their help and then Vic asks him for a tip on a place to stay in the area. Marlon tells Vic about a woman named Tia.
Location: Dom’s house, Sarasota, FL, USA
It’s Dom’s birthday party and he is full of life on the outside, but feels empty on the inside. Deevin, Dom’s pet monkey eats birthday cake and Dom grieves about the band being broken up. Over the past 19 years, the band members have sucked the energy out of each other.
Deevin has chemical burns on his leg and Dom doesn’t know how they got there.
LJ talks about running all the zombies over in the Lancer and Vic tells him that they will “break his bumper”. The sky is still swirling with colored energy. They are headed toward Tia’s house. Vic helps LJ navigate with a dirt road database app that will take them all the way to Tia’s house.
Location: Some dusty, dark basement in Florida
We learn that the mysterious hooded man is the woman’s hacking mentor. They continue the pursuit of hacking Dom’s cell phone.
The two hackers argue about specifics on hacking methodology and the man pressures her to get the hacking done in the proper way. The woman calls the man Kirt and we have some more situational dialog while Kirt calls the woman Valancia, or Val for short. Kirt pisses her off and she breaks the keyboard after she injects the final payload into Dom’s cellphone.
Riding in the Lancer, the crew arrive in a small town with old money and land in Tia’s driveway. After entering the house, Tia is no where to be found and then the crew scowers through the house.
LJ finds himself in the living room / library and notices some ghostly things in his peripheral vision. LJ grabs a random book and sits down on the couch, spiritually paralyzed. Everything turns black.
LJ finds himself in a dungeon and there is a black-hooded creature in the room, waving a candle back and forth. LJ feels as if he has won a prize and notices a small child-like creature peeking from behind the black-hooded creature. LJ has mixed emotions about violence against the child. Now, the child hits LJ in the stomach like a bowling ball, knocking him unconscious.
LJ awakens and has shot through the living room walls while he was incapacitated. LJ blames Marlon for leading the crew here and he is ready to wage war with some “steamin’ demon kids”. The kids are peeking in at the crew and LJ and Rom shoot, evaporating them into pink-fiery mist.
Tia enters the room, calmly, with one of the kids beside her named Vincent. They discuss their problems with the zombie outbreak and Vincent confirms the name jhaman, then requests for Tia to bring a spell book to him. Vincent introduces Dashra, the faerie with boots and explains that this is not the first time jhamans have been on Earth. Vincent will use the spell book to travel back in time to show the crew how to beat the jhaman.
Vincent casts the spell and it feels as if the house is drifting upward. Everything turns into a wire frame spectical, disintegrating reality. Now, they are in the in-between.
Location: A barren winter land, previous Earth
They land back in time and see a barbarian woman fighting a zombie, frozen in time. Rom doesn’t like Vincent’s over explanation of what is going on, which is that the barbarian and the jhaman cannot fathom their presence, but for simplicity’s sake they cannot effect anything in the past.
Vincent casts some more spells to set time in-motion and everyone notices metal weapons in the jhaman’s arms and how the jhaman’s heart changes colors. Rom speculates that you can kill the jhaman by destroying his heart. It is revealed that Vincent himself doesn’t exactly know what he is doing and Vincent speculates that two magic spells must be combined to destroy the jhaman heart. Rom is annoyed that Vincent doesn’t know exactly what he is doing. The barbarian woman casts a spell, stabs the jhaman in the head and throws dark energy into the jhaman’s heart, killing it. It is not explained how the barbarian knew what spell to cast. The barbarian woman takes the jhaman heart, which is now void of life.
Location: Dom’s house, Sarasota, FL, USA
Deevin causes havoc while the alarm blares for an extended period of time. Dom remembers arguments with the band and also notices that he hasn’t had any dreams as of late, which is how he used to compose his guitar riffs.
Rom calls Dom’s cell phone to wish him a happy birthday and they discuss Deevin’s chemical burns. Dom informs Rom that the accident happened when Deevin spilled chemicals in the morgue. Rom informs Dom that they are on the way, that Dashra will be coming as well.
Dom reminisces about his ex-girlfriend while he views the guitar that she bought him before they broke up and then thinks about how he used to used his dreams as a method of composure. But, instead he focuses his attention on moving forward, to create some new riffs for the new band, but he has technical issues and goes outside for a cigarette instead.
Dom bonds with Deevin on the porch and contemplates more about a determination to succeed with the new band, but then has doubts. He is in denial about the dreams being a component of success in the past.
Dom notices a boisterous noise, a loud vehicle coming from the distance, down the road, toward his house. The people in the truck are chanting, “GET BACK WITH THE BAND!! GET BACK WITH THE BAND!!”, while they turn a circle in the driveway with the truck and they spray rocks on the house. Then, it was obvious to Dom that the universe was against him.
Location: Some dusty, dark basement in Florida
Kirt scorns Val for smashing his “hundred dollar mechanical keyboard” and Val sarcastically responds to his concern by asking for a cup of coffee while Kirt retreats to the upstairs to find a replacement keyboard.
Val drink the coffee after Kirt returns and it excites her. Kirt sits down at the computer while Val works on changing the oil in the van. They confirm full access to Dom’s cell phone, along with being able to spy on the screen. They confirm Dom’s location and notice the last call came from Rom Blakenstain, LJ’s co-driver. Details of their dark web job are to upload the contents of Dom’s phone, which Kirt completes. He receives the next job and it is to assassinate Dom. Val is appalled at the notion of murdering someone.
Location: Tia’s house
The crew return to present say and Rom has mental stability issues surrounding the trip to the previous Earth. Rom shakes it off.
The crew checks their ammunition supply. Tia orders Vincent to take the crew to the weapons room in the basement to gear up. They are allowed to take one rifle, one hand gun, and a melee weapon and ammo for the existing and newly selected weapons.
They got a katana ( Vic ), a shotgun ( LJ ), and a Taurus G2 ( Rom ) handgun. As they return to the upstairs, Tia offers dinner. Vic and Dashra have interaction over fixing the food and discuss concerns about LJ and keeping him safe. They also discuss possible zombie vulnerabilities and question how they are multiplying. Dashra completes dinner with her touch of magic. A storm approaches and they decide it is time to leave Tia’s.
The depart on the road, again and the weather is no match for the Lancer. Rom tells LJ that he speculates that the zombies are at fault of Dom’s pet monkey, Deevin because of the spilt chemicals in the morgue. They have until day after tomorrow to save Dom.
They spot some runner zombies in the thickness of storm, in light of the Lancer’s headlamps. Rom orders LJ to get off at the next exit ramp. LJ sensed that there is something hovering above. Vic screams at LJ, just before they almost hit some more runner zombies. Then, they hit one of the runner zombies with the Lancer. The zombie splits in two and the top half is hanging onto the back of the Lancer. Lancer still in motion, Vic decides to fight this time and extends outside, through the car window and stabs the zombie in the eye. She couldn’t get the katana back out of the zombie’s head. Vic confirms her hatred of the zombies and teases LJ saying, “I told you the zombies would break your bumper, LJ”. LJ checks with Vic about her being sure she wants to be apart of all of this.
Dashra pulls back the focus on the jhaman hunt as they drive around, searching for signs of glowing hearts. They spot a jhaman in a cemetery and they approach with runner zombies presence increasing in frequency.
Stopped at the cemetery, Vic grabs the shotgun and shoots all around the car, killing a slew of runner zombies. The jhaman ran around, inside the cemetery in a mad rant, heart pulsing in between purple and red. The crew then witness the jhaman extending it’s electrified metal-arm rods into the ground, thus raising the dead into runner zombies. Everything that surrounded the jhaman bent into his heart, including light and time. During his fight with matter and monsters, LJ noticed a grave stone that said Victoria something . . . but he can’t quite pay attention. Rom shot the jhaman in the neck and it ran towards him and Dashra. LJ orders Dashra to cast the spell. Vic was still shooting runner zombies back in the Lancer. Dashra converses with Rom about the coordination of the attack. Rom has a fist fight with the jhaman and Dashra casts the spell. The jhaman is dead and all that is left is his previously glowing heart, which Rom picked up.
As they enter the car, LJ notices a man in black by the woods. The man tells him to be careful with his decisions. Millions of lives are at stake and there is no concern for the crew to kill anymore jhamans, because the man in black now knows how to kill the jhaman and informs LJ that they will take care of it instead.
As they navigate the night, Vic noticed that LJ is bleeding and they need rest. Vic uses an app to find an open camping spot near by. On their way, Kate send a text message to LJ about hoping their stolen rally car hits a telephone pole and that she has been trying to call Rom, but he isn’t answering.
They arrive at camp, off the beaten path. As they settle into camp, Dashra has an idea and leaves, promising to be back. Rom builds the burning camp fire and LJ and Vic are lying next to it, talking. LJ tells Vic about the man in black and he tells her about his thoughts on magic, but Vic swears there was no one there. LJ has sleepy thoughts and while concentrating on the camp fire, it roars and that astounds him. Dashra returns with camping supplies and everyone falls asleep.
Location: LJ’s dream by the camp fire
LJ starts his dream with strange creatures chiseling stone and a girl child locked in a cage, he crawls through a small cave, ends up in space. Then, a playing card hits him in the face. The eight of diamonds.
LJ wakes up to find the eight of diamond playing card resting by the campfire. The product of dreams.
Vic teases LJ about getting hurt by the jhaman and has concerns about LJ because of all the recent incidents with shooting the mantle at Tia’s house, and the man in black that wasn’t really there, but LJ doesn’t want to talk about it. LJ says a prayer for their mission and discovers that Dashra has left a note and she is no where to be found. The note states that she has returned home because she is home sick after never having left the house before.
The crew, riding in the Lancer is now on HWY 85, approaching Atlanta, GA, USA. Rom cracks some jokes and the Lancer is low on gas, so they exit the highway to refuel.
Kate is at the gas station, in her Subaru WRX STi edition, when they arrive. They all have some crude interaction and Kate challenges the crew to race, right here in her home town. Kate threatens to call Max, the team owner to report the stolen vehicle, if they don’t race. The wager is Rom, if Kate wins, then she can take Rom with her.
Everyone has some conversation before taking off on the dirt-road race. LJ takes the lead at first, but then Kate is out of sight. There was a fork in the road that LJ misses, Kate takes the high road. They slam through a creek and close the gap quickly, but the road is now only one lane wide, they don’t have enough room to pass. LJ tells everyone to be quiet while they zoom through another paved intersection and blaze through rocky corridors. They reached 110mph and LJ intentionally hits a spot on the embankment that sends the Lancer into a perfect barrel-roll. They land back on the road in the lead after Kate hits the brakes. Then, they leave to pick up Marlon.
Location: Hospital in Atlanta, GA, USA
Marlon exits the hospital and enters the Lancer while LJ, Rom and Vic are discussing details about how to save Dom. Marlon wonders why they act like Dom’s life is on the line, so they tell him that Dom will get shot if they don’t do something. Rom shows Marlon the jhaman gem. LJ asks Marlon about the eight of diamonds card. He tell him that it lines up with a eight of pentacles tarot card. Vic confirms that LJ must be a loony ‘toon since the card ‘appeared out of no where’. Their talks about plans to save Dom end nil.
Kirt and Val sit in the work van, discussing her boy problems and the killing of Dom and her concerns of being a killer and not just a hacker. Kirt tells her it’s part of her initiation. Kirt gets out of the van and reveals a fat-man costume that Vic is to wear to the concert, to kill Dom so she won’t get caught. Val is apprehensive and Kirt tells her that bad things will happen if she doesn’t follow through. Vic succumbs.
Location: Washington D.C., USA, 9:30AM
Some choppy computer command center workers speculate about LJ and Rom’s knowlege about Dom’s assassination. Orders are given to cancel the current job that Kirt and Val are assigned to, in light of there trajectory toward Dom’s house. A new order comes, to deliver the subject to House #29, which is outside their jurisdiction. An officer worker named Billy uses a TTS system to securely deliver the message to Kirt.
Inside the gas station, Dom gets a text message from Rom stating that they have arrived to pick Dom up. Dom walks outside and Rom yells, “Over here.” LJ screams, “LOOK OUT!”
A white van screeched in the parking lot so fast, LJ could do nothing. A “fat man”, Val in a suit exited the van, sprayed Dom with pepper spray, punched him in the nose, covered his face with a chloroform soaked rag and is kidnapped into the van. Kirt threatens to kill Dom if they are pursued. Dom is then hog tied and injected with etorphine, on the way to House #29.
Dom wakes up in a room that resembles a jail cell. A staticy voice tells him to go to sleep and then he wonders if he should hit the button on the speaker to ask for a sandwich. He hears a voice that sound like Deevin. He calls out to see if Deevin is really there, but gets no response. Then, he hits the button and asks for the sandwich, and receives a generic response from the staticy voice. He gets the idea that Deevin’s voice is some kind of trick.
Dom realizes that he had a dream while he was sedated, and he also composed a killer riff in it, but has no way to record it before he finally forgets. The door is slammed open, Dom drug out by an unseen force.
LJ is freaking out while thinking that Dom’s already dead. Marlon offers to phone a friend and request GPS coordinates for Dom’s last known location. Then, Rom instigates to tell everyone they should throw their phones away because the government is tracking their movement. LJ has an argument with Rom about saving Dom and the cell phones. Rom takes everyone’s phone, performs a reset and throws them out the window, blaming it on Vic watching too many Tasty videos.
They stop next to a payphone and Marlon uses it to phone his friend. The conversation seems a bit extended, but he gets the coordinates. Rom tells everyone that he has talked to Donna and told her not to get anyone involved unless she hasn’t heard from them in 24 hours. They approach the coordinates ( which is unknowingly House #29 ) on a mile long dirt road, which eventually turned into a paved driveway. The house is cookie-cutter with the exception of a CCTV camera by the door.
They knock on the door, nothing. Search for keys, nothing. Marlon puts electronic parts into his pocket. Rom finds the key hidden on the outside of the house, even displays it for the camera to see.
They rush into the house like a S.W.A.T. team and it’s totally empty. Empty. So, then Marlon checked the outside to make sure there wasn’t something they missed. They convened back inside and sat on the floor in probable defeat.
While sitting on the floor, LJ has an “idea” and jumps up out of a sitting position. When he lands on the floor, there is a deep echo sustaining below. He tested another part of the floor and it wasn’t the same. LJ says, “I read online if you find one of these doors, not to go through it.” But, they do it anyways with the help of the shovel they attained from Betrina. Marlon isn’t encouraging about the idea of chopping a wooden floor with a shovel. Finally, they get some leverage and a large enough chunk of wood is removed to reveal what lies beneath.
A cylindrical-hole abyss with a metal ladder running down the side. Marlon climbs down first. After they climbed down about 100 feet something strange happened. Everything started shaking and there was immense pressure. Rom orders everyone to go to the back-side of the ladder, to get a better grip. The shaking and pressure normalized.
LJ talks Vic into going back up to check things out. When they reach the entrance door to the house, they cannot get out because the door won’t budge and the window glass is very old and thick. LJ sadly continues to try to open the door and Vic tells him to stop and give up, then gives him a hug and a kiss.
They decide to go back down the ladder and the air was very thick and warm. LJ calls out for Rom and Marlon. No answer. They climbed down for another half an hour and reached the end of the vertical tunnel that seems to open up to some kind of room.
They jump down, into the octagon shaped room, lined with one-way mirror glass and a plastic dome and they are trapped in the room. A shield under the plastic dome reveals an encapsulated Dom inside. A voice from behind the glass tells LJ if he tries to wake Dom up, it will kill him, that they are now in low-Earth orbit. Five jhaman hearts raise inside pillars, into the room. The room is wafting in different directions. The voice reveals that Dom is hooked up to a dream recorder. Vic implies that the man behind the glass is lying. The voice offers LJ a chance to ‘be apart of the dream recorder’. A display shows proof of the dream recorder, showing Dom’s dream sequence, while jhaman hearts flicker rapidly through different colors. The voice tells them they are in a war on consciousness. LJ and Vic come up with the idea of disenchanting the jhaman hearts in an attempt to thwart the dream recorder and hopefully wake Dom up. LJ hears a voice that sounds like Rom, telling him how to cast the spell.
The man is revealed after lights turn on from behind the privacy glass, and tells LJ that he has been guiding him through life’s journeys subconsciously is his dreams, as if a mentor. LJ casts a variation of the disenchantment spell, to subtly wake Dom up so he doesn’t die in process. Dom is now awake under the plastic dome.