Andie gripped her sword tighter, steering her fall through the surrounding smoke and electricity. She’d been falling for about two minutes now, much longer than it should have taken her to hit the ground – she was definitely transitioning into a mindscape. Still, something was off. The tunnel Andie was falling through was messier and more aggressive than any other she’d seen. There were no clean edges to the smoke; blackened clouds drifted out in the middle of her path and lightning struck out at her. Even the smoke itself was different. It wasn’t sickly and horrid like dream smog, no, it was still smoke – just blackened and burnt. Ash, it was a cloud of dream ash.
A flash of light blinded Andie, then gave way to reveal a mindscape below her. She’d arrived in Dyllan’s mind. Not that she’d ever seen Dyllan’s mindscape before, or had definitive proof that diving into the cyclone would have led to Dyllan… it was just that the whole place suited her friend far too well.
The mindscape was made up of dozens upon dozens of platforms made of concrete and steel that held up bunkers – and were styled like a military base. Most were supported by long poles that reached down further than Andie could see, presumably towards some form of solid ground… not that mindscapes were under any obligation to make logical sense. A handful of the platforms were suspended from long iron chains and connected to the rest of the structure with makeshift wooden plank bridges – as opposed to the ones supported by poles, which had proper walkways connecting them. The layout was largely flat, without much height difference between the platforms – save for a large one in the middle. It was blunt and shallow in design, choosing practicality and simplicity over style or intricacy. Still, to say it lacked depth was to ignore the beautiful void beneath it – cloaked not in shadow, but in hundreds of quiet lights.
A note from the
I learned something new describing this mindscape.
I learned that designing a mindscape for an existing character is hard.