Just a few moments ago, you were having a pleasant dream about reuniting with your mother, who had passed from lung cancer.
Now you and at least one billion other people are standing before a tall, imposing man with white hair and a red mask.
Several voices in various languages are mumbling amongst each other, trying to make sense of how they found themselves in this situation.
From what you can tell, everybody brought to this desolate void was also dreaming peacefully until they were summoned here.
You look back at the person that forced you here, his sorrowful eyes darting rapidly between the confused masses.
“Humans,” he begins with a booming voice, ending all previous conversations.
“Be not afraid. You will be returned to your dreams as soon as I finish what I have to say.”
He pauses for a brief moment before continuing.
“My name is Mordecai. I’ve been responsible for ensuring your dreams were peaceful and free from nightmares. Normally I’d accomplish this task free from your sight.”
He sighs, lowering his head in shame.
“However, I’ve chosen to reveal myself to you now because I have committed a great atrocity against you all. In my pursuit to prevent my brother from bringing nightmares to the waking realm, I neglected my duties as a gatekeeper to fight him in this shortsighted battle.”
Another momentary silence fills the air.
“As a result of my carelessness, countless lives were lost. I sincerely apologize for my failure to protect you all.”
He lifts his head and looks back at the lot of you.
“To atone for my failings, I have decided to fight for humanity once more against horrors that none of you can begin to comprehend. Creatures that know nothing but violence and hatred threaten your planet and your way of life.”
People around you begin to murmur once more. Mordecai allows the chatter to live for a few moments before extinguishing it with his voice.
“I promise you that I will bring down every invader that crosses my path. No alien beast will receive any mercy by my hand when they jeopardize your lives. All of them must perish so that humanity can thrive.”
He stops talking once more, as if to contemplate something.
“Should I fail, then there is a possibility that you may never wake up again. These individuals are natural born killers that won’t hesitate to desecrate me should the opportunity arise. That is why I call upon you all to assist me in my upcoming tribulations.”
He readies his hand to snap his fingers, but continues to speak to the crowd.
“I want you to dream of me when you go back to your fantasies. Doing so will grant me the strength I need to vanquish those horrid nightmares. For the sake of yourselves and your eight hour respite, please give me the power I need to save you all.”
With a snap of his fingers, you find yourself back in your dream.