“Marvellous,” Eames commented upon waking in the third level to find themselves in a dungeon type setting, with grey stone walls surrounding them on three sides and a shadowed walkway stretching out ahead of them. The air was thick and broiling, and Eames felt sweat prickling at his skin almost instantly upon waking. Trepidation too, as he considered the similarities between this level of the dream and world eight of the game.
Beside him, Cobb was pulling at his collar and rolling his shirt sleeves, his jacket already shucked as he too felt the heat. They spared each other a brief look before wordlessly pushing to their feet and starting down the only path available to them.
The hallway before them stretched ever onwards, the flickering torches lining the walls their only light to see by. They came across nothing else: no creatures, no obstacles, just a continuous stretch of stone that echoed against their footsteps.
Eames didn’t know whether to be thankful or worried after the first fifteen or so minutes passed without so much as a hiccup. As with levels one and two, this one also seemed to be leading them into a false sense of security and Eames didn’t like the thought of just what they would end up facing when they made it further into the level.
He thought of the Goomba and Lakitu they’d run into on the first level, and then the Cheep-Cheep, Pokeys and Bloopers they’d faced off against in the second. If his instincts were to be trusted Eames supposed they could be facing anything from fire snakes to skeleton creatures to boiling pits of lava, all of which he suspected would be immune to the bullets they had as their only defence.
He looked briefly at Cobb who was all but power-walking his way through the passageway, his gaze intent and fixed on a point ahead of them, seeming none the worse for wear after his near-death experience up on Level Two. Thinking about the previous level however and how he’d just left things with Cobb put a sour taste in his mouth. He didn’t for one minute regret abandoning him in pursuit of Arthur, but he’d known Cobb for a while now and he supposed a better explanation of events wouldn’t go amiss.
He chanced another glance towards Cobb, wondering if the pinched look on his face was from worry or a sign of fatigue carried over from the last level.
“Look,” Eames started, uncomfortable with the persistent silence between them. “About what happened back in that canyon—”
“It’s fine,” Cobb interrupted, almost too quickly, not so much as missing a step as they hurried on through the dungeon setting.
“Right,” Eames said shortly, his lips pressed tightly together. Cobb could be an interesting guy to work with sometimes, if only for the fact that his sheer stubbornness and allusions of charm usually saw them through the particularly nasty jobs they’d oft times found themselves on together. Trying to hold a conversation with the guy, however, when unrelated to a job, was like trying to pull teeth, and Eames wondered not for the first time how Arthur had willingly chosen to follow this man around the world even before Mal’s untimely death.
“You were right,” Cobb suddenly said. Eames shot him a quick look but Cobb was still staring straight ahead.
“Oh?” He asked, leadingly, watching as Cobb scowled at nothing in particular.
“I’d have done the same. If it were Ariadne.” He answered, frowning at himself
“I see,” Eames dragged the words out, sure that they both already knew this, at least insofar as dreaming was concerned.
He saw Cobb hesitate a moment before he turned his head enough to meet Eames’ eyes. “I’m glad you went after him,” he said. His sincerity was surprising.
Eames looked at him a long moment before dipping his head in acknowledgement.
“Me too,” Eames agreed. It was as much of an apology for the words they’d exchanged back in the canyon as either of them was ever likely to get. Just remembering what had happened to Arthur, and what could have happened to him if he hadn’t shown up when he did, well, it just didn’t bear thinking about. Worse still was the thought of what would have happened to Cobb and himself had Eames chosen not to go after Arthur.
“Damned stupid place to stick a star-box,” Eames muttered then, thinking about the item that had allowed him to jump into the Blooper-infested waters. The change of subject was gratefully accepted if the look on Cobb’s face was anything to go by.
“Star-box?” he questioned.
“You remember the bouncing star in level one?” Cobb nodded. “There was one of them on the island. They work a bit like a full-body shield. It’s how I managed to get you out of the water without getting stung myself.”
“Thanks for that, by the way,” Cobb said, his tone somewhat curious.
Eames waved him off. “What happened after I left you?” he asked instead, not wanting to pursue the inevitable line of questioning. He’d only jumped in after him to stop Arthur from doing it sans-star. He was pretty sure they both knew that too.
“It turns out there was something in those caves, after all.” Cobb muttered darkly, thinking momentarily of the Unagi-eels that had chased him through the next three caves, nipping at his heels with fervour. He thought too of the shoal of Cheep-Cheep that had been waiting for him after he’d emerged from cave number six, half delirious with exhaustion and terror, and how he’d somehow found the strength to out-swim the lot of them. And then, as if that hadn’t been enough, he’d swum straight into and almost been killed by a school of squid.
Eames winced, sympathetically. Knowing what he’d faced on the island with Arthur, Eames could well imagine just what Cobb had had to put up with in the water.
“You ever get the feeling that maybe we aren’t supposed to come out of this thing alive?” Cobb asked after a moment. It felt as though they’d been walking the same passageway for hours now; the monotonous walls broken only with intervals of flaming torches.
“Not exactly,” Eames began, “I think this is just as much of a challenge as both the game it’s based on and the Inception we put Fischer through.”
“We’re down to two men, Eames. And with the stuff we’ve had to go through? Even you have to admit the Inception job looks like a cakewalk in comparison to this!”
“Four men,” Eames corrected, “and from Fischer’s point of view, I suspect this is just as dangerous as his experiences in the Inception job were. Remember we kidnapped him first, twice, and then terrorized the life out of him, turned him against his godfather, got him shot, threw him off a building, nearly drowned him—”
“—yeah, okay. I get it,” Cobb muttered. “We still had Ariadne and Saito come the third level though.”
“But Saito was dying,” Eames pointed out. “Frankly, he was always going to end up in Limbo before the job was out.”
Cobb pursed his lips. “And Ariadne?”
Eames smiled despite himself and their situation. “Can you think of a better way for Fischer to make us play this game?” he asked. “For the Inception job we had that goal: inception, and the added incentive of the sedative you so thoughtfully used on us. For this our goal is rescuing Ariadne, without which we’d all have gladly stayed up on the first level. It was certainly less treacherous than the last and even less so, I suspect, than this one will be.”
Cobb’s faced creased in a frown. “What do you think is down here?”
Eames shrugged, not really wanting to voice his concerns. “If nothing else we’re going to have to take down Bowser with only one gun between us.”
“I’m running near empty,” Cobb confessed and, though reluctant to part with it, Eames reached into his shoulder holster and pulled out the magazine he’d collected in the last level, handing it over to Cobb.
“We should look out for any boxes,” Eames said and Cobb nodded his head in wordless agreement.
And just like that, they were back to silence.
- - -
Their first break in the monotony came in the form of bones. Piles and piles of them sitting in heaped clumps and dotted at irregular intervals along the walkway.
Eames and Cobb shared a look but the confusion on both their faces as to what they might be put them both on edge. Cautiously, Eames nudged one of the piles with the tip of his boot, wincing at the clattering sound the bones made as they collapsed all over the stone floor. Cobb shot him a glare and they waited for one long, drawn-out moment to see if anything would come of it.
“What are you doing?” Cobb hissed, watching as Eames kicked over a second pile of bones.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” Eames asked, rhetorically.
“Eames!” Cobb grabbed at his arm, jerking him back as he moved onto yet another pile.
Eames pulled his arm back, roughly. “These could be like the boxes in the previous levels,” he defended.
“These boxes have a habit of changing form, do they?” Cobb asked sardonically.
Eames shrugged. “You’re the one who likes reminding us that this isn’t like the game. I’m just trying to find us something useful for when we get to the end of this level.”
He looked up from kicking over a third pile of bones, “Unless you have a better plan for rescuing Ariadne?”
Cobb scowled at him, “and toppling some bones going to achieve what exactly?”
“Oh, so you do have a plan then?” Eames asked, smoothing his face into one of amicability. “Unless running headfirst into the lair of the beast- so to speak- with all guns blazing is your idea of a plan?”
“I’ll do whatever I have to do to get Ariadne back.” Cobb said, folding his arms defensively.
“Bearing in mind we only gave one gun between us and we’re almost down to our last magazine?” Eames asked, eyebrows raised.
“Do you have a better one?”
“Nope,” Eames replied, almost pleasantly, “but you’ll excuse me if I continue to break open anything I come across, trying to find a little something extra to even the odds, yeah?”
Cobb’s lips thinned but he said nothing as Eames continued kicking over heaps of bones. The clattering sound they made as they scattered all over the ground echoed loudly around them.
“You’re wasting time,” Cobb said a few minutes later, fed up watching Eames knock over every mound of bones he could find. His efforts proving futile when all he’d achieved come the end of his task was a bloody great mess of bones scattered across the floor.
Eames paused a moment, surveying his handiwork with only slight regret. He’d been sure that there was something special about these bones, something that would help them get out of this situation in one piece. He looked around the corridor, saw the bleached-white bones lying scattered around, the flickering light from the torches lining the stone walls throwing them into the allusion of movement.
“…and it’s time Ariadne doesn’t have,” Eames tuned back to find that Cobb was still speaking to him. “She could be in Limbo by now with all the time we’ve wasted in these levels!”
“We can only hope that Fischer is that stupid,” Eames commented absently, biting his tongue against a retort of just how much time Cobb, himself, had been willing to waste with fighting words in the last level.
Cobb’s eyes blazed. “You want her to end up in Limbo?” he asked, dangerously.
“Think about it, Cobb,” Eames said, ignoring the tone. “Saito is already in Limbo, which means it’s his world she’d end up in if she died whilst still under the sedation.”
“Assuming she didn’t die before Saito,”
“Even if she did, she’d have ended up in his Limbo because he was the last one of us all to have been there before. Ariadne’s got to be safer down there than up here with Bowser.”
“There is, of course, the option that she hasn’t been killed,” Cobb said, “which brings me back to my first point of your wasting all of our time, whilst she’s holed up with that… that monster.”
“If you’re that concerned, Cobb, why haven’t you just—” Eames broke off at what sounded like more bones clattering to the ground.
Except, he hadn’t knocked any more down.
In fact, he was pretty sure he’d kicked them all over in the first place. He hesitated, his eyes meeting Cobb’s steadily darkening gaze, before they both simultaneously turned towards the sound.
The bones seemed to be as haphazardly scattered as they’d been after Eames had finished with them. Eames frowned, eyes flickering over the area before them, but all was still. Sudden clattering to the right, and they twisted, scanning their eyes over the short width of the corridor. At first they saw nothing, heard nothing but the echo of the sound they thought they’d heard. And then, just as Eames was about to turn away again, to throw it off as a fluke of precariously stacked bones, he caught a shiver of movement out the corner of his eye.
He narrowed his eyes against the flickering shadows, zeroing in on the movement he’d thought he’d seen. The bone seemed to quiver a second time before slowly dragging itself across the stone floor in quick, short bursts, the clatter as it went resonating around them. It reached a small mound of bones and seemed to join itself to them.
Eames swallowed thickly, turning his mind momentarily to some of the evolved versions of the Mario Bros game. He hadn’t played the games in years but there was something about the way the bones seemed to be rejoining themselves, and more than that, the way they appeared to be building themselves into things that very worryingly began to resemble creatures…
“I think we’d better move on,” Eames said, voice slightly hoarse as he took a step backwards, away from the bones littering the ground before them. Even as he moved, he saw more of the bones begin to quiver and slide themselves back towards their original piles.
Cobb drew his gun, pointing it directly at the first of the skeleton creatures to fully form from the piles, its bones clanking together as it shook itself into animation.
“That’s not going to help,” Eames said, reluctantly.
Cobb spared him a brief, accusatory look.
“Hey,” Eames defended, holding his arms up in a somewhat placating manner. “We needed the ammo.”
“Yes,” Cobb agreed, taking a careful step backwards as the creatures finished forming and stood, quivering but unmoving, before them, “But we didn’t get any ammo, did we?”
“It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Eames offered, sheepishly. The look Cobb threw him wasn’t particularly understanding.
“What are we dealing with?” Cobb asked, instead, his eyes fixed on the creatures which were still just standing there, seeming to watch them through their empty eye-sockets.
“Um, well, I think originally they were Koopa-Troopas,” Eames supplied, already a few paces behind Cobb’s slow backwards shuffle. “But in this form they’re just known as Dry Bones, or Skeleton Koopas.”
Cobb shot him another over the shoulder look, “Alright then, Mario, how do we stop them?”
Eames rolled his eyes, “Not by shooting them,” he muttered before brightly suggesting, “you could try kicking them over again.”
“Let me guess,” Cobb replied, snidely, “it works in the game?”
The question was rhetorical and he pressed on without giving Eames a chance to reply. “Forgive me if I’m a little wary about kicking anything else in this world,” Cobb said, thinking about the Goomba back on the first level.
“We could probably outrun them,” Eames suggested then.
“As you keep reminding me, this isn’t exactly like the game. They could be a more evolved version.”
The creatures- Dry Bones, or Koopa’s, or whatever-the-hell they were called- suddenly surged forward, their footsteps quick and clattering loudly against the stone floors.
Despite Eames’ warning, Cobb fired at them, his index finger flexing against the trigger until his clip ran dry. The bullets just rained ineffectually down upon the Koopas, either passing straight through their skeletons or ricocheting uselessly off the bones they connected with.
Cobb cursed, hastening to reload. Eames grabbed his shoulder.
“How about we just get out of here?” He said.
Cobb nodded, re-holstering his gun and turning in the same movement to follow Eames in a quick sprint down the dimly lit passageway. The echo of the following Koopa’s never seemed to fade away, and every time they chanced a look behind them it was to find the creatures always within their sights. It was almost as if no matter how far or fast they ran, they’d never outrun the Skeleton Koopas.
Eames was still looking behind him when Cobb came to an abrupt halt. He flung his arm out, catching Eames heavily across the chest and pulling a grunt of discomfort from him.
“What—” Eames began, twisting forward. His words died in his throat as he stared in disbelief at the gaping chasm which had opened up before them. The passageway was badly lit, enough to disguise the sudden drop in the floor, had Cobb not been paying attention to where they were going. They took a second to assess their options. The gap was too large to jump unaided, and even if they’d been willing to test the gravity of this world further, the orange glow coming from the very bottom of the chasm gave them serious pause for thought.
“Is that—?” Cobb started, eyes wide as he stared down.
“Lava?” Eames asked, looking over the edge. He felt his skin prickling with the sudden increase of heat and he rolled his shoulders, uncomfortably. It was probably his imagination but he thought he could feel the burn of the stone beneath his feet seeping up through the soles of his shoes.
“Yeah,” Cobb breathed. Eames said nothing, tearing his eyes from the pit of lava below them and searching their immediate surroundings for a solution. Behind them the Skeleton Koopa’s continued their quick, clattering approach, their blank-eyed stare unnervingly intent as they closed in on them.
“I think we’re going to have to chance a jump,” Eames hesitated, turning back to Cobb.
“Do you hear that?” Cobb asked instead of replying to Eames’ comment. Eames frowned, turning his eyes skywards as Cobb looked towards the ceiling. All Eames could hear was the dry scrape of bones against stone as the Koopas closed in on them, but he did see something hanging in the chasm above them. They looked like… chains. The dull metallic links swayed soundlessly, moving in the rising heat from the lava below them.
They looked away, searching the walls beside them for some way to lower the chains. Cobb drew his gun again, spotting something of use in the wall beside him. He fired once, then twice, three times before the chains above the chasm suddenly dropped, jarring to a halt as the board they were fastened to came level with the roof of their passageway.
The chains were thick and evenly spaced, and even though they looked dull and grimy, Eames had no doubt that they would seer the flesh from their hands if they so much as brushed against them. He shared a look with Cobb just as the lead Skeleton Koopa reached them, its beaky face snapping violently towards them.
They were out of options.
Cobb jumped first: his arms reaching, his hands grabbing, his body arching in a swing as he threw himself across the chasm. He made a grunting sound as he grabbed two hand holds of chain, but it wasn’t until he reached the other side and tore his hands free of their grip did he let out a roar of pain.
Eames winced, hesitated. He looked down at his hands and flexed his fingers, knowing that this was going to hurt like a mother—
The lead Skeleton Koopa snapped at him, its beaky mouth biting into the flesh of his leg- the same leg the mutant Cheep-Cheep had torn a chunk out of and Eames swore, kicking out at the creature. He was almost disappointed to find that the kick dislodged the creature’s bones, scattering it all over the ground before him.
He briefly considered kicking all the Koopas and coming up with another way to cross the chasm when the pile of bones at his feet began to quiver, as if preparing to rebuild itself already.
Eames cursed again, turning back to the chasm and the chains and praying desperately that this didn’t hurt nearly as much as he thought it was going to. He spared a moment to spit futilely into his palms, rubbing them briskly together before then launching himself after Cobb.
He reached out, fingers instinctively clenching around the first of the chains he caught.
At first he felt nothing. He swung himself out over the ledge, angling his body for the jump towards the other side. And then, as if someone had suddenly poured a jug of boiling water over his palms, Eames felt the burn as hot metal began to melt its way through his flesh. He swore he heard his skin sizzle and tear as he wrenched his hands free of the chain, his body falling heavily to the ground of the other side of the chasm.
His fingers gave a spasm, the skin over his hands red-raw and burning. Eames breathed heavily through clenched teeth, fighting the urge to just scream his way through the pain. Beside him, Cobb was sitting with his own hands curled up protectively against his chest.
Over, on the other side of the chasm, the Skeleton Koopas stood, lined up like silent sentries as they stared across at them, unmoving but all-seeing.
Despite the heat surrounding them, Eames shivered, turning his eyes back to Cobb who was eyeing him expressionlessly.
Wordlessly, they both pushed to their feet, ignoring their combined aches and pains, as they continued on their journey onwards towards the end of the level.
- - -
Though the Skeleton Koopas never reappeared, they weren’t nearly so lucky when it came to the lava. It felt as if for every few feet they traversed, they soon came across another lava-involving obstacle they had to find a way to manoeuvre themselves around. Though nothing felt as dangerous as the first chasm, this level certainly seemed to be trying to throw them off their game.
If they weren’t tight-roping it across yawning pools of lava, or tip-toeing their way over crumbing stepping stones set just inches above the lava-level, they were having to do so whilst fireballs of the stuff spat themselves up out of the fiery puddles, throwing them off balance and out of kilter.
It took Eames a long while before he realised he could hear something other than the hissing and spitting of lava bubbles bursting just inches from their feet as they stepped cautiously but quickly over the stones peeking out through this latest pool of lava barring their way.
“Cobb?” Eames called, voice pitched low just in case.
“I hear it too,” Cobb agreed, taking one last leap and grabbing for the ledge ahead of them, using his arms to pull himself awkwardly up onto the stone walkway once more. He turned, holding his arm- crooked at the elbow- out to Eames, who hooked his own arm gratefully through it, using the added leverage to pull himself up with more ease than Cobb had managed without using his wounded hands.
“Cheers,” he muttered the thanks under his breath as they both paused, taking a moment to recuperate whilst simultaneously straining their ears to catch the slight lilting sound they both could hear.
“Is that—” Eames started the paused.
“—singing?” Cobb finished with a frown that quickly dropped from his face as recognition washed suddenly over the both of them.
“Ariadne!” They both called out at the same time, scrambling to their feet and pushing into a run as they hurried on towards the sound, heedless of any remaining booby traps or obstacles that remained in their path.
Thankfully they didn’t run into anything untoward and within ten minutes they found themselves stepping into a large open space- the area was bright, the walls reflected red from the giant lake of lava stretching out between where they stood and the plateau of rock where they could see both Ariadne and Bowser: a thin rope bridge, swaying lightly in the updraft, the only thing connecting the two spaces.
Eames wasn’t sure who saw who first but just as Ariadne turned to them with a smile so bright and trusting that Eames knew she hadn’t once doubted they’d come for her, Bowser let out a enraged roar and leapt towards the bridge, barring the way between them and the other side.
“Bowser, no!” Ariadne’s stern voice reverberated around the cavernous space and Eames watched in amazement as the creature bristled a moment, one large forearm pawing uneasily at the wood of the bridge.
“Bowser,” Ariadne admonished and Bowser let out a whining sound before turning and slinking away from the bridge. It sat itself a few paces away from her with a low and irritable growl.
“Good boy,” Ariadne cooed then, reaching out to pet at the creature’s arm, and Eames felt as though his eyes were about to bug right out of his head as he watched Bowser settle a little more under her ministrations.
“So much for our intervention,” he muttered, slanting a look to Cobb who was looking just as surprised and perplexed as Eames felt. Ariadne looked… completely okay.
More than okay even, as she turned back towards them.
“Are you coming over or what?” she called to them, stepping away from Bowser and smirking at them. Her words and carefree demeanour snapped them both from their sudden stupor.
Cobb was the first to step onto the rope-bridge, his footing careful but quick as he made his way across.
“Ariadne, darling, not that I’m not happy to see you,” Eames began as he followed cautiously behind Cobb, his lips twitching as Cobb reached the other end and grabbed Ariadne up in a twirling hug that saw her laughing and Bowser perking up with another growl. “But aren’t we supposed to be rescuing you?”
Ariadne laughed again as Cobb set her down She reached out to hug at Eames too.
“This is the twenty-first century, Eames,” she grinned, letting him go. “Princesses can officially save themselves now.”
Even Cobb laughed at that and Eames felt himself smiling at the look of complete relief and fondness painted across the other man’s face.
“You’re going to have to explain just how you managed that at some point,” Eames said, “But first things first, I don’t suppose you’ve come across any PASIV devices just lying around, have you?”
Ariadne’s smile faded into a frown at his words, “Where’s everybody else?” she asked then, peeking behind the pair of them as expecting to find the others just coming out of the passageway.
“Don’t worry,” Cobb assured her, “Yusuf and Arthur are safe, they’re manning the PASIV’s on levels one and two, but Saito—”
“—is in Limbo?” she finished, raising her eyebrows. “Again?”
“Ah, well,” Eames started, “there was a rather unfortunate incident with a timer and the world sort of imploding in on itself, and Saito just happened to get caught up in the middle of it.”
Ariadne winced. “I did come across a PASIV,” she said, slowly, “but… it’s a bit of a coincidence, don’t you think?”
“What is?” Cobb asked, his eyes following her as she stepped around Bowser, her hand carelessly brushing over one of the creature’s arms as she went to retrieve the device.
“Just… well, it was the three of us left in the third level for the Inception Job too.”
“It is just a coincidence,” Cobb said, smiling encouragingly. Ariadne looked less than convinced.
“Why would Fischer leave us a PASIV if he didn’t want us going down into Limbo?”
Cobb didn’t have an answer. Neither did Eames for that matter, and they spent a sobering moment wondering what they were about to get themselves into, and if it could be any worse than what they’d already faced.
“So what’s the plan?” Ariadne asked a moment later when no answer appeared forthcoming.
“We go down into Limbo, we find Saito and then we get the hell out of this entire dream.”
“Sounds good,” she agreed, setting the case out between them and tugging one of the cords towards herself.
“What are you doing?” Cobb asked, hesitating as he reached for his own needle.
Ariadne’s eyes narrowed. “You don’t honestly think I’m staying up here, do you?”
“We need someone to watch us,” Cobb said, his eyes flickering over towards Bowser, “and you seem pretty safe here, all thing considered.”
Even Eames raised his eyebrows at that. He’d been thinking the same thing, of course, but after seeing firsthand how hell-bent Cobb had been to rescue Ariadne from this creature in the first place, the idea that he was willing to leave her alone with it again was quite the shock.
“If you think for one minute that I’m staying behind because it’s safer—” Ariadne began, her voice rising defensively. Behind her, Bowser growled menacingly.
“I just meant—” Cobb broke off under the glare she directed at them.
“Ariadne,” Eames interrupted, taking her hand gently in his own wounded grip. “Please understand that we just want to look out for you, it’s been incredibly trying navigating our way to this point.”
“And the idea of you having to go through what we did—” Cobb started as Eames finished.
“All the more reason for me to do my part,” she interrupted again, folding her arms stubbornly across her chest.
Eames felt his lips twitching at the sight. Cobb scowled at her and then at Eames.
“Lend me your gun,” Eames said then and Cobb blinked at him.
“I think it’s pretty clear who’s going under, and if you expect me to stay here and watch over the two of you with that—,” he pointed at Bowser, “—giving me the eye, then I’ll want to be armed, thank you very much.”
Cobb looked reluctant. “We might need it.”
“Yes, you might,” Eames agreed, “but I definitely will. He’s taken a fondness to Ariadne, but there’s no telling what’ll happen once she’s asleep.”
Ariadne paused in thought a moment before reaching up and untying the scarf around her neck. She held it out to Eames.
“I don’t know if it’ll help, but—” she gestured for Eames to put it around his own neck. Eames grinned and instead stuffed it into the front pocket of his shirt.
“Thank you,” he said to her, then turned and held his hand expectantly out to Cobb who handed over his gun with great reluctance. Eames smiled, satisfied as he held its reassuring weight in his hand, before reaching out towards the PASIV.
“Ready?” he asked.
Cobb finished affixing his own needle and lay down beside Ariadne. He gave Eames a curt nod.
“Sweet dreams,” Eames commented before depressing the button and releasing the sedative.