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The DREAMS are an integral part of the World of the Dream. They are the sensory representations of an individuals' subconscious, and are apparently present in every living person.
DREAM-SHARING is the practice of manufacturing a dream and bringing one or more people into that new dream world. While dream-sharing, the Dreamer creates and controls the world, while the Subject populates it with both people and information. Dream-sharing was first utilized by the military to provide a realistic training method for soldiers, in Project Somnacin. It can also be used to commit Extraction by stealing information and Inception by planting information in the form of an idea into the mind of the subject and making the subject think that the idea is their own.
A KICK is a method used to awaken someone from a dream. It can be the sensation of falling, hitting water, or any sharp jolt that can startle the sleeper awake. A kick is always performed on one's sleeping body, not one's body within a dream. However, in order to wake a sleeper when using a sedative that allows dreaming within dreams, only synchronized kicks can create enough impact to wake a sleeper. Synchronized kicks require the sleeper to experience a kick on all dream levels where their body is sleeping. When dreaming three or four levels deep, it becomes increasingly difficult to synchronize kicks, and requires significant planning. Although, due to the time-dilation caused by dreaming multiple levels deep, a kick that occurs instantaneously in a higher level will last longer in a lower level, thereby making it easier to synchronize a kick. Playing a musical cue in the ears of a sleeper is an effective way to warn one of an incoming kick and coordinate multiple kicks.
A TOTEM is an object that is used to test if oneself is in one's own reality (dream or non-dream) and not in another person's dream. A Totem has a specially modified weight, balance, or feel in the real world but in a dream of someone who does not know it well, the characteristics of the totem will very likely be off. In order to protect its integrity, only the totem's owner should ever handle it. That way, the owner is able to tell whether or not they are in someone else's dream. In the owner's own dream world, the totem will feel correct. Any ordinary object which has been in some way modified to affect its balance, weight, or feel will work as a totem.
A SLEEPER is a person who is experiencing a shared dream. Except in Limbo, one or two sleepers must take on the roles of the subject, who populates the dream with projections, and the dreamer, who constructs the dream. A sleeper may be both the dreamer and the subject, even if others are present in the dream. Other sleepers can manipulate reality in the dream but not the fundamental construction of the dream. A sleeper's body within a dream is a projection of their mind and can thus be manipulated by a sleeper if they know how.
PROJECTIONS, also known as Sub Cons, are the images of people or objects in a dream that are "projected" by the sleepers' subconscious minds. While any sleeper can project these images, part of the subject's role in a shared dream is to populate a dream space with projections. A lucid sleeper can consciously affect the existence of their projections, but the actions of those projections are still always controlled by the subconscious. Projections of humans are compared to antibodies in the human body; as the subject's subconscious becomes aware that the subject is being manipulated by a dreamer they will attack to defend the subject's mind. For this reason it is advised that the dreamer not make too many unnecessary alterations to a dream while the subject is populating it. It is generally believed that killing projections has no negative effect on the subject. It is for this reason extractors behave, when necessary, mercilessly toward projections, lest the projection do the same to them.
The MARK, (also known as “the subject”) is brought into that dream construct and fills it with details from their own subconscious and memories, which convince the mark that the dream the architect built is real. Anyone can be the mark, even the most skilled of extractors. These are usually chosen by the “Clients” as the targets of each job, basically he is the person who the extractor and his team are trying to con. See Jobs.
DREAM CLINICS, usually underground, are clinics where in dream addicts come to in order to dream once for. Since the act of dream-walking has been banned, these are usually illegal and anyone apprehended can be imprisoned.
THE DREAM REALM
The dream within a dream process puts you into a deeper state of dreaming. The deeper you go, the further removed your mind is from reality. We all know what that’s like: the deeper you sleep, the harder it is to be woken up and the more vivid and real-feeling a dream becomes. If you’re in a deep enough sleep, not even the usual physical ques to wake up effect you, such as the sensation of falling (“the kick”) or even, say, having to go to the bathroom.
LEVEL ONE. When dreaming on only one level, a timer mechanism on the PASIV Device, or a Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous Device, can be used to wake up dreamers. It is a device used for administering the drug Somnacin to dreamers in the field. The first level is the easiest to go into, though many beginners have not-so-good reactions at first but eventually come through.
LEVEL TWO. Unlike the first level, here you'll be need two kicks in order to wake up. The time here is faster than that of Level One.
LEVEL THREE. This is a much deeper level, and the deeper you go into a dream state, the faster your mind is able to imagine and perceive things within that dream state. Time in the dream world the increase is exponential, so going deeper into dreams turns minutes into hours, into days, into years.
LIMBO, as it is referred to in the dream realm, is an expanse of infinite raw subconscious. It is the deepest anyone can travel into the mind. Limbo exists as a space that is not dreamt by any one individual, but is a shared space where anyone's mind can make drastic alterations of any kind. Getting into Limbo is a hard task, one in which only a few have done. There are different means of traveling to Limbo other than death. The first one involves delving much deeper through the dream levels. Another is through a series of experiments, a hard task where the dreamers strive to manually dream themselves into Limbo. By the time you reach the Limbo state it can be so difficult to wake, and the dream can feel so vividly real, that the mind stops trying to wake at all – the mind accepts the dream as its reality, like slipping into a coma. No one knows for certain what the effects on the escapees are, if there are even any at all.
TIME DIFFERENCE: When going under, time relatively quickens. Five minutes in the real world constitutes to about an hour in a dream, given that the dreamer is only in Level One of the dream world. As one progresses deeper down the level time then becomes longer and longer, which can even turn into months, if not years.
SIDE EFFECTS: Overexposure to dream-sharing can cause an individual to be unable to dream naturally. Many people who can no longer dream must use a PASIV Device if they wish to dream while they sleep.
Some sleepers not only take pleasure in the notion that their creativity is limitless, they may also choose to take on jobs set by different clients. Be aware though, only the most skilled of dreamers should take part.
EXTRACTION is the art of infiltrating the mind of any person to steal their secrets. Extraction works through a process called Dream-Sharing— manufacturing the world of the dream and bringing the subject into that world, which feels completely real as long as they are in it. Those who commit extraction are called Extractors.
INCEPTION is the allegedly impossible task of implanting an idea in someone's mind via dream-sharing and making them think it is their own. However, as the movie progresses, it is proven that Inception is not impossible and has, in fact, been done successfully twice.
are those who focus more on the act of extraction. These include extractors, chemists, architects, point men and forgers.
are those involved in inception and are usually skilled extractors. Inception is far more difficult task so there are but a few teams who attempt upon it.
includes everyone employed by the government in relation to dream sharing especially those involved in national security. Deep inside the government lies the secret intelligence agency Somnium Control, or simply Control. Read more HERE
are usually businessmen or men of power who employ skilled dream-sharers to take up certain jobs of the client’s choosing. Dream Addicts also fall in this category.
are normal everyday people that may or may not know about dream-sharing and don't normally get involved in it.
An EXTRACTOR, usually the leader of the group, is a person who extracts people's secrets through their dreams. The extractor is a master con man, a person who knows how to manipulate a dreaming mark into revealing their deepest mental secrets. At heart, an extractor is a classic con man – he creates a false set of circumstances that manipulate the mark into revealing his secrets. In inception, extractors have the same role, but their main goal is to influence a person’s actions rather than steal information.
A POINT MAN is responsible for researching the details behind upcoming missions, including the background of the mark, and to ensure that all team members know their roles.
A FORGER is a social con person, able to make others think the forger is something other than they are. A skilled forger is a master of imitating people’s mannerisms – and in the dream world, even their very appearance. They are able to manipulate their appearance because in the dream world a sleeper's body is a projection of their mind. With enough skill a forger can take a wide variety of appearances, unrestricted by age, sex, or mass. The act of changing appearances seems to involve a mirror.
A CHEMIST, usually involved only in inception or is employed by the government, is the team member who formulates the drugs, presumably including Somnacin, needed to enter the dream world.
The ARCHITECT is the designer that constructs the dream space into which a dreamer brings a subject. An architect is similar in this regard to a video game designer, with the dream representing different levels within the game, complete with all the aesthetic and tactile details. The subject is brought into that dream space and fills it with details from their own subconscious and memories. The architect often fulfills the role of the dreamer during a heist, but the architect can also teach their designs to another to dream.
A TOURIST accompanies the team on their mission for some reason, but he is (for the most part) an observer. It is important to impress upon teams the escalating risks of taking along inexperienced dreamers in cases.