Dis-oriented (ECHO)

Because ECHO is based on a true story I had to go through a lot of self-evaluation and memory to be clear on it. The hardest part of this project so far was writing the exerpt below as it brought up some painful memories and things I am unsure on how to show in a film. So I am sharing it here with you, Dear Reader, so maybe you will understand.

Now that this is written down I hope ECHO can move forward easily and into the more exhilarating parts of the story, as we have only just begun.

~SMB

Mercury Rose, Age 18

So, given that the Native groups were a part of the college she was going to, and the history around the area, it was no surprise to Mercury when they told the new students that there would be some Natives doing a ritual at the New Student Orientation.

Happy for her new adventure she was on she went to the orientation. It was in one of the large film studios on the campus, right across from her dorm. When they first entered the Sound stage she was thinking about what films she would make there and all the amazing possibilities that her education would open her up to. 

She was expecting the things that happened, for the most part. A lay of the campus, how things are done, the grades, meeting your cohort, working through trust falls to keep the cohort closely knit together as they work through their programs. It was fun if not a little silly. 

Then the Native Elders came to the groups, and sat the students in a large circle. They hit the drums and started off a nice melody, a trance like rhythm that heeded what they were trying to do. They lit sage and the elders started to sing to the beat of the drum. They got out feathers and started asking the great spirit for help in giving the new students courage and stamina to get through their studies. 

Rose was not impressed. She felt removed by it, and a little on guard suddenly. although she looked around at the other students and didn’t know what they were thinking. Maybe they liked this sort of thing. She had had plenty of meditational experiences with her Mom in Los Angeles before, but this seemed very foreign to her. And she didn’t like it. There was something not right about it. As if the ritual and the race that was doing all this was so far removed from her she couldn’t even concentrate. 

She started to fade out of it and think about other things, like what they would eat that night, etc. When suddenly the three Elders got up, continuing to chant. They were wearing varied colorful wraps around their shoulders and had feathers in their long hair. Two of them had feathers and all had smoking sage sticks, the smoke of which wafted up and around each student in the large circle. Some had their eyes closed, most all, including Rose, had their hands on their knees as they waited to be ‘blessed.’ 

It was then that it happened.. with the air filled heady with the aroma and sage and other herbs, and the sounds of the tribal sounds, of speaking to their higher power and beyond as a way of lifting up the group surrounding them that they would have a wonderful college experience here. 

Each Elder came around to each student, smudging them and wishing them on their journey. When it happened to Rose, the elders did the required blessing. It was then that she heard it. She couldn’t say that the Elders actually spoke as she didn’t see their lips moving. But she heard a distinct voice from one of them.. ‘We know who you are…’ 

She looked up at them but they had moved on. There was no more chanting and the drums died down as they sat back in the middle of the circle. It was then that her eyes locked in with the Elders, all three glaring at her in such a way she couldn’t deny that they did know her.. know her deeper then anyone in her actual life had known her. She wanted answers, but felt a distinct reason not to, as if they would not reason their hatred about her what so ever. They left and didn’t look at her, in fact, nearly avoiding her. And as the orientation ended everyone crowded to get up and leave and she didn’t have a chance…  Plus the moment had left and I felt empty, and alone. Maybe it was because I was just me again… 

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Dave R., Santa Fe, New Mexico 1992

I had become used to being with Mercury Rose off and on. It would usually happen when I had finished the days tasks and was around a fire, or finishing up eating; or the whiskey had taken my mind to someplace less desolate. I didn’t mind these times, and had come to enjoy seeing what she was up to, and how the world had changed, and mainly how it had stayed the same. 

So when she was going to college I was excited to tag along. I never had the chance to go. I know she wanted to be a filmmaker and a writer and had all these dreams. I had never had the time for such dreams as reality of the war had shaped my life the way it had.  Gotta say though, I wasn’t thrilled when I saw the tribal people standing around during her orientation. I was on guard and wary, as nothing good had ever come from them. 

So when they started chanting and drumming with the noxious weed smoke I knew something was up. This may of been standard practice but it made me very on edge. So it didn’t surprise me when the Elder spoke to her in that menacing fashion and I suddenly felt a rush of wind and I was gone, out of Rose and the stage and far away from the city. Time and space seemed irrelevant as I found myself falling fast into Devil’s Canyon, north of town. I crash landed and rolled in the sand for about 50 feet before I finally came to a stop, out of breath and completely discombobulated. 

It took me several minutes before I tried to move, and groaned as I did so. I was bruised and battered. And, well, where the hell was I? I slowly got to my feet and saw one of my trusty steeds grazing on some grass nearby. This place looked familiar, as if it was from a distant memory. I was pondering this as I grabbed the reins of my horse and leaned up against the tree to lite a smoke. 

But as I did so an arrow parted the air too close to my cheekbone and inbedded itself in the tree, the feathered end of the quiver so close it was blurry in my vision. I didn’t have long to move before there was a shrill cry and I saw him. I recognized the young warrior coming at me at a gallop and anger in his eyes. I knew immediately then where I was.. it was where it all began. And maybe where I, and Mercury both, had been cursed. 

______________________________________________________________________________

Mercury Rose, Santa Fe, New Mexico 1992 – 1995

After that very strange experience at the orientation Rose knew in her heart who she was. This other self, this masculine son of a bitch that helped her through things her entire life, and yet made things very interesting, was not only a haunting spirit or even a guide, but her past life. Reincarnation had been a theme for her all of her life so this was no surprise. But she had to explain it. So she started writing a script to encapsulate the knowledge she had. She met friends at school and with the help of one or two of them they came up with a concept. The idea was simple.. the main characters were in modern day Santa Fe walking down many of the dirt roads that were somewhat off the beaten path; and unwittingly stepped into the past. Mary and Rose wrote this together, playing off each character and really working through some characterization issues that seemed to stem from Rose’s other life. She swore she must of known Mary in the past. Mary, for her friendship, went along with this, but to this day Rose wonders if she was ever fully understanding the true experience Rose was in. 

She also found a friend who understood her or at least tried. Mary and Rose got along well and would pow wow around for awhile during those college years. She was also in the film program, and not from New Mexico. So when they had any free time they were either getting onto film sets to hang out with actors and crew, or hunting down the strange circumstances that Rose had explained regarding Dave and her past. They went to a hypnotist at one point, who was a native. They mentioned Dave but wouldn’t go into detail. But everywhere Rose went she felt she was being watched and judged. It made college and all of its experiences have a whole other meaning. 

During this time her past life was in the back of her mind, but his personality was much more distant.. letting her take the lead, as he had other things to deal with. 

A year or so later during this time Rose’s Mom became deathly ill and she dropped school to be near her for her last year of life. It was horrendous for her and this was when Dave really came to the forefront of her consciousness, giving her the strength to have a life throughout all this. But she didn’t give up her search for the truth. 

In between her bouts of heavy grief and loss she found solace in the strange thoughts her outlaw friend would say. She needed his help and didn’t know it at that point but he was there for her. He had had losses and had turned them into hatred and violence, but that was his place in the grand scheme of things. He knew she had to take a different tact. 

He helped her sustain her life, and your courage to continue in the life. But as her Mom lay dying she lost the everyone be damned attitude that she had taken towards her career, and utterly gave up. 

When her Mom had finally died and the grief was real.. and the world had change permanently, .. they would find each other again, in the frozen tundra of the great white North. 

by SMB & DR @wickedlydrivenmedia 2/12/19

The Traitor (Echo Diary #10: Dave R. / Mercury Rose)

(1880: Lincoln County, New Mexico)

I was riding with a gang out of Southwest New Mexico and a pal I miss now in more ways than one. I was at the bar, leaned over a whiskey when they first walked into my life. I believe it was in a small town in New Mexico, one that was wiped out of existence in time. A dusty street/ one bar town, with a dirt floor and plank bar that served the rotgut that I had come to need to keep my mind straight. It helped then, especially when my life I had built in a Northern town had blown up due to affiliations and bad timing.

As I sipped the amber liquid a tall shadow crossed the doors sunlight and entered. I half turned to see two men enter the bar and take a seat at a table in the room that a new friend was sitting at. They ordered coffee and my pal waved at me to join them. I turned at my seat at the bar, and watched them, but didn’t join in. I didn’t trust anyone new that quickly. My friend gave them info on the gang and had them join up. They seemed eager to prove their worth, but I was not impressed and pretty soon they were the enemy.
The traitor stuck to the lanky guy like a feeder fish and looked at my friend and me as if he was afraid of the hedonistic, rough we were involved in. He had tried to be a bad ass prior to this, but couldn’t hack it and turned to be a wannabe law dog eventually. Because I kept him as an acquaintance he was not clear in my recalled memory, but now I recognize his soul completely.
I can remember him now as a shadow that I kept the corner of my eye on. He wasn’t someone I was concerned with and knew I could take him down easy enough if I had the chance. I also knew the true terror he felt in his heart when he would look at me, the whites of his eyes glowing in the firelight if I moved suddenly. That memory makes me smile now, actually…
He rode with us for awhile, bent on his own reasons, which turned out to be whatever the beanpole wanted; to take us out and get the reward and notoriety. They both turned to the law when things got sticky. I was fine with it, had never trusted them and was happy when they left. It was my true friend that had a problem with their traitorous ways. But this traitor and his tall Law abiding man was nothing to me, no more so than some vague memory that I recalled only when prompted. He wishes he was more to me in his heart.. but he will always be the scared guy who helped the people take my pal down. Pathetic little life he led.
When we went our separate ways we ran into each other one other time, on a cold December night, when my pal and I were captured. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely wouldn’t be the last. I wasn’t too keen on heading up North to face the ‘consequences’ but I wasn’t worried either. Things tended to work out. (Actually, I think it was my cool-headed outlook that scared a lot of those around me, considering I didn’t look the least bit worried about a hangman’s rope, or the courts. But that is something to tackle another day.)
The journey North was a long one and the weather slowed the travel. Shackled to my friend in the back of a buggy it was rougher than riding a horse. When the weather worsened Bean Pole decided to stop for the night at a Boarding House nearby. There we slept through a snowstorm, played cards, and had a strange holiday meal with our captors. But I remember quite vividly the Traitor watching me closely and nearly panicking if I moved to fast, even though I was unarmed, and chained.
Despite this.. the worse thing that traitor has ever done to me.. was falsely identifying himself in another life.
Enough about him… he is dead to me and is of little consequence to my existence, then or now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(present day: Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Recalling your past lives can be confusing and convoluted at times. It is hard to know what to believe and who to turn to. I had extensive experiences, which will all come to light in the feature Echo. But one of the most profound experiences was when I thought I had found a very good friend from a past life. The old soul in me, the Ruffian, was open to the idea of finding one of his pals again. So much so that I allowed the falseness of his words to placate me and make me more open then I should have ever been. He came at me in my current incarnation as my pal. We connected and shared some memories.. memories he would have had being an observer of it all. Maybe his ego was so big or it was wish fulfillment for him, but he pretended to be my friend. We bonded over similar experiences and reveled in the idea that we were not alone. We even moved in with him and his family, for a few weeks, to bond more. There my true-self was validated by some amazing things, but what was a bit confusing and questionable was his fear of me and the way he would avoid being the same room alone with me, and didn’t want to dive deep into our memories of that past life. That’s what I had come to South Texas to do, to revel in each other’s memories of a life long gone.

Earlier this year I thought he was still who he had claimed to be, and had pretended to be. And I, missing my friend, my ‘pal’ sought him out, to reunite again and be friends, damning the present issues we had that had torn us apart for nearly ten years. In so doing I didn’t get him but reunited with his old family, the one he had abandoned. (Yes, he is the same traitor and selfish man he has always been.)
His old family and I are friends now, and they are helping with Echo actually, as well as the Border Ruffian project, among other little details. I had wanted to still meet up with the man himself again, to recall glory days and see what damage we could do in this one.

But, recently some new historical evidence has surfaced, that has allowed myself and the Echo team to figure out some truth… that he was NOT my pal. He was the shadow traitor that was barely a memory to me until his photo resurfaced along with a new one of me, and my genuine pal.
That knowledge has freed me from the desire to contact him again; although for a few moments my past-self wanted to do some serious damage to him. That has since rolled off me like water off a duck’s back now, and I am confident in the truth we know. He will not be getting much in the way of any attention in Echo, or the other projects.. and Dave? He is still looking for his true pal and hoping one day to find him again. If you’re out there.. we will reconnect!

by Sophia B. (inspired by Dave R)
Copyright @Wickedlydrivenmedia2018 (January 13, 2018)

Dear Reader: Echo Entry #7 (Dave R.)

cropped-7a7272ab993f49e8f94029eb296fdd0bSo, Dear Reader… I am quite well aware you are there, waiting in the breadth of the web to read my words and glean from my stories a guess as to who I was or who I am now… or better yet, get interested in the idea of the movie Echo.. which is the whole point to this; that and the eventual Novel series; one that, if you like my stories you might enjoy. Apparently, I did soo much in my life that it cannot be honed down to a movie; at least not yet.
And considering the film Echo is based on this truth, it kinda makes sense to break the characterization for a moment. You see this story that we are gearing up for, and working on so diligently, is based on a true story about me, reconnecting with my present life, ‘Mercury’. Being a strong persona that I am I ended up bleeding into her in a way, affecting her life since she was a little girl, and making a very real connection. I have given her my strength when she was a puddle on the floor and couldn’t move, and she, in turn, is keeping me from being killed off before my time. We are influencing each other. But the story of Echo is how we came to be this way, and have this connection.

In experiencing all this I found my way to walk this world once again. Although the world has changed greatly from my time.. and to take a step in becoming a different person; not just Mercury, but experiencing a new way of living. I think of it as the ultimate disguise. I live in a city that wanted to see me hang in my day; and yet I walk the streets and experience joy and wisdom, art and culture, right under the noses of the law. The law that was after me is long dead, and the records state I was killed in one way or the other. So I am free.
I do not have my own body anymore of course; that part of me is in the ground in the Pacific Northwest; but I have my personality, my memories, and everything that was me back then. Mercury tends to believe we may be living simultaneous lives, and if so, we can influence each other to be better. I like that idea and get a kick out of thinking of my gang, during my lifetime, thinking me intensely insane as I talk to her in my dreams as if I have smoked some opium or drank too much whiskey. We shall see how the historical evidence has changed. I have witnessed with my own eyes some slight variations on what was once true about my fate, and for that, I am grateful and humbled.

We have been called out/ recognized, in this present life, as to who I am, and who Mercury was several times, which shocked and frightened Mercury at first. But she since sees the beauty of this validation and no longer sees herself as just her, a lost girl wondering who she truly is and where she came from. Reveling in this experience and the truth of it has made me proud and is making her a stronger beautiful woman and this brings us both great joy.

Being a woman was hard for me at first. But it keeps me in my place.. as I do not want to overtake her life or have to deal with men who may think like I used to about women and treat them badly. I have learned my lesson, and hope I did so before my death; after all, I did have a wife and children. But how I treated them has affected Mercury as she knows the darkest thoughts of men because of me. Because of this, she is still single. She is working it out and I am helping her work through it. (All this sexual harassment stuff in the news brought this up.)
I did have one friend confess to me he killed himself when he found his spirit in a girls body. I don’t know if this is true, but it shows just how cowardly he was. Life is but an experience we all share, Dear Reader. And to cut short one’s life because of the unknown is just plain bad karma building. And he more than likely will have to come back again and again until he understands that. Me? Mercury and I? We want to learn our lessons, gain our wisdom, and move on and wake up from this odd state into our true selves. But in the meantime, we are here.

I feel sorry for my friends that are stuck in other lives at this time and do not have the capacity or the allowance to be themselves in some way or another. That can be the ultimate hell after all.
My last name will be known eventually on here when the time is right. But it is hardly the point. Although in so doing the book series and the movie following that will vindicate my name from obscurity. I was a bigger name in my day in the papers then all these so-called famed western symbols you know today.. but time has a way of changing the truth to the survivor’s version of history. The true nature of my world and my name will come into focus once again.

So, Dear Reader, I hope you stay tuned to this story as it is told… and get interested in the movie Echo. This is all based on real experiences from its authors and is a true telling of events. Belief systems have mentioned reincarnation.. but not so blatantly as we will lay out.. And in the end, maybe more people can acknowledge their older inner selves, and know who they were truly in the past, to improve upon their lives in the present.

Yours truly,
Dave R. edited by Sophia Bungay

P.S. If you have questions and comments we look forward to answering them.

Copyright @Wickedlydrivenmedia2017