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.
Militarized ProjectionsEditIt is possible to train one's subconscious to defend itself from invasion. In these cases, certain projections will become militarized and more difficult to defeat. Such projections will be more heavily armed, intelligent, and aggressive, capable of surrounding targets and coordinating assaults upon them. Projections become stronger, more coordinated, and more heavily-armed the more levels down the subject is in the dream. An example of this occurs in Fischer's dream, where at the first level the projections consist of security agents with assault rifles attacking one at a time or in two-to-three man groups, with a significant delay between each attack. In the second dream level, the projections attack in two-man teams and do so faster and more aggressively. In the third dream level, the projections attack with large numbers of coordinated, well-trained, and heavily-armed soldiers and a machine gun-equipped Humvee, with no clear end to their numbers.
A common defense against projections is to have an Architect construct a dream world in the shape of a maze, so as to confuse and delay the projections. However, the only ones who can know the maze are the dreamer and the architect; if anyone else is aware of the dream's structure, then their projections are aware of it as well and can use it against them.