~ Chapter 2: Kidnapped ~
Three days have passed since the world received the ominous message regarding our impending doom, yet no one discovered who sent it. The religious fanatics took it as a chance to blast out their beliefs at anyone who cared or not to listen. Even at school, people were acting weird about it. One of the teachers didn’t show up for class, and some of my classmates were still at home. Everyone else simply didn’t care or believed it had nothing to do with them. I was in the group who didn’t care.
Surprisingly, math retained its boredom factor, but it wasn’t like I was weak or hated the subject, it was because of our teacher. He was a 60 years-old man who barely spoke and constantly scribbled numbers and equations on the table. He was the real ‘life of the party’.
After classes were over, I decided to hit the park together with some of my schoolmates. I packed my things, and we were just about to leave the campus when all of a sudden, there was this bright flash of light. I quickly closed my eyes and stopped in my tracks.
What the? I thought.
I had no idea what just happened, but when I woke up, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, or Romania for that matter…
All I could see were hundreds if not thousands of other people all around me. They were all between the ages of 16 and 30, or so I assumed judging by their looks. There were both men and women here, even someone who looked like a typical Japanese high school girl.
Is she a cosplayer? I wondered.
I tried to move and talk, but not even a single muscle wished to obey me. I could only move my eyes and head, but it didn’t take long before I entered in a state of panic.
Oh God! What’s happening to me? Why can’t I move? Where am I? Who are these people? What happened? I thought as panic quickly lay its dangerous claws on my mind.
From what I could see, the others were the same as me, they couldn’t move. Everyone was looking around desperately for an answer, but some were simply staring up. I had no idea what would be so interesting about the sky or the ceiling, so I looked up as well.
What the… That can’t be right… I thought.
Dumbfounded, I watched what was displayed above me, but it wasn’t the ceiling of some warehouse filled with neon lights, it wasn’t the blue sky I usually saw whenever I walked outside, no, what I saw was a world. We were staring at an unknown planet, a mysterious world with many islands on top of an endless ocean. I had no idea how big it was, but judging by the white clouds and the occasional green patches, I believed it was similar to Earth.
An alien world? A hologram? What’s that? I thought, but it felt like I was answering my own questions.
“Testing! Testing! Is this thing on? Well of course it is, I’m not using a mike or anything the like!” the same voice we all heard three days ago caught our attention.
Everyone looked towards the direction of the voice. We saw a floating white cloud and a being made of pure light standing on top of it. That entity was a giant at least ten times the size of a normal man. It didn’t have a face, clothes, or any other special features, it was just a mash-up of yellow light and lightning in the form of a humanoid being.
“Very well then! I’m sure all of you can hear me! To begin with, I am what you may call a God-Like being. To the religious fanatics among you, not a God, not God, but a God-Like being! Meaning I am very powerful, I know a lot, and to your mortal simple minds, I may actually be your so-called God. Anyway, moving on with introductions, I’m sure most of you aren’t interested in my life story but more in why you are here and what’s going to happen to you from now on!” said the entity and then created what appeared to be a form of giant holographic screen in the sky. On it, Earth was displayed as seen from outer space. “You all recognize this beautiful blue pearl, right? For those of you who have no idea what they are looking at, this here is Earth, the planet you have been living on until now. So, last time, I told you that a big and powerful alien species was getting close to Earth and would soon engage to conquer it. Well, as things are, many of the more advanced species out there felt that you hairless monkeys deserve a chance to evolve!” the image changed to a political map of Earth from present time. “You are quite messy, unfortunately. Sooo many states… Sheesh! Anyway, the Galactic Council sought my help in order to solve your measly little problem! And I said, why not?!” he then laughed, and the map changed to a political version from around the year 0 AD. “So, I went back into the past and gave humanity countless trials! They were various from discovering new technologies, to conquering, to find various saints and prophets, etc!” as he said that the map changed to show various important figures from our past as well as their influence on the map. Powerful rulers and important religious figures were seen on that screen. It appeared that this powerful entity had a play in countless defining moments of our history.
As he went on about the many trials he gave the human species and how close we were to destroying ourselves during WW2 and even after the use of the first atomic weapon, I looked around to see how everyone else was faring with the situation. I, for one, was quite calm and relaxed when I should have panicked like a chicken in front of a fox. It was strange, but maybe it was thanks to that weird entity’s calming aura. No matter where I looked, no one was twisting their heads and looking desperately for an exit or a savior. They were all calm and relaxed.
“Now that I’m done with the history lesson, I believe it is time for me to explain your role in all of this!” he announced.
A gut feeling told me that I wasn’t going to like what I was about to hear.
“You are all to be sacrificed to a man-eating dragon in order to save 10% of the human population back on Earth!” he announced.
What did he just say? I asked myself as I looked at him horrified. We were to be what? Nonono! This has got to be some sort of mistake! What does he mean sacrificed? Will we be thrown into a volcano? Eaten? Killed on an altar?
Thoughts of our imminent doom surged through my mind and panic once more settled in. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t flee, only move my head and eyes around. Everyone looked in fear at each other, trying desperately to get loose and run away. Meanwhile, the one who proclaimed to be a god-like entity remained quiet and watched us like helpless little sheep sent to the slaughter.
“I’m joking! I’m joking! Haaa~! I always wanted to do that!” he said as he leaned back in his cloud and began to laugh loudly.
A joke? Who jokes like that?! I wanted to scream out, but my lips remained sealed, and I could only shoot a glare at him.
“Well then! Time for the real deal!” he said and then changed the view of the screen back to that of Earth. “While ya all are here, your peeps back home will try to fix things up in their own way, meaning either have a country conquer more than 70% of the surface or create a World Government of some sort, in which more than 120 countries have to be represented equally!” declared the entity.
Then why are we here? I wanted to ask.
“Oh? I can already sense that some of you realize what sort of an impossible task that is! Currently, some of your countries already declared war and began attacking, but meh! Not like I care!” he said with a nonchalant shrug.
I didn’t need to be a genius in politics to understand what a war could mean back on Earth, especially with the nuclear arsenal at their disposal. I could only hope that my family was going to be safe…
“As for all of you… Well, you are about 10 million in number and were all handpicked by me! You bunch will entertain me and the gods of the world you see up there by acting out as either heroes or villains, depending on what you will choose to become! To put it bluntly, each and every one of you will become the main character in their own story! If by the time the last one of you dies that world becomes a better place thanks to your influence, then Earth will be spared from the alien invasion, if not, well… I hope your friends and family bought the ‘Dummy’s Guide on how to live under warmongering invaders’.” he explained and then showed us the book as though he was advertising it. “I wrote it myself! It has funny pictures, a few color pages, some charts, you know… the basics.”
He actually wrote such a book?! Is he expecting us to fail? Well, technically speaking, he could see the future, so… I thought as I looked down for a moment, then I realized something The rest of our lives? So we will live… and die there?
“Boring part is done, now on to the fun part! SKILLS! STAT POINTS! AAAAAAND LEVELS!” he shouted to the point that my ears were ringing.
Levels? I asked myself as I looked confused at the entity.
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