“God, why is everything so boring?”
Once again, it was the same schedule he went through every day, just a continuous daily slog of sleeping, working, and eating, day in and day out. He was left in his usual position of sitting next to the window in his college class, listening to the same small talk and gossip that people typically did before class started.
The world’s that contained the stereotypical, fantastic stories of beating down your enemy with overwhelming power didn’t exist here. Nothing that great did, it was all just… so normal. Nothing in this world seemed near as interesting.
Taking a deep breath, he sighed, laying down on his desk to wait for class to start. “Hey Drake, what are you doing?” Surprised, he slowly looked over to see Taylor, one of the friends he had made during his college life. If you were able to describe a person at a glance, she would be beautiful. Brown hair with a few blond highlights, a pretty face, and a bit on the small side. She covered her ears with piercings, and had a relatively cheerful personality. Guys would often make small talk just to talk to her for a little longer.
“Nothing really, just sitting here.” Sitting back in his desk, he leaned back, trying to stretch a bit. Glancing at her, he could see the same, expectant gaze he always saw from her. It was always something that bothered him. He was just an average guy. Barely shy of six feet, and somewhat above average in intelligence, he just seemed to float through life up to this point. Sitting down next to him, she looked at him curiously, “I was just wonderin’ why you are just sitting there with that gloomy look on your face.”
Looking outside, he thought back to what he was thinking of earlier. Facing her, he said nonchalantly, “Have you ever wished you could change something about the world? How everything seems too pre-planned and set from the moment you’re born.” She gave him a questioning look, before seeming to smirk a bit at his question. “Unfortunately, that’s just how things are these days. It’s not like we can just go back to the old days where everyone is fighting to survive. Sure, it’d be more adventurous, but is it really what people want?”
Feeling his stomach drop, he sunk back into his usual stoic attitude. Her attitude always bothered him. She always seemed to just shrug off his ideas. Of course he didn’t actually believe everything would change. Everything is just too set in stone. Shaking his head, he propped his head up on one hand and turned to her. “Yea, I get it. So, what’s wrong lately?” Drake said, frowning slightly. She normally didn’t talk to him first unless she wanted something or wanted to complain about someone, typically a certain someone. “Boyfriend trouble again?” He guessed.
She looked to Drake, her eyes narrowed angrily. “Of course! All he’s done is yell at me lately. We fought again this morning and it feels like I just can’t do anything right. It’s like he wants one thing and wants the exact opposite the next! What the hell am I supposed to do about it.” She threw her hands up indignantly, before sitting down angrily next to him.
That wouldn’t happen if you actually did anything about it.. He thought to himself.
He sighed, and said, “Why don’t you try to stand up for yourself for… once… what the hell..” Looking around the class, he could see that everything had gone almost completely dark, even the electricity. Looking outside, he could see that even the sunlight had disappeared, leaving everything in an almost twilight state.
Descending from the skies, he began to see spire-like structure come into view, followed by a massive monolithic structure. As it slowly encroached upon the earth, Drake began to hear a voice slowly begin to talk to him, the sound seeming to come from all directions.
“To the beings known as Humanity, it is a pleasure to be able to make your acquaintance. We, are the Caracatia.”
Jumping out of his chair, Drake looked around, eyes wide in confusion. What the hell? Where is this voice coming from, who is in my head?!
Taking a moment of pause, the voices began to speak again, seeming to thunder in his mind.
“We are currently speaking to every individual on the planet through relays above the major cities on our ships. It puts quite a strain on us, so let us begin. What we are here for, is a new chance.”
Frightened, Drake looked up at the massive structure that had descended. A chance? A chance for what? And what the fuck is going on here?!
The thundering voice continued, “We’ve been watching you through the radio waves coming off from your planet for quite a while now. Most interestingly, we’ve been examining a wide variety of races that don’t seem to exist on your planet currently, but appears all throughout a variety of historical texts and other entertainment sources. Quite honestly, we’ve all become quite enamored with a variety of those races, but don’t seem to be able to find any DNA records on your planet itself. So, we all came to a decision regarding the future of the planet you call Earth.”
Eyes widening with fear, Drake could only stare in horror at the massive flying structure, his thoughts racing.
“We are willing to make a deal regarding your species. Choose to become something more than human. We have the ability to change you, each and every individual, but only you will be able to make the choice to change yourself. After one week, we’ll begin setting down creations of our own that we are particularly fond of. I hope you make the right decision and let it be fun for the both of us. That is all.”
“So brother, do you think they will do it? It’s quite a large decision. Of course, whether they choose to accept or not, the current state of humanity is doomed, but if everything goes right, it’s going to be so much FUN!”
Aboard a gigantic ship located behind the Earth’s moon, two of the leaders of the so called Caracatia were speaking with one another. They were a bipedal species, roughly seven feet tall as an average across the race. If someone from Earth saw them, they could easily be mistaken for an octopus that had grown a body. The two brothers, one wriggling with excitement, continued to talk.
“Who knows how many will take the chance. However, with the chance of potential evolution for so many individuals, it’s going to require a large amount of power. We need to send out a division to the opposite side of this system’s sun, parallel to the Earth. We need to be able to do this discreetly, otherwise it could cause problems. Tell them to collect as much energy as possible, this plan was ambitious from the beginning.”
The shorter Caracatia spoke, his tentacles wiggling in anticipation. “How many do you think will be willing to take the risk? I say we spice things up for the first of each race, just to make it more interesting, what do you think?”
The older brother laughed, a sinister smile seeming to form under the mass of tentacles. “How long have we been watching this species, brother? Up to the last child, they become obsessed with power so easily.” Glancing left to a large display, the younger brother excitedly combed through the different potential species, leaving the older brother to continue speaking. “We were in luck. We spent so long look for an ideal race, one that isn’t restricted by that damn council, only to find billions hidden and waiting for us on this blue pearl. Ohhh, the creation of so many unique species on one planet. Just how interesting do you think it will be?”
The shorter brother smiled, the tentacles on his face wriggling with joy, “Enough to keep us entertained brother, enough to keep us entertained.”
As he continued to watch the large spire floating in the sky, a slew of thoughts raced through Drake’s mind. He began to mutter to himself, “This can’t be real. There are actually aliens, and just for fun they want to change all of humanity? And what the hell did they mean by choice?”
At that moment, he felt a piercing pain shoot through his head. He looked around, and strangely, he saw letters beginning to form, floating in front of him. After a moment, they came together to form one word. Draconian.
What the hell is a Draconian? He thought.
Immensely confused, he looked around, seeing that the strange letters continued to stay consistently in his field of vision. Turning to Taylor he asked, “Hey, do you see any strange options in front of you? It should be some kind of mystical race, at least I think it should be. It just appeared for me after I started thinking about that choice those aliens offered.”
She looked at him oddly before answering him. “Options? What are you talking about, I don’t have anything like that. Wait, are you actually taking this stupid choice thing seriously… owwww.”
She scrunched her face in pain. After a moment, her eyes widened in shock, and she slowly nodded to Drake. “Yea, I see what you’re talking about now. Umm, I have a few options. There’s a Succubus… High Elf… Hey Drake, there’s something in my list that’s called a Nekomimi. What the hell is a that?”
Laughing internally, Drake desperately attempted to keep a straight face in front of Taylor.
Oh god, how did she end up choices like those. Space creatures, whatever the hell you are, you truly are amazing.
Taking a moment to calm himself, he tried to think about her various choices. Honestly, the real problem is that besides the elf, I can’t really think how those races could be useful. If this ends up turning into what I think it is, she would probably die to the first monster that looked at her weird.
Putting on his best act, he tried to explain it the best he could. “Well uh, I wouldn’t recommend choosing to become a race called a Nekomimi for combat purposes, after all, you don’t even know what it is. It could be anything. As for the succubus…” Desperately trying to think of something, all Drake could draw was a blank. “Well.. it’ll probably be used for the obvious reasons. Maybe it’ll have other uses once you get used to the body, but we don’t really know what it’ll be good for.”
As Drake tried to give an explanation, Taylor seemed to be just staring at empty space from Drake’s perspective. Looking back, she gave him an amused look. “Hey Drake, you do know it tells you what the forms can do.”
What, seriously? Why didn’t I get that option?!
He looked through his options again, this time noticing faint lettering under his option.
Wait, I think there was still something under mine.
As a beast race, the effects of the transformation are unstable, and may end in failure. Be warned. The risk is worth the reward.
His eyes squinting in disbelief, he thought, the risk is worth the reward, what the hell does that even mean?
Shaking his head, Drake listened to Taylor as she continued her explanation, “Well, apparently the Nekomimi race has enhanced senses and strength that is double that of normal humans. The elves live for a really long time, and their agility is three to four times that of a human. I can’t even imagine what being able to move around like that is like…” She trailed off in amazement and then looked to the next option. “And well, as for the succubus..” She stopped mid sentence as her face slowly started to turn red. Of course, it was obvious what that particular race would be good for. If the aliens really did base it off our myths and other shows, it’s really only popular for one reason.
She continued, “Well, um… they are pretty good at charming others. According to what it says, they have a light form of mind control, but don’t really seem to have any combat abilities. At least not any that it’s willing show tell me.”
Surprising, it looks like they at least they gave it a few more options. Well, whatever she chooses, hopefully she can take care of herself.
He took a moment to think and gazed up at the massive airship in the sky again. Quickly, he confirmed something to himself, and turned to Taylor. “Hey Taylor, I’m going to head home. I want to see if I can find out anything over the internet, and I’m not sure if you want to stay here for much longer either. If I’m right, you’ll want to be somewhere safe. I’ll call you if something comes up.”
He grabbed his things and began to rush out of the classroom, taking one last look at Taylor. She had been his friend ever since the first day of college, but now, he was doubtful if he could even help her at all. He shook his head uncertainly, and began to make his way to his car.
The sooner I can get home the better, if this offer works like I think it does, then there’s going to be trouble. If people are able to turn as soon as they want, then it’s likely we’ll be seeing new races around the world. There’s going to be trouble and soon.
“Finally home.” Drake looked around his room. It was pretty typical for a college student, small and out of the way. He had lucked out, and was renting it for a cheap price, since it was relatively far off from campus and the other renters didn’t like the size.
He cracked his fingers out of habit and sat down at his computer. “Ok, time to see if anyone was actually dumb enough to transform right away. With any luck, I’ll be able to know what to expect at the very least.” Turning on his computer, he starting searching for any news related to the offer. Surprisingly enough, aside from major news sites covering the alien ships, there was no one talking about the offer itself.
“You’ve got to be kidding me, there seriously can’t no one talking about this.” Muttering to himself, he kept combing through the various news sites, hoping to find information. After another five minutes of constant searching, he hit a wall. Everywhere he looked, there seemed to be a complete lack of information.
“Dammit! Seriously, all you have to do is think about the damn offer and..” *BUZZZZ* As he reeled from the sudden headache that hit him, he looked down as he watched the strange, wispy lettering begin to appear before him again.
Ahh.. that hurts. Does it really need to do that every time? And what was that warning for the beast races anyway?
He looked at his own offer again. As a beast race, the effects of the transformation are unstable, and may end in failure. Be warned. The risk is worth the reward. Slamming his fist into his desk, Drake stared angrily at the vague meaning behind the warning.
Running his fingers through his hair, he muttered, “Dammit, I still have no clue what kind of risk it’s even talking about.” Frustrated, he tried to interact with his offer.
As he did, his fingers passed through the lettering, leaving him with a small shock. More irritated than intrigued, he continued to try, leaving him increasingly angry. “I know Taylor said that she was able to see what her races were actually capable of, so why can’t I see anything for mine. Then again, the better question is why the hell do I only get ONE OPTION?!” He slumped down in his chair, irritated.
As he was stewing over his situation, an idea suddenly struck him.
“Wait… beast race.” He quickly searched for that term explicitly, leaving out any mention of the offer, and just like that, hundreds of posts from different message boards flooded in. “It didn’t even hit me before. Of course, the government would try to censor something as big as this. You don’t want people listening to the big bad aliens, so they block any mention of it.” He smiled in victory for a moment, before leaning in to his computer.
“Well, time to get to work.” As he scrolled through all the different posts and videos, he learned one thing very quickly. For some reason or another, there tended to be two different types of people.
The first type, were people like Taylor. They tended to have humanoid, or at least semi-humanoid races choices. The second type were, unfortunately, people who were stuck with Drake’s situation. They all had strange, and sometimes horrible race choices, and all they were given was that one choice. Drake managed to stumble onto a message board and had luckily found that a few people who met up on the forum that were going to meet up in real life. They all had a similar beast race choice of Minotaur and were going to try to transform. They said they were going to meet up just to be safe, and would post an update. Apparently, they were going to take roughly half an hour to get together. Given that it had been almost twenty minutes since the post had been made, hopefully it wouldn’t take too much longer.
Sighing, he sat up from his desk, he looked outside to see the giant structure still hanging in the sky.
He muttered, “So I’m stuck with this huh. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much, can’t really choose when there is only one option, but seeing other people have choices like turning into a hellhound or an orc, and suddenly I feel a lot better about my situation.”
He turned away from his computer, and thought back to his drive here. He had the radio on in case something major happened, but even there it was just a blackout of information.
Honestly, why haven’t I been hearing anything at all about it? It can’t be a coincidence that no one is talking about it. Shaking the nagging feeling away, he turned and made his way over to his bed.. Grabbing the remote, he made himself comfortable and turned the T.V. on.
Guess I might as well watch T.V. while I’m waiting for those guys to meet up. Not like I have much else to do.
As he turned on the T.V, he was startled by a blaring noise, and what he saw horrified him.
“BREAKING NEWS, it seems that the aliens have broken their promise to wait a week before sending all manner of horrifying creatures to attack citizens. It’s only been an hour, but there have already been reports of strange creatures wreaking havoc on the city and nearby rural areas.” As he looked at the television, Drake couldn’t believe his eyes. There was a griffin dive bombing people in the streets, with blood already on its talons.
It seemed to be missing various people who could just dodge out of its way until it managed to snatch a large man who wasn’t able to move quickly enough. As it grabbed the large man mid-flight, it viciously bit down on the upper half of his body, the large beak covering the man’s head completely. Blood gushed out of the body as the griffin struggled to maintain flight for a moment, then stabilized and carried off its prize. Drake could barely stand to watch it begin to carry him off, and the griffin quickly turned around a large building, losing the cameraman as it did.
Shaking his head hesitantly, his eyes widened in disbelief, “They said they’d wait. If they’re doing this for fun, then why set down creatures early, why tell us anything in the first place, it doesn’t make any sense!” Drake was in shock. Looking at the TV, he watched as the cameraman slowly panned over the scene of carnage.
“What if…” Drake quickly shut off the television and hurried back to his computer. He went back to the message board that was supposed to have the group turning into Minotaur’s one by one, to make sure it was safe.
The forum had updated roughly a minute ago with a new message. He felt his stomach go into knots as he clicked on the link. As he read the forum post, it confirmed his fear. “Dammit. I knew that’s what it was.” The post read as such.
“It wasn’t safe! After she changed she just went berserk, and killed everyone else she could get her hands on. She seemed to be ok at first, but after a few seconds the light just went out of her eyes, and she gored the man who was standing in front of her! After that, she just seemed to grab anything in range and rip it apart.”
Cursing himself for his stupidity, he began to think to himself. That must have been what the warning was for the beast race offers. While I’m not sure how high the chance is, or if it even differs in between the race or the person, there’s a chance I could go berserk.
“HA HA! Look brother, the fun has already started.” Aboard the mothership, the two brothers were watching the mayhem. “Did you think those humans would ignore the warnings so easily? While the humanoid group doesn’t have anything to worry about yet, the beast races are already running amok. HA HA.” The younger Caracatia was standing over the viewing platform, joyfully taking in all the carnage.
Clarota looked over at his brother. He had always been excitable, but ever since we arrived at this planet, he seems to have gotten worse. Well, it shouldn’t cause any major issues.
Rather nonchalantly, he said, “I didn’t expect them to create as big of an impact as they did either, brother. I’m curious how many will choose to turn once they learn that their fate is to likely fail in the transformation. Honestly, I’m quite surprised this has turned into an issue already. What is the concentration of mana in the atmosphere currently”, he asked curiously.
The younger brother turned to him, a downcast look on his face. “Barely 4%. I imagine it would be much more interesting if we hurried brother.” Althari was upset his brother wouldn’t allow him to speed up the process. If too many of the beast race turned right away, the likelihood of something going wrong with the process increased greatly. Without sufficient mana, there was no telling what could happen.
“No. We are already converting mana as efficiently as possible”, he said strictly. “Leave the few of the beast races that transform quickly. They are negligible. After all, between that cryptic warning we left to deter any from immediately transforming, and the human’s natural response of fear of the unknown, it’s likely the humans will do all the work for us.”
What do I do? Between berserk humans and the monsters that are going be dropped down in six days, I need to be able to do something! Drake’s mind was scattered. While there was a chance he could go berserk, he could also be killed instantly if he was unlucky to be found by one of the berserk beast race. Even if everything did go well, he could be shot at by others until he was able to explain himself. Boarding himself up wasn’t an option either. Who knows what kind of changes the Earth is going to go through after the aliens are done. With a resigned sigh, Drake made his decision.
I need to transform, and I need to do it in a place where there aren’t any people. At least that way I won’t cause any damage to the people around me if something goes wrong. He paused. This could very easily be the last day of his life.
Taking a moment to sort out his thoughts, Drake renewed his determination. “I don’t know if the chance is random or not. If I don’t know the answer, there isn’t any point in worrying about the consequences. I’ll only be pointlessly wasting time. That griffin attack wasn’t too far away from here.” With how fast that thing is able to fly, there could be any number of monsters moving around, he thought to himself. He sighed, and moved without a second thought.
A few minutes later, Drake was crossing over bridges located nearby, where he could hide himself away in the nearby nature reserve. It would be one of the most deserted places nearby that he could get to easily. Taking a deep breath, he steeled himself. “Well, let’s see what being a Draconian is all about.”