September 2, 2017.
Here, something menacing was occuring. However, no one knew what they were. In fact, no one knew they were happening at all.
Everything was normal.
Inside a classroom.
"Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the allied forces of the Austrians, the Prussians, and the Russians. France became a dominating power in Europe. Any questions?" A teacher in his thirties asked on the stage.
The students stayed silent.
The class was coming to an end. The teacher finally said. "Today's homework is reading pages 123 to 127 and take notes. Class dismissed." He concluded and left the classroom.
At the same time, slightly above earth's atmosphere, a dimensional rift opened. A piece of rock, a meteorite, traveled through the rift and flew toward earth. No one noticed its arrival.
The meteorite traveled with a surprising speed. Within minutes, it arrived a major city and crashed into a building. Normally, such impact would rip the building and the meteorite to pieces. In this instance, however, the building remained intact, and the meteorite disappeared into nowhere.
The students within the classroom were still waiting for the recess to pass. Some of them were looking at their phones while others were having a conversation with peers. But all of a sudden all of their phones buzzed. All of them reached into their pocket and pulled out their phones.
Ava frowned and looked down on her device. There was a strange symbol on her phone screen. It was a horizontal infinity sign. The second she saw the symbol, a large amount of foreign memory flooded her mind.
The device was known as the Host. Everyday the Host would post assignments that students could choose to accept or not. Sometimes the Host would post missions and name students to execute the mission. Refusing such mandatory missions can be punishable by death. Students that Completed such assignments would be rewarded by a currency simply known as coins, while failure to complete the mission would result in a painful death. Coins could be used to purchase anything.
The memory was so real that no student dared to doubt it.
Ava groaned as she completed processing the information. As she opened her eyes, she found herself staring at a menu on her phone. There were five tabs on her phone, but only three of them were lighted. Mission. Merchandise. Self. Others displayed a grey color. Ava tried to press on them, but there was nothing.
First she tapped into the merchandise tab. There was a list of products that Ava never heard of before. She tapped into a product by the name of "Rage spell."
Rage Spell (level 1)
Origin: Dimension CR23933
Effect: Allows all friendly personal in range to gain additional speed and strength by putting the user in a state of constant anger.
Cost: 80 coins.
Purchase / Cancel
Ava frowned and clicked purchase.
You have not enough coins. Product costs 200 coins. You have 0 coins.
Ava bit her lips and backed out of the merchandise section. She looked up and the other students in the classroom. The situation was awkward as no one knew what to say.
Luckily, the awkwardness was saved by another buzz from the phone. Ava quickly looked down.
A "6" was covering the top right part of the mission tap, indicating there were 6 new messages. Ava clicked the mission tab.
Do 200 push ups.
Accept / Deny.
Run 2000 meters.
Accept / Deny.
Ava tapped her chin in confusion. For some sort of alien technology, these missions seemed odd. Sure, she couldn't accomplish any of them, but still. Someone could do some workout and purchase supernatural powers? That's just odd.
"What do you think?" Ava turned to her best friend, Isabella, and asked. The two had been friends since they were little girls. She trusted Isabella with her life.
"I think we are looking at something astonishing." Isabella replied. None of the students questioned the credibility of the Host or the promise of the merchandise. "We can be real life superheroes, if we can survive, of course." Then her phone buzzed.
Mandatory Mission: Requires 10 people.
Randomly picking now...
Ava, Isabella, Tony, Leonard, Alisa, Brian, Harry, Nick, Mary, Carly.
Individuals listed above will be carrying out the mission. Teleportation to target dimension occurs 72 hours later.
Warning: Don't waste this time...
"What the hell?" Ava barked abruptly. She just swore, and she didn't care. The students around her gave a sympathetic look to her and didn't say anything.
"Well, at least we can die together." Isabella responded as she shook her head and slid her right hand through her blonde hair. The memory they were given also told them the danger of "mandatory missions". If casual missions that people could choose to accept or not was to train the individuals, then the mandatory missions would be the actual battlefield. People can die. People will die.
On the other hand, if everything goes according to the plan, then the reward for completing a mandatory mission was also enormous. The number of coins is just the second benefit. The first would be whatever ability one could gain in the dimension.
As the two were still talking, the class bell rang, and the teacher for the next period entered the room. Ava went silent and tried to focus on listening to her words. She couldn't do so, not after what she just knew about. It was a small slip of paper that attracted her attention.
A brunette before her passed it to her. She remembered the name of the brunette. Carly. She was one of the participants for the mandatory mission.
Ava looked down on the slip of paper.
Pass it to other participants of the mission...
Meet me after school in room 230.
Ava closed it and passed it to Isabella. She closed her eyes, and the voice of her teacher faded out...
Ava and Isabella entered room 230 after the class of the day ended. There were already eight people inside. Isabella closed the door behind her.
"I believe you are all aware of our situation." Tony walked up to the stage and stated. His voice was loud and unwavering. He radiated confidence, as he should. Tony came from a rich family, and his parents spent tons of money giving him the best education. He was known to have a GPA in the top five of the school. The man's a genius.
"Of course, we can't come up with a plan since we will not know the world we are going to until we are actually in it. In this case, for the sake of efficiency, I suggest we come up with a leader." Ava frowned. What is he getting at? He wants to be the leader?
"You want to lead us." An Asian teenager asked. He wore glasses and a black jacket. His expression was cold, and so was his voice.
Tony turned to him. "Yes."
"I believe the combined strength of all of us is much stronger than the strength we have if we are scattered. Thus, a leader is needed. I think I am the perfect leader." Tony said confidently as he replied to the challenge. "I have been studying the art of psychology since I was in middle school. My father took me to his company every weekend to teach me the art of management. I can do better than anyone in this room." Tony's father was the head of a technology company, and Tony was raised to be the successor of the enormous empire.
"I guess we will see." Ava said, not convinced at all, and the entire group looked at her. Ava turned around and walked out of the room. "But for now this conversation is pointless. I would rather be doing push ups and earning coins than stay here and talk about potential leaders."
Tony smiled, showing no sign of being angered by the disrespect Ava showed him. "You're right, but I will prove my worth to you...Soon..."
"199, 200." Ava groaned as her arms snapped and she collapsed on the ground. "Ahhhh. That hurt."
Isabella was beside her. She rubbed her arms to distract herself from the pain. "I guess we are lucky there is not a time limit for this madness, or else we're really dead." Her hand trembled as she took out her phone. "I have 100 coins now. You should have the same."
"I think so, but I'm too tired to check." Ava said, laying on her back. The two were in her room and her parents were out on a shopping trip. "The mission is tomorrow, right?"
"Yep." Isabella grinned sadly. "I guess it's victory or death for us. I don't want to die." She mummered. She didn't have the chance to experience a lot of things. Sex. Children. Love. She didn't want to die young.
Ava climbed back up and sat beside Isabella on her bed. She knew she needed to comfort her friend. If her friend entered the other world with such a pessimistic view, she would be the first one down. "If we become strong enough, then no one can kill us, and we can live and complete the mission." Ava said as she held on to Isabella's hand. Her hand was warm.
Isabella nodded, and Ava slipped out her phone and checked the merchandise section. Isabella did a similar thing. The room went silent as the two girls scrolled down the list.
"Here. Check this out." Ava held out her phone. Isabella took it over.
Flame control (level 1)
Origin: Dimension XM20320
Effect: Allows user to control red flame(100 C)
Cost: 100 coins.
Purchase / Cancel
"A fire with 150 Celsius of heat can scorch a person's lung and kill him or her within a short period of time." Ava explained. "Granted, it requires a short period of contact with the victim to work, but it is the best thing I can afford with 100 coins."
"It's your choice, but I think it's fine." Isabella agreed. Ava nodded, not to Isabella but to herself, and pressed the purchase key. Her amount of coins cleared, and Ava could feel something foreign in her brain. She groaned and snapped her fingers. Seconds later, a small fire appeared on her fingertips.
"Are you kidding me?" Ava complained. The fire was small, and it took her a few seconds to produce. Worse, even after the few seconds that she spent talking, her head was starting to hurt. Ava's vision started to blur, and she was forced to put the fire out.
This was not good. Ava remembered somewhere in the memory she received that mystical powers, such as magic, fueled on the physic energy of the user. If someone had strong physic energy, then he would be able to use more of those powers. In her case, her physic power was too weak and too few to maintain the flame for very long.
"Damn it!" Isabella swore. "I guess you need more practice to make this work. It's going to be a while until you're capable of fighting someone with this ability."
"...And before that, I need you to protect me." Ava suggested. "You need to find an ability that doesn't really on physic power. How about this?"
Personal combat equipment (level 1)
Origin: Dimension CS20392
Effect: Provides the user with a M4A1 rifle with unlimited ammo, a USP with unlimited ammo, and a dagger.
Cost: 100 coins.
Purchase / Cancel
"Such a weapon pack is normal but reliable." Ava said. "At least you don't need some mystical power to use them. You still need practice though."
"You're right." Isabella said as she clicked the purchase button.
In a giant house, Tony exited his car before the driver could help him open his door. He walked into his house, talking to someone else on his phone during the process. As he entered the house, he closed his phone and had a smile.
"Mr. K." Tony went to his butler. "Transfer 5000 dollars to these four accounts, each." He grabbed onto a piece of paper and wrote a string of numbers down. The butler nodded and walked away with the paper. He didn't ask why. 20000 dollars were insignificant. The cost to maintain the house for a day almost exceeded that.
Leonard did another push up. At the same time, his mind was turning.
Blocking muscle fatigue...current coin: 21 after purchase...279 after meeting cost of desired product...2250 push ups needed...Mission starts in 15 hours...Sufficient sleep needed for perfect condition in mission...Leave 6 hours for sleep...spend 9 hours on push ups...6.25 push ups per minutes...Starting from now...
Alisa closed her eyes and waved her right hand. Immediately, a cup of water flew to her. She politely held out another cup, and the water container tilted by itself, and water started to pour out. Smoothly and slowly, all the water went from one container to another.
Alisa grinned slightly. Her control of her newly gained power was increasing. She could master the technique when the mission started.
Behind her, dozens of swords were floating in the air...
In Ava's house, Ava and her family were having dinner. To most of them, this was just another casual meal. But to Ava, this might be the last meal she would ever have with her family. In fact, it might just be her last meal.
"Are you ok Ava?" Ava's sister, Lauren Siwan, asked. She was well aware of her sister's depressed mood.
"Yeah I'm fine." Ava replied. She didn't want to tell her family her fear. For one thing, the Host, in the memory transportation, told her not to tell anyone of her experience. If she did, then she would be punished and the ones that she talked to would be terminated. Besides, according to the Host, she would be brought back to the exact time she left, and no one would noticed she ever left...if she was alive, of course. If she died, then another name would join the long list of names of people that disappeared.
"Are you sure?" Ava's mother, Shea, questioned. "I know this look on your face. You're concerned about something." She said thoughtfully. "Do you have a crush on someone?"
Ava coughed heavily. What the hell? How did mom come to that conclusion. "No, it's..." She caught herself. "...I have a lot on my mind. That's all."
Shea nodded and didn't say anything else. She knew her daughter had something in mind, but she had no plan to force it out. Whatever her daughter wanted to do, she supported her.
"Just tell me if there's anything I can do." Lauren said as she touched Ava's hand. Ava nodded and turned her attention back to her food.
She needs to live through this mission...just to see her family again.
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