July 16, 2069, day of the Invasion.
An old man with a face sagging with age walked hurriedly into the labotary. He wore a white coat almost too big for him. Under the coat he had a red shirt, he also wore a pair of jeans worn down with age. He had long white spiky hairs that almost made him look like an old lion, the image was further helped by how confidently he walked throught the lab as if he owned it, which to be fair he did.
The old man turned toward one of his loyal employer who was looking around the lab nervously. ''How are things going? Are we ready for the first test?'' He asked the younger man with a booming voice that could be heard in all the lab.
''U-um Professor Dogwood our preparation are almost ready, the first test should begin in about two minutes.'' The younger man responded shakily.
Benjamin Dogwood nodded with a satisfied expression plastered on his face. ''I can't believe it's finally close to completition, my life's work. With this we will change the world of space travel. You should be proud Professor Wilden!'' Professor Dogwood said before slapping the man on the back with a loud guffaw.
At that moment a woman with a no-nonsense expression came toward both of them holding a clipboard in her hands. ''Professor Dogwood? Please take your place. We're about to open the portal.''
The old scientist walked quickly toward a room full of chairs facing a complex machine humming with barely contained raw energy. The Professor sat in the front row keeping his eyes fixed on the machine as if he was scared it would vanish out of thin air at any moments.
They had to wait around five more minutes for the seat to fill in. When the seats were finally all filled, the same younger scientist from before came on stage. He looked just as nervous as before maybe even more. ''Hello everyone my name is Professor Franklin Wilden. I work here as both a scientist and the chief engineer of Balsam Wood labotary.'' The man took a pause to take a sip of a glass of water and then took a deep breath to continue his speech.
''Today is a historic day for both science and humanity. Our team of scientists worked tirelessly for almost a decade now to advance space travel technology to the point where we can send humans to other galaxies. Something most people thought would take another century at least. But we decided to think outside the box. We always thought we wouldn't be able to reach other galaxies until we managed to travel at the speed of light. But thanks to the revolutionary invention of the D.T. Starleap we won't need to. This invention will allow astronauts to teleport their ship anywhere with a precision of around one thousand kilometers. Rendering the need for light speed completely moot.'' The nervous man stopped talking as the crowd started clapping politely at his speech.
''And with that I'm happy to let Professor Benjamin Dogwood take the stage.'' The man sighed in relief as he exited the stage, he never was any good with crowds. Before he could retreat any further a young boy ran toward him and grabbed him by the leg.
''Daddy! Are you done with your boring speech? I'm hungry!'' Franklin rosed an eyebrow at that.
''Boring? This invention could change our world forever! It will be like all those movies you always love to watch.'' Judging by the bored looks on his face the boy wasn't interested.
''Sure it will, you always say that and then only a handful of people ever get to touch your inventions.'' He said with a pout.
The man rolled his eyes evidently this wasn't the first time this conversation had came up. ''Listen teleportation is not a toy, we can't give it to just anyone. We need to give it to people who will use it responsibly.'' He said in a lecturing tone.
''Boring! I'm hungry, can we go eat?'' The boy asked restlessly.
The man sighed in barely conceiled annoyance. ''Professor Dogwood is about to open the portal for the first time, I can't miss that for-'' He was interrupted as he noticed the growl in his own stomach. ''Ugh, fine I guess I'm hungry too and the first test won't be that interesting anyway. After all for the first test we will only open the Starleap at a random locations in space to begin with. We'll probably see nothing but empty space for the first few tests. So let's go eat.''
The engine roared as the light finally turned green. ''Ugh I hate the city, there's way too much people on the streets.'' Franklin complained with an annoyed expression plastered on his face. Looking in the mirror he saw his son looking out of the window with a bored expression. ''So Oliver, you're about to start school next year huh? Are you excited?''
''I guess.'' The boy replied in a bored tone while continuing to stare at the cars as they passed them.
Franklin sighed at that and looked at the reflection of Oliver in the mirror. ''Look I get it it hasn't been easy since your mother passed away. These last few months I wasn't able get out of the lab much because of Starleap. But I promise we will get to spend more time together once this project is done.'' The man was only met with silence. ''Oh look we're here! Your favorite restaurant.''
Oliver reluctantly followed his father into the building. It was a small restaurant one that you might easily overlook as you drove down the street. But the people who lived around here knew that there was no better chicken in the city than in the little restaurant, simply known as Barry.
A young woman stood behind the counter and immediatly smiled as she saw the both of them. ''Franklin! About time you showed up! I was begining to think you didn't like this place anymore.''
Franklin chuckled at that. ''This is the best restaurant in the city. There's no way I would ever stop loving this place.''
Then the woman looked down and smiled at the boy behind Franklin. ''Oh and is that little Oliver? You have grown so much since the last time you were here! So... Both of you want the ususal?'' At that Franklin nodded eagerly. The woman made her way toward the kitchen while Franklin and Oliver went to sit on their favorite table.
The table was far in the corner which meant they wouldn't get disturbed by people coming close to their tables. Instead of the usual wooden chairs, the seating were made out of a large cushion which made the table even better.
It took a while for their order to come out of the kitchen. But once the waitress came back an put their meal on their table, both Franklin and Olliver dug in like a pair of ravenous wolves. Most of the meal was spent in silence. Both of them were too hungry to talk much about anything. Even if they weren't, neither of them really knew what to say to the other.
Both of them sighed contently as they finished their meal and fell in silence for a few minutes. That is until Franklin noticed that news of D.T. Starleap was on the television hanging from behind the counter. ''Sarah! Can you turn on the volume?'' The same woman from before looked at him in surprise before she looked at the television and understanding dawned on her. Without a word she took a remote and turned the volume up.
Professor Dogwood could be seen in front of the camera pointing to a huge contraption behind himself. ''...And with that I present to you the next step in mankind history. It is only fitting that it would take place here on this historic day. Exactly one hundred years since we landed on the Moon.'' The old man then proceeded to press on a large red button with a big yellow 'Warning' sign written above it. Immediatly the machine began to hum with power. It only took a few seconds for a blue vortex to appear inside a large metalic ring that was buzzing with electricity. It took a few more minutes before anything else happened. But finally the vortex cleared up and an image came to life inside of the blue veil. Then as far as the eyes could see, millions of stars appeared forming completely new constellations never before seen by humans.
Franklin held his breath as he saw this. ''Oh my God this is incredible... A completely alien galaxy. With this maybe we will finally discover a planet that could properly substain human's life.'' Franklin gaze was fixed on the screen tuning out everything else around him. But all too soon the portal closed and the television channel switched to playing some random cartoons. Franklin sighed as he realised the show was truly over. ''Well I guess that's that, we couldn't really expect to see a new planet right away. It was a miracle we were able to see so many new stars on the first try.''
Suddenly a chill ran throught Franklin entire body and his body began to tremble slightly from the sudden drop in temperature. ''Sarah, did you turn on the air conditioner?''
''Yes I did, but the temperature isn't supposed to be anywhere this cold.'' She replied with a confused expression on her face.
''Huh?!'' The voice of Oliver cried in surprise. Immediatly Franklin ran toward his son and looked at him worried.
''What's wrong?! Are you cold?'' He asked worriedly.
''Well yeah, but look at that! My juice completely froze!'' Franklin looked down on the table and just as his son had said the apple juice was now made of solid ice.
''What the hell is happening? I don't care how powerful your AC is there's no way it could freeze a liquid this quickly.'' Before anyone could reply the ground suddenly shook and many tables and chairs were sent tumbling on the ground. The earthquake was followed by a horrific roar that sent shiver down the spines of every patrons in the restaurant.
''D-dad? What was that?'' Oliver asked in a shaking voice and not from just the cold.
''I don't know, but I think we should get out of here.'' Without hesitation Franklin took Oliver in his arms and quickly made his way toward his car. He quickly took his key out of his pocket and tried to turn on the car, but the engine would not turn on. Franklin tried once again to start up the car but a sudden earthquake shook his car and broke one of his windows.
With a swear he gave up on the car and took Oliver in his arms once again before getting out of the vehicle. While exiting the car he saw many people running in the streets, panic clearly etched into their face. ''Excuse me can someone tell me what the hell is happening?!'' Franklin asked in a slighlty desperated voice.
Most of the people completely ignored him and continued to run as if their life depended on it. But one man turned to him with a terrified expression and screamed. ''Dragon!'' Franklin looked at the man and shook his head with a groan.
''Great the only guy that want to talk to me and he's a crackhead.'' Deciding to not stay around here any longer Franklin decided he would make his way back to the lab. The place had pratically become a bunker after Professor Dogwood became obsessed with protecting Project Starleap, not that he could blame him.
But only a few minutes after they left the restaurant they once again heard the roar and this time it was much closer than before. It was followed by a loud explosion that shook the ground. As he looked behind himself Franklin gasped in horror one of the skyscraper that doted the sky of Ringabell City had frozen in a solid chunk of ice and then it exploded into millions of pieces as something massive rammed into it. It was then that he saw it, a massive serpentine creature that floated in the sky of it's own free will. Franklin despite his years of studying science could only think of one name for the creature: ''Dragon!''
With clear panic Franklin started to run as fast as he could. ''T-this is not real right?'' Oliver asked in a fearful voice. ''I'm sure this is just another crazy nightmare and I'm just gonna wake up back home.'' The young boy said trying to convince himself more than anybody else.
Unbeknownst to them the Dragon had spot them. his serpentine body twisted and turn in the sky as it gave pursuit to the man and the boy with a predatory glint in it's eye. Before Franklin noticed the oncoming threat it was too late. The Dragon let out a huge breath of ice on the streets bellow itself and froze everything in sight.
To his horror Franklin noticed he had been stopped in his track and when he looked down he saw that one of his leg was trapped in ice. He tried as hard as he could to dislodge his leg and tried to hit on his frozen limb with his other foot. But there was nothing he could do to free his leg. With a resigned sigh he placed Oliver back on the ground.
''Oliver, I know you you're scared but you're going to have to go on without me.'' Franklin said in a serious tone.
The young boy's eyes widened in horror at that. ''What?! but-''
Franklin shook his head. ''There's no time to argue. Run as fast as you can and don't look back.'' he said in a grim voice.
''B-but I-'' Oliver began again.
''Oliver run, now!'' Franklin shouted at the top of his lungs. Oliver turned around and started running as fast as his legs could carry him. Franklin noticed that the Dragon looked at the small figure of Oliver with an almost hungry expression. Seeing this Franklin growled before taking his cell phone from his pocket and threw it right on the Dragon's face. ''Leave him alone you ugly piece of shit! I don't know where the hell you came from. But there's no way I'm letting some Stonean New Year's decoration hurt my son!''
The last thing Oliver heard from his father was an angry yell before it was silenced by a loud roared followed by a cold chill he still remember to this day...