We met in a bar. My friends dragged me to the dark building, lit with rustic light bulbs instead of diffused-beam lighting system. When I asked the bar worker, he said the owner had a stockpile from back when bulbs were viable, and he hated to waste money.
The light from the bulbs was fuzzy, and as my friends dragged me from the bar to a table, I spotted her.
She was beautiful. Even in the shitty light, I could see the chocolate color of her hair, and her button nose made my stomach do flips. Her delicate-looking arms moved wildly as she gesticulated to her friends. She was obviously one with the popular girl crowd, but somehow I ended up in front of her. “Excuse me, miss? I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re beautiful. If you’d like me to take you out to dinner some time, just… let me know.” I handed her my business card. “Sorry if this is kind of a faux pas or something, but I don’t have scrap paper or a pencil.”
For a long time, she simply stared at me, then laughed and pocketed my card. “Thanks.” She winked, and went back to talking to her friends. I left before it could get too awkward.
After that, we began dating, and I eventually proposed. We planned a wedding in the fall, so there would be bright colors, and her dress would stand out.
There was a problem, though– a big one. It was bigger than money problems, and it was bigger than health issues.
I was kidnapped yesterday by some men in suits who showed me a video about how some army or another was preparing to invade, and to escape them, I had to destroy the world, and it would recreate itself in an alternate timeline, and everything would end up a little different, but fine.
I didn’t buy the ‘everything will be fine” bit at all, for the record. I don’t have much choice about the rest– they showed me the invading forces, and what they did to other planets that they set their eyes on. The president himself– they wanted a face I’d recognize– begged me. When I asked why it had to be me, they told me that it had to do with my genes; I was a descendant of some previous alien visitors.
The agents that kidnapped me led me up a giant elevator, and pointed me to a door with a hand scanner beside it. They said they couldn’t follow me in, and waited outside as I let the scanner read my hand. The door opened automatically, and after I went in, it slid shut with a soft hiss.
So, I was trapped. Lights began to appear– no, not lights. They were stars of many colors and sizes, and all seemed so very close, and to slowly swirl about. I extended a hand and felt a light brush of warmth and energy as I touched one of them. All of them zoomed together, and I quickly turned to look at the human figure they formed. The figure stared at me, and I stared back.
“You are a son of Fren.” It’s voice came from all around me. “You are here to reoriginate the world of your birth. Is this correct?
“Yes?” My voice was a squeak.
“Initiating mental scan.” His hand extended, and came to rest on my head. For a moment, all I saw was a brilliant white, interposed with shining numbers, letters, and so many unknown symbols that made my mind spin trying to comprehend them.
The star man withdrew his hand, and the symbols and light faded, and I returned to the questionably real world. “What was that?” I had the feeling he spoke again, but couldn’t hear it.
“Reorigination codes rejected. You possess the defensive codes. Do you wish to initiate defensive protocols?”
“What does that mean?”
The man scattered, and the stars animated the world, and more formed a shield around it that slowly expanded, and a ship was caught up in it, and it was slowly pushed away, and then obliterated.
I nearly pissed myself. when I leaned closer and saw tiny star people floating around it.
“Show me this again, but without the star effects.” The words left my mouth before I could even think, and a moment later, I watched again as, to my horror, instead of a clean explosion, the people on the ship– people, for sure– were killed as they silently screamed in agony while creatures made of stars slaughtered them inside a bubble of air. I covered my mouth to keep from vomiting. “Are there other options that will protect us without killing them?”
The man reformed. “Yes. Initiating mental scan.” The scan happened again, but it was over much more quickly. “I will show you what you wish to happen.” He dispersed, and showed me the same again, except there was no explosion, nor any attack. I cradled the invaders’ ship and pulled my hands apart– the ship grew, and I could look in. Everyone was asleep, and a creature of stars was piloting.
“What is the destination?”
The ship in my hands changed into a lush planet much like ours.
“Will they destroy it?”
It showed me how the star creature would release a wave that would disable all of their major technology.
“Do that, then.”
“Checking for codes.”
I winced, but stood straight as he did the scan. This time, I opened my eyes and began to manipulate the symbols that ran through my mind. I had no idea what they said, but when he withdrew his hand, he looked unsurprised– reformed, as well.
“Codes accepted… Sequence activated.”
For a long time, I held my breath.
I spoke again. “Establish open communications with the creature.”
My mind felt like it expanded outwardly with more speed than the universe itself, but I felt myself become distant from who I was. It was too late now, though. The small part of my mind reserved for personality was overpowered, although the emotions from that portion colored my every thought.
Instead of going down to marry my fiancee, I created a seat and remained in the room.
We were incompatible.
A shocking wave of emotion swept through me, and I shouted something, and my mind shrank down, until it was too small to know how tiny it was.
Suddenly, the whole of reality jumped, and I realized what I did.
I used the reorigination codes what I wasn’t supposed to have.
Everything around me dissolved slowly, until I floated in nothingness, and then I remembered what I shouted.
“I want my wife!”
Minutes later, the honeymoon was finished, and I felt a strange tingling sensation just at the back of my head, right where it met my neck, and a surge of emotion overflowed through me as the enormity of my actions finally hit me.
I gave up ultimate power, I gave up a peaceful ending, just to be with a woman.
Another realization hit me.
The tingling sensation was from cold, and felt pointy. The sensation increased, and then my body disappeared. My eyes remained closed, and when I opened them, I saw a complex symbol, and it enveloped my consciousness.