Earlier you made a choice. Did you choose right? Well, it’s not to late to change your mind. Look well, at your possible pasts, and now, choose for real!
Did you pick Barbarian? Then you are Greg the Barbarian. Really though your story started earlier!
Three Hours ago!
Earlier at your performance review, when you were Greg the Accountant, the boss complimented your tie, but you suspect he was being sarcastic. And while you told him that you love your job, and it’s a joy to work here, the truth is the outdated spreadsheet software makes your skin crawl every time you have to use it. After the meeting (which is to say just a few moments ago) you were taking a little break and surfing the internet. You accidentally clicked on one of those ads that claimed you were the millionth visitor and had won.
A pop-up came up, asking what your true wish was. You tried to close the pop up but it wouldn’t go away. Finally in frustration you muttered “I wish I could just smash this. I wish I could smash everything!” Everything goes black and then there is a flash.
And now we’re back to the present.
The case of your computer sparks, and smoke rises around the head of your axe where it is buried inside it. Around you the rest of the cube-farmers look on in shock. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the now black screen of your monitor. Your shirt is ripped by muscles you didn’t have two seconds ago. Your tie is choking you, so you tear it off and wrap it around your head to keep the water that is now pouring from the roof out of your eyes. There is an annoying and repetitive screeching sound, and the peasants around you are milling about in panic, but mostly fleeing from your awesome might.
The Boss comes out of his office and looks around in confusion.
CHOICE B1) The Boss is a worthy foe! Charge The Boss and enter into mortal combat!
CHOICE B2) The Boss is not a worthy foe! Brush past him and search his lair for loot!
But, wait, what if you had made a different choice? Maybe you picked Troll! Then you are 23PenguinsRool23. At least you were while you were trolling random blogs on Tumblr. We’re not going to do the time travel thing, as it’s become tedious already. Earlier this morning (really it was last night, since you haven’t been to sleep yet) you were RickRollsCrits and what you were doing was decidedly less legal then making fun of teenagers’ dumb posts.
You doubt that the sirens are really for you. Let’s be fair here, you’re really good at hacking, and you covered your tracks really well. Hell, it’ll be two or three days yet before your cut clears the off-shore accounts and gets somewhere that you can use it.
Still, it pays to be paranoid. You check that your “work” laptop is encrypted, and then hibernate it and slide it into the hiding space in the floor. It’s a good thing too, because the cops have definitely stopped close by, which a quick check of your security cameras confirms. Someone must have ratted you out, you know you didn’t make any mistakes!
You slam your “play” laptop closed and slide it into your backpack; it’ll have to do. You grab your emergency purse and a jacket. You can hear a pounding on the front door, if you don’t get out now, there’s no chance you’ll escape.
CHOICE T1) You’re on the second floor, but you’ve watched a lot of Parkour videos on youtube. Defenestration is the answer!
CHOICE T2) The cops will surely find the “work” laptop, you can practically hear the fan yourself through the floorboards. Grab it and then make a dash for it.
CHOICE T3) Down the stairs and out the back door before your dumb-ass boyfriend lets the cops in.
Yet, you may well ask, why be satisfied with the choices given, maybe you want to make your own choices. Fine. You are after all the great wizard, Wathemet. However, that does mean we will have to go back in time.
One Hour Ago
I never said far back in time. And to be honest, maybe Great is a bit of a stretch, you are only a Level five wizard, though that is pretty great. You’ve nearly finished scribing your essay on the Use of Alchemical Fire in Subterranean Expanses Under Duress. Satisfied with your work, you cast a Spellcheck spell, to check the spelling and grammar, flip your hour glass and decide to relax a bit by reading some inferior essays by other wizards in Scryer Weekly. You settle back in your comfiest chair with your crystal ball and a fine glass of wine and begin reading.
One Hour Later. Which is right now. That is to say, we’re back at the time where we started. Oh forget it, time travel is complicated okay, and maybe not the best narrative device. I guess I was right to skip it the second time. I’ll just take my own advice next time. ANYWAY, onwards:
It is fortuitous that you finished the bottle off some minutes ago, for you have stumbled upon a most disturbing article from an upstart young rival wizard, and you’re so angry you drop your wineglass onto the floor to grip your crystal ball with both hands and stare deeply at the offending missive. It is entitled Stress Related Injuries due to Misapplication of Alchemical Fire in a Dungeon Environment. And it is an almost word for word copy of what you have written, except that (and a quick glance confirms) the Spellcheck Spell hasn’t even finished. Yet everything is there, even your observations of a hapless halfing’s hilarious attempt to ‘fight fire with fire’ as he put it, but chucking a vial of the stuff at a Flame Bat. Oh, this is infuriating. And unjust! You can not let this stand, but how could it have happened?
CHOICE W1) How he did it matters not, Loxius Ignotus must pay, and soon! You grab your hat and staff and storm out the door.
CHOICE W2) If you can find out how Loxius Ignotus did it, your can return the favor, and discredit him in the eyes of your peers.
Choose once, choose well!
So there you have it, all three stories that could have been chosen. However the story will only continue on a single thread, so ONLY the most voted for choice will continue (at least until we die or live happily ever after). To vote just comment below (the first time you comment it’ll be moderated, but after that it should show up instantly). Bonus points for justifying why your choice is the best possible choice in all possible universes, and anyone who chooses otherwise is silly.
Votes must be submitted before noon on Monday so that I have time to write up the next chapter!