Thursday, September 25, 2014

Online Novel Chapter 2 - A Strange Familiar World

It was completely dark when they finally came to.  Dan was the first to rouse from unconsciousness.  Ignoring the aches in his joints, he propped himself up on his hands, and finally to all fours.  He cracked his neck and opened his eyes.

That was when he discovered he was blind.

At first, Dan thought it was a lack of light that caused his blindness.  He'd been in plenty of power outages, and no lights made it tough to see.  However, after a couple of seconds, he knew the awful truth.  This wasn't "it's a little dark but I can make out shapes."  No, this was "my vision is totally black and I can't even feel my eyeballs."

"Ahh!" he screamed.  "Somebody help me!"

The rest of the group finally started to stir.  The room they'd woken up in was dark, but the rest of them could still see a little.  As their eyes got more and more used to the dim light flittering in through cracks in the wall, they were able to make out details of both the room and themselves.  However, nothing of what they saw made sense.  What made even less sense was Kurt's voice - it was much higher pitched, and that was even without his next exclamation.

"Hey - I've got tits."

The group looked at their friend to see that in the place of this scrawny stick with patchwork stubble was a well built blonde with long hair and a cloak draped over her shoulders, a hood hung at the nape of her neck.  Even more disturbing was that she had a death grip on her chest.

"Who the hell are you?" Tucker asked.  As he got to a knee, he clinked.

"It's me - Kurt."

Tucker froze on his way up, his eyes bulging from their sockets.  Whatever answer he was expecting, that certainly wasn't it.

Slowly, each of them started noticing differences in the way they were dressed.  Tucker had a net of linked chain on his head that complimented the armor on his chest and the heavy sword at his side.  Chris wore a brown robe with a rope belt, while Pat sported a leather vest and scruffy pants, along with a long staff.  Ray wore a full length robe of sparkling blue, a belt full of small bags and satchels strapped around him.  Lisa had leather straps across her smallish chest, and there was a dagger perched on her hip.

But it was Dan that was most bizarre.  His clothes were tattered, his hair falling across his head in wispy strips.  Most striking were his eyes - they were a shade of milky white, as if someone took a correction pen and colored in both the irises and pupils.

It was Chris that first uttered what each of them was thinking.  "I think we've become our DragonLore characters."

"Don't be stupid," Pat said.  His demeanor showed confidence in what he said, but the crack in his voice betrayed his uncertainty.

Tucker pulled up his sword to his face and said, "If so, this could be kinda cool."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Dan cried.  "I'm friggin' blind over here."

"And I'm a chick," Kurt added.  "I ain't used to having a vag."

"Seems like maybe your sense of humor came back to bite you in the ass," said Lisa.

"How about I come over there and bite you in the ass?" Kurt said.

"Would that qualify as chick on chick?" Ray asked.

Bickering quickly spread through the group.  Fueled by their uncertainty about what was going on, to say nothing of their shock about being literally in a game they'd been playing for more than a decade, the yelling got louder and louder, rapidly threatening to descend into chaos.

The bickering ended when a large ball of blue light floated into the room.  It centered itself on them while several small bolts of lightning flew from the edges.  A few moments later, the light coalesced into the shape of a man who was both solid and transparent.

"Brave souls," the man said, "I am so happy to see you.  It appears our spell worked, and now you've come to save us."

Each of them wanted to speak, but they were stunned into silence for several seconds.  Lisa was the first to regain her voice.

"Who are you, and what the hell has happened to us?"

The man seemed to smile.  "You are the most worthy souls we could find.  No one in our own world has the strength to save us, but we knew if we could draw heroes from outside, we had a chance."

"Heroes from outside?" spluttered Ray.  "We're college students, not heroes."

"On the contrary, we've been following your exploits, and your work is legendary in our realm."

Ray was getting animated.  "Our work?  We play a game.  We roll dice.  None of us has picked up a real sword outside of a Renaissance Fair."

"I don't understand to what you refer," the man said.  "You have been on incredible adventures.  You've slain many creatures and taken much treasure.  You are indeed worthy."

Before Ray could argue with the shadow again, Chris said, "You said we were here to save you.  What do you mean?"

"Is that really relevant?" Ray hissed.

"We could argue, or we could find out the mess we're in.  Your choice."

That shut Ray up for the moment, so Chris repeated, "What are we here to save you from?"

"The end of the world," the man said nonchalantly.

"Come again?" Lisa asked.

"The Dragon Flight is upon us.  It spells the end of civilization, as was prophesied 2,000 years ago.  Only a group as intrepid as you can save us from a terrible fate.  Come, hear our story..."

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