Chapter 1: Abduction
Lance was sleeping in his bed in his hostel dorm when he felt a sudden shift in his dreams. One second, he was happily dreaming about flying through stars and the next, he felt weightless to the point that it startled him awake.
He was in a stone room, unadorned by any decorations. The walls were smooth to the touch, and as he picked himself up, he realized that he was still in his night clothes. If someone were observing Lance right now, they would see an overweight boy of 18 years, with a bulging tummy and an enormous backside. His tanned but fair face had sharp features, with the eyes especially holding a charm that would want people to keep looking on. With high cheekbones, an angular nose and a sharp chin, he could have been the avatar of masculinity and attraction, but all this was hidden under a layer of fat. The only impression one would get would be that of a cute and chubby boy, although the eyes could be striking at times.
As Lance observed the surroundings, he tried to figure out what was happening. Born in a fairly privileged family, he could get everything he wanted since birth without much effort. The only thing lacking in his life was interest. He let himself get fat for no other reason than that he wanted to see how hard it would be to get thin again. He had his fair share of fears, with his main one being the prospective of living like a zombie by following the plan his parents had set for him: to get a job and settle down, like any normal man. This terrified him, although it seemed so appealing to so many of his colleagues.
If there was one overarching trait which could describe Lance right now, it was this: Laziness. His biggest boast was that he once spent 3 days in his room without moving, by simply eating and drinking everything within reach, binge watching anime and peeing in a bottle. The effect of not having interest in anything thus manifested in this trait.
As he looked around, he realized that there were no marks whatsoever on any of the walls. The room was perfectly square, with the corners sharp-almost looking like 4 sheets of paper were made into a cube by propping them up.
Lance was puzzled. If there was no entrance to the room, how did he get in here? His quick wit, which had helped him all his life to be as lazy as possible, for once started trying to figure out something useful. The possibility of secret grooves popped up in his mind, so he started running his fingers around the room to search for one to no avail.
As he was wondering whether this was a dream, he realized something alarming: it was getting harder and harder to breathe! With no entrance or exit whatsoever in the room, he deduced that someone or something had teleported a fixed amount of air along with him into the room. But with this realization came an idea: if this was being done by someone, what could their purpose be? Could they be observing him right now?
No other explanation made sense. With growing terror seeing the rapidly depleting air, Lance shouted, “HELP!“.
“Took you long enough to ask.“, a cold voice replied, right behind his shoulder.
Startled, Lance jumped backwards. As his head hit the wall right behind him, he found himself slowly loosing consciousness. The fear of not having enough oxygen to breathe once he woke up did nothing to help him stay awake.
Unbeknownst to Lance, the person that had just appeared had a look of mild shock on his face. “So this is Lance. Half the time has been lost to meet just the first condition. :Sigh: Guess my lineage won’t be entering the initiative after all.“, he mused to himself. The man was tall, standing at slightly above 6 feet and wore a designer suit. He would fit into the office of any CEO of an MNC. Middle-aged, with a long goatee and immaculately combed black hair, he was the very image of style. If one looked close enough, they would see the similarities between Lance and this man.
The same nose and similar chin stood out as distinct similarities. As he waited for Lance to wake up, he took out a pocket watch and checked the time while idly observing the room. “Finely created, even if I do so say so myself.“, he thought.
“What happened?“. As Lance slowly woke up, he found that breathing was becoming more and more difficult. As he lost consciousness and woke back up in the same location, he concluded that it was really his physical self that was present in the room. This newfound knowledge only served to cause more panic.
“If you are done thinking about the improbability of this situation, let us move forward. The first condition of calling out for help has been achieved, so I shall put forward the second. This room has been constructed just for you. It has no openings whatsoever. It cannot be broken by any amount of force. Your task is to get out of this room by any means possible. As you are my descendant, in a moment, I will temporarily transfer my power to you. You can manipulate any dimension in any direction in this setting. Anything you can think of, you can create. Think of a way out before the time runs out.” Disregarding the shocked look on Lance’s face, the man took out his pocket watch again to check it. “You have 9 minutes and 37 seconds remaining.“The man’s face showed no emotion throughout the explanation, as if he didn’t care no matter what happened.
As Lance digested the information, he saw the man almost deflating like a balloon. His muscles which bulged with strength and filled out his clothes to the point of bulging slowly reduced till only the bones with a thick layer of skin was left. As he saw this, Lance felt something flowing into his body. He was shocked to see a stream of light, majestic in its brightness with dark red colored shapes flowing like leaves in it. When the stream ended, Lance felt like he had had the biggest meal in his life. He felt full of vitality and energy. He grew muscular, and although the fat remained unchanged, his whole body underwent a transformation which made it look like that of a power lifter’s instead of simply looking obese.
A clarity surged in his mind. His thoughts felt like they were racing, and every particle in the air and every wrinkle in the now old man’s face were clearly visible. “Is this what being God feels like?“, wondered Lance. It felt like every aspect of existence was under his control, and he could crush anything if he wanted.
As he was reveling in his new found power, he heard the man’s coarse voice snapping him out of his fascination.“4 minutes remaining”.
Lance put all other thoughts aside and started to think about the predicament he was in. Although the allure of exploring the new found power called to him incessantly, he realized that if didn’t solve this problem, he could very well die.
He first tried the most primitive method available: punching the wall. He moved a little away from the wall and as he began with a running start, he felt his whole body responding to his wish to destroy all in his path. The feeling of being in control of every cell in his body and aligning them all for one purpose was intoxicating. His muscles flexed, increasing to almost double their size. With loud thuds, he ran to the wall opposite to where the man was seated and punched with all his fault.
Before he could see the result, he found himself on the ground with a splitting headache. The room reverberated like a bell, and the ringing grew louder and louder in his ears. As he screamed with pain, he felt his ears bleeding.
What was puzzling was that the man still sat there, oblivious to whatever was happening in the room. Lance was at his wit’s end. Controlling dimensions? What does that even mean? He could create anything? Lance had the instinctive feeling that brute force was not the answer. All the solutions he could think of only used brute force.
In the limited time he had, Lance tried everything he could think of. At one point, he even thought of summoning a tank, but felt it was useless. The man’s voice rung out every 30 seconds. As he heard the voice saying “One minute remaining”, Lance lied down on the floor.
The floor was cold to the touch and somehow felt oddly comfortable. In this possibly last minute of his life, he found that being lazy one last time was a fitting use of his time. As he reminisced about his life so far and wondered what he excelled at, he found out that it was this: being lazy. Being in a state where your body wants to get whatever needs to be done with the lowest energy possible.
Lance found himself slipping into his self dubbed “laze state”. His thoughts slowed down on a macro level, but the truth was, his thoughts had sped up by thousands of times in a micro level. Many many micro thoughts flashed through his mind, but in his laze state, Lance only recognized them on a higher level.
Almost being half asleep, Lance closed his eyes with a small smile creeping onto his face. This was the infamous laze state of Lance. In school, he was known for slipping into this slight sleep like state with that creepy smile and being hit by chalks thrown by teachers. His personal record was taking 7 chalks to the head before waking up(the teacher in question was also curious). His parents had on numerous occasions been terrified walking into a room with Lance in this state.
The man had an eye on his pocket watch and the other on Lance. As he saw him slipping into what seemed like sleep, he felt highly bewildered. For all the participants knew, these were the last few seconds of their lives. He had seen people lash out violently against the test takers, cry uncontrollably or even beg the test taker to save their lives. But going to sleep in the last seconds of their lives? This was very very rare.
As the seconds ticked away on the clock, the man sighed again. When the last second ticked on the clock, the space they were in weirdly warped, almost like the image on a TV screen warps when you change the channel.
As the man got up from his seated position, he dusted off his clothes and prepared to take his powers back from Lance.
“Whe-where am I?” This voice was, to this day, the thing that scared the man the most in his thousands of years of lifespan. To this day, he remembers how he was startled out of his skin and had to clutch his heart to keep it from beating out of his chest.