Life was good.
For the past 18 years, you have lived in an ideal world – until today.
Your earliest memories were of favorite toys and fields of colorful flowers that stretched out into forever. You ran in those fields and played with those toys. You played with each other. You have known each other all of your lives. You played together, you learned in the same classes in the class circle. You also knew others, but they went away.
Myari, you had a friend named Sara. She had fluffy hair and big eyes. She kissed you under the ancient blue tree. You didn’t like it! You were only seven and it was gross!
Jocelyn, your friend Hiro had orange and black stripes and unforgettable eyes. You and he also had a first under the blue tree – but you were a bit older!
And then there was Napoleon & Josephine. They were best friends for as long as you can remember. Inseparable! If one was missing, so was the other and you could bet your favorite toy they would be found together. The last few years, their feelings for each other changed … and strengthened! Everyone understood, no need to explain. Even the teachers understood, and seemed very troubled by it.
Of your original group, only a few are still around. Sara wasn’t there for your big 8th birthday party. The teachers said she needed to be someplace else. Hiro began acting strangely , he’s not been around for three years.
Josephine went away six months ago. She pulled you all aside and told you she had to go – she couldn’t explain why. Napoleon was heartbroken. He begged her to stay. He begged her to explain. She couldn’t and it hurt her to say that. The next day, she was gone. Napoleon hasn’t been the same.
Napoleon begged the teachers to bring her back. They said they couldn’t and they all looked to one teacher for help. He called himself Bower. Of all the teachers, Bower seemed to get the most respect from the other teachers. He didn’t teach as much as the others, but he spent more time playing with you than any of the others. You all aged 18 years and Bower didn’t age a day – none of the teachers aged. They all looked like humans, just like in the history books. You all looked like animals. Bower and the other teachers said you were special and destined for great things. But, they could never explain the great things that Sara, Hiro, Josephine or any of the others were doing.
Three weeks ago, things changed drastically. No teachers showed up for class. A few more of you disappeared here and there. Now there were only five of you left; Miyari, Jocelyn, Napoleon, Doug and Lenin. A few minutes ago, all went black. The fields of flowers and the library and the class circle all vanished. And just now, you opened your eyes. You feel awful as if you haven’t moved your body in a month. Tubes are in your nose and mouth. Fluid flows through tubes into needles in your veins. Patches of fur and scales have been shaved away to allow electrodes to be glued on. You now notice the flashing red lights. You are in a metal tube with a large window – the lights are coming from outside the tube. There is a lot of flashing lights and some smoke. Then everything around you shudders. You are plunged into darkness. You are sure your arms, legs and torso are restrained. The darkness continues as everything around you is violently shifting. Another shudder – is it an earthquake?
The lights come back on. A loud hiss comes from your tube as outside air and acrid smoke pour in. The top lifts from your tube and your bonds loosen. You hear a klaxon outside the room with your tubes. Sounds of explosions and maybe even beamers are coming from every direction. It appears you are free – what do you do now?