Before me stood a dazzling white figure.
I know this is going to sound cliche, but I’m not sure what else to make of this situation: Looking around, in a world of white, only this figure before me can be seen. It feels strangely real. I don’t feel hazy and I can see and count the fingers on my hands. Clearly I am dead.
It’s unfortunate, but I also don’t remember dying. In fact, the last thing I remember is working on a certain program. I was hoping to make it big, programming something important that everyone would want. No, let’s not lie, I was hoping for much more than making it big. I was hoping to change my life, and not just in a way that money would allow. In fact, I was hoping to change the world with my meager lines of programming code.
‘And so you did.’
I’m pretty sure the being of light in front of me spoke, and I’m still pretty sure I’m dead. This is somewhat flustering. So, uh, what do I do here… “So…” Yeah, probably not the best choice of words. I can’t say I was ever great at communication. My wife and I alway found ourselves angry about our poor communication skills. In this situation, however, what are you supposed to do when you are dead? “Uh…” Again, forgive me. “Where am I?”
‘That’s… Complicated. It could be best to explain this space as a “Limbo” between your previous consciousness and your next one. I am somewhat indebted to you for reasons you will someday understand, probably. Due to that debt, I have decided to “reincarnate” you, or… something similar. Well, if you would like such a thing, that is.’
That is… I’m not sure what to make of this. So, I am dead, or, I died, but does that mean I am dead now, or is limbo something else other than being dead? I always thought that brain death destroyed the brain, hence…. Okay, well, regardless, I will understand someday, maybe? Well, if God was all knowing, and assuming this is a God, then God would know the answer to that question, but if God was not, then why probably? And indebted to me?
“What do you mean?” Fishing for answers, it’s better to be vague, or so I have decided. For some reason, though, I feel somewhat like my words are guided more than my thoughts. Like I’m riding shotgun thinking about what is happening without actually being able to participate.
‘Your old body is gone, long since returned to the soil. I can either place your mind into that of a newborn, and you can experience being reborn anew; or I can place your mind in a shell created at an age of your choice. Though you may also choose to pass along, without further life, into what lies beyond, though I am not allowed to tell you what is there, the choice is yours. Note, however, that everything you know is gone. The world you will be rejoining is quite different from that which you once knew. I believe it would be most accurate to say there is what you think of as “Magic” in the world, and nearly all living things are not what you would think of them as.’
“Oh, uh… How much more can you tell me before I decide?” There seriously isn’t enough information here. What if I’m reborn and find myself a slave from day 1? Magic right? Born into instant slavery by magic. I’d rather not be born in a town bordering the domain of an up and rising Demon Lord, only to be slaughtered days later.
The light seemed to flicker and I’m sure I heard some sort of giggle or laugh come from it. ‘Fear not, you will be well guided. I cannot say so much here and now, as this is a temporary residence for not just you, but us both. What I can state, is that, while i am hopeful that you will become a hero, there is no demon lord. The world will be at peace with itself, indefinitely. That in itself is somewhat problematic, but not to you and your survival. If all you wish is to indulge in your base desires in this new world, you will be able to do so here. I owe you that opportunity, at very least. However, I suspect your nature will show me something different once you find yourself alive again.’
So, it seems no risk? How do you become a hero with no risk? I’m nervous about this. This definitely doesn’t add up. But I get a guide, or whatever ‘be guided’ means. “So how long do I get to choose?”
‘Five minutes, starting two minutes ago when you first spoke’
WHAT?! Okay, okay, 3 minutes, no need to panic. Pfffft, yeah, right. So no time to think, the answer is yes. I mean, if I’m not reincarnated, then it would be no different than declaring ‘Therefore I am not.’ If I am, then I at least get a chance, so… why not? It’s not like I can’t suicide if the world really is that bad. So Newborn or not? I don’t get much choice if I’m a newborn, so lets avoid that. I won’t know much, so I will certainly make mistakes. Usually teens are forgiven when they blunder, so lets start there, young enough to start over.
‘Thoughts registered. You will be reincarnated at 15, the current age of Adulthood, memories in tact, with genome mixed from current inhabitants, and previous life. You receive no choice on that, there are limitations to everything, after all.’
“You seem to be a very fickle Goddess” I muttered wryly as the world around dissolved to black. I felt there was another round of giggles to that comment.
Author Note: Not my first attempt to write, for sure, but this is probably the first time I’ve stuck with it for so long (I have 12 chapter written as of posting this, so this won’t end any time soon). I’m excited to improve my writing, and tell the story that has been floating in my mind for years. I’m open to feedback, but not interested in “You Suxorz.” Troll elsewhere please.
All said and done, join us on Discord.
(I asked him if he wanted to write an introduction and he said “Nah”)