So, I’ve had a crazy dream and a it really stuck with me. I found it fairly entertaining, so I decided to write down some ideas and manipulate those ideas into material that I could use for a story.
This is pretty much the equivalent of a rough draft. I’ve chosen to create the outline as such so that I can avoid having to wade into the coding aspects of ChoiceScript while actually being able to get an idea of how I’d like choices to fan out. There’s probably going to be quite a few changes here and there if I continue to work on this draft.
I’m gonna come right out at say it. I’m out of practice as far as storytelling goes. I’m reading a few books (Harry Potter! Yay! ) and brushing up on grammar to, hopefully, get back into the swing of things.
The format, of which this story is composed, is fairly simple to follow.
Choices are represented by bold text and an indented, vertical grey line. Groups of choices, in which you are expected to choose only one choice, contain spoiler text, which you can click to unlock and read. There are also “exposition” sections that serve to further your understanding of the plot/characters. The text here is not hidden by spoilers, and you can simply read from top of these sections to the very bottom.
Instructions are also included at the end of choices to direct you to the next intended section of text.
So, read the “prologue” section to the very end, and pick a choice. Instructions will be included, in the choice you pick, to guide you to where you need to be next.
I’d be delighted to have anyone give a read (or skim, I know it’s a mountain of text.) through this material. There’s probably a few typos/grammatical/tense issues issues here and there; I’ll make efforts to correct these as I polish the draft.
The text spoiler text may be a little difficult to read. I apologize for this. It is a limitation that I am unable to overcome. I apologize, again.
Prologue: Section 1
A great darkness envelopes the area, nullifying your sight and reducing your perception of the surrounding environment to nothingness. You stand, alone, in the void of blackness with silence as your only companion. Time passes, yet nothing changes, and you remain unmoving, rooted in place.
“Can you hear me, child of man?”
A voice reaches out to you from the limitless void, startling you. There is a raspy, inhuman quality to the voice; it echoes in your ear and seemingly throughout the darkness.
“Yes,” you respond.
“Superb,” the voice rings out again.
A light, crimson and dull, is slowly brought into being, radiating dimly several feet from where you stand. You cover your eyes with your hands, shielding yourself to allow your eyes to adjust to the newfound source of light. After a few moments, you lower your hands and witness what appears to be the source of the voice that beckoned you.
It is not human.
“Fear me not, child,” the creature speaks, its voice soft, yet authoritative. "I am of no danger to you. But there are those who would bring you harm, and they will come swiftly.
(Proceed to Prologue: Section 2.)
No words escape your lips; you maintain your tense quietude, hoping to discern what lies hidden behind the cloak of darkness.
A light, crimson and dull, begins to illuminate the darkness. Vision is still limited, but you are able to perceive the monstrosity before you.
“No answer, then?” it hisses through its segmented mandible. “Perhaps you would like to see who is addressing you.”
The creature stands tall and proud, its hulking body heaving up and down with each breath.
“All pleasantries aside,” the creature speaks, it gazes upon you. “I come bearing an urgent message. Should you have the desire to live, lend me your ear.”
(Proceed to Prologue: Section 2.)
“No,” you answer.
A few seconds pass without incident. You squint, scanning the darkness while straining your ears, listening for any signs of movement.
Suddenly, a light, crimson and brilliant, explosively repels the blackness of the environment and spreads throughout the area. The emergence of this brightness is accompanied by an overwhelming amount of force that threatens to knock your off your feet as it passes you.
You brace yourself, struggling to keep your footing, your clothes rippling in the raging winds. Just as quickly as it came, the force ceases, though the light remains, its brilliance waning to a dull shine. You spend several moments struggling to recollect yourself.
As you recover, your eyes come to rest upon a giant monstrosity, undoubtedly the origin of the voice you heard. It stands upon all four of its muscular limbs, its body deathly still.
“You would do well to refrain from exhibiting such disrespect in my presence,” the creature growls quietly. “But, I shall allow it, as there is a much more important matter that needs to be discussed.”
(Proceed to Prologue: Section 2.)
Prologue: Section 2
“Listen carefully,” the creature speaks as it slowly advances upon you.
Its voice seems to emerge not from the creature’s maw, but from the depths of your own mind. You clutch your head; the words grate your skull causing you dizzying pain. The creature seems to make note of this; it relents, allowing you time to recompose yourself.
The pain slowly fades. You look at the creature again.
It is truly horrifying to behold. Its body is reminiscent of a canine; its long, powerful limbs end in wretched claws. It has a long, graceful neck; its face is covered by a sleek crest, covering its eyes but leaving its massive, powerful jaws exposed. The creature’s flesh-like, reddened body is covered in blackened, sectional shells that serve as a natural plate armor. Rugged ridges run down its spine and tail; the lengthy tail ends in a flattened edge possessing a sharp tip, greatly resembling a spear. The creature itself is nearly as big as a small house. Undoubtedly, the creature could easily rend your flesh from your bones and swallow you whole.
The creature sits on its hind legs, seemingly observing you mild interest.
“Forgive me,” it purrs softly and not unkindly. “To one such as yourself, my appearance must be overwhelming. But, know this. I am not here to bring harm to you, child.”
“What are you?” you ask slowly, wary of the behemoth.
“What I am…” it replies. “It is of little importance at the moment.”
The creature lowers its head, bringing its gaze, and jaws, to your eye level.
“What I am here for,” it continues, “is an issue that pertains to your future.”
“My future?” you ask. “What do you mean?”
The creature hesitates a moment, as if contemplating its next words.
"The balance between two worlds has been broken. Soon, you will bear witness to terrible slaughter. We shall be unleashed, and we hunger with ravenous appetite.
“Escape will be beyond your means. You must seek to elude our grasp and wait for the balance to be restored, lest you be devoured along with the rest of your kin.”
The creature says nothing more; it is still, breathing heavily and slowly. Silence fills the void between you, and nothing is said for several minutes.
(You may view all choices if so desired.)
(When finished, proceed to Prologue: Section 3.)
“Balance between two worlds?”
“Our worlds are dimensions apart,” the creature says. “It should have remained as such. I am to blame for this. I was a fool, and in my foolishness, I have brought calamity to your world.”
“What do you mean?”
“Contact was made between our two people at my behest. My curiosity numbed my reason and opened the door for tragedy to befall your kin. As much as I had hoped to prevent this, it has become an inevitability. There is no stopping what is to come.”
“Yes,” the creature responds. "I sought your world in pursuit of knowledge and progress, hoping to trade information between our two people; as such, we would all share in the wealth of benefit.
“But, I was blind to the dangers of exposing our dimension to your own. There are those within my kind that seek not to join your kin in fellowship, but to wholesomely devour your people, your world.”
“There are many of us, not unlike your own kind. We are not all the same, not bound by the same philosophies. I had sought to hide the presence of your kind, your dimension, from them. I never suspected they would make contact with one of your own, as I believed diplomacy to be beyond them. But beware! They will come as predators, and you the prey.”
“One of my kind?”
“That is a story that must be set aside for another time. Should curiosity linger still, there is one among your kind who is acquainted with this tale. Seek him out; he will not be hard to find.”
“There will be no escape?”
The creature’s shoulders seem to slump a little at your inquiry.
“No,” it answers solemnly, “At least, not immediately. Time must pass, and if you are able to survive the onslaught, you will find peace in your dawn.”
“Peace in dawn?”
“Your dawn will mark the restoration of the balance. As your sun rises, the rift connecting our worlds will weaken, and our two people will once again exist in separate dimensions. But until that time comes, there will be nowhere to find solace. Seek safety in the caress of concealment, but do not seek the embrace of escape, for there will be none. Only when your sun rises will you be free.”
Prologue: Section 3
“We have exchanged words for long enough,” the creature says, rising to stand on all fours. "The hour grows nigh; soon, they will be upon you.
“If you manage to survive, I am sure that we will speak again, hopefully, on different terms. Until that time comes, let our meeting here serve as a warning and my apology.”
Thank the creature.
“Do not thank me, child,” the creature replies, “for I am responsible for bringing this upon you.”
The creature hesitates.
“Still, your thanks are sincerely appreciated. Pray, be safe.”
The creature turns and slowly stalks away. The crimson light begins extinguish as the creature fades from your sight. Soon, you are alone.
Your vision dims and darkness overcomes you.
(Proceed to Chapter: Section 1.)
Embrace the creature.
You step forward and wrap your arms around the creature’s left limb, hugging and pressing your meager body against it.
The creature stiffens for a moment, but relaxes and lowers its body to return your embrace by cuddling you against its chest and neck.
“Child,” it purrs, “It must be an effort for you to show such appreciation to one as myself. Believe me when I say that I wish we could have met on different terms.”
The creature stands tall and turns to leave. It looks over its shoulder, to have one last look at you, before slowly sauntering away. The creature fades into the darkness, and the light dims to nothingness, leaving you alone in darkness once more.
(Proceed to Chapter: Section 1.)
The creature ambles away; as it fades from your sight, the light illuminating the area begins to fade. The darkness grows, and your senses begin to ebb away.
(Proceed to Chapter: Section 1.)
Curse the creature.
The creature stiffens, an unearthly growl escapes its maw. The creature pauses before relaxing, its growl diminished.
“I do not blame you for your anger, child.” it speaks sympathetically. “I wish I could undo what is done, but what is done cannot be undone.”
The creature retreats into the darkness, seemingly taking the light with it as it leaves. Soon, you are alone with only silence to keep you company in the dark void.
(Proceed to Chapter: Section 1.)
End of Prologue.
(Proceed to Chapter 1: Section 1.)
Chapter 1: Section 1
“Hey, you sleepin,’ or what?”
You are jolted awake by a firm slap to your back.
“Jesus, Jesse!” a shrill voice rings out. “Just what were you trying to do!”
You blink, oblivious to the events that led to this moment. Sitting around you are your friends and acquaintances. You all had gathered to eat breakfast in the school cafeteria, as you usually do, but sleeping at the table is not a habit for you. Granted, you decided to participate in a cram session for today’s calculus exam in Mr. Humphrey’s class, but Jesse had some difficulty understanding the material and everyone present opted to stay a little longer to assist him. Unfortunately, Jesse’s ineptitude for mathematics ensured that you all would be studying into the night, past 1:00 AM, to be precise. To make matters worse, Jesse still doesn’t seem to grasp the concepts of advanced arithmetic, leading you to wonder if your efforts at tutoring Jesse were in vain. One could only wonder how Jesse has avoided failing the calculus class so far. One could also ponder Jesse’s reasons for taking the class, and come up with absolutely nothing.
With the circumstances in mind, falling asleep during breakfast is understandable. What isn’t is Jesse’s decision to wake you by attempting to knock your teeth out by hammering your back with his open palms.
And boy, does Jesse have some big hands.
To be fair, this is one of the more excitable events at Smith Station High School. Well, besides the obnoxious pool parties where literally every student on campus attends. Those are usually held at Derek’s house.
Actually, come to think of it, the weather has been rather strange as of late. Small storms have been occurring over a common location in atypical patterns that were never forecast by the local meteorologist. As it turns out, that location is none other than Smith Station High School.
These storms, while not particularly powerful or destructive, have been occurring late into the night, always over the school campus and never anywhere else. They are unpredictable, suddenly transpiring with little warning. The storms typically last a few hours before dissipating almost instantaneously.
Members of the student body have jokingly suggested that these storms are proof that Smith Station High School is haunted, which the rest of the student body jokingly agrees with. Surely, these inexplicable events proved that Erma Stevens, a poltergeist that vengefully haunts the school grounds to avenge her death of drowning in a toilet, actually exists.
Still, the storms have not been present for the past few weeks, and the campus has slowly returned to being uneventful and, quite frankly, boring.
There is an exception, however. After a long period of tranquility, a storm transpired again, causing great excitement and unrest among the student body and faculty. The storm was considered even more unusual than usual because it transpired during class hours in broad daylight. Students were ushered into the school basement to seek shelter from the intense, destructive winds of the storm. In truth, the storm inflicted very little damage to the surrounding area, but your principal was not about to take any chances.
And to think, the storm only occurred yesterday yet everyone has already seemingly moved on from the event. Supposedly, everyone has become accustomed to these events, as these “supernatural showers” have been around for a good while now.
You yourself had become pretty numb to these events. After school, yesterday, you left campus and promptly ventured to the local mall, which was the meeting location for last night’s cram session. Fortunately, you and your friends were allowed to stay as long as you liked, for the store owners and mall owners are close friends with your families, as is everyone in this small community.
You barely remember going home. You barely remember returning to school. But what you will remember is sting of Jesse’s massive hand being applied to your back and the sensation of having the wind slapped out of you from behind.
Chapter 1: Section 2
“Oi,” Jesse says, sheepishly grinning as he rubs your back in an attempt to alleviate your pain. “I thought our friend here needed a wake-up call.”
“Is that what you call it?” Alison’s nose wrinkles as she glares at Jesse in disapproval. “Jesus, Jesse, don’t you know you could kill someone like that?”
Jesse blushes and wraps his arm around your shoulder.
“Naw,” he says. “I wouldn’t do that to my best buddy here.”
Meanwhile, you are still struggling to catch your breath.
“Jesse, bro,” laughs Derek, his voice strong but friendly, “You gotta watch what you do, man. I’ve told you before, you’re a bear in human form.”
Chuckles emerge from around you.
Finally catching your breath, you survey your table and see familiar faces.
(You may view all choices if so desired.)
(When finished, proceed to Chapter 1: Section 3)
Look at Jesse.
Jesse is a Hispanic male. He is affectionately nicknamed “Gentle Giant” for his imposing size and laid-back, approachable disposition. He towers above everyone in your group and also has a fair amount of weight on him. Alison states that he is chubby, but Jesse refutes that.
“This is all baby fat on me,” he argues.
Jesse well-liked throughout the community. He isn’t particularly bright, but he works hard and helps out anyone in need of assistance. He likes to think of you as his best friend; indeed, one could argue that you are his best friend, provided the immense amount of time he spends hanging around you.
Jesse is also very close to Derek, and calls him his “partner in crime.” Both Derek and Jesse are on the football team; they are known to have great synergy as teammates. Derek is the star quarterback and Jesse the left tackle; their coordination has carried Smith Station through multiple championships and no one has ever overcome Jesse’s stalwart defense to blindside Derek.
Jesse proves to be a reliable friend and he constantly watches out for you, making sure you don’t fall prey to the neighborhood bullies. In return, you have pledged to tutor him and ensure that he gets out of high school. Well, you and all your friends have taken this oath.
Look at Alison.
Alison is a white female. Most would call Alison “pretty,” or “easy on the eyes.” She is a brunette with steely blue eyes. Alison is sensitive and empathetic to the feelings of others leading some to call her “Mom.”
Indeed, many of the younger children in your community idolize Alison, and she is the most prominent and trusted babysitter around. Alison has occasionally dragged you into participating in volunteer work and food drives. She’s known to be a workaholic, a habit that Jesse futility struggles to break.
She’s told you before, she trusts you. Though you believe Alison can be overbearing in her requests to improve the community, you know that Alison relies on you and considers you as one of her closest friend.
Tough, and dependable, Alison is usually the organizer behind you and your friends’ cram sessions. Out of your group, with the exception of Jacob, she has the highest grade point average, nearly reaching a 5.0 GPA.
Alison is particularly intimate with Derek, though they both deny that they are dating. Derek jokingly insists that Alison “won’t even let me kiss her,” a claim that Alison adamantly claims to be true.
She has recently taken a liking to Ashley, whom she affectionately sees as a younger brother. They are rarely seen apart, and Ashley always sits beside Alison during breakfast.
Look at Ashley.
Ashley is sitting beside Alison, wearing his white hoodie and nibbling on a piece of strudel. Oh, yes, Ashley is a white male.
Ashley is unique in many aspects. His family moved from the United Kingdom to the United States when he was younger. Of course, Ashley is predominantly a boy’s name in the United Kingdom, but not so much in the States. Ashley received a fair amount of bullying over his “girly” name. Also, Ashley received a fair amount of bullying for his “girly” appearance.
Ashley is the youngest member of your group. While Jesse is 17 years old and a junior, and Alison 18 years old and a senior, both look fairly like young adults; Ashley is a freshman and is only 14 years old.
Despite being 14, Ashley has yet to lose the child-like features of his appearance. In fact, Ashley is considerably feminine; with his oval face, long eyelashes, crystalline blue eyes, button nose, fair skin, and his clear, soft, high voice, the community thought of Ashley as a girl when he first moved into the neighborhood. That is, until he corrected them.
His platinum blonde is even longer than Alison’s, the length nearly reaching below his waist. Alison states that she envies this feature of Ashley the most, as her hair only reaches the middle of her back. Ashley states that he’d cut his hair if not for the intervention of his parents, who find his hair too lovely to cut.
Ashley is also blind, his eyes having no pupils; Ellie and Alison believe that Ashley’s blindness is a “shame,” as he is unable to perceive his own beauty.
Ashley was recently scouted as a potential androgynous model; your friends encouraged him to explore the opportunity as he journeys through his high school years.
Rumors among the student body suggest that Ashley holds a crush on Ellie, though Ashley feverishly denies this allegation. Ellie, surprisingly, has shown interest in pursuing a relationship with Ashley.
Ashley has a tendency to seek you out for advice. You have no idea why Ashley has chosen you, of all people, but you notice Ashley seems just as comfortable in your presence as he does with Jesse, Derek, and Alison.
Look at Derek.
Derek is an black male. Charming, handsome, and charismatic, he is generally accepted as the “leader” of the group, though Derek claims Alison is the true leader.
Nearly everyone in your community had heard of Derek. Second in height only to Jesse and possessing a chiseled, muscular body, Derek is a sight to behold. Along with Alison and Jacob, Derek is a senior and is 18 years old.
He is a local celebrity for leading the Smith Station Bulldogs to victory in championships multiple times. Under his leadership, the Bulldogs have not lost a single game.
Derek constantly seeks you out for consolation; his father and only parent is a drunk and is mildly abusive, something that Derek hopes to keep from the public so as to protect his father.
When asked why he pours his heart out to you, Derek merely smiles and averts his gaze from your own.
“You’re a good person and a good friend.” He says. “I reach out to you because there’s something about you… I can’t quite explain it, but whatever it is, it lets me know that I can trust you. Jesse may be my right hand man, but you are my left, and just as close to me as my right.”
As Derek predicted, you have proven yourself to be a loyal friend. Not once has Derek’s situation at home slipped from your lips, and Derek treats you as if you were his own family.
Look at Jacob.
Jacob is one of the newer members of your group, though he has been acquainted with you and your friends for a few years now. He is a white male.
Jacob was once a rather skinny fellow; solemn, serious, and aloof, Jacob was a bit of a loner before Derek approached him. Brilliant and possessing a genius level IQ, Jacob was known for not only having the highest GPA in the entire school, but also the entire country. Derek believed Jacob’s brilliance would be wasted should Jacob not spend time socializing with people on a daily basis. Jacob, despite being involved with multiple scientific organizations, has found the time to spend with you and your friends.
However, many weeks ago, Jacob began to act strangely. While he spent time with you during the day, he would retreat into the school laboratory during the night. He would even visit the lab during the peculiar stormy nights. No one knew what Jacob was up to in that laboratory, only that he and four other students were utilizing the lab and its equipment for some unknown purpose. You knew one of the other students, Bradley, because he held the one of the highest GPAs in the school, second only to Jacob.
One day, as Derek states, Jacob approached Derek, seeking to strengthen his frail body. Jacob would give no clear answer when asked why, but you could always see Jacob peering off into the distance, contemplating some topic that he refused to share with you. Derek agreed and began to act as Jacob’s trainer.
Jacob surprised everyone with his determination to become stronger. Soon enough, Jacob took over his own fitness regiment and began to push his body to the limit. Within a few weeks, Jacob had completely changed. His body rippled with muscle and his stamina had increased to nearly a superhuman level.
Because of Jacob’s superior mind and body, and the fact that he was never seen without his glasses, students began to jokingly call him the “Smith Station Superman.” Jacob’s finesse was far beyond even Derek, the most accomplished athlete in the state. Several coaches sought to have Jacob participate in various sports, but Jacob turned them all down, stating that he was “preparing for something greater.” Most people assumed Jacob had set his sights on joining the military.
But, Jacob, ever pensive, never spoke of his true intentions to anyone. Today, he seems more contemplative than usual, his sandy-blonde hair slicked back, his dark brown eyes fixated on notes in his binder.
Look at Ellie.
Ellie is the newest member to the group. Jacob introduced her to you and your friends a few weeks ago. Ellie is an Asian female, a 16 year old, and a sophomore. She is the one of the shortest members in the group, second only to Ashley. By comparison, however, she is only slightly shorter than Alison and is of average height. Her short, silky, black hair is slightly wavy; her fringes extend slightly below her pure-black eyes.
You don’t know much of Ellie or her aspirations. She is very quiet and rarely speaks, though she will happily engage in conversation if spoken to. You do know she is a tomboy and is tough as nails. Along with Jacob, she is a black-belt in Karate, and unlike Jacob, she is a practitioner of many other martial arts, including Judo, Jeet Kune Do, and Muay Thai. Though she is encouraged to compete in tournaments, Ellie refuses, as she finds her competition to be weak and unworthy of her attention. Indeed, Ellie’s raw talent and skill are unmatched.
Derek jokes that Ellie is the only girl, that he’s laid eyes on, that could skin a grown man alive; your friends take Derek’s words as good humor, but something about the way Derek spoke gave you the impression that he may not have spoken entirely in jest.
Jacob has sought her expertise in hand-to-hand combat, though his reasons for doing so are unknown. On the other hand, Ellie appears to know more about Jacob’s reasoning than any member of the group combined.
She sits beside Jacob, tense and with a grim expression on her face.