When I got to my apartment I locked the doors. Not that it would help if what he says is true and WWIII was on the horizon. But best to deal with one task at a time. First the impossible Mark on my wrist. It was a dragon. An eastern dragon entwined around my wrist that was sometimes biting its own tail and other times looking up at me. It had childlike inquisitive eyes, looking up at me when I try looking at it. Sometimes it also tend to move to the back of my hand. I would need a glove and a wrist band if I want to keep it hidden.
It was alive and gave off Golden light and reddish light. Sometimes one other times the other. But usually both the colors are combined. But when my right hand goes away from the left hand it becomes pitch black and the dragon stops moving and returns to biting its own tail around my wrist. Then it just seems like a weird tattoo. Then again it is my only tattoo, so what do I know.
Ok! So there really is a mark on my wrist. Second step is noting down what the Origin said as accurately as possible while I can still remember it. Better write it as a points for a novel in case the notebook fall into a wrong hands and have me institutionalized.
Third step eat and sleep on it. Full stomach and time usually tend to give a new perspective on things. So I take a nap, since it was a holiday, I had no work. I was awoken in the middle of the day when the AC went off. As I look out of window I see people running and screaming in the congested streets. There were more people than I have ever seen in my entire life.
Yup! Someone has decided to detonate a nuclear device near my city. It really was the WWIII. The old man was right. Not an old man but Origin. And the mark was still on my wrist. I considered using it at that point. But I figured I still had time as I can hear military outside.
It is ironic that while everyone was running, screaming or shouting in the middle of the street. I was very clear headed. Most probably because I had a plan forming in my head. Then I simply closed the window. And started to put some clothes and food to a bag. Then I saw the book I was reading yesterday. So I decided that it may be more important than any clothes or food to where I was going. So I picked it up and start searching for other books in the series.
I don't know how long it took me to finish all that. But the time I was done, I was starting to think about my wife and parents. They live in another city next to mine. Then I took a peak outside and there were smoke rising from that direction. I just kept staring at it.
"They are dead you know" a voice that seem so very familiar even thought I heard it once today, woke me up from my stupor.
I turned around to face the old man. From the expression on his face I gather that he may not be able to bring them back.
"You can't bring them back" I clarify.
"No! I am too weak. It will kill me. But if someone were to take my place… Someone strong and filled with righteousness"
"Cut the bull shit. You don't care about anyone else aside from yourself" I was yelling at that point.
"I was born here you know on this planet. It was the ice age as you would call it. I don't know the exact date but I have been walking on this world and other worlds like this ever since then. I have watched everyone I know and love grow old and die." He took a long breath and continued.
"I have turned back time and brought them back to life again and again until they lost all desire to live. Then I have brought them back again and again after altering their memories for the sake of my sanity. I have watched mountains grow out of dust and watched as gold turn into rust. I am so very old and so very tired. I've had enough I want out" his voice was barely audible towards the end.
"So take it from me, what happened to them was a mercy. They did not have to go through winter fallout this will follow. They did not have to know starvation, hunger and the cruelty of men. But if you think you can make a better world than me you know what you have to do". I was starting to understand his game by now. So I laughed humorlessly.
"Where do I sign up?"
"Just to clarify you won't be getting my powers now. You will gain it in pieces as you advance you trials"
"Am I only contender"
"Of cause not"
"Great just great. And what are criteria's for winning this rat race." I just figured only at that moment that it was a race as other contenders may have already won more pieces of his powers.
Next thing I know he is next to my face saying "Don't roll your eyes it is impolite". He had my left wrist in his iron grip at that point. "I thought I had to call you? Why come on your own" I recall.
"True. Then let's call this a wish". He says indicating my left wrist. "And this competition is for my benefit. Therefore I will keep all the criteria for myself". That was the last thing I heard as I blacked out.
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