"Bluh?"I so eloquently queried the mystery caller. There was an awkward silence before the voice finally rasped, "You smell. I have granted you access to the bathroom. Go wash up and clear your head. We can continue this conversation after that." With a click of finality, the line went dead.
Once the mystery caller (captor?) had granted me access to the bathroom, I no longer had any trouble opening the sliding partition. Troubling implications aside, the cold shower did me a world of good, getting rid of the cobwebs in my head and the ever present smell of alcohol and puke over my body. Drying myself, I slipped on the clean fluffy bathrobe that was lying folded by the sink. I was at least now confident that I was not going to be made an involuntary organ donor. As a further plus, the cold shower had also banished by headache. An improvement in my overall situation I suppose.
The moment I stepped out of the bathroom, the smart phone began buzzing again. Upon me accepting the call, the voice began speaking without preamble.
"Transmigrator. You have been chosen for short term deployment in this world due to the threat of Armageddon. Your mission is classed as low risk and should not take more than 48 hours of this world's time. Upon completion of your mission, you shall be allowed to return to your home dimension. Do you understand so far?"
Oh. OH. I get it.
I am obviously still completely drunk off my ass and am having a really messed up dream right now. The dream is basically telling me not to fight it and let it run its course. Still, why should I let this dream have its way?
"Sure I understand," I reply, smirking inwardly, "But what do I get in return for this?"
The voice does not miss a beat. "Nothing. You have been Shanghaied. Am I using the term correctly?"
No. Absolutely not. You, dream smart phone person, are not getting your way this easily. "Then I suppose I don't understand what's going on. Not getting paid makes me slow in the mind. I'm funny that way, you know?" I snap back at mystery voice. Armageddon's at your doorstep mystery voice, not mine. You have no bargaining power here.
"Then you will be detained in this room until you understand your situation. Or die of hunger. Or thirst. Whichever comes first."
Hey! Isn't that escalating things a bit too quickly? "Don't you need me to save your world?" I retort, "Pretty sure you don't have all that much time to waste."
Mystery voice's response drips with smugness. "Armageddon has been estimated to occur a year from now. As the mission only takes at most 48 hours to complete, I have more than enough time to secure another transmigrator in the event you refuse to cooperate. So, to answer your question, yes, I do have that much time to waste."
I slump onto the chair by the desk defeated. You are really into face slapping huh dream? What did I do to deserve this? "Alright. I get the idea. Continue with your briefing, or whatever this is." I grumble.
The ancient computer boots up and the screen flickers to life. It starts scrolling through photos of battlefields, destroyed cities, massive armies of people on the march and what in the world are those things?
The voice explains, "At the turn of the millennium, the Heavenly Host descended to build the City of God. The Legions of Hell rose to claim their place in the world of man. Humanity was trapped between these two forces."
The slide show continues with more scenes of devastation. "While some humans chose to submit to either of these supernatural forces, most of humanity refused to give up their independence. They fought, and died. Against angels and demons of myth, humanity's strength was found wanting."
The screen now shows a photo of a group of old men standing under the banner of the United Nations. The voice continues, "With unequivocal defeat looming, the UN P5 made a fateful decision. The P5 would unleash a volley of nuclear strikes against Host and Legion forces, regardless of the cost in blood or to the environment. They would also deliver an ultimatum to both the Host and Legion. Stop the war or we shall unleash our entire stockpile of nuclear weapons, dooming the world to a centuries long nuclear winter."
A map of the world is drawn on the screen, with mushroom clouds erupting across it. "The initial nuclear strikes stopped the advance of both the Host and the Legion. The possibility of a nuclear winter occurring prevented both the Host and the Legion from fulfilling their respective objectives on earth. All parties agreed to a temporary truce. However, by this time, humanity had been reduced to being the governing authority of a mere 20% of the planet's habitable land."
The map then zooms in on a city...built on the ocean? "Once the truce was signed, the City was constructed using the combined magic and technology of humanity, the Host and the Legion. Built using the ruins of former cities devastated by the Millennium War, it is meant as an experiment in co-existence between all three parties. Unlike other places on earth, the City has a policy of open borders, allowing any human, angel or demon to reside within it. The City also provides an opportunity for the exchange of ideas between all sides, with humans gaining knowledge of magic as well as angels and demons acclimating themselves to living with technology."
"However, none of this will last. It already has been 10 years since the signing of the truce. The truce has failed to address the primary concerns of any of the three factions and has only managed to sweep the existing tensions under the carpet. By my estimation, hostilities will break out again in one year and this time, no one will survive."
"It is for this reason I have summoned you transmigrator. To turn this world away from its fate."