I'm sure you have heard the stories of people dying and being reincarnated into another world with either powers or some sort of cheat that makes them severely over powered. Some even became a character they are a fan of. My story is similar except it wasn't just me that died, no it was me and two of my best friends getting axed by fate via a car crash off the side of a steep cliff. Hollywood worthy, right?
Let me start from the beginning. My name is Devin Price. I'm your average American high schooler with a passion for video games. Me and two of my best friends, Darrel and Damien, are all big gamers with an extensive record starting from when we were little. We had saved up money and decided to go to a gaming convention before we split up for college and were on our way back when fate had decided to intervene.
"Yo Devin, did you see that girl in the Chun Lee cosplay yesterday? Whoo wee!" Darrel grinned while Devin steered them through the mountain pass that would take them out of California proper.
"Yeah, but the one in the Bayonetta get up was so much better." Devin said as a lecherous grin split his face while reminiscing of the brunette that he had ogled on the way into the convention on the first day.
"I can't wait to get back and unpack all the stuff we managed to score!" Damien said while daydreaming about the lucky scores they had managed to find at the various booths. It was at this moment that two of the wheels of his car decided they had enough of the road and promptly exploded from the heat causing the car to swerve left then right before slamming directly into the guard railing. Unfortunately, the guard railing had seen it's fair share of crashes already and was quickly torn asunder as the car with all of the boys in it did a swan dive.
They say that your life flashes before your eyes when you are about to die and Devin can officially say his was kind of short what with him being nineteen. He saw all the things he had done, all the things he hadn't. He really should have asked out Kelly Lee Stafford when he had the chance. Then the regret of not being able to say good bye to his parents seeps in. Devin was an only child due to complications during his birth, but his parents were still the best anyone could ever ask for. It was at that moment that they hit a boulder and everything went dark.
"Argh! Where am I?" Devin asked as he sat up and looked around. At first, he thought he had gone blind, but soon Devin realized that he was sitting in a void of darkness. Then he realized he wasn't alone. About ten feet away was both of his buddies, face down and still out cold. Getting up Devin walked over and gently shook them both while calling their names. Neither woke up so he had to resort to drastic measures. Damien was grabbed by the collar and slapped repeatedly as he was notorious for sleeping through even a bucket of water. After about a half dozen slaps, he finally came to life with a short shout.
"Wha-?! Hunh?!" he said as he looked around in confusion.
"Wake up!" Devin shouted at him.
"Where are we? What happened?" he asked as he started to take in his surroundings.
"I think we're dead man. Help me wake up Darrel so we can figure out what's going on and what we're gonna do." Darin said as he moved toward the last of their trio. Darrel is a little bit easier to wake, but due to the circumstances they followed the same procedure as Damien. Soon, the duo had him up as well and began to explore.
"Are you sure we're dead Devin?" Darrel asked.
"Yeah. I remember the accident, but after is as dark as this place." he said.
"I hope we aren't in Hell. I got the wrong name for that." Damien said with a small amount of nervousness under his attempt at humor.
"No, you're not." Said a voice that seemed to ring through the entire space. Spinning around we saw an older gentleman standing near us in an expensive grey suit with white pin stripes. A neatly trimmed beard on his face and slicked back hair in a salt and pepper color.
"Hey, uh, who are you?" Devin asked as his friends wandered back to his sides.
"I go by many names, but you guys can call me Peter." The old man said with a nod.
"So where are we exactly?" Darrel asked with a slight amount of curiosity.
"You boys are in an area we like to call 'The In-between'." Peter said as he gestures to the surrounding darkness.
"Very…homey." Damien says still looking around nervously as if the devil himself is gonna jump out at him.
"Ah! Just a sec." Peter says before clapping his hands twice causing the darkness to become a blinding white like a rip off of the Matrix.
"Ah, much better. Glad we copied that clapper thing. Now then, let me explain. You boys are here due to a clerical error on the part of us here in the Afterlife. You see there are three other boys with the same last names that were supposed to be "taken" before they robbed a bank in San Diego. On behalf of those in the clerk's office we sincerely apologize for the mistake." Peter says to each of them as they all have their jaws sitting on the floor, or whatever the three were currently standing on. Devin recovered first.
"So, you're saying that we died because someone upstairs forgot to double check our first names!" He said completely at a loss for how unreal their cause of death was.
"And location, but I digress. Now here is what is gonna happen to you three. Each of you will be moved to a separate room to be processed. You will be given a chance at another life. Unfortunately, due to various cosmic rules and regulations we can't send you back to your original plane and we can't send all three of you to the same world. What we can do is check your karmic levels and give appropriate compensation before releasing you three back into life in separate worlds." He said as a massive glass globe on a pedestal appeared next to him.
"What kind of compensation are we talking about?" Damien asked with curiosity and mild excitement as he knew that stories existed on the internet about this kind of thing happening. Never thought that it would happen to them though. He also had some sadness as he wouldn't be able to see his friends again after this was over.
"It could be one of many things, from abilities to items and even immortality." He says making all of them excited. With a wave of his hand two doors appeared.
"Now if you would, I need two of you to step through a door so we can get started." Peter asked. Damien and Darrel both stood in front of a door before turning and looking at Devin.
"Good luck man. Hopefully we'll see each other in the future maybe." Darrel said with a thumbs up and Damien nodding his head in agreement.
"You guys too. Stay safe." Devin said in return with a wave. After the two disappeared along with the doors he turned back to Peter.
"OK, just place your hand on the side of the glass and hold it till it beeps." Peter says as Devin stepped up and placed his hand on the glass. It began to glow starting at red, then orange before stopping with a beep. Stepping back Devin noticed that Peter had a small frown causing his heart to sink.
"Uh, did I do bad?" Devin asked with concern while Peter stared at the globe.
"I wouldn't say bad. You are just barely below average. This does limit somethings." Peter says still studying the globe before turning around to look at the nervous teenager.
"Here's what we can do. We can give you a system for powers, three items, and a new world. The system will be made from something familiar so as to lessen the difficulty some. Video games since you are a gamer along with your friends should be the best analog. The items will be chosen so that they complement the system and the world that you will live in will be chosen at random but not from the same genre that your system is from. That's what I can give you based on compensation and your karma." Peter said as Devin had even levels of happiness and fear. Happiness for how much compensation he was getting, but fear of just what he would get.
"As for your karmic reward you get one choice to make in the reward selection. You can choose your system, or you can choose the world you'll be sent to, or even choose one of the items to go with your system." Peter said causing the teenager to frown in turn.
"Why only one?" Devin asked with his head tilted.
"If you had been AT or above average then you would have gotten two choices, but you were just shy of the mark." Peter said with a stern look reminiscent of a father lecturing his son.
"Is there any way for me to get that little bit now?" Devin asked with slight hope and more than a little desperation. Devin dreaded what could be the end result of the RNG process could be.
'Please don't give me Dark Souls for my world!' Devin repeated in his mind.
"Hmmm" Peter intoned as he stroked his beard as Devin leaned in with anticipation.
"Nope!" Peter said simply with a smile as the boy fell on his face.
"Now, lets get this over with so we can get you home." Peter said while cracking his knuckles. Devin thought long and hard, considering the pros and cons carefully before looking at Peter.
"I choose to select my world." Devin said. Peter revealed a grin as the globe disappeared and a button with a giant wheel similar to "The Price is Right" appear in its place.
"Alright step up and see what you get. I can guarantee that all of the selections we have for the systems are based on the games that you have played in the past as promised for familiarity." Peter says giving Devin hope for the best. Walking up and tapping the button moderately. The wheel starts to speed up, becoming a blur before starting to slow. Each tick of the wheel causing the tension to go higher. Tick, tick, tick. Soon it stopped and the result made the teen's jaws drop.
"Legend of Dragoon! WTF!" Devin exclaimed. How had this happen? This was a play station original from before he was born. He had played it as a free download on the network and had enjoyed it, even completed it 100%,but this was ridiculous! Devin could just feel the pity he would have gotten from his friends if they had been here.
"Alright, now the items will be generated when you reach your new world so let's choose where you all will be going." Peter seemed to be in a hurry now. Devin had already chosen his world, as he had decided it back when he had made his choice for their selection.
"I want the Marvel Universe." Devin said quickly as the worry of his system would not stop eating at him.
"Great! Now if you are ready I'll send you off." Peter said as he looked at a watch under his right sleeve. Stepping up and nodding his head, Devin firmed his determination as there was no use in complaining now. Plus, he was still getting powers which was better than nothing.
"Good luck kid. See ya later!" Peter said before he raised his hand and snapped his fingers.
The last thought that Devin had before disappearing was," Did he just give me 'The Snap'?"