Episode 1: The Mission
Theovelt sat staring at the red mountains ahead, gazing up beyond them at the tiny blue marble that ascended from the highest peak once every 476 years. The marble could be seen in the sky at almost any time from the right location on the planet. But today was special. Today was the only day the marble rose from that specific location and created a unique, almost spiritual, experience. Well, 'almost' isn't quite the right word. There were plenty of... organizations, who held profound beliefs and for whom this event was deeply spiritual, and who were all in attendance. Some of which have just fallen over... It seems they were holding strange looking cups filled with a weird purple liquid... Hmm, strange.
Anyways, back to Theovelt. He was not apart of any of these groups and had no cup in his hand. Though, he did very much love the little blue marble. He was--as was most of his kind--too young to have been on the marble. But Theovelt yearned for the knowledge and stories of the old world. He spent any extra time he had at the feet of Old Man Eli Tang--or Ol' E.T. as he was called--listening to story after story of what the tiny blue marble was like before the Exodus.
Sitting, in awe of the universe and basking in the splendor of the marble, Theovelt closed his eyes. His skin began to tingle, and he felt his body and then his mind begin to drift away into nothingness.
"Wha-! What is this!? Where am I!?" Theovelt sat up and looked around him. He was in a pure white room, empty except for a single, small wooden chair.
"Have a seat," boomed a voice that surrounded Theovelt. "Sorry, let me... there we go," the voice sunk to a pleasant volume level.
Theovelt, trembling, did as he was told.
"My name is Arthur Stewart Irwin. I am an artificial sentient intelligence. You may simply call me Arthur, or even Art. If you prefer. I have been tasked with creating a team to defend the many-verse. I have brought you, Theovelt, here, to my command station as my first recruit. Your first task will be securing the safety of a downed pilot trapped on a hostile planet."
"Excuse me? I'm supposed to do what? NO! Why me!? What about my family? I have sheep to get back to! Where even are we?"
"Ah, I guess I should explain myself a littler further first. Being an artificial sentient intelligence, I have developed the capability of inter-dimensional travel. In doing so, I have made many discoveries, such as that the multiverse is not, in fact, infinite as the scientists of your world theorized. Not every action spawns a new universe. Therefore I have uncovered a great need to defend the defenseless. My programming, however, ties me to this dimension that you find yourself in. I call it dimension zero as it was the first I was able to catalog. Unable to, myself, aid in the needs I find, I require your help to help others. In assessing potential candidates, you stood apart for your exceptional bravery, persuasiveness, leadership, and your love and defense of the home you never knew. Much of this comes from your admiration of your name sake, Theodore Roosevelt from your 'Old Earth', who I attempted to recruit, but was a bit more surly than my research led me to believe."
A fly flew into Theovelt's open mouth.
"Good, if that is everything then you may proceed--"
"I would love to help. Helping people is great. But I'm just a shepherd from the slums of New Earth. I couldn't possibly be of any help to you. You also neglected to address my family. You pulled me away, and I never had a chance to say good-bye to them! They will worry greatly if I am not back for dinner tonight."
"Ah, I apologize. I have spent far too long alone in my own dimension that I have yet to fully learn the intricacies of 'family'. I am sorry that you will miss them. Though I must insist on the importance of my mission. There are numerous innocent people in need of your help. I have observed your desire to help your neighbors any chance you get, and I believe you to be the kind of man that will always place his own needs below that of others."
Theovelt stared with a disapproving look.
"As for your family, I can assure you they will never know you left them."
"What!? What have you done to my family!?"
"Oh, nothing, I assure you. I simply mean to say that a part of mastering dimensional travel includes travel through the dimension of time as well. When we are all finished I can return you to the exact moment that you left."
Theovelt considered this before asking, "What if I say no?"
"Then I would be forced to return you after wiping your memories of this event. Though you seem to be my perfect candidate, alas an unwilling hero may be no hero at all. So I plead that you consider assisting me in saving the defenseless of the many-verse."
"Afterwards you will return me to the exact moment I left?"
"To the yoctosecond."
"Never-mind. Yes, you will be returned to the exact moment."
"How many missions would I be signing up for?" Theovelt asked.
"That decision would be wholly yours to make. Every mission must be done of your own volition. Though, if my assessments are correct, then I suspect you will be, 'back for more' as they say on your world."
Theovelt took a moment to fully consider this.
"I believe I could also arrange for you to maintain contact with your family between missions if you so choose," added Arthur. "You needn't miss any of your normal life. You may do missions then return for good or return and come back as you please. It will be up to you."
"I'm still not sure I see why you think I'm the right choice, but who am I to argue with a voice in the sky? What exactly would you need me to do?"
"If you would, continue on into the next room where you will find some equipment that I have prepared."
A doorway appeared out of the emptiness. Theovelt looked curiously at the door. He walked all the way around it, confused where to go. It was simply a door standing by itself.
"You turn the knob," Arthur instructed.
Theovelt placed his hand on the knob and turned. Pushing aside the door he expected to see the chair sitting behind it. To his surprise the door opened into a sleek room that reminded him of a much cleaner and sophisticated version of the town armory back home. Theovelt swallowed the fly that hadn't found its way out of his mouth and stepped into the room.