Thirteen Tales From Another World
The Tale of Entertainment From Beyond This World
Meanwhile at an island paradise in another universe.
“You know…” Dr. Callyco was sitting on a bench outside a small amusement part. “So many places promise entertainment that is out of this world, but that’s not actually physically possible for them.
“Uh… Where is this coming from? Dr. Cutie Pup was sitting next to him.
“I mean…” Dr. Callyco gestured back at the small amusement park they had visited today. “That place specifically promised ‘Out of this World’ adventure and fun, but it turned out they just had a carnival game where you had to shoot cardboard UFOs as they moved across the screen.”
“You’re still upset that after spending six hours in the arcade you only had enough tickets to get a single plastic army man and three pieces of fun sized candy huh?” Dr. Cutie Pup asked.
“I had 10,000 tickets!” Dr. Callyco jumped up from the bench and exclaimed. How is that not enough for a good prize!?”
“I guess even arcades suffer inflation?” Dr. Cutie Pup sighed.
“Anyway… I’m gonna go try to get 90,000 more tickets so I can get a slap bracelet. Before I do… Tonight’s tale. We have a tiger named Aurum. And for once, someone actually lives up to their promise of ‘Out of this World’ entertainment after a chance encounter.
“Technically since we’re in this world doesn’t that mean this world DID do that?” Dr. Cutie Pup asked.
“No. They promised the entertainment would be out of this world, not our of our world!” Dr. Callyco huffed. “Anyway, let us begin with the third tale.”
Thirteen Tales From Another World
The Tale of Entertainment From Beyond This World
“Ugh.” Aurum yawned as he was walking home from work. The white tiger with gold stripes had made it through another day at work. He couldn’t wait to get home and get undressed and relax. Not that he was wearing much at the moment. Just a pair of pants and a green scarf around his neck. He did the bare minimum to dress up for work. If they wanted him to dress fancier then they would have to pay him an income that could afford fancy clothing.
“Why is my apartment so far away?” Aurum muttered to himself. It was a good half mile walk home. Which in the grand scheme of things wasn’t that far. But walking to and from work every day, especially in bad weather, was certainly draining. At least tonight the weather was fine. There were clear skies allowing the stars to shine down. If Aurum was less tired, he would have taken a moment to admire how pretty they were. But right now? He just wanted to go home and collapse. What he wouldn’t give to not have to work his job anymore.
It was at this point a loud siren sounded. Aurum was jerked fully awake and alert by the sound and spun around trying to look for the source. He didn’t see any cop cars or fire trucks. Not even an ambulance. The road was completely empty. Where was the sound coming from? He kept spinning in place but not seeing it. The noise echoed everywhere making it difficult to pick out a direction. And then something bonked into the top of his head.
Aurum looked up. Floating above him was a tiny pyramid about six inches tall. It was a golden colored with a silver tip on top that glowered with a red light. The entire pyramid was spinning rapidly as it hovered in space. After bumping into Aurum and forcing him to notice the red light stopped blinking and the alarm was finally silent. That was a relief but…
“What am I looking at?” Aurum slowly reached up a paw. Impulse control was not Aurum’s strong suit. He slowly reached out a finger and poked the spinning pyramid. He felt a strong shock as he was lifted off his feet and thrown backwards landing on his back.
It is at this point, we wish to remind all children watching at home that our protagonists are professional… Well, Are something. There actions should not be copied. If you encounter a tiny floating pyramid spinning in place, please refrain from touching it and contact an adult.
“Ugh… What the heck was that?” Aurum sat up. His entire fur buzzed with an electric current for a moment making him squirm. The pyramid continued to just hover in place while spinning. He watched it for a few seconds and felt dizzy. He had to close his eyes to steady himself as he stood up.
Noise came from the pyramid. Aurum was sure they were words. But they weren’t in any language that he knew. The tiny thing was talking to him. What was it saying? Who knew? If he didn’t even know what language it was there was no chance of being able to translate any of it.
“I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.” Aurum thrashed his tail. “Or even what you are for that matter. But, why did you shock me like that!?” Aurum knew that the shock was probably his own fault. A strange alien object appears out of the sky and he tries to poke it? That was on him for bad impulse control. But it wasn’t as if he was going to admit that.
What happened next, he could 100% blame on the pyramid. The tip of the pyramid glowed with a blue light, and suddenly like a bolt of lightning it leaped to Aurum. He felt another electric shock that made his fur stand up all poofy. It wasn’t enough to hurt him, but it wasn’t pleasant either.
“Gah!? What the heck was that for!?” Aurum shouted.
“Greetings lifeform from planet Earth.” The pyramid was now speaking in English. “We have come to invite you to participate in the galaxy’s most exciting game show. Please issue consent and then we will begin boarding.”
“What?” Aurum just stared at the pyramid.
“Consent must be granted before boarding and enrollment in the game show can begin.” The pyramid continued to speak. “Contestants are currently waiting for your cooperation.”
“Okay can we-“ Aurum started.
“Consent confirmed.” The pyramid interrupted him. “Beginning process.” The pyramid rose higher in the air then moved until it was about five right above Aurum’s head. The silver tip glowed with a green light this time, and suddenly a green beam shot down from the bottom of the pyramid.
“Hey what are-“ Aurum cut himself off as he suddenly floated into the air. He flailed his arms and legs trying to grab the ground but he could do nothing but simply float there. “Wait… You’re aliens! Am I being abducted by aliens? Hate to tell you, but if that’s your ship, don’t think I’m going to fit in it.” The tiger crossed his arms smugly and stuck his tongue out at the ship.
And then his pants slid off of him.
“What?” Aurum asked. He looked around in confusion. Then his scarf fell down along his shoulders, it fit him almost like a poncho. Also, the pyramid was a lot bigger. Or more accurately Aurum was a lot smaller. “Ok, I may have walked right into that one.” Aurum just went limp as his body continued to shrink. Soon his bandanna fell to the ground as well just leaving Aurum floating in the air shrinking. After a few minutes he was about a quarter inch, barely visible to most people. The bottom of the pyramid opened up and Aurum was pulled inside.
The pyramid’s tip stopped glowing. It floated in place for a few seconds, and then suddenly shot into the sky at blinding speeds. There was a sonic book when it hit the stratosphere and then it continued to accelerate until even light could not keep up. The small alien pyramid left no traces of itself behind. The only clue it had eve been here were the empty clothes that had one belonged to a tiger.
Aurum found himself in a circular shaped room floating in some kind of bubble above a platform. There were all kinds of blinking lights and buttons on the wall that Aurum really wanted to press right now, and being stuck in the bubble was about the only thing stopping the tiny tiger from doing so. Then, the bubble burst, and suddenly gravity was a thing that existed again. He fell flat on his face.
“Greeting’s creature of Earth!” The room was full of colorful reptilian people. Naturally, to fit inside the pyramid they had to be quite tiny, but based off the locations of handrails and buttons it seemed the ship was designed for someone roughly twice as big as them. None of the creatures wore clothes, though many had belts or other accessories to hold gadgets for them. One of them, with red scales stepped forward and was the one to speak. “I know our form may startle you, but I assure you, we kobolds are a peaceful race.”
“Eh?” Aurum blinked in confusion. “Kobolds? As he stood up he realized he was almost twice as tall as most of them. “Why would that startle me? Kobolds are everywhere.”
“Yes, but we are… Space kobolds!” The red kobold spoke again. “You can tell this! Because we have a spaceship! And also we are both smaller and more formidable than the kobold race offshoot you have on your planet. Anyway, welcome aboard the ship! Let us know if you need any food or drink, we’ll be arriving at the heart of the Golden Dragon Galactic Federation in a few minutes.”
“So… You’re… Alien kobolds…” Aurum bent down and squinted at them. “And… you speak English? Wait, did you zap my brain and then that made you understand my language?”
“What? No. That would be ridiculous and impossible. We zapped your brain so you could understand the standard galactic language used by all civilized planets.” The red kobold gave a shrug. “You just still think it’s this ‘English’ in your head.
“So I’m speaking some weird alien language?” Aurum tilted his head.
“The language does originate on your planet, but from long ago.” The kobold explained. “But I believe you call this language Egyptian.”
“Wait… The galactic standard language is Egyptian?” Aurum stared at the kobold. “Really?”
“Of course! Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians came to many of our planets in their flying pyramids and shared with us the secret of faster than light space travel. They elevated so many societies that just about every race in the galaxy adopted their language. I was surprised you didn’t speak it.”
“You’re making that up.” Aurum accused. “The pyramids are just a bunch of tombs where they put the dead.”
“Well, yes that would be the tombs. They wouldn’t use their spaceships to house dead bodies.” The kobold explained.
“But then why aren’t there any Egyptian spaceships left?” Aurum demanded.
“Well… We’re not really sure ourselves.” The kobold shrugged. “Earth was the center of the galaxy and then one day it wasn’t. No one really knows what happened… But apparently the running theory among historians is that and I quote, ‘Anytime Earth has a good thing going, there will always be someone who screws it up.’
“I have so many questions.” Aurum fell back onto his bottom. “Probably should start with why did you abduct me?”
“Abduct you?” The kobold was insulted. “We got your consent! You said ok and everything! We invited you to be on our game show and you agreed! We have the second highest ratings in the entire galaxy.”
“What show has the highest rating?” Aurum asked.
“Space and Marriage.” The kobold growled. “One day we’ll knock that cliched sitcom out of their number one slot. And then, everyone will know, that the Spice is Right is the best put together show in the galaxy.”
“You’re just making things up aren’t you.” Aurum crossed his arms. “I’ll believe in tiny alien space kobolds, but everything else has to be made up. It’s too ridiculous. Even for me.”
“Well, you’ll be able to confirm for yourself. We’ve arrived.” The kobold grinned. “We’ll need to prepare you for the game.”
“So… How do I play this game?” Aurum asked.
“Eh? You don’t need to do anything.” The kobold gave Aurum a strange look. “Didn’t you listen to anything we said when we first arrived?”
“You mean when you were speaking Egyptian before I understood it?” Aurum asked. “If that’s really what we’re speaking!”
“Oh… Right…” The kobold gave a weary sigh. “Look, we’re not used to dealing with backwater planets like Earth that much. Most species don’t even consider it worth invading anymore. It’s like, what can you do to Earth that its inhabitants haven’t already done to itself? So, it’s easy to forget that you earthlings are less civilized and don’t know basic things.”
“Alright but how am I supposed to play the game by doing nothing?” Aurum asked.
“Oh you’re not playing the game. You’re a prize!” The kobold grinned. “Aren’t you lucky. You’re going to be taken home as someone’s exotic pet tonight. Assuming they’re lucky. If not, well someone will win you eventually. Speaking of which we really should get you ready… Prepare… The Space Prize Ball!”
“Wait what!?” Aurum asked. But he didn’t get a chance to say much before he was suddenly floating in the air again as the platform he was on lit up with the same green light that had shrunk him. He was getting even smaller! He shrunk smaller, and smaller and smaller, until he was small enough to fit into the palm of one of the kobold’s hands. Then, the light faded but he continued to float in the air. A blue kobold approached with what looked like a clear plastic ball with some air holes in it, opened it and closed it around Aurum. Once he was in the ball gravity resumed. “Hey!”
Either the kobold couldn’t hear him or had decided to ignore him. Instead it just continued to carry him. As for Aurum, the ball didn’t have enough space for him to stand up in. But the kobold was in a hurry, and so he was being jostled rolling all over it, even at one point winding up on the ceiling of the ball before falling back to the bottom.
Then, the world was full of lights. A door had opened up in the pyramid, it was no longer spinning. And there was an entire city down below the ship. The thing looked like enormous! Though, it was probably only a few feet long. The city was built on a series of disc that floated in the sky on their own, each covered with a dome that allowed people to see the sky outside while remaining safe from the elements inside.
There was a beam of light that covered the kobold carrying Aurum, and suddenly they were in a different location. It looked like a studio room for something. There were a bunch of TVs showing different cameras and a bunch of controls.
“One exotic species prize.” The kobold handed the ball over to another kobold in the room.
“Excellent!” The kobold took it gleefully then looked down at Aurum. “Ok, it’s going to be dark for a little bit while we set up before the show goes live. But don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you so just be patient.” With that he opened a slot in the wall and set Aurum inside it. There was a tube that carried the plastic ball and landed in a pitch-black room.
Tigers had good nighttime vision, but even they couldn’t see if there was no light at all. Aurum was stuck completely in the dark and in silence. He had no idea what kind of place he might be in. Or what else might be around the plastic ball he was inside of. Hopefully nothing nasty.
Suddenly, loud noises could be heard, followed by a catchy theme song. Then, there was a bunch of cheering. It looked like the show had started. But the area Aurum was in was still dark. And it stayed this way for awhile.
Finally, after almost twenty minutes of waiting, the area lit up. A large door opened revealing a colorful stage with flashing lights everywhere. There was a podium where a silver kobold wearing a bowtie stood, and then four more podiums, three of them occupied by other kobolds. A fifth kobold was standing close to Aurum as he came out.
As Aurum looked around, he realized he was in some kind of prize machine. There were a ton of plastic balls all around him each filled with different items. Some had toys in them, some candy, others strange sticks with some kind of symbol on them that reminded Aurum of money, and others had living creatures like him.
“Alright then!” The silver kobold with a bowtie spoke and walked over to the green one next to Aurum. “It would seem that Bebulka is our winner tonight! Everyone give her a round of appluse!” An audience full of not just kobolds, but several other creatures some of which Aurum couldn’t identify burst into cheers. The green kobold that was apparently Bebulka jumped up and down in excitement.
“Ahhh! I can’t believe I actually won!” Bebulka shrieked.
“Now then! You know how this works! You can take the credits you’ve earned, or you can take a shot at the prize machine. Some of the prizes include rare exotic pets, gift cards for vacation getaways, and credit sticks with more money than most people will see in their entire lifetime. Of course, there are also some that just contain cheap toys or candy. So… Are you going to go home with the credits you earned, or risk the Prize Machine?”
“Prize Machine! Prize Machine!” The audience shouted.
“I’m going to try the Prize Machine!” Bebulka screamed. She walked up to it where there was a massive (from her point of view) wheel and began to turn it.
“GAH!” Suddenly all the balls inside the machine started moving around, being tossed lightly into the air and shuffled positions with each other. It was enough for him to lose his senses for a moment, and then he felt his ball pick up speed as it moved. He was so dizzy he didn’t realize that his ball had come out of the prize machine until the green kobold was holding his ball in her hand.
“Ohhhhh, you got yourself an exotic pet.” The silver kobold spoke. “But, it’s one from Earth so not nearly as expensive as some of the others. Still, not a bad prize. Of course… You can play the bonus game if you want to improve your prize.”
“Bonus game?” Aurum asked, but no one could hear him from inside the ball.
“Yes!” Bebulka shouted.
“Very well! Bring out the Final Chance!” The silver kobold shouted. As he did the prize machine backed into a wall which then closed behind it. A new wall came out and Aurum saw a giant pachinko machine emerge. Actually, given the size of the kobolds, it was likely no bigger than a normal pachinko machine. But it certainly looked gigantic compared to the kobolds and even more so to Aurum.
The Silver Kobold had to climb a ladder to reach the top of the pachinko machine. He opened up a hatch on top, then opened the plastic ball containing Aurum and dropped him into the machine before closing the shot.
“What’s this Final Chance thing?” Aurum asked. He walked around. There were a bunch of loosely connected platforms making a floor here. It looked like they could easily give way at a moment’s notice. Wait, were they going to drop him in the pachinko machine? But if that was the case, wouldn’t it have been better to leave him in the ball! He was just going to get hurt like this!”
“Alright then…” The Silver Kobold climbed down the ladder. “For anyone watching at home for the first time. First, happy hatchday and welcome to the world! Second, allow me to explain how the Final Chance works. Whenever one of our contestants wins an exotic pet, they have a chance to augment its species in the Final Chance. Depending on where he lands in the machine will determine what type of hybrid he becomes! Will he become part kobold, griffin, maybe a phoenix? Or even a dragon! We’re about to find out.”
“Hatch? Did he say hatch? But I’m-“ Aurum started to object and then the area he was in lit up with a purple light. He started to shrink again. But it was different this time. His limbs got shorter compared to his body, and he developed a smaller rounder shape. He was getting younger. Soon, the tiger was a cub, and then the cub an infant. He wasn’t even capable of talking anymore. And then, there was a flash of bright purple light, and where the baby tiger had been now stood a white egg with gold stripes.
As for Aurum, he was asleep inside the egg, still a tiger for now, but turned into an egg through some strange magic or technology. Of course, that was going to change in a few minutes.
“Alright then, the top of the machine will slowly sway left and right rolling the egg around.” The silver kobold explained as a red button rose out of the ground. “When you want to drop the egg into the pachinko machine press this button and the doors will open. Then at that point, it’s all up to chance. You ready?”
“Yes!” Bebulka stood up to the red button, and the top of the pachinko machine began to slowly tilt left and right rolling the egg containing Aurum around. The green kobold watched it for about half a minute before pressing the button. The flimsy panels opened up and the egg was dropped into the machine.
Aurum was sound asleep, so didn’t feel any of the bumps as he bounced into pegs and bumpers as the egg moved through the machine. But, he curled into a tighter ball inside his egg when it finally stopped moving as a pair of leathering wings grew from his back, horns from his head, and he got sharper claws that could no longer be retractable. But he was completely oblivious to this.
“Congratulations!” The silver kobold shouted. “Your pet has been augmented to be part dragon! Dragon eggs can take awhile to hatch though so have 2 to 3 standard moons before he hatches. That will give you plenty of time to get a terrarium for the little guy, stock up on food and toys and fireproof your house. Remember to keep the egg in a warm location. Dragon eggs like heat, and the warmer the place you keep it the faster it will hatch.
“I can’t believe I have my own dragon!” Bebulka shouted. “Part dragon! I’m basically nobility now.”
“Indeed, in our strange, bizarre caste system completely based on dragons, owning a dragon or even something part dragon means you get to move up in the world. Literally. Make sure the thrusters on your house are all in good shape, because you’re going get to move up to the third ring!” The silver kobold was referring to the various floating platforms that floated above them.
“I’ve heard they have two Space Cake Factories on the third ring!” Bebulka jumped up and down eagerly. She then ran forward to the pachinko machine. It slid open, and Aurum’s egg came out of it. She grasped the egg greedily, her eyes shining.
As for Aurum, well things were already strange and he didn’t understand anything going on around him. So, nothing would have actually changed by the time that he hatched as a tiger dragon. But, when he did hatch he was destined to a life of pampering. After all, dragons were the symbol of the Gold Dragon Galactic Federation. Anything even part dragon was revered and meant to be spoiled. It was a system set up long ago when several dragons realized if they became small, rare pets that acted as a sign of status they could live out their days being pampered by kobolds still while not having to do any of that boring government and ruling work.
And now, Aurum was part of that life too.