Author's Note: This story is long overdue. I apologize. It is a sequel to The Fat Warrior. Hope I continue with more chapters. It's a work in progress but I'll risk it. Enjoy!
John Thomson Rises...in Weight.
"Do you know who he is?" a deep voice asked.
"Yes. Yes, I knew him. He was my boyfriend..." the woman responded.
He felt himself aware once more but he was unable to do anything, much less say anything. By aware, he was semi-conscious. Still and frozen. He dare not open his eyes as well. The heat pressed on his closed eyelids indicated that he was in a very, bright room. If he opened them, he would go blind.
"I...I just can't...I don't want this to happen. Especially to him." The woman who referred to John as a girlfriend continued.
"It's for the best." the mysterious woman had said.
"Does this really need to happen?"
"It needs to. The damage done is catastrophic despite your best efforts. Do not fret. It's like life. The journey aspect of it. As far as one goes, sooner or later, he or she returns to their starting point. Essentially, a full circle. All roads in life can lead to the same place. This way, the universe can heal."
"You do this, it'll undo everything. Everything will have been for nothing."
"Not everything. Some people and places yes. But like I said, things have a way of coming back to one another. Besides after everything that's happened to you and to him, do you not think he deserves it?"
"I guess he does." the woman whose voice felt well known sighed. A hint or reluctance.
He opened his eyes ever so slightly as he heard the voice. He didn't pick it up. One of the women sounded so familiar to him. He tried to lift his head to see who it was but the bright light from the ceiling made him go back down. His eyes were tightly shut. He moved and tried calling out to them. To anyone. Someone. But he couldn't. He felt numb. He concentrated.
"Hey...?" he barely made out. His lips and mouth felt frozen. "Where am I?"
But the voices ignored him.
"As you wish."
That was when John had to speak up. "No!" he croaked.
Whatever was about to happen was surely something he didn't want. This undoing one of the women had mentioned sounded bad.
"Hello?" he said not opening his eyes. "Hello?! What are you undoing? Don't! What's going on? Don't do it! Don't! NOOOO!" He shook wildly now, having found his ability to move once more.
Finally with all his strength, he got up in a sitting position, breathing heavily and looking around to his left and right. His eyes had finally been opened. Looking behind and having looked at his surroundings at every direction, John found himself sitting on a comfortable small bed in a dorm room he had prior to his abduction which now seemed like a lifetime ago.
John Thomson was no longer in an escape pod. Nor in space. He was back home, amazingly. In his college dormitory in Arizona State. With Earth looking undamaged and had no signs of there ever being an alien invasion, as he stared out the window in shock. Also, he was thin and patted what should have been his round belly. Nothing but a flat surface. Taking his gaze away from the window, he looked back at the room he was in. It was too surreal. The feeling of panic began to creep in. Panic grew to frustration.
"No...this could not have all been a dream...it was so real. Everything that happened..." The Unspeakable Area. The Domintradox. The Prophecy. The Weight Gain and power. His friends gone. Leela. Carmen. Suzie. Nina.
'Nina...' the name was causing a depression so incredible, he felt paralyzed. Them never having existed was too much to take in.
The door to the dorm opened unexpectedly. John had wildly turned to see coming in a stocky medium-build young man around John's age. He was losing his balance and steadied himself on one of the tassels from his bed. The boy put a hand to his forehead.
"Woo...now I regret drinking. Give me a few days though...I won't regret it anymore. Vodka really calls out to me, I gotta tell you." he said with a chuckle. Then frowned when he saw John's face. "Hey. You alright, dude?"
"Who are you?"
"Who am I? You're kidding right? Or is it me? Or...am I in the right dorm?" the boy looked around. "Well my stash of Pokémon cards is here and so is the Xbox judging by the dorito residue on it. So this is my dorm and you're John."
"I don't blame you if you don't remember me. Hey it happens, it's called a hangover buddy." he patted his shoulder. "Come on, we got an hour before we go to our 'respective' classes. Respective, my ass..." he muttered and went to his work desk at the end of the room.
On top of his work desk, a name in a stylish font appeared on the wall. RICHIE.
"Richie...?" he frowned.
The boy turned with a smirk. "Ya see? It's all coming back, ain't it? You're alright dude. You're back where you belong."
"No...no! I was supposed to be in outer space! There was an invasion. Earth and all the other planets were on brink of extinction because of the domintradox."
"Domintradox? What the hell? Is that a new brand of weed?"
"I was abducted by them. Then I defeated them. Then I had to deal with pirates and a fairy or faerie rather, wanted to get with me-"
Richie looked astonished. "Man, I don't know what you took last night but now I want to. Those dreams sound awesome!"
"No! No! They weren't dreams! They were real! Real! I went through some kind of portal or something!"
"Sure...dude. Whatever you say. You're a hero." he said putting in a textbook in his bookbag. "Look I got to go and pretend to listen in class so-" he then stared at John clearly. "Hold up. Are you crying?"
Slumped and completely miserable now, John ran his hands on his hair and felt as if he wanted to rip every strand off.
"It can't be...no..." he was sobbing.
"My God. Are you serious?! Dude...I'm using up whatever sobriety I can fully muster. Read my lips. It was a dream. Get over it. I know it sucks. But welcome back to reality. Now stop acting like a little bitch please. It's pathetic." Richie said grasping his shoulder.
Richie then left leaving a morose John all alone.
"You'll be fine dude, I'll make sure of it..." he had said before he left.
But John didn't want to listen anymore. With his hands covering his face and tears, he fell back to the bed continuing to cry.
SIX. MONTHS. LATER.
His hands grasped the bar above so tightly, more blisters developed. A chin began to rise below it, slowly yet with a tremble. A face and head eventually rose over it successfully. The young man dropped down from the bar and produced heavy breathing. Finished with what seemed to anyone else, a grueling workout, he went to the university locker room to shower and change. John Thomson was a different young man now.
John's depression had taken a turn for the worse the first week when he woke up from what he finally accepted it to be, a dream. In that first month, he found hope when Richie suggested he work out at college gym. Afterwards, John was sporting a ripped physique brought on by months of nonstop hardwork. There wasn't a day that went by where he didn't work out for at least two hours. For all that determination to get rid of his depression, the transformation was practically instantaneous.
'They say it's the ultimate form of therapy dude, I suggest you do it. Who knows? It'll even get you laid one of these days.' Richie had said and so far, it was. The fitness.
All kidding aside, working out was truly a good outlet and a beneficial one at that. John felt healthier and above all else, happier. Looking in the mirror, John was amazed at the amount of muscle he gained. He was mostly toned and looked like a typical gym goer now. It was certainly a contrast from what he used to be. Flexing his stomach, more lines were emphasized, a six pack beginning to form.
John finished getting dressed and left the locker room. He saw Richie waiting at the other side of the campus, looking at his phone, presumably his social media.
"Well, that took long, you see any girls? Did you ask one of them out?" he asked mischievously. "Any of them say you have to stop working out and save the world with them?"
"No..." John rolled his eyes. "...sorry. Not today."
"Sorry to hear that. Yeah, besides they're way out of your league." Rich joked.
"And the reason 'you' don't try asking any of them out is because you think they'll get pissed off by the sight of your ugly face and kick your ass?" John smiled as he asked.
"Oh snap!" Richie said impressed. "Shots fired! Sounds like my boy's starting to come back."
"He's getting there." John nodded.
"You didn't see 'you-know-who', did you?"
"No, I didn't. No. Not interested anyway."
"She got ultra-hot, man. Why wouldn't you?"
"She's not my type."
"That's it. That's your excuse? Just because you don't share the same wavelength? Come on! I'm talking...'you-know'?
John knew who he was referring to. Wendy. He had remembered mostly who she was prior to the 'dream' he had. Wendy had been with Richie and John through high school. She had been overweight and had been bullied and teased because of it. But then during senior year of high school, she had started to work out excessively. After a few years, her appearance changed from an obese girl to a beautiful strong and curvaceous woman. However, even though her appearance changed for the better, her personality did not. She had been quiet before but now, she was a dark entity.
"Because not only did she get hot, she's too-"
"Oh...no!" John pointed at a reflection in front of them. Behind them, Wendy was exiting the gymnasium.
"I thought you said she wasn't there!"
"I lied OK? Now come on. We got to go class anyway. She sees us. You know how she gets!" John whispered as he walked faster.
"I can't believe you..." Rich chuckled as he let John pull him by his arm.
"Whatever, let's get a protein shake before we go to class."
In class, John like Richie was doing his best to keep up with the lecture. The professor's tone when speaking was so monotonous that John himself thought it was a miracle that he was still up. He was fighting the urge to sleep as hard as he could. Blinking rapidly, John then looked at Richie again to tell him something, but he could see he was already asleep.
"Welp, you held in there as long as you could." he whispered nodding and left him to sleep while he tried paying attention as hard as he could.
After class, they were in the cafeteria. John was in line of a sandwich serving area when he looked to his right and saw an area where they were serving burgers, fries, and milkshakes. John couldn't help but get more hungry than he already was.
"Here you go..." the lady gave John his order. He saw that it was nothing more than a plate of salad with other vegetables thrown into the mix.
"Nice garden you got there..." Richie said munching on his burger.
"Just not that hungry."
As they ate, John and Richie conversed.
"Man, remember six months ago, you actually thought that dream you had was real?" Richie then laughed.
"Oh God...don't remind me. I feel stupid enough as it is...it's just...I don't know...that dream felt so real. So lived in. A long time had passed by between events but I still remember everything I had done."
"Something tells me when it comes to dreams like that...dreams that feel real, that you ain't liking your life right now?"
"How did you get that?" John asked. Richie didn't seem to be the kind of person to be analytical.
"I watch a lot of Dr. Phil." he shrugged.
"That explains it..." John chuckled. "Yeah, maybe. Maybe I want something more. I want my reality here to be something more."
"There's also one thing I don't get."
"You were fat while saving the universe?"
"Yeah. I know."
"A chunky superhero? And you had hot girls pining for you and wanting you? Awesome as that is to have, I don't know if I can see that..." Richie said. "But then again, if I woke up and found out it was all make-believe, I'd get pissed myself."
"Yeah, I was messed up. I don't know how else to explain it. I was not in my right mind."
"Yeah. All that week moping around, I had to do something. You know? Step in."
"But why? Why would you do that?"
"Welp, there's this theory going around that a friend is supposed to do something nice for one another especially if that other individual has done something for him in the past." Richie said sarcastically.
"What did I do for you?"
Richie sighed. "Seriously? Oh man, now you're making me go all cheesy now..."
"There's nothing wrong with some...cheese." John suggested. "Look, it's been months I know and I appreciate you trying to 'rehab' me, but I guess I need more info to complete the picture. What'd I do for you? Really?"
"Alright then. You made me knuckle down and you got me in college. All that effort you did in doing so. Probably wasn't easy. All that time making me study my ass off. Must have been stressful as shit. I'm forever grateful. Seeing you in such a state that time, I had to do something even though I was half-wasted..."
"Yea. Just don't ask me to bow down to you." Richie joked. "But regardless, welcome to fitness. A new life."
"Right. A new life..." John nodded.
A loud sound erupted far off in the distance. Smoke billowed. It looked to be a mile away. Sirens far ahead investigating the disturbance.
"What the hell was that?"
"That's nearby." John said.
By the way the smoke traveled from the sky to the ground, it was more than likely that a plane crashed.
"An unfortunate mishap?" Richie suggested. "That's gotta suck."
"Let's check it out." John said and got on their bikes.
It took them awhile to get there but eventually they did with security and armed personnel using yellow caution tape to push the crowd of eager people back. Several soldier-like people appeared. Some were pushing aside news reporters.
"Is it an alien spaceship?" someone said to which John and Richie both did an uptake. They looked astounded.
"It's just a plane crash!" a man replied with frustration.
"Then why is the military here?!" another person asked.
"Maybe it was a military craft, you never know..."
"Alright folks..." a police officer said approaching the crowd. "Please disperse and return to your homes. There's nothing to see here. This was just an unfortunate accident."
"Return to our homes?" one man spoke up. "We deserve to know what happen here. This is big!"
"Sir, we have more personnel coming through. We need to clear a path. You all need to leave." the officer said strictly.
Point having been taken, some of the crowd began to scatter away with reluctance.
"But what is it?" John asked out loud. Many people were asking the same thing. Some of them even said 'we have a right to be here! why is the government here?'
After ignoring the crowd for a second and listening to what he was hearing on his earpiece, his attention was redirected to the crowd. "I've been informed by my superiors that a military drone that was in its advance stages of being deployed malfunctioned during a training exercise. That is all you need to know. More details will follow."
"I told you!" the previous man cried out. "I wasted five precious minutes here when I could be eating my burger by now! Geez!"
"I hear you buddy." Richie said as the man stomped away.
"A military drone here?" John frowned. It didn't make any sense.
"Malfunction? I could see that shit happening on the Eastern front but in Arizona? The state where nothing happens? Come on!" Richie said as they were walking away. "Who are they kidding? I smell bullshit."
"Ah...we'll hear more about it on the news." John said no longer caring. "Whatever it is." he muttered.
In slight discomfort, she tried to get up and blinked, trying to regain her focus.
She got thrown from the ship before it crashed miles ahead. Landing hard from her parachute, the stranger tried to get acclimated to her surroundings. She looked around the area in amazement. She was a mile away from where her ship had crashed.
Her complexion suggested her to be a woman very gorgeous and curvaceous. Some muscle tone was added to the mix. Years of training and years of education, she had hoped it was enough. The woman moved as she heard people up ahead. She didn't know what made her to go and see who it was. She had an instinct and she always trusted her instincts. She eventually got to the point where she was crouched. The forest now led to the edge of a street. Keeping herself hidden, she looked through the bushes that were in front of her.
She recognized one of the two people passing by on bicycles.
'That's him! That's John Thomson...?' she thought as she saw him go with another young man. They were soon going out of sight.
"I broke the laws of reality...the laws of physics...the laws of time and space...for this...let's see how this goes."
Being as stealthy and elusive as she can be, the young woman proceeded to follow him. She didn't even flinch when a loud explosion a mile behind her erupted. Her ship had blown. Just as she expected.