The cup was half empty, although, some would say half full, Jim wasn’t an optimistic fella, so he’d say half empty. But, he was assured by the mysterious woman with the chrome dreadlocks and the beeping, flashing clothing that he should drink the liquid in the cup if he really wanted to see what he’d always wanted to see. The woman was surrounded by big burly men in military uniforms, they all surrounded Jim. Jim wasn’t quite sure how he’d gotten himself into this situation, but he was desperate to try to cure his addiction to pain medication. A friend of a friend of a friend of Jim’s lead him down this slightly occult path towards some kind of life-changing shamanic ritual of rebirth!
Jim took the cup with hands trembling with fright and expectation, he took a small sip….and his first urge was to spit it all out, it tasted utterly gross! But he persevered and drank it all down. Minutes passed, not much happened, other than a rumbling upset stomach. Another few minutes passed, then ALL of it happened. Jim felt as though he was losing his mind, all the parameters of normal life flashed before him in multicolor and some colours he’d never even seen before! All the walls, the bonds of all the physical forces dissolved away…….Jim was stood in a blank room in a blank space in a blank, as it seemed, universe! This was too much for Jim to take in, he passed out into a comforting blackness, at least this was something he’d known before.
Jim awoke inside what seemed to be a big cargo plane. Distressed he tried to get up and run….somewhere, anywhere! But, almost instantly, Jim was grabbed and pushed back onto the bed he woke up on. The woman with the chrome dreadlocks and weird clothing approached him calmly and gently and told him everything….
…“Hello again Jim. It may seem like mere minutes since we spoke before, but actually, we spoke two hundred and five years ago. You drank our brew, and it transported you here, five hundred and five years into the future. We WILL send you back to your own time, but first, we need you to do something for us. There’s a bit of a war going on between East and West, east and west of the Earth – the Eastern Earth is technologically superior to us Westerners, they also have numerical superiority, but we have something they don’t have…….an alien technology that we think can destroy them once and for all, but we don’t know quite how to use this technology. All we know is that these…creatures…these aliens GAVE us, the West, this technology, we interpret this to mean that they want us to use it against the East. YOU, will do your utmost to try to understand this technology in the battlefield so that we can use it to beat the East. Now, don’t worry about the training, we’ve uploaded all the battle skills you need to know into your DNA. But, do worry now, because in 30 seconds, you’ll be air-dropped along with fifty-thousand other men, former addicts and criminals from your own time too, over what used to be Shanghai! Good luck, the alien tech will be air-dropped to a secret location, you shall rendezvous with the tech and go from there! Good luck again”.