Darius was sitting on a stone block, its original purpose long forgotten. With it being three meters high and on a roof of a two-storey building , the view was quite nice, although most of the time it wouldn’t be worth the effort of getting there, even for Darius who had quite an athletic figure.
But that night was special. Although it was only 7 pm, the sky was already darkening. The autumn was nearing its end and winter was ready to go on stage. The city around the building was bustling with activity more than ever. The atmosphere was tense. Everyone kept looking at the sky. No matter if it was Darius's mother, doing dishes after family dinner of five, or the city mayor, conversing with the nervous people at the city centre. Darius wasn’t different, his green eyes firmly set on slowly moving clouds, waiting.
The first time it appeared was nearly two years ago. Everyone around the globe could see it, no matter if it was day or night, you just needed to look up. First came small lights, like fireflies. Then they started forming into lines, connecting to each other. Finally, a great net surrounding Earth was created. No one knew what it was and what it wanted.
Then, it spoke. Firstly, in chinese. Then english, spanish and many other languages, sometimes it even sounded like an animal. Actually, it’s speech lasted for some time. But after it ended, everyone knew two things. That entity was called Program. And it has arrived on Earth. Honestly, Darius had a feeling it tried to be polite.
It said that Earth was just one of many planets it had visited. Its role was to bring everyone a chance to grow beyond their limits. It wanted to give the whole Earth opportunity. From its observation, the closest term we could give it would be magic.
Program explained that it would need some time to initialize and that during the process there wouldn’t be any changes. Then, the net of lights that was around earth slowly dimmed down.
The second time was when one of ours rockets was destroyed. It tried to fly into space to locate the mysterious Program. The flight wasn’t long. It crashed into the invisible net which was surrounding Earth. Five men and a woman died in an explosion.
After that the Program went “online” with its net starting to shine again. It apologized for the deaths of the six humans and asked us not to try any other flights into space until we were skilled enough to coat the ships in the energies the system would give us after its initialization.
The third time Program finally mentioned something specific about the changes that were about to come. Firstly, all living being would be able to choose between three ways of utilizing the magic energy: the body, companion creation or energy manipulation. It said that it would be possible to gain all three but we need to choose which one we want to try to obtain first. To proceed in the abilities, we would need to gather the energy either from environment around us or from the other living being.
The boost of its energies enabling us to do the “magic” would be send not only to the living creatures but also to the environment. In practice, plants would feel a boom in reproduction and growth. During the Programs initialization, an enormous wave of energy was being prepared to enter the core of Earth. It would increase the planet’s gravity and cause some mountains to gain height while valleys depth.
The Program mentioned only a part of changes and we would need to discover the others on our own. The last information it gave was the date when the Program would start to slowly change the Earth.
During the Programs initialization, the humanity was in chaos. The governments tried to stabilize the situation and economic. The people were supposed to go to work and children to school like nothing was happening. Right after the arrival of Program, that was impossible. But slowly we started to go back to our duties, mostly due to lack of money.
But the world never went back how it was before. Some people even managed to film an action movie only two weeks after the Program’s arrival, with it being the main antagonist. It was, of course, very popular. And confiscated not long after its creation by government. But they were too late because the film creators already uploaded the film on the internet.
The cults started to gain massive amounts of members. Some wanted to worship the Program, some were just confused. The believers of the biggest religions prayed to their gods to spare them from the Programs evil plans and to make it go away.
Most people were just curious and wanted to see the “magic”. Weebs were living a dream and in general were quite smug, although no one really knew why.
The children in schools gained yet another, but still unofficial subject. The Program education. Darius himself was attending these mostly theoretical lessons while he was in his last year of high school.
Do not confuse this subject with Programming. The people working in IT sector were having massive headaches because of the Programs name and with explaining that no they do not know how it works and no they can not just turn it off.
Darius slowly extracted himself from the memories. The thing he and the others were waiting for started happening. The net in the sky started to be visible, as if slowly coming back to existence. Slow, but unstoppable. Some people ran into their houses and started praying. Some ran out of the houses, wanting to see what would happen.
“Please, ready yourselves. The start will be in six hours,” announced the Program in many languages, still trying to sound polite.
Darius watched the Program come to life in the sky for five more minutes, then he stood up. In a matter of hours, the Program will start to change the world. And Darius's first job, created because of the arrival of Program, was starting too. It was going to be a huge leap in the dark, Darius knew.
He grinned. And jumped down.