Stefan Olsen had everything a person could ask for in life: a prestigious education, a well paying job and a loving family. At age twenty, he had married his high school sweetheart, the nerdy but ever witty Jeanne Miller, just as he was finishing his second year at UC Berkeley and she at NYU. The cross-country relationship was difficult, but they had made it work. Fast forward five years, he had graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and the two had relocated to Washington DC, where Stefan had gotten a job at a Fortune 500 company. Jeanne, on the other hand, was on maternity leave, having just given birth to their son, Sam. Things were never perfect, what with DC gridlock by day and a crying baby at night, but Stefan was genuinely happy. And in that blissful contentment, eight years came and went.
Now at thirty three, Stefan had just received a promotion at work to Product Manager. It was the lowest position on the executive totem pole, but he was making steady progress up the ladder. The promotion also came with a hefty bonus, enough that he and Jeanne were finally able to put down a down payment on their first home. To Stefan, it was a steady continuation of the last thirty three years. He was happy, and he was happy that Jeanne and Sam were happy. Things were going well. But then, these things often do until they don’t.
Stefan Olsen had everything a person could ask for in life. Until he didn’t. That cool autumn day in September, when the voice called out to him, and took everything away. Or perhaps it is more precise to say that it took him away from everything. So far away, in fact, that he was no longer in the universe in which he was born, the universe he had inhabited for thirty three years. He was somewhere else; he was someone else. A newly born prince, of some place or other. Not that he cared. He never asked for adventure or drama. All he wanted was to return home to his family. And of such the voice had promised. But there was a condition, as these things often do. He had to unite the world. Whatever that meant. And should he fail to do so before his death...well, the voice had assured him that death was very much a one way street.