Alex Kennedy was a Canadian linguist living in the United States. He lived in California, a state hugging the western border of its home country. It was often very hot, especially during the summers where it would on occasion get as hot as, or even hotter than, forty degrees Celsius.
Alex worked in Hollywood as a consultant for movies and television. He was most known for his work on a popular science-fiction show called “Explorers”. In fact, the show had been his life for the past five years and six seasons of the program. He developed many alien dialects for the show and was revered by fans as the reason the world felt so believable. Alex didn’t feel that way.
He saw his part in the show as only a small gear in the massive clock that was the show’s ever-expanding universe of lore. He worked closely with the writers of the show every day and knew how much passion they had for the series. Every time he read a version of the script for an episode they were working on he couldn’t help but be engrossed in its world, as the fans had.
Alex lived in a small apartment. Though he could afford a much more extravagant lifestyle, he lived in relative modesty. He did not have a fancy car. In fact, he had never owned an automobile in his twenty-nine years of living. He had never driven one, either. Instead, he rode his electric bicycle to and from work. He enjoyed the feeling of the hot Californian wind on his face and the freedom to go anywhere and take any shortcut he wanted.
Alex grew up in a poor family and was raised with his four sisters by their single mother. His sisters were all younger than him by almost ten years. At the age of four, Kimberly, one of his sisters, was hit by a car. She had passed away later that same day in the hospital. Their mother was devastated by the tragedy. Their family had healed from the incident over the years, but the scars of the event had still remained. When he could, Alex liked to visit his sister’s grave with his mother. His other sisters could not attend, however.
When Alex’s three sisters had turned eight, they went missing. Being eighteen at the time, and in university on the other side of the country, he had received a phone call from his distraught mother about their disappearance. There was no sign that they had been kidnapped, but the police continued to pursue the possibility. Five years went by without any new information as to the whereabouts of the three girls. Alex’s sisters were legally pronounced dead, and he had accepted that.
Eleven years had passed. In those eleven years, Alex had become quite successful. He had met with celebrities, met with his fans, and had made a good amount of money.
Though Alex hadn’t spent much of that money on a nice house or a fancy sports car, he still had a hobby that he enjoyed partaking in. He was an avid reader of manga and light novels and watched anime on a regular basis. He collected figurines of his favorite characters and had posters all over his apartment. He, in the eyes of the public, would be considered a hardcore weaboo.
Alex was very open about his love of eastern media and pop-culture with his fans. While most of his celebrity acquaintances were too embarrassed to admit that they, too, enjoyed anime and the like, Alex never cared what the public thought of him.
When Alex’s sisters had gone missing, he had become deeply depressed. His only escape had come from the manga, anime, and light novels he had discovered during a trip to Japan. Initially, that’s all it was. An escape. Over time, however, it had turned into a full-blown hobby.
Alex wished he could have adventures like the ones in the light novels and manga he had read. Being transported to another world. A fantasy world where magic existed and he could cast spells, talk to elves, even ride a dragon. He knew that it would never happen, but he still desperately wanted it to.
Imagine the shock, joy, and fear he had when that very fantasy became a reality.