Terrance was galavanting through a stream, devouring any salmon who dared cross his path. He took a deep breath and appreciated the smell of the flowing water and of the surrounding trees. A gentle wind caressed his back, and he realized that he had never truly appreciated the fearsome beauty of nature. Everything out here could kill you, and avoiding everything that could kill you also may kill you, but if you stop and appreciate it, there is nothing like it.
Terrance had a secondary realization, once nature had exhausted its stay in his attention span. He was capable of profound observation. Not that nature being beautiful deadly is actually that profound. No, he realized that never before this had he ever realized anything. He was infinitely aware of his surroundings, and he was unsure why.
This would be no big deal for an ordinary man, perhaps time for a change in career. Terrance, however, was no ordinary man. He was no man at all. Terrance was, in fact, a 600 pound grizzly bear that had just gained sapience for no particular reason.
He finished off the salmon he had been munching on and stepped out of the stream. While this was fun, he had an overwhelming desire to know why he had an overwhelming desire for anything besides salmon. Perhaps other creatures of the forest had experienced the same thing. He resolved to find one.
He first went back to the stream, since the salmon were nearby, but none of them seemed interested in talking. Terrance figured it was natural for them to avoid a creature who used to want nothing more than to eat them, so he set out into the forest.
Twigs and leaves crunched underneath his paws, but other than that, the woods were silent. Perhaps if he called out for someone, they would see he just wanted to talk. So call out he did. “Hey, anyone out there?” He heard a rustle in a nearby bush.
“Oh gods! It’s a bear!” A voice murmured from behind a bush. Terrance looked over, and saw two young bipeds hiding rather poorly.
“Shut up! Maybe he won’t hear us.” The second biped said.
“Hey, you guys aren’t great at hiding.” Terrance meandered over towards them. Maybe he could teach them to hide in exchange for bipedal secrets. Terrance got up on his back legs to seem less intimidating
“Oh gods! It’s a bear! It’s attacking!” The bipeds began to run away, and Terrance knew he had to do something.
“Hey, wait! I’m not a bear.” What a ridiculous lie. “I’m… Uh… One of you.” Terrance watched as the bipeds hesitantly halted their retreat.
“By gods, you can talk!” One of them turned around.
“Are you saying you’re a man?” The other followed.
“Yes!” Terrance clapped his paws. “I am, indeed, a man.” He couldn’t believe this, maybe he should seek more intelligent life to help him. Then again, maybe he was a man. He supposed it was about as likely an explanation as any.
“You’ve been polymorphed!” One man gasped and began to edge towards Terrance, and the other one followed shakily behind. “Well, only one thing to do for that. We’ve gotta get you to Kyle.”
“Kyle? Can this Kyle help me?” Terrance figured the men were awfully easily convinced of him being polymorphed, so maybe he was. He also wasn’t entirely sure what polymorphed meant.
“Yeah, Kyle’s a wizard. He deals with stuff like this all the time.” The men were right in front of him, and Terrance had a subtle desire to maul them, but decided against it. It was probably bad form to convince people to help you and then maul them.
“What’s your name?” The other one asked. They appeared to be looking him up and down. Perhaps they were seeing if he was indeed a man.
“I’m Terrance.” He nodded. “And you?”
“Well I’m Bill and this is my brother Drun.” Bill patted Drun on the back.
“Well, come along now Terrance, Kyle closes up shop at sundown, so we need to get a move on.” Drun began to walk off away, and Bill followed. Terrance decided these were the first men he had spoken to, and perhaps men are not very intelligent, or perhaps Terrance was in fact a man. Terrance hadn’t ever considered if he was actually a bear. Either way, Kyle could probably help point him to someone else. He dropped back down to all fours and followed along.
Terrance began to reflect on something he had said earlier. ‘I’m Terrance’. He undoubtedly was Terrance, but he wasn’t quite sure why. It wasn’t like anyone had named him Terrance. Had he always been Terrance, or has he only been as long as he’s been sapient. Perhaps he was just a polymorphed man, who used to be called Terrance.
Terrance added this to his ever growing list of questions. Questions like, why could he speak the language of the men, despite never having spoken before. These men quite clearly thought Kyle was the answer to all of these questions, so perhaps he was just a font of intelligence.
He wondered if he had a man family, if he was indeed a man. He pondered many more questions, but he was distracted by a wooden wall. Bill and Drun approached a gate in the wall.
“Who goes there?” Croaked a voice from the other side of the wall. The wall seemed to be battered. It had arrows sticking out, deep gouges from swords and spears, and entire sections that were clearly patched together from different wood.
“Phil, it’s just Bill and Drun.” Bill said, approaching the gate.
A slot slid open on the gate, and a pair of crusty eyes peaked out. “You know the rules. No pets, especially not bears.”
“Oh that’s not a bear, he’s a man.” Bill patted Terrance on his shoulder.
“Yeah, his name’s Terrance. Say hi, Terrance.” Drun gestured to his bear companion.
“Hi, there. I’m Terrance, pleasure to meet you.” Terrance stood up on two legs. He figured it might make the bipeds more comfortable to perceive him as a biped as well.
“Oh, alright then. Sorry about that.” The slot slid shut. After a few moments of clanking, the gate swung open, revealing a tired old man. “My names Phil. We’ve been under siege a lot lately, so we’ve tightened up security.”
“It’s not an issue.” Terrance went back down to all fours and looked to Bill and Drun for direction. They went down a dirty cobblestone path between two wooden walls, out onto a dirt path. The village was beautiful. Houses lined the walls and were scattered about the middle. A pond in the center of the town was filled with laughing children. Terrance rather liked this town. He looked up and saw a haphazard tower, with various physics defying spires jutting out from it.
“We’re headed for that tower, Terrance.” Drun pointed up to it. “Kyle will fix you right up.”
Something different, and admittedly, quite silly. However, I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. I was inspired by a D&D story I read, about a bear who had incredibly good bluff skills, and convinced everyone he was a man.
Now, silliness aside, an announcement.
Superzeroes, Season 2 Part 1, will be released next Friday, March 8th. I hope you will check it out, and I think you’ll like it. If you haven’t caught up on season 1, you’ve still got time!