"I'm telling you, man, she's been out of your league for a while now, why did she ever start dating you in the first place?" James asked his best friend Eric as they walked home from school.
"Na… that's just all in your head James. No girl is out of your league if you talk to her right. Kim and I get along great, she's just busy that's all." Eric shrugged.
James noticed the sky was getting dark quite fast, and felt a few rain drops hitting his scruffy brown hair. He thought it was sunny a few minutes ago… but he thought nothing of it.
James then shook his head, "But dude she's gorgeous, don't you get it? I hardly ever see you two together, and guys are gonna get the idea that she's single. She won't have any trouble finding a new boyfriend if she thinks you're not there for her."
"You don't understand, that's just how she is. Kim's the captain of the volleyball team and a million other after school clubs. That's just how it is dating such a popular girl." Eric then paused and turned to James, "But hey you're one to talk. When's the last time you and Lauren went out on a date? Like a real date, not counting eating lunch in the cafeteria and then going home and playing video games with her?"
"Man, Lauren's different, we've got a good thing going. She gets me and I get her. I know she doesn't need fancy dinners or anything like that to like me." James said proudly.
Eric said, "I don't know… you should treat her every now and then. I don't think you understand girls as much as you think you do. Girls have needs just like us."
James was about to retort when he noticed the rain had gotten much heavier in the last few minutes. The storm had blown in from seemingly nowhere. The two guys decided to hurry their pace, until there was a flash of light just ahead. What looked like a giant bolt from the sky fell down at hypersonic speeds, impacting just feet away from James. The impact knocked both him and Eric to the ground, and when they finally looked up, James saw a crater in the grass, which left a hole exposing the soil underneath. James brushed the dirt off his clothes and stood up to get a better look. There didn't seem to be anything other than the crater of dirt around, so he walked up to it and got a closer look.
"James what are you doing?! Do you wanna get struck by lightning or something? Get down on the ground!" Eric yelled out to his friend.
"It's fine, that wasn't lightning. Something fell, like I don’t know, a meteorite or something. Lightning doesn't make a crater like this." James said as he peered into the small crater in the grass, which had already started filling up with rainwater.
"How do you know? You're a geologist now?" Eric snarked.
James ignored his friend and started clearing the water out of the hole, sloshing his hands around in the mud. He was sure he'd seen a glint of something inside a second ago, and then…
"Aha! There it is…" James said quietly to himself.
He felt something solid on his finger, as he fished out a tiny metallic object. He thought it would be hot, but it appeared to be made of a dark metallic substance that was already cool to the touch. Once he brushed the mud off of it, he realized it was a ring. As he held it in his hand, he suddenly felt a jolt and his mind was overwhelmed by a flood of information.
The ring spoke to him directly into his mind, "Hello human. You're wondering what I am. In your language I can be described as a Trait Swapping Alchemical Ring, but my true name has no translation. The wearer of such a ring will be granted the ability to alter the beings around them at will, both in body and mind. It's not my place to tell you what to do with me, so good luck, human."
When James recovered, he realized he now knew the basic capabilities of the ring, and what it supposedly could do. He wasn't sure if he really believed it, or if that was all just some hallucination. Regardless, he decided it would be best to inspect it in private. He quickly hid the ring in his pocket and turned back to Eric.
Eric had been watching him curiously, but hadn't seen what he found. "You done over there? Can we go before we're soaked even more? Did you find your valuable meteorite?" Eric asked sarcastically.
"Na just a big muddy hole in the ground is all." James said, and joined back up with his friend as they hurried back home to get out of the rain.
The two friends parted ways and went to their respective homes which were only one street away from each other. James finally got in the front door of his house and…