Stephen Curry weakly lifted his head up. Above him stood Steve Kerr, Larry Bird, and his own father, Dell Curry. Seeing them stirred some memories within him, and Stephen could sense that those memories were fading with alarming swiftness. A gleaming portal to a Godly realm that scant few humans had ever fathomed, much less visited…a grand city upon a mountaintop, built with stone blocks inscribed with the knowledge of eons…a black-tentacled fiend whose sickening visual form had been torn away to reveal a senseless chaos-void…a hurtling through that void where physical and spiritual existence had ceased…
And now. Back in that underground chamber deep beneath Oracle Arena. The place where, according to the scarcely alluded-to instructions found in that obscure medieval tome, the Three-Point Shooting Amulet had been forged anew.
Stephen clutched at his neck where he expected the amulet to be hanging on its chain. It was missing!
“It was not wise to enter through that portal,” Steve said, observing the distraught hand-grasps of his player.
“What did you see?” Larry asked, not sounding as stern as Steve, but more curious.
“I saw…” Stephen began, screwing his eyes shut as if the abandonment of sight would allow his mind’s eye to operate more efficiently. But the effort was futile; the memories had already disappeared as if they had been wiped from his mind by an outside entity. “I don’t remember!” he wailed in frustration. The only thing he could remember was that he had created a new amulet, but it was now gone. He allowed himself to be helped to his feet by Steve and his father.
“Steph, listen to me,” Dell said, taking his son by the shoulders. “These experiments, these rituals related to the amulet, they have to stop. Your body might be temporary, but your soul is forever. Don’t forget that.”
Because it was his dad speaking, Stephen nodded, but he couldn’t meet his father’s eyes. Thoughts of the three-point shooting amulet still gripped him. If only he could possess and master it, then his reign in the NBA would be forever unchallenged. “I know,” he said, but he was already trying to remember if the “Magickal Objects…” text was still in his library at home. The secrets in those words had been forgotten, but they could be relearned, if only he were left alone.
“The book is destroyed,” Steve said, correctly following Stephen’s train of thought. At this, Stephen felt a kind of profound sadness. The arcane knowledge of that book was not duplicated anywhere that he knew of. Its esoteric descriptions of the magickal arts, although terrifying in their implications, represented the aggregated scholarship of mankind’s most learned sorcerers. It truly felt to Stephen that an irreparable link to humanity’s future, by way of humanity’s past in the form of that dusty treatise, had been severed.
He looked around the subterranean cavern. The remnants of the ritual that had created the portal were scattered around, but indecipherable without the guiding text. He sighed. “The Three-Point Shooting Amulet is lost to us forever. Whether that is a good or bad thing, we shall see.” He walked towards the exit of the chamber, and, in doing so, caught the gaze of Larry. The look that passed between them, he couldn’t quite decipher.
“Thanks for letting me come over, man,” Stephen said as he flumped down on Kevin Durant’s couch. “I’ve been going crazy at home. I need somebody to talk to.”
Kevin took a seat across from Stephen on a comfortable-looking recliner. “It’s either basketball-related, or you’re cheating on your wife and the guilt’s getting the better of you.”
Stephen chuckled. He wished that his mental turmoil was the result of a simple infatuation. He was, indeed, infatuated, but not with a women. No, he was infatuated with the idea of superhuman three-point shooting accuracy. “Hypothetically, if you had access to a magical object that let you shoot three-pointers at a vastly improved rate, but then lost the object, to what lengths would you go to recover it?”
Kevin raised an eyebrow. “I don’t how to interpret your motives here, but I do know that questions that start with the word ‘hypothetically’ are often anything but hypothetical.”
“The Three-Point Shooting Amulet exists,” Stephen said plainly, not caring how crazy he sounded. “But it was lost when I traveled to another dimension in order to fully master it.”
“Um,” Kevin said, looking doubtful.
“When I make an attempt to retrieve it, I’ll need some help,” Stephen continued. “Somebody more reliable than that stoner Klay. Somebody like you.”
Kevin shrugged. “Sure, I guess.”
Stephen stood up from the sofa. “Great. I’ll be in touch.”