A minute or so passed after that initial sip of the bright blue Mountain Dew of unknown provenance, but the body-wide tingling sensation didn’t dissipate. Klay took another drink of it, figuring that, if he was going to die of a rare neurological disorder, he might as well get to enjoy top secret soda flavors before death came to whisk him away. The tingling didn’t intensify, but it didn’t stop either. Pausing to analyze the taste, he found that it tasted mostly like water. Not even sugary water. Just…water.
Klay put the bottle back in the refrigerator, not wanting to waste it in case it did have some kind of positive mental effect. His chicken wing was done microwaving, so he took it out and returned to his couch to enjoy his breakfast. While munching on the delicacies, he gave some more thought to the deliveryman’s words. “Drink it if you need help with anything,” the man had said. Well, Klay needed help proving to Stephen and to Steve that he was capable of generating dimensional portals that could transport one between different spaces and times.
There was still that tingling feeling radiating across his body, but now it seemed to be centering on his hands. Why his hands, and not, like, his brain? What he really needed was to have enough brain power to be able to intuit the methods of portal creation. It’s not like having superhuman hand or finger strength could aid him in any way.
Or could it?
Feeling somewhat foolish, Klay stood up. He cupped his palms and held his hands apart like he was holding an imaginary basketball. When he did this, the tingling in his hands grew in intensity until it felt like his hands were made out of television static. Suddenly, a small point of blue light materialized in between his hands and started growing bigger. This startled Klay, and he separated his hands, causing the light to go out.
Unsure of what had just happened, but feeling like he was on the path towards mastery over the art of portal-generation, Klay paused to recompose himself before trying again. This time, when the ball of light started forming in front of him, he didn’t freak out and ruin it; instead, he slowly spread apart his hands and watched with awe as the luminous sphere grew with them. Klay grew the orb in this way until it flattened into more of a sheet, almost like a picture frame with an ethereal blue mist in place of the glass. A portal.
Even when Klay removed his hands and stepped away, the portal remained in place. Being careful not to touch it with any part of his body, lest he be ripped out of the timeline and dropped in somewhere else, Klay examined his new creation. It was an oval of hazy light, light blue in color. An audible hum emanated from it, like it was spitting off excess energy in the form of sound waves.
Having learned all he could about the portal without actually making use of it, Klay wondered how best to get rid of it. He tried focusing his thoughts on dispelling the portal, but that didn’t have any effect. Then he realized that he could reverse the order of the steps that he had used to generate the portal in the first place. Carefully holding his hands on either side of the glowing oval, he moved them together until the portal morphed back into a ball of light, and then into nothing at all.
Klay’s heart was racing from exhilaration. Now that he wielded this power, he could use it to acquire the Three-Point Shooting Amulet for himself. Exactly how he would do that was a sequence of events that was still shrouded in mystery for him, but he had cleared the most significant hurdle. Stephen and Steve would have no idea what he was capable of until it was too late for them to stop it.
In his limited off-season interactions with Stephen, Klay got the distinct impression that Stephen was obsessed with the idea of reopening a portal to whatever dimension he had returned from in order to reclaim the Three-Point Shooting Amulet. One day in particular, Stephen didn’t answer any of Klay’s texts at all. He didn’t even read them. That was how Klay knew that Stephen was in the rock-walled chamber beneath Oracle Arena, attempting to create a portal of his own.
Now he stood at the entrance to the chamber and watched as Stephen, flanked by Kevin Durant, created a glowing green portal to another dimension. Seeing that the time was now, he stepped out from the shadows triumphantly. “Yeah, but my portal is gonna be way cooler!”
“Klay, you have no idea how to make a portal,” Stephen replied.
Klay drank from his bottle of Mountain Dew and, using his well-practiced technique, formed a portal between his hands. “Yeah I do,” he said with a smirk. Just as Steve Kerr, Larry Bird, and Dell Curry sprinted in to put a stop to the madness, Klay touched the portal with his hand and was transported away from there, not knowing exactly where he would end up, but confident that the Amulet would soon be his.