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Memento Mori—Tales from the Nether

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_Star_Phoenix_ avatar _Star_Phoenix_
Level 46 : Master Architect
259

Hot.



It was so hot.



Eddies of bubbling air brushed against your shoulder, invisible claws searing your neck. You stumbled forwards, placing one foot after the next, pushing against an intransigent foe, feeling the gravel below your feet boil and melt. Every breath was toiled, struggled. Your throat seethed, frothed, a hidden voice trying to escape your lips—but they wouldn't open, perhaps fused shut from heat or from a lack of words to utter. A lack of words, yes, a lack of words to could describe the hell that surrounded, embraced you.




It didn’t always use to be this way. Your home, if it could still be called that, was beautiful, once. Trees flowered on soft hills of moss, their golden canopies billowing across the endless caverns. Lichens would hang from the ceilings, bristling with minute life scrambling across the vines. Streams of glowing ambrosia once snaked their way across crevices, under forests, down great canyons. Life once thrived here. Creatures could once call this place paradise.

Home.

But no longer.

The trees were burned, trunks bleeding their sap, leaves crying crimson. The animals were gone, bones reduced to quartz, flesh boiled away into particles that hung lazily in the air; you often found one such particle writhing its way up your nose as you inhaled, and fought off the constant urge to vomit. Lava gurgled from hidden reservoirs in the ceiling, ebbing away at the once-proud landscape, searing the rock.

Hell.

This was hell.

Your eyes swelled as flames brushed by your side, a spout of fire rupturing from the ground. You darted sideways, falling onto the rock, and you scrambled away, hands blistering. Your legs found some hidden energy to support your strained body, and you stood once again, making way for the horizon. The bones of a once-great mammoth were implanted into a cave wall just ahead, ribs jutting out at alien angles, white color stained by flame.

They did this. They destroyed your home.

The coarse gravel beneath your feet turned to a soft silt, which pillowed under your weight. It was gentle, eerily so, as gusts of wind seemed to beckon to you, like lost souls in the breeze. The air turned a brilliant blue, a cobalt that seeped into your body and sought to make it one of its own.

They tried to make this place like theirs.

And as you stumbled blithely across a corner, it appeared on the hazy horizon.

It was there.



No one had dared to approach the gateway, at least while they were alive. Perhaps because of the taboo that surrounded it, or its proclivity to inspire madness in those who touched it. No one dared enter it, although its violet gleam tantalized, beckoned for someone to step through. No one left through it.

But they came through it.

They came through it, and so did armageddon. They thought they could take whatever they wanted. Starve the land of its soul, harvest the dreams of its people. They brought great machines, towers that stretched from the silt to the sky. They flew around on their silvery wings, gliding across the caverns and over the heads of eager children. The sound of rolling thunder was often, as steel carts thundered across rail systems that spread across the landscape like a spindly virus.

And then, they were gone as soon as they had come. Leaving behind the vestiges of their exploits, a hell from a heaven.

As you approached the gateway, its swirling, mesmerizing glow seemed to pull you towards it, wantingly, expectantly.

You knew what you had to do.

Your mind attempted to push your body forwards, but it refused, feet firmly planted in the sand of souls, pulling you into their grasp, invisible arms reaching for you to stay. Your eyes darted around the hellish landscape, meeting fire and lava, death and finality. Heaven to hell. Life to death. A home to hell.

You knew what you wanted to do.

Gritting what was left of your teeth, you plunged into the swirling violet vortex, feeling your limbs begin to dematerialize. You spread your arms in a wide embrace, welcoming the alien sensation. And even as your body dissolved into its trace elements, vanishing, your mind was still perfectly clear.

You would make them pay for what they did.

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3
03/06/2020 2:42 pm
Level 21 : Expert Explorer
Lord_Vlad
Lord_Vlad avatar
A really great story with fantastic allusions to the new Nether update. I could really empathize and would definitely read the sequel. Top!
2
03/06/2020 3:10 pm
Level 46 : Master Architect
_Star_Phoenix_
_Star_Phoenix_ avatar
Many thanks! :)
2
03/06/2020 12:25 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
Jeremieh
Jeremieh avatar
Very good
2
03/06/2020 12:29 pm
Level 46 : Master Architect
_Star_Phoenix_
_Star_Phoenix_ avatar
Thanks mate!
3
03/06/2020 11:10 am
Level 42 : Master Artist
Whiteout-
Whiteout- avatar
Bravo
2
03/06/2020 12:09 pm
Level 46 : Master Architect
_Star_Phoenix_
_Star_Phoenix_ avatar
Thank you!
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