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Blight (Complete)(A Life of Steve Contest)(14th Place)

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avatar Art Dei Tech
Level 55 : Grandmaster Grump
Blight - An Apocalypse Story of Steve

Hello! This is my first blog contest entry, and I'm pretty hyped for it - I've always wanted to make interesting stories for a while. Perhaps this one may be my masterpiece: a piece that bends(-ish) the physics and existence of every entity and magickery in Minecraft into a story on Earth, especially including the answer to the question why Steve possibly became the only survivor of a mysterious apocalypse. This story is inspired by Plague Inc, and the Artemis Fowl series. Enjoy!

!Update: The story is now finished! I'd like to warn readers that it is pretty long for a contest entry, but I tried my best to make the theory sound plausible enough. Note that I used the End Poem as a direct reference at the final chapter, I do not take it as my own!

Available contents:
N - Prologue
I - Death Reborn
II - Spellbound
III - Mayday
IV - Siege
V - Last Sleep
VI - Cell Craft
VII - Mob Arena
VIII - Stronghold
IX - In the End
N - Prologue

   Steve, who appeared to be the only human to survive on Earth, wandered aimlessly. Countless efforts to find information about his past led him down to hell, up to the end. The dungeons, villages and strongholds seemed without any trace of other human beings, but just the presence of those "NPCs". Every book he finds in every library were either unwritten or riddled with an enchantment. All the questions he could ask about his past life were never answered, not even by the two ethereal voices in the End.

   For every ore he mined, every tree he chopped down, every monster he killed and for every life ended and restored to him, he asked himself, "Why am I here? Why alone? What happened before?"
Chapter I - Death Reborn

   'Earth is the most beautiful planet we have ever lived on, and we cannot afford to lose it,' Doctor Edward gently took off his glasses and glared at the view of his window pane. A bustling city of lights and moving cars carried on serving its respectful citizens throughout the night, blissfully unaware of an eminent outbreak of the Black Death incoming.

   'I'm sorry, doctor, but we cannot change the fact that the strain we found on hundreds of victims in the 2038 Geneva earthquake proved to be recently decayed forms of Yersinia Pestis - all three of the variants escaped the damaged WHO research facility. Government officials all around the world are already proclaiming a full-containment zone on that whole country.'

   The doctor thought deeply about his son back home. 'How long till the meeting of that proposal is finished?'

   'In about 8 hours,' Jenna, his newly-hired personal secretary, replied, 'The majority of the polls are set on the protocol, which most probably looks like people's vacations in Switzerland may be cancelled for a while.'

   She took her glance off the doctor, who appeared to be lamenting his son's future fate, and grabbed some research papers from the top of her neat, pristine wooden desk. All the organised materials, pens and pencils, books and tablets, would soon be given away for the study results of the bacterial strain. Under a more urgent tone, Jenna read out the results slowly.

   'Approximately a month since the collection and analysis of the strain, there have been several reports of numerous bird migrations, rats being immune to pesticides and house fires suddenly started with no justifiable cause, all in the city of Zürich. Researchers in the area believe some part of the bacterium may have been affecting the behaviour and genetics of both the humans and animals.' Jenna didn't bother reading the rest of the statistics. She quickly put the papers away, before accidentally scattering them over her desk.

   'I'll take the night off, Jenna. Please don't hesitate to call me for further reports,' Edward put back on his glasses and wore his leather coat.

   He was about to leave his office room before Jenna suddenly stopped him, 'Before you go, sir, do you mind me asking for the name of your son?'

Chapter II - Spellbound

   An alarm clock ran off nine hours later. The sound of ringing church bells inside an eighteen-storey three-bedroom high-end apartment seemed appropriate enough to fill the gap of the Renaissance void. That void suddenly returned upon a hand hitting the stopper button.

   Edward got up to help prepare breakfast for Steve. Some pancakes should suffice for a Monday - Steve is already starting third-year high school in NYC Private School. Some part of Edward worries about him finding information about the uncovered strain. Edward went ahead last night blocking most of the news channels and informing the teachers in advance. He constantly thought about Steve's autism disorder: Asperger's as they call it. Since he was six, Steve had an uncontrollable urge to explore new areas, even in the same corners of his own house and school. Any information about the strain that leaked will drive his emotions mad, leading him into unsafe areas in an effort to study the strain. He mustn't know any small hint it happened.

   Steve came from his library-like room and sat down on the table, 'Good morning, dad.'

   'Good morning to you, son! Ready for your second week?'

   'Very much, father. I've spent all day yesterday reading ahead on medieval history and human biology.'

   Biology, huh? Another reason to keep him well away from that strain, Edward thought. He continued his tone of pretense and chuckled, 'Ah, biology. Following the footsteps of your father, am I right?' He rubbed his son's hairy head, as if in pride, despite being worried about studying bacteriology.

   After breakfast, Steve quickly packed up his bag in preparation to be picked up by the school bus. Although it may have been too quick that Edward found his Reports notebook left on his bed. Glancing at some pages, he called out, 'Steve! You left behind your-' and then he saw yesterday's page.

   Sunday, September 20th, 2038

Mysterious gossips of spontaneous combustion among the sidewalk. Police patrols shifted suddenly to airport and seaport sides. Two unusual-looking ambulances passed by the house today. Perhaps another serial killing in effect, or worse. Will try my best to get more about it soon.

   'Thank you father,' Steve entered the room and grabbed the book from Edward's frozen hands, 'See you in the afternoon!' Thus he left to close the door behind and leave.

   Edward stared blankly into Steve's window. Of course he found out about it, it was inevitable. Right now he could be making his way to interrogate the police before he comes home. I have to do something. But the telephone rang. Jenna? This early on a Monday shift?

   Assuming the call was urgent, he sprinted across the hall, across pictures of medieval backgrounds of Europe and several framed hospital degrees, to answer the bell-toned phone. 'Yes, Jenna. What's the issue?'

   '...This is a state of emergency, doctor. One of the Switzerland representatives happened to be infected with the pneumonic plague. The planes returning the other officials back to their countries are probably carriers of the disease now, two of which are commercial.'

   Edward's gaze turned back to the window of the living room, facing where Steve left off for the bus, 'It could cause a worldwide pandemic. Those planes must be turned around before they reach their designated locations. Which of those are closest to their location? Is the military taking action against it?'

   'Two planes are landing in France and Italy in 30 minutes. The plane's arrival to here in New York will be in 6 hours. According to the news, the Pentagon in Virginia started making considerations into ordering the planes to land in Switzerland itself, otherwise shooting them down as a last resort.'

   'I'm going to the lab right now. Keep me updated on the way, I will have to make some calls.'

   Steve's bus made its way to the school, which is approximately 30 blocks away. Inside the dusty interior filled with the stench of rugged leather seats, 30 blocks gave enough time for him to think about his enquiry with the police. But to expose a serial killing spree to a 14-year old kid was as improbable as a criminal freely telling secret plans of a tactical nuke to a CIA agent. I want this information, he thought, I need it. I must satisfy my urges.

   It was 8 am in the morning, 6 hours till he can go out and explore the news. He had a feeling his teachers won't have anything to inform him anyways by considering his efforts last week in asking them about why students began leaving the school this semester. "I don't know!", they would say, "I phoned their parents about the reason, yet they simply kept quiet about it!" It didn't sound very truthful, so it may be best to skip final class if something happens.

   And something did.
Chapter III - Mayday

   Five and a half hours later, Edward continued on rampaging the phone calls as if manager of a corporate company, 'Yes, yes, I will visit to analyse the decayed sample soon. It is devastating to hear the plane landing in France, but it is a relief other officials chose to stay in Switzerland itself. The Pentagon communications is trying their best to convince the American medical ambassador and the rest of the commercial plane to turn around, yet they say he claims to be perfectly healthy.'

   Gestured and directed by the doctor, Jenna packed his research materials and documents into an open cardboard box labelled, "HOSPITAL STRAIN ANALYSIS", which consists of several surgical instruments personally organised into a sanitized pack. Other things that she thought Edward would need included a copy of his Masters degree in Microbiolog, a list of his close friends who studied in similar fields and a letter knife. The "hospital" he mentioned wasn't very far from the office in Manhattan, Beth Israel Medical Center - it was where some of those friends worked.

   Edward hung up the phone call to say, 'Jenna, please go ahead and tell my dearest wife, Lucy, to prepare the luggage for the helicopter. I will be the one to pick up Steve from school. I'll meet you in the hospital after then.' Jenna nodded and they both parted ways in the lobby, the doctor carrying his box of materials to his car parked outside, a Toyota land cruiser. The radio played a disturbing note.

   '... sending two fighter planes to pursuit the commercial flight and according to them, they will have to "terminate the plane its passengers and the plague they're carrying". They also believe they cannot risk to land the plane on urban waters, which could contaminate the local sewage and drinking facilities. It has been resolved to land, or otherwise crash land, the plane on the strip itself of LaGuardia Airport, Queens, where a police task force and quarantine specialists will clean the site. All pending flights will be cancelled... '

   The radio continued on throughout the trip to the school. It was now 5 minutes past 2 PM, the time when Steve usually comes out. Edward felt he should have warned Steve before he left for school, since his taste of adventure and danger was just beyond reach. In an hour's time, all hell would break loose. He must leave Manhattan as soon as possible. Suddenly, that plan almost changed entirely, for Steve was not there for the pick-up.

   'Damn it! Steve! Steve! I'm here to pick you up from school! Steve!!' His shouts echoed from his car window, only to be replied by the confused faces of departing students. He probably escaped to explore the situation on his own.

  One of the students happened to consider talking to the doctor frantically shouting. He came up to the window and said, 'Did you say Steve, who's my classmate?'

   'Yes! Yes! Please tell me where he left off to!'

   'A few minutes ago, we heard a loud noise coming from outside. Everyone came to look out the window to find two jets flying in one direction. Steve just left out early to follow it, I really don't know where he went. I'm sorry, sir.'

   'T-Thank you!' Edward drove off hastily, as if determined to break every traffic law in the street to find his wandering son. Edward quick-dialed Jenna while quick-scanning the passing streets, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings on the way to Queens. 'Jenna! Steve is gone! I'm going to find him on the way to LaGuardia Airport. Wait for me in the hospital, and prepare the helicopter!' Assured to hear her faint replies, he hung up to hear the news on the radio, and soon, a sudden explosion that crackled in the swift air.

   '... has been successfully hit by one of the fighters, and it seems the debris of the plane is landing on the designated landing strip of LaGuardia Airport. Police teams have assembled to evacuate the residential and commercial areas around the vicinity, and have closed off bridges connecting Queens to Manhattan...' There was oncoming traffic up ahead, which meant Queensboro Bridge was one of them.

   It was clear the traffic was in motion no more, prompting him to run ahead. Edward searched frantically for any tool he could use in the box provided from Jenna. Screams and shouts of protest could be heard in the background. Any time, he could lose his son to anyone, and anything. Further beneath the degree and the list, he searched for any suitable tool in the kit that would be of optimal use, until his struggle came to an edge. It seemed something outside of the kit had cut two of his fingers. With irritant pain, he pulled out what appeared to be a letter knife. Blood casually oozed out while the radio continued on ranting more terrible news.

   '... phenomenal. The news helicopter are reporting the passengers of the crashed aircraft had survived both the shockwave and the impact! Hold on... According to them, the passengers appear to be running towards the containment team at a disturbing pace. T-they're attacking them!' Upon hearing this, and from seeing the dripping blood, he generated one unimaginable idea that Steve would likely think the same. He grabbed both the knife and one of the instruments - a syringe. The passengers possibly became infected, he thought, at this rate, Steve may be close to the airport right now. If he is, I could possibly save him and grab a sample off the infected, or otherwise, get him out of there as fast as I can. Edward resolved his new adventure, turned off the radio and left the car to enter the bridge before it could be too late.
Chapter IV - Siege

   Steve had been walking for an hour now. The clutter of books jumbling in his rucksack only slightly affected his motivated running speed. This was his ultimate chance to seize this opportunity to witness the event. To him, it was beyond excitement - he felt he could not stop to catch a single breath. To intensify this moment, he took in probably the most beautiful noise ever heard - a sudden crackling explosion in the swift air.

   He reached the bridge, noticing several police groups setting up a blockade in the entrance. Beyond their setup, the sky housed a trail of smoke and two separating jets. A show of colours and life just across the line. He snuck past a guard that walked backwards, rolling out a barricade tape. He hid himself under the height of the abandoned cars while people exiting the bridge ignored him.

   Edward followed up before the police stopped him at the barricade, 'I'm sorry, sir. This bridge is being closed down under state of emergency. Please don't make me arrest you.'

   He grabbed the officer's shoulders and made desperate eye contact from a lowered head, 'Please let me through, my son is in there! You don't know what you're dealing with!'

   The man abruptly forced Edward's arms away, 'The military and the containment have got this situation covered. Our orders are to hold down this bridge until the operation is complete. Until then you cannot pass through-' before receiving a sudden whack on the face. The officer tripped backwards on the tape, and Edward, repositioning his bruised knuckle, quickly passed through. Bringing the attention of the other guards, he ran ahead to search once again for Steve.

   The bridge around him fell quiet, albeit the car alarms, sirens and distant helicopters. It was quiet enough to hear his own footsteps on the concrete, the footsteps and shouts made by the pursuing police and, hopefully, the timid steps of his son. Soon, he could see a small figure walking ahead in front of him, with a small trembling rucksack behind, and those small timid footsteps he had always wanted to hear. 'Steve!'

   Steve halted and turned to look at his running father, and noticed the chasing policemen behind. However, he thought differently about this. He called out to them, 'I know you're trying to stop me! Please, I just want this moment at least! How else would I live without something like this?!'

   'No! Steve, this is different! It's too dangerous!' Edward kept running, ignoring the fact the police could shoot him down at any moment. His son was just beyond reach, so too was the infection ahead of him.

   Steve turned back around to find other people chasing after him in the other side. They seemed to be walking awkwardly, arms held up strangling the air. He knew this was his moment, but at the same time, his fear paralyzed him. He was mesmerized by their ferocious looks, their green-turned skin and their half-bitten limbs. They were coming closer, and he could hear the haunting growls that grew louder every closing second. He couldn't take any more emotions - he surrendered himself to them.

   He was tackled backwards by an assaulting monster. He ultimately knew this was the end. He now became convinced his desires served to kill him in the end. It all makes sense: his urge to end his mental condition quickly. But his last fight thought otherwise. Steve's instincts thrust his arms and held back the zombie from falling on him. The zombie slowly overpowered him. He felt dizzy from the putrid saliva dripping down on his face. The gnashing teeth inched its way to its meal - a struggling boy who overthrew his ambitions for his life.

   Edward reached Steve in time to stab the zombie's forehead with his knife. He held his syringe off-hand, ready to extract its blood as it tumbled away. But as it withdrew, it detected the blood of Edward's cut finger, and determined to lunge forward at him. Edward was almost crushed on ground impact, barely able to keep the syringe from breaking. His hand let go of the instrument, entrusting the son to take over. Steve regained awareness. He glanced at his father who was about to be devoured by the same monster. He allowed his mental state to burn instead with fury. Taking hold of the nearby syringe, he stood up and, with a young battle cry, plunged the syringe right at its heart. Edward pushed away the staggering zombie for the police to make the final shots at it.

   Steve hugged his father, 'I-I-I'm so, so sorry, dad!'

   Edward carried up his son and walked across the bridge, confiding to his weeping child, 'N-No, I'm proud of you son. You saved your dad's life, you know that?! Come, we must take you to the hospital. You could be feeling sick after what happened!'

   The police attempted to handle the crackdown on the siege as the father and son went back to the bridge entrance. However, the zombie number cumulated too much that they overcame the police and charged for Manhattan. Helicopters fired several missiles to break down the bridge, but failed to stop the zombies from advancing. The explosions told Edward he would have to run fast to the car.
Chapter V - Last Sleep

   Edward quickly got in the car with Steve, whom he thinks would already be infected. If he were, it was no doubt that he would be showing symptoms of weakness, anytime soon. Anything about zombie virology and spontaneous combustion wouldn't be completely out of the question as it is the same Black Death bacteria doing all this...

   Edward chose to drive along the FDR Drive, on the way past United Nations Plaza. Using this road, there would be thorough military intervention to hold the zombies back, yet he wasn't sure about the centre of Manhattan. On the left side, across the river, he could see several smoke stacks and hear hints of gunfire and screams. While observing that, he also observed Steve carefully in the back seat. He brought out his journal and started writing just as yesterday. He had a sudden grim face, perhaps he was traumatized by the attack, or he knew how it felt to let death arrive. Soon, he began moaning about a slight stomach ache.

   'Hang in there, son,' Edward reassured, 'We're almost there to check you up.'

   'Thanks, dad. I'm still keeping your needle safe as promised.'

   'Great job, there. Don't worry, the pain will be over soon.' Just not forever, he feared.

   They reached the hospital: Beth Israel Medical Center. Jenna and Lucy anxiously waited in the entrance, one of them almost drowning in tears. Lucy almost dared to hug their sick son, but Edward withheld her to avoid the spread. He slowly helped out Steve, who began coughing. Edward knew he would be indirectly infected too, but Steve was in direct danger - the symptoms became worse every minute.

   Jenna stepped in and offered, 'Doctor, I'm willing to help-'

   Edward stopped her too, 'No, Jenna, I cannot risk your life too. I will get him to a biohazard patient room with my colleagues. You try to find us a safe place nearby after my work here. Call my phone if anything happens. Oh, and please take Lucy with you.'

   The pairs parted ways. Edward, wearing a surgical mask, called for an emergency stretcher. Two of his friends arrived carrying what seemed to be a tall, lightweight, white cot. They greeted him, quickly unzipped the bag and gently put down the son before zipping the cover back up. Edward was reassured this new kind of stretcher enabled Steve to breathe normally without releasing the infection outside the bag. The two carried the plastic coffin ahead, and Edward followed behind. Through the pristine reception area, there consisted numerous health departments, most of which that were now fitted with stasis machines for infection-free surgery. The trio turned to the Pediatrics department where the Genetics lab resided.

   They set him down on one of those machines. Edward confided to him once more, 'Don't worry steve, this is a big machine to help you sleep well. I guess you haven't met my friends yet,' he pointed out to them, 'This is Daniel, and this is Frederick.'

   'Hi there,' Steve remarked.

   Daniel stepped in, 'Hey there, Steve. Everything will be all better now, kiddo.'

   Edward made a face of derision, 'He has Asperger's, and takes everything almost too seriously. Please grow up, Danny.'

   'Haha.' Daniel moved away with Frederick to the genetics lab. Edward stayed behind to set up the anesthesia. Mists of gas crawled into the chamber, and the bed was neatly aligned for surgical and comfortable position.

   Steve began to feel drowsy, and before he slept, he remembered to say to his father, 'Dad, promise me you would read my diary, in the event of the end. Maybe my end, I don't know. Please, you and mum, read the story out to me. I'll be happy to hear you, mum, Aunt Jenna and everyone with me.'

   Edward watched his son drift off into sleep, in waking tears. He thought sincerely, Steve must be put in induced coma to stop his symptoms before turning undead, just like them. He took another syringe from the supply, inserted into one of the mechanical arms, controlled it and took a sample from Steve's still arm. 
Chapter VI - Cell Craft (Highly Technical Information, lazy readers may skip)

   In the lab, all three worked on the two syringe samples, one from the attacker, and one from Steve. They used a special desktop table, resembling a 3x3 square consisting of all microscopic tools that included DNA modification, microbe incubation and false-blood testing. Frederick called it a "genetic crafting table".

   A few minutes later, while examining the zombie's green blood cells, Edward was astonished by their behaviour patterns. Through the microscope, he could see the blood cells replicating themselves just as normal blood, but when subjected to that of a healthy person (using false blood), those cells attack them as a whole, then releasing pathogens to infect them afterwards, turning them green.

   Daniel was also surprised. He offered to examine the organelles inside the blood cells to find colonising pathogens flooding the whole of the cytoplasm. What was even more amazing was that every pathogen was shaped like a pixelated sword. He speculated these kinds of pneumonic Yersinia pestis appeared aggressive. Using a single drop of blood from Steve, the bacteria acted the same as well, until observing that his blood cells actually don't change in colour, but began both destroying old cells and replicating new ones.

   Daniel afterwards made a remark, 'The cells of the attacker are still pretty healthy, even its own immune system. But whenever some number of these cells reduce, they reproduce to form new tissue of the same DNA, which partially explains a zombie-like reanimation. What intrigues me is that we've received the results of the decayed bacteria before in Switzerland, as Jenna probably told you, and those bacteria, the Bubonic variant, are shaped like long rods. I suspect bubonic may be responsible for spontaneous combustion. This pneumonic variant would be the front line.'

   Edward, who suddenly began coughing, said anxiously, 'But we haven't witnessed the power of the septicemic variant yet - the rarest of the two. Also, we haven't found what causes the reanimation of these cells. Absolutely no bacteria has that kind of ability in the entire Earthen timeline.'

   He signalled the two to ignore the commencing symptoms, and the three continued searching while the son slept peacefully. The electrocardiogram read a normal heart and pulse rate throughout, which seemed strange to Edward. He thought by destroying these blood cells at the same rate as before, most of Steve's tissue and blood vessels would be damaged as well, though he reconsidered the replication of cells. But he was still worried whether the infection lets him turn as he sleeps. It was not to be known until Frederick discovered what may be perhaps the most bizarre species he had ever examined.

   Frederick explained what he saw, 'The shaped bacteria have thousands of small viruses located inside it. I scanned the blood cell membrane to find the antigens actually releasing these viruses continuously into the medium. I-It was unbelievable. Most of these concentrations were found in the blood cell's nucleus, causing the cell to rapidly multiply if its group tissue becomes damaged. That completely explains people converting into zombies and coming back to life... But, ' Frederick dramatically took out his glasses and stared as if it were a miracle, 'I've observed this on that drop of Steve's blood and as they were being destroyed, the remains began vanishing into thin air. I began looking for the viruses responsible and... found them on the sample of the petri dish. This virus is airborne, and can teleport cell organelles.'

   Daniel and Edward stared blankly in awe. Edward took a glance at his son, thinking that he could be a potential carrier of a deadly pandemic, possibly one that creates cancer. But, his mind began popping up with so many theories, only one pulled through that could ultimately be the destiny of his son.

   Edward turned to them and said, 'I'll take over and test something with Steve's blood, false blood and this so-called bacterial virus. One of you, watch over Steve as I experiment.' Daniel offered to do it while Frederick honourably stayed behind to assist the doctor. Edward, with a pipette, extracted some of the zombie's blood. He then separated two drops of blood into a larger petri dish at opposite sides, one of which is Steve's blood and the other, false blood. He marked Steve's blood with blue dye, and inserted the infected blood in the center. Suddenly the blood drop split into two, moving towards both the false blood and Steve's blood, as if they're chasing the healthy. Soon, both the blood drops started being devoured by the rogue blood, Steve's own blood began disappearing, so was the blue colour.

   As soon as both drops were devoured, the false blood turning green, he suddenly saw Steve's blue blood slowly reappear in another side of the dish. With his microscope, he identified the exact same blue dye used as the previous drop. He turned up the brightness of his lamp to inspect the cells closely, only to find the zombie cells suddenly vibrating. The green blood caught on fire at high luminosity, sparing Steve's revived blood.

   Edward then requested Frederick to retrieve the bubonic sample, and exposed the decayed remains to the airborne virus on the dish. Through the microscope, he observed the bubonic plague immediately shape into rods, which suddenly vibrate with another to catch on fire as well. However, the plague sample began chasing Steve's blood as before, but high temperature did not affect its speed unlike that of the pneumonic. Again, his blood was destroyed by the plague, leaving another to respawn at another side of the dish. Edward felt the urge to exclaim "Eureka!", as if he understood the magicks of a new world.

   He took Steve's diary and began writing all of his findings in the book, as the hospital fire alarm went off.
Chapter VII - Mob Arena

   It was 6 PM when Edward began packing the research materials, keeping the samples in incubated containers. The alarm set off may mean the zombies have entered the building. Taking the stairwell would not be the solution in this case, so the three resolved to use the elevator. They transformed Steve's stasis machine into a transport gurney, and attached two winch hole sections at either ends of the machine. Daniel set the impact options for the machine that included parachutes, landing springs and patient harnessing belts; all of which operated without waking Steve up.

   The doctor dialed to Jenna, saying, 'Get on the helicopter now, we'll be there in five minutes. We'll be going to a place secure so we can continue our research underground. Don't worry it is tactically reinforced to even withstand nukes.' Pushing the gurney ahead, Frederick had a small curiosity about this "underground place". He asked Edward about this, upon hearing the reply that it was located beneath the Statue of Liberty.

   Assigning several security guards, as  a higher authority, to form a protective wall around them, Edward pushed through towards the nearest elevator, near the reception. The green-skinned zombies were lit on fire, attacking the hospital staff. Other security guards struggled to keep them at bay - they rampaged through the entrance.

   Daniel ordered the remaining staff to increase the room light intensity. Confused, they did so, until seeing the zombies reigniting and staggering from the guards. The decorations of the room, however, caught on fire, causing the sprinkler system to activate and soak the zombies into attacking again.

   One of the men exclaimed, 'Get a mechanic to stop the system! We must get this doctor through!'

   They reached the elevator, leaving behind the hospital siege. One of the police offered to stay outside and defend the door. Daniel was thankful that the elevator was large enough to fit four people and a heavy-duty stasis gurney.

   They reached the roof in time before the helicopter would leave. The area was completely sealed off from the ground - entrance to the emergency stairs were sealed from the inside. The guards attached the machine to the helicopter by winch ropes, and removed the inhibitor for the parachute bag. The three greeted Jenna and Lucy on the helicopter before they departed.

   As they rose high in the air, Edward observed the sun setting in the distance. The pilot reassured them that arrival would be in 20 minutes. However, Edward wasn't very comforted. He thought about the impending darkness and destruction done by the zombies - he feared the world would never be the same. He looked down on the burning city of Manhattan, imagining the panicked cries of the humans slowly turning into the dead - the undead, rather. Also, he worried about what the septicemic bacteria would do with their viral animator, which may be the greatest threat of the three.

   19 minutes later, the helicopter began its descent on the Statue's island. Already, Edward could see military fire on the invading siege of zombies hurdling towards the lady herself. Several tents were pitched, spotlights shined brightly on the dark-green ground, and barbed wires surrounded the entire statue. Holding the sanctuary to probably the largest collection of history books and research, Liberty would have been ranked the most secure just behind the White House and Area 51.

   Suddenly, large explosions occurred on the ground. It appeared the trees deteriorated and their own bark began marching towards the encampments until exploding at close proximity. The shockwave seemed to have a small radius, but fatal for anyone within range. Also, what appeared from the dense trees were gigantic spiders that emerged being ridden by skeletons. The bones were able to move freely in the air, and carry some longbows and arrows extracted from the tree bark. However, like the zombies, they caught on fire from the spotlights, and the spiders walked away. But the moving trees didn't ignite upon exposure... Could those be the septicemic? Edward feared there may be hundreds of variants of the three main bacteria of Black Death marching to end humanity with living monsters.

   The helicopter was forced to land on open spaces between encampments, right in front of the basement entrance. Before the copter dared to touch ground, the military forces unhooked the winch from the stasis machine and moved it towards the entrance. The chief of the United States Park Police came up to greet the five, saying, 'Welcome to the Statue of Liberty, the safest place on Earth; well, below it.'

   Edward took the first to shake hands with him, 'Greetings. We must hurry, do you have a source of power underground?'

   'Yeah, it's directly connected to the National Grid. For every year its nuclear battery is continuously charged for 500 of those years. It began more than a decade ago, so I'm pretty sure that machine you have would be well powered for a very long time.'

    'Thank you, please take us to the most secure room you have.' The chief gladly let them through, directing them down to the mile-high elevator. Until then, he ferociously resumed full defense, keeping the path to the elevator at total lockdown.
Chapter VIII - Stronghold

   It was almost half an hour since they entered the elevator. Jenna thought transit through this single shaft seemed a nightmare to construct, for the height grew more than the new tallest tower in the world. Considering the lithosphere plate motion and the chances for a tactical nuke to wipe out Manhattan, she did reckon the base to be the safest after all. But in this situation, everyone is already in danger - the pathogen could have been transmitted down without anyone noticing, especially the virus.

   They reached the lowest level of the facility. Pushing Steve ahead, they were guided by several researchers to the library theatre. The workers pushed aside the special copies of books in the centre and positioned the machine in the centre. They also set aside several tables for the hospital research, including the containment of Steve's blood and the restricted virus.

   Steve was still in comatose sleep while Edward began setting up the machine's adaption underground. While doing so, he admired the surrounding shelves where he imagined every academic and history books, atlas and star-maps, copies of famous and religious books as well as medical research journals. He was curious to find about the impact of septicemic Black Death and began searching for the article. Directed by governmental librarians, he searched thoroughly to find that single paper - it could have possible hints of its virus-animated behaviour.

   After several minutes scavenging the medical aisle, he found some scrolls of the bacteria's activity back in 1352. It appeared most of the people who died that time only had symptoms of bubonic and pneumonic plagues. While Edward continued reading on, Daniel began setting up the connection between the stasis machine and the national grid, saying, 'The machine had been running for a while now, the system may be shortened for a few seconds before powering back up.'

   Edward nodded, before reading the final paragraph:

Somewhere along the West coast, people suddenly began dying from intense pain which spread from the groin into the rest of the body. Treatment was difficult to prevent their death. It mostly happened at night, when victims began screaming in pain before blacking out. Otherwise, in areas of poor lighting, the pain would increase intensely as well. The infection would spread the most in complete darkness.

   He quickly turned to Daniel, dramatically stood up to run and stop him, 'Daniel do not plug that- '

   Everything turned dark. Edward tripped and fell harshly on his side. He suddenly heard screams echoing around the library. He felt the presence of the bacteria slowly eat away his awareness. He thought he saw purple particles in the darkness, and several glowing eyes gazing at him. He didn't feel any pain, but nausea began to emerge. In his dizziness, he struggled to stand up, before seeing the lights come back on.

   Before him, the eyes revealed the dark shadow. A tall, dark, slender figure vigorously shaking with an orbiting purple aura. He could see the papers flying about, the ink disappearing from the pages, including the one he was just reading. Those books about the Black Death could be riddled with the decayed bacteria - we gave it life through darkness. Steve's diary, he thought, was in danger.

   Security guards came in and began shooting the dark entities. Suddenly on impact, their bodies disintegrated before immediately appearing in the other side of the room. It teleported again and attacked one of the guards, directly infecting him with the bacteria. He turned dark almost completely, before bursting into a cloud of purple gas that seeped into the ground. Edward quickly ran to the centre to find his friends and family, shouting, 'Open the machine and put Steve's diary into the chamber! Hurry!' He could see Daniel had clearly heard him and opened up the machine to insert the book inside. He became confused about the mass panic in the stronghold, until seeing the ground he stood on slowly beginning to move.

   It seemed the purple dust contained a pure form of the virus which re-animated monsters made from rock and concrete. Edward could see holes and patches on the ground, while almost tripping on one. He suddenly faced rock-coated creatures that resembled leeches, and behind them resided the dark, gazing entity. As soon as its eyes met his, it began vibrating again, perhaps marking him as its new target. Edward immediately fled and shouted out, 'Do not look into his eyes! He will kill you if he does!'

   He ran through the aisles, looking behind briefly to see the monster absorbing the ink from the books. He could hear its grumbling sound ringing in his head. It ringed louder as it came closer. He almost reached the intersection of four aisles before seeing the monster reformed from tiny fragments. He covered his face, but could still hear the sounds coming closer. But it suddenly stopped upon hearing Frederick shouting at it, 'I'm what you want, not him! I'll lead him out! Jenna, close the windows!'

   Edward partially opened his eyes to see the monster disappear once again. But the rock creatures continued chasing him. As he attempted to stomp on one, he felt sharp pain travel through his leg. He immediately withdrew, the pain disappearing almost instantly when the leech unhooked itself. He threw the empty books at it, killing it shortly afterwards. He ran to the centre to find Jenna closing the theatre windows, sealing Frederick and the monster outside. Edward almost stopped her until hearing the closure coming complete, 'No! It will kill him!'

    Jenna tearfully replied, 'It's the only way you and Steve could survive. Daniel is in the centre defending Lucy from those concrete things. We must find a way to prevent them from reaching the stasis machine!'

    Edward thought about Steve's diary, and the blood samples. He sent Jenna to fetch the samples from the table while he collected several empty books, tore off most of the pages and spread them at a distance around the machine. He also reminded her to disable the water sprinkler system in advance. In theory, he hoped this would create a wall of fire that kept the leeches from reaching Steve. There was no guarantee, however, that the blood could target the living bodies and direct the fire towards them.

    Once everything was set, all four met at the centre. Lucy was both terrified and grieved about the coming of their end. Knowing it was coming, Edward looked to his dear wife, saying, 'Steve asked me to read a story to him once the end comes near,'  then turned to Jenna and Daniel, 'release the pneumonic sample on the circle.'

   They did so, and the ring of books immediately ignited, burning the invading leeches. Those that managed to go through, Jenna and Daniel finished them off with leftover equipment from the hospital. Everywhere, they distributed broken glass to lacerate the surviving leeches. Edward and Lucy both sat together beside Steve's machine, almost praying and crying. But instead, Edward took out Steve's diary and shared it to his wife. He was about to start reading when Daniel interrupted.

   'The fire is coming closer! It will be a few minutes before it slowly reaches us!'

   Edward held the book near him and Lucy, ultimately replying, 'I guess we better kick this one up with a notch, then.' He was the first to read out, 'Once upon a time, there was a player.'

    Lucy then followed, 'The Player was you, Steve.' Throughout the story, in his sleep, Steve smiled.
Chapter IX - In the End

   Aeons later, the machine still functioned long after humanity's death. Steve continued sleeping in his coma, his brain cells completely dead and all memories of the past erased. The day it finally ran out of battery, the chamber opened, and Steve's own body disintegrated into the silent air - the virus now everywhere in the Earth carried his dissolved body up to the surface.

...The atoms of the player were scattered in the grass, in the rivers, in the air, in the ground. A woman gathered the atoms: she drank and ate and inhaled; and the woman assembled the player, in her body...

   The virus slowly rebuilt Steve's sleeping body, reformulating all the organs and systems back to what it once before he went to sleep.

...Sometimes it believed it was in a universe that was made of energy that was made of offs and ons; zeros and ones; lines of code. Sometimes it believed it was playing a game. Sometimes it believed it was reading words on a screen...

   Steve's mental condition disappeared too, his own desires that controlled him no longer existed. It became part of him and his new universe. He once believed reading news articles online would lead him to the path of adventure, but now it had led itself to him.

...It decoded them into words; decoded words into meaning; decoded meaning into feelings, emotions, theories, ideas and the player started to breathe faster and deeper and realised it was alive, it was alive, those thousand deaths had not been real, the player was alive.

You. You. You are alive...

   He smiled in his sleep. He was reminded of his choice to turn away from his condition - he became the boy who threw away his ambition for his life. And now, on the virus' command, he will be given that life once more.

...and the universe said everything you need is within you,

and the universe said you are stronger than you know,

and the universe said you are the daylight,

and the universe said you are the night,

and the universe said the darkness you fight is within you,

and the universe said the light you seek is within you...

   The virus had protected him from all the three plagues and given him his own - a blight of life. His genes contained the zombie-like regeneration, his passion burned with fire, and the darkness taught him how to give it light. All these enabled him to survive the new world, his new universe.

...And the game was over and the player woke up from the dream. And the player began a new dream. And the player dreamed again, dreamed better. And the player was the universe. And the player was love.

You are the player.

Wake up.


   Steve woke up lying on lush grass. He found himself staring at the rising sun in the horizon. He felt peace in the area where birds sung, animals roamed freely and the breeze flowed with harmony. But he couldn't remember what happened before he came to. All he could remember was his own name, how to talk, and someone, or something, called Notch. Suddenly he felt the urge to stand up and explore this strange new world, and felt it was the adventure he had always dreamed of. He began collecting resources, fighting the terrors of night and searching for answers. All of what he had ever done was in the universe he strangely named Minecraft.

The screenshots include:    
Blender, downloadable freeware (recommended for 3D modelling skins)
Wallpaper and skins in which I do not own! (except the yellow watermark)

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6 Update Logs

Final Update : 10/21/2014 11:05:09 amOct 21st, 2014

- Added the final two chapters of the story, fully relates to the world of Earth and Minecraft. 
- Included the End Poem as a reference, pretty related to my story actually!

I want to thank you guys for supporting me in any way possible! I actually prefer just to be in the finalists actually, haha. I'll try my best to get this blog recognised, perhaps through chat. Thanks again, and I've hoped you enjoyed the story!

Comments : 9

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1 - 9 of 9

  • Punkamoar
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 50
  • Grandmaster Gent
  • May 4, 2015, 11:35 am
Now on this one, I beat you by four places o;
  • eagoy
  • Level 47
  • Master Lava Rider
  • October 29, 2014, 8:58 am
Congrats on getting into the finals, but how did you do that?!!!
  • Art Dei Tech
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • October 29, 2014, 9:13 am
Do what? Getting to finalists? Advertising on chat actually helps xD
  • eagoy
  • Level 47
  • Master Lava Rider
  • October 21, 2014, 9:48 am
Excellent done and finished everything up, no rushing.
Nicely worked in references of mobs and such. Although why the dammend up-side-down cliche that the statue of liberty is the safest place to be.

Personally I think making the finals means you need a lot of subscribers, who read blogs instead of looking at projects. So yeah, you´re doing better than me so far in the contest. Good luck although you´re competion.
  • Art Dei Tech
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • October 21, 2014, 8:56 pm
Haha, thanks! Actually I really liked your other projects, especially the gigantic blimp (the skyrider) and the daracuga. Yeah I guess we're more suited to building than blogs, but it won't hurt to try other things!
  • eagoy
  • Level 47
  • Master Lava Rider
  • October 21, 2014, 10:11 pm
That´s the spirit.
  • Voidacus
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Fish
  • October 10, 2014, 10:14 am
A good idea for you is the stronegholds, for example, they are underground so they suvived whatever wiped everything out, and they are the only thing containing information about life before he was the only one. (You know....Strongholds have libraries...so...)
  • Art Dei Tech
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • October 21, 2014, 7:06 am
Hi again, the story is now complete, with the stronghold as you requested! Do you mind advertising this entry to any of your friends if possible?
  • Art Dei Tech
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • October 15, 2014, 4:44 am
Hello, thanks for the support! Of course, I will consider your stronghold tip, but the problem I'm disappointed with is that this blog isn't getting as much attention as I've hoped. But, as promised, I'm still going to finish this even if i don't get into finalists.

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