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The Escape from the Nether

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Level 1 : New Explorer
I awoke to the crashing sound of lightning striking the ground. I looked at the clock. It was daytime. I got out of bed and headed downstairs. I went into the kitchen, threw some raw chicken into the furnace, and added some coal for fuel. After that, I went to my room and did some target practice on my new target block. The one that I barely had enough emeralds for. Those greedy villagers! Once I had exhausted myself with that, I went back into the kitchen to check on the food. It was done. I grabbed the freshly cooked chicken and just as I was about to take a bite, my little brother Jake peaked his head through the front door.

He yelled, "Hey Michael! Can I have that bucket of milk?"

I replied, "Why? You run into a nest of cave spiders?"

"Um... Sure we'll go with that." Jake replied, with a stutter.

Just then, a glass bottle filled with poison whizzed by my head.

"Really,… a witch?" I said angrily.

I ran to the door, pushed Jake aside, and plunged my iron sword into the witch's chest. I watched as the witch disintegrated around my blade. I stared at Jake and said, "That was close, what were you thinking?!"

He replied, "I was doing some experimenting and,..well,.. I discovered that a villager struck with lightning turns into a witch!"

"I thought I told you to stay away from the village!" I yelled, angrily.

He replied, "Yeah, but,.."

I interrupted, "You know what, never mind? I need some fresh air before I kill you" I began to walk out the door when Jake said, "You know it's raining out there right?"

"I don't care!" I replied.

I made my way to the village. When I got there, I rang the bell that was hanging from the well at the center of the village. This summoned the villagers.

"I thought I told you smugglers to stay away from my brother." I scolded. "If you guys defy me one more time..."

Suddenly, I was lifted from the ground by two really huge hands. I looked down and saw I was being carried away by an iron golem. All the villagers were grinning maniacally as the iron golem tossed me into a deep ravine on the edge of town. Guess they showed me.

As I began plummeting down into the ravine, I prayed that I would survive the landing. I remembered something, a trick, my family had taught me.

I thought to myself, “Aim for the water, aim for the water.”

I looked around, desperately searching for a source of water. I found it! A waterfall flowing down over the edge from a stream on the topside of the ravine. I twisted, turned and flapped my arms like a swimmer in an ocean or maybe a bird in the sky. Either way, I slowly I maneuvered myself towards the waterfall and eventually I splashed inside it, gasping in, and holding, a large breath. As soon as I was able to lift my head out of the flowing water, I realized that the stream was flowing, and therefore carrying me, into yet another, even deeper cave set inside of this ravine. The cave had many confusing loops and swerving corners. There were so many that even before I got halfway through, I was hopelessly lost.

Finally, when the current slowed enough for me to break free and reach the shore, I found myself in a huge cavern with only pools of lava glowing in the shadows. I looked around, trying to find a convenient way out. As I surveyed the random litter of debris, I saw many different ores glittering in the red light. It was in the walls and covering the ceiling. Among these ores, high above me, I found three blocks of diamond ore. Luckily, I had my iron pickaxe stowed in the sling on my back. How it survived my watery entrance, I’ll never know. I reached up and slowly, carefully mined the diamonds. I searched the debris and found an old busted minecart. I salvaged enough material to construct a crafting table, and a furnace. I managed to smelt the diamond ore. I continued, against my better judgement, to travel deeper and deeper into the cave, continuing to find many deposits of ore. Then I found what I knew I eventually would,.. obsidian! After a few days, I mined all the obsidian I could as I searched and found my way back up to the surface. Just in time too since my diamond pickaxe had started to crumble.

When I got back home, I found Jake sitting on our porch with tears in his eyes. I hugged him and showed him the riches I had found on my journey. He cared for none of these, only that I’d returned home safely. That is, until I showed him the obsidian. He immediately wiped away his tears and took the obsidian from my hand.

He said to me “With these, I will make a most impressive gift to celebrate your return.”

A day later he came to me and said “My creation is ready! Want to come and see?”. He covered my eyes and brought me out to the backyard.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I replied with a worried “Yes?”.

He removed his hands from my eyes and as he said “Behold!”

I couldn’t believe what he had done with the obsidian. He created, with the most precious material I had gathered,… a rectangle.

“What have you done?” I asked, stunned

“What, you don’t like it? It’s art!” he said

“Hold on one second please, I’d like to show you exactly how much I like it”.

I went upstairs to my room, opened my chest, and got my flint and steel. I returned to my brother holding it readily. Now ordinarily, I enjoyed tormenting my brother by chasing him around and flicking sparks at him in jest. However, this time, I thought, I might enjoy actually setting him on fire! I proceeded to chase him around the huge monstrosity of wasted riches, occasionally lighting a fire behind him. Eventually, after a few laps he tried to trick me by jumping through the rectangle. I flicked the flint one final time and the obsidian burst into flame.

There was a sound. A sound that didn’t remind me of any flame I’d ever heard. We both turned and saw the rectangle, now engulfed in a strange purple mist that neither of us had ever seen. I walked around the thing, examining it from every angle. It seemed to almost whisper to me. I looked at it, confused.

A nervous Jake said “Woah”.

“What is it?” I asked, quietly.

Jake said, “I don’t know.”

He reached a hand towards the glowing light and felt nothing out of the ordinary. He got closer, trying to peer through the violet mist, stumbled over the frame at his feet and fell in. I tried to grab him and pull him back, but as I reached my hand out, he vanished. "That thing ate my brother!". With little thought at all, I ran back to the chest in my room and grabbed two sets of iron armor. I didn’t know what I was going to find on the other side, but I was going in as well prepared as I could. I approached the door, took a deep breath, and stepped inside.

Suddenly, I appeared in a dreary, flaming, landscape. I later learned that that place was called the Nether, and the obsidian structure we’d accidentally created, a Nether portal. I was relieved when I saw Jake standing just inside the frame of the portal. He was frozen in place, examining the horrible place around us. Everywhere I saw streams of lava, pouring down from cracks in the ceiling above, providing a source for the seemingly endless lake of molten liquid below. I grabbed Jake’s hand and forced one of the two sets of iron armor into his hands.

“Put this on!” I said, already getting into my own set.

“Iron? That’s all?! What’s Iron gonna do in a place full of lava?”

I replied, frustrated, “Look, I was strip mining for days to find this material, and you know how bad our mines are. I was saving this for your birthday. We’re lucky we’ve got even this!”. “Now, we are going back home through whatever that thing is, got it?” He nodded. “Good!” I said.

We stepped toward the portal, but at the same time, a fireball came careening from the sky towards us. It missed us by mere feet and crashed into the ground, creating an explosion almost as large as a creeper’s. It knocked us back almost far enough to send us falling over a cliff and into the lava below. My eyes darted aimlessly, searching for where the fireball could have come from. Then I saw it. A large creature floating in the air. It was a faded white color, with tentacles coming out of its… head?... body?... I don’t even know. It began to expel another fireball at us. I stood up, closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and swung my sword at it. I opened my eyes and realized that my sword had deflected the fireball directly into the creature. It screamed in fury and retreated to safety behind a hill, crying out in anguish.

“Ha! That’s what you get!” I yelled victoriously.

I turned to Jake and asked, “Are you okay?”

He replied excitedly, “Yeah, that was awesome!”.

“Yeah well, say goodbye, because we're going home.” I said gladly.

I turned back to the portal and saw that it was no longer glowing. “No, no, no, no, no! What happened? That was our ticket out of here!” I cried. I examined the portal, trying to figure out what was wrong. Then I looked up and saw that a piece of obsidian was missing. “That thing in the sky must have broken the obsidian with its fireball.” I said to Jake, hoping he’d have an idea as to what to do.

“Maybe we can find another portal somewhere.” Jake suggested.

“I guess we have to try.” I agreed, so we began to travel this vast, mysterious land.

Almost immediately we noticed that everything here was a little bit,…off. The ground was a strange, not quite red color. It felt similar to stone, yet something was odd about it. Next, we discovered the sand was also different. It has the same properties as our sand, except it seemed to slow us down when we walked over it, like quicksand. Oh, and I was probably just hearing things, but it’s worth noting that when I leaned down to examine the sand, I swear I could hear people screaming underneath it,…or…within it.

We searched for hours! We were starting to get hungry. Unfortunately, the only thing we found to eat were some strange looking mushrooms lying around. The last thing we wanted to do was eat strange mushrooms!

“You really don’t recognize these mushrooms?” pleaded Jake.

“No Jake! I really don’t recognize anything! You may not know this, but I’ve never been to an alternate dimension before.” I snipped, sarcastically.

Jake replied, “Well, I think I’ve seen the witches brew stuff with it.”

“Is it edible?” I asked, hopefully.

Jake shrugged.

“Well, let’s find out.” I said. I pulled it out of the ground and took a bite. At first, it felt refreshing to have something to eat, but then fire erupted in my stomach and leapt out of my mouth, singeing my nose hairs. Then I puked up the mushrooms and threw them into the ocean of lava next to us. “Nope, they’re definitely not edible.” I said, immediately regretting that decision.

We set up camp and tried to go to sleep, but as soon as I got into my bed, it burst into flame and I was thrown several feet through the air. I looked angrily at Jake and said, “Now is not the time to be messing with Redstone Jake!”

He responded nervously, “I didn’t do anything I swear. Here, look, no Redstone.”

He emptied his pockets and showed me what he had with him. In his hands were, a few bits of quartz, he’d managed to find on our journey, a potion of some sort, and a small gold totem.

“Okay, well then what just happened?” I asked

“I don’t know, I guess things just burst into flames on the hot ground. Our iron armor must be protecting us.” He said.

I replied, “Well, it’s not the weirdest thing I’ve seen here.” We ended up sleeping, if you can call it that, sitting and leaning against each other.

When we awoke from our miserable night’s sleep, we continued our journey, tired and hungry. We approached a new, forest-like area and decided to have a look around. There were tall structures everywhere. Some with vines hanging from them, others without. The structures seemed to resemble trees from our world. However, the wood from the trees was colored in shades that are rather hard to describe. Strange red colors, similar to the ground here, and yet, some others were some kind of blue. The only thing each of the trees had in common was the fact that their wood seemed to have some foreign language engraved into it.

“Hey Michael! Come see this!” Jake yelled.

I walked over to him to see he was pointing at a jell-like block at the top of the tree trunk. I removed it from the tree. It was almost transparent, yet it seemed to emit a kind of light from within it.

“Weird! Have you ever seen anything like this before?” I asked.

He studied the engravings and responded, “No, these symbols seem to be of another species.” Puzzled, we then proceeded to explore farther and farther into the strange biome until we reached it’s end and returned to the, now familiar, stony environment we’d become accustomed to.

Our feet longed for the softer, dirt-like surface from the previous area. This area, though familiar, had yet another creature for Jake and I to discover. As I was looking around hoping to find something to eat, saw something my eyes wished they never laid upon. We soon wished we’d never left the other biome at all. It was a truly horrifying thing, it had a humanoid-shaped body, pig’s flesh, two large flaps for ears, and a large snout with two horns protruding from it. And there were a lot of them. There were so many of them! All around us they roamed. Some wore gold armor, but all were wielding golden swords. They scented us through the sulphuric stench of this land and for some reason, they seemed to show immediate aggression towards Jake and I. They started running at us in a stampede of undulating, stinking and loose flesh, their swords high in the air. We looked frantically around and saw only one option. There before us, was a ledge with a sea of lava outstretched far, far, below us.

“Jump” jake yelled over the oncoming sound of the creatures.

“Are you crazy?” I asked.

“Got any better ideas? I have a plan!” Jake screamed.

So, we leapt.

We began falling, faster and faster towards the lake of molten death. Time seemed to slow as we fell, I felt a tugging at my sleeve and saw Jake, hand outstretched towards me.

“Here”, he said, ”drink this!” He held out to me the potion. The one I’d assumed was a playful Potion of Swiftness.

“It’s a Potion of Fire Resistance. It should keep you safe.”

He threw me the potion, I caught it, “What about you?” I asked.

Jake looked at me with a smile, but sadness in his eyes. "I got you into this mess. Get home big brother. Live true and make me proud. Goodbye, Michael.”

Having no choice as Jake fell away from me, I drank the potion. I tried to reach for him, but it was too late. We both crashed into the sea and sank beneath the waves of smoking sludge.

Somehow, though the grief and misery, I swam out of the lava and onto shore, the potion’s effect protecting me from the heat. I flung myself onto the shore and turned, hoping to see Jake rise from the sea unscathed as well. He never did. I looked back up at the ledge. All I wanted was to do was climb back up there and kill the things that caused my brother’s death. Every single one of them. I knew that if I tried, they would overpower me, making Jake’s death in vain. If I wanted to escape this awful place, I had to be smart. I needed to know if they knew how to leave this wretched place. In order to know what they knew; I would have to become one of them.

I slowly made my way back up to the ledge, making sure not to enter the sight of the pig creatures. When I reached the top, one of the freaks happened to be sniffing around where I approached their camp. I grabbed my sword, and ended him before he could alert the others, stabbing it right through its dirty pig heart. As it died, it dropped its golden helmet and sword. I wondered if the helmet would be enough of a disguise. I placed the helmet on my head. I took the golden sword and thought to myself, “Here goes nothing. Oink oink you freaks!”

I walked slowly, head down, closer and closer, until I finally got close enough for them to notice me. Several of them sniffed about sensing something different. One of them, the leader I assumed, came to me and began closely examining me. Just as I started to pull out my sword, the leader began to welcome me. I mingled amongst them for a while, ate their disgusting food and told a tale of a land beyond the broken portal, where there were riches to be had and lands to conquer. This was where, they believed I had come from in search of an army. I asked him if he knew of a way to repair the door to other worlds. He said that if I could find him some gold, he would give me enough obsidian to repair the portal. Great, another quest.

I searched everywhere for gold ore, but there was none to be found. Eventually, I came upon a huge fortress, built above the vast ocean of lava. Luckily for me there was a bridge linking the fortress to the land upon which I stood. Quite unluckily for me, there were more unknown creatures guarding it. I approached anyway. After all, I had nothing to lose. I was just hoping to find gold in there. I had to slash through hordes of what seemed to be charred skeletons just to get across the bridge. This entire fortress, inside and out, was made of some form of thick stone brick that I had never seen before. I continued farther and farther into the fortress. Just as I turned one dark corner, the room was lit by a thunderous fireball that nearly cooked me alive as it passed overhead by mere inches. I looked to see what happened and it appeared that the fireball came from what looked like a spirit engulfed in flame. I couldn’t get close enough to it without it’s heat searing my flesh so I got a tight grip on my sword and threw it at the blazing creature. It hit the creature directly in its flaming forehead, killing it instantly. As the flames were extinguished, I noticed in the process my sword was reduced to a golden slag, but a glowing, sparkling stick was left behind.

“I wonder if this could be useful” I thought to myself, “Well, maybe I can use it to thwack anything more dangerous than me around here.”

I continued to walk through the hallways and saw another corner up ahead. I slowly peeked around the corner, praying that it was empty. To my surprise, it was. There was, however, a chest. “Not suspicious at all” I thought. I examined it closely, searching for tripwires. It didn’t appear to be a trap. I quickly opened the chest and took several steps back just in case. I didn’t hear any explosions or flicks of levers, so I returned to the chest and peaked inside. Inside the chest lay a saddle, three gold ingots, and four obsidian. I was ecstatic, I traveled back the way I came and headed toward the pig people’s camp.

When I finally reached them, I searched the crowd to find the leader. I found him, told him my story and showed him the treasures I had gained. He was very excited. He wanted to mount an expedition to explore the rest of the fortress and search for more riches. He gladly gave me my promised obsidian, ten to be exact, which combined with the four obsidian I found at the fortress gave me just enough to build a new portal.

I traveled to an area just outside of the camp, discarded the pig-things armor, and began reconstructing the portal based on memory alone. I was not as skilled at making it as Jake had been, but I tried my best and succeeded in making a replica of his masterwork. But would it work? Using the same flint and steel I’d chased Jake through the first portal with, I lit the obsidian doorway. Just as it had over a week ago, the rectangular shape ignited with a purple flame and settled into a whispering violet mist. It glowed with the same intensity as I remembered. All I had to show for this journey was a skeletal skull from one of the many enemies I’d slain at the fortress and the glowing rod that fell from the “blaze” creature. My journey here had cost me so much. I was stronger. I was braver. But I was now alone. I needed to return. To live my life,…true. To make Jake proud. With hot tears in my eyes and on my face, I stepped, once more into the mist.

03/24/2020 5:28 am
Level 9 : Apprentice Crafter
Jake Can Respawn LOL
03/23/2020 9:50 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
What a fantastic story!
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