Monday, March 3, 2014

Escaping Ender

The latest in my series of Minecraft themed stories. Please read and enjoy "Escaping Ender"



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The sun began to rise in the east, its radiant beams of light penetrated the large window dominating the eastern wall of the bedroom and lit upon the skin of the player, rousing her from her slumber. Waking up was never hard, not even after a

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longer than usual night of building and planning for the future. A quick glance at her journal containing a "to-do" list for the day reminds her that farming was chief among the tasks that needed doing. She always liked farming and took extra

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special care of her crops. Each crop was arranged in a long row adjacent to similar rows with dissimilar crops buried in the freshly tilled soil. Water was never far from any crop and bone meal was applied liberally so crops would grow quick

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and strong. Today was harvest day and there was much to be done. The player bounded down the stairs to the ground floor of her base and practically sprinted out to the carefully laid out beds. What made today so special was that it'd be the

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first harvest of her carrot crop. It had been only a few days since the nearly disastrous zombie attack that had almost claimed the player's life. Had it not been for the iron armor and weapons she had equipped herself with and the good sense

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to quickly jump atop a hastily crafted pillar the attack would no doubt have gone much differently. Still when all was said and done she was alive and the slain zombies had dropped a single carrot, from which she would soon grow many...

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or so she thought. All of a sudden the player stopped dead in her tracks as she saw the empty space that had once been the planter for her lone carrot. It had been just a small bit of dirt raised up above the rest of the land by a container made

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of stone brick laid out in a tiered pattern that wrapped all the way around the makeshift pot. A special source of water sat once concealed under the dirt for hydration; the dirt that was now missing! The player began to panic; the

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carrot she'd nearly died getting was now gone! She began frantically searching for it amongst the other crops, questioning herself as she went... "Did I plant it somewhere else? What if I left it in a chest somewhere? Carrots don't just vanish!"

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Then without warning came a rush of wind and trail of purple glowing particles followed by a slight "pop" and the deep guttural vocalizations of an enderman. "How did you get in here?" she asked more to herself than the dark entity looming

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in front of her. Suddenly a terrible realization dawned on her... "Did I leave the door open last night?!?" A quick glance back from where she had entered just now confirmed that the door stood there hanging wide open. "I don't remember opening

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that..." The previous night began running through her head... She had come back from exploring a bit late, as the sun had just begun to set. She needed to store her freshly acquired resources but first she wanted to check in on her new prize

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crop. The carrot was so richly green she knew it had only a short time before it was ready for harvest. Then she left to store her latest finds, forgetting entirely to close the greenhouse door! "NO!" she shouted as she spun around to see the

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enderman standing there, staring down at her as he held aloft a single dirt block. "You MONSTER!" She screamed at him as she lunged with her iron sword putting behind her attack all the rage that suddenly sprung forth. Of course she was angry

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at the enderman for violating the refuge that was her greenhouse and for destroying her one and only carrot for which she had nearly died, but she was even more furious with herself. "How could I be so foolish!" she thought to herself "how

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much effort does it take to close a door? How many times have I reminded myself that I need to keep doors closed? I can't do anything right..." It was as this thought occurred to her that the swing found it's mark and struck the enderman full on

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on his left side. The enderman immediately teleported several meters away and let out a ghastly, angry howl that could be heard as clearly as if he had been standing right behind her. Still clinging to the block of dirt the enderman stared back

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at the player with it's cold purple eyes and then without warning it teleported away and out of sight. Overwhelmed by this whole experience the player hung her head and trudged back into her home to write in her journal and mourn the great loss

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that had befallen her. It wasn't just about losing a carrot. The player knew she could get another carrot eventually. It was the knowledge that her best efforts to protect herself and her home weren't good enough. She felt like a failure. "If

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I can't even protect a carrot..." she thought, "how am I supposed to protect a whole village of people? How am I supposed to protect myself?" These thoughts hung upon her and drug her down like an anchor far too heavy for its ship. As she

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thought about all this the player stood by her window and stared out at the land before her, watching as the sun set and the whole of the land fell once more into darkness. The next several days passed one after another, spent toiling in the

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mines; all sense of time lost to the persistent glow of the many torches strategically placed along the walls. Even with several loads of resources gathered, the feeling of hopelessness did not go away. Still she kept on digging, deeper

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deeper into the depths of the world. There was some redstone on the ceiling of the path she was digging and compelled by habit she dug away at it before she realized it was right above her... the block broke raining redstone down upon her and

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intense light and heat spilled into the room. There was no time to even look up; she reacted on instinct alone jumping backwards into a recently opened cavern and up onto an outcropping of stone as lava poured down from the hole she'd just
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made and spilled into the natural tunnel system leaving her but one avenue of escape... She had to go deeper into the cave system, but she was nearly out of torches, and the caves were not safe... The player began to move down a side tunnel,

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unobstructed by the lava flow, placing what few torches she had as she went, being careful to space them as far apart as was possible. They'd at least serve as a trail back if she got lost. The tunnel took a sharp turn... suddenly without

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warning there was a rush of wind and purple particles followed by a soft pop and a familiar guttural sound. She knew she shouldn't but the player couldn't help but stare long and hard at the enderman that had just teleported in front of her

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holding a... "Could it be?" she thought. He was holding a single dirt block! Before she knew what was happening the enderman was upon her striking for all he was worth. Purely as a reaction the player hastily grabbed her bow and launched an

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arrow straight for him, but he was prepared and teleported away, letting loose with his unnerving howl as he went. Somehow she got the impression that this enderman had a long memory for grudges and he didn't seem too keen to give up this one.

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Still, there was but one way out. The player continued her trek in the dark having just placed her last torch. The darkness was all encompassing and the player had to feel her way through the tunnels. There was a noise behind her and she

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spun to face the threat her sword slicing through the air, but connecting with only a few faint traces of purple particles still hanging in mid-air. There was a sudden rush of air to her right followed by another swing, and another miss. Only

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those faint particles left behind told her that the enderman had been there. They hung there in the air, taunting her efforts to defend herself. Suddenly she was hit hard from behind, knocking her off balance and causing her to fall down

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into an underground ravine she hadn't known was there. As she fell the moments seemed to stretch into eternity leaving her to seemingly hang there like a bit of paper caught in a breeze and frozen in time. She knew that this was surely the end,

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that the enderman had finally bested her... that she had failed. The player accepted this and embraced the idea that very soon, this nightmare would be over. She felt the cold air rushing past as she plummeted to the bottom of the ravine,

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wholly unable to save herself from her fate. Then the air stopped rushing past and she was embraced by the cold and dark and... wet? "Is death supposed to feel wet?" she wondered to herself before realizing what had happened. She'd landed

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in a pool of water at the bottom of the ravine. "Finally a break!" she said aloud, as she realized she was still underwater! Frantically she began swimming to the surface. Thankfully it wasn't far and as she emerged the player gulped

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down several lungfuls of the cool, crisp air. The player evaluated her surroundings, barely lit by distant lava flows. Three different waterfalls cascaded down from separate locations on the ravine's walls and collected in the pool of water

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she now found herself in. As she took it all in, the player couldn't help but realize how beautiful the setting was, despite the near death experience that had brought her to it. So relieved was she that the thoughts of the enderman's

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attack and his inevitable return were completely pushed from the player's mind for the briefest of moments… and then the beauty of the scene was ruthless crushed by the wave of overwhelming fear and worry. Doubts about her ability to survive

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and find her way out of this mess leapt into the forefront of her mind pushing all thoughts of escape... of hope aside; burying them deeper than she knew how to reach. So violently did the torrent of hopelessness flow that she couldn't stop

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her knees from giving way under her dropping her ingloriously to the ground where she instinctively began to curl into a ball and sob. "I'm going to die here," she said aloud. The sound of her own voice saying these words rang in her ears like

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a dull bell, droning out the world. But something broke through this barrier and yanked her out from the mental shelter she'd created within. A guttural chortle that was unmistakably enderman... In an instant all her sorrow turned to anger

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her doubts burned in the fires of a newly stoked rage she had never known was there. The player jumped to her feet and looked for the source of the noises. There he was, dirt block in hand skirting the edge of the pool of water the player

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had landed in and now found herself at the center of on a small outcropping of stone. There was no timidity about the player now. She stared directly into the enderman's eyes, hers boring into the entity's very soul challenging him to

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attack. There was the eerie howl, echoing off the walls and sounding as though the very stones themselves were screaming with the enderman, then a rush of air and purple particles followed by a soft pop... but the player was gone; nowhere to

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be seen in fact. As the enderman turned about, looking for the player a few small bubbles began to form in the water that had not been there before; then a splash as the player leapt out of the pool and slashed the enderman across the chest

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knocking him back into the nearest waterfall. The enderman let out a tone of pain and distress as it teleported back to the edge of the pool staring daggers at the player now perched, wet and defiant on the stone outcropping. "I will fear you

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no longer enderman!" The player screamed at the entity holding her sword aloft and pointing the tip directly at him. "I am stronger than you! I can defeat you!" She continued. "When this day is over I will stand over your corpse and hold your

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pearl in my hand as a trophy!" She shouted her monologue reaching a crescendo, "Today I become what you fear! Today I become your nightmare!" and as she screamed this final word the player leapt forth from the outcropping straight at the

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enderman and brought her sword down as hard as she could dead center on his skull. With a final cry of mixed terror and pain the enderman fell. The player collected the entities pearl and as she stared at it she whispered "I will survive."