Pirogoeth snapped her fingers, and a hole opened next to the fire.
- This tunnel leads to the Void - she said, and jumped in; the kids followed her. The tunnel started as a round hole; as they descended through it, it went from round to octagon, then hexagon, to a square. They descended through a number of layers, and popped out on the outside; The ground was below them, a vast flat field of square blocks, covered with what looked like very pixelated grass. Pirogoeth stopped going up, and landed, while the kids continued flying up.
- Yumi! Kiri!
- Aaaaa... I'm taking damage! help ! my health bar is going down ! Uwaee!
Pirogoeth snapped her fingers and arrested their ascent, then pulled them down to where she stood.
- You must never jump above level 512 here.
- Wow... this ... looks like Minecraft!
- Yes... I guess you could not follow online games development... see how the surface of the world, looks like it's made from cubes? That's Minecraft. We are in ... - Yumi looked at her game settings - mode : survival... wonder if we can change to creative... Yes! Kiri, do that, it looks like it works!
- OK, done!
- Does this mean... you will not take damage? a cheat code?
- No! it's a legit game mode in Minecraft! you can make and break blocks, and the mobs never attack you! You only must not fall below the level zero because that still means death! Although in creative mode your avatar would just respawn in the last place you slept on... Yumi conjured a couple of square blocks more on the platform around the hatch, and placed there something that looked like a bed. Then she extended the platform even more, and placed a torch in every corner of it.
- What's that?
- You said we have 10 minutes... let me see how long we've got to the end of copying... oh... looks like every second in our world, counts as two in this one... So we've got to survive 20 minutes... In Minecraft, a day and a night lasts that long... meaning that our platform will, at the end of the day, be in the dark. If I did not place the torches, we'd have the mobs ... oh, you know, Monsters - explained Yumi, seeing Pirogoeth's expression - respawning on every piece of ground that is dark.
- The mechanics of this game are really weird - said Pirogoeth slowly.
- I agree. It seems the view we have here, is pretty early code... which is good, because they did not have that many kinds of mobs... I mean monsters... in the beta versions. Notice how our bodies seem to be made of cuboids? But our limbs feel round on the inside... I guess you get used to it.
- I was here several times before - said Pirogoeth - I guess this is the work of THAT JERK admin that helped me escape certain death... he called this place 'infiniminer'.
- OOOhhhhh... so this is code even from before Minecraft was born... But I think he patched it with something... mixed code from beta and the later releases, where it fit his purpose... it doesn't feel that old for sure... he must have been some hacker...
- Never mind... DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT SHITFACED BASTARD... sorry can't stop yelling... maybe someday I will tell you what's the matter... we don't have time now... So we have to walk on these platforms... to defend the bottom of our world...
- Not really because - Kiri jumped up and floated above the platform level - in creative mode, you can fly.
- I can fly here even in normal mode.
- Can you not invoke the game menu and change the settings?
- On a controller, you'd need to press the options button to get to the menu, and on keyboard you'd have to press Escape... no idea how you do that from code level I'm sorry...
- It's OK. I'd just have to be careful.
- So what are we looking for ?
- There will be beacons of light glowing out of two places on the outside of the world - one is red for power, one is blue for network. We have to close our hatch for them to appear to show to us - said Pirogoeth and plugged the square hole of the hatch. Two beacons of light appeared not too far away from each other and the hatch exit, on their own platforms.
- OK looks like it would be defensible actually - said Yumi.
- Even as we are, only three of us... How long ?
- Eight... I mean, sixteen minutes remaining.
- Hmm not much seems to be happening so far...
- Because... Oh...! it's daytime! As the light begins to subside, the mobs will start to spawn! We need to build walls, traps and weapons! Good thing we used to fanatically play this game...
- I don't get it - said Pirogoeth as the kids began flying around with preparations - what is the story here? Looks so empty when just logged on.
- The point is, you can do anything here - build stuff, conjure, kill mobs, enchant things... it doesn't have a backstory of its own. Not this version anyway.
- Hmm... - Kiri thought for a moment - go ahead sis, I'll be right back. Then he built something that looked like a portal from black kind of stone block (Obsidian, explained Yumi to Pirogoeth), and lit it up with a flint and steel. Then without a moment of hesitation, jumped in.
- Where did he go ?
- To another dimension, the Nether... I think I see what his plan may be... Quick, Pirogoeth. Bild a wall around the beacons... yes like that, use obsidian... make the wall at least 3 blocks high... the mobs can not jump higher than that, not even spiders... then make a few windows in the wall and light them up like Kiri did.
They began to work, and soon were joined by Kiri who came back through his own portal, and another one next to the escape hatch and the beacons, then jumped in them again. When Yumi and Pirogoeth finished, he soon emerged back from one of his portals.
- Splendid... thanks sis... I've joined the inside portals, to stand on a single island in the Nether. The outside portals are all on their own little ones, above a lava lake. The mobs will be going through the portals and fall into lava... while we can use our portals to quickly travel from one side of the defense perimeter, to another.
- Let me see - said Pirogoeth, and jumped into one of the 'inside' portals. Kiri was right. there were portals near each other on a floating island, and on the other side of a very deep chasm, there were rows of small portals , so conjured that anything falling through, would have to land in a lava lake. She jumped back to the normal dimension.
- That is a nice idea - she said - what do we do next?
- I suppose we must not dig into the surface of the world... so digging is not an option... but, we can build a few traps, that will toss the mobs up there, where the world ends... or shoot them with arrows... or both...
- OK. I will place arrow shooters between portals - said Kiri - and you can build the redstone mechanisms to toss the mobs up. It's getting dark... let's hurry. Pirogoeth, you can stand guard, yell if you see something.
Pirogoeth thought for a moment.
- OK kids let me see what you're doing.... ok so this pattern needs to be repeated all around? -The kids nodded - OK I think that much I can do - she snapped her fingers, and a double ring of defenses appeared around their base.
- It's OK. I guess you've forgotten I am computer code too - she smiled - I seem to be really good at copy and paste.
- Are they armed ?
- Wait... - she paused for a few seconds - yes they are now. So the mob steps on a plate and gets shot. Those who do not get shot, get divided into little streams, and each stream is directed to a Nether portal, where they fall into lava and die.
- Can you add another line of portals around the shooters ?
- Yes, here [snap] we go... why ?
- Because if I think what happens happens... there may be monsters in the flow that blow up stuff...
- And monsters who steal blocks...
- And monsters shooting arrows...
- But we can't have the nether portals too close to each other...
- Because they would just jump from one portal to another and emerge here instead of dying...
- The best trap is the one with a plate, metal door, and the crushing piston activated by another plate... or tossing them up to the killing ceiling. But a creeper could just blow it up... but so he can blow a portal up...creepers need to be shot with arrows. Hence the arrow dispensers
- Worst of all could be spiders since they can jump and scale the walls, but they also go down pretty easily with arrows.
- For the tall black ones, you need to wear a helmet - Kiri donned a pumpkin on his head - or avoid looking into their eyes, because they can teleport. They also steal blocks.
- OK kids... I see something is moving... They start spawning... a little too close for comfort... let me place some more torches... like that, within the range of the arrow dispensers.
The great wave began to move. Mostly consisting of skeletons or zombies, occasionally an Enderman or a Creeper has spawned, but either they, or their traps took care of them.
Then, a Wither has appeared and started destroying the traps. It took out a few of them, before Kiri took it down; there was no time to rebuild the crushers or the shooters; The mob started to reach the portals and disappear in them
- 7 minutes remaining!
Next, they noticed several obsidian colums with crystals at the top of them, surrounding their base.
- The ender dragon! The must have spawned the ender dragon!
- It gets power from these crystals... and flies!
- Yeugh, any surface-to-air defenses you can build ?
- We need to take out the crystals!- Yumi flew to the columns and hacked the crystals with her sword;
- 5 minutes remaining!
- Good, we still have the second line of defenses! I'll go and check the Nether trap!
- No, Pirogoeth, we need you here! check the arrow dispensers, replenish if getting low!
- Done! Oh, look that side looks like getting thin! too close for comfort!
- How about if we mount an offensive ? They can't kill us! let's run wild there!
The three figures flew above the base wall, Pirogoeth and Kiri plowed through a field of zombies and skeletons, while Yumi rebuilt the defenses. Then they repeated it on the other sides.
- Time ?
- 3 minutes!
- Look another Ender Dragon! Quick, Pirogoeth, take out the crystals! Oww... too late... it spawned! won't last because the crystals are not here, but now we have to tend to it manually!
- Looks easy - Pirogoeth snapped her fingers and the dragon blew up just about where it tried to land among the mass of attackers - any more of those?
- 1 minute!
- Ok! lets' move near the network beacon! we just have to survive for long enough to jump into it when it starts going out!
The mobs broke through the second line of portals.
- Let's destroy the quick jump ones we've been using! No use for them any more!
- 30 seconds!
- Another ender dragon! and another one!
- I will build a higher wall around the power beacon! we need to be near this one now!
- Build it thicker, and out of bedrock ! they can't blow it up !
- Why did you not tell me earlier!
- Because bedrock normally doesn't happen at this height! it sits at the 'bottom' of the world! It could cause a glitch in the game! Take out whatever touches it!
- So why now ?
- Because if the mobs attack it, the glitch will take the mobs out! So we can protect the hatch and the power beacon with it! while we stand around this beacon and hope the defenses last!
- 15 seconds!
- Looks like we'll be finishing slightly earlier! the beacon light starts to fade!
- When you start seeing little dots in it, jump into it!
- 10 seconds! I see dots! - Jump, Yumi!
- 5 seconds - I see dots now! - Jump Kiri!
- What about you Pirogoeth?
- Jump I said! - she snapped as she pushed Kiri into the beacon.
Then she put her own hand into the light, let out a glowing white globe of light that followed the kids; They watched helplessly from increasing distance, as she produced her admin book and pressed the large red button.
The blue beacon disappeared.
A second later, the red beacon disappeared to. Their little patch of illuminated terrain, started to be swarmed by the zombies, and disappeared completely as the monsters took out all the torches.
The kids floated upwards, followed by the globe of light, with increasing speed. A swarm of ender dragons took pursuit of them.
They were far above the ground, and were flying in the direction of a large onion with little windows.
The orb of light flew faster, and the kids felt like it was pulling them; It was aiming for a window with a faint blue afterglow. It swallowed them... Kiri caught hold of a little handle beside the window, and pulled the shutter down. Then let go and followed his sister and the orb of light.
The tunnel ended suddenly. Yumi bent her neck and saw the giant onion again, and with a snap of her fingers, shut all the windows, as she continued to fly downwards.
- Yumi ?
- Kiri ?
- Pirogoeth... where is she?
- Oh, great...
They were coming into landing on the surface of the world, with two beacons and a hatch. Pirogoeth was standing with her hand in the light of the beacon. The kids jumped out of the beacon when they were at the safe altitude, the white orb of light met Pirogoeth's hand and went out.
For agonizingly long few seconds, nothing was happening. They saw Pirogoeth's legs go soft and bend, she almost fell down ... they held her ... they looked around. The great plain of the world surface was dotted with mobs, but they did not move in their direction. The sun started appearing in the east.
- It's burning me? What's going on?
- It must be some defense mechanism!
- Quckly, to the hatch! - they dragged unconscious Pirogoeth to the hatch, Yumi jumped first, then Kiri pushed Pirogoeth in, then he used a ladder to descend a few steps; he closed the hatch door; then he let go.
A party of two has emerged from the entrance.
A petite figure of a warrior mage sat beside the fire in the middle of a small clearing in the woods.
The figure slowly rose, approached the kids, spread her arms... they hugged for a long time.
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