Chapter 4 – Setting out

A couple of minutes later, the sun is over the horizon again and the last few undead mobs who didn’t get to safety in time burns up in the sunlight, slowly and painfully. Our heroes have gathered outside the small base Silver prepared. The actual base is really small and goes into the small cliff. A fence gate is hanging on the upper part of the entrance. Inside the base is a furnace, work bench and a chest to store things in. Silver has also started a spiral staircase down, to see if he can find a cave to explore. So far he has found nothing, but he hasn’t gone that deep yet.

Currently, Silver is standing next to the base, trying to teach Sharon how the game works.
“I don’t understand why you have so much problem with this. Don’t you play Super Mario World?”
So far, Silver has had no luck and just placing blocks in mid-air causes Sharon to get a headache.
“Well yeah, but that’s way different,” Sharon retaliates with.
“In what way? They are both games with floating blocks, ow graphics and beautiful game play? Sure, Minecraft doesn’t have Goombas, but it’s still a game,” Silver argues, sounding more informative than angry.
“Silver, I’m IN the game. That’s not how I usually play my video games!”
“In any case, until your brain starts to accept that this is a game with different rules you’ll have a bad time.”
“But-” Sharon says, but Silver places another block, making Sharon get another headache. This one was almost audible.

Meanwhile, Ashling shows Martin the green orb he had found killing the black monster from before. “What is this thing? A Creeper dropped it after I killed it.”
Martin looks at the orb, then back at Ashling, then at the orb again.
“Creeper, you say?” he finally answers, trying to hold back a smile. He fails. Ashling tilts his head in befuddlement.

“A Creeper is a green monster that explodes. What you fought was an Enderman. They teleport and are really strange. The thing you are holding is an Enderpearl. You can throw it to teleport to where it lands, but take some damage, or you can craft it into an Eye of Ender, which we are going to need if we will find the Stronghold and win the game,” Martin explains. Ashling listens interested, then looks at his Enderpearl in amazement. “Guess I’ll keep it, then.” He opens the inventory and puts it safely away.

“Anyway, what do you think of this game so far?” Martin then asks. Ashling smiles. “It’s pretty interesting, but nothing that I haven’t seen before,” he answers.
“You have seen this before?” Martin asks surprised. He knows a lot about his characters, seeing how he created them, but he never knew Ashling played Minecraft.
“Well, not really this,” Ashling nods at the world around him. “But you’d be surprised how weird the terrain can get in dreams.”
Martin let’s out a small chuckle.
“I know,” he says.

Over by the coast facing the mysterious cliffs on the other side of the sea, Greenmushroom is punching down trees and doing other basic Minecraft stuff; being fascinated about the controls, gameplay and lack of things currently not trying to kill him or pick him up. Silver had told him how to craft boats, and he’s now in full swing of trying out the crafting grid of the work bench.

Unlike Sharon, Greenmushroom is a very quick learner, and it doesn’t take long until he got enough boats for a small fleet and a bunch of other stuff he found while experimenting with the grid, such as bowls and sticks.

The Superhero is looking up at an unspecified spot in front of him. He seems to be reading something, but the sky is text-less. After a moment he walks over to Silver and Sharon, still looking up.
“Hey, Silver. What’s this ‘Hardcore’ thing?” he asks. Silver looks at the spot The Superhero is looking, but looks at him instead once he sees there’s nothing The Superhero is looking at.
“How do you have access to that?” a puzzled Silver asks. The Superhero taps his temple. “Advanced tech gear of awesome, remember?”
“Right, but still. Anyway, in Hardcore mode, enemies deal a lot of damage and if you die you are banned from the server.”
“Sounds like it would make a challenge,” there’s a glint in The Superhero’s eye. He loves a good challenge.

“Not really,” the attention is shifted to the approaching Martin. Behind him, Ashling and Greenmushroom follows.
“Once you get decent armour, the only thing that could kill you is your own stupidity,” he avoids to look at Sharon. “In my case it would probably be falling damage.”

“Then, what if I made the mobs smarter and tougher? Could that work?” The Superhero asks. Martin thinks for a moment.
“This early in the game, it would be a really great challenge, and when we got the gear it would still be a challenge, but only if you don’t use your super powers,” Martin answers.
“I hear ya,” The Superhero quickly answers and immediately depowers himself, losing his white suit to a more casual set of clothes, but luckily not the same type of clothes Martin is wearing, making it able to still distinguish the two.

“So, Hardcore, yay or nay?” The Superhero asks the group.
“Let’s do it,” Silver excitedly says.
“Keep me safe,” Greenmushroom says with a bit of worry.
“Count me in!” Sharon jumps forward, happy and excited. Anything to take the floating block from her mind.
“I’m for it,” Ashling nods.
“I like Greenmushroom’s idea,” Martin sheepishly says while making a kitty face.

“Very well then,” The Superhero smiles and just like before, the world flickers for a brief second.

The only obvious change is that the hearts now look like they have angry eyes, but that’s it.
“Alright, remember guys: you die, you are out,” Silver warns. “Be careful.”

“Speaking of careful, we need armour,” Martin notes. Greenmushroom looks up.
“What would we need to get that?” he asks.
“Leather or ore, like iron or diamonds,” Silver decides to explain. He sounds just like Martin. He then throws everyone set of tools containing a pickaxe, sword, axe and shovel. All made out of stone.

“Alright then, how are we going to do this?” Martin asks. He gets a response of “What do you mean?” from Sharon. Martin looks over at her.
“Like, are we going to split up or are we all going to stay here?”
“Well, I can’t seem to find a cave, but at the same time I’d like to stay here to fix up the base more,” Silver says.
“I want adventure,” Sharon bluntly says. “I’ll go regardless of who’s following.”
The Superhero gives Sharon a sly glance. “I better follow to make sure she’s safe. She doesn’t seem to be doing too well on the physics thing,” he says and lets out a chuckle. Sharon gets a little offended, but knows it’s true. And with them now playing on Hardcore, it’s probably best being more safe than sorry.
“I’d love to see more of this place,” Ashling smiles. “I’ll go.”
“Same,” Greenmushroom agrees.
“Cool. Myself, I will actually stay behind. Since we are using out own abilities and I have none, I should probably resort to basic Minecrafting. I’ll be sure to help Silver out as well,” Martin says.
“Aww,” Sharon says, a bit sad.
“I’ll be fine,” Martin smiles.

Moments later, four boats are put in the water, and Sharon, Ashling, The Superhero and Greenmushroom each jump into one. Sharon looks around the small boat that barely fits her.
“Where are the ores?” she asks.
“You paddle with your arms in this game,” Martin answers and gets a look that’s a mixture of ‘seriously?’ and ‘are you crazy?’ from Sharon.
“They are fast, but don’t crash into anything,” Silver warns them. The Superhero nods with an ‘alright’, then starts to paddle away. He is followed by the rest. Their destination: the mysterious cliffs. Martin and Silver waves goodbye to them from the shore.

When the boaters are out of hearing range, Martin turns to Silver.
“Want to fix up the base, eh?” he smiles, knowing Silver’s true intentions. Silver does the same smile back at Martin.
“Basic Minecrafting? Really?”
“Well yeah, that part was true, and you know it.”
“I know.”
Martin brings up a stone pickaxe.
“I’m just going to mine something. I have to admit: while being in Minecraft is insanely awesome, it does slow down the speed of actions, such as mining.”
“I noticed.”
“But one thing’s for sure: the chickens are still awesome.”
“True that!”
The two fist bump.

Meanwhile, the boaters are almost over at the cliffs, heading towards them in above sprinting speed, much to everyone’s but Ashling’s surprise. When they get close they stop paddling and slow down enough to stop right before crashing into the small beach at the foot of the cliff. The cliff is blocking the view and prevents the explorers to see if there’s anything else other than another small island.

Ashling paddles a slight bit closer to the beach, stands up and jumps off. Greenmushroom does a beautiful high-jump from his boat and lands next to Ashling.

It’s time for The Superhero to exit his boat, but he does a misstep and his boat is launched back 20 or so blocks out to the sea as he lands. He’s bewildered. Sharon can’t keep herself from laughter.
“Ha ha ha ha! Guess you’ll have to swim back to your boat later.” The Superhero is not amused.

Sharon collects herself and stands up. The boat isn’t wobbly at all, and while it does bother Sharon, she’s still happy she doesn’t have to worry too much about it. She jumps, but takes a misstep and doesn’t make it to the beach, landing in the water just right next to it. The boat is launched into the beach and breaks into three planks and two sticks.

She flails around a bit in the water before managing to get to a standing position and looks at the spot where her boat used to be.
“Shut up,” she says to the three guys who are trying to stop themselves from bursting out in laughter.

Sharon gets up on the beach and joins the others. They stand there for a moment.
“Guess you’ll have to-” Greenmushroom begins, still stopping himself form laughing, but is cut off by a glare from Sharon.
“This is going to be an interesting day,” Ashling comments.

Next chapter

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