Chapter 3 – The first night

By the time Sharon’s brain is feeling good enough for her to stand up again (with the help of Martin to get up), the Minecraft moon, just as square as the sun is, is rising up over the ocean. Martin notices this and gets concerned.
“Oh, boy. Monsters will spawn soon.”
He then turns to Sharon.
“Okay, so, since the first day was a complete failure, I’ll give you a quick tutorial, and I mean quick!” he says and walks over to one of the birch trees. Since he likes oak trees better he will spare them for this tutorial. He begins to punch the bottom block of the tree which, to Sharon’s surprise, gets cracks in it.
“Punch trees, get logs, ignore lack of gravity,” he says as the block breaks and turns into a small, floating version of itself that’s absorbed by the Swede. The rest of the tree keeps floating in mid air. Martin breaks another log from the tree. Sharon is not sure what to say, but she can hear the headache slowly return.

Martin then progresses by standing still for a few seconds, immobile and looking straight ahead. Sharon is just about to see what’s wrong when Martin starts to move again, holding a small work bench in his right hand. He waves his arm and suddenly the work bench cube is placed on the ground next to the tree. Sharon jumps back at Martin’s sudden movement.
“Logs give four planks, that you can craft into a crafting table,” he says, then waves his arm at the crafting table and returns at standing motionless, looking at the block he had spawned into the world.

A gargling noise is then heard from somewhere between the trees, the noise is accompanied by sound of slow footsteps. Sharon glances over to where the sound came from and sees another blocky person. At first it looks like it could be one of the others and Sharon is just about to call out when she notices the person looks nothing like any of the others. This person has green skin, a turquoise t-shirt and purple pants. Its eyes are white and empty and its arms are stretched out. A zombie, and it’s making its way through the forest to kill them.

Not knowing how combat works in this game, Sharon starts to back away, but the zombie is closer to Martin, who at the moment is staring at something he placed on the ground.
“Uh, Martin?” Sharon says, worried and a little scared. Martin doesn’t respond, but just keeps looking at the work bench. The zombie gets closer and is almost within attack range of Martin.

Sharon takes a deep breath and assumes a determined look as she decides her next course of action. She stops backing away and starts to run towards the zombie, silently wishing that the game hasn’t taken away all of her moves. A few meters away from the zombie she leaps into the air with the intention of giving the zombie an aerial kick, or well, more like tackle it with her feet.

As she zooms past Martin, he lifts his head with a ‘huh?’, apparently done with whatever reason he was looking down at the block. Sharon hits the zombie and it flies back quite a bit, flashes red and lets out a gurgling noise. As for Sharon, she lands flat on the ground, but quickly stands up, ready for the next round against the zombie.
“Um, Sharon?” Martin asks. Sharon doesn’t look back at Martin, her eyes fixed on the green beast that’s approaching again, having recovered as soon as it landed from the previous attack.
“Not now,” he gets as an answer.
“No seriously,” Martin says, not raising his voice.
“We are under attack,” Sharon almost shouts back and delivers a side kick to the zombie, which, again, flies back a bit, flash red and gargles.
“But-”
“I’m saving your life here!” Sharon is getting really angry that the guy who wasn’t responding moments ago is now trying to distract her from saving their hides.
“I have a sword!” Martin shouts back. In Martin’s case, ‘shouting’ is just raising his voice a bit more than usual, but he does sound angry. Sharon quickly glances back and goes quiet as she sees Martin standing there, holding up a brown sword. He doesn’t look that happy.

Not responding, but her anger gone and replaced a bit by guilt, she turns back towards the zombie, only to see it being too close to comfort. She quickly steps back. Martin steps forward and does a meek slash with the sword at the zombie. Even so, the zombie acts like it was hit by one of Sharon’s kicks, flies back, flashes and gargles. Martin proceeds to whack the zombie with the sword every time it gets close until it falls to its side and disappears in a poof, leaving nothing behind except some floating remains of rotten flesh and small flashing green experience orbs that gets absorbed by Martin with a gentle, chiming noise.

“Ah, I love that sound,” he says with a smile. Sharon walks up next to him.
“What were you doing back then?” She’s still riled up. As a response she’s thrown a smaller scale version of the sword Martin used, similar to how the block he broke got smaller versions as well. The sword is automatically absorbed by Sharon and appears in her hand, much to her surprise.
“Crafting,” Martin answers, giving Sharon a quick glance before looking out towards the forest, quickly scanning it for more approaching monsters. Luckily, there are none, for now.
“Crafting? You were staring at that… thing,” Sharon points at the work bench. She’s starting to calm down. “Right click it,” Martin comments and gives a nod towards the bench before continuing his search for potential killers.
“Right click? What do you mea- WHOA!” Sharon’s eyes go wide as she automatically waves her arm towards the work bench.

In Sharon’s vision there appeared an additional screen on her HUD, labelled ‘crafting’. Her full inventory is also shown, but it only contains the sword for now. The game labels the sword as a ‘Wooden Sword’.

Meanwhile, for Martin, it looks like Sharon is standing immobile looking at the work bench. This only lasts for a moment before she stumbles back in surprise.
“Crafting,” Martin calmly repeats. Sharon looks over at Martin, eyes still wide. She blinks. “Riiight, I’ll be staying away from that.” Martin rolls his eyes. “Crafting is half of Minecraft, it’s in the name. Anyway, I think we should find the oth-” he doesn’t even get to finish the sentence as another shape appears and finishes it for him.
“-ers. Good idea,” The Superhero smiles and jumps down the tree he was standing on.

“How did it go? Found a good base?” Martin asks, but gets a shrug as response.
“Good, I’m not sure, but we have a base. It’s on the other side of the island,” the white-dressed and spectacle-less version of Martin points in the direction of where he came from. Martin frowns.
“Of course we are on an island…” he disappointedly mumbles to himself. Sharon steps in.
“What’s so bad on being on an island? Where’s your sense of adventure?” she tries to boost morale.
Martin shoots it down, “That’s just it, islands are horrible for exploring.” The Superhero raises an eyebrow in a puzzled manner, then shakes his head to shake of something from his mind. A case of deja vu, that’s all.

“Not all adventuring hope is lost, Greenmushroom is missing,” The Superhero comments, grabbing the attention of the other two. The Superhero points over his shoulder, back to the base. “Silver quickly made a base and sent Ashling to find him. The island is pretty small though, so we should find him easily.” “And monsters will appear now, right?” Sharon adds, having picked up at least a bit of what’s going on in this game. Martin barely manages to answer “Yes,” when suddenly two more zombies appear from the forest. A skeleton holding a bow seems to join in as well. In fact, Martin is alerted to the monster’s presence due to the skeleton’s arrow zooming over his head.

Sharon lifts her wooden sword, Martin does the same and decided to take cover behind one of the oak trees. The Superhero casually glances over to the incoming mobs. Another arrow is shot and heads for the hero’s head. He simply moves his head to the side to dodge it, then looks over to the other two, who by this point is battle ready.

“Want me to take care of them?” The Superhero calmly asks, not really feeling threatened by two brainless monsters and a stack of bones with ranged capabilities. Although they are getting close.
“Well,” Martin begins, but before he gets to finish, The Superhero is moving towards the monsters pretty swiftly. “Not really…” Martin annoyingly mumbles to himself.

The skeleton fires off another arrow, but The Superhero easily dodges it. He gets over to the mobs, gives a zombie a downward punch, which strangely enough makes the zombie fly back. Still gliding from the run, The Superhero crouches and grabs the skeleton’s leg with his right arm and swings, slamming the skeleton into the other zombie. Both enemies fly away a bit, flash red and makes some noise.

Not that The Superhero stops his assault. Stopping his slide right in front of the skeleton, he spins around from the momentum of the swing and slams his palm in the skeleton’s stomach, or at least the area where it should have been. The skeleton flies back again, but this time falls over when it hits the ground and disappears with a ‘poof’. Only some experience orbs and two bones remain.

Sharon cheers on from the back. Martin, while impressed, is still disappointed.

The two zombies approach, but The Superhero just smiles. It’s really rare that he loses a battle, and he loves to toy with his opponents for the amusement factor. It’s usually not a question of if he will win, but how much entertainment he can get out of it before having to end it.

As both zombies are about to attack, The Superhero swiftly grabs both of them and makes them headbutt each other. Like before, both of them bounce back and flash red. The Superhero decides to finish them off with a slap to the face for the first zombie and a punch square in the face for the other.

Triumphant, he turns around to face Sharon and Martin. Sharon runs up to him. If she wanted experience points, they had already been absorbed by The Superhero, along with any rotten flesh the zombies might have dropped.
“That was awesome!” Sharon cheers. “The spin, and the punch, and the- and the slam,” she mimics the way The Superhero had grabbed the skeleton and swung it at the zombie. Since Sharon is a superhero fan girl, this happens from time to time when The Superhero does something awesome.

The Superhero does a quick sweep of the area to see if there’s any more mobs that he could beat up. Unfortunately for him the area is mob-less besides the three wolves that are still walking about the spawn point.

The Superhero turns around and clasps his hands. “So, how about we go find the others?”
“Sure, but please, can we do it without using superpowers?” Martin almost pleads. It’s not that he’s jealous he doesn’t have any powers, or in fact is the least powerful person of the entire Meeting Place, but that he doesn’t like when people are ahead in multiplayer games. That’s one of the reasons he doesn’t play much games online. He still remembers that one time in Terraria, his friends, who played the game more than he did, wanted to give him things like grappling hooks and better armour. He refused since he wanted to discover the game himself. To this day he has yet to create a grappling hook.

“You said Greenmushroom is in danger, right?” Sharon asks and gets a nod from The Superhero as a response. “Missing, but I guess.” “Then why are we still standing here?”

Martin’s sword suddenly appears in his hand. He has a habit of scrolling through the inventory slots. “Let’s go.”

*

A little while earlier, shortly after The Superhero had left the small base Silver had decided to build into the cliff wall on the other side of the island, Ashling plans on where he should search for Greenmushroom.

“So, can I go soon? If there are monsters about I should find him before anything happens,” Ashling comments to Silver, who has punched down a tree, made a work bench, crafted a pick axe and is now mining out a small cave that will serve as the base. No one had questioned how it worked.
“If there are monsters about, you’d need a weapon to defend yourself,” Silver answers and exits the cave. The entrance to it is two blocks tall and one block wide, just enough for a person to walk through without problem.

Silver heads for the work bench that’s just outside and looks at it for a moment, then looks up and throws Ashling a grey sword. The game lists it as a stone sword, and naturally it’s more efficient than a wooden sword.
“There, now run,” Silver urges Ashling. Who nods and takes off.
“Just watch out for Creepers!” Silver shouts after, but Ashling doesn’t stop to ask what a Creeper is.

Ashling is in luck. Since the island isn’t that big, it doesn’t take long until Ashling hears the panicked cries for help from Greenmushroom from the south-eastern part of the island, the area with the small lake they had found. It also doesn’t take long to see why Greenmushroom is shouting for help.

Holding Greenmushroom is a tall, black, slim creature. Its thin arms are Ashling’s height in length. Purple smoke seems to be emitted from the creature. Neither Greenmushroom nor the creature has noticed Ashling, yet. The monster makes some strange high-pitched, and yet calm-sounding noise. A grunt maybe?
“Blimey. Is that one of those Creepers that Silver warned me about, perchance?” Ashling whispers to himself. He looks again at the monster, and jumps back in surprise as it suddenly turns around and starts to shake. Its jaw opens and it suddenly seems more sinister. Ashling lifts his sword. He’s not the greatest sword fighter, but Silver had insisted to be using swords.
“Ashling! Save me!” Greenmushroom shouts. “This… whatever is holding me, refuses to let me go.”

Ashling wonders if he should move in to attack or not. He gets surprised once again as the black creature suddenly stands much closer to what it did before, and now it’s walking towards Ashling, looking more and more intimidating with every step it gets closer.

When it’s in range, Ashling randomly swings his sword while not trying to hit Greenmushroom, who the monster is almost using as a shield. Greenmushroom lets out a scared ‘whoa’ as the sword get closer, but luckily the sword hits the monster and not the mushroom it’s holding. The monster suddenly disappears in a puff of purple smoke and a deep, quick ‘khn’ sound.
“Dead already? But where did Greenmushroom go?” a surprised Ashling stares at the spot the enemy stood moments before.
“Behind you!” the sudden voice of Greenmushroom shouts out. Ashling is quick to react and turns around to see the monster heading towards him, still as aggressive as before.
“A teleporter? That’s just real nice,” Ashling strikes at the monster again. It bounces back and makes another otherworldly sound, but doesn’t warp away. As soon as it lands it goes in to attack again.

The monster disappears again, and Greenmushroom’s warning doesn’t come fast enough. The monster collides with Ashling and it’s his turn to bounce away and flash red. A bone breaking sound is heard as well and Ashling notices that three and a half of his ten hearts on the HUD has been emptied.
“You be lucky I don’t have my Dreamer powers,” Ashling warns the monster, who doesn’t have the AI to acknowledge the warning.

With one final blow, the monster dies. It falls over and disappears in a puff of white smoke, but let’s out a high-pitched, warped ‘aiaiaiai’ before it’s gone. Left over is some experience orbs that moves in to the closest one standing, which is Greenmushroom. A green orb is also dropped, and Ashling moves in to pick it up.

“And what might this be?” Ashling wonders and scrolls his hot bar until the flat orb he picked up appears in his right hand. “How about we ask Silver that, when we are safe?” Greenmushroom says, his voice is shaky from the attack. “I have no interest in encountering another one of those… things. Once was more than enough.” Ashling gives Greenmushroom a glance. “Really? It didn’t look that bad. At least you didn’t get attacked.”

“What was that anyway?” Greenmushroom asks and makes a nod towards where Ashling had first shown up, indicating that they should start walking back to the base. Ashing brings up his sword. Being one of the two items he has on his hot-bar, he feels safest having it equipped.
“It might be a Creeper. Silver warned me about them.”
“What did it look like?” Greenmushroom asks and looks up at Ashling.
“Well, it was at least three meters tall,” Ashling begins.
Greenmushroom eeps.
“It had a big, terrifying jaw.”
Greenmushroom’s eyes shrink and he gets a shade or two paler. Sweat drops start to form.
“And-” “No I don’t want to know!” Greenmushroom suddenly shouts out, scared witless.

“You okay?” Ashling stops and worriedly asks. Greenmushroom quickly turns to Ashling, frightened.
“No, I’m not okay! Beings over three times my size scare me. And mouths. Big mouths,” he almost shouts. Ashling quiets down with a little sting of guilt. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

Greenmushroom calms down a bit. “No, I’m- I’m okay, thanks for saving me.” Ashling picks up Greenmushroom so that he can cling to Ashling’s back. It doesn’t work though due to the blocky shapes, so Greenmushroom has to settle on sitting on Ashling’s head and hold on.
“Right, let’s go back to base.”

No sooner than Ashling gets to say that, the sound of zombies growling, moaning and walking about fills the forest. He quickly finds out that he’s surrounded by an incoming wave of green brain-eaters. He can count at least six of them. Unsure on how to progress or even which one to attack, the zombies gets closer.

When one’s close enough, Ashling whacks it with the sword, sending it bouncing back. However, he doesn’t have the time to turn around and knock back the rest and is killed within seconds.

Or he would have been if not for the sudden beams of light horizontally penetrating the forest, hitting the zombies with spot on precision. The zombies that are not instantly killed are set on fire and goes poof shortly afterwards. Of course both Ashling and Greenmushroom are freaked out by the sudden attack, and quickly turns around to see who their saviour is.

Of course it’s none other than The Superhero marching forward through the thicket, his arm is outstretched, having fired off the beams of light from it. He fires off another, hitting a zombie that was very stubborn on dying, finally making it go poof. Behind The Superhero, a happy Sharon and an very irritated Martin follows. “Stop using your super powers…” Martin quietly mutters. No one hears him.

“Need some help?” The Superhero says with a smile and lowers his arm. Ashling can’t help but smile. Greenmushroom can do nothing but breathe out in relief.

Next chapter

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