Chapter Nine: Meet the Team
I was on a beach, staring at a extremely large structure off in the distance. Light seemed to not affect it, as it was shrouded in a dark shadow to the point where I could barely see more than a silhouette. The sky around it was orange, a stark contrast to the shining blue daylight around us. Clouds of gray fog drifted in and out of the holes in the tall, thick cobblestone wall.
But the most dominant thing about it wasn't the light or the fog or even the corrupt zombies shambling through the place. It was the Reskimit Tower. The huge building (one might say it looked like some open pliers) towered above the walls. Nothing of its material could be seen, just a blackened shape against the fiery sky, but I knew it was what Alex had told me about. That was what created the Corruptis.
"Wow indeed," she responded. "It's a sight."
"That's the underexaggeration of the year," I said. "Even with what you told me I never imagined it like this."
"It's very hard to visualize, I've been told."
Our pleasant conversation was interrupted by a shout. Alex jumped. Another girl ran along the beach toward us.
"Alex! You're back! And... who's this?"
Alex looked relieved. "Jennifer, this is Steve. Steve, this is Jennifer."
"Hi," I said.
"Where did you find him?" Jennifer asked.
"He built a house on top of the wreckage of our Selvent Configuration."
"Did he destroy the chamber!?" Jennifer cried.
"Not according to him. He said it wasn't even there when he found the hill," Alex replied.
"So either we have someone after us, or Steve here is a griefer," Jennifer asserted.
"Not necessarily either one. Connective Stone isn't exactly easy to come by. Maybe someone saw it and took it for themselves when they saw nobody was there." Alex retorted.
"I just don't want to let just anyone into our group. We were chosen and we can't let some human with a Deconstruct Sword infiltrate us and kill us all," Jennifer contended.
"Excuse me?" I injected. "But what's a Selvent Configuration, what's Connective Stone, what's a Deconstruct Sword, and did you just say you're not human?"
"I'll tell you about it later," Alex said. "For now let's get back to base. It's over there." She pointed to what I immediately thought was a large mound of dirt on the beach.
It turned out to be far more. It contained multiple chest systems (usually iron), an entire automatic forge, a farm growing all kinds of food, and a few secret windows so that everything could be seen from the inside. And that was just at the mouth of the cave. Deeper in there was a strange structure made with lava and some strange stone, and a deep mine that led off in many different directions. At the end of the cavern there was a couple of switches, some buttons, a Redstone Wrench in an item frame, and a chair with a person in it.
That was how I met Samuel.
He was a dark-skinned redstoner with two glittering green eyes. It turned out that he ran an entire network of wires and tech that led through the cave. He could seal off mine entrances in an instant in case mobs attacked, remotely activate and deactivate the forge, and other things for defense. He told me he was working on a sealing mechanism for the entrance, but currently there was nothing but the open cave.
"Isn't that kind of dangerous?" I asked him.
"Not really," he said. "All the really dangerous mobs are separated from us by a river. Anything that comes in we can fend off easily, and if we can't..." He pulled out what looked to be a remote from his pocket and pressed it. Dispensers spaced evenly along the inside of the cave activated and shot arrows across the length of the mouth. Anything that came in could be dispatched in seconds as long as they kept the arrow supply up.
"Nice," I said. "That's really cool."
Samuel then proceeded to show me the rest of the beach and the plains between us and the Corruptis. There wasn't much to remark on, other than a small floating island about 10 or so blocks above the cave's entrance. I could see a deep forest to one side, and on the other nothing but beach for a long while, after which I saw the large expanse of a desert. Everything else was either ocean or Corruptis. Either way, the tour didn't take that long, and when Samuel went over into the desert I went back to the cave. I was met by Jennifer lying on one of the beds.
"So, I take it you've completed the tour?" Jennifer asked.
"Indeed," I replied. "Where's Alex?"
"She's chopping wood in the forest a couple biomes over. She left right after you did. She probably wants nothing to do with you," Jennifer answered bitterly.
"Oh..." I said. How could I respond to that?
"Listen. I don't trust you, I don't like you, and I don't want you here," Jennifer said. "I'm hoping Alex will get over you quickly enough and you can run along to the desert and go burn."
"W...what?" I asked.
"You're not like us. You're human. Your life is simple and easily destroyed. You don't have an inventory, you can't respawn, and-"
"Wait wait wait, I have an inventory!" I responded. "And I could probably respawn too if I knew what that meant."
Jennifer's interest was piqued. "Respawning. When you die, you can come back to life if you so choose."
"I've done that before," I said. "When a bunch of mobs attacked me."
"That can't be," she said. "Players know that they're players and you obviously didn't."
"I didn't have a memory when I started out," I returned.
Alex came through the door, presumably with a lot of oak logs stuffed in her inventory.
"Steve here is claiming he's a player," Jennifer said in very obvious disbelief. "He says he has an inventory and respawns."
"I am a player!" I asserted, almost shouting. "And I can prove it too! Sometimes... sometimes I get pulled out of our world. I kind of go into some stasis, and information is pushed into my brain. Then I return and time has passed. That's how I know what I know. That happens to players, doesn't it?"
Alex looked extremely concerned. "No..." she said, "it doesn't."
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