Chapter One. Brave New World!!!
John and his brother Daniel were working in the chemistry laboratory. In college, they had stood together and earned degrees in chemistry and biology, and now they had been hired to develop a genetic modification to increase crop yield for corn. So far it was not going very well. The plants withered quickly, they grew rapidly but tasted awful... it was madness. Daniel suddenly had an idea. "You know, perhaps we could try adding genes from existing good types of corn and combine them with other genes from corn... improving the corn we are growing by giving it genes from other corn?" John replied, "Well. That sounds like a good idea. A very good idea. That is the sort of idea we need to have every day. Now where did I put my spare syringes?" Daniel replied, "Oh. I think you left those in our minivan." John got up from his desk, and went outside. He walked towards his van... and then he noticed the swirling vortex. "Oh. Daniel? You might want to see this."
Daniel replied from inside, "What? I'm working!" John yelled at him, "Come on. This may be important." Daniel replied again, "What could be so important? I'm working, I don't really think-" John almost screamed, "The large swirling purple and black hole above our laboratory!!!" Daniel laughed. He came outside... his jaw dropped. John asked Daniel, "I don't suppose you are trying to prank me with a vortex in space and time? No?" Daniel fainted. John shook his head, thinking of his two sons Steve and Heroes. If this vortex sucked them into some alternate world, who would care for his sons? His wife was rolled over by a truck years ago. And Daniel... he was fainted and in no condition to be uncle to the two children. Steve may have friends at the Cyan Shirt Academy... John thought, but Heroes had no real friends... he was so advanced that he was taking online college courses. Who would care for them? John laughed in frustration. "No inter-dimensional vortex is going to stop the Brine family from being together. HAHAHA!!!" John cracked up. He doubled over, laughing.
Then the vortex hit.
Blasts of wind and furious torrents of purple energy cascaded round the laboratory, and a large sized area around it. Then there was a flash of light. And John woke. Daniel was stirring. The brothers stood slowly, taking in all around them, completely pixelated and cubic. John asked Daniel, "Well? What do you think?" Daniel stared more. "Am I dead? Or just in a coma?" John shook Daniel. "Snap out of it man, we have other problems." For it was midnight. And there were zombies. Daniel stared. "Do you mind telling me why our laboratory is made of cubes and we are in the middle of a cubic forest, surrounded by the living dead?" John laughed. This was absurd. Crazy. Whatnot. "Urggghhh.... rahgghh..." The green skinned pixelated zombies approached slowly. A few of them were wearing what looked like leather garments. Daniel stared. "This cannot be happening." John replied, "I think we should discuss our little problem in the retaliative safety of the laboratory. Now."
Chapter Two. Monsters Come out at Night...
The pair of chemists ran towards the laboratory, fleeing the zombies. John crackled with laughter. "If this be a dream, let it end now. Please. Please." Daniel slapped him on the back. "Snap out of it man! We've got to go!" The duo ran into the laboratory, slamming the door, now made out of wood, into a zombie's face. The door started cracking immediately. John stared at the door before being hurried by Daniel. "Hurry on. That won't hold long." Daniel continued speaking, "We are in the hallway of a chemistry laboratory. The only other workers here are the janitor Thomas, and our assistant... where is that Lincoln?"
The pair of chemists heard screams. They dashed to a window, seeing Lincoln torn apart by the undead. Finally Lincoln collapsed, and his body dissolved into smoke. John continued staring. "Am I dreaming?" Daniel slapped John again. "Come on!" John heard a crash. He spoke to Daniel, "Well. There goes the door." John and Daniel ran into their laboratory, finding their equipment replaced with a few wood chests, some strange metal stands, and glass bottles, some with water in them. Thomas was cowering in the corner. "Am I dreaming? Please say yes. Please say yes." John stared at Thomas, then chuckled. "For all I know, we are dreaming. Of course, if this is real, we should get to work. The zombies will be coming soon." Then Thomas fainted. Then Daniel spoke to John, "There goes his mind. Let's hope we survive."
John picked up a curved flask with red liquid inside. "Is this some sort of potion?" Daniel noticed that several more of the flasks were lying on the table, some with other liquids. The wooden door cracked, and John had enough. "Eat this, undead! No zombies are going to stand in our path!" He opened the door, and Daniel opened fire with him. The flasks detonated in large flashes of red, seeming to regenerate our heroes yet rend asunder the undead. Daniel punched down a zombie, while John slammed another zombie's head into the floor. The zombies kept coming, but they were few. The potions had much effect, and soon the last zombie was dispatched by Daniel, who struck it with an empty glass bottle. "Potions. Well. If this is a dream, I would like it to end now, please." Daniel listened to John's increasing pleas onto the world. Eventually John shook his head. "Alright. We have a problem, we are in an alternate dimension, which is home to the living dead, and is constructed of cubes and pixels." Daniel sighed. In anger, he punched at the wall, and was surprised when the wooden planks broke and compressed into a small block, which he picked up. Daniel frowned, and put the block back into place. "Not dreaming? Perhaps." Thomas was stirring, murmuring in his unconsciousness. Daniel then spoke again, "If we are dreaming, at least we should try to survive."
John spoke, "The zombies are not attacking?" He walked through the lab, and out the door. He could see very well that it was daytime... and the lab was in the middle of a forest. Daniel followed John out, then spoke, "Daytime seems safer than night. Much safer. No zombies now, anyway. Except for that one." There was a zombie standing under a tree. He groaanned...
Chapter Three. Meditations and Survival. Thomas Poisoned...
John yelled. He ran at the zombie, and struck it with a potion. The zombie groaned, being knocked out from under the tree, suddenly bursting into flame as well. "What?" John backed away. The zombie pursued him, groaning and moaning as it continued burning. Finally the zombie collapsed, leaving a small pile of reddish orange flesh. John gagged. "I am not eating that..." He backed away, then ran away, back to the lab. Daniel stared. "Safer at day, got it. Zombies burst into flame when they are exposed to sunlight." Daniel continued, "We may need to find something to eat... and we should check on Thomas." The pair went back into the laboratory, through the doorway, and back into the room where Thomas was lying.
"Ughhh..." Thomas stared at John and Daniel. "About time you got here... I don't think that water I drunk was water..." John gagged again. "Oh. That's why my bottle of osmium bio-oil was half full" Thomas then continued... "Gah... I hope this doesn't kill me..." Thomas collapsed. Daniel commented, "We should see if we can find an antidote. We might have a few days... before he dies... I pity him." John spoke in turn, "Hold on a moment. Is it just me, or has the sun already risen almost to mid-day already?" Daniel looked out the window. He spoke, "Unbelievable. Time here is faster than in the real world." John corrected him, "We don't know that this world isn't real. It may be that our Earth has changed to become this, or that we have been transported to this world through that vortex thingy." Daniel continued the train of thought, "For all I know, perhaps that was not the only vortex. Maybe others were transported here... could Steve and Heros have been transported also?" John replied, "Maybe that was the only vortex. In that case, we may have to restart civilized society all by our selves." Daniel laughed. "We are not going to be able to do that if there was only one vortex. We are all men." John continued, "Very true. We first need to get something in our laboratory's doorway to stop those zombies." Daniel thought...
Daniel then went outside, walked over to a tree, and flexed his pixelated muscles. He then started punching at the bottom block. John stared as Daniel broke the blocks making up the tree, aside from the leaves, which somehow floated in the air, and brought the 5 logs over to the laboratory. John laughed. "Gravity is slightly broken in this world." Daniel chuckled in agreement. Daniel took a log, and placed it in the doorway. "Building is much easier here than at Earth." John replied, "Can't agree more."
John then spoke, "We may have a few stocks of food in the refrigerator in the lab, but that won't last for the long run." Daniel stared at something in the distance. He slapped John on the back, then: "Ever hunted before? I think here cows are found in the wild. Like THAT ONE!!!" Daniel indicated the cow grazing in the distance with his hand, and John nodded in agreement. Then John had a thought. "Precisely how are we going to kill it? With our bare fists?" Daniel replied, "Maybe using the Bowie knife that was my birthday present from old grandpa Robin, we might have a chance of killing it. Then again... do cows fight back when people attack them?"
Daniel drew the so-called knife from the air. "Looks more like a sword to me... where did you pull that from anyway, Daniel?" John remarked. Daniel stared at the iron sword blade. "I don't know, maybe hammerspace? That place where cartoons pull objects from behind their backs? For all I know we've got Inventories like those newfangled video games Steve and Heros play." John laughed. "This world does seem like a game. Its not one that Steve or Heros play anyway. It seems a little too advanced for the year 2003, you know?" Daniel laughed again. He spoke, "For all we know this is the future, where everybody is trapped inside a game. Maybe. Just another theory for the book." John replied, "What book?" Daniel laughed. "The one we are going to write after we survive. Now then... let's go and kill that cow..."
The pair of chemists quickly sliced, diced, and chopped the cow, killing it as it bellowed. The body dissolved into smoke, smoke which moved aside and revealed a small hide of leather, and two raw beef slices. John gagged. "I am not eating raw meat!" Daniel patted John on the back. "Cheer up man, we have an oven in the laboratory for heating chemicals. We can roast the meat there... Is it just me, or is it getting dark?" John agreed. The pair of chemists picked up the remnants of the cow, and retreated back to the laboratory...
Across the realms, in another dimension, the great dragon Jane hungered, and the cow that had died's essence was not much of an appetizer. But she was hungry... her plan was coming to fruition... she would feed on the essence of the humans she had brought to this realm and be satisfied for another 3000 years. The first feeding, 3005 years prior, was good... these more evolved and smarter humans would be much greater food.....
Chapter Four. Zombies, Skeletons, Creepers, and other things that go BUMP in the night...
John and Daniel retreated inside and blocked off the entrance with wood planks. John wiped his face, then spoke tiredly, "Whew! That was a short day. At least the zombies can't get to us now. But maybe other things can..." Daniel laughed. "Cheer up! All we've seen are the zombies. I don't think that we have to worry about much else... right? I don't suppose there are skeleton archers sneaking in through the back door... Oh no. We forgot to block the back door!" The brothers dashed through the corridors, to the back door... which was intact. Not. The back door slammed down, and two zombies shambled in, followed by a skeleton holding a bow. Daniel stared at the skeleton, before he drew his knife/sword and started cutting through the zombies. John drew several curved flasks of red liquid and blasted them at the undead.
One by one, the skeletons and zombies fell, but they were followed by a lime green creeping thing with a horrible face... a creeper? The creeper took hits from potions and from Daniel's sword, but it started to hiss... Daniel struck it out of the laboratory before it exploded. "Blimey!" Daniel stared at the crater, before we was yanked back by John, who thunked down a few wood planks to block the passage. John wiped his face, but there was no sweat. No sweat at all. John sighed. "That was a close one. Is it going to be like this every day?" Daniel thumped John on the back. "Probably not, John. Probably not. We will need to find an antidote for Thomas, figure out a way to prevent zombies from getting in... and find a way out of this Twisted Reality."
John sighed again. He replied, "It was so much easier when all I was trying to do was genetically modify corn. Now we have to worry about survival in this dreamland, or whatever else this place is. Is there any way this could get worse?" shhhhhssshhhsshhh... It began to rain. John grunted.
Daniel walked into the laboratory room, along with John, where the chemistry stands and Thomas were lying. John lightened up when he saw the oven. "Oh, good idea. Dinnertime... the first time..." Daniel then, following John's train of thought, took a lump of charcoal lying around, and the raw beef, and began to cook the meat in the oven. "At least the sense of smell is working properly..." John thought to himself. Daniel smelled the roasting steak also, and was quite happy to smell that.
"Dinner!" John passed a steak to Daniel, and then began to munch on the steak... quite quickly. Nom-nom-arghh-burp. The steaks were gone in a few seconds. "Whew!" John yelled at the ceiling. "I'm ready for another day!" Daniel nodded.
Chapter Five. Split Up?
Another day indeed. Daniel smelled the smell of the grass, the trees... "What today?" John walked beside him. Daniel replied, "I don't know. What are our priorities?" John thought for a moment. "Well... we need to do something about Thomas..." Daniel replied to John, thinking... "Exactly. First thing we need to do: find mushrooms. I can brew an extract to draw the poison out... but we need some mushrooms." John thought for a moment. John replied: "Well we need mushrooms... if it comes down to it, we may need to split up. I would go out and try to find mushrooms in the wild, while you stay with Thomas and try to keep him alive." Daniel spoke: "We may have to. If we don't find mushrooms, Thomas will die, but if both of us go out to find them, Thomas will be attacked by the strange creatures, and starve... We have to split up." John nodded. Daniel took his Bowie knife from hammerspace. "You will need this." John took the overgrown knife, thanked Daniel, then set out into the woods.