A Story - Part 2 Added

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}SoC{Hunter
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This story was originally inspired by wandering around our server, in the spawn city of Halion. I was alone on the server, and battling my own demons at the time in the real world. For months I turned the concept up and down in my mind, trying to decide how to write this. I wished to write something - I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story of finding the Ark months ago, and wanted to do it again. This, however, hopefully will mean something more than that of a video game. Perhaps those with great imagination can think of this story outside of Minecraft. Feedback is always appreciated, feel free to be a grammar Nazi, and most importantly, enjoy!
This will be a three part story. Each additional part will be added in a new post, and I will update the topic title to announce the addition of them.
The man started, somewhat alarmed, and swirled around several times, attempting to make sense of what had happened. One moment he had sat down to a rather distasteful meal of stale bread and a swig of unboiled river water, taking the first bite, when he found himself in a strange room - strange to him, at least. He had no recollection of coming here, and the defiance of logic caused his head to ache. He opened his mouth to speak, then stopped; what was there to say? Whoever kept this building could be driven to panic and violence to hear a stranger's voice. He raised his sword - dear Lord, why was his sword here? He hadn't wielded this rusty monstrosity in many moons. It was buried in a pile of other disused tools in his basement, a painful reminder of the past, though he could not bear to part with it.
He stepped forward cautiously, not trusting his eyes to perceive reality. Solid ground - a sign preferable to the alternative. A fire burned in a small hearth, and torch lights flickered above him. He started to walk, fascination growing. There was a spiral staircase, perhaps leading into other floors. There was also a door. He chose the latter option, hoping for escape. Delicately he tested it; it swung open without a sound. He stepped through. Another door - this one leading, yes, to the outdoors! He sprang forth, leaping through the door and ducking to the side. A bush for cover! He leaped into it and took the opportunity to survey his immediate surroundings.
A brick path, wide enough for carts and those on horseback to pass with ease. It was well build, no doubt, yet cracked and overgrown in some places. Massive structures lined the path going either direction. He presumed himself to be in a thriving metropolis - but strangely enough, there was not a soul in sight. Not a bird flew overhead, nor a stray dog lurking by, in need of food scraps; yet most puzzling, not a human being. Surely a city of this size would have crowded alleys anytime of day, especially in what he assumed to be mid-morning. It was difficult to tell; the sky was thick as mushroom soup with dark clouds. He waited several more minutes - not a sound, not even that of a mouse scurrying past. He attempted to build up his courage, trembled, hesitated, and finally removed himself from the bush. He stepped out onto the open path; no voices of condemnation from the house he had unexpectedly entered, nor a greeting or even remark from any human. He shivered. It was not taxing to determine that something was seriously wrong.
He began to ponder. Perhaps this is a monarchy, and the people have been called to an event. Maybe there is a state of emergency, and everyone is holed up. Doubtful yet intrigued, he began to wander, strolling down the streets, examining signs. This was evidently some sort of government district; signs suggesting tax collection centers, police stations, and horse stables with iron clad leather fittings (though void of occupants) could be found. A holiday, he thought, must keep the officials home. Perhaps I can find civilians elsewhere. With this he made for one direction - it appeared to head towards some sort of cliff or bridge. He thought his chances of finding someone better if he went the other way, where it looked like more structures were standing.
Soon he came to townhouses - no doubt they were townhouses. Still not a sign of life, and no wonder; the windows were shattered, bricks cracked, wood splintered, and vines stretched themselves lengthwise across them. He decided it could be no harm to check one, and in he stepped, finding the door off its hinges. Cobwebs covered the ceiling and walls. Furniture did not look disturbed, but certainly abandoned. The entire housing development seemed to be vacant. Worries returning, he exited hastily and continued down the street. More of the same result - that is, absolutely nothing to be found. Sure, there were houses. buildings, sheds , statues, fountains, and the evidence of a sprawling city, but the people - ah, where were the ones who erected these fine shelters! There was no sign of invasion - all the dilapidation was undoubtedly a result of weathering and gravity, not explosions and slashing swords. He was becoming more unnerved by the moment, so the sight of a human skull on the roadside nearly caused his heart to stop. He picked toward it, and prodded it with his weapon. It cracked, then crumbled into dust. Confirmation that this was not a city built by angels or wraiths, certainly, but also a sign that something terrible had happened. He shook himself, determined that his only hope of figuring out how this had come to pass was to proceed, and did thus.
The condition of the skull, he reasoned, means that there has been no one here for decades. So there was nothing to fear.
Except your own mind, came an unwelcome thought. He pushed it aside.
He soon found another puzzling marvel, dug into a hillside - no, through a mountain - some sort of terminal. He had no idea what language the signs were written of, but they seemed to suggest a point of commerce. Above him, lichen draped the lights, which led him to another concerning thought - the fire! The house he had found himself in had a lit fire, and lights! He nearly turned back, yet for some reason he found himself driving forward. On the other side of the hill, past the wooden counters and tables, was undoubtedly a massive quarry. Mechanical workings adorned the place, which had apparently removed a good part of the hill in their day of use. A massive fence surrounded the quarry, and he was grateful; his own curiosity may have otherwise driven him into a potentially unstable mine.
This was the real town, he thought. Everywhere, small carts and huts selling many an item. Menus were displayed on each, and some chunks of supplies were still seen. It was easy to tell what had sold what with some examination; one had the skeleton of an old forge behind it. Another suggested it had a full stash of food or organic items when it was abandoned, for a tree had sprung up in the middle of it, and many grasses stood taller than the surrounding area. Yes, then the jackpot - a storefront had collapsed, and doing so had exposed an armory. He picked his way past the rubble, rummaged around, and then found it - a helmet. It was made of iron, and the faceplate undoubtedly had once been retractable, but now it was fused shut. He tossed it aside, disappointed. It struck a shelf, causing it to dump its burden of iron implements, which, in turn, landed on his head. He sputtered, embarrassed and furious, when he realized his shoulders were draped with cold metal. He held it in front of him - chainmail! Lightweight, flexible, and extremely effective, it would make an excellent defensive measure. He was surprised to find it was not rusted up, but rather in excellent condition. He slung it on, and, though slightly undignified and throbbing in the head, continued on his wanderings, feeling better than he had previously.
The winds had really picked up now, and the sky was extremely dark. The occasional splatter of rain struck him, but he did not notice. He found the city more and more curious, but he could no longer concentrate. His head kept jerking to the side, each time towards a massive mountain. It stood right in the middle of the city, covered in trees, and untouched by humans. It was rather steep, and otherwise unwelcoming. The summit was somewhere high in the clouds. For some unknown reason, he had not noticed it before, and now it captivated him.
Reality began to slacken for the poor man. The findings, no matter how marvelous, began to run together, becoming a bore. The mountain, the mountain! How it seemed to call him. Finally, hands on a massive emerald that was probably worth enough to buy the entire city back at home - where ever it was now - he could stand it no longer. He cast the gem aside, shattering it on the path, and began to run towards the behemoth of a land form.
As he closed in on its abruptly rising slope, he began to slow, entranced. He paced towards it, bumbled, and finally staggered to its foot. Unable to reason himself out of it, he began to climb, hoisting himself upwards, occasionally digging his sword into the ground for a handhold. He considered the sword a burden, and wished to set it next to a tree, in some part of his mind, and retrieve it later. Yet the trance would not allow it.
The storm turned fearsome. Rain fell in sheets, hurtling to earth like arrows. Upwards, onwards he trudged, leapt, hauled. Finally, maybe hours later, he came to a steep shelf. A tree grew up right beside it, a sturdy oak. Far off to the side, a chunk was missing from the shelf, sized perfectly for a foothold. From there he could continue up - but how to reach it evaded him. Finally, he climbed the oak, gathered himself, and jumped. He missed, glancing off the rockside, and hit the ground many feet below with a thud. Head spinning, he tried again, and again, experiencing the same result each time. A terrible rage of frustration coursed through him, and he began to crawl his way around the side, hoping for another path. Not more than a moment passed before he encountered a waterfall - some spring dumped its load over the mountainside. He saw a potential answer - on the other side of the falls, there was a dead tree, bearing an inviting, broad branch. No doubt it was slick with rain and spray, but it seemed to be his only hope. Without a moments hesitation he launched himself forward, and caught the branch in his hands. For a moment he dangled precariously over the chasm; then the branch snapped, and down he fell. He landed in a shallow pond, the water doing little to cushion his impact. His sword clattered down next to him, not impaling him by some miracle.
He screeched in despair. There was no way he could ever manage the climb back up, for pain nearly crippled him. He desired to run himself through with his own sword in his frustration. His desperation caused him to take the blade up once more, and rush around till he found his previous path. With icy resolve, he charged up the mountainside once more, skittered up the oak, and leaped with reckless abandon. His foot struck the hold, and he dug the sword into a crack in the rock, crying out in emotional relief. He drug himself up, and continued his ascent.
The storm was in an absolute fury now, raining lightning down like bullets all over. The sound was deafening, though he did not notice. His mind was a single track. There was but one calling: get to the top, now!
The clouds enveloped him. He could scarcely see, and if there were a cliff to charge off, he would have. Fate, however, would not have it.
Assuming fate was what drove him.
Finally, gasping, his human body driven beyond the limits, he crawled over the summit. Before him was the other side of the mountain - and it was treacherous. The drop off was sheer rock. If one was to fall, they would either bounce repeatedly, finding themselves broken and battered at the bottom, or would free fall many thousands of feet.
The man sputtered. Why, how was he here? Whatever had driven him up here had expired. He trembled, exhausted, then collapsed. There he sat, chest heaving. He was drenched, frozen to the bone, and bewildered... but this was all masked by the fear he felt.
His eyes began to close, sleep overcoming him, when he heard a slight whisper.
"Rise."
His eyes shot open. There was not a soul around, yet he knew a voice had spoke. Stifling panic, he stood up, then realized that was just what he had been told to do.
"Come forward."
He began to convulse, the chill of hypothermia numbed by the evil he felt at that very moment. He began to scream, flailing wildly, until he found he was standing over the cliff. He wished to return from whence he came, yet he felt paralyzed. Terror overtook him when he saw that again he had inadvertently obeyed.
"Jump."
The man shook. Jump? Why would the voice command this, after sending him on this long, exhausting journey? He resisted with all his might, falling to his knees and clutching at the ground. He felt something... like the fog had thickened behind him, nudging him forward! He cried out again, trying to push against the dark force. He crumbled, entranced once more, but this time he was obeying no orders. He slipped out of consciousness, and fell into visions. No, not visions - memories. Ones he had desperately wished would desert him.
Last edited by }SoC{Hunter on Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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}SoC{Ruffian
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I don't know how you do it but "again" I'm riveted. I absolutely, positively love this story so far. A "Cliffhanger" in every sense xD

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}SoC{Hunter
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Part 2-
The fires on the distant mountain summits burned, casting a dim glow throughout the valley. It was just enough to shed light on the foes that surrounded the house. Zombies, as usual. Skeletons were also in the mix, though they spent most of their time fighting each other. The man peered out the windows. The horde was trying to figure out the genius contraption he had set in the house front - a pile of rubble in front of the door. The zombies weren't nearly smart enough to move the debris, and most were too decayed to do it anyways. Endermen occasionally moved the pile around, but the man knew they meant no harm. Still, their very lives were at stake.
The man sighed. His family was growing weary of this constant cycle. The days were spent preparing for the nights, and the nights were sleepless and fear filled. They were fairly safe in the location, but the man always had reason to fear. Fear the ladder joints would release, and give the zombies a way on to the roof and through the trap door - specifically, their only exit. Fear that, one day, the king would stop sending support to prune the zombies. Fear the house would crumble under the constant pressure of undead arms pressing at them.
The man's wife wandered into the room. "We're going to have to run to town," she said wearily. "Tomorrow. There's absolutely no food left."
"Those worthless dead things have made a mud hole of the garden with their incessant pacing." He shook his head in despair. "Won't we ever be free of them?" He could feel strong emotion coming on, but he held it back. He had to stay strong - for them all.
"Mommy?" Came a child's voice. Their daughter was peeking into the cracked door.
"Yes, dear?" She inquired softly.
"I can't sleep. The bad men are hitting my window." Fury coursed through the man. He was absolutely powerless against the droves of slimeballs. His firstborn daughter was victim of them already, and the awful nightmares the other had almost every night were not exclusive. None of them could stop the images of the monsters wrapping their arms around her, as she screamed and fought desperately...
"Honey...'' His wife bent down and picked her up. "Those bad creatures can't get in here, you know. You like horses, right?"
She nodded.
"Well," she said, forcing a smile, "Just imagine that they're horses, all running around on the great Northern flats... spotted ones, red ones, white ones, big and small..."
"But then the dreams will come back!" The man stiffened. Tears threatened him again.
"They will only come if you're scared of them. Just remember, your sister..." She swallowed hard. "Your sister was very brave. She only was caught by the monsters because she went out after night. In the house, you're safe."
"Okay," she said, not sounding entirely convinced. The woman kissed the girl goodnight, and she scampered back to bed. The man collapsed onto his own bed, and the woman crawled in beside him.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you too," he breathed. Soon exhaustion overtook him. The eve was lit by the dying rays of sunlight. He clutched the door, forcing it back into an undead intruder and holding it. Discovering the breech in the wall, the other zombies began to crowd in, pushing heavily against him. The rank scent made him nauseous - but there was no time for that. Any weakness and the zombies would pour through. No, he couldn't think about that!
His dead daughter stared him in the eye, calm despite the precarious situation. "Father, look here! There's a board just outside the window - if I can get it in here, it can be propped against -"
"No!" He cried out, knowing full well she intended to go outside to retrieve it. Alas, he could not stop her, for he was the last defense right now. His vision blurred, the dream began to distort details, recounting only his great burden. He could only see his daughter, plunging through the window the grab the board.
"ANNABELL!" He screamed. All he could hear was her faint reply - a choking screech as they engulfed her. The dream changed, as he was ripped back from the door and pinned against the wall. The horde closed on him, and as he stared into the jaws of the lead zombie, he could hear a sinister voice.
"You're MINE!"
The man sprang up, panicked. Oh, it was only a dream, that painful, awful dream - but it was different this time. Reality was yanked from his perspective. Now, he had fallen victim too.
Confused and in tears, he pulled himself out of bed. Something was not right - of course, the zombies! He could not hear them. Surely they had not retreated to the caves already? The first rays of dawn were just visible. He pulled the curtain over the window aside and looked out - a pile of dispatched zombies surrounded a group of five steel clad knights. They must be the king's guard! They were saved!
"WE'RE SAVED! WE'RE SAVED!" The realization came out as a scream. His wife woke with a start, and his daughter came stumbling into their room, bleary eyed with sleep. He shook his wife and picked his daughter up excitedly. "Come on! We've got visitors!" He whooped and ran to the front. He didn't even bother slipping his shoes on, bolting straight outside. He was immediately confused - this was not the king's guard. They were not wearing steel armor plates, he realized, but ragged cloth clothes covered in some sort of leather coveralls. A rouge group of do-gooders? He wondered.
"Horsies!" His daughter cried, rushing forward.
"No!" He sputtered, sensing something amiss. He reached forward for her, but she was already running towards them.
The lead horseman raised a bow, and the others followed suit. The back two lit their arrows on fire and aimed for the house behind them. The front three each drew back and aimed - one for his daughter, one for his wife, and one for him. These were no saviors. They were raiders. Bandits taking advantage of the horrible circumstances. The arrow was released, and it struck him in the abdomen. The pain caused him to crumble, and he blacked out - but not before seeing two more arrows launched at their targets.
The visions faded. The winds and rains pummeled him once more. He was sobbing, in absolute tears, grief stricken. He cried and cried, without comfort. The dark influence wrapped itself around him once more.
"Miserable wretch! You sent them to their deaths. You failed them all. You don't deserve life." It continued to hiss at him, taking on the tone of many beings. "You could have stopped it all! Foolish man, you are despicable scum! YOU... KILLED... THEM!" The force of the rage shoved him forward, towards the cliff face. Closer the man crept now, looking out over the chaos. The lightning was relentless. It illuminated the dead city and black, tumbling ocean.
The voice turned silky, and purred, "That's why I found you. For we are redeemers of your kind. We are all like you - awful, awful people given a second chance. All you have to do..." he felt it hissed into his mind. "Is close your eyes."
The man trembled in sorrow. "Who are you, strange one?"
"My name is Legion. For we are... many." The millions of voices overcame him. The tormented sadness... they understood him, surely. They wanted to help. They were right - he HAD failed his family. He could never forgive himself.
"Is there any redemption in this world?" He gasped, quivering.
"Not in this one, but the next. You can be a part of us. Restore your karma. See your family again. All you have to do it jump."
The man stood feebly and looked out. The storm was showing no signs of stopping, ever. Gales whirled, screamed, and water poured down as if the ocean had turned itself inside out. The cracks of lightning were all around him now, their furious vengeance beating down like the rain.
End it all, he thought. Just end it all.
He leaned forward, grief overtaking him once more. He pushed himself off.
The voice snickered. "Visit the new master... Lucifer! Hail him, heathen!"
The air rushed around him, blurring the cliff he raced down. There was nothing to stop him before he hit the ground... then his vision focused. There was no ground - an endless abyss of fire forged from suffering and shadow, and he was in the middle of it. He whirled himself around in midair, seeing no way out. He was falling through the place most surely called Hell...

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}SoC{Ruffian
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Well written, Hunter and very scary. At least for me, lol! Do you plan to writing books? You certainly know how to hold attention!

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}SoC{Hunter
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}SoC{Ruffian wrote:
Well written, Hunter and very scary. At least for me, lol! Do you plan to writing books? You certainly know how to hold attention!
I'm in the process of writing my first book. It takes place in a post nuclear-holocaust world (big surprise coming from me, I know). Glad you are enjoying it!

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}SoC{Ruffian
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Well congrats Hunter! Will pray the Lord leads you and blesses you!

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