This is my first story, mostly inspired by zuned1, he wrote a great story that I was very much into. I'll add chapters when I could be I am human and have a life, too, so don't expect me to add one every day. Also, as this is my first story and I don't have that great of skills, this is a lot like an experiment to me. I'm human and I make mistakes, too, though pointing them out would be a nice help and would make me feel good that you actually read this carefully. I take story ideas. Whatever, let's get this started.
Chapter 1: The Arrival
He landed. Though it was a huge fall, he landed without feeling the slightest pain. He was staring into an ocean. The water was gently lapping the sand. The soothing water ran between his toes.
It was so nice, he stood there for several minutes, just listening to the ocean and feeling the wind. His eyes were closed, he was in some type of paradise. He was wrong.
After a while, he opened his eyes and thought for the first time. Where the heck am I? He looked around him. He was on a beach flanked with mountains. Trees were growing off of those mountains. Lost. He has no idea how he got here, but he has a sense that he does not belong here. He does not remember anything from the past, only his landing and the gentle waters of the ocean. He knew he had a complete life, a distance memory in his head. A family, loving people, so much but he does not remember. He just knows that he had some past that did not belong here.
He looked around him. He did not recognize this place at all. He felt strangely naked and awkward.
Trembling, he walked away from the beach, step by step. He walked between the mountains that flanked the beach. They were strangely towering and ancient. He was now in a valley of some sort. No civilization in sight, and probably none for hundreds on thousands of miles. seeing how lost and hopeless he was, he sat down next to a tree and wept tears of sorrow.
As soon as the tears rolled down his cheeks, he wanted to stop, he wanted to make a stand for himself. Stop it, fool! You must survive! Crying will win you no war!.
He picked himself up and broke some branches off of the tree he was sitting under. Some how, he made for himself a crude axe of large stones and the sticks.
He looked at the trees around him. He chose a fairly small one to cut down. He chopped and chopped, his arm getting sore and his back aching from the hard work, but finally, he collected some wood trucks. He continued for several hours, cutting down tree after tree. Finally, he had something worth the work.
The logs were uneven and sappy. He broke them down into finely made boards. He looked at his work with pride. He started to chop down more trees. His crude axe broke. It wasn't much, just a bunch of rocks with a wooden handle strapped to it.
He took his wooden boards and put them together. After some hard work, he made a workbench. It wasn't much, either. Just a table that was to aid him in making tools.
There, he made another axe, made of wood. Not going to be that much use he told himself as he laid it down next to him as he started making what he though necessary. A pickax, a shovel, and a dagger.
Finally, he had something for himself. Looking at the face of a nearby mountain, he knew that it would make a better material then his current wooden ones.
With his new pickax, he hit the stone multiple times. Sweat rolled down his forehead, which he wiped away with his bicep. Finally, he got some rock. It was broken all over from his hacking with his pickax, but he didn't care. He continued for hours, making a small tunnel in the rock.
Finally, his wooden pickax broke. He wore it down against the rock. He walked back over to his workbench and made a new pickax, fashioned of rock. He also made tools for his work bench.
The sun was setting. He gathered some sticks from the ground and looked at the mountains. He saw a glint of black. Coal.
He climbed up a few meters off of the ground to extract the coal from the mountain. When he finally did, he left a nice sized tunnel. He climbed back down and saw that the sun was almost gone.
He carried his workbench up to his cave. He did not feel safe at night. It was some type of sense that told him to take shelter, that whatever he does, he should not be outside in the dark.
He put some coal on top of his sticks and somehow got them lit. He jabbed it into the rough side of his tunnel. He also covered up the entrance so he could only see out of it.
Chapter 2: Realization
He sat there for a while, relaxing from his day of hard work. And suddenly, it hit him.
His name was Stephen. Or Steve
He actually did have a life. He had a loving mother and father. A younger brother and sister. Their faces, he could not remember but they were faces he loved.
His world was filled with industrialization, highways, automobiles, gadgets, portable music players, and technology in general.
The last moments of his life that he could remember was when he was sitting in the backseat of a minivan. His mother's voice was sounding. His father's hands were holding the steering wheel. Stephen looked out of the window. He saw a speeding SUV fail to brake. It rammed straight into him There was his mother's scream, broken glass, blood, and chaos. His world faded and the beach was the next thing he saw.
He once again cried. He has lost his life and is somehow starting off new. New and alone, but most of all; clueless.
Once again, he picked himself up and on his feet. He smashed his wooden tools back into sticks. He replaced them with stone tools.
He looked back out his window. It was dark. Because there was light behind Stephen, he could not see outside clearly and the flickering torch made the world outside almost move. He thought he saw something on between the trees, but then, it was probably just the leaves and branches swaying in the wind. The wind holed as it it swept past the valley, too.
And then Stephen saw it. Something clearly moved. His torch was shining on it from behind him and he saw a figure move! Maybe there was someone out there! "Hey! You! Over here!" Stephen hollered.
The figure stopped moving and stared blankly at Stephen from behind a tree. His clothing was ripped up, he was also probably a wanderer to this curious land.
Chapter 3: The Haunts
The figure stayed behind the tree, observing Stephen.
Stephen's hair on the back of his neck stood up and he felt cold. He was frightened of how this character stood behind the tree. Their very presence was awkward.
Finally, it stepped out from behind the tree. The moment Stephen saw it, his blood ran cold and his heart leapt. He saw himself, but it was so horrible, he fell over. It was Stephen, with his skinny but also somewhat muscular body. His face and hair was the exact same. The zombie was wearing the exact clothes of Stephen. But his skin. His skin was cold and dead. A good deal of his skin had rotten away. His hair was oddly colored. His eyes, no his eye sockets were empty. His arms were raised and locked in a position, reaching out to him.
Stephen screamed as it approached his cave. It's empty eyes stared in through the hole Stephen used to look outside. Stephen quickly crafted a sharp stone sword and tried to defend himself. The monster was horrible. Stephen never wants to see it ever again!
Stephen approached it and it stuck its arms through the hole to try and reach him. Stephen's sword was slightly longer than the zombie's reach and so Stephen "disarmed" it. It's bloody torso still stood there. It stared at him and ground its teeth fiercely, then, it let out a moan so scary, every hair on Stephen's body stood up straight. "DIE DEMON!" Stephen yelled as he stabbed it through the heart.
And finally, it was dead. It fell to the ground and disappeared. But it left something behind. A feather softly fluttered down from where it died.
Stephen grabbed this feather and examined it. It was just like any other feather, a chicken feather, actually. It was absolutely normal. Why would a zombie drop this?
Steve continued staring out of his window, with his sword held cautiously close to him. And then he saw more movement. "Another zombie!" Stephen told himself. He held his sword close but then, something else appeared.
A skeleton. A body of a human that has rotted away. Can this place any creepier? Stephen waited for it to get close and try to hit him, but it didn't. It came to his peeking hole and pulled out a bow. Stephen cursed and dodged an arrow from the monster. The arrow missed and pinned itself in solid stone. Steve dodged another shot.
The skeleton stared at him with no emotions, just pulling it's string back and firing. Its head followed Stephen as it fired. Finally, Stephen got close enough to it and slashed it with his sword.
After a good few slashes, it's bones broke and it dropped to the ground, leaving behind an arrow. Steve picked that up, too, reaching out of his window to grab it.
Chapter 4: Morning Glory
Stephen stayed in the cave for the rest of the night in fear. He has never faced such opponents. They were terrifying.
He plucked up the courage to peek out the window some more and saw that the sun was rising. He blood rushed. Sunlight would mean that he would be able to see and might stand a chance against these demons.
Stephen also remembered, he never saw any of them during the day he arrived, only at night, maybe they fear the light.
And so, before the sun even risen fully, Steve left the cave and ventured out, wielding a stone sword. A zombie met him almost immediately. Actually, it was waiting right above the entrance and caught Stephen by surprise.
It left a bloody cut in his arm. The zombie's hands were like claws, with long skinny fingers and sharp nails. Stephen didn't even bother to hold the wound as he charged it. He ran past it and swiped at its shins, almost flipping it. It disappeared before even hitting the ground. This time, no feather.
And finally, the sun rose to its full brightness. And Stephen saw it. Fire Around him, he could hear zombies and skeletons in agony. The zombies were giving short barks of pain and the skeletons were having their bones falling to the ground. They were on fire, lit up by the sun.
"Yeah, and I'm happy your dead!" Stephen yelled to them as they dropped dead on the ground.
But he wasn't alone yet. He heard some type of slurping noise. And something pushed him from behind. Stephen turned around and what pushed him. A spider, as large as he was, stood there, staring into his eyes.
But it didn't attack. It just stared at him, lost focus, and wandered away. Definitely a monster, Stephen thought. He crept up behind it and stabbed it. It immediately turned its attention to him and leapt at him. It's huge pincers caught his jeans and he fell over. "Geroff!" Stephen yelled as he slashed at it, regretting his act of violence. He was able to get it off but with some deep cuts as the cost. He slashed at it some more, but its leaps were faster. Finally, it stopped, looked at Steve in the eye again, rolled over, and died. It disappeared with a puff of smoke. A piece of spider silk was left behind. Two pieces, in fact.
He picked this up and started to cut more trees. He cut all of it down except the bottom log when a he heard a hissing. He didn't even have time to turn around when there ws an explosion seriously close behind him. It through him at the log and then the log flipped him.
He laid on the ground, paralyzed. It hurt too much to move. He was still alive though. His entire back burns and feels like the skin has been blown off of it. The back of his shirt was blown off and he could feel the air on his back. His legs feel broken from colliding with the log.
"Uuuuuugghh...aagh..." Steve moaned as he tried to get up. He limped over to a small pond and turned around to examine his back. He was right.
His entire back was bleeding and red. The back of his shirt was gone. He could see the gore in his back. Every movement burned. Steve sat down and continued to examine his back. "Uuugh..."
And he heard something. A noise that was strangely familiar. He looked at the surrounding trees. Where did that noise come from? He was holding his sword, but he knew it would be in vain, there would be no chance for him if he had to fight another monster. He could feel his very health draining from him, he felt dizzy. He was going to faint, and if he did, he would surely die there.
And suddenly, a pig appeared from the trees. That was the noise! He came over to it and told it thank you and slit its throat. It died quickly.
Stephen continued to skin the pig and cut its pork. He felt savage but it was necessary. There was nothing for him to cook the pork over. He had to eat it raw and bloody.
Chapter 5: Not Alone. Never Alone.
Steve felt better almost immediately. Some of his wounds closed up and became only scars. He was still bleeding and terribly hurt, but the pig helped.
Stephen walked on further, hoping to find some more animals to kill. He came across another spider but it didn't even bother to look at him.
After walking through a dense forest, Steve found himself at the edge of a field; a field prospering of farm animals. There were sheep of different shapes of color. Cows who looked deliciously fat with beef. Chicken, of whom clucked loudly. And in a muddy part of a pond, there were pigs.
Steve ate contently. It tasted horrible, but yet, it was probably the best stuff he has ever tasted. Most of his wounds closed up and they became only scars. Only small cuts were remaining when Steve heard something. something that wasn't the snorting of a pig, nor the clucking fo the chicken, nor the baaing of the sheep, not even the moos from the cows.
It was a human voice. Whoever it was, they were somewhat close by. The person was talking to herself. Steve knew it was a female. It was a feminine voice. Her voice was full of panic. "Oh my God, where am I? Oh my God...oh my God." Her voice was also breaking.
"'Ello? Anyone out there? Hello?" Steve called into the direction of the voice.
The branches of the trees near the field shook violently. The voice was heard again. "Oh my God! Who was that? HELP!"
"Eh, It's okay!" Steve hollered as he got up and walked to the edge of the field.
He approached the trees but remained in the field. He did not feel like freaking out whoever it was. And as far as he knew, it could be another monster or someone hostile that was going to take him down.
Stephen looked closely into the undergrowth. There were some plants that were stepped on and pushed over. There were also some broken twigs and branches.
There was a flash of brown and a sharp throbbing on the left side of Steve's head. His vision quickly faded into black and he lost consciousness.
Chapter 6: Welcome to the Wilderness.
When Steve regained consciousness, the sky was blazing red and looked like someone painted the sky with pastels. Streaks of red and brilliant orange.
A girl with blond hair appeared on the corner of his eyesight. "Hey, you're awake!" Her eyes were filling up with tears but she wiped them away. "I'm soo sorry! I thought you were going to hurt me and then I found this branch and then I hit you and then you fainted! I thought you wouldn't wake up."
Steve smiled a little bit but his head was still throbbing with pain. He reached up and felt his head.
There was a lump. The lump was a half an inch and partially bleeding. "You have a massive swing," Steve said, smiling weakly. "Where are we?"
"I thought you would know. You're carrying some tools with you. I just got here when I heard your voice," she said calmly. "I didn't move you from where you fainted. Or got knocked out."
"Heh, that's fine. The only problem is that it's getting dark," Steve said.
"What's so bad about the dark?" she asked, not nearly as worried as she should be.
"Everything. You're not in the same world anymore. The night is hell. we need to find some shelter," Stephen replied as he tried to get up. He lost balance and fell.
"Fine. I bet you're just making it up, though. 'Fraid of the dark, huh? Anyways I don't think I caught your name."
"Well I would've told you my name but you introduced me to your swing first," Steve joked, smiling painfully, "I'm Steve. Or Stephen. you?"
"Uhh...weird...It's hard to remember. That's right! Elizabeth. Actually, just call me Liz. I'm 15," Liz told Steve.
"Wonderful. 16. And I'm not afraid of the dark, never was until last night. Or...I don't think I was," Steve said, "I'm going to build us a wooden cabin. I sheltered in a cave last night but I don't remember my way back there."
Steve tried to get up again and was able to get to his feet. He leaned on his right leg and it gave way. He trembled but caught himself.
"You...okay?" Liz asked.
"Was until you whacked me with that stick," Steve replied with a smile.
She smiled back. "Should've hit you harder."
"You wouldn't survive a night without me. I mean, you were going to just sit around at night and let all those bad things get you," Steve teased.
"Bad things? That's what's so bad about the night? I bet a whack or two with a stick would've got them," she joked. She obviously thought Stephen was not serious when he mentioned the bad things.
Stephen's face was wiped of his joking smile. "No, dead serious though, thing's come out to play at night and they don't play nice. I was almost killed."
She realized how serious he was. "Fine, need help with collecting wood?"
"Yeah, sure, here's an axe. Don't whack me with it," Steve said, handing her a stone axe, "Made it myself."
Chapter 7: Shelter and Darkness and Disbelief.
Soon, the two cleared a enough land to make the field noticeably larger. Steve processed the logs into wooden planks as Liz walked around the field slowly.
"Whatcha doing?" Steve asked Liz as he turned some logs into wooden boards.
"Plantin'," she replied calmly.
"Saplings, so more trees will grow one day and we'll never run out of wood or have to walk very far for wood," she said cheerfully.
"Great idea," Steve said, not very interested. He didn't mind far walks to collect some logs. "Okay... done!"
Stephen had finished turning all the logs into boards. "We better build fast, sun's basically gone."
The sun was gone. It was impossible to see but the light from the sun still reached them, just enough to still see what they were doing.
By the time the last rays from the sun diminished, the two had a nice little cabin with three rooms. In the room that connect the two other rooms, there was a workbench and a few ovens/furnaces. The cabin was a rectangle. Half of it was made of the room with the workbenches and furnaces, the other half was divided for two rooms.
In both rooms, there were single beds made of cotton from the sheep of the field. Next to the beds, or somewhere close, was a table with a torch. The walls were lined with torches, too. With a few sand and coal, Steve made some glass and place two fair sized windows in both rooms and a whole bunch in the main room. Steve stared out of the windows proudly. The outside of the cabin was also lined with torches.
"It's dark out. Monsters will come out soon. You'll know its a monster when you see it, and I suggest you don't see one. You'll never go to sleep after you take a glance at any of them," Steve said.
"It's through a window, and anyways, how horrible could they be?" she said sweetly.
She waked up to the window to peer out of it. Stephen quickly walked positioned himself between her and the window. "Can't let you do that. They could see you through the window and we'll both b sorry."
"C'mon...you're so protective. Just a peek!"
"Curiosity killed the sheep."
"What? Whatever, move!"
Liz pushed him away but Steve knew he kinda let her. She pushed her face against the glass window Steve made. "I don't see anything. It's just darkness. I knew you were lying!" she giggled as she finished.
"I wasn't lying. I was dead serious. I'll tell you what I've seen so far," Steve said, recounting his encounters with the monsters.
"Amuse me," Liz said. She sat down on a chair Steve made.
"I've met four different types of monsters. You'll never believe my stories so I don't see the use of trying," Stephen said, yawning and opening the door to his room.
"I'll tell you tomorrow morning but only if you promise to go to sleep. Hearing about them is a better than actually meeting them," he said, closing his door.
But his door didn't close. Liz placed her foot in the way so the door didn't shut when he lightly swung it. "Tell me, please?"
"Fine," Steve said walking out of his room and sitting down on a comfy chair. "The first one I met was a zombie."
"Oh yeah right! That's the worse lie so far!"
"No, I'm dead serious," Steve said. For some reason, he smiled.
"You're smirking! You liar!" she said playfully.
"No, but for real, I'm serious. It was all rotten. The next one I met was a skeleton. It shot arrows at me."
"These lies are getting worse. You seriously want me to believe that?"
"Take my word for it. I hope you never meet any of these things. The third one was a huge spider. and I mean HUGE!"
"You're afraid of spiders?"
"Not until I saw that thing. The last monster I met I never got to see. It hissed like a snake and sent an explosion at me. I was collecting wood and the explosion sent me flying over the stump on the ground, almost shattering my leg," Stephen retold, "That's how I got the huge scorch on my back.
"Come off it! Explosions? You didn't tell me a word of truth, did you?"
"Every word was true."
"Pfft. Yeah right. if we find civilization, you would be great as a story teller."
"Story tellers are so last century."
"Haha," she laughed, "I'm getting tired. Thanks for the fairy tales."
"They weren't fairy tales," Stephen said as she left the main room.
He yawned again and walked slowly into his room, lied down, and slept.
Chapter 8: Wake Up From This Nightmare
Steve slowly opened his eyes. The sun was shining through his window, almost blinding him. He sat up and looked at his room. There was dust floating lazily in the air in the shining light. He opened the chest at the foot of his bed and took out everything he thought he would need.
Stephen slid his feet into his shoes and walked lazily to the main room. There, he cooked up some pork for him and Liz. It was only after finishing his portion did he notice a piece of paper pinned next to the door.
Steve pushed his chair aside as he got up and walked over to the note. It read:
Quote from Liz »
The first rays of the sun are peeking over the mountains as I write this.
I wish I could watch the sun rise with you but you're sleeping.And snoring; that, too.
I've gone out to pick a few flowers for my room and mushrooms, maybe some wood while I'm at it.
I made myself a dagger made of stone so I can grab some pork if I hear any piggies.
I don't think I'll be out long though. By the time you read this, it should be already noon...
Steve looked out the window. It was, in fact, about noon. Stephen was always a heavy sleeper.
Quote from Liz »
...and by then, I should be returning or II would be back by then.
don't get too lonely when I'm gone, okay?
Stephen yawned. Nothing wrong with a morning stroll. Since she was gone, he ate her portion of the grilled pork. Stephen felt very content. As he slowly walked to his room, he checked Liz's room.
As he would have expected, she was gone but her bed was neatly made. Stephen chuckled a bit as he went back to his room, driven by his nice and full stomach, and took a nap.
When Steven woke up, the sun was still shining but it was well past noon. He repeated what he did when he woke up earlier that day and walked out to make himself some lunch. He laughed to himself. Eat and sleep, and then more eating. He cooked up two pieces of pork again, but this time only for himself. It was about time he had himself some midday meal. "Hey, Liz, want any 4 o'clock dinner? I'll cook you up a piece of pork," Stephen hollered over his shoulder as he opened the chest that contained all the food.
It's contents weren't any different. "Hey, you holding on to everything you collected?" Stephen hollered to Liz's room.
There was no answer. Ah, That's right, she's probably outside.
Stephen walked outside and left his pork grilling. "Hey Liz, where are ya? You holding on to the stuff you gathered?"
Still no answer. If she isn't inside and she's not near the house, where the heck is she?
Stephen fast-walked inside the home to check if she was in her bedroom, probably sleeping.
Nope, the bed sheets were the same as the morning. He walked back outside and took a final look around. The entire area seemed to be standing still. He checked the entire perimeter of the field. There were no signs of her anywhere. She wouldn't just leave...would she?
Steven walked back inside the small cabin. He checked the note again.
Quote from Liz »
"The first rays of the sun are peeking over the mountains as I write this."
She had gone out of the house as the first rays were coming. That means the monsters would've been gone by then, right?
Stephen quickly did another perimeter check on the field. On the southern end, the grass showed something. A few pieces of grass were strewn and flattened. A good deal of grass were pulled out from the dirt. Around that area of flattened grass were looked like someone stick and jabbed it at the ground all around the place. The undergrowth made a path of more flattened grass, flowers, and bushes. More of the irregular stick marks were peppered on the ground.
There seemed to be a struggle as something was carried through the trees. Liz was probably trying to pull an animal to the field and she used a stick for extra support but where would she be? Or she got stuck on one and it ran away, with her using a stick to try and stop the animal.
Then, Steve realized it. As soon as he did, he hit his forehead with his palm, realizing how stupid he was. When he was back in his cave, a zombie tried to attack his shelter as the sun was arriving. Not until the sun was brightly shining were the monsters disappeared.
Stephen kept his hand close to his sword and dived into the undergrowth. He kept following it. The grass was thick and high but the path made by the struggling seemed to wind this way and that, like whatever was pulling Liz didn't know where it was going. The struggle and the fact that Liz was being dragged made a clear path for Stephen to follow.
The trees were so thick at that point that where Stephen was walking, it could have been in the middle of the night and he would see no difference in the lighting. Only in some areas was he able to look up through the thick leaves to see that it was still daytime.
The path seemed to continue forever, going under naturally made arches which Steve freaked out at the thought that it might collapse over him. He kept following it silently and not meeting any movement except for him until he saw that it led straight into a cave.
This wasn't any cave, though, this one seemed to drop at least 20 15 meters before hitting the bottom and continuing. Stephen got the chills. He never explored a cave before. What if I meet more monsters? He drummed his fingers on the hilt of his sword and then checked his inventory. He had a good deal of torches, probably enough to light up most of the cave.
Steve mined a nice staircase down that he would be able to use if he had to come back up. If I could make it back, that is. He approached the cave. An eerie blood-curling noise emerged from it. The noise was filled with the essence of fear and nightmares and death. Stephen took a step forward, fighting his insticts to turn around and try to live without Liz. One life lost is bad enough, don't lose yours, too.
But I have to save Liz!
You can live without her!
I'd rather die than to live alone forever!
At that, his conscious went quiet. That's better. Steve put on a brave face and walked into the thick darkness that covered the entrance to the cave.
Chapter 9: Should've Stayed Alone Forever.
Stephen lit his torch in his hand by scraping it against some stone. The rocks were moist and he was careful not to slip. A burst of wind hit his face. The wind was warm, moist and smelly. It stank like the rotting flesh of something a thousand years old.
Every so often, Steve would jam his torch into a crack in the rock or he would use his pick to create a crack. Every noise seemed to echo through the entire cave, the sound barely fading as it would travel. Slowly, he made his way through a good portion of the cave. In the walls, he would hear the moans of zombies and the rattle of skeletons. Just the noises made him jump back and made his hair stand on end.
Then, he saw something move. In the dim, flickering light of his torches, he saw movement. He gripped his sword and inched closer. The thing snarled and turned around. Stephen opened his mouth to scream but he stopped himself. He knew better than to alert the entire cave. The zombie was like the ones he met on his first night. It reflected him, except all rotten. Would I look like this if I was to die?
Stephen gathered his courage and strength and slashed the zombie. It's rotten arm fell off and hit the floor. No blood even spilled its shoulder; this zombie has been dead for a long time. It stopped walking towards Steve and stared at him blankly in the face, as if to say "I needed that." The zombie was dumb, though and came forward to attack with its only arm. Steve slashed and cut off its leg, right under the knee and quickly combo'd by slicing its neck. It looked at Steve again and fell on its knees and fell on its face. Steve didn't waste time and finished it, driving his sword straight through its spine, cutting its spinal cord. It disintegrated into dust, spilling all over the floor of the cave.
Steve placed a torch and saw that the zombie had come from a large room. It took multiple torches to light up the entire cavernous room. Steve took time to grab for himself some cobblestone. His current sword was wearing out, the handle was broken in many places and the was blade dulling chipping.
Steve placed down a work bench and started to craft some extra stone swords. While crafting the swords, he got an idea. How about a shield? Stephen tried his best to fit the pieces of cobblestone neatly together and flat. He tried to make it as light as possible while still holding together. Finally, he got the large plate for the main part of the shield. Steve then finished it off with two sticks, one for putting his arm through and the other for gripping. He tried it on his left arm and it felt great to have a piece of defense. He continued to quickly make a few more, one fore each sword.
Now, the only problem was that the cavern was like an intersection. It forked into two tunnels, both winding the other way. Steve looked closely at the cave floor. There were marks showing that someone was dragged through into the tunnel to the left, so that was the one Steve followed. He wanted to light up the other tunnel, though.
Going deeper and deeper underground, Steve felt the caves growing colder. He kept going and the caves still went deeper. They seemed to be growing darker. He kept placing torches and checking the ceilings. Multiple times he would see that there were other tunnels on platforms high above where he was. Every time he saw this, he would check the ground and the drag marks were still grounded. Except once.
Steve saw a tunnel above him. He checked the ground and saw that the marks turned towards the walls and disappeared. Obviously, Liz was carried up and through that tunnel above him. Steve made a small staircase to that platform and continued placing torches.
All of a sudden, a low whistle ran through the darkness in front of him and a blast wind hit Steve's face. This wind was not like the wind he felt as he came in, though. It was like steam and smelled like boiled water. He felt like he was being steamed into a crisp when the wind was passed by him. Steve silently coughed into his shirt and continued down, a lot more cautious than before.
More rattling of bones and moans of zombies. The sounds seem to be more frequent. Sometimes, it would feel like if he tried to gather some cobblestone, they would be on the other side of the wall. Steve turned the corner when he heard more rattling, this time so much louder than all the other times. As soon as the rattling was heard, something sprinted through the darkness, only showing its bony fingers holding a bow. It was already too late.
An arrow flew through the air and hit Steve straight into the chest. It was on his upper left torso and Stephen felt like he couldn't breathe. the arrow had punctured his lung and he could feel it almost exiting on the other side of his chest. It had ripped between his ribs.
Blood splattered from the wound when the arrow hit. It stained the floor of the cave. It was like the arrow had hit a water-balloon filled with blood. Steve gasped as he fell back and hit the floor. He hit slammed his body against the floor, even more pain surged through his body. He let out a scream in agony.
The skeleton drew closer. Steve's vision was blurred and red, but even so, he yanked the arrow from his chest and lifted his shield. The arrow from the skeleton hit the shield and was lodged in it. Steve quickly pushed some wool over the wound and blocked off another arrow. The skeleton was almost on top of Stephen now.
As it drew another arrow, Steve slashed his sword. The skeleton was just in range of the slash and was cut by the tip of the sword. Even so, there was so much power condensed at the tip of the sword that it broke the skeleton's rip and spine. It fell apart and turned into dust, leaving a few of is bones and two arrows. Steve picked up the arrows but left the bones. He had no need for them.
Oh, how he wished he could be back in the cabin.
Chapter 10: Relief.
The stone passages echoed his footsteps as he ran down the corridors. He was dripping blood and feeling weaker by the second, but he couldn't stop. Even if he turned back now, he would die on his way back up. He silently prayed that Liz would still be alive.
He halted. He was at another crossing. Each one was lit at the end by lava. Each one went in a different direction. Also, it split up in every way possible, going up, left, forward, right, and down. He silently checked the ground and cursed. There were no marks on the ground to help him and none were on the walls either.
He panted and checked around him for enemies. The sounds of the undead echoed all around him. He was feeling weak. If he chooses the wrong one, he would probably die. If he chooses the right one, his chances of survival are still slim to nothing. "Alright," Steve said to himself, feeling more mature than before. "I have to..."
He saw a skeleton in full armor walk across on of the tunnels. Liz would probably be somewhere well guarded, right? He didn't want to go down there at all. The wound in his chest was making it difficult to breathe, even harder to fight. There was no way he could sneak past them, he was wheezing heavily from the wound puncturing his lung.
"Do or die," Stephen said, getting up and walking down the corridor guarded by a skeleton in full iron.
Stephen looked down. His foot had stepped on a pressure plate that was well hidden. Torches on either side of the corridor lit up. Behind him, gravel fell down and covered his escape. The skeleton noticed Steve, warned about him through the evil red torches.
The skeleton's eyes were filled with a red fire. Its eyes glowed violently and flashed violently as it strode towards Steve. "Alright, you rotten monster, come at me," Steve whispered to himself, trying to muster up some courage.
The Skeleton pulled back its string and launched an arrow. It was easily blocked by Steve with his shield. As soon as the arrow hit the shield, Steve leapt forward, trying to get a good hit on the skeleton.
But the skeleton was clever. It opened its bony jaw wide and released a loud screech that echoed down the corridor. "You b*st*rd!" Steve yelled, knowing it had called for backup.
Steve launched himself on the skeleton before it could release another arrow and broke its bones, slashing with his sword and crushing with his shield. Steve then quickly stripped the skeleton of its armor.
"Dangit..." Steve whispered to himself as he heard the noise of monsters in great masses marching down the corridor. Steve quickly got out his pickax and mined into the walls, covering the entrance to the hole he would take refuge in.
The monsters outside had reached the remains of the skeleton. Steve silent put on the armor and continued to mine. Maybe he could mine his way around the monsters...
A blast of heat hit Steve like a board. The block he just hit with his pick revealed a whole lave of lava under him. Steve crawled up to it and covered it up. "Oh god, I'm gunna die down here, I'm gunna die here in the walls down in a cave full of monsters..."
A good distance later, he stopped hearing the angry sounds of the monsters. He mined back into the passage. The monsters were still checking behind piles of rock and sniffing at the ground. There were a few monsters that Steve didn't recognize.
Seeing as they were far from him, Steve sealed up the passe way full of monsters. "Rot in hell," he said as he closed them up.
Steve kept walking towards the light at the end but was thrown on his chest by an explosion.
The wall he had built was blown apart and the monsters flooded through it. They chattered angrily. "Damit," Steve said to himself as he started sprinting down the passageway, narrowly dodging arrows.
As he turned the corner, a green monster showed itself. The entire time, it was waiting there. Its face was frozen in pain, as though it had died suffering. It had no arms and had four stubby legs. It looked at Steve and hissed softly, inflating a bit. "OH SH--"
Steve was thrown by an explosion before he could finish. The green monster had exploded. It made a large crater in the ground. The crater led to another part of the cave.
Steve looked over his shoulder and saw the mob of monsters hurrying towards him. There was no way Steve could get across that lake of lava in front of him so he jumped down the hole, covering it up when he got down.
In the passage that was revealed by the green exploding monster, it was very tight. I was a two by two meters large passage way. But Steve wasn't afraid. He had gotten a new sense of courage. Why? Because on the ground, he saw the marks that clearly showed someone was dragged through the passage.
"Liz, I'm gunna make you sleep outside once I rescue you..."
Steve continued down the passage, shield and sword at ready. But, he didn't need them at all. He was already there.
In front of him, there was a huge hollowing. A huge amount of monsters were patrolling the grounds. In the center of the huge cavern was a black castle. It looked as though it was carved out of a huge stalagmite.
Steve had no chance against these monsters. Fighting them at all would lead to certain death. The only thing he could do was to sneak around the large alleys.
And so he did. Steve snuck around them every time they strode in the other direction. One time he was spotted by a skeleton. It let an arrow fly but it missed Steve and hit another skeleton. The two got in a furious duel and ended with the death of both.
Steve got close to the castle. He wipped the sweat off his face and checked his wounds. He was certainly going to die but that didn't stop him from vaulting through a window.
Chapter 11: The Duel.
The inside of the castle was covered lined with glass and behind that glass was lava. The entire inside was bright an empty. The monsters probably couldn't handle the light.
"But wait... doesn't that mean there's got to be something that could take the light..." Steve said to himself.
"That's right," A male voice said behind him. Steve turned around to see a male a few years older than he was. The boy was covered in pure diamond armor. "You've come to rescue your princess?"
"She's just a friend," Steve said, getting hot in the face. "Where is she?!"
"She's just...Hanging around," the male replied.
At that point, a muffled scream was heard. High above them, liz was hanging from the ceiling, She was covered in spider webs and multiple spiders were crawling on the ceiling. "I came all this way, I don't care if I have to kill you," Steve said.
"Kill me and every monster in this huge maze will be on you," the male replied arrogantly. They haven't feasted on human flesh for so long."
As soon as the male finished hi sentence, his face spurted with blood. Steve had swiped his sword across his face. "You're not armed, didn't think I wouldn't notice?"
But as soon as Steve finished, a finely carved blade fell from the ceiling. "Now I am," the male replied, picking up the blade and aiming it at Steve's chest.
The fighting was fierce. Blood stained the floor and the walls. The other boy's diamond helmet even broke.
Lunge, counter, roll, slash, parry, dodge, block.
When Steve blocked a slash from the boy, his diamond sword ripped through the shield easily. Steve tossed the shield at the boy in diamond. Steve's arm was cut in many places while only the boy's armor was damaged.
Steve countered another attack and released a series of well aimed slashes. CLING CLANG CLING CLING CLANG!
The boy parried every slash, raising his sword high above his head. Steve saw this as an opportunity and aimed for the boy's legs.
The force shattered Steve's stone sword. It was enough, however, to make the boy do a roll in the air as he las thrown by the force.
Steven pulled out a knife and tackled the boy while he was still on the ground. "You're done," Steve said viciously. Steve's knife was pressed against the boy's neck and his neck was slightly bleeding.
"It's the other way around," the boy said.
The boy threw Steve off of his chest and put a deep slash into Steve's chest with his sword. Steve hit the ground on his back and couldn't get up.
The boy stood up and dusted himself off. He pointed the sword at Steve's face. "Guess what's going to happen to your girl," he scoffed, "It's been some time since I've seen a fine girl."
But at that point, his diamond torso cracked. An arrow was lodged in the middle of his chest. He tried to speak but only blood came out of his mouth. He fell back and coughed on his own blood. The arrow had pierced where his heart was.
Steve got the strength to look at the person who fired the arrow. A boy younger than Steve stood sturdy on the ground. He had a bow in his hand and the arrow was still recoiling from firing. "Get up, we have to get out of here," the boy said, helping Steve on his feet.
The boy through some cooked meat at Steve's feet. Steve forked them down and felt better immediately. The boy walked over to the older boy's dying body and pulled the arrow of his chest. The older boy died when the arrow was removed, blood spilling everywhere. "My name's Sam. We have to go."
"My name's Steve. I'm not leaving without her," Steve said, pointing to Liz.
Sam raised his bow and fired an arrow. "NOO!" Steve yelled. Steve dived at the boy but the boy dodged it. A spider fell from the ceiling, dead.
The boy had killed one of the spiders on the ceiling. He continued to finished off the remaining spiders. After they were all dead he shot an arrow at Liz. The arrow cut the web fastening her to the ceiling and she fell.
Actually, she did not fall. The web was cut but not completely. She fell and when she was about ten feet off the ground, the web tightened again. Steve climbed up and cut the web with his knife.
Liz silently unwrapped herself from the webs covering her body. "Steve, I'm so glad you came!" Her eyes watered."I thought I was going to die, you were right about the monsters!"
"Yeah...yeah," Steve replied humbly.
Steve took out two extra swords in his inventory. One of Liz, the other for him. "Let's get out of this hell," Steve told Sam.
The caves resounded with their footsteps. They moved quickly, careless of the noise they are causing in the otherwise silent cave.
"Did you feel your way around this cavern? I can't see anything!" Liz shouted over her shoulder to Steve.
"I ran out of torches and sticks," Steve replied, "Let's just get out of here. I don't want to be zombie chow."
Behind them, an entire army of monsters were following. While leaving the huge cavern, a green monster had noticed them. As it could not let out a noise, it exploded, alarming the entire cave. The spiders made loud clicking noises to further alarm the monsters.
Liz had tripped on the rough floor of the cave. "I got this, Steve, you run on ahead," Sam spoke.
"No! I want to wait for Liz. Anyways, I'm the only one who has somewhat of a clue how to get out of here," Steve replied, halting his run.
"Fool! You don't think I magically appeared down here, did you? If you stay, we all die!"
Liz finally got up. Her shoelaces were stuck on a jagged rock and she had a deep wound on her lower left leg. "I'm okay, let's go."
So they continued to run, Liz limping and struggling to keep up. The monsters sounded as though they were just around the corner. Steve, who was last in the line, picked up his pace behind Liz. "Liz, how much do you weigh?"
"What kind of question is that? How rude!"
But Steve had already sped in front of her. In fact, right in front of her. "Hop on my back, I'll carry you!" Steve told Liz.
"Won't that slow you down? Won't it be better if we run as we are?" Liz asked. A hint of worry was in her voice.
"You two hurry up! If we go this slow, they'll catch up," Sam shouted.
It took a little bit for Steve to adjust to the increase in weight, but he was able to follow closely behind Sam with Liz on his back. "Steve!" she shouted, "They're getting closer!"
Steve turned his head. She was right. The horde of monsters were getting closer. They were only a few seconds behind them.
Steve looked forward and started to run as fast as he could with Liz on his back. But Sam was gone.
"Sam! Where are you?"
"Up here, hurry!"
Sam had ran ahead and built a wall to hold back the monsters. He left a small gap for Steve and Liz to fit through.
A zombie snarled and reached for Liz. "Ahhh!" she shrieked, causing Steve to almost lose his balance. "Stop, Liz!"
And Steve jumped through the gap. Sam, standing next to the gap sealed it shut. "Hurry, keep running, let's go!"
The wall exploded. Steve and Liz were some distance away from the wall but Sam was not as fortunate. The explosion sent him flying. He was left on the ground, broken. "Go!" he shouted, trying to get up.
But the monsters had already over come him. He pulled out his sword. "Come get me!" he taunted the monsters.
One, two, three arrows pierced his body. He howled in pain. His eyes were glued shut from the pain. He slashed the blade wildly, cutting a zombie's arms off. "Steve, Liz, RUN!!"
Steve started to run away, not looking back. "Sam! Sam's dead, Steve! Oh my God, Sam's dead!" Liz panicked.
Steve started to recognize the cave. Around the next turn, he saw the lighting of his torches. "C'mon Liz. He bought us some time. Let's not let his death be in vain."
Steve turned the corner and was showered in the warmth of security. He was now running through corridors which his torches have lit up. The way out from there would be easy. Well, it would be easy if not for the army of monsters.
The monsters seemed to be going even faster now. They ran even faster than before. "Liz, use your sword! Keep them off my back!"
Liz slashed back and forth. "Liz, shout which way you will attack! The sword is throwing me off balance!"
"Left! Left! Right! Stab! Left! Right! Right!" Liz started to shout. Wit that, Steve was able to keep his steps.
The cave entrance... Steve would feel the cool evening air flooding into the cave. He picked up his pace some more.
Steve leapt out from the cave. It was bright outside. It was also about morning time. "How many days had we been in there?" Steve asked, still running.
"I lost my sense of time, I don't know," Liz replied, "All the skeletons and zombies, they all refuse to come out of the cave! The spiders and the four legged ones are still on us though!"
The four legged ones. The ones which exploded?
The force threw Steve. He landed on the ground. Liz had rolled off of his back. It's over.
Slash! The goo inside of the spider spilled out on the ground. A few swoops from Steve's blade and the green monster blew away with the wind. Steve continued to cut them apart. A spider lunged and left a deep cut on Steve's arm but had already cut it open.
The field cleared. The remaining spiders back away. The green legged ones were all carried away by the wind, like dead leaves.
The old wooden cabin. It laid on the other side of the field. Steve took a step forward it. "Look Liz, we made it...We're alive..."
Steve's fatigue caught on to him. His back hurt. His legs hurt. He felt light headed. His eyelids grew weak and he fell forward. He never felt himself hit the ground though.
Chapter 13: Mushrooms and String.
Darkness. It was all dark. Nothing but darkness. But through this darkness, a crack appeared. And through that crack, was light. Through that crack, there was life. And through that crack, he could see.
Steve coughed up the stew. He coughed it all over his clothes. "Steve! You're awake! Lie back down Steve, otherwise you're wounds may open."
He opened his eyes a bit. there were cuts all over his body. His chest was home to a particularly large and deep wound. Liz was busy applying wool strips over his wounds. "Liz, what happened?"
"After you fainted, a zombie appeared. It cam out from the dark underneath the trees. I didn't notice it until it had caught fire. Even through the fire, it attacked you're body. It through me aside. I was going to kill it but it had already burned out and fallen itself."
"That explains it, why I have burn marks on my front. It only got hit by the explosion on my back."
Steve opened his eyes again. He opened his eyes and saw for the first time. Liz's face was still bruised and blistered. "LIZ YOU WERE ON MY BACK WHEN THE EXPLOSION--"
"I'm okay. It was the only injury I endured. I'm glad I took most of the explosion, too. If I hadn't you would be six feet under the grass."
That silenced Steve. "Liz--"
"Shh. Don't speak. Just drink the stew and make sure you swallow the mushroom bits, too. It will help the pain go away."
She was right. It did make the pain go away. The only problem was that Steve's throat started to feel...numb. "Liz, what type of mushrooms did you put in this stuff?"
"I picked them up from around the woods and some from in a cave. I also--"
"YOU WHAT? YOU WENT INTO A CAVE AGAIN?!"
"Steve! I'm not a little girl and you're not my father! I was fine, there were not monsters in there!"
"...you could have gotten kidnapped again..," Steve said, crossing his arms.
"Yes, but I wouldn't have to worry. I know you would have rescued me every time," she replied, smiling a bit.
That quieted Steve. "Probably not," he joked suddenly, "You should learn your lesson the first time."
Liz laughed. Hurt face seemed to light up the room. She gave the bowl of stew to Steve. "Here, you can feed yourself. I'm not a mother."
Steve continued to feed himself the stew. He finished the bowl and brought it out. "You can put that in the water," Liz pointed to the little water sink Steve had built.
Steve tossed the bowl into the water and walked towards the door. "Wait, no! You'll get hurt and die! You're still very weak!"
"No I won't, trust me."
"Remember Sam? Please don't go out there! It's dangerous!"
Steve shook her hand off his arm and walked out the door. "I won't go far, I just enjoy the outdoors."
"Steve, please, there could be monsters!"
"I'm in the middle of a field far from the trees and stuff they could take refuge in. Can you please just let me breathe the air?"
Liz pursed her lips, crossed her arms and went back inside. Meanwhile, Steve stayed outside and just rested. It was nice after all that chaos...what was he thinking? Sam, Sam is probably dead. Shouldn't he be grateful of the sacrifice of Sam's life?
But there's no sense crying over death. If he sacrificed his life for me, shouldn't I make the most out of it? Anyways, a breeze swept by and Steve's tense shoulders were relaxed. Being in the middle of a field, he would be able to spot monsters from a good distance and good easily get back inside.
Steve heard the door shut. Liz came out. "Hey Steve, you mind helping me with something?"
"Sure thing, what do you need?"
"Well, I was covered with spider webs, right? Well I had a bunch still on me when we escaped. Maybe you could make something out of it."
"I'll see what I can do."
Liz went back inside while Steve followed. While Steve shut the door, Liz said, "I already made the webs into solid string to make it easier for you. I borrowed a few sticks to do so."
"Sticks, huh?" Steve said, absentmindedly as he inspected the spider string. "This is some thick stuff here. Is this all?"
"Pretty much," Liz replied.
"Alright, that's fine," Steve said as he started brainstorming.
After some time, Steve already made for himself some good sturdy tools. Two fishing rods so Liz and Steve could go fishing together. There was a nearby lake they could use for a source of fish. Steve also produced a coil of rope from combining the string. It was strong enough to hold the weight of Steve easily. The final product was a bow. Steve did not have much string left but he got a long stick, carved it, and bent it into a bow with the string. "Sam saved your life with on of these," Liz whispered over Steve's shoulder as he inspected it.
With a sharp rock, Steve carved the bow so it was nice and fancy. There were swirls, and carvings of mythical creatures. "I remember stories. I don't remember being told the stories but I just know. There were folklore of dragons, serpents, beasts of the mountains and beasts of the valley. I wonder if we will ever be unfortunate enough to meet any of these," Steve told Liz as he carved the bow.
Liz didn't reply. Actually, all Steve got as a reply was the noise of tinkering. He stood up and walked over the Liz's doorway. Although the door was open, he still knocked. "Yeah, sure, come in," Liz said.
Inside her room, Liz was busy at a workbench. "That wasn't there before," Steve noted.
"Yeah, I just made it myself. Pretty nice, huh?" Liz replied but she obviously wasn't paying much attention to his words.
With her tongue between her lips at one side, she was putting together some sharp rocks, arrows, and feathers plucked from the killed chickens Liz had on the stove. "What are you making?" Steve asked.
Liz finished making one and let it fall to the floor next to her workbench. It stuck to the wood floor with a twang. Liz looked up at Steve and grinned. "You like them? I think they'll fly very nicely. And look how sharp they are! Just dropping it would still have it stick!"
"That's amazing. That'll save me a lot of time," Steve replied with a smile. He glanced at the window. It was already dark.
"That's fine. You go and sleep. I'll finish making as many of these as I can. It doesn't take much effort to make them, anyways."
Steve agreed and he walked back to his room. The outdoors looked so peaceful, though. He continued to look through his windows until his eyes faded into black.
Chapter 14: Dangerous Dreams
Steve stood in the middle of emptiness. The haze seemed to swirl around him. He was suddenly standing before a pool of shimmering water in the middle of a huge stone room that was much like a stretched dome. The water looked satisfying and clean. The moonlight shone through the glass over the top of the room.
A male voice sounded. "Welcome, Steve."
Steve's consciousness slowly focused. He was still in the middle of darkness as thick as anything. The ground he was standing on was like a polished tile floor. He felt his back grow hot and heard a burst of flames. He turned around to see the red blazing sight.
There was a man standing in the red blazing fire. The man was calmly burning in a combustion. "Hello, again. I see you are confused. I am...Notch; god of this world you are in."
"Wait, what? Ugh This is the weirdest dream I've ever had," Steve said, proceeding to pinch himself extremely hard on the arm. The pain stung and the sting lingered.
"What you say is true. This is, in fact a dream. But, pain is a feeling. In this dream, you can feel pain and everything, and if you're not careful, you will feel death and your body will suffer a stroke and die before the sun rises," Notch replied.
It was a shock to Steve. He took a few steps back from the flaming man. The heat could still be felt. Steve took a few steps back and found himself right up against a wall that seemed to be made of darkness and also seemed to fabricate behind him just then. "Alright...what do you want with me?"
"You, Steve, have been in my world for some time. Tell me, what is different from my world and the world of your past life?"
"My...past life?" Steve was utterly confused but those words had lit a dim lightbulb in the darkness of confusion.
"Yes. Have you forgotten it? Here, I'll let you remember it..."
The flaming man was distorted as the swirling darkness overtook everything in Steve's sight. It was totally dark again and all Steve could hear was the darkness swirling around him. And through the darkness, he saw a speck of light. So small of a speck that it could have been the tip of a pin, but it the darkness, it shone like a beacon. "Steve, go to the light. Quickly, before the Darkness over takes you..."
That was enough for Steve to start running towards the light. The noise of the darkness winding around him has picked up speed and the wind howled. As Steve ran faster and faster to the light, the ground trembled.
Don't look behind you, no, don't look, whatever you do, you can't look behind you! Steve turned his head and saw that the dark tile flooring was falling into a void type of darkness. The light made the squares reflect some light as they fell, and they seemed to fall forever. Also, Steve seemed only a few steps from the point the tiles gave way.
Run faster! Didn't you hear Notch? You could die! This time, when Steve turned his head, he not only saw the tiles falling, but a foul looking demon with wings flying close behind him. It carried a devastating spiked club covered with blood and it's mouth was full of red saliva.
Steve dived through the light and found himself falling into his seat in school. He was sitting down after sharpening his pencil.
"Now, students, for tonight's homework, try to regather your memory of the prepositional words. You will take an oral quiz on it tomorrow," The teacher declared, writhing the homework on the whiteboard.
It was May, 24. This was English class in the high school and the teacher just assigned a task that almost everyone knew. Prepositionals? Pfft. I knew them since 7th grade.
But a voice in Steve's head sounded as clear as anything, "Take mental notes on this world. Remember your task here."
A bell sounded and everyone slung their book bags over their shoulders and walked to their lockers. It was the last period of the day.
"Yo, Steve, want to go to the Football game this afternoon," someone familiar asked.
"Umm...no. Sorry, I have..." Think, Steve think! "Youth Group tonight."
"Oh...um okay. I guess some other day then?"
It was a close call but Steve managed to avoid it. He did have Youth Group once a week but he couldn't remember when it was. The rest of the day was a daze and Steve had someone else who was familiar usher him on a bus saying "C'mon Steve, let's go!"
Steve walked on a familiar road. Everything was so familiar but yet so alien. One house, though, Steve knew was his own and he knew that the key in his pocket would open that door.
The door knob clicked and the door was unlocked. He walked into his home and up to his room.
Sudden;y, the light within his lamp blew out. The hallway light did the same. Total darkness. Outside, the sky was darkening faster and faster while a vicious wind picked up. "Had enough yet, Steve?"
Steve slowly opened his eyelids to see Notch standing over him. "Welcome back. How was the trip?"
"The ride there was horrible," Steve managed to joke.
"Oh yeah, sorry. I forgot to clean that passage out. Creatures inhabit it if I don't take care of it and no one has been down that way for almost a million years," Notch smiled.
"That doesn't explain the ground falling into nothingness," Steve told Notch.
"Oh yes, it must have been something horrible in there. Some stuff can set curses on the passage to the other worlds," Notch replied, still smiling. "Now, I want you to tell me about the world of your past life."
"Oh well...It was...," Steve started.
"Just kidding," Notch interrupted, "I saw all of it through your eyes. I read your every thought. You like that girl on the other side of your English class, don't you?"
"WHAT??? You shouldn't read my thoughts and my feelings!"
"Calm down," Notch told Steve, although it felt almost like a command, "It's alright. It's your past life. Let it all go. Now that I saw all of that, I could shape this world to be like that world, more or less."
Notch was still smiling happily. "Wait, you aren't burning anymore," Steve pointed out.
"Oh, I very much am in a fire. It's just that you have adapted and have grown your own fire in this...darkness. When I first saw you, you were like a light bluish mist. when you woke up, so did your fire."
"That makes absolutely no sense."
"It's your spirit level. You adapt while you are in here. The fire is a nice touch though, right?"
"Yeah, sure. It freaked me out when I first got here," Steve replied.
"Alright, that's enough of your time. I'll send you back now. Good morning and good day..."
The darkness once again overtook Steve as he grew lightheaded. His eye lids were opening to allow in light, though he did not remember closing his eyelids. The sun shone in through his window. "Good, you're awake. I thought you had died in your sleep or something. It's already noon!" Liz said to Steve from his doorway.
Had it been all a dream? No way, dreams are not that crazy of realistic. Steve kept his mind from it but he always kept wandering back to thinking about the dream. He was lazily eating his breakfast when Liz asked "Did you have a dream?"
Steve choked on his pork chop. "No, why?" Steve asked nervously after unclogging his throat.
"I'm sure you did, don't you lie to me. I heard you mumbling in your sleep," Liz said, further questioning Steve.
"It's probably something I developed from chasing monsters in a cave trying to rescue you," Steve replied. He turned back down to his food and ate a bit faster that before.
Liz must have known that Steve did not want to talk about it and kept quiet but she pursed her lips for the entire duration of breakfast.
"I'm going to head out for a bit," Steve told her, putting his plate into the hand crafted sink.
"You just woke up," Liz told him. "What's on your mind? Tell me."
Steve kept quiet. "It's nothing really," Steve lied, "It's just a dream, nothing else."
"What did you see?" she persisted. Steve really didn't feel like informing her.
"Fine," Steve gave in. If he kept it to himself, he would probably explode, anyways.
Steve told her the entire story of his dream and how he had met a godly being.
Liz kept quiet. Finally, she spoke up. "Why didn't you tell me? Why couldn't you have told me?"
"I didn't want you to be worried," Steve replied.
"You didn't want me to think you're worried, that's it, isn't it?"
"Yeeaah you were."
"Whatever, I'm going to grab some air," Steve told her and he left the cabin.
It was still early in the morning. The dew was still lingering on the grass. The sun was almost a full circle, part of it hidden behind the mountains and the horizon. The birds were singing as usual and the noise of animals roaming around surrounded Steve. There was also the sound of...the undead.
Steve already had his sword in his hand. He was holding it just because he felt like holding it. He decided he would blow off some stress from killing undeads. He leapt down the porch and held his sword at ready, feeling better than before. The zombie was hiding amonst the trees.
He wanted to kill it without help from Icarus. He would have to strike now or his creed would be lost. "Come at me," Steve taunted.
He stepped forward and the monster turned around and walked up to him. The monster's pace was fast. When it stepped up to Steve, it's movements slowed down, almost as if the world was halting. It's slow arm swung at Steve. Steve caught the arm with his hand, something he never though to be possible, and then put the sword through the zombie's torso. The sword came out of its back. there was a delay and then blood splattered out but so slowly, Steve could have caught them.
The zombie slowly fell to the ground, gaining speed as it dropped. The blood that was flying through the air increased their speed dramatically. Then, the loud wind sound in Steve's ear faded away. IT was not until then had he even noticed there was a loud rushing noise. The birds chirped once again and it was peaceful once more.
He heard a door slam shut and he saw Lizzy running out to him. "Steve! Are you alright? What was that?"
"A slow zombie," Steve replied.
"What? You killed it before it even finished trying to swipe at you!"
"Exactly. It was probably an old and slow zombie," Steve replied, confused.
"No. You were really fast. It swiped as fast as any other zombie. It was stopped mid swipe and then it just fell to the ground, blood shooting from its back. Then, I saw you with your sword," Liz tried to explain.
"I have no idea what you are talking about," Steve replied, thinking Liz had gone mad.
"You killed it almost immediately," Lizzy continued explaining, "You killed it in one strike and before it had even finished throwing its arms at you, you put your sword through it."
He was seriously confused. He did not move any faster than normal, the zombie just slowed down. Steve decided to go hunting again. This time, I'll pay more attention to my fighting.
Plu-uuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnng! The sound of a bowstring recoiling from letting go of an arrow. The noise slowed down as Steve turned around to meet the arrow. The arrow was moving slowly through the air, surprisingly enough. He dodged the arrow as everything seemed to speed up again. He stepped toward the skeleton as it released another sharp-tipped arrow. The same thing happened again, but this time, Steve caught the arrow as time picked up its pace. The skeleton took a stepped back, releasing another arrow furiously.
The same thing happened over and over again. Lizzy was right! Steve dived at the skeleton, which was slowly drawing its arm back for another arrow, and swung his blade it its ribcage, hoping to break at least one bone.
Time fastened as his sword cut through the rips and the spine without any resistance. The skeleton fell into dust and was blown away by a wind. All the trees seemed undisturbed by the wind. Not even Steve felt it.
Chapter 16: Inscriptions
Later that morning, Steve returned back to the cabin with some logs and collected food; Mushrooms, sugar cane, and pork. When he closed the door behind him, Lizzy was washing the dishes. "Look at what I got," Steve said proudly, letting the logs roll down on to the floor and handing the food to Lizzy.
"Wow, how'd you get so much? Did you use a steel axe?"
"Yeah," Steve lied. He knew he just used his sword to completely cut the trees cleanly.
Lizzy dried her hands and strapped on her sword and swung a heavy stone pick on her back. "That reminds me, we need more iron."
"Yeah," Steve agreed and picked up his pickax, a much heavier iron headed pick.
Lizzy pranced happily out of the door as Steve followed. "You go choose the cave," Steve told her.
Lizzy went ahead as Steve still followed her. She found her way around the trees. She finally made it to two towering mountains that seemed impossible to climb. The were jagged in the sharp valley between them. "Wow," Lizzy said in awe, "Look at this wonder. That cave there should be fine."
She pointed to a huge cavernous opening leading underground. The slope downward was not steep at all. "Sure," Steve replied and walked to it. He planted a torch into the side of the cave.
And so, Steve and Lizzy walked down the rocky hallway going deeper and deeper underground. The weird part was that the entire way down, not a single piece of ore, nor iron, nor gold, nor diamond was found. The ceiling, walls, and ground was composed completely of rock.
Lizzy did not seem to notice this. Steve dismissed the fact as a coincidence and continued down. Going deeper and deeper underground, lighting up the cave with torches every few steps.
Finally, the cave reached a dead end. "Looks like this cave has nothing for us. Weird, huh?" Steve told Lizzy, turning around to head back up.
"Wait," She pleaded.
Steve turned around. The sounds of sounds rubbing against cold stone was heard in the darkness. Steve had nto thought to light up the cave since they had already reached an end. "Light this place up, Steve," she told him.
He obediently struck his pick into the wall and placed a burning torch into the small indent he made. He was greeted with a peculiar sight. The wall was covered with writing. The language was unknown to Steve. "What is this?"
"Probably runes," Lizzy replied, feeling them.
Steve turned around and checked his surroundings. "Let's get out of here. This is too much, it feels like a dream," Steve said. He took off up the cave, Lizzy following.
"Why...can't we...stay there?" She said in between pants for breath.
"Just keep up, Lizzy!"
The ground trembled and the rocks behind Lizzy collapsed. She screamed and caught up to Steve. "What's going on?" She demanded to know.
"I have no idea! I just felt like it was about time to get out of here!"
More rocks collapsed. As Steve neared the half way point, a huge piece of the ceiling collapsed and lava splashed about as it did. Lizzy was sprinting as fast as she could. Steve noticed she left behind her sword and her pick long ago. Somewhere under those boulders laid a stone sword and a stone pick. "Keep running, Lizzy!"
"Keep running, Stevie!!" a voice thundered through the collapsing rocks.
A chill ran down Steve's spine as he kept running. "What were those inscriptions?" Steve asked the voice.
"My plans, Steve. I can't keep everything on my mind or I would go crazy," The thunderous voice replied calmly.
Steve jumped forward to avoid another rock. "What is going on?" Steve asked, still running for his life.
"This? This is my trap for anyone who comes down here. Here comes the lava."
The ceiling cracked and instead of dropping, it came apart and lava poured out steadily. More boulders kept falling but they would be flanked by lava every time. Steve sprinted faster and faster, feeling his legs complain in a voice of agony.
Finally, he saw Lizzy. She was lying on her stomach, unmoving. Steve stopped by her limp body and picked her up as a boulder fell at the place where she was. "Stop this!"
"Can't, buddy. Good luck," The voice trailed off as Steve ran as fast as he could with Lizzy in his arms.
The light at the end of tunnel was clear now. Just that much more distance, Steve, you can make it! Steve ran up through the light to be see the huge towering mountains on both sides falling down on themselves. It would be impossible for Steve to carry Lizzy and get away before the two peaks fell on him. The cave was now blocked off to its entrance. The mountains were trembling.
There was only one hope; to run. Steve prayed that he would survive as he ran through the rocks fell from the mountains. First only pebbles but they grew into rocks and then large rocks and then chunks. One large rock was falling and Steve, who had just dodged a rock, was in no state to dodge a large rock plummeting towards his head.
Suddenly, the rock slowed down as Steve ran through from under. It sped up again and impacted the ground with ripples of dirt and debris. More and more larger rocks fell until chunks of the mountains fell. Steve had to run out from under huge boulders as he ran. Every time he would shut his eyes in fear of being squished to death, the world would halt for him to escape.
Finally, he got to stable ground and watched as the two mountains fell upon them selves, forever covering the cave. It was not just a hill of rock.
Lizzy stirred. She opened her eyes and screamed. "Where are we? What happened? How did we get here? What happened?"
"You fell in the cave. I carried you out. The mountains shook and fell. I carried you out."
"How far away are we from the mountains?"
"That's it right there," Steve pointed to the mound of rocks and rubble.
"How did you survive? How did we survive?"
"I have noooo idea," Steve replied, getting up to catch his breath.
It was already sunset. The two walked back to their cabin. Lizzy asked more questions but Steve only replied with what had happened but did not go into precise detail.
Chapter 17:Dream v2.0
Steve threw himself onto his bed. He felt almost completely drained. His eyes were beginning to droop. His legs and his arms ached. He breathed out heavily. Staring at the ceiling, he blinked; and he was off.
It was in an alien forest. The trees did not look familiar. He was lost but he did not care. In his hands was a bow. His right hand was clenched around a thick arrow. He was in mid battle.All around him, there was fire and monsters. They all screamed for his tender flesh. Scattered around Steve were dead monsters, all of which were slowly being turned to dust and being blown away. The moon was bled red and looked shattered.
Arrows twanged. The skeletons and Steve exchanged arrows furiously. A zombie was creeping up uncomfortably close to Steve. He pounced and in mid air, fired an arrow. The arrow caught the zombie square in the chest as Steve's feet stomped three times on its chest in mid air. Upon landing, he yanked the arrow out of the zombie's chest. It's chest spilled out rotten smelling blood as it fell to Steve's feet.
Into slow-mo, Steve dodged arrows easily, even catching a few. Back to normal, a wave of sweat poured from his forehead. He was dicing up his enemies by bashing them with his bow, of which suddenly became sharp on both ends. The string glowed. The next arrow Steve withdrew from his quiver was elegantly carved and was emitting blue light like a fire. Steve could not feel it, however.
Something told him to fire it high into the sky. He shot it up high and it exploded dozens of meters in the air. The fallout dropped meteorites all around Steve as lightning struck everything. Everything was quiet. Everything was quiet, except for the footsteps.
Dozens of creepers glowed blue and walked like lightning. Steve's legs felt like lead. He could not move. His strong felt like a rod of iron. He was disabled by his last act. "No...," Steve whispered to the wind, "Please, no. Please..."
And his eyes shut. when they opened, he was in darkness. Maybe a hundred meters ahead of him was a blue light. IT dawned on him to walk to it. His body felt heavy but he carried it closer and closer to the light.
Now, Steve lifted his heavy forearm to cover his eyes from the blinding light. The light was pulsating. It was not just a light, it was a fire. "'Lo, Steve," a familiar voice spoke.
"Hello," Steve replied.
"You may uncover your eyes," the voice suggested.
Steve saw the familiar man again. "You again. This is the second time, right?"
"Yes," he said, "And I have to teach you to control your ability."
"You know what I am talking about; the ability that speeds up your mind."
"So that's what it was. I thought I as the only person feeling the world slow down."
"No, it's your ability. Since you have met me the first time, I decided to bless you with that power. Actually, everytime you enter one of my dreams, you achieve a new ability. You need to learn to control it, otherwise, you may end up as you just did; dead," his voice was not so gentle any more.
"In that dream, yes. You see, the power drains your stamina faster than anything. In what could have been a second wold have sapped your energy down to a dangerously low amount. Granted, your efficiency with this ability will improve but the draining will never stop."
"So how do I get more efficient..." Steve asked, "Do you have any magic potions or something?"
"No. There is really no shortcut to this. You must learn to keep yourself from entering the adrenaline mega pump. Keep yourself calm and focused. Keep yourself focused on moving forward and moving quick. If you choose not to release your new power, don't. If you do, it will release. Think of it as a pet. You must learn to control it, be the master of it," The bearded man ranted, "And increase your endurance and stamina. Keep your head clear.
"Can I write this stuff down or something?"
"Steve, this is a dream. You will probably remember it pretty well. There are two types of dreams, the ones that you don't remember at all and the ones that you can remember for days. This is one of those."
"So I'm dreaming?"
"What do you mean?"
"This is more of a vision. Call it a dream if you want to. I called it a dream for you to understand."
His voice seemed to fade. Steve began to spirit away from the deity. The world was no longer dark but a omnipresent light was starting to brighten the dense atmosphere.
Steve was standing in the same burning forest. Sheiks were heard all around him. The monsters were closing in, fast. The first zombie approached. It's arms slowed down tremendously as it swung. Steve immediately put his sword through its chest and hacked its head off. The effect wore off and the world resumed. Focus, Steve! Focus! Another zombie approached, this time, it's swing slowed down mid strike. Steve diced it up and the effect wore off.
He began to feel fatigue. Keep going, Steve! You almost had it that time, don't give it! Another zombie approached. Steve swept forward and swung his sword. The zombie's steps did not slow down. It's head dropped at normal speed. The blood was too numerous and came out of the zombie's body too fast to see.
Steve looked up. An arrow was now passing by his head. Steve caught it since it was going at a slow speed.
Everything sped up again. Damn it, Steve thought to himself. He failed to keep his ability down. He didn't even know the arrow was passing until it slowed down. Then, he realized he felt no fatigue. A reflexive instinct?
Steve dropped his sword to the ground. It landed on the soft grass. He drew an arrow and fired it. It flew straight and it flew fast. The zombie did not slow down. He fired another one; again, the monsters did not falter. YES! Zombie, skeleton, spider, and creepers fell left and right. Steve reached into the quiver and his hands grew cold. He suddenly felt like he was standing on a sheer cliff. His fingers tried fruitlessly to pull another arrow out of his quiver. He was out of arrows.
He looked around him. He had walked too far away to hee his sword past the thick bodies of his enemies. Suddenly, the air grew cold and somehow darker. An eerie cry was heard. The blood in Steve's face retreated. Chills ran down his spine.
A huge mass of writhing white mass appeared in the sky. It's long tentacles curled and uncurled. It's face wept tears of unknown feelings. The other monsters refused to step forward but would only taunt Steve.
Steve's feet were stuck to the ground. He watched helplessly as the monster in the sky drifted over and reared its ugly face to Steve. It's eyes opened and it's mouth screamed at Steve. Steve's face was ghost white now from the experience. Out of its screaming mouth, it fired a ball of fire. It hurled towards Steve. It slowed down, however, and Steve's legs were free.
He dived to the side and rolled as the fire ball landed. It left a small crater in the ground. Even after the attack, Steve felt his adrenaline pumping. The world was back to its normal speed but Steve felt himself wasting his stamina. His bare hands glowed blue and then caught aflame with a vicious blue fire. The monsters all took a step back as Steve swung his arms. Steve could not even feel the fire.
His instincts forced him to throw his hands up the the sky. A powerful force left his body feeling weak as a beam of blue energy struck the clouds. The sky thundered and boomed. Lightning struck everywhere and everything. The ghostly flying monster yekped as it was struck and it instantly turned to dust. Skeletons, zombies, and spiders fell. Even a good portion of the creepers fell.
The waist of Steve suddenly grew a few ounces heavier. He felt around and he felt his sword. It was back on his waist. He unsheathed it and held it steady, ready for the creepers. Although most of his energy was drained, he was not running on empty. His energy felt crippled, but it was quickly returning.
His ran forward. He slid, rolled, and dived as his sword cut through the creepers. One after the other disintegrated into dust and was swept away but a wind Steve could not feel. Finally, he was alone in a burning forest. He dropped to his knees. and the sky boomed once more as lightning struck him.
Chapter 18:Not the Only One
Steve fell to his knees. His body was once again too heavy to hold up. The sky was still booming with thunder and lightning. A thousand bolts of lightning landed around him, each one draining his energy a little bit more at a time. He groaned as he forced himself on to one foot but it was useless. His body gave way and his sight faded as his face fell towards the ground.
Steve woke up in cold sweat. He felt exhausted still. Lizzy was standing at his door way. "Are you finally up?"
"Uh...yeah," Steve replied.
"I heard you mumbling in your sleep. You were tossing and turning. I thought it was a seizure," she said, "Are you okay?"
Steve got off the bed. He was surprised to find himself standing at all. His body felt very weak. "Have some breakfast, Steve," Lizzy suggested.
He walked to the food storage and picked out some bacon. Next the the storage was a small blue bag. "What's..."
Steve stopped himself. Instead of asking Liz what it was, he would find out for himself. He knelt down next to the bag, facing it. He ate his bacon as fast as possible and opened the bag. Inside, he found some decently sized stones, all about the same size and all smooth. Each of them had a different symbol on it. Steve could feel raw power radiating from the mass of stones.
In the pockets, he found some dust of different colors. They each felt different and smelled different. One, Steve recognized as sulfur but the others were all unique and Steve has never experienced such powders.
In some pockets, Steve found some glass bottles, each with a cork on top. They contained many differently colored liquids.
Steve shut the bag hastily as he heard Liz walk into the room. "I did your bed for you Steve. You have to stop having these sleep traumas," she said.
Steve was pretending to be searching through the food storage. When he closed the insulated chest, the blue bag seemingly disappeared. Lizzy didn't even come close to the bag as he was searching for breakfast.
"So you saw," Lizzy said, unexpectedly, "You saw my bag?"
Steve paused. She probably saw Steve's eyes widen when he thought the bag had disappeared. "Uh, yeah."
"I had a dream last night. I met a man and he explained to me...many things. When I woke up, I felt stronger," Lizzy said.
"That doesn't explain the powders, the liquids, and the stones," Steve said.
"Let me finish. I went outside for a walk long before you woke up. I found some of the stones in a small cave. The cave's entrance was glowing so I felt I was supposed to enter it. In there, I found this bag with everything in it except for the potions. When I brought it bag, I mixed some powders together. I felt like I was being guided the entire time. I didn't even know what I was doing," Lizzy explained, "I put some of the powders in the bottles. Some of them reacted to each other while others required me to mix them over a rune."
"So those stones are runes? What the heck is a rune?" Steve questioned.
"It's like a magical rock."
"You are holding something back. Tell me," Steve said.
"So are you. You've been having dreams, too. I know it. The way you fought recently."
"I'll explain as soon as you finish."
Lizzy bit her bottom lip, her hands on her hips. "Fine," She obliged, "I had another one of these dreams a long time ago. It was while I was in the cave, actually. After I was knocked out, I had the first of these dreams. It was the man I told you about. He gave me powerful magic. That's how you are living today. After those fatal wounds in that cave, I had to heal you with my last bit of energy. I was weak in the cave because I kept trying to use my magic behind your back. I became so exhausted I fell. At that point, you carried me, letting em use my powers against the monsters."
It all made sense now. Steve never got over the fact that he survived from the wounds or how he had outran the monsters or how they managed after he blacked out.
"Your turn, Steve."
Steve explained everything. His two dreams, the adrenaline, the slowed action, and the power awesome power he recieved in last night's dream.
"That explains how you fought so fast against those monsters. Your new power, have you tried to use it yet?"
"I just woke up from the dream, Liz."
"Oh, right. Maybe you should try to use it."
"And waste an entire day resting in bed from it? The entire house could burn down."
"Care to explain the potions?"
Lizzy started to show Steve the potions. Each one released a magnificent aroma when the cork was released.She explained how she knew what each one did, even though she has never tried them. "The red ones restore strength and energy, letting you continue despite your wounds," she explained, "I think it also makes you numb to pain for a bit."
"These counter fatigue. These lets me use more magic without having to wait for it to restore itself."
"I was getting to that. These improve strength. These let me use my magic without exhaustion for some time. And this one lets me bring back someone on the verge of death."
The black gooy potion looked disgusting. The smell was putrid. "Are you sure it's not the world's strongest poison?"
"I don't know. The dreams told me everything."
"Fine," Steve said, "I'm going outside to relax."
Chapter 19: Revisiting Nightmares.
The door shut behind him as he walked down the porch and into the grassy fields. Not a single monster was in sight. Instead of hunting, Steve ventured into one part of the forest he thought he had never explored. The trees felt familiar. It wasn't long before he found a cave which seemed to be breathing hot, moist air. There, he realized he was back at the entrance of the cave which he almost died in. Just peering in, he could see most of it was in ruins and many tunnels were collapsed or sealed off. Obviously, there has been something happening in the cave.
The torch hissed as Steve lit it. It crackled as tiny embers popped out of it. The dark cave looked so familiar but so different. Steve could see that the only way into it was to crawl through a narrow opening since the cave seemed to have collapsed since. He got the chills and turned around, going back to the cabin.
Liz's face popped up at the window. She went and opened the door. "What?"
"I think I found the cave again."
Liz's mouth dropped. Luckily, she was not holding anything otherwise she would have dropped that and probably broken it. "No. Absolutely not."
"No, you're just going to die in there. No way. Remember last time?"
"I'm sure I can handle it!"
"Why in the world would you want to go back in there?"
Steve was stumped. Wonderlust was not a good excuse to get killed. "Find Sam, or what's left of him. He deserves a proper burial or at least we should know what happened to him."
"I'm not burying both of you. Why would you want to die trying to recover what is lost?"
Once again, Steve was stumped. "I just feel like I have to go back."
Liz bit her lip. "Maybe...no. Absolutely not."
"I saw some diamonds in there when I was looking for you," Steve lied. It was a half lie, he was never sure there were and never sure there weren't.
"We can always mine for them in a safer place."
"Both of us could hold them off fine! Remember the powers? I feel like the powers were given to us so we could go back!"
"I don't know! I just know we have to!"
Lizzy stared hard into Steve. "Are you sure?"
"Yes! I'm sure we will make it!"
"Fine, but if anything goes wrong, I'm teleporting right out of there and I'll consider taking you along." She smiled.
"You're joking, right?"
And just like that, Lizzy started to pack her stuff. Steve immediately started on a new sword, a much sharper, durable, and balanced sword. As Steve crafted, Liz went to hunt for alchemy materials. As Steve sharpened his new masterly crafted sword on a peice of whetstone, Liz was mixing the potions. By night, they were finished.
"Steve, you're going to get us killed."
Steve smiled. "You're so grim."
"Whatever. Let's wait 'til tomorrow."
Steve woke up early the next morning, breathing heavily and hot. Whatever dream had just had, he could not for the life of him remember. He could only remember that it was unpleasant and left him a feeling of anger and betrayal.
He took a few short breathes, calmed himself, and fell back asleep.
The sun woke him up with its bright rays. Steve felt great. He did not remember at all his waking before this one.
He proceeded to toss up a few fresh tools. A shovel, a few picks, a few swords, and many, many torches. He threw them all in a leather pouch.
Liz was still sleeping when Steve woke up. However, she woke up when she heard him pounding out some metal for the tools. She had ready a pouch of freshly cooked meats and some bread.
She couldn't stop giving Steve a disapproving frown the entirety of breakfast. Steve even tried some not-so-subtle flirting, but she pushed that all aside.
"I can't believe we are doing this. What if we aren't so lucky this time?"
"I can handle it, believe me. I handled getting in their and saving you all by myself."
"You would have died all by yourself. I saw you almost lose that fight."
"But I did not, and the only one who has come close to killing me has long had an arrow through his chest."
"Fine," Liz finally said. She crossed her arms and refused to look at Steve. She blew a lock of her hair off of her face in frustration, "I'll come but I will decide when we leave."
"Deal," Steve replied. And he stuffed the rest of his breakfast down.
The cave was just as he had last seen it. "No, no way," Liz said, "I am not crawling through that tiny hole."
"Don't be such a girl," Steve teased her.
"We will not make it through if we are being chased, like last time."
Steve took a minute to think about it. "Fine," he said, and he dropped his leather pouch, picked up a pickax, and proceeded to make quick work of the collapsed cave entrance.
"It smells the same as last time," Liz stated. And it did. The hot, moist air smelled of rotting flesh, death, and bad breath. And a hint of gunpowder.
"I can't believe I am actually going in here again. And by my own will this time," Liz said, following Steve into the deep of the cave.
Some of the torches Steve had placed so long ago remained. Others were knocked down and simply had to be relit and placed back into the porous wall of the cave.
"How did you find your way to me through this cave?" Liz asked after a while of small talk.
"I just did. I felt like it was where to go. Sometimes I followed some unsure marks, Other times I followed my heart," Steve replied, placing another torch.
"My heart would have told me to turn around and leave."
"You're lucky I don't have your heart," Steve said with a subtle smile.
Further and further down through the cave, they found more evidence of life of Steve's last encounters. Some holes in the wall, a destroyed wall, a wrecked and crude staircase. "Here," Liz said, pointing to a point on the ground. It looked like any other spot.
"Here was where I fell and where Sam had left our company."
"Bless his soul," Steve said. "Let's avenge our savior."