Read Depleting Ore Free
Jason Hewitt and Victoria Hewitt
This is copyrighted material and may not be used or copied, without the express, written permission of the authors. United States Copyright 2014.
The First Sign of Trouble
Wind swept through the valley and past the trees that spawned without the slightest help as the boy, Jase, rode his horse, Max, over the square shelves which made up the face of the cliffs. Everything came to life by spawning here in The Overworld of Minecraft; trees, rocks, Inners, Outers. They just appeared from nothing.
This was where he hated to ride most, because it was near The Nether Portal. In more exact terms, the doorway to Hell, and he was too close for his comfort. But the path he was on took him over the hills, away from the constant building by the Controllers.
Controllers lived on the “Outside”. They used Outers so that they could move around in The Overworld. However, many caused more trouble than good and often destroyed the things that the Inners made here.
Jase’s best friend had ditched him to hunt, but Danny was that way. He always thought about his stomach first. He had said something about him needing to eat chicken. Jase liked golden apples. They gave him all kinds of protection and strength. Even resistance to fire.
As it started to get dark, Jase had had a run in with a group of spiders and he believed he had lost them. Everything in The Overworld was square; Inners, Outers, even spiders. And spiders, they were great big block beasts; square pistons as teeth, and as big as his horse, Max. All you needed was one to jump on you, and well, you were toast.
So, he hoped he had lost them. After all, he only carried an iron sword. There were better weapons. A god sword was the best. Diamond was just under that one in attack damage, but he sure would love to even have that kind of weapon.
Little help his iron sword was against any creature that was as angry as a spider. He had been able to injure one of them, which was the only way he had gotten away.
Urging Max on a bit harder, he couldn’t wait to get out of the snowy surroundings of the winter biome and into the forest. Dog-gone-it, he had forgotten to bring his flint and steel, so that he would have some light, and now he had to really strain to see shapes in the distance.
The dark fell around him, and he wished a controller, who played the game, would drop him a torch, but that wouldn’t happen. Not this far up. Right now they were mainly building on the South Side and away from The Nether Portal and The End.
His town was past all of this, beyond the hill, and in the forest biome. This is where he lived among the trees, where they hid from too many Outers and other grave dangers that you were smart to keep away from. Many which included the most dreaded: Herobrine.
This monster looked like a Steve skin, but he was designed to maim, kill, and destroy. “Skins” were bas-ically what you looked like. Steve himself was a newbie. A whole lot of controllers chose him to fight for them in Minecraft. He was plain, and many argued whether his face was covered with fuzz or he had a huge smile. It was rumored that even diamond armor, with level ten protections, wouldn’t save you from an attack by Herobrine.
The Outers were much different from the Inners, like Jase, who actually lived in the game. The first was directed by players outside of the boundaries of his world, so the skins appeared and disappeared according to the whim of their controllers.
“Jase!” someone called from beyond the square shelf and from a plateau.
The voice was a girl’s, and the boy recognized it immediately. “Eve!” He rose up in his saddle and peered higher and through the square sapling trees that lead to where she stood.
“Jase!” The girl stood atop a jutting of rock, the armor she wore leather, but the arrows that she kept in her inventory were deadly.
Everyone had an inventory, but some players had better stuff than others. You could use anything you had in your inventory, whenever you needed it. It appeared out of nowhere as a projection. In your world it is like a movie being played on a movie screen.
Eve liked to keep mostly weapons in hers because she found that she could always get food and essentials from her friends. But, sometimes, she would fool them and have something else; like mushrooms for soup or special potions.
She smiled down at the boy, who she would deny she had a crush on. Jase was adventurous. The most handsome and exciting square she had ever come across. She loved his horse, Max, but this was only an excuse for her to come and see Jase. She saw that he bridged another unsteady rock face as Max climbed to her. “I bet you forgot your flint n’ steel? Am I right, Jase?”
Jase shook his head, guffawed and under his breath grumbled as he sent Max her way, “What girl doesn’t think she’s right?”
“What?” Eve tucked her brown locks over her square ears and shouted, “What, Jase, I can’t hear you!”
“I said…” he yelled up at her. “Did you bring your flint and steel?”
Eve laughed, grabbed her inventory pack and threw a sample of both to the ground. “Flint n’ steel at your service.”
Max and Jase had finally made her spot, so the boy dismounted, and leveled a flat pat to the side of his black and white horse’s neck. “Get it started, Eve. We’ll never make Cumberlon without it,” he referred to their home.
She batted her brown eyes, nodded, and gathered what she had discarded as she went to her knees. “Jase…” she began.
“Mm, hm,” he responded as he started to pull the saddle and iron armor from Max.
Eve wacked the steel and flint hard to the grou-nd, and a small, “chic, chic,” resonated in the vibrant air. “It’s getting cold,” she complained as it finally started. More coal would be nice, but up here in the hills she may only be lucky enough to find a few pieces of iron. What she had, she had to save for her torches.
“Yep, it is cold,” Jase agreed as he stepped to-wards the back of his painted steed and unfastened a wooden chest from his horse’s saddle. He squatted near the fire to open it. “Sorry, Eve, but nothing enchanted here. Just some potatoes, pie, and carrots from yesterday.”
She shrugged as she sat next to the fire close to where he was. “No worries.” She grabbed a piece of pumpkin pie, sniffed at it and asked, “It’s not poisoned, is it?”
His hazel green eyes twinkled as he told her, “Only the potatoes.”
They laughed together, since it was pretty rare for things to be poisoned in The Overworld, though some-times it did happen with potatoes.
“Thanks.” He sat next to her.
“Thanks?” She scrunched her face and purred, “For what?”
He grimaced. “Come on, Eve. I saw you on the Cumberlon road this morning. You followed me.”
“Did too!” Jase shouted back.
She stood, straightened her tunic, and said, “Fine! I might as well find Steve to keep me company!”
He caught her right hand before she could spin away, and looked up at her. “Steve? Steve?” he chuckled, “Steve’s a newbie. He makes dirt houses and he uses fence gates for his doors!”
She added, “Let’s not forget sand and gravel as his roof top!”
Jase got to his knees and blew on the flint to force it hotter. After, he looked at Eve, and told her, “So much for a skin.”
“So much.” She nodded and took a bite of the pie.
Jase climbed to his feet, walked over to a small tree and wacked it with his fist. The tree tumbled and split into perfect logs for burning. He gathered a few and returned to dump them on the fire.
Max, who grazed off the trees close to them, suddenly pricked his ears, shifted his weight, and let out a nervous neigh.
Jase slowly stood and looked past him, given he had heard a strange sound in the descending dark: “Gunck”.
Jase asked, “Zombies?” He referred to a monster that was creepy, because it was only half alive. They were very dangerous. If one of them touched you, it could make you one of them.
Eve had rushed to her feet and now clasped onto his right arm. “You think?”
He patted her wrist, broke her hold, and suggest-ed, “You stay here with Max.”
“Wait!” Eve pulled a torch from her inventory, and it was as easy as pulling something from your poc-ket. “I have coal, if you need it.”
“No, no.” He disagreed, buried the head of the torch in their fire to light it, and then walked into the darkness and towards the eerie sound.
Zombies. He prayed to Notch that the sounds didn’t come from them. Notch was known as the “creator” of Minecraft, so the Inners referred to him when they needed help, but they knew that he wasn’t God.
Jase also wished his father were here. He was an amazing square. He wasn’t even afraid of Herobrine. Some thought Herobrine was a myth. The Outers were the worst for this. But his father had encountered him more than once. He looked like Steve, with glowing eyes, but didn’t do foolish newbie things. No he was clever and even crazy.
You could think of Herobrine in this way. He was Minecraft’s version of the Controllers’ devil. That’s right. He had tons of power. Some even thought he could turn you to stone just by looking at you.
There was that sound…again. So he continued to walk towards it.
Gunck. Gunck. Gunck.
He waved the torch and before him was a youth, perched by a stream and every now and again he would plunge his hand in the water. Gunck.
Jase smiled. “Danny, no chickens?”
His best friend shied his left hand, in the air, so that his blocked fist made a sound as if a hard stone hit a wall. “Shh, Sh! I almost got one. You’re gonna scare them away.”
“No, you’re gonna scare them away,” Jase referred to the blocky luminescent fish that bridged the surface of the water in the stream. “Use both hands!”
“Ahhh!” Danny lunged forward and grabbed hold of a fish which shook its fins and splashed cubed water everywhere.Before it could get away he sunk his teeth into it. “Good! Good!” he laughed with a mouth full of sashimi.
Jase groaned. “Okay, come on. You’ve got your meat. Eve’s waiting for us.”
“Eve’s waiting for us,” Danny mimicked, and as he stood it was apparent he was thinner, and less blocked than Jase.
Strong blocks were everything in their world, so Danny wasn’t thought of as a tough guy.
But, Jase didn’t care because he loved Danny like a brother. So, he protected him.
Danny loved Jase back, but never let him know it. He didn’t want to be seen as a mushy block.
Danny held up his right fist and in it he held a small diamond that glistened.
“Whoa,” Jase made a swipe for it with his open palm.
“You’re not fast enough!” Danny stopped him.
“You know I need to finish my armor!” Jase set his fists on his hips. “You promised to help.”
It was hard to find diamonds so it could take a very long time to collect enough to make armor, sword or pick axe. Jase was lucky. Because his father was so important, he always had plenty to trade, so he wore a protective coat of iron already. But even a fortunate Inner had a hard time paying sixty four bits of coal for one diamond. And mining it wasn’t easy like it used to be, because now they were having trouble with ore being depleted from the mines and by who or what, they didn’t know.
“Maybe,” Danny grinned. “I need chicken.”
Jase moved closer, and admitted, “I got chicken. But, it’s alive.”
“What?” Danny yelped as Jase put his hand flat over his friend’s mouth.
“Don’t say anything!” Jase told him. “If Eve hears I have a cluck, she won’t let us eat it, but make it a pet!”
“Rhen, donat tella, Evi, tupid….” Danny mumbled.
Jase appeared puzzled, before he asked, “What?”
His friend knocked his hand away that muffled his voice, and said, “But, don’t tell Eve…stupid.”
Jase coyly replied, “That’s what I said. Come on,” he nudged him.
“Wait!” Danny pressed his fingers to his lips and whistled.
Tromping through the underbrush came his brown and white spotted horse, Zoey. “Hey, Zo!” Dan-ny waved to her and then started back towards where Jase had left Eve. Zoey followed them.
He had not even stepped to his friend’s side, when Jase spoke, “You got it?”
Danny smiled as he drew his sword. The weapon was brilliant. Even the indirect light issued through the dusk, made the diamond sword glow.
“Wow…” Jase admired it. “It’s so cool, Danny.”
He shrugged. “Only as good as the guy that’s using it.” He shoved it at his friend.
Jase cracked a sideways grin, took the sword, and then looked towards the fire where Eve should have waited.
She did. But behind her was a single massive, black spider that shifted its weight from one hairless leg to another.
Max was gone.
“Eve…” Jase started.
She had been humming to herself as she stoked the fire. But now she looked up and her deep eyes smiled since she saw Danny. “Hi there.”
Danny’s expression was filled with caution as he held his hands out flat, and suggested softly, “Eve, baby, don’t move.”
She giggled. “Baby, Danny. Really?”
“Eve…he means it!” Jase quietly told her as he thought that the spider looked injured. He bet this was part of the same group that had chased him earlier. “Stay still…and don’t turn around.”
She did anyway. “Eeeee!” she screamed.
Jase jumped forward and threw the diamond sword straight between the red eyes of the spider. It stuck.
“That’s great, Jase!” Eve shouted as she drew her bow when another spider plunged from a tree. “Disarm yourself!” She aimed and fired her arrow right into one of the legs of the second attacker, which left it trying to lift its massive claw from the dirt.
Actually, Jase had disarmed Danny, since he still had his own iron sword at his side and in its sheath. He freed it and leapt towards the spider to stab the creature before it got free.
Out of breath, but full of fight, Jase went after the first arachnoid, which was slinking away with Danny’s diamond sword stuck in its head.
“Get it! Get it!” Jase heard his friends behind him shout. So he pursued. Far slower than the agile spider, he soon could barely see it, and then in front of the mon-ster sprung a river of lava.
“No!” Jase shouted. The Outers had put up a lava river and the spider was sure to be lost and with it, Dan-ny’s diamond sword. “No!”
Jase went to his knees and was unable to do any-thing as the spider fell into the intense heat of the molten river. He stayed there for several minutes. What would he ever tell his best friend?
Jase felt a nudge in his shoulder, so looked and found Max. If horses could smile, Max would have. He gently shoved his horse a bit and said, “Where were you?”
Max nickered at him, pushed him back and looked to where Zoey was, a few feet from them.
The boy wrapped his strong arms around Max’s head and hugged him. “Flirt.”
Danny ran up to them with Eve right behind. The first panted, “Jase, my sword, did you get my sword?”
Shyly, Jase admitted, “I’m sorry, Danny. A Controller made a lava river and it was…well in the spider’s way. It fell into it.”
Eve wasn’t worried about the sword, but the fire that they had left burning near the trees, so she said, “We can’t stay here. You know how spiders run in packs. I’m gonna throw some sand on the fire so they’re not attracted to it.”
They followed her. The horses too.
The boys stood a distance off as Eve gathered some sand from the side of the lava river and then went back towards their camp. Eve was keenly aware that her friends “watched” her put out the flames that lingered from the flint, steel, and wood. She cast them both a sideways glance as she dusted her hands off and knelt by the remaining logs, and then pounded them into planks.
Jase struck up a torch to help illuminate the closing darkness and then pushed Danny off balance, since he stood cockeyed, and indicated they should help her.
The youths approached to find that she assembled a crafting table, where she could make just about any-thing. Jase stuck the end of the torch in the ground and grabbed some wood to help her, while Danny got some more planks, and once the table was assembled, they started to make bowls.
“Mushrooms!” Danny held out his right hand like a surgeon waiting for a scalpel. He smiled as he accepted three red mushrooms and three regular ones from Jase. Soon they were all enjoying the hot soup, which would keep them warm on their trek to Cumberlon.
“I’m ready!” Danny announced.
Jase asked Eve, “Do you want to ride Max?”
Her dark eyes brightened, “With you Jase?”
“No,” he grinned. “I’ll walk.”
“Oh, okay.” She appeared disappointed, but he didn’t see it.
Soon they were on their way. Jase walked ahead of Eve and Danny, his torch in one hand, his iron sword in the other. He heard his friends talk, but he was keen on the sounds around them, and since they climbed the blocked cliffs, his breath was short and he felt tired. The one plus was that they now exited the snow biome and entered a forest, which told him they were getting close to his family’s territory.
Suddenly the ground began to shake.
He stopped, retreated enough to hand up the torch to Eve, and then grabbed hold of Max’s bridle. His horse started to back up as the tremor was accom-panied by a roar and before them sprung a purple portal that glowed.
The shaking ended, but the entry pulsed like a warning.
“Jase…” Danny sounded afraid.
“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Jase wasn’t sure of this, but it sounded good anyway.
Eve stumbled, “The Nether Portal.”
“Okay, okay,” Jase said again. “Let’s just back up. If we don’t disturb the zone, we can get around it.”
“Get around it!” Danny shouted in a whisper.
Jase looked at his friend, and told him, “Yeah, get around it. Now, back Zoey up.” He urged Max to do the same, but as soon as they moved just a step, the shaking started and the portal slid closer to them, so they kept still.
Eve started to cry. “Jase, we’re going to be swal-lowed into The Nether! I’ll never see my mom again!”
Jase took on a firm exterior. “No we won’t, Eve. Please don’t cry.”
“I can’t help it.” She wiped her small, cubed tears from her face.
“Look!” Danny pointed at the dark pathway and behind it, in the middle, two pinpoints of light appeared. They were dim, but grew brighter and brighter, until the specks became two white eyes that glowed.
The friends all yelled together, “Herobrine!”