Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Part 6: Preparations for the flight home

After a long and sleepless night that I spent being jostled from wall to wall by two rowdy horses, I was rewarded by the sign of the sun's first rays illuminating the creepers that circled our pit.  Yes, I had installed windows around the entire perimeter of the pit.  Once I place one window, I pretty much can't stop until I've created an entire conservatory.

With the addition of windows, the pit was looking less like a desperately-cobbled-together shelter and more like a real hovel.  This was somewhat on purpose - now that I had found a pegasus on day 2, my journey, though in length significantly shorter than "epic", was nearly over.  The only thing that remained was to fly my new pegasus home, leaving Squares behind.  Although I had originally wondered about how I would be able to leave Squares either locked up forever or wandering as lion feed, since I ended up so close to home I could simply come back and visit Squares anytime, and we could run around the plains together.  Horse Heaven turns out to be the only place I've found so far where it's actually practical to have a horse, so it makes sense to leave Squares here.

While I was having these thoughts (and perhaps delaying on leaving the house until the creepers wandered away), Squares and the pegasus took turns freaking me out by sticking various appendages straight through the walls and ceiling.
"Stop it," I told them.  "You're making me nervous.  Like you're some kind of extradimensional ninja horses or something."  The pegasus made a wing disappear into the wall.  "Bring that wing inside before - I don't know - a creeper gets it or something!"  Squares jumped up so his entire head disappeared in the ceiling.  "Cut it out!  Get down from there!....All right, have it your way."

I dug my way out of the pit, checked for creepers - which had luckily wandered off - and climbed to the roof.  Horse ears showed through the cobblestone roof whenever someone inside jumped.  It was sort of cute, but meant that the head those ears belonged to was embedded in a cubic meter of solid cobblestone. "How are you doing that? Think you're so smart, eh?"  I got out my pickaxe, removed the roof, and put it back on one block higher.  No more horse ears.

Next thing was to mark this shelter so I could find it again later.  I did my crude yet effective routine for whenever I want to mark something: put a giant stick on it, then put a torch on top.  You can build a tower like this by jumping up, then before you hit the ground, slapping a cubic meter of dirt underneath your feet.  If the horses are extradimensional ninjas, I'm a superbeing.
I make the tower two blocks wide so I can make my way back down again by digging the dirt out from under my own feet.

Next home improvement task: a nice wide set of double doors so I can take the horses in and out. No sooner had I installed the doors and turned my back than I heard a roar and a series of "ouch ouch ouch" and turned around to find that a lion was somehow attacking the horses through the door, using their own extradimensional ninja tricks against them.  The horses weren't smart enough to step away from the door, so I rushed in to join the fight, and there was a moment containing a confusion of wings and spikey paw and sword before I realized that none of my sword blows were actually hitting the lion.  I opened the door, stepped back, and settled the fight the straightforward way: with a volley of arrows.
Solving a small lion problem.
For once the horses stood out of the way.  I distributed sugar cubes to everyone, then reinstalled the doors to face the other way (if you install the doors from the outside in Minecraft, then you can hit creatures through the door but they can't get you, a trick the lion used against us).

Between the roof-remodeling and the tower-building and the lion fiasco, I was out of time for my pegasus flight before sunset, so reluctantly resolved to wait till morning before taking flight.

There was nothing to do all night, since I couldn't dig downward for fear of breaking into the lava- and zombie-filled cave that I could hear somewhere below me.  Instead, I just watched the horses, who, deprived of their favorite pasttime of sticking their heads through the ceiling, decided instead to do everything in their power to freak me out.

Squares loomed above me in the darkest corner, hidden except for his glowy eyes.
When I attempted to place a torch on the cobblestone block above him, the screen went black and I suddenly started dying.  Yes, dying, "ouchouchouch" noises and all. I had inadvertently right-clicked on him and was now on his back with my head encased in solid cobblestone.  In my panic I right-clicked again and found myself sitting on the floor, my health decreased by a few, and my jitteryness increased by quite a lot.

The pegasus stuck various appendages through the walls and, when that failed to produce a reaction, Squares and the pegasus turned to face me, standing on either side of the door, and began to do everything in mirror image.  They stared at me.  They turned in unison to stare at each other. They stared back at me.  They faced in opposite directions, Squares lurking and the pegasus sticking its face through the solid wall.

Stop it!  Stooooooppp iiiiit!
It might have been a cute dance routine had it not been dark and had I not already been made nervous by the lion attack in our own house, and had I not been hearing the constant zombie and lava noises in the basement.

"Why are you doing that?  Why are you guys doing that?? Why don't you go back to bouncing?"

I began to be irrationally afraid of a single square of dirt in the corner of the floor, nervous that it would spawn a lion at any moment.
This single square of dirt was probably too small to spawn anything but a bird or a bunny.  Probably.
I didn't have any more cobblestone in my inventory, but I would be staring obsessed at that block all night unless I replaced it with something that predators wouldn't spawn on.  I was forced to install a window in the floor.  No predators, and I could look through it anytime to get a breathtaking view of dirt.  See, perfectly rational.
There - sorted!

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