Thursday, February 24, 2011

Part 7: Horror in Horse Heaven

Neither I or the horses ever sleep, so morning was a long time coming.  Finally, though, the first glimmerings of dawn glinted off the polished bones of roving skeletons.
Almost as soon as the skeletons had burned away like mist in the morning, I had burst through the doorway, screaming and waving my sword, before looking wildly in all directions for creepers.  This morning there was merely a spider lingering nearby, and it seemed uninterested in fighting.  When spiders are in broad daylight, something in their little spider brains gets fried and although they don't die, they merely scuttle around in harmless confusion, rather than behaving like the high-jumping, wall-climbing, bloodthirsty ninjas they are at night.

Satisfied that the coast was clear, I returned to the hovel to fetch the pegasus.

We had a slight problem with improperly installed double doors, and with an overeager Squares.
"I'm helping!  I'm helping!"

At last the moment arrived - I found myself on the pegasus, ready for our first flight.  I felt like there should be throngs of cheering spectators, but instead my audience consisted of a single boar.
Hey boar.  Watch this!
That boar was about to have his mind blown.

I punched the jump key a few times and we rose up into the air, reaching dizzying heights in just a few seconds.

Look at this! Look at this!  Why is the boar not even looking?
A few more flaps of the pegasus wings and we had rose to a height that was very, very high indeed.

And then I stopped looking down, and began to fly forward.
...and Wow.
I'm pretty sure I just won Minecraft.

I spent the day in giddy soaring above Horse Heaven, buzzing mountaintops where lions roamed, or delicately landing on steep, inaccessible peaks.  I could fly as high as the clouds - I could fly above the clouds - I could fly higher than the tallest mountain.  Controlling a pegasus in the air is everything that controlling a horse on the ground isn't.
Mountain peak, I think I will land on you.
Ha!  On the snowy mountain peak, looking down at Horse Heaven and my hovel with its stick.
Hello, lions on the mountainside!
Yes.  I'm pretty sure I did in fact just win Minecraft.
It's something about having spent so long tied to the ground, jumping block by block up mountainsides, fighting through forests, and having long ago accepted that flying is not even in the realm of possibility.  I planned never to come down again.

But sunset was nearing, so I supposed I'd start my flight home in the morning.  I started descending toward my hovel in Horse Heaven when it happened.

The game lagged, and then suddenly froze.  A few seconds later came the inevitable Minecraft crash.  "Minecraft has experienced an error and needs to close...."

When I restarted the game, it picked up where I had left off - mostly.  It remembered that it was near sunset.  It remembered that I had been soaring over Horse Heaven.  When it didn't remember was that I had been doing so while riding a pegasus.

I fell to the ground, taking considerable damage, but surviving the fall.

I looked in one direction: no pegasus.

I looked in the other direction: CREEPER.  Mere inches away, as if it had positioned itself perfectly for just this moment.  BOOM.  It exploded, creating a huge crater in the landscape, and knocking me backward.

And ow.
Now I could see my hovel - I had landed close, in fact - but there was something wrong with it.  The game had forgotten that I had spent yesterday building a tower and a new roof and doors.

I could also hear a horrible squealing sound coming from inside the hovel.

Had a lion somehow gotten in?  Had the game forgotten that I'd installed the door?  Where was the pegasus?  What was going on?

I ran into the hovel to find the squealing noise stopped, and the pegasus standing inside.  Alone.

I looked around in panic and confusion.  Where was Squares?  Were those sounds some kind of death cry?  If a monster had gotten in, why was the pegasus still alive?  Did the crash teleport the pegasus back home and turn it into some sort of crazed cannibal?  Was I next?

The sun set, and then I got my answer.

The pegasus, which had been bouncing around the hovel, suddenly stopped with its head in the ceiling and started squealing and flashing red.  I knew that was horse for "ouchouchouchouch", and it was a horrible sound.  I began to run around in a panic.  I punched at the ceiling where the horse was stuck - it was cobblestone, so my punching had no effect.  I drew my pickaxe and beat at the cobblestone, but couldn't tell if I was destroying the cobblestone or hurting the pegasus.  I fumbled for a haystack - restores full health - and gave it to the pegasus, but it continued going "ouchouchouch" as the ceiling monsters or whatever didn't let it go.  I considered climbing out to the roof outside, but I would never find the right spot in the dark before it was too late.  For some reason I decided to whack at the floor with my pickaxe with the crazy idea that lowering the floor would allow the pegasus to drop down.  The pegasus disappeared with one last horrible squeal and there was silence.

I couldn't believe it.  Both horses dead within minutes of each other?  Killed by the ceiling??  The same ceiling that they'd been happily sticking their heads through for a full night and most of a day?  But suddenly was not OK now that the game had crashed and the ceiling was lowered? Was the ceiling now infested with deadly cobblestone weasels?

Nothing to do now but wait till morning.

1 comment:

  1. oh no! I'm just now catching up your story, not realizing I hadn't read the earlier adventures. this is horrible!