Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Part 35: Let's try this again

Dawn revealed the now-familiar view through the front window of the shelter, of an open desert and, faintly visible, the useless glass portal to the land of terrifying death.

My brisk morning run (panicked headlong dash for fear something would leap on my head) revealed no danger, so I returned to the shelter to collect Boxter.

Relatively harmless wildlife this morning.

He was apparently raring to go, showcasing his impressive 1-block leaping abilities.  I wonder why it is that he can jump higher with my weight on his back than without it?

And I've got my eye on that spider.

For what seemed like the umpteenth time, we turned to look back at the mountainside we had just left.  The previous day's journey freshly in my mind, I decided to go to the west of the mountain this time, for fear of ending up at the exact same place once more in a sort of endless replay of the same day's journey.

The Sargasso Sea of Sand

To this side, the landscape was indeed passable.

But unfortunately, not quite an isthmus.

We stopped to gape back at the weird floating sand landscape that we'd tried to descend yesterday.  This version of Minecraft doesn't have solid sandstone, just fragile sand, which means that this entire structure is defying gravity, even Minecraft gravity, ready to collapse in avalanche.

This is only part of the maze.

And we came at last to the same peninsula that I'd seen in the parallel universe, a short gap to another island to the north.  This seemed to be the only way across - but at least it wasn't too deep.  After checking for sharks a few dozen times, I nudged Boxter forward, and we began to wade across.  It occurred to me that I had no actual plan should a shark try to attack us.  Well, my plan was to click madly at the shark with my sword and hope Boxter didn't swim out to deep water.  It wasn't a very good plan.

I was very nervous at this point, having seen a shark in the bay to the right not very long ago.

"How are you doing, Boxter?"

"Glub glub"

I wonder if Minecraft horses need air?
We made it.

The new island consisted of pretty rotten territory for riding through, so it seemed that much was in accordance with what I'd seen in the parallel universe.  And there was a bear standing squarely in our path.

I engaged in a staring match with the bear, trying to work out if it was worth dismounting to battle the bear, and risk losing health or using up arrows.  The bear seemed to taunt me, beginning to wander off, before, "Ok, I'm leaving now.  Oh, wait, forgot this flower over here.... Now I think I'll go... Oh, hang on, did I lose my watch in the sand?  No, I had it the whole time..."

The bear
The bear is not actually leaving.

Finally I tired of waiting, and made the daring move of wading through shallow water once more, cutting across the bay away from the bear.

The territory ahead didn't look very promising at all, although that mountain was pretty cool.


Sure enough, the forest was maddeningly difficult to navigate, and the trees were even too tall for jumping between treetops.  In several places, there simply wasn't enough space to drive a horse between trees, and I had to dismount and whack away at the leaves to clear a path.  This procedure was complicated somewhat by the way Boxter kept bobbing and jumping around, as if trying to help, but succeeding only in getting between me and the tree.

I did try to simply ride him through some of the gaps in the trees, but ended up somehow getting my face caught in the branches when I finally was forced to dismount, and after a bit of damage, decided that probably wasn't a good idea.

Boxter in the woods

It took us the rest of the day to reach the mountain, and I resolved to stop there for the night, digging the  now-customary tall and thin cave entrance.  I still haven't completely worked out the kinks of that plan, though.  I put up a two-block glass barrier, and cleared the ceiling up to five blocks, two blocks back into the cave.  Confidently, I leapt onto Boxter's back, and we jumped for the opening.  We got stuck halfway over the glass barrier.  In frustration I dismounted, only to embed my head in the ceiling, taking damage.  I somehow managed to scramble out of the ceiling.  I landed inside the shelter.  Boxter landed outside it.  So I had break the top layers of glass out (it didn't occur to me to build a step, and to expand the notch in the ceiling to give us room to pass), and chase down Boxter.  Again I rode him inside, this time over a lowered barrier, and then tried to bodily block him from jumping back out the entrance as I blocked it up with glass.

Prevented from jumping out of the shelter, Boxter turns instead to freaking me out by sticking his nose through the wall.

For once, I'd secured our shelter before darkness had actually fallen.  I decided to build a person-sized exit so I could scout ahead our route for the following morning.

Ha.  Human-size.

I returned at sunset with the unfortunate news that things looked pretty grim.  Trees out to the horizon.  No sign of a giant impassable ocean, at least, but maybe on horseback I simply hadn't made it that far yet.

Darkness fell, and Spooky Cow was outside doing his best to fill the night with unsettling sounds.  "WoooOOOooo.... MoooooOOOOOOOoooo...."

"I've heard scarier," I told it, as I checked all the corners of my shelter for danger, then nonchalantly turned to crafting a pickaxe.

Seconds later, my heart nearly leapt out of my throat when a grey shape floated quickly past the window.

"All right, fine, maybe I'm a little scared of Spooky Cow."

I went downstairs to mine till morning, away from all the scary sounds.

I think that MIGHT be Spooky Cow at the upper left of the window.

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