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Grian was the first to notice it or at least the first to report it. He’d been clearing sand out from where he had drained the ocean near his base for a new build when it started. It just seemed like the sensation they called lag. When too many redstone farms ran at once their world would seem to slow down. So when the tower of sand he had just cleared popped back up into existence he just sighed and cleared it again. But then it happened again. And again. And again. Groaning he pulled out his communicator.

 

Grian: Mumbo please turn off one of your farms this lag is going to drive me insane, I have literally cleared this tower of sand like five times now and it just keeps coming back.

 

MumboJumbo: Grian, I don’t have any of my farms on. I’m out in my witch hole, building, where I’ve been all day.

 

Iskall85: Okay but for lag you are always the first guess Mumbo. No one else breaks the world like you do.

 

Grian: Okay so it’s not Mumbo then who else would it be? Because wouldn’t the source of the lag have to be close by? I’m at my base? What else is around here?

 

Renthedog: Idk dude maybe come back to it later? HermitIsland has been pretty much deserted all day, most of us are out here in Hermitville.

 

XisumaVoid: I can stop by later if the problem continues but I think Ren has a good idea to just leave it be for now.

 

Grian: Okay.

 

Well, there went building here for today. Packing up his building materials in the nearby shulker boxes he went into his base for some more food as he tried to figure out what else to do today. He should probably just head out to Hermitville actually. If building in his main base extension was out of the question for the time being for whatever weird reason.

 

Before he entered his nether portal though, his communicator dinged multiple times again. Pulling it out he found a message three new direct messages from Stress. And several messages in the main chat. He decided to look at the direct messages first as Stress had never actually directly contacted him not through the main chat before. Was she having similar issues?

 

StressMonster101: Hey Grian, do you still have those did you die boxes?

StressMonster101: If so would it be possible for you to come o’er here and deliver one to me out near me base?

StressMonster101: I should have enough diamonds for you.

 

Grian: Yeah I can bring one over now.

 

StressMonster101: Perfect! Just come on inside when you get h’re and I shall go get the diamonds.

 

Closing that chat he opened up the main chat as he went to grab a did you die shulker box from his storage. There were 20 new messages since he just closed it last which was quite a lot after the rest of the day had been relatively quiet.

 

StressMonster101 fell into the void.

 

falsesymmetry: Rip

 

Iskall85: The end is dangerous Stress you shoulda had one of us come with you. Especially for end busting.

 

StressMonster101: I wasn’t in the end! I was in me mine! In the overworld! Under me base!

On the stairs down, there was just a hole! Straight into the void!

 

ZombieCleo: Oh my god are you okay?

 

Joehillssays: Just a random hole? Through bedrock? How???

 

StressMonster101: I don’t know! But it was just there and I wasn’ payin’ attention and then whoosh! Right into the void I went!

 

XisumaVoid: A hole straight to the void in the overworld? In your main mine too? What does the hole look like anyways? Was it like a whole chunk?

 

StressMonster101:  Nope. Just a 1x1 hole.

 

Docm77: That’s concerning.

 

MumboJumbo: Is that even possible Xisuma?

 

XisumaVoid: I don’t know. This is the first instance I think I’ve ever heard of with just a 1x1 hole. It clearly isn’t a chunk loading issue and I would think it would just be a poor taste of prank but through the bedrock? That’s not possible, not in the Overworld.

 

GoodtimeswithScar: How are you doing? You okay? All in one piece?

 

StressMonster101: Yeah, just a tad shaken up. I was surprised to say the least.

 

Renthedog: The void is never a good way to die.

 

Joehillssays: I don’t think anyway is a good way to die Ren.

 

Renthedog: You know what I mean! It’s one of the worser ways to die!

 

Iskall85: Worser?

 

Renthedog: Look you got the point regardless.

 

XisumaVoid: I’m on my way to come check it out Stress, something like that shouldn’t just be left lying around.

 

Closing the chat for now and putting away his communicator he took to the skies. He had a box to deliver.

 

 

Arriving at Stress’ ice fortress he let himself in through the front door like she told him to. Peering around and admiring her handiwork on the build he walked around for a bit before calling out for her, “Stress? It’s me Grian! I have the box for you!”

 

“O’er here Grian!” Stress called from nearby. Following the sound of her voice he found her staring down a staircase. She must’ve been looking closer at the hole. When he approached she turned towards him and he could see it.

 

When they died and respawned traces of how they died were visible for about a day or so. Stress had died to the void and in turn parts of her skin was black as the void that had claimed her life. Where her fingers would normally be tinted blue from the ice they were now black. In fact her whole left arm was black, that must’ve been the part of her that survived the longest. Reaching up to try and grasp onto anything…

 

Shaking the thought from his head he pulled out his did you die box and plopped it down. “One did you die box for you.”

 

“Thank ye Grian! This will be so much easier than tryin to gather all those resources again me self!” Stress handed over a stack of diamonds which he deposited into his inventory quickly.

 

“So there’s just a random tunnel straight down?” he asked curiously looking down the stairs. He couldn’t see anything from here but it was probably because all the stairs seemed to blend together.

 

“Yea! Just on’ random hole that came up outta nowhere.” she looked cautiously down the stairs before continuing a little bit quieter, “Scared the livin daylights outta me it did.”

 

He wondered how the bedrock had been broken. As far as he knew that wasn’t possible. Then out of nowhere it felt like someone had dropped an anvil on his head. He immediately held a hand to his head as a voice echoed in his head.

 

Only they could move bedrock in the overworld.

 

Wincing at the pain it vanished almost as fast as it came. What the hell was that voice in his head? Pulling his hand back down he could see a small wisp of purple smoke on his fingertips. What?

 

“Grian are you okay?” Stress asked worriedly next to him. She saw him looking at his hand and gasped quietly, “What is that?”

 

“I think so? My head just hurt really badly for a split second before stopping and then this happened.” He clenched a fist and like it had never been there the purple smoke vanished, leaving behind an empty feeling deep in his chest. What the? Could this situation get any weirder?

 

He should’ve known not to test the universe like that.

 

Chapter Text

It was just a fun trip. Nothing too exerting or hard. It was just a fun competition that more or less stopped being a competition within five minutes and was then just a hang out and mine get together. It was sad Impulse wasn’t able to come with them today. They had travelled way out of the usual areas people would traverse to hopefully find some untouched land to strip mine, but then Zedaph gave up on the competition to come explore the abandoned mineshaft he had found together.

 

Exploring the cave together was actually pretty fun. It was easier to gather up the resources and fight any mobs that popped up. Everything had been going so well, they had even managed to find some diamonds. Of course something would go wrong.

 

They had wandered down through the caves, lighting it up as they went, and then they found something interesting. Sitting on one of the cave walls was a redstone torch.

 

“A redstone torch? What’s that doing here?” Zedaph asked, completely ignoring the potential danger of crossing to the other side of the darkened cave to go get a closer look.

 

“Zed wait!” he hissed after his friend, haphazardly blocking off the other branch of the cave they hadn’t explored yet and hastily throwing torches on the ground as he ran after his friend.

 

Zedaph had stopped a few blocks away from the torch and was looking at it from afar before he shrugged and walked closer. There was something off about that though, not only was there a redstone torch randomly placed on the wall but on the ground a few blocks before it, right in front of Zed, there was some redstone ore. They were above the spawning level of redstone.

 

“Wait Zed - No!” he called out but it was too late.

 

“Huh?”

 

Time seemed to slow. He could do nothing but watch in horror as a piston activated and pushed the ground underneath Zed out. He ran, he ran as fast as he could to try and catch Zed before he fell but he wasn’t fast enough. Zedaph stared wide eyed, reaching up to where he was before he fell directly into a pool of lava.

 

He did not hesitate for a second before diving after Zed. He was fire resistant, he took lava baths, he would’ve lived from this. Zedaph wouldn’t. He should’ve gone first, he should have never suggested this trip. By the time he hit the lava he knew that even if he managed to fish Zed out, there would be nothing he could do to stop his friend from burning alive.

 

That didn’t stop him from trying anyways. Grabbing Zed’s outstretched hand from where he was slowly sinking, he hoisted his friend above the pit and looked around for any sign of a shore in this lava pit. But there wasn’t one.

 

There was nothing he could do as Zedaphs cries were drowned out by his heart beating in his ears. Nothing he could do as his friend burned to death in his arms. Nothing he could do to stop it.

 

Zedaph tried to swim in lava.

 

ImpulseSV: Are you guys okay?

 

Zedaph: Tango, Tango it’s not your fault, you couldn’t have known. We didn’t know.

 

XisumaVoid: What happened?

 

TangoTek: [X] [Y] [Z]

 

ImpulseSV: Tango?

 

TangoTek: Help.

 

Zedaph: Are you stuck in there? Oh god we need to get him out!

 

Ren: What is going on?

 

TangoTek: Someone put an old redstone trap trick in a cave. Zed died from it. I’m stuck in it. This place was in unloaded chunks.

 

ImpulseSV: Oh god, hang tight Tango we’re on our way!

 

 

He didn’t know how long he’d been sitting down here. After Zedaph had died, he’d had to swim down seven blocks and build up so he had somewhere to sit and wasn’t just constantly trying to float. He wished he wasn’t immune to lava or else he would’ve just died to respawn. There was bedrock all around him. This entire place was bedrock. After they had fallen in, another piston had activated and trapped him in here. He didn’t even have enough blocks on him anymore to tunnel up to it and break through what looked to be the one obsidian block. He’d thrown out all his blocks in an effort to grab as much of Zed’s stuff as he could.

 

The others were still freaking out, but he had muted his communicator for the main chat. He couldn’t stop thinking about Zed’s message. Tango, Tango it’s not your fault, you couldn’t have known. We didn’t know.

 

That was wrong, he could’ve known. He was great at redstone. He should’ve seen one of the oldest tricks in the book. They had gotten to comfortable. They all knew what had happened to Stress just earlier this week. Yet, that hadn’t even tried to watch out for something wrong. They had been foolish and that always had consequences.

 

It felt like a deafening eternity he sat down in that lava pit. Alone with only his thoughts of failure and the thing that had killed his friend. But eventually the obsidian above him broke and from the hole peered the worried faces of his friends.

 

Zedaph and Impulse both stared down at him, both looking relieved to see him unharmed.

 

“Tango! Are you okay?” Zedaph called to him worriedly.

 

“Ye, yeah. Just threw out all my blocks to build back up when I was trying to grab all your stuff earlier.” he winced at how his voice cracked. Had he really been down here that long?

 

“Aw thank you Tango!” Zed gave him a big smile which instantly erased and of the guilty feelings in his mind. Zed was right, he couldn’t have ever known.

 

Impulse put some water down and helped pull him out when he swam up it, “Sorry we took so long, we had to wait for some people.” Impulse explained, shooting a glare over Tango’s shoulder at the last part.

 

“Wha-” he turned to look, only to find every other hermit also here.

 

“Hey! That’s not my fault! How was I the only one back near HermitIsland?” X asked looking around the cave at the others who just kinda laughed or looked away smiling.

 

“I mean you didn’t have to come with, we already had most of us sans team UGS and TFC. You could’ve also just stayed behind.” Impulse teased back.

 

“As admin I have a duty to check these things out, especially redstone traps in seemingly unloaded chunks.” Xisuma explained proudly.

 

The others started making jabs at him and jokes, but it was heartwarming. All his friends, almost all of the other hermits had come all the way out to the middle of nowhere just to save him. And that made him feel warmer than any lava pit ever could.

Chapter Text

Scar was supposed to be here like three days ago. He had sent a message to Cub saying that he was on his way to HermitVille for real this time after a detour to rebuild/redesign another village on the way. He thought Scar was already here and had just been so caught up in building that he didn’t come and greet him. Then he tried to message Scar but there was no response.

 

No one around town had seen Scar either. Maybe he was still in that other village? Pulling out his communicator he checked Scar’s last shared location. Only a few thousand blocks away. Grabbing some extra fireworks and food, he set off to find his friend.

 

Cub flew close to the top of the trees. Trying to find any sign of his missing friend as he headed closer and closer to the coordinates. Up ahead there was a gap in the trees, that must be where the village was. The closer he got though, the clearer it became that something was wrong.

 

Forget there not being any trees, there was nothing at all. He crashed into a tree to avoid flying over the giant hole in the world. It was like an entire chunk just hadn’t loaded. Snacking on some cooked fish to hopefully replenish some of his now missing health and ignoring a sore arm he walked over to the edge of the hole. It really was a whole chunk. He could see the caves below and ores in ground. This hole, though quiet larger than the one Stress had fallen into, also went straight through bedrock into the void. What the?

 

He looked around the edges carefully, trying to find rhyme or reason for why this was happening. Across from him right at the corner of the chunk something was there. He couldn’t tell what it was from here. It looked like part of a tree? He could clearly see brown but it was too short to be a full tree and trees didn’t glitch up and down repeatedly like that.

 

Slowly walking around the death pit he approached the strange glitching object when he heard a meow nearby. Looking around, he spotted the source of the meowing. Under a nearby tree there was a very familiar looking cat with the name Jellie. Oh no.

 

Turning back to the glitch he could now clearly make out what was supposed to be Scar. How was he supposed to get him out of there?

 

Cubfan135: Xisuma we have a situation.

 

XisumaVoid: What’s up?

 

Cubfan135: Please come to my location, it’s hard to explain. But be careful when you approach, make sure it’s on the ground for the last twenty blocks or so and you’re not flying.

 

XisumaVoid: Okay? I’m on my way now then.

 

Well, the only thing to do now was wait.

 

He slowly approached a nearby tree and sat down with his back to it. Jellie hesitantly approached him after a little while, sniffing at his offered fingers cautiously. Upon recognizing him she purred loudly and crawled up into his lap. Her fur was matted in several places and she was absolutely filthy. Had Scar been stuck like for the past three days? When did this happen? How did this happen? He wanted to do something but what if he screwed up and Scar never came back? He couldn’t lose Scar. That wasn’t an option. Xisuma had the best chance of fixing this and so he waited. He saw Xisuma approach and stood up, Jellie asleep in his arms. He wondered if she had slept at all since this had happened. Xisuma circled before dropping somewhere behind him into the trees.

 

“So what seems to be the iss- oh” Xisuma walked up behind him and reacted just as he had, oh was right. “Is that Scar?”

 

“He was missing. He was supposed to be in Hermitville three days ago and I figured he’d just gotten caught up in another build project but when I went to come get him, I found this.” He explained, “I would’ve tried to pull him out but I didn’t want to risk anything.”

 

Xisuma hums in agreement, “Yeah I’m going to have to force reload these chunks but I don’t know what that will do to Scar…”

 

He looks from Scar to Xisuma and then back again before speaking, “If you think that’s the best call then I trust your judgement. Even if he dies, he’ll just respawn.”

 

He would respawn. There was no other option.

 

Xisuma’s eyes glowed behind his visor, and small screens popped up into the air with numbers all over them. Watching Xisuma work like this was always mesmerising. Every hermit agreed on it, and even he couldn’t look away whenever he saw it. He can’t really see what Xisuma is doing on the screens other than tapping them in certain places and pushing objects on them around with a wave of his hand.

 

While Xisuma was working the world in front of them glitched into being and Scar fell face first on the ground. Jogging over to his friend he set Jellie down to help him up only to find that Scar was shaking uncontrollably.

 

Dropping to his knees, he grabbed at Scar’s shoulders and pulled him up. Scar shook violently, his body still glitching in and out of existence. His hand almost  went through Scar’s shoulder at some point. It didn’t even seem like Scar had acknowledged his presence. How was he going to ground Scar here when he might end up just phasing through him?

 

Jellie didn’t seem to care for any glitching though as she walked up between them and rubbed against Scar’s knees purring. That seemed to be all it took. Scar breaks in a way he has never seen before. There was something soul wrenching about the way Scar just started sobbing.

 

He pulled back, removing his hands from Scar's shoulders. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Scar decided for him, throwing himself forward into his arms, desperately grasping at the back of his coat.

 

"Scar, what?" he stuttered, unsure of what to do with his friend sobbing in his arms. Scar didn't respond, still shaking and sobbing. Putting his own discomfort aside, he gently reached behind Scar and patted him back gently, "Its okay now, everything is gonna be fine now."

 

Just when Scar started to calm down a little, X spoke up, "I hate to stop this, but we have company."

 

In the forest surrounding them were several pillager patrols. That was alarming in itself. Forget the situation they had just found and dealt with, now there was not one, but what looked to be six different full pillager patrols? Complete with ravagers and vindicators and the works? Something was definitely wrong here.

 

Gently pulling Scar back he gave his friend a smile before standing up and pulling out his sword. There was no way only him and X could take down six patrols alone, but they were going to have to try. Scar was in no condition to fight. Nodding to X they charged into battle.

 

Slashing down one of the illagers, he dodged two crossbow bolts and hits a ravager only to be thrown back by a vindicator. The Vindicator sent out a few vexes at him and he couldn’t help but laugh.

 

They had the name convex for a reason.

 

Eyes snapping up, he could feel the air shift around the clearing. Tiny giggles and laughter filled the air as vex started to appear around him. The vindicator’s vexes falling in one hit to his own. These pillagers were fools to think they ever stood a chance against the convex.

 

He was about to charge into the fray again when he felt his power double. More laughter filled the air, chiming like small bells in the morning air. Little whisps of white power flew around the vex as they chased after the illagers. He turned around to find Scar hunched over, gathering Jellie in his arms before he looked up, eyes glowing white in a perfect mirror of his own, full of determination. He could still see Scar’s arms shake a little around Jellie, but this was just another fight they would win. After all, Concorp always came out on top.

Chapter Text

Things were getting weird. There was a while where he hadn’t been actively involved with the others trying to deal with some things on his own, but now that he was back it was clear that something beyond normal was starting to happen.

 

And he wasn’t talking about whatever was going on with the build off. He was talking about the actual world itself. The holes straight to bedrock, the strange redstone torches in caves, the half carved out strip mines that randomly appeared, the mobs spawning even if the area was completely lit up, the portals breaking or connecting strangely, and now, now it had been night for three whole days in a row.

 

Phantoms screeched above the skies of Hermitville. Most of the hermits in Hermitville hadn’t been able to sleep in over three days. Because not only had sun not risen for three days in a row now, but the beds they had also placed there would never actually let them sleep the night away due to the fact monsters kept spawning no matter the light level. Plus for the past four days the nether portal had been broken so that was also fun.

 

The fact of the matter was that the longer they stayed up though, the more phantoms kept spawning. Thankfully X said he was trying to fix the portal issue for first so at least they could hide from the phantoms there.

 

The strangest thing was that apparently the main islands were completely unaffected by the broken day/night cycle. Which was strange in itself, granted a lot of the hermits were out in Hermitville currently. Then on top of all of that were the raids.

 

Cub and X had flew inside the walls carrying Scar and Jellie respectively a few days ago looking tired, ragged, and wounded. Behind them was a group of ravagers and then several raid patrol parties chasing them. No matter how many patrols they took down, two more would come and take their place.

 

They had holed up in the portal tower. Xisuma was in his church messing with the code, hiding away from the rest of them in hopes that the patrols that managed to break through the walls and constant swooping phantoms would go for the larger group. It seemed to be working for the most part, but there was only so long they could hold up there before their barricade downstairs was broken through from the sheer number of things trying to kill them.

 

It would be death to peak out and try to shoot down some of the mobs outside so they were stuck in here, cluttered together, just waiting for Xisuma to send word the portal was fixed. He knew a lot of the other hermits had also come out to build and explore in and around Hermitville, but now that they were all clumped up here together it was strange to see so many of them gathered in one place for once. It was worse because of the situation they were in.

 

Scar sat across from him, curled up around Jellie. No one asked about what had happened that required Scar to be carried instead of flying on his own. Granted amidst all the chaos that started right after the three of them flew into the village, he doubted many people had even noticed that fact. If he watched closely, he could see Scar shake silently with every breath he took.

 

Another thing why the others may not have asked was because Cub sat between Scar and a majority of the other hermits that were here. Though most of the others seemed to be talking about something, but he really wasn’t listening too much. It was too hard to hear over the screech of phantoms and general chaos outside. Well that and the fact that he was exhausted from a general lack of sleep and annoyance at being constantly blown up by creepers trying to build his manor. That and now things like what happened to Stress and Tango kept piling up. 

 

He was pulled from his thoughts when the portal next to him lit up and his communicator beeped.

 

XisumaVoid: The portal should be working now, head in and I’ll make my way after you once most of the mobs dissipate from a lesser population.

 

The others were also reading the message, gathering up their things, and - there was a loud explosion from below them that shook the whole tower. Fumbling from the tower shaking as he stood up, he nearly crashed into Scar. Another explosion shook the tower and Scar went tumbling into the portal. Without second thought he dove in after him.

 

The transition between the overworld and the nether was always something he could never get used to. It was disorienting to go from the gentle and usually calm air of the overworld to the harsh heat of the nether. The loudness of the nether now seemed quite compared to the war zone they had literally just come from. Standing up slowly he brushed his clothes off and looked around for Scar. For a second he was no where to be seen and Wels couldn’t stop the fear that started weighing down on him.

 

Then he saw something shift from the other side of the portal. Crouched behind the portal, Scar sat curled up in on himself, shaking violently. Rushing over to help Scar his heart jumped out of his chest when the portal shattered right next to him. Scar gasped loudly and shuddered at the sound. Throwing away his fears about the now broken portal he dropped to kneel next to Scar.

 

“Scar, Scar can you look at me?” he asked as quietly as he could over the sounds of the nether.

 

Scar slowly turned to look at him, breathing heavily. He didn’t need to look closely to see the tears in Scar’s eyes nor the dried tear tracks on his face. Just what had happened before all this?

 

“Just breathe with me okay? We’re going to be fine, just breathe with me right now okay?” he explained slowly. Making sure to breathe deeply so that the movements of his chest would be easily visible. “Breathe in, one two three, hold it four five, breathe out, six seven eight. Okay? In, one two three. Hold, four five. Out, six seven eight.”

 

He repeated the cycle several times until Scar’s breathing was only occasionally hitching. At this point he could faintly hear several pairs of footsteps nearby. Slowly getting up, he looked around he saw the other hermits rushing over to them. Maybe they managed to relight the portal, or had to find another one. Looking closer it was easier to tell that the latter option was the one they had done. Most of them were bruised and covered in phantom bites with tattered and torn elytra. Only Grian looked mostly unscathed which made sense because he was probably the best flyer out of the bunch.

 

Cub rushed up and immediately took the spot down next to Scar. He couldn’t hear what they were saying because they were whispering too quietly but Scar was whispering back so he took it as a good sign.

 

“Are you two okay?” Joe asked as he jogged over not far behind Cub. Doc not far behind him with the architech boys trailing behind them both as Grian held onto Jellie, and Iskall helped Mumbo along who wasn’t putting weight on his left leg.

 

“Better off than the rest of you I’d say, though I can’t speak for Scar. He’s still affected by whatever had happened before the past few days.” He explained looking back to where Cub was helping Scar up.

 

“What do you mean?” Doc asked looking the two Convex over.

 

“Well Cub and X came flying into town like four days ago and Cub was carrying Scar like he couldn’t fly on his own. I couldn’t see any scars on him though so I don’t know if he died or if they just faded away by the time they went and found him. But whatever happened, its shaken Scar up pretty badly. When we fell through the portal I had to get him to copy my breathing to stop him from hyperventilating.” He said. Behind him someone said something he didn’t quite catch. Turning around to face Cub and Scar, he caught most of what Scar was saying thankfully.

 

“.... There was a glitch. I was walking through the forest out near another village I had just renovated. Then the chunk I had stepped into vanished beneath me and I was stuck there until X and Cub came to find me.” Scar admitted. He looked down at Jellie whom Grian had handed off to him. He held Jellie a little bit tighter as he continued, “For three days I was stuck there. It, I, it was the worst. There was this awful static noise that nothing else seemed to be affected by. The worst part was -”

 

Scar was cut off when his, no everyone’s communicator dinged. Pulling out his own out, he read the message. It was in that moment he felt it deep in his soul, that they were in way over their heads.

 

Renthedog was slain by falsesymmetry using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

Chapter Text

“Hey Falsie you good? You haven’t responded to my messages all day?” Curiously Ren wandered into False’s base calling around for her. They were supposed to meet up earlier and they had been messaging while False had been mining and then she just stopped responding. He assumed it was because of a full inventory - hard to type and carry a full inventory at the same time. Maybe she had found a cave system?

 

But she hadn’t responded and then the day passed by and now it was night and she still had not responded. Was she lost? Did she get stuck somewhere? After searching around the whole fantasy district he took to heading down to her mine. She wouldn’t have dropped her communicator right? And if she had died, even without her communicator on her, they would’ve known. Wandering down the stairs he came to a stop when he saw False standing a little ways away from the bottom.

 

“Falsie! Would it kill you to pick up your communicator? You’ve had me worried!” he explained, relieved to see her. He approached her but slowed down a little bit. She hadn’t even acknowledged his presence. Her eyes were down cast, he couldn’t see her face actually. She looked fine, usual sword in hand and everything right down to the goggles resting onto her head. “False?”

 

She looked up at him. That, that was not False. White glowing eyes stared back at him, unblinkingly. There was no emotion on her face. This wasn’t his friend. Whoever or whatever it was that decided to look like her wasn’t going to get away with this.

 

Pulling out his sword he was going to take this thing down and then go find his friend.

 

At least, that's what was supposed to happen.

 

The second he held up his sword though, False sprung at him. He barely managed to block it with his own sword. That was not normal speed. Was she using a potion? No he couldn't see any potion effects. And he knew from the above ground layout there wasn't a beacon near here at all.

 

False pushed harder against his blade, nearly pushing his own sword into his face. He swiped her legs out from under her with his own. He needed to gain a better stance. Otherwise he was never going to stand a chance of beating her.

 

Before he even got a chance to try to formulate a plan though, False was back up again. When had she-?

 

There was a sharp pain to accompany sword through his gut. All he could see was the white of her eyes. All he could think was why? He felt the world being torn in two as she slashed up. And the world went dark.

 

 

Renthedog was slain by falsesymmetry using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

 

Docm77: ?????

 

Joehillssays: Y’all good?

 

Iskall85: Ren you good buddy?

 

Renthedog: HELP! FALSE POSSESSED! I CAN’T BEAT HER NORMALLY IN PVP! WE’RE IN OUR DISTRICT! OH GOD SHE’S HERE AGAI

 

Renthedog was slashed in two by falsesymmetry using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

 

WelsKnight: Oh my god.

 

ImpulseSV: Hang on Ren we’re coming!

 

Grian: I’ll go get Xisuma! You guys find a way to get away from or contain False!

 

 

He didn’t know what to do. Every time he respawned, False was there, waiting for him. The first time he had enough time to message everyone before she came for him. The second time she cut him in half. Then the next time she severed his head. The fourth time she went to kill him though, there was a yell from nearby. He thought maybe she’d turn around and face whoever was coming to help him.

 

But the smile on her face told him otherwise. Eyes aglow whiter than snow, she grinned at him as her blade stained in his blood loomed on her shoulder. There were splatters of blood across her shirt and jacket as well. This was not False. He knew it wasn’t False. He had called her name so many times. Begged her to stop, pleaded with her to listen, but she didn’t even hesitate once. This would be the scene that would haunt his dream for years to come. And as she swung down at him once again, there was nothing left he could do but close his eyes and accept death once again.

 

But death never came. There was several loud clangs and yelling nearby but he couldn’t hear anything beyond the ringing in his ears. Nearby Tango had tackled False to the ground, dropping his own sword to pin her sword hand down. She looked unmoving except for the shaking of her arm against his hands.

 

“Ren! Ren! Ren are you okay?” Someone was calling his name, but all he could do was watch False struggle against Tango. She still had that sword. It had to be the sword. He needed to get rid of that sword.

 

Scrambling over to False and Tango he ignored the scrapes that formed on his hands and knees. He need to get rid of that sword. He needed to get rid of it right now!

 

“Ren wait!” Someone grabbed his arm. He whipped his head around to stare at Impulse who had grabbed his arm and Zedaph who was right behind him nervously watching the scene in front of him unfold. Impulse looked between him and the sword, “That things got a weird name, it’s called possession in standard galactic, whatever its done to her - if you try and grab it, it’ll possess you.”

 

“Well then what are we supposed to do?!?” he yelled, yanking his arm away.

 

“Helping me pin her down until X gets here sound like a great idea to me!” Tango growled over his shoulder.

 

But as Zedaph and Impulse went to help Tango out, he could only watch. If he had to see those eyes one more time, he doubted he would be able to ever sleep again.

 

 

When they arrived at Ren’s base he had expected to have to stop a one sided battle. But instead they arrive to find False tied up, disarmed, and either watching False wearily or talking to Ren. On top of the group that had beat him and X here, there was also Doc, Tango, Zed, and Impulse who had probably been the first to arrive as they were the only ones who for the most part were more focused on Ren and not False.

 

Ren also looked horrible. Jagged scars covered most of his face and neck. Having been killed so many times in such a short period meant the wounds he had died from were only barely healed so the scars were still mostly scabbed over and surrounded by bruises from the force of the cuts. Those were the type of wounds that would leave scars for the rest of your life. Those were the types of scars that would never heal properly, a constant reminder of a living hell.

 

But that was something to deal with later, for now they had to find out how to restore False to her normal self. Because a sword called possession matched with glowing eyes did not bode well at all. And False would had never been so brutal with a pvp kill for as long as he’d known her now, probably even longer if he thought about it.

 

Xisuma stepped over by the sword, but since it had been removed from False’s hand, now it was just another diamond sword. Well a diamond sword stained with blood currently. The real thing they needed to fix was False herself. He stepped closer to her, receiving several worried glances from his fellow hermits. But he needed to see her eyes. He needed to know for sure. Slowly but surely False looked up at him and an empty white glow stared into his soul.

 

She’s possessed by the forgotten one. The only freedom from enslavement is death by a̶̡̝̳̾̚͜ ̴̱̻̪̺̣́̆̾̓̀̓Ẃ̷̥̬̅à̷̢̧̺̪͕͔̣̈́t̷̡̹͓̫̹͍̫͂̆̂̉̋̅̀c̶̰̲̖̄̈́̒h̵̤̃ė̶̢̮̌̅̓̒r̶̥͚̩̙̯͍͘ '̸̧̳͉͋̋̑̏̊s̵̹̫͑̋̌͝͝͠ ̶̹̜̑͜h̵̛͍̔̊̈̒̎̃ą̶̱͈̮̈̾̌̕n̸͚͙̫̜̞̓̄̆̿̑d̸̤͎̥̣̫̒̐͠. You must be the one to strike her down. Y̷͈͚͇͐͗͗̿̑ọ̸̜͈̙̍̉̓̈̕u̴͈̲̯̖͋̄͒̓̕ ̷̰͕͂͜m̸̢̯̋̋ͅư̴͙̥̞̝̏͝s̸͔̪̜͠t̸̗̣̉́̑̆̂ ̵̡̜͇͒̐̏̕r̷̮̲̲̭̍̿ḛ̸̈m̵̙̻̭̕õ̴̭v̴̥̪̻͊͛e̴̛̦̘͉̽̏ ̷̩̱̰̿̒t̸̡̢̡̰̪̀̕͝h̸͔̦̿̀ͅe̴͍͐m̶̭̀̈́̏̅͛.̸̛̹͇͖̮̗͊̎̿͝T

 

“Grian are you okay?” Someone was asking him a question but he could no longer respond, “Grain?”

 

Pulling out his sword he could only move forward. What was he doing? He wasn’t the one in control anymore. Step after step, he walked towards False. She was restrained against the wall, staring ahead at him. Something within him stirred. A faint memory of purple and black crossed his mind. Someone tried to grab him but he shrugged it off

 

T̶̨̺̳̪̋̆̏ͅh̸̥̑ë̶̲́̿̏y̵̗̗̗͐͘ ̶̺̍w̷̼̮̓̂͠ę̴̗̲̾r̸̨̭̩̗̭̍̑̉͠͝ě̵̙̣̇̃̑̿ ̶̗̮̼̹̪̚n̸̲̰͋̉̏ő̷̜͖̈́t̶̰̝͌̀̿͜ ̶̛̗̀̏̓̈́a̷̗͈̮̾͜͝l̷̡̹̣̟̘̎̚l̷̝͒͑͑ǒ̶̟͉̿͘̕̚͜w̶̰̝̳̰̒͆̏e̴͙̘̜͑̇d̸͕͐͆ ̴̮̰̖͈͠h̵̝̍͜ë̷̢̺̳̫́̓͑͑r̴͈̪̮̤͂͠e̶̻̞̙͆͒.̴̭͔͎̞͎̎͐͘͘͝ ̸̬̗̗̉̈́͠T̶̖̤͎̣͊ḩ̴͈̺͖̠̽̍̉̌͝ē̶̞͊̾̃y̵̢̼̋̃͝ ̵̙͌̂͝m̵̧̧̲̞̤̑̓͐̂̿ű̸̻͂̃͝s̵̮͇̱̟͛́͑̊͐t̷̡̻͕̮̬͘ ̴̨̟͍̟͌͝͝b̵̲͔̀̆̔͆͝e̵̡̡͓̳̽̊̆̽͝ ̴̨͓̞̗̐ŗ̸͉̪̘͕́̋̓̏͐e̷͔̟̝̯̦̍̐̎͝m̴͖̈́͌̌͂õ̷̥̠͈͕͘v̸͚̯̦̓é̷͈̟̩̣d̴̮͒̐͋̄.̵̝̌͆

 

This time two people grabbed both his arms from each side. He loosely struggled against their hold. What was he doing? Why couldn’t he hear anything beyond the white noise that seemed to echo everywhere around him? What was that voice in his mind? Why did he have to do this? He struggled again against the hold on his arms almost not even noticing what he was doing anymore. Though they struggled a little against his full force, his arms stayed locked down and he couldn’t move forward. He had to kill them. He had to removed them from this world right now. Just as he struggled a third time, something happened. Somewhere beyond his current awareness he felt something call to him. Something that would help him. All he had to do was let go and remember. So he let go.

 

As if only a single spark was all it took, magic pulsed through his veins. Creating a barrier between those around him and the target in front of him. Whoever had held his arms down were pushed back into the walls behind them. He should’ve felt bad, those were his friends. Yet his mind was filled with only one thought on loop.

 

R̵̻͖̄̏̋͜e̴̜̖͌͒͌̅m̷̺͋̏̊̓̾o̶͈̿̾͆͜v̴͍̰̲̈́̒̅e̵̯̙̣̼͚̽.̸̡̡͙̼͑̎̾ ̷̭̠̙́R̶̟̂̀e̸͎̳̋m̸͎͍͍͔͛͠ǫ̴͇̻̠̉͜v̷͔̥̯̖́ë̸̘́͑͝.̸̢͆͌͋͠ͅ ̶̼̾R̴̝̰̫̜̠̀͊e̸͓̦͋̊̈́͑m̴̨͎̮̾̀̈́͗ͅơ̵̠̲͕͕̝̿̍͊͘v̷͎̙̬̅̈͜e̷̦̤̹͒͑̒̆.̴̮͓̦̑

 

He had to do this. This was the right thing to do. This was his duty. Raising up his sword he hesitated again as someone yelled his name. What was he doing? Why was he doing this?

 

T̷͈̠͍̤͎̾̽̀̆ḧ̷͔͚́͐͌̌͂i̷̧̳̗̺̘̚s̶̢͚̻̓̋̀̆̽ ̵͉̤̩̈̉̒͝͠i̷̗̭͙̿̆͑͗̈͜s̶̳̱̖̩͍̈́̾̃̕͝ ̵̓̿ͅw̵̧̜̿͐͜ẖ̸̅̓̒o̴̦͆̈̈͜ ̵̩̾̈́͋̈ỳ̶̥̂̑o̶̯̞͆ṷ̴̑ ̶̻̻͉̆͌͛a̵͈͐r̴̟̩̞̥͑̊͑̾͐e̵͓̜̅̀. ̷̨̩̜̄̔ͅ.̷̧̹̝̳̤̘̭̔̆͗̀̽͂̃

 

This is who he was. This is what he had to do. And in one fell swoop, he removed them.

 

falsesymmetry was beheaded by Grian.

Chapter Text

“Falsie?” someone was calling her name, who was it? They sounded familiar, “You back with us Falsie?”

 

Groaning she rubbed at her head. What an awful headache, “Ugghhhh what happened?”

 

Blinking against the light she tried to adjust to the seething brightness and searing pain in her head. Good lord had someone dropped an anvil on her head?

 

“Hey False look at me please?” Xisuma, that was Xisuma’s voice to her left. She turned to look at him and was taken aback because his visor was off? Xisuma rarely took that off. She could count the number of times it had happened on her two hands. “Whatever is was seems to be gone now, how do you feel Falsie?”

 

“I, I feel like someone dropped an anvil on my head.” she rasped out slowly looking around the room. Xisuma, Ren, Wels, and Joe took up most of her field of vision. They were in her bedroom, and there were a lot of people in here.

 

“Is Falsie good?” Iskall walked up and peered over Joe’s shoulder.

 

“Yeah aside from a bad headache,” Xisuma explained, “how’s Grian?”

 

“Still unconscious,” Iskall looks worriedly over his shoulder, between him and Joe she could see Grian slumped against the wall with purple wisps flying around him. Mumbo and Zedaph were frantically talking to Cub and Scar. Off to the side Doc stood with Tango and Impulse who were speaking between themselves. “No one can really figure out what happened.”

 

She looked around at all the other hermits worriedly, “Guys what happened?”

 

None of them looked at her, except Ren who had yet to stop staring at her face since she had woken up.

 

“Falsie, is it really you this time?” He stared at her in disbelief, voice quiet in a way that she cannot remember ever hearing before.

 

“Of course it’s me, what are you -”

 

Shes immediately cut off by a body slamming into hers and a loud wail. She barely stops the back of her head from hitting the wall. She awkwardly starts to rub his back as he sobs into her shoulder. What, what happened? She forgets to breathe as her eyes catch up to her brain and she remembers how he looked. Red angry scabs cover most of his face and neck. What had happened?

 

The others startle at the sound and turn to look at her. Across all her friends faces she can just see the instant they see her they all seem to calm down. Ren continues to sob and there’s nothing she can do but stare blankly at the air and worry for her friend.

 

She looks up at X and meets his eyes, “X, what, what happened?”

 

X only looks sadly at Ren before looking back at her, visor gone she’s able to clearly see the exhaustion on his face and the worry in his eyes. She can hear it in his voice, the tired defeat, when he speaks quietly, “Actually, we don’t really know what happened. We were hopping you could tell us.” 

 

And so she does, once Ren calms down a little at least. She had started her day out like any other. Getting up, checking her messages, gathering things she would need for that days project. She’d set off down to her mines and was messaging Ren about plans they had made for later in the day. She’d mined for a while and got an inventory full of goods and decided to head back up. She had stopped responding to Ren because trying to type with a full inventory was a struggle and he could wait for a response until she walked back up out of the mines. Yet on the way back towards the stairs she saw a diamond sword laying on the ground. Tossing some coal out of her inventory she picked it up. The second she grabbed the hilt a voice seemed to echo inside her head. Though it was quiet, it was all she could hear in a strange voice that didn’t sound like anything she had ever heard before, “ᴡᴀᴋᴇ ᴜᴘ”.

 

“Then the next thing I knew, I woke up with a splitting headache and everyone gathered around worrying.” she explained.

 

“A sword, just lying there?” X repeated back to her, baffled.

 

She nodded, “Yeah it was really strange.”

 

“Did it look enchanted or anything?” Impulse asked.

 

She thought about it for a moment and then shook her head,“Not that I could tell, what happened to the sword?”

 

“It’s vanished.” Tango cut in from where he was leaned up against the wall, “When Grian killed you it didn’t drop with the rest of your items, it just vanished.”

 

“When Grian? Why did Grian kill me!”

 

Tango looked over at Grian as he spoke, “We just had pinned you down and then we managed to tie you up so you couldn’t maneuver the sword. Then once Grian and X showed up, Grian just… something happened.”

 

“What does that mean?”

 

Zedaph shuffled and looked at the ground, “Itw… it was like he wasn’t even Grian anymore…”

 

There was a pause. Everyone seemed to shuffle around unsure of what to do now. X, ever the leader, spoke up, “Well I don’t think we can really get answers on that front until he wakes up, so-”

 

“What did the voice sound like?” Scar interrupted. She looked over at him and he was staring directly at her. She knew, only from that look in his eyes, that somehow he had heard the exact same face. 

 

“What was that Scar?” X asked.

 

“The voice that said wake up, what did it sound like?” Scar repeated, searching her face for the answer they both already knew.

 

Maybe for the others in the room or maybe just so they would both know for sure she answered, “Distorted. Glitchy. Ominous. Creepy.”

 

“I think I heard that voice too.” Scar admitted softly.

 

Cub looked worriedly at Scar, “When you were stuck in that chunk?”

 

“Wait, when what happened?” Joe asked.

 

 

Everyone looked to him to explain. He really didn’t want to. He didn’t want to relive that for even a second. But they had to figure out what was going on. And now that voice had spoken to False as well. Jellie purred in his arms and curled up closer to him if that was even possible. Jellie was here with him, he could do this. So he took a deep breath and explained what had happened.

 

He’d stopped along the way to Hermitville to renovate another village he had found. He had wanted to try out some ideas and after renovating the village in a futuristic modern style. He finally felt all set to head out to Hermitville. Him and Jellie were just walking through the taiga, enjoying nature and taking it slow. It was nice out and it was nice to just walk for once, but something happened.

 

He took a step and the ground beneath him vanished in a flash. The entire chunk he had just stepped into became just empty space. .For a minute he was just frozen there in midair. He couldn’t see anything. He assumed he was floating, he didn’t feel like he was falling. But without sight he couldn’t be sure. And then the noise started. It was a horrible buzzing noise that was just at the end of his hearing range. His ears were ringing within seconds. After a few minutes it started to become painful. He thought he’d lose his hearing at the rate things were going. But the buzzing ended after what felt like an eternity, and something much much worse took its place.

 

He could hear everything. The animals in the distance, cows mooing, wolfs barking, and sheep baaing. He could hear the wind in the leaves, the sound of things walking over the grass and dirt, and worst of all, he could hear Jellie. Jellie who walked in circles, back and forth, back and forth meowing sadly at where he probably was. Then that would fade and the buzzing would return.

 

It felt like an eternity. That he was stuck there. In pitch black darkness. Unable to move or even scream. Just the sound of his ears ringing or the world he had vanished from around him. He didn’t even hear Cub or Xisuma arrive, the ringing in his ears too loud to even think. One second he had been trapped in stasis. Cold, alone, and terrified, and the next he was on the ground. Cub reaching out to him. As the ringing in his ears faded out, and Cub’s voice started to flow in, there was a voice from what felt like everywhere, the universe itself, “I sᴇᴇ ʏᴏᴜ”

 

There’s a heavy silence as he finishes his story. He’s only grounded in reality by Jellie’s soft purrs against his chest and Cub’s hand on his shoulder. Anything that would’ve been said though is quickly pushed aside when theres a soft groan from behind him. He shifts and sees Grian’s eyes blink open.

 

However, no one even gets a word out before Grian’s eyes fly open and Scar can see the panic in them. Before he can even speak Grian has already thrown his hands out and the strange wisps of purple magic that had been in the air around him while he slept gather in his palms and pulse outwards.

 

He doesn’t even have time to react as he’s thrown from his feet. It’s only years of stumbling while holding Jellie that he manages to maneuver so he falls backwards instead of forward onto Jellie. The breath in his lungs is knocked out as he hits the ground hard. Jellie jolts awake and meows loudly. Across from him he sees Mumbo, who landed less gracefully, face down and was slowly sitting up rubbing his head. In a cascade effect they have all seemed to have been knocked over. Those like him and Mumbo, closest to Grian, had fallen over completely, while those like False, across the room, only seemed started by the pulse of magic.

 

 

He feels different when he starts to come to. Someone nearby is talking but he can’t understand what they’re saying. What he does understand is the magic in the air around him. It’s mad at him for forgetting about it for so long. It seems to dance in the air around him agitated about something. Its trying to talk to him but he doesn’t remember how to speak that language. He can feel it around him though. He tries to listen to it but he can’t really quiet get it. Blearily he tries to open his eyes. He can make out vague shapes in front of him and in his half awake state he can clearly see the magic thats dancing around him. Then like he’s known the language his entire life, he can hear what the magic has been trying to tell him. In an urgency he can only recall fear from it calls to him, “wake up”

 

Maybe its the confusion, the abundant magic, forgotten things he can only recall echoes of, but something in his gut is terrified. And without even thinking about it, he sends the magic around him pulsing outwards.

 

The loss of energy that comes from it brings him back to his senses as he hears several grunts and yelps as people fall over around him. Truly opening his eyes this time he finds himself sitting in a room full of his fellow hermits, most of which are on the ground in some form due to the magic that just bowled them over like sticks.

 

“Uh… hi?” he greets awkwardly, not really knowing whats going on. He wants to say more but his and every other hermit’s communicators ding simultaneously, the way the only do when someones died. Pushing down the chilling fear that still has yet to release its grip on him, he pulls out his communicator only to be hit with a awful sense of deja vu.

 

iJevin was finished off by Biffa2001 using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

Chapter Text

He would’ve been an idiot to not notice the strange things going on with the server. It had been some time since he had really gone out and interacted with the others to an extent outside of messaging. Now though with the past two weeks he felt like it was only a matter of time before they all got together and had to figure out what was going on. Especially with the past couple days events.

 

He’s not particularly focused on what he’s doing at the moment, just walking back up to the top of his mine when he spots a diamond sword. It shines in the torchlight with some kind of enchantment. Did he drop his sword? No a quick check of his inventory shows that he still has his sword. He didn’t have an extra one did he? Not that he could remember, maybe it was someone else’s? No why would it be down here?

 

Oh well, better pick it up anyways, he could always use it later. When he picked it up though, something immediately feels different. A voice echoed throughout his head, far away and ominous as he could see his visor light up bright white from its place on his forehead, “Dʏᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ʀᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ sᴛᴀɪɴ ᴍʏ ʙʟᴀᴅᴇ, ᴏɴᴄᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ɴᴏ ʟᴏɴɢᴇʀ ғᴇᴇʟ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴀɪɴ ᴛʜᴇɴ ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴍʏ ɴᴀᴍᴇ”

 

Something in his mind disconnected. Being not fully human, he couldn’t truly be possessed like this thing was trying to get him to do. His body maybe robotic but his head was still mostly human and because the robot part of him had picked up the sword, he had no control over his body. He focused, trying to feel or move any of his limbs. Nothing responded. He could only watch as his limbs moved on their own and he could do nothing to stop it. 

 

He tried to fight it. Tried to find a way to short circuit his body somehow. But there was nothing he could do but watch in horror as his body wouldn’t stop. Up the stairs, out the door, and through the forest. He knew where he was going. He knew what was on other side of that field. He knew that both Jevin and Python were over there somewhere. He used every trick he could think of to try and stop it.

 

He tried to send kill commands. He tried to disconnect his limbs. Tried to shut his body down somehow, he needed something to work, anything at all. He’s too focused on trying to do anything that he doesn’t even notice how far his body has already gotten. Not until he hears a very familiar voice and the fear he’s feeling sky rockets, “Hi Biffa!!”

 

Eyes snapping open, he sees both Jevin and Python who are waving at him from up ahead, well at least Python is. Jevin looks like he’s finishing off the last of a illager patrol squad. They have no idea what’s going on. They have no idea he’s not in control. They had no idea how much danger they were in.

 

“Run! You need to run!” he yelled at them from across the field, even though his body tried to fight him with every breath he took. Behind them he barely registered the fact that another raid patrol squad spawned in over the face that they were now both jogging towards him. He fought tooth and nail just to speak again, something was trying to silence him. His tounge felt like lead and his head throbbed. But he had to at least try to save his friends. “NO! AWAY FROM ME! SOMETHING, SOMETHING’S POSSESSED ME AND I-”

 

His shouting is cut short abruptly when a searing pain runs through his right arm, the arm holding the sword. He bites his tounge to stop himself from crying out the pain is that bad. His warnings hadn’t been enough though because he hears someone stop in front of him. He wants to run, to fight, to do something, anything, anything at all, but all he can do is watch in horror as the sword takes a swing at Python’s head.

 

It’s only thanks to Jevin’s quick reaction that Python isn’t decapitated. Python falls onto the ground stunned with fear in his eyes that is going to be impossible to forget. A trail of blood starts to trickle down his cheery friend’s face from where the sword swiped across his face. Python gingerly reaches up to the cut and pulls away blood stained fingertips as he winces slightly. The fear he’s been trying to bury this whole time breaks through the cracks.

 

There’s a fear in his voice he didn’t know he could feel anymore. It matches the dread in his heart and throbbing in his head. This is wrong, this is so wrong, but he can’t stop it, “RUN! YOU NEED TO RUN AND RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!”

 

His face feels wet, but its not raining. He doesn’t have time to think about it though because whatever he’s done to get himself to pull back from going after his friends full force up until now is no longer working. He struggled to remain still as Jevin pulled Python from the ground and they ran in the opposite direction.

 

Which happened to be directly into another raid patrol. He can only watch in what seems to be slow motion as Jevin shoves Python out of the way of a ravager and gets hit instead. The thing that’s possessing him is angry about this. He can feel it like you feel the world around you in a storm. That was Hɪs Pʀᴇʏ, they weren’t allowed to Tᴀᴋᴇ ʜɪs ᴋɪʟʟ.

 

His head throbs as the voice growls and echoes throughout the universe that only he can seem to hear. With him no longer able to stop his body, he’s upon the raid party, slicing them down like they’re nothing at all. He doesn’t know what enchantments are on this sword, but this shouldn’t be possible. The untamed fire of fear in his chest only grows yet again as he cuts down a ravager in a single hit.

 

Python is pulling Jevin up from the ground, trying to get away from him, but its not going to be fast enough. They’ve managed to start running when he slays the last patrol illager but Jevin trips as the last crossbolt fired snags the outside of his ankle. The universe does not want them to live. The universe is beyond their pleas.

 

He can’t even watch anymore. He screws his eyes shut and tries to let the awful echo in his head drown out Python’s screams. He tries with all his might to fight the sword. But even with all his might its not enough. Tʜᴇʀᴇ ɪs ɴᴏ ʀᴜɴɴɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ. Tʜᴇʀᴇ ɪs ɴᴏ ʜɪᴅɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴍʏ sɪɢʜᴛ. I sᴡᴇᴀʀ ɪᴛ ᴀs ᴀɴ ᴏᴀᴛʜ, ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴡɪʟʟ ʀᴇɢʀᴇᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴀʏ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴄᴀsᴛ ᴍᴇ ᴀsɪᴅᴇ.

 

iJevin was finished off by Biffa2001 using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

 

He can feel the death message. He doesn’t need to hear the scream, the blade being pulled from his friend’s corpse, the number of items scattering across the ground, none of that. Thunder echoes overhead and rain pours from the sky. It’s not mourning them though, if anything it only makes the sword stronger. His visor snaps down over his eyes and right before all he knows is white, he can see his reflection in it. Oh, he didn’t know he could still cry.

 

 

The whole room was silent as they all read the death message.

 

iJevin was finished off by Biffa2001 using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

 

Again? How did - he looks up and sees the exact sword named in the message across the room on the ground. Though if that one no longer had the enchantment on it, had it jumped to another sword? Regardless of what’s happened they needed to go do something about Biffa also now being possessed.

 

“I know we all have questions and I know we all want answers, but this is going to have to wait until we can stop Biffa.” Xisuma steps from concerned friend back into the role of leader as they all wait in silence for what to do next. X has lead them for so long its easy to fall back into it, even if the situation is this dire.

 

Tango helps him to his feet as they all gather and leave False’s base. He shares a look with Doc who walks over to Ren. Then another with Tango who returns with a slightly shaken Zedaph as they all head out. He can’t help but shake the feeling that something more is going on here. And if that really was true, then what else were they missing?

 

They take off flying but a storm stops them almost immediately, forcing them down on at the edge of the shopping district. Thunder claps over head and lightning lights up the storm clouds as rain falls from above. Things are not looking well at all and theres a chill in the air that promises things are only going to get worse.

 

And as if the universe can hear his worst fears, everyone’s communicators go off yet again with another death message.

 

PythonGB was hunted down by Biffa2001 using [¡! ㄣㄣĿ ㄣㄣ: フリ]

 

The calm they have all somehow been managing to hold slips up. They stop walking carefully as a large group and start jogging in smaller ones. Tango leads him and Zedaph around the backs of the various shops. They run up and down the rows of shops searching for any sign of another hermit when False yells from across the street to them, "I saw Jevin! He's heading towards the stock exchange!"

 

They turn and head that way. The storm over head worsens. Rain pounds the streets and soaks them all to the bone. As they approach the stock market they can see a very scared Jevin backed against the double doors of the building.

 

Biffa stands unnaturally in front of him. His armor glowing white like a beacon through the rain. There’s is going to be no way to stop Biffa before he kills Jevin yet again, but then lightning strikes. Doc around the corner, hand raised as his trident returns to him. Biffa’s body sparks dangerously but the sword gets lowered and he collapses to his knees.

 

Jevin scrambles away from him, instantly running to the back of their gathered group, panting fiercely. There’s a deep gash that’s barely scabbed over across his forehead and usually Jevin is pretty square shaped but now the corners of his head seemed to melt a little in the pouring rain. From the rain, thunder, and panting, its hard to even make out every other word that Jevin is trying to spew, “He- he- he tried- he tried to warn us- that he- that he was-”

 

“Easy Easy, take deep breaths. Catch your breath then tell us. We can hold him down for now. We have your back.” Wels puts a hand on Jevin’s shoulder and attempts to ground him.

 

Jevin takes a few deep breaths before starting to rattle off a recap of what happened, “He, we, me and Python, we were just hanging out and then then a raid patrol appeared. When we were fighting them, Biffa appeared across the field. He, he tired to warn us, that he wasn’t in control, but we didn’t know. He almost killed Python, but we managed to run. The, the glitches though, there was another raid patrol behind us. And then, then I took a hit for Python so he wouldn’t die, but Biffa, Biffa hunted us down and I, I, I’ve never seen him look terrified and upset in my life.”

 

Lightning strikes again, Doc stands arm outstretched, grim faced as the trident returns yet again. He’s stone faced in a way Impulse can only remember him being when old hermits never came back.

 

A voice echoes between the buildings nearby, “Jevin? Jevin where are-” Python peers around a building and his face lights up a bit, the large scar across the middle of his face making it impossible for Python to smile as wide as he usually does, but he tries anyways “oh everyone is here now, thank god.”

 

“Are you okay?” Xisuma asks as Python approaches.

 

Python shrugs nonchalantly, “A little banged up and downright terrified but now that everyone is here I think I’ll be okay.” he looks over the group in front of him, “Is everyone else okay?”

 

Python address them as a whole, but they all know that its directed at Jevin who breathes slowly before nodding, “Yeah, yeah I think I will be.”

 

Thunder roars as lightning strikes Biffa yet again. Doc’s face is now pulled into a grimace.

 

“We can’t just keep stunning him, if the lightning kills him would he still be possessed?” False asks concerned.

 

He catches Tango’s eyes over the top Zedaph’s head. It was just a theory but it was all they had. And they needed all their cards on the table, “We have no idea. You were the only one that we had experience with in this situation and Grian was the one who broke you from it.”

 

“How did he do that anyways?” Ren asks quietly. They all turn to look at Grian who just stutters.

 

“Don’t look at me! I’m just as confused as the rest of you! I don’t even know what I did! I just know me and X walked into the base and then I was waking up everyone staring at me.” Grian stammers out worriedly.

 

He looks at Doc, who is too focused on watching Biffa so he nods to Tango to explain. Tango nods back and explains the theory they had thought of in the wake of Grian killing False.

 

“We had False tied up. We couldn’t remove the sword from her hand and were worried that if we killed her, she would just end up possessed forever. But when you and X walked in, you saw the glowing eyes and something changed.” Tango address them all, but its mostly to Grian he’s explaining. Grian looks paler and more confused with every word.

 

“What do you mean changed? How did he changed.” Jevin asks.

 

“Like he was possessed himself, but different. His eyes didn’t glow but it was like he was someone else entirely.” Tango answers.

 

“And then there was the magic that was floating around him, you could feel it in the air.” He interjects.

 

“Don’t forget that when Grian did kill Falsie it was like the pressure in the room that had been building dropped back to normal when Falsie responded and Grian passed out.” Doc adds.

 

He notices it too late. In the corner of his vision, Biffa’s shaken off the electricity stunning his system. He doesn’t even have time to yell before Biffa’s already crossed the distance between where he had been and most of their group. He stands sword raised behind Wels who hasn’t even realised it because his back is to Biffa. Ren, who stands on the other side of Wels, screams. Then it happens.

 

There’s a shift in the air. For a split second he swears that the rain seems to pause. There’s purple magic wisps flying throughout the air and he has yet to even blink but Grian is standing between Biffa and Wels. How, how did, Grian was half the group away from Wels and Ren.

 

It was like Grian wasn’t even human at the moment. Sure Grian can go a little of the rails sometimes, but so can most of them, just look back at the prank war. But right now, something about the way he stands, the way he’s posed, just the feeling in the air, its like something has changed. Grian? He’s pretty sure its still Grian at this point but he can’t really be sure. Grian growls at Biffa and grabs the sword. He grabs the sword with his bare hand and crushes it. Grian crushes the enchanted diamond sword with his bare hands. This is not Grian. Whatever is stopping Biffa right now, that is not Grian.

 

Biffa’s body collapses to the ground. No one moves an inch. But the world around them has not stopped the way they have. The storm has only grown worse and its only a reflection of the universe that a charged creeper hisses at it falls down the edge of the cliff they’re all next to. It lands right next to Wels, Ren, False, and Grian.

 

Grian spins around in a way that is inhuman. A grace and speed he’s only seen when the best elytra users are completely in control. Like there’s wings directing the wind around him, Grian whips around and snaps attention to the creeper. Again at a speed that is not human, Grian steps in front of the others and takes the brute force of the explosion as the creeper goes off. So much so that the three behind him only stumble a little.

 

He can only watch in awe at the scene before him, but its lasted longer than it should have. As the explosion clears the ground beneath the other’s feet, Grian is sent flying backwards through the air. He flies just past Tango and Zed’s heads straight back into the fountain behind them. The fountain shatters and the stone crumbles under the force.

 

When the dust clears, they’re left even more confused than before with two of their friends unconscious. Before this it just seemed like the world was having problems with such a large update, but now, now something was definitely going on. And now he wasn’t even sure that they were dealing with only one source of the issue now. Whatever was going on, the worst had yet to even come.

Chapter Text

It was almost strange, to be going back to normal life now. After what had only happened about two weeks ago, just going back to normal life was kinda strange. Thinking back on it, he couldn’t help the feeling of dread in his gut. Everything that happened one after another, and they didn’t have any answers either. Not even a real idea of what might be going on. 


It had been rough. Because of the rain they had agreed to camp out in the stock exchange together as it wasn’t worth it to try and fly somewhere when their elytra were soaked. It had only seemed to rain harder once Grian was thrown back into the fountain. The rain pelting them so hard he could feel it in his bones. 

They filed inside, splitting off as they did so. Mumbo carried Grian inside off to the left and he followed after his moustached friend. Ever since Grian had first done that at False’s place he’d been extremely worried. Then after what just happened he was extremely concerned. For the most part Grian looked relatively unharmed. His hands were fine which was surprising because he had literally just crushed a diamond sword with his bare hands. That should’ve left marks but it hadn’t. Then there was his back. He watched Mumbo set Grian down so he was laying slightly on his side and oh god. Large gashes cut through Grian’s sweater and undershirt into his skin. Bruises covered his friend’s back in shades of blues and blacks. Blood coated the frayed edges of his sweater and shirt. This, this was horrible. 

Fishing around his inventory and pulling out his enderchest, he quickly dug through his shulker boxes, and managed to find a potion of regeneration. Uncapping it he poured it onto Grian’s back, coating each of the gashes as evenly as he could. Slowly but surely, the wounds faded a bit and the bruises dulled. What he ended up seeing instead was a pair of faded, jagged purple scars between Grian’s shoulder blades. The kind of scar that wouldn’t ever heal. That was something else. He shared a look with Mumbo, who looked worriedly over Grian with a frown. Things were only growing worse with each new thing that happened. 

After a small discussion he walked away from his fellow architechs to go check in with the others. Looking around he finds most of his fellow hermits are asleep in small piles scattered around the main entrance hall. Doc, Ren, Cub, Scar and False were asleep across from him in a small pile. 

Impulse and Tango the latter whom had Zedaph sleeping on his shoulder were quietly talking. A little further down X, Wels, Python, and Jevin are still worriedly hovering over Biffa waiting for him to wake up. He walked over to where Impulse and Tango were talking in hushed tones and joined in on their conversation.

“Well the first thing was Stress falling into the void, but things are progressing faster than we can figure out what’s wrong.” Impulse said. 

“Then came me and Zed getting trapped. That was definitely man made. There’s no way that was naturally generated.” Tango added, lips pressed tight, eyes far away. Impulse placed a hand on Tango’s shoulder.

“Then Scar got trapped.” Impulse added.

“Then Falsie got possessed.” He input, looking over to where she slept leaning against the wall, sandwiched between Ren and Scar. He looked a little further down the hall, whispering as he continued, “And then Biffa.”

Tango nodded to where Mumbo and Grian were across the hall, “Grian’s been possessed too, but something other than what got Falsie and Biffa.”

“Is there any common thread between them?” He asked though he knew full well that none of them had any idea what was going on. Tango shook his head slowly, fist clenched in his lap. 

Impulse looked around at the others scattered around them. He seemed to be arguing with himself about something between the far away look in his eyes and the way he bit the inside of his cheek. He looked back at both of them before taking a deep breath and sharing what he was thinking, “Well whatever is possessing Grian is different from what had False and Biffa. We don’t know anything about where Grian came from before we found him in this new world. He doesn’t remember anything either.”

“You think that something about Grian’s past is related to this?” he asked unsure.

Impulse took a deep breath, eyes still slightly far away before speaking, “Well we all know how we get new worlds right? Xisuma gets those weird dreams when we can all feel it in the air that the time is soon to start again. We all spend a week gathering supplies and completing the journey to a new world that has always been empty before. No matter how far we travel in a new world its always empty, there’s nothing else there. Sure others have come into our world when we’ve been there for a while and such, but we know they’re coming. Grian showed up in that new world and it was just as much of a surprise for him and it was for us. And the others before knew they were coming to join us. They knew the universe had sent them to us and they could remember where they had come from.” 

“But Grian woke up only knowing his name and how to survive. No past memories of learning anything or people he had met before. And he couldn’t have come from a single world, he was too used to interacting with others for that.” Tango finished the thought. 

He thought about it and realized something about all this, “That’s only about Grian though, what about what’s happening in the world, to all of us?”

Both Impulse and Tango looked at each other and then back to him. Before anyone else could say anything though, X walked up next to them, “How’s Grian?”

“I gave him a regen potion for the wounds on his back, he should be fine after he gets some sleep hopefully. How’s Biffa?” He asked looking up at Xisuma who stood next to them. Xisuma looked more worn out that at least half of them combined. The length of their struggles hit him at that point, how long had they been going without a break? X especially? 

X looked over his shoulder at Biffa who was in the middle of whispering fiercely back and forth with Jevin and Python. X smiled slightly and turned back to them, exhaustion clearly worn on his face, “Fine now that he’s awake. His eyes are back to normal, he remembers what happened I think, but because Doc stunned him with the lightning to get him to stop, he says his head hurts and he can’t make sense of it yet.”

“He’ll probably remember after some rest.” Tango said, looking past X and then back at their leader, “Something we all could use.”

X looked around the hall, “You’re right I suppose. But we don’t-”

He shook his head and cut X off, “Rest now, we’ll talk in the morning when everyone’s awake and able to process things better. We’re running on like no sleep.” 

X sighed, “Alright you win. We’ll talk in the morning.”

 


Except in the morning there really isn’t much else to discuss. Biffa does remember watching when Jevin died though he was not in control. Aside from that and feeling guilty about the situation he can’t remember else more other than he wasn’t the one in control. Grian didn’t wake up until two days after with a concussion and no recollection of anything that happened aside from that they left False’s base.  

With nothing else to go off of, they all tried to go back to their normal lives. So here he was out on his mooshroom island of doom half heartedly building things. He’s half tempted to tear down his build and start all over again when he hears someone call his name. Peering over the wall he’s building on he sees Stress waving up at him. Well he could’ve used the break anyways. 


They spend a majority of the afternoon making slime block trampolines across the mooshroom island of doom. By the time the sun sets and the stars rise they’re exhausted. Laying back on one of their trampolines looking up at the stars when Stress breaks the silence, “Thanks for that.”

“What do you mean?” he asked her. 

“Taking a break to just goof around with me.” She shifted, sitting up and looking out over the ocean before speaking again with a sad tone in her voice, “Usually all of us are having fun and being silly but after everything that’s been happening. Well it seemed like no one was having fun anymore. So thanks.”

He looks at her smiles and gives a wide grin in return, “Anytime.” 

And later when he waves her off through the nether portal, all he could think was that the worst was only yet to come.


Though he thought the worst was only yet to come, this was far worse than he ever imagined. When he and Mumbo decided to get together to fix some of Sahara’s redstone this was not what he imagined would happen. 

“I still don’t know why you wanted me here.” Grian complained yet again from his spot on a row of shulker boxes over by the window. The never ending storm raged on behind him, lightning illuminating the shopping district as thunder echoed overhead. He stuck his head around one of the modules to look over at Grian.

Mumbo also stuck his head out around the redstone to look over at Grian before sighing, “I already told you -”

“If you say its to supervise you again I am going to throw another potato in the system.” Grian cut off not sitting up as he laid staring up at the ceiling. He knew it was a joke, but to threaten Sahara - their most beautiful and brilliant creation of doom - that was just too cruel.

“You would threaten to break this fantastic system yet again? Grian, I feel so betrayed.” He mocked fake hurt, “Do not take out our lively hood just because Mumbo wasn’t macho enough to say he missed hanging out with you.” 

“Lively hood?” Grian echoed back in shock, sitting up to stare at him with a look of done that words could not otherwise convey. 

“Macho enough?” Mumbo sputtered out looking offended as he whipped around to face him.

Grian shook his head and continued to diss their brilliant creation, “At what point have we been making enough diamonds to call this a lively hood? We haven’t even broken even!” 

“I am so macho enough!” Mumbo grumbled out, looking actually upset at that comment. 

He shared a look with Grian. Okay when he said that he was just trying to distract Grian but this was a whole new can of worms, “Are you really hung up on that part?” 

“Yes!” Mumbo exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air.

Grian rolled his eyes and groaned before shooting back, If you just wanted to hang out you could’ve just asked me straight away like a normal person!”  

Mumbo didn’t answer for a minute, before he turned back to question his earlier statement, “Wait why did you call Sahara our lively hood?”

He couldn’t hold it any longer and burst out laughing, “BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

“Mumbo! Is all that redstone gone to your head?! You’re lagging worse than the server does!” Grian choked out between laughs.

“Look its been a long day and one of my villagers got turned into a witch and now both of you are distracting me from this very important work!” Mumbo groaned, rubbing at his face which smeared redstone all over it in the process.

Grian looked around and took in what Mumbo had been doing before commenting, “Ah yes, placing hoppers, the most important part of all of Sahara.”

Mumbo’s eyes lit up, the way they always did when he was about to talk about anything redstone related, and started his explanation, “Yes! They’re super important! Otherwise-”

“Wait Mumbo, aren’t those hoppers backwards?” he interrupted. He could clearly see the exact same thought process he had just gone through when looking around the warehouse. Every hopper he had placed today was facing backwards. It hurt, it hurt a lot to realize it, but to watch Mumbo go through all five stages of grief in such a short span of time. Who else but their favorite spoon? 

“Oh you’ve got to be kidding me.” Mumbo whined.

“Well maybe he’s just gone bananas Iskall, are you sure he wasn’t the one with the concussion?” Grian added trying to at least salvage the situation just a little.

“Grian, Grian, Grian, you have to know that Mumbo already went bananas. How could you forget Molebo and the great bananas incident?” he threw back, barely containing his laughter.

Mumbo turned away from the great spoonage of hopper placements to defend himself, “Look that was not my fault! Either of you could’ve just shot me a message to confirm you saw the emergency code!” 

“And get you caught for fraternizing with the enemy? That ruins the whole point of a mole Mumbo!” Grian threw back, smile wide as he giggled.

“How was I supposed to know you saw the message then?!” Mumbo snipped back, anger fading a bit at the friendly jabs. 

“Look you were the one who picked up the wrong book of orders.” Grian defended.

Mumbo paused for a minute, clearly remembering the situation at hand before he threw his hands up and yelled, “Argh I am not arguing about this again! It’s over! It’s done! We won the war! It’s in the past!”

“Clearly your spoon tendencies aren’t though.” he said under his breath before asking louder so the others could hear, “How many of those hoppers have you even placed?”

Mumbo looked around the warehouse sadly, “Ugh… Too many.”

“Wow maybe you did need me to actually supervise.” Grian said shocked.

“At least you didn’t start putting the… oh no no no please do not tell me you had started to do the item filters without even realizing it.” he started so hopeful. It would just be an easy fix to tear down the hoppers and fix them. Sure it’d be time consuming but no harm done, but Mumbo seemed to droop closer to the ground with every word he said. Even his mustache seemed to try and sink closer to the ground. No, no, no that was hours of work for nothing!

Grian seemed to realize the gravity of the situation as he looked between both of them, “You didn’t”

“Oh no Mumbo how far did you get?” he questioned, hoping it was only like half way through even though he knew it was the worst possible outcome knowing Mumbo.

“........” Mumbo mumbled something under his breath that neither him nor Grian could hear. 

“Don’t turn into mumbleJumbo, answer the question.” Grian prodded.

Mumbo whined high pitched before sharing with the class, “....I only had two more to go…..”

“Okay that’s waiting until tomorrow I refuse to redo that all today I am already exhausted.” He threw his hands up in defeat and started to put his tools away.

“But if the sun never rises when does today end?” Grian wondered, watching him.

“It ends after I go to bed.” he threw back.

“If only that worked to reset the day/night cycle. Or even just made it stop raining.” Mumbo said wishfully as he looked out the windows.

“Please let it stop raining I can’t fly in this weather! This is ridiculous and the nether portals are still getting broken randomly and I refuse to get stuck in the nether!” Grian yelled angrily at the sky. In response the storm only seemed to pick up, thunder rumbling loudly over head as rain seemed to soak the ground faster than before.

Sighing he knew there was only one answer, “Well guess we’ll just have to have a sleepover then.”

“Yeah we can go sleep in the vault, you know among our vast riches earned from our lively hood!” Mumbo gripped from where he was packing things into a shulker box near the wall.

Grian laughed, “I don’t know if there’s enough room for us in there Mumbo between all the air our lively hood has earned us!” 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah I get it.” he muttered. Grinning with the sudden thought he yelled at Mumbo his rebuttal, “At least I didn’t surrender in the build off!”

“Oh come on! Low blow Iskall, low blow!” Mumbo yelled back.

“Yeah just like your entry in the contest, low!”  Grian called out, hi-fiving him as they both laughed.

This, this was what he missed. Stress was right, when was the last time they had fun? Though as they feel asleep to the rain outside and the light of the end rods in the vault, he couldn’t shake the sinking feeling in his gut. That they’d gotten to comfortable with the way things had become. That soon, soon they’d pay a high price for lowering their guard so much.



How long had he been here? There wasn’t any sense of time stuck in the void. Something caught his attention though, there in the distance, was that light? He moved closer, slowly drifting through nothingness. In the vast expanse of black, there was a hole. Shaped like a nether portal there was a white void, surrounded in obsidian and nether brick? A sign was on the top part of the portal. 

HermitCraft 6 

One of them is here

Wait, how was there a way back? What had caused this? Whatever it was it couldn’t be good. Not that it was his problem anymore. He’d been banned from that place. But without that presence in his mind, he’d come to terms with a lot of things. And whatever had managed to cut through the void to that world, it was dangerous and powerful. He could help, warn them about it. 

Resolved to help those he could’ve come to call friends, he entered the portal. As he did so though, he noticed something odd as he stared into the void as it vanished. In the never ending vast expanse of black nothingness, two white eyes stared back at him.