“We will use the buddy system!”
He said cheerfully turning to look at his friends.
“Everybody, get a buddy!”
Happy chatting surrounded him as he waited for everyone to find their partner. He looked at the portal.
“Uh..?” Grian blinked a few times. What was he doing? Oh, right!
He stepped through the Nether portal and reappeared inside his base in the futuristic district. He just needed to put some junk away before meeting with Iskall and Mumbo at Sahara. He had plenty of time, the meeting was in little less than an hour and Mumbo was probably going to be late again. Jumping around his every unorganized storage he emptied his inventory in the first chest that he thought was empty enough.
His communicator buzzed a few times. He picked it up with one hand and took a look as he chucked his last bit of nether bricks inside a chest.
[Private message from Iskall85]
<Iskall85 > Griaaann
<Iskall85 > Dude where are you?
<Iskall85 > We’ve been waiting for half an hour.
Grian frowned. Were they early or something? He had checked the clock a few minutes before leaving the Nether and it was 2:30 PM, the meeting was at 3:30, there was no way he had spent more than 10 minutes between coming back and putting his stuff away.
He checked the clock.
He had just lost an entire hour.
He quickly texted back to Iskall.
<Grian> Coming. It happened again.
He knew they would understand.
And they did.
Iskall frowned and looked away from his communicator. Mumbo watched him from his chair in the meeting room.
“So?” He asked.
Iskall sighed and stood up from his chair. “He said it happened again.”
"Isn't it...the fourth time this week?" Mumbo's voice didn't really hide his concern.
Iskall thought about it for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah, I think so." He looked outside of the window trying to spot Grian in the sky.
Mumbo anxiously played the ring he kept on his left hand for a few seconds before standing up and joining Iskall next to the window.
On a surface level, Grian was exactly like every other hermit. He goofed around and had fun with everyone. He was a great builder and he quickly became one of the best flyers on the server, but there were little things that everyone noticed with the passing of time.
Grian didn’t remember where he used to be before Hermitcraft, but that was something common for most of them. Whatever was before being a hermit was forgotten except for the knowledge on how the world worked. The knowledge that they would wake up in their beds after dying or that the night brought monsters was an example of that.
Everyone knew that. Grian too, obviously.
But there were some moments that made the hermits suppose that he must have come from somewhere a little different from everyone else. He expected the world to react in strange ways sometimes. He tried to do things that really didn’t make sense to anyone except him. It was funny seeing his confused expression whenever something happened that made his mind blown, even if no one knew exactly what it was. He thought that placing a piece of soul sand before a door would stop anyone from entering.
He was amazed when he saw an elytra for the first time and he adored the shipwrecks around the island, so much that he made one his first base on the server. Usually, all those little moments were the start of a good laugh of everyone who witnessed them.
It was something odd, but harmless about him.
Then they noticed something else.
Mumbo was the first one to notice it, actually. It was late at night and he was walking through the shopping district to go get some supplies he needed for the witch farm. He was mentally calculating how many hoppers he could buy with his very scarce stash of diamonds when he saw him in the corner of his eye. Grian was there, Mumbo waved at him but he didn't seem to notice.
He was stuck in place, staring at something on the Baker Street building.
Mumbo didn't see anything weird in it at that time. He supposed that maybe he was thinking about making some changes to it. The build still needed an exit if he remembered correctly. He continued with his shopping but wrote him a message.
<MumboJumbo> Working late again?
There was no reply.
About 15 minutes later he was done, or better he had no more diamonds to spend.
He was about to fly back to the farm when he saw that Grian was still outside of Baker Street.
In the exact same position.
Staring at the building.
"Hey, Grian!" He called approaching his friend.
He didn’t move or reply.
This whole situation was starting to get a little too unnerving. If it was a prank it was not funny.
"Grian?" He called again, just a few steps away from him.
He stepped in front of him. Still, Grian didn’t seem to notice him. Even if he was standing right in front of him. Grian's eyes were still fixated on an undefined place on the building.
Then he blinked, which actually startled Mumbo enough to take a step back.
"Oh! Hey Mumbo, what's up? " He said actually looking at his friend now.
"That was not funny!!" Mumbo gasped with his heart feeling like he had just run a marathon suddenly.
Grian blinked a few times, pure confusion on his face.
"What's not funny?" Why was he keeping the act up?
"I'm not falling for it again!!" Mumbo said, irritated. "It's not a good prank."
Grian just looked more confused, he ran a hand on the back of his head and looked on the side, thoughtful for a moment.
"I'm pretty sure I didn't pull any pranks lately Mumbo"
"Sure, and what were you doing then being all creepy and staring at nothing??” Mumbo asked skeptically. Grian looked more puzzled than before.
“What are you talking about?? I just got here! I landed and I...I-” He stopped for a second like he wasn’t sure of what he was about to say. “I was...I was trying to remember something! Then you poped up and now I’ve forgotten it again!”
Mumbo stared at him. He didn’t look like he was joking, he seemed really serious, which was unusual for him.
“Dude, you’ve been standing there for at least 20 minutes. I saw you before, I’ve even sent you a message!”
Grian reluctantly took the communicator out of his pocket. As he looked at the screen the confusion on his face became something more resembling of uneasiness.
Mumbo was starting to feel really worried.
“I-..” Grian kept his gaze on the screen of the device for a few seconds more and then looked at Mumbo “I guess I was here..for more than I thought.”
They both didn’t really what to say then.
These little moments. These space outs. No one was sure of when they started or what caused them. At first, they didn't happen very often, once or twice a week.
Or at least the more noticeable ones.
Most of them lasted usually a few minutes and Grian and the other hermit often didn't see them unless they were talking. But at times they would last very long and everyone would get concerned for Grian's safety. He would just stop anywhere and anytime. No matter what he was doing. Seeing Grian's death message on the communicator became a quiet game of "was it an accident or did he blackout again?". He drowned, exploded because of creepers walking upon him and even crashed with his elytra a few times.
Hermits would put him in dirt boxes to protect him from mobs or try and get him out of his trance if they stumbled upon him. Most of the times he would come back and go off to whatever he was doing before, he didn't really want to talk about this problem with the others, even if it was not a secret. Maybe he hoped that it would go away on his own if he just ignored it.
It didn't really seem to be working.
Then as the longer space outs started to get more frequent he would sometimes gasp something under his breath about remembering something just as he came back.
"I think I had a base made out of snow once."
He once said to Stress right after she had to snap her fingers next to his face a few times to get him to come back to his senses.
"What? When did you have it?" She asked curiously.
Grian had to stop again and think about it. He couldn't remember any other details at that time even if he was sure of what he just said. It was a very big base. Bigger of the one he had now? Not sure about that. And why was it made out of snow? Wasn't there something better to make--
A pinch on the cheek brought him back. "Ow! Again??" Stress nodded. Grian rubbed his cheek and looked on the side embarrassed.
"Maybe you should go home and rest a little?" She suggested smiling at him. "I can come with you if you want!"
"Nah, don't worry about it." He said opening his inventory.
"You know.." He got a few rockets ready. "I think I'm remembering where I was before Hermitcraft."
"You would be the first!" She said excitedly. "Just be careful when you do your remembering."
And he took off.
Back at the present. Iskall and Mumbo finally spotted Grian flying over from their window in the meeting room.
Mumbo watched carefully how he fired his rockets and kept and kept on firing them.
“He should be...slowing down now.” Mumbo whispered, fidgeting with his ring.
“He isn’t.” Replied Iskall.
The two looked at each other, immediately understanding that they were thinking the same thing.
"I'm sure he's gonna land just fine." Iskall patted Mumbo on the shoulder in a reassuring gesture.
He didn't really feel reassured until he saw his friend land safely just outside the building.
Grian quickly entered the meeting room and smiled at the other two Architech's.
"Hey guys! I'm sorry I'm late" He said as the two moved closer to him.
"Should we start now?"