The admin looked up as he heard his name being called, footsteps rapidly approaching him.
"Xisuma, we have a problem!"
It was Impulse who ran up to him, then stopped and bent over his knees to catch his breath.
"What's going on?", X asked with an amused huff. His demeanor dropped, however, when Impulse raised his head and he saw just how serious and... nervous his friend was.
"There's... you gotta see it yourself, man! Some sort of portal opened up, and there are Zombies coming trough!"
Alarmed, X got to his feet, dropping the redstone components that he had currently tried to arrange in a way that made sense around his latest project. This could wait. "Portal? Zombies? What do you mean?" He equipped his elytra and diamond armor, and followed Impulse to the center of his prismarine base.
"I don't know! They're not like anything i've ever seen." Fear was tainting Impulses voice.
"Is it a Nether portal? Zombie Pigmen, maybe?" X had no clue what Impulse could be talking about. It must have been a pretty substancial amount of Zombies if it had him scared like that. Impulse took off with a few rockets from the center of Xisuma's base, with the admin following close behind.
"No, no.", the redstoner answered him as he sped along towards the hermit main Island, not bothering with the Nether tunnels. "It's different. The portal's red, not purple, and it appeared out of thin air. It's super hot, as well. Scorching the earth. And the Zombies, they're... they're not green like the Zombies we know, they're all fleshy and mutated and... disgusting. Don't know if they even are Zombies, or something else. Again, I've never seen anything like it."
Impulses words conjured unpleasant memories from the far back of Xisuma's mind. A red, barren landscape, even more horrific than the nether... Creatures, more in numbers and brutality than the Zombie pigman could ever be... No, no. X shook his head. He left all that back over six years ago, when he came into this universe. This was a nice world. Peaceful, despite the odd Zombie or two. His friends were here. This was different. It couldn't be.
"Who is there right now?", he asked Impulse instead of dwelling on long suppressed memories, and to get a better grip of the situation. The shopping district rushed past them far below.
"False, Iskall and Jevin are trying to hold them back, while Cub and Scar are trying to get a read on the portal. Tango, Zed and me were also nearby, they're alerting the other hermits."
"They should stay away until we know what's happening.", X said, mentally imagining the situation. "I need a look on that portal."
The portal, as it turned out, soon came into view. It was a glowing red rift, looking like a nasty, jagged knife cut right above the Civil War area of the island. Xisuma shuddered as the red burned itself into his eyes, despite his visor. It was familiar, in a foreboding way.
No, this can't be. This is hermitcraft. We have the nether and the end, and that's it.
However, 'hellish' was still the only description that Xisuma could assign to the scene that was unfolding in front of him.
Him and Impulse landed a good distance away from the rift and the chaos that had broken out beneath it. In addition to the demonic- no, it was just a normal red glowing portal, no need to worry- pressuring aura the rift was emitting, horrible screeching sounds tormented the hermit's ears. Screeches X thought he had long left behind him. Out of the rift, demons were pouring onto the field. Small Zombie-like demons, Imps, larger Hell knights... He realized he could still identify and name them all.
The feeling of dread that had seeped into Xisuma was slowly being replaced by something else. Something he thought was long forgotten. A hot, seething feeling, making his blood boil and his ganze fix onto the hordes of demons in front of him. Rage. Fury. Loathing and disgust at the sight before him. His hands balled into tight fists. It was all to familiar, yet he had hoped he would have never have to feel it again. A small part of him was relieved though, trembling in anticipation, yearning to go and fight, kill, ri-
Focus, Xisuma., he thought, shaking off the not quite human emotions that were threatening to overcome him. He had worked so hard to find his peace, find his composure, his place in this world. Impulse was right next to him. He strained his eyes, trying to look over the demons that were still dropping from the portal, and focused on the important things. Only now, he realized with a start, was that he saw False and Iskall, fighting off the disgusting hordes, shedding their blood, that should be him down there, why do they get to- No. Angry at himself, X shook his head.
"Where's Jevin?", he sharply asked Impulse, who was still next to him.
"Right here.", came Jevin's gravelly voice from behind them. Xisuma turned around to see the blue slime man run up to them in a jog. He looked... smaller than usual. X realized he wasn't wearing his armor, so he must have just respawned and ran back here.
"They got me.", Jevin confirmed his thougths. "It's just too many. We gotta close that portal, X!"
X nodded, drawing a sharp breath. The air smelled like sulfur-... He needed to focus. "I'm on it.", he confirmed. The demons must have been nearing almost a hundred in their numbers now, the small horde still growing. False and Iskall were pushed farther back, slaying demons, but making little to no progress.
"I'm gonna get my stuff.", Jevin announced, before moving to skid down the hill.
"No.", Xisuma said, a bit sharper than he would have liked, holding an arm out across Jevin's chest to keep him from going. "Stay here, you'd be overrun. I'm gonna try and close the portal."
Jevin and Impulse stared at him, but he payed them no mind. Instead, he opened up his admin panels, already sifting trough the server log from the past few minutes. False and Iskall had been separated, now being pushed closer and closer to their location.
Xisuma could see that the server was struggling with the amount of entities that were spawned in trough the hell portal. He couldn't deny anymore that that was what it was: a hell portal. He had seen enough of them to know what he was talking about, and the energy readings in the logs confirmed it.
Luckily, in his days, Xisuma had also closed enough of these portals to know what he needed to do. Yes, there was no obvious energy source he could tear apart from its core- turn off. However, he knew what commands to type in to reroute server energy, to overload the portal with this world's own energies, to finally close it as it couldn't keep up with the many request Xisuma was giving the server. Finally, he cut off the power supply, leaving the portal to sputter, and, with a horrific screech and a blinding red light, collapse in on itself.
The rift was gone.
"You did it!" Impulse cheered, but X barely heard him.
They still had a problem: The demon horde below them, right between the STAR-Team base and the G-Team base.
Xisuma heard his heart beating in his chest as he watched the demons, familiar feelings rising to the surface yet again. The hatred and repulsion as he watched the creatures writhe and scream. Feelings that should have been harmful in any way, but X felt strangely empowered by them. His hands were itching, missing the familiar feel of a shotgun. The demons managed to take out Iskall, laving False in the field. She fell back further towards Xisuma and the others.
"Guys, a little help?", she yelled, out of breath.
X took out his enderchest and rifled trough it, his sight never leaving the approaching demons. Finally, without even realizing what he was doing, he produced a crossbow from the chest.
False bumped into him on her retreat, and he snapped out of it. She was badly hurt. He looked at the crossbow in his hands. What was he doing? He never really even used the crossbow here! The grip felt comforting in his hands, though.
A shout from Impulse made him look up.
A singular, cheeky demon had managed to climb up their small hill. It hissed and screeched, hesitating just a second as it laid eyes upon X. Out of reflex, he took out his sword, swiping it in a broad arc like he had grown used to over the past years in this world. The demon staggered, falling backwards, and X ended it with another swipe. It simply crumpled onto the floor.
The next demon was already clawing at him, and he raised his sword to defend himself. It's sharp nails scratched across his diamond armor, uselessly. Loathing filled him once more, as the creature tried again to attack him. Or was it disappointment at the weak attack? With two swipes of his sword, the demon fell, tumbling across his comrade. Two more took it's place. His sword switched hands, and he quickly dispatched of them, leaving their bodies lifeless as he precisely hit their vital points.
He took out his Crossbow, loading it with one hand, sword in the other. The next demon got a crossbow bolt lodged right between its eyes, then he brought down the sword. With a satisfying crunch, it's arm tore right off, leaving the creature open for the finishing blow. Blood drops landed on his diamond boots.
More demons approached him. Instead of taking a step back, he stepped forwards, towards the hellspawns. Why? It was the right thing to do. He sliced trough another demon, each stroke faster, each hit more powerful than the one before. Something in his gut had awoken, a scorching hot feeling of primal anger. This was his world. His home. They did not belong here. A demon lunged onto him, and a rush of adrenaline shot trough him as he sent it barreling backwards with a strong, well-placed kick. Crossbow shot, brains splattering behind the next demon. Sword thrust, then a yank upwards to rip the demon in half from the chest up. Blood covered his visor. The next demon was within his arm's reach, and his head soon torn from his body with his bare hands. The disgusting crunching noise and garbled screech should not have been this rewarding, but somehow, it fueled his carnage even more.
Soon, he was tearing trough the demons, with help of his sword and crossbow, cleaving his way rough the hordes. The smaller, weaker demons fell in dozens before him. The larger Imps spat fireballs at him, dissolving uselessly at his diamond armor. The hulking hell knights and whatnot charged towards him, trying to get to him, but to no avail. He made short work of each and every demon that crossed his path, then went out of his way to get the others. His kills were growing more and more brutal by the second, leaving a trail of blood and demon parts behind him. They had seemed to recognize him, and both fear and anger led them to attack him more and more viciously.
The Doom Slayer.
With a rewarding rip and tear, the last demon lost his limbs to him, then died quickly as a heavily armored boot was brought down upon his head, splattering blood everywhere.
He looked around him as silence had encompassed the field.
The sight of blood and carnage was a familiar one. No demon had been left alive, as it should be. Satisfied, stilled, the feelings in his gut faded slowly, his adrenaline levels calming down. The threat was over. The demons were dead.
Pleased with the results, the admin turned around and walked back to where he came from, sword and crossbow still in his hands.
He reached the hill where his fellow hermits were still standing, staring at him.
He found his voice back.
"Well, there's that outta the way.", Xisuma said in his usual cheery tone, storing away his weapons in his inventory. Blood was still dripping from his armor and he frowned.
Impulse, False and Jevin just stared at him, blankly.
"Dude.", Impulse finally began. "Holy shit."