The first night of a new world always felt refreshing. The dew that formed with nightfall smelled sweet and the sunset over the new horizon was always able to captivate any Hermit not too busy in their shallow mines. The stars were new too, the constellations had shifted, or sometimes changed completely, and the Hermits who used maps would try to scribble down the first formations before someone slept.
Xisuma put down the first bed off the season in a fairly open field as his friends jumped around, laughing and bartering over fish heads and diamonds. While the first day was always fun, it was stressful for many reasons. Food wasn’t in easy supply, shelter was little to none, and protection was short. For the Admin, it was worse. Glitches often made themselves known in the first few hours, leaving Xisuma to rush to correct them while also trying to keep up with the progress of the Hermits.
Maybe that is why he stuck so close to the group for the first day, bringing down trees with False and mining with Cleo. Hypno disappeared into the trees only to come back with a bucket of water to dump on his head. The day had been productive and terribly short, so Xisuma saw it fit to sleep the first night away instead of fighting through mobs with stone and iron swords throughout the star shine.
The admin laid down. Those bearing witness cringed, waiting for the dizzying sight of the moon flying across the sky and the sun popping up onto the horizon. Xisuma’s control over time was always strange to them, but it stopped the strange monsters that followed them in every shadow of every world, so they didn’t often question him.
Until the first night of Season Seven.
“Uh, X?” Cleo said, taking off her very expensive fish head in case she wasn’t seeing things properly.
While the Admin had gotten into the bed, and everyone’s communicators told them he had successfully fallen asleep and gotten the achievements he made for them to giggle about, nothing happened. The sun did not appear on the horizon and the new stars only blinked at the Hermits expectedly.
“Uh-oh!” Laughed Hypno as a zombie groaned in the distance. “X, what’s happening?”
False began laying torches around Xisuma’s bed, jumping through their small set up as she drew her sword and faced the darkness, prepared to bring down any mobs. “Someone wake him up. He can’t be sleeping in the open like this if the sun isn’t coming up.”
The communicators everyone wore since their first days as a hermit pinged.
“I don’t like that.” BxCrafted said.
JoeHills: Howdy y’all, having some troubles?
Cleo stuffed her communicator into her pocket and shook Xisuma’s shoulder. The admin didn’t flinch. She rolled her eyes and smacked his helmet as hard as she could. The visor that had been painted to resemble a bee went from transparent paint to opaque black, covering the Admin’s entire face. The zombie looming over him felt her unmoving blood go cold, looking up at the Queen of Hearts and Body parts as she cut down the mindless undead. “Xisuma’s broken.”
“What?” Asked Hypno, pulling his stone sword from a spider to run over into the relative safety of torch light.
Cleo tried to shake the admin again, pulling on his armoured shirt to try and wake him from whatever weird sleep he was in. “Xisuma’s broken.”
“Elaborate Cleo!” False huffed from her fighting stance, dragging her iron blade through a creeper and leaping away before it could explode. She hit it once more and it perished into a pile of ashes. If the sounds coming from the shadows at the edge of her torches were any indicator, she was in for the long night and would be lacking iron gear come sunshine. “You need to tell us more than our admin is broken!”
“He won’t wake up?” Supplied BxCrafted, walking over to knock on Xisuma’s black visor.
MumboJumbo: Can someone sleep?
BDoubleO100: No bed!!!!
Iskall85: Get reked Bdubs!
The undead woman took a deep breath and joined False at the front lines of Protect The Broken Admin. Undead looked at her with confusion in their already confused eyes and she supposed that was too much for their brainless heads and they wandered back into the shadows. Spiders and creepers, however, were still very excited to have prey to play with the darkness. False threw her an iron sword as she ran from a hissing creeper, the creature leaving a crater in the earth a few feet behind her.
“Okay!” Cried Cleo, taking off two of a spider’s legs. “Someone pick X up and carry him not here! Joe has loads of boats, someone get on their communicator and explain what’s going on! If anyone has a starter house right now, we need it!”
BxCrafted: Xisuma’s asleep but nothing is happening. We can’t wake him up either. Does anyone know somewhere safe we can take him?
Rendog: Ol ren diggity dawg has got ya! I’m pretty close to the mooshroom island
Tango: Where are you guys? I can load him into my boat and sail him over
JoeHills: I hate to admin it, but I knew something bad was a foot
Grian: It wasn’t my fault
BxCrafted: Of course it wasn’t you’re no where nearrrrrr
Stressmonster: oh no! is x okay?
False’s sword shattered in the belly of a spider and Cleo’s cracked against a creeper’s head. Weaponless and now alone as Hypno carried X to shore and BxCrafted followed with his communicator in hand, the two girls looked at each other, shrugged, and ran. At shore, Joe had dug his boat into the sand and so had Tango, the admin propped up leaning against his back as they began fleeing from the affected shore. False jumped into Xisuma’s boat from earlier and Cleo climbed in behind Joe since Hypno and BxCrafted stole hers.
Goodtimewithscar was blown up by a creeper
Goodtimewithscar: What’s going on?
After a full dusk of panic, stressed torch placing, and every hermit making (or sharing boats) to pile onto Ren’s island, everyone was relatively calm as they gathered around a small campfire in the sand. Ren, Joe, and Stress were locked in Ren’s starter hut with Xisuma trying to figure out what was happening to him while the others talked in hushed tones outside, worried their sound could make the situation somehow worse.
False leaned on the hut wall by the door, looking up at the strange stars and frowning. Was this world already broken? She kicked off her dented boots and wiggled her crushed toes with a heavy sigh before sinking to the soft earth and closing her eyes.
Doc sat with the NHO, basking in the heat of the fire and enjoying the stories of his friend’s recent travels. The back of his mind itched with a problem nonetheless, but he did his best to stay focus.
Bdubs sat with Doc with a firm pout on his face, bags under his eyes already forming from lack of sleep. He hated every second of this ordeal.
Keralis paced by the hut, worried for his Swishwammy, and Cleo paced with him just to keep him grounded and herself distracted.
Cub suggested moving Xisuma to the mooshroom island for the night, but Iskall brought up it would be a hassle and they were already safe. A small argument fueled only by sleepiness and worry followed, but no voices were raised.
Inside of Ren’s hut, Xisuma laid on the bed. Joe had very carefully removed his helmet. The admin could breathe overworld air, but every Hermit knew his kind was from the void of the end and his helmet offered relief to the thick air of the overworld. While the jostling and change of air quality would wake any living man, Xisuma didn’t flinch, and his scar covered face remained eerily still.
World reloaded. Murmurs outside grew and quickly fell again.
Stress wiggled her fingers into the armour around Xisuma’s neck and breathed a sigh of relief when she felt a pulse. Everyone in the hut sighed too and the air became a little lighter. “So what do we think it is?” She asked, adjusting her flower crown as she sat next to Xisuma’s legs.
“Maybe he just crashed from the world change? Takes a lot out of him!” Ren suggested.
“X is a busy bee,” Added Joe. “the man needs sleep.”
“But this is broken sleep.” Added Stress, the petals on her crown beginning to curl with wilt. “What if he doesn’t wake up? And we have to live through every single night and fight off all the mobs? What happens then?”
“Hey now,” Joe said, patting her shoulder. “thinking like that will make you down, and being down is bad, because it’s hard to get back up.”
Stress found it in herself to laugh. “Thanks, Joe.”
“We don’t have any potions or ways to get them so early in the game.” Ren said, bringing down the mood in the hut once more. “I don’t know what options we have other than to wait and guard Xisuma until he’s better. Let’s put his helmet back on.”
After Stress fed Xisuma a bottle of water and placed a flower petal on his tongue (medicine, Ren thought. Luck, was Joe’s guess), Joe reattached his helmet. The visor remained full black and the bee face was just taunting them now, so Ren wiped it off.
Since his bed was taken and deemed worthless, he and the other two slid outside to explain the situation. While no hermit was happy, and everyone was tired, and scared, and worried, they all agreed to stay for Xisuma. They would take shifts through the night and sleep the way those without admins do. Most who had left the server for a year or so laughed about the privileged Hermits and they allowed them too, because it was a break from the worry for Xisuma’s health.
False refused to move from her post by the door all night, and while every hour a different two Hermits would join her, she stood valiantly by the door, loyal as she should be. Cleo wanted to stay up too but instead laid at False’s feet, claiming to be awake in half-asleep murmurs every time False asked. The stars shifted over head as the Hermits snored and False tried to focus on them and ignore the sleep knawing at the back of her brain.
“Thinking too hard is writing poetry without the fun.” Joe said sleepily beside her. Doc scrubbed his face, unsure how he got the shift with the strangest hermit on the server. False gave a huff that Joe took as a laugh and he set his sights on Doc next. “Couldn’t one as yourself just tell your brethren to begone?”
Doc hissed. Joe put up his hands and this time False did laugh as Cleo shot up only to promptly lay back down with a very zombie-groan.
Conversation died quick after that. Everyone, even those trying to sleep, could only think about life without Xisuma. The NHO had lived in the jungle for a few months trying to go back to that life only a few years ago, but every hermit knew how that story ended. Now, Doc couldn’t imagine his life without Xisuma. Cleo knew she wouldn’t have one without the admin’s powers over respawn (even if he couldn’t turn them on fast enough to fully save her). Every Hermit had Xisuma to thank for giving them a home.
Xisuma was a busy man with the rest of them on his hands. Grian was sure to apologize when Xisuma got better for the endless streams of pranks. Bdubs and Keralis made an agreement that Xisuma deserved more shares from IDEA this season. Mumbo vowed to stop breaking the world with his contraptions this time. Iskall told him it would never happen. Cub promised to keep the Vex under control, and False shuddered at what that could have meant.
By sunrise, False was very, very tired. But somehow, she felt… rejuvenated. Spending the night with her friends and hearing everything they loved about their Admin and their close-knit group was the only rest she needed, she decided. That was just a well-meaning metaphor, of course, because the warrior felt like she could fall off her feet right then and there, but didn’t want to until she knew Xisuma was better.
“I had forgot to rewrite the sleep code of this world! What a derp!” Xisuma laughed as he stepped through the door. Black retreated from his visor in a flurry one ones and zeroes and False could never have been happier to see the stupid, smudged bee paint over his eyes as she fell into his arms in a giant hug.
The rest of the Hermits jumped up in a wave of cheers and tackled their admin to the ground, crushing him in hugs and praise and “Don’t you ever do that again, mister!” Xisuma only laughed and did his best to hug back, but his arms were well and thoroughly pinned.
“What the crap happened?” Tango asked.
Beef nodded. “That was wild dude.”
“We were worried about you mate!” Mumbo said.
Xisuma smiled wider as he hugged False tight, since while everyone else backed off, the Queen of Hearts and Body Parts held firm. “Well, when I tried to sleep, I’m sure everyone immediately noticed something was off. I did too! I had to go into the code of the world to fix it, but when I do that a sorta deep sleep thing happens. I knew Falsey here would keep me safe (“And Cleo! I helped!”) so I just let it happen. I do have to admit I didn’t think it would take so long. I had to reload the world a few times because the code was being pesky. And it was surprising to wake up in this lovely little house with a flower in my mouth!”
Ren and Joe shot a look at Stress but she only smiled innocently. Maybe her Flower Queen powers weren’t in full bloom yet, reasoned Joe.
“We’re glad you’re better Swishwammy.” Keralis said.
Etho patted Xisuma on the back and raised an eyebrow. “So what your saying is the sleeping is fixed?”
“What?” It’s an honest question!”
The admin laughed loudly, nodding his head. “I think it is, yes. Let’s all get back to work, thank you everyone for the help and the concern. Especially you False, you look exhausted- oh she’s asleep.”
The group of hermits groaned, but began laughing after. Xisuma carried False into the hut and laid her on the bed to tuck her in. When he was back outside, almost all of the hermits had left in their boats to continue their work. Needless to say everyone felt kicked in the backside after seeing Ren’s island. The only two left where Cleo and Ren.
“I can’t believe two people have slept in my bed before I have.” Ren complained. Cleo smacked him up the back of the head. “Ow! It was a joke!”
“I know.” Said Cleo. “I just like hitting you. Give me your head.”
“Okay, okay!” Xisuma said, stepping between them. “I regret adding that function.” He grumbled. Cleo only beamed and the admin had to sigh at her happy face. “Thank you both for the all the help. I guess I should have warned you about the deep sleep before it happened.”
“Yeah, next time don’t do it out in the open.” Cleo said, patting Xisuma on the helmet-forehead.
“You gotta be more careful, dawg.” Ren agreed.
Xisuma looked at the endless ocean surrounding Ren’s loser island and could only smile. The world was full of so many possibilities and they wouldn’t be the Hermits without some mistakes. He could already see the business of the shopping district to be and the games that would shake through the world like they always did. The new world smell was still there and he took in a lungful, filtered by his helmet it may be. “Nah."