Yognapped 3: Minecraftia Falls P8

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Literature Text

Chapter 8: Grief and Strife

"I... I tried, okay?!"
Peon Unit 341 pressed his ear up to the door, listening to his commander rant. He'd been standing guard here all day. If anyone had entered Sben's quarters other than the man himself, he would have known. Sben was completely, utterly alone.
So who the hell's he screaming at?
"I SAID I TRIED! It's not my fault your brother's a massive pu... AGH! FUCKING CUT IT OUT!" Unit 341 heard what sounded like the shattering of glowstone. "It's not all done! I can still... still... hurk..."
Something loudly thumped against the wall, startling him. There followed a sound like a gallon of spoiled milk being spilt over tile, then his commander's panicked gasps. "Enough... I can still do it... as soon as the three civic targets are down, and we mobilize for New Ic..." Stumbling footsteps. More syrupy noise. Hissing breath. "What... what are you doing...?"
"Wait... Wait, what the hell was that? Bullshit! I sent someone there alre..." The liquid sounds were much more intense this time, and Unit 341 thought he heard a block of iron being slowly rent in two.
"... Okay. I get it. I'll kill him, like I promised. If I don't... yeah. Okay. I'm sorry." Sben let out a strained sigh and fell silent.
Unit 341 knocked experimentally on the door. "S... sir...?"
"Come in."
Come in? To his restricted quarters? What, does he plan on ripping my eyes out through my chin for listening to... whatever THAT was?
Despite his concerns, the Peon dutifully obeyed, sliding the iron door open and stepping cautiously through. The chamber was darkened enough to warrant the night vision in his mask, which activated after a brief moment of adjustment.
Sben was standing in the center of the room, surrounded by shards of glowstone from his shattered light. The dents and cracks scattered around the walls, along with the strange pools of what looked like foam and human blood, pointed to events that Unit 341 wanted no part of.
Swiftly regaining his composure, Sben wiped off the front of his jacket and started to address Unit 341, and it was only then that he took notice of the man holding a diamond blade to the Peon's neck.
"What... What the hell's this about? WHO IS HE?!" Sben's roar shook the reinforced iron walls, and Unit 341's protected eardrums almost burst.
Grinning nonchalantly, the man stepped around to face Sben. "Evening, sir. My name's Liam Nilesy, and I've something to show you."


The Alpha Griefer watched, smirking with anticipation, as the wall in front of him faded out of existence.
More accurately, the pair of advanced projectors he'd developed activated, making half of his room appear to vanish. In its place materialized the view from the other projector, which currently resided in an entirely different dimension. The effect was such that the two chambers appeared to be almost seamlessly fused at the center.
Even though he knew for a fact that no harm could come to him, Griefer Alpha couldn't help but feel a moment of innate, freezing dread when Sben rose into frame. He knew full well what the psychopathic warlord was capable of, and that he was currently supposed to be nothing more than a charred skeleton in some lonesome Minecraftian field. However, his sudden return to the mortal plane would not interfere with the Collective's goals.
You are a loose end, masked man, and I'm willing to tie you up by way of the sword if my words fail me.
Sben paced up to the boundary between their rooms, his head tilted at an eerie angle. The searchlights in his eyes swept over Griefer Alpha's crimson Peon Elite armor, expressing silent disbelief even through his blank mask.
Griefer Alpha was the first to break the palpable tension. "Good evening, Sben. You're looking lovely for someone who took a couple of TNT blocks to the face half a year ago."
The lights dimmed to a level just under 'blinding' as Sben stared intently at him. "Alright, how the hell did you know about that? I don't seem to remember any freaks in stolen armor running around on deck that night. Or are you one of those guys who just likes to feel up peoples' corpses when nobody's looking?"
"Oh, I know a lot of things, Sben. Some of the information I possess might really blow your mind." Griefer Alpha chuckled at his admittedly awful pun. "And now that we've exchanged pleasantries, I'd like to introduce you to the reason I called you up like this."
At his hand signal, a dozen men and women in plainclothes shuffled into view. Some carried swords, daggers, and picks of various materials, but most appeared to be unarmed. The only thing that distinguished them was their eyes; all deeply set with the combination of a thousand-yard stare and a glare of unfettered ambition.
"These fine citizens who stand before you are but a minuscule segment of my Griefer Collective. We, Sben, are your successors. We work towards the destruction of-"
Sben cut him off with a peal of mirthful laughter. "WHAT?! Sorry, sorry, my successors? A bunch of farmers and homeless beggars that look like you pulled them off the street yesterday? SUCCEEDING the most efficiently destructive army since the Cult of Israphel in its prime?! Give me a fucking break."
Irritated with the interruption, Griefer Alpha strode up to the boundary, so that he and Sben appeared to be mask-to-mask. "The Griefer Collective is an army of unrivaled proportions, Sben. We are spread across the land, and we walk in full view of Notch and his warriors. Where has Ironstorm been while we crippled both Nilesy's Dell and New Mistral City? You have been hiding out deep in a ruined dimension, stroking yourselves over how assuredly amazing your future actions will be, while still remaining too terrified of heavenly retribution to act. We have destroyed two of Minecraftia's largest population centers, and Notch doesn't even know we exist."
The silence in the room was almost a solid force. Sben stared, his godlike mind spinning as he processed what had just come to light. When his reply eventually came, it had to be forced out through a filter of palpable loathing. "I don't completely buy the idea that you took out New Mistral, but you've got my attention..."
"Good." Griefer Alpha drew back a couple of steps, letting out a silent breath of pent-up fear as he continued. "Now, despite what our unfortunate start here might lead you to believe, the Griefer Collective doesn't have to be Ironstorm's enemy. Quite the contrary, if you'd allow it. I've contacted you because I wish to set up an... alliance. You have unmatched manpower and firepower, but your plans have so far not been demonstrated to go beyond sprinting into a populated area and firing wildly. I have the proper planning skills, but my Griefers lack-"
Again, Sben cut off his speech, but he sounded less than amused this time. "You just drew your wild card and tossed it into the bonfire. You know what I mean? That lets me know that you've got NOTHING on my plans. We're not out there raising hell like last time because that's exactly what Notch expects. But do you know what we found, all the way at the edge of Minecraftia?
"Weapons. We found things that could wipe out your entire army in a millisecond. We found things that haven't been used for centuries, just because they were so horrifically devastating. Just yesterday, I fired a shot from an empty rifle that blew a Ghast's face off. I can see that you put a lot of time into this, kid, but you have NOTHING."
"Stop. Interrupting. Me."
Griefer Alpha was up to the boundary again. "I've got a question for you, Sben. If you answer it truthfully, I'll reconsider what you're slowly pushing me to do."
"Shoot." Sben laughed and flashed a crude gesture toward the Alpha Griefer. "There is literally nothing you can do to hurt me."
"What are you fighting for?"
Sben stared blankly at the other masked man, who was starting to get on his nerves. "What?"
"You heard me, Sben. What motivated you to form Ironstorm in the first place? WHY do you want to destroy Minecraftia?" Griefer Alpha leaned forward as far as he could. "Assuming you even had a motive, of course. You're probably just in it for the suffering and misery you cause, right?"
Total silence fell for the longest time. Sben was painfully aware of how much more charismatic the Alpha Griefer was, but that did not dissuade his answer. "I... I don't remember."
Griefer Alpha sighed and shook his head. "Because I'm right. You never had a reason for all of the senseless killing you've done. Do you know why the Griefer Collective exists, Sben? It exists because I learned things. Awful things. Things Notch wanted to keep buried for a long, long time. The Griefer Collective exists to make right what once went wrong. We are not mass murderers out just to cause pain, Sben! We are ARCHITECTS! SCHOLARS! We CREATE! All you are is an INDISCRIMINATE, VIOLENT STORM!!!"
"Yeah?" Inside his mask, Sben grinned smugly. "Well, people don't shutter their windows and bar their doors when a fucking think tank rolls into town."
The Griefers began to react with counter-insults and shouts of hatred, but their leader silenced them by pulling out a small device. It was flat, painted a metallic black, and unlike anything most Minecraftians had ever lain eyes on. Griefer Alpha turned it toward Sben to reveal a glowing glass screen, which was covered in a jumble of circles and diagrams. "Do you know what this does, Sben?"
Sben shook his head. "Do enlighten me."
"This is the device I use to manage the Collective. It stores and displays our operation plans and designates points of attack for waiting teams. However, its main function..." Griefer Alpha hovered a finger over one of the rotating circular icons. "... Is to signal embedded operatives to commence an operation."
His finger went down. The screen flashed white once, and the view changed to a shaky camera view of somewhere in the Nether. Somewhere familiar.
The entrance to Netherstorm.
The feed, which Sben realized with uncomprehending horror was taken from a Peon's mask-mounted camera, rotated around to reveal the other Peon standing guard outside. In one swift motion, the first Peon raised his rifle into view and shot his comrade six times in the torso.
Then he started marching into the base.
Sben looked back at Griefer Alpha, who was nodding slowly. He struggled and stumbled over his words, unable to properly convey the shock and horror that was filling him. Luckily, Griefer Alpha was there to fill in the silence.
"We do what we must, not in malice, nor in pleasure, but in grief. The Collective creed. From what my operatives have told me... Ironstorm doesn't have one.
"So long, Sben. I'm glad we could get our problems solved so easily."
At the far end of the room, Unit 341 waited until the feed from the projector clicked off. He nodded at Liam Nilesy once, raised his pistol, and fired a bullet into Sben's back.
As the aghast commander tumbled to the floor, both men strode out into the halls, ready to fulfill their goal.
The Alpha Griefer reveals his hand, and Sben is left in an unfortunate state.
And yes, he can be referred to as various combinations of the two words in his name, depending on the sentence. Sorry if that's confusing.
© 2014 - 2021 KleinerKiller
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DrStarchild's avatar
The title of this in my feed gave me a tingle of mixed anticipation and fear before I even consciously remembered what story this is.

Also "poor" Sben. It might be entertaining to go up to various cartoon villains and ask them why they do what they do. "I... I don't remember." might be a popular answer. Hah!
KleinerKiller's avatar
Oh, I'm flattered. :D Causing that feeling in people is one of my goals as a writer.

And yes, how interesting that would be. I realized Sben was a bit of a "cartoon villain" in his first incarnation, so I built up this confrontation to lampshade that and hopefully give him more dimension.