Welcome to "The Diary of a Miner"; a blog detailing the adventures and mysteries that I, Syeonyx, embark upon in my quest to further my mining and survival skills! It'll be tough, there will be good times and bad times, but I'll always be alive to post my adventures... probably...

Day 82: Getting up to speed...

     Despite the comfort of the bed, I didn't get a wink of sleep. I was too busy trying to get everything straight in my head; I had initially assumed that the Lone 7 were a group of ex-miners who were shacked up in a small, underground base, performing raids on HoN Co. guards every now and again... It turns out they're an organised group who run their operations like a military operation, gathering intelligence, and spying on the enemy before making any move. It's much better than I had hoped for, and the fact that they seem willing to embrace me into their group is another thing altogether! They seem to think I possess a skill or attribute which they can put to effective use within their "brotherhood"! I don't know what I can bring to the group... Maybe it's just that I can get things done, no questions asked... I certainly don't remember asking many questions when THEROS was ordering me around!

     When I eventually came from SERVERE's room, the other five were seated around the table in the centre of the mess hall. I was asked to sit with them, and a short while after, AMPHIS brought me a plate of sausage and fried eggs! I wolfed it down; it was so delicious! Eventually, AMPHIS stood up, bowed to the rest and returned to the library, with COLUS, THEXIS and UOPETA in tow. THEROS remained at the table with me whilst I finished my breakfast.

"How are you settling in then? I understand there is a lot to take in, but I never said it was going to be easy. You'll have to adapt to our way of living, especially if you decide to join us as the complete Lone 7, and stand in SERVERE's stead."

At this point, I remembered what I had meant to ask him yesterday, and inquired as to the identity of the sixth brother of the Lone 7.

"Ah yes, you didn't meet him yesterday. He is always wrapped up in his work and research. His name's OROTHO; he's the scientist of the group, and spends his days studying the Creepers, and other creatures from the Nether. You should talk to him; it sounds like you could provide some valuable information to him concerning the Creepers and the Solus stone! But first, I'll show you the library. It is a vast place, full of mass amounts of knowledge. No doubt you will find it most useful in one way or another..."

     With my final mouthful, I stood up, called Chiron to my side and began to follow THEROS from the room. We followed the passage around the way we had come yesterday, THEROS taking care to lock the room with the hidden barricade. We emerged back into the discussion room, and went straight across to the other side. There, another lever was noticeable, embedded partially into the wall, with the barricade raised. We made a right turn, and before me was a huge room, with every wall lined with a bookshelf, each brimming to bursting point with books, papers, articles, folders and binders. In the centre, a glass column stretched from the floor to the ceiling, and to the right, I could see AMPHIS flicking through the shelves, presumably for a book...

     I walked around the entire room, trying to take in what I was seeing. Had all of these books been written by the L7? As I continued around, I noticed a wooden hand rail going around the glass column, and then realised there was a series of stairs.

"No doubt you've worked out that this is only the top floor of the library? There is another layer of books on the floor below, the same size as this floor..."

AMPHIS walked over to THEROS with a large leather-bound book in his hand and said:

"Another floor? There are three floors to this library! This is the top floor, with two more beneath it. Some of the books we've scavenged from other miners, some we have written, some are diaries, journals or reports. I think OROTHO has half the bottom floor devoted to his scientific papers alone!"

     I stood there speechless, whilst looking down through the glass column to the floor below, where I could see THEXIS and UOPETA. They were talking, whilst looking for something on the shelves. I wandered around the top floor for some time, examining the titles, and noticing most of them were reports on HoN Co. guard sightings, seemingly written by UOPETA. After a while, THEROS called me over to go and see OROTHO.

"A few things you need to know about OROTHO before you meet him: he's very skittish. He does and says a lot of things faster than most of us can keep up with, but you eventually begin to make sense of what he says. He can also seem to be rather rude, but he is easily engrossed in his research. I think he's currently working with a group of Creepers, so it's unlikely we'll get much sense from him unless we mention the Solus stone. Also, don't insult or play down his experiments. He detests people criticising his work... Aside from that, don't touch anything you're not supposed to, and don't annoy him and you should be fine."

We walked back towards the door. I gazed back around at the library again, amazed at the wealth of information they had accumulated in what I could only assume was a short space of time. Turning around, I prepared myself mentally for meeting the last brother of the Lone 7... I wonder if THEROS had stretched the truth a bit...
     We headed down the final passage that sat straight across from the entrance, wondering what OROTHO was going to be like. Once again, the passageway was blocked by the barricade which smoothly and silently slid back into the alcoves in the wall. Straight ahead, I could see a man, dressed in the same armour as the others, with but a dark blue detail to the cloth and cloak. He also wore no helm, and no gauntlets. I assumed that his work may require the delicate touch of a hand rather than a metal glove. As I got closer, I could hear him talking to himself. THEROS had been right! He did talk fast. I could only make out a few words he said, referring to "Creepers", "thermo..." and "vasodilation". We stood in the doorway for some time, watching OROTHO wander from one console to another, constantly talking to himself. Every now and again, he would stop at the large glass panel set on the far wall, and stare into it, face pressed against the glass. Wait a minute... I looked closer, and noticed three Creepers wandering around in the shadows behind the glass... Was that safe? OROTHO then shuffled over to a console to the right of the doorway, still engrossed in his ramblings and experiments...

     Eventually OROTHO noticed us in the doorway and shuffled towards me, still talking to himself. He then went into a welcome, I guess, which I only managed to catch parts of.

"That's OROTHO for you! I'll show you the rest of the lab... Just don't touch anything."

THEROS led me over to the large glass screen ahead where the three Creepers were wandering around. How was this possible? How had they captured a Creeper, let alone three? And why weren't they blowing up. Thankfully, THEROS filled me in on those parts:

"Those Creepers have been there for some time. We managed to carry them in, once we hit them with a suppressant. After some tests, OROTHO managed to concoct some chemical that prevented the Creepers from exploding. As you may have already read, this was achieved by suppressing the release of adrenaline which occurred when they were exposed to large amounts of stress. If there is no adrenaline, there is no explosion. OROTHO is now working to understand how they utilise the adrenaline to become so volatile. We think he's on to something, although it's often like trying to get blood from a stone. Much of what we've learnt, we retrieved from the papers he writes and then stores away. He's very reclusive, but a genius!"

I looked back at OROTHO who was fiddling with a control panel, pulling levers. Suddenly, from behind the glass, the ceiling opened up, and a torrent of water gushed forth into the small area. The Creepers began bouncing and shuffling quickly away from the water, almost as if they were scared of it.

"Don't worry. We don't know what that's for either..."

     I backed away from the glass, not knowing what to expect. I didn't entirely trust OROTHO. But then again he had managed to trap three Creepers behind a glass screen. I began to walk around the lab, in awe at the instrument panels that were set up; there were buttons, levers and flashing lights all over the place. None of them had labels, so presumably OROTHO had constructed this himself, and was therefore the only one who knew how to operate it... I walked over to the desk in the corner, and see stacks of neatly piled books placed on shelves. A document lay open on the table with the words "Osmotic hibernation effect on the durability of Creeper lifespan"... I stood there, staring blankly at it for awhile, trying to make sense of the words...

"Don't worry... I think that just means how long they take to drown!"

As I crossed back to the centre of the room, I noticed a large portion of the room was risen, with the centre constructed from glass. Looking down into it, I could see three zombies ambling and shuffling around below! I couldn't believe what I saw! OROTHO was a madman; he had allowed Creepers and zombies into the base of the L7, and the others had let him.

"They're sealed in a subterranean chamber with nearly a metre of plexi-glass standing between them and you. You're in no danger. Besides, we can flood the chamber with gas, UV light or lava if we need to destroy them."

"Destroy them? NO! OUT OUT OUT!!!"

OROTHO began shuffling quickly towards us, flicking his hands in a shooing motion.

"Looks like we've outstayed our welcome... Goodbye OROTHO... Good luck with... The Creeper thing..."

OROTHO stopped with a look of astonishment on his face. I left the room with THEROS, leaving OROTHO back in the lab.

"We all act very professionally around him usually. But just lately he seems to be conducting a fair number of pointless experiments, generally testing the extremes to which a Creeper can survive. He believes it's the key to understanding how they can spontaneously explode when adrenaline gets into their system. He's performed countless autopsies on dead Creepers, but has been unable to locate the source of the chemical that reacts with adrenaline. He thinks he's getting closer though... Not that it will do us much good. Our main priority are the portals. Come! We are all meeting in the discussion room to fill you in on the details.

     I sat at one of the end chairs, beside THEROS, with the others seated elsewhere, and COLUS at the head of the table. COLUS began a speech about HoN Co., the guards, how the portals worked and the current progress. Then came the bit that was aimed at me. The others relaxed slightly, as if they had heard this before, and I concentrated on COLUS:

"A portal is a simple system for gaining access to the Nether, no doubt you already knew. The obsidian frame maintains the rift in a symbiotic relationship, allowing anything to make the journey through to the Nether. The creatures that you have seen here - Creepers, zombies, giant spiders... They all originate from the Nether, and have spread out across Minecraftia, thanks to HoN Co. The portals were found by accident, and activated by HoN Co. with the first contact. The team sent into the Nether were assumed to be destroyed, but not willing to risk any further loss of life, the portal was destroyed. Or so they would have you believe. It was in fact protected; all non-essential personnel involved were killed, and scientists were brought in to study it. Eventually, another group was sent in, composed of scientists and soldiers. When they came back, they brought with them samples of ores and minerals that possessed unfathomable amounts of energy within, that could be harnessed with a little effort. The only problem was, the ores and minerals lost much of they potential energy when travelling through the rift. They became as efficient as coal, which they had access to copious amounts of anyway!

"From here on, it is mere speculation. HoN Co. was approached by someone known only as "the figure"... It is believed that they gave HoN Co. the answer to gaining access to this power, but at a cost. A cost, it seems, HoN Co. is willing to pay. HoN Co. learnt of other portals that existed, and were eventually told what the portals could be used for. In brief, there is a single master portal; a main gateway to the Nether which cannot be destroyed. But it is not activate, nor can it be activated through electrostatic discharge or heat. It can only be activated when a number of normal portals within proximity to the master portal are activated. Once this happens, the master portal becomes active when struck by lightning, and all of the Nether leaks into Minecraftia. The two worlds become distorted, with much of the normal world being lost to the more powerful Nether world. The surrounding landscapes are transformed into that which occur in the Nether, and so the minerals and ores become available in Minecraftia. HoN Co. has access to these ores without the loss of energy, but at the cost of all life in Minecraftia!

"We have yet to find the location of the master portal, but we have been trying to destroy all portals we come across whenever we can! The more portals we destroy, the more we weaken HoN Co.'s plan! But we have learnt that HoN Co. may have recently found the master portal! It is thought to be buried deep beneath the surface, but HoN Co. are constructing a huge metallic structure from the surface to it below. Their hope is that the electrical energy from a bolt of lightning will activate the master portal, and begin the transmogrification of Minecraftia, once the surrounding portals are activated. In summation, we need you to locate the metal tower, locate the master portal, and gather information. UOPETA and THEROS will accompany you if necessary, and can guide you accordingly. We will need to gather as much information as possible so we can act as swiftly and efficiently as possible. I know it is a lot to ask of you Syeonyx, but we need your help. You have already proven yourself a worthy brother to the Lone 7. We are willing to make you an honorary brother of the Lone 7. But of course, you have the option to leave at any time. It is your choice. We will leave you to decide."

They all left the table, leaving me to try and grasp the enormity of the situation... They wanted me to do what?

Syeonyx signing off

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