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...

Squid-things and pig-men!

     We had been at this for some time. It felt like hours, but I was reassured it had been less than half an hour in total. There was so much data amassed here that leaving without reading through all of it seemed cruel! We had created so many search strings and queries now, and the desk beside the automated system was now stacked quite high with reports. Despite the report that was first called had actually already been read to us by Amie, I had to read through it myself. It seemed that the Nether did indeed possess an atmosphere breathable by humans, and it also possessed the same gravitational attraction as Minecraftia. So far so good; we weren't going to suffocate and we weren't going to either float away or be crushed by the abnormal gravity! After reading through this, I created a query concerning indigenous species that was known to originate from the Nether, and I wasn't surprised to see images and details about the Creepers. However I did find it odd that in the Creeper section, there was no reference to their explosive and volatile nature, nor any information about an experiment to be able to do this either! Aside from that, there was very little in terms of other species. Oddly, there was no record about the undead of giant spiders emerging from the Nether, nor where any found. It didn't say that, but the lack of data suggested that the undead were likely a result of a diabolical experiment to protect HoN Co.'s resources! Then I got to a page that confused me... Well, after the Creeper section, I was confused entirely! There were some species of silverfish; small insect-like creatures that crawled around on the floor, no bigger than a ladybird, but there was mention of a 'pig-man'! I approached Amie with questions about this species, wondering where to start!

"Ah yes. I was the same when I first read it, but with time that turned to intrigue. From what I can gather, they're passive in nature... They travel around in small groups, and exhibit a pack-mentality. They won't instigate any form of conflict unless set upon by a potential threat. That was demonstrated in a lab; a group of them were sealed behind a glass wall, where they ambled around quite happily. One of them was hooked up to electrodes and shocked several times to incite a specific reaction. Then all together, they began pounding on the glass wall, slobbering and salivating, making a horrid, strained grunting sound. Eventually, they were all 'put down' because they were beginning to fracture the glass! Basically, if you see one, don't hit it with anything, or attempt any form of hostile engagement! Very simple..."

I looked back at the report, and couldn't take my eyes from the small image located at the top of the page. I continued reading a portion of the information beneath a huge paragraph:
     'The indigenous species we encountered appears to be a real-life chimeric example of a human-pig hybrid. We have known for some time the in-depth similarities between human and pig physiology, which is proved by successful xeno-transplantation, but the actual existence of a creature which possesses attributes from both individual species is remarkable! The skin of the species is more akin to the tough, furry skin of the pig, along with the facial features, reverse-jointed legs and back-leg hooves. However, the creature can stand perfectly erect on its hind legs, and possesses the hands of a human being, including opposable thumbs!'

The information went on into more detail about the similarities between pigs and humans, along with some graphs, data and readings collected from a 'live sample'. The last page in the document was the most surprising, for two reasons. Firstly, the image was blurry and badly out of a focus, and seemed to show a large balloon with tentacles floating in the air. Secondly, considering the amount of information gathered about everything else, the single paragraph beneath the image made me a little a apprehensive. Amie leaned over to look at what I was reading and paused. She let UOPETA and THEROS continue keying in more search strings for the query.

"Ah yes... There isn't much information on that species. It was very... Evasive. They couldn't determine it's orientation either; some were passive and totally ignored them, whilst one attacked the team with projectiles fired from its mouth! I think they only managed to see about three of them in that single expedition. They made a large impression, but unfortunately nothing that could be translated onto paper..."

I couldn't figure out what it was, and judging from the description, neither could the research team!
'We also encountered an odd aerial species which cannot really be determined as passive or otherwise. Multiple individuals of this new species either totally ignored us, possibly not threatened by our presence, or were completely unaware of us. They bear resemblance to large squid with stunted tentacles, and possess an ability to "float" through the air unaided by wings or any other form of appendage. Multiple theories have been created to suggest a reason for such an ability such as their body being mostly composed of helium or another unknown light inert gas surrounded by a thin skin, or that they have the ability to interact directly with the air around it, and utilise it to move around. The hostile individual we encountered began to attack the team on sight, firing strange, volatile projectiles from, what could only be described as, its mouth! As it was too distant from us, engagement on our part was impossible, and so we retreated into a safer area. However, this may have misinterpreted as a sign of communication on its part. We will need to return on numerous occasions to be able to study them from afar to determine their behaviour, and the possibility of capturing one.

Of additional note are the sounds they emit; a high pitched chittering and shrieking can be heard from them at great distance, but it is unknown for the reason this is performed. Possibly a communication method.'

     In a decent amount of time, I and the others had read quite a bit of information about the Nether itself. I had learned that in comparison to Minecraftia, it was a very barren environment, possessing no obvious form of flora or water. In fact, it was the total opposite! The team had found numerous lava pools extending long distances, and random fires had been started in the occasional place, indicating possible instability of the atmospheric gas composition, or erratic lightning storms. The team had spent a considerable amount of time in the Nether on the first occasion, and more time thereafter on multiple expeditions, and had never noted anything that could be classed as weather. They had studied the minerals and substances within the Nether, and determined that based on the large site they had established, a good 58.5% of the Nether was comprised of a substance similar to soil. It had the same consistency, but was tinged a dark red, and possessed no fertile traits of any kind. However, they had found that it possessed immense amounts of potential energy stored within which was the basis for their plan to merge the Nether and Minecraftia together! However, on removing samples from the Nether back through the portal, the soil-like substance immediately lost it's energy, and there are still teams conducting experiments to find out what happened to it, in order to preserve the conservation of energy theory.

"This is interesting... It seems they found a Nether-equivalent to sand as well... They say it exhibits almost all of the traits of normal sand, but due to the structure of each grain, applying any form of pressure - regardless of the surface area - causes the object to sink... Much like quicksand then... It goes on to say that it is very distinctive, and occurs in small patches scattered throughout the area... Well, there's something else to look out for. Aggressive squids and quicksand!"

"They're not squids! We don't know if they can even be related to any species we currently know about, or an entirely knew kingdom needs to be established..."

"Kingdom...? Are we giving them land now?"

"No, kingdom! Taxonomy. It's the research and classification of every biological organism. Everything from an elephant to a seed can be defined as belonging to a kingdom, but these are the most vague of classifications. There are only five main groups: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Bacteria. We can't even determine what kingdom those things belong in."

"Well, it's blatantly an animal!"

"Not necessarily. We would need to study it in great detail to determine that. If it possesses cells with a cell wall and chloroplasts, that would technically make it a plant! Then again, that's if it's comprised of cells... Taxonomy is very difficult. I know the scientists had a real hard time determining what the duck billed platypus was! Turns out it's a mammal, even though it lays eggs!"

UOPETA went back to flicking through the records, looking rather put in his place!

     I was already convinced at this point that entering the Nether wasn't going to mean an instant, painful death, but THEROS then found a report to solidify that. It concerned something that, when described, sounded very similar to what we looking for in the first place!

'As well as the copious amounts of red soil, quicksand and lava pockets, we have also noticed localised pockets of a strange, glowing yellow stone that appears to 'grow' in small ceiling spaces. When examined, it too appears to generate a large amount of energy that could be harnessed for other purposes, however getting to it has proved very dangerous. Additionally, it is the only substance that has retained its energy levels when removed from the Nether, suggesting a possible future mining operation. Further study is needed, but we believe that with some research, we could harness the energy to power specific items depending on the energy signature.'

"There we go. That sounds a lot like the Solus stone! I've already exhausted the keywords to find any report about HoN Co. finding any of this strange stone in Minecraftia, but it's turned up nothing. If we want more of that stuff to help us destroy HoN Co., we'll need to go in the Nether!"

"You've changed your tune! A few hours ago you were adamant that you weren't going to step foot into the Nether!"

"Well I'm now a little more informed on the situation, and believe that, with everyone entering, it's possible. We'll just have to stick together, and try to avoid these weird... Jelly... Squid... Things... Of course we'd need to establish a barricade or a stronghold to perform the necessary preparations without being attacked. We still haven't determined the density of Creepers in there yet!"

That's true... Well it didn't matter. We had the information we needed, and we were going to take a few important sections from a few reports to show AMPHIS and the others. We had been down there a good hour, and we had begun to worry about the state of the guards. Depending on the metabolism of the guard, the potency of the sedative would vary. We made our way carefully up the stairway and back up to the base of the tower. The door was still locked from when UOPETA had flicked the switch from the inside, so it was possible nothing had changed... Opening the door, we waited, hiding around the corner for a moment or two to see if there was any response, but nothing happened. Venturing out, we found the guards in the same state as we had before we entered.

"Good. We got lucky this time. Let's hope we don't meet any on the way back. Come on."

UOPETA led the way back to base. It wasn't quite the normal day that we usually had, destroying portals, but it was certainly eye-opening!

Syeonyx signing off

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