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...

The End?

     When I woke up, I found myself in the base, slumped in one of the chairs in the discussion room, with my wrist bandaged up. I was sore, and the parts of me that weren't were either in pain or numb... Using my elbows, I managed to struggle up into a sitting position. From where I sat I could see many guards and other people around, likely scientists and other civilians. They easily numbered forty or more... A lot of them seem injured, either due to the tower collapsing or battling with the creatures from the Nether. It didn't matter now, only that we were all safe, and the master portal was destroyed. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was able to actually relax, and sit down knowing full well there were no more dangers around the next corner.

"Syeonyx, you're awake. Good! How are you feeling?"

I told AMPHIS that I felt like death warmed up, and he just laughed. He asked me about the wrist, and then other aches and pains I had. I hadn't experienced pain like this before in my life, but I thought I was coping with it okay.

"More than okay. You've been thrown about in the air, tossed at trees and then fell out of them, not to mention being within the blast of the portal before the implosion began. The most I've seen you do is wince, and that's a lot less than some of these others are doing."

I asked him how everyone was coping, and what the extent of their injuries were. Some looked like they had seen their fair share of combat, and been through hell and back, but I realised that was a little to literal for anyone else to believe. Some were covered in bandages, but most of them seemed to be okay, just sitting on the floor either moaning or talking to others.

"You're not the worse, but we all think you should have been after all that. The casualties are lower than we expected; the only deaths came from when the tower collapsed. Everyone else either suffered minor burns or lacerations to their limbs or body. If you're up for it, you can come to the lab. The rest of us are there, Amie included."

Slowly standing up, AMPHIS helped me to navigate around the chair before accompanying me on the slowest walk to the lab I had ever achieved. There was no need to rush any more, and the slow pace suited me a little better. That and it induced less pain throughout my body if I kept movements slow and predictable.

"Ah, Syeonyx! How are you? Hope that wrist isn't giving you too much trouble...?"

I shook my head and greeted everyone else. They were all in high spirits and there was a reason for it. OROTHO was talking with one of the members of the Elite soldiers that HoN Co. had, apparently something to do with broadcast messages, or something of the like...

"Thanks to you, we've got a lot to celebrate!"

"Yes! After you destroyed the portal, the Nether creatures were pulled back through. We haven't seen the Paragon since the implosion, but the Endermen are keeping a watch on the surface in case he attempts to seek revenge... again..."

I asked them about HoN Co.; now that everyone knew the entire company was built around the purpose of finding portals, there was no real company to keep going. I suppose if they continued with the actual job of finding and mining resources that were actually needed, things might pick up again. One of the Elite soldiers who was listening came over to us, shaking his head.

"I doubt it. Everyone within HoN Co. has heard what happened here. The news has spread like wildfire, and there doesn't seem to be much effort in place in trying to keep it quiet. It won't be long until the public hear about this and the company begins to crumble on that front as well. No-one will put any resources into a crippled company that can't manage its employees, especially the C.E.O..."

"So what happens to you now? If HoN Co. is gone then presumably the security and Elite are disbanded?"

"Oh yes! They collapsed the moment it reached the main headquarters! Everyone's leaving. The guards and some of the Elite are quitting instantly, just leaving the company behind and looking to start anew. Some are remaining to help the others find out what to do with what's left. Still a lot of civilians left in the other bases and HQ's that need to be moved back to the cities. Comes as a big surprise to a lot of us how this went down. We all thought it was the start of the end of the global energy crisis... Humph, so much for that..."

"What about the scientists? What happens to them, and their research? A lot of it is controversial stuff!"

"Anything immoral or unethical is to be destroyed; this includes everything from portal technology to studying and developing Affinitas cages. Some of the other experiments are world firsts though, so they would be transferred over to whichever company pays out the most. Some of the scientists are likely to strike it very rich with their research."

"Like what? I assume the Elite armour is something new and unexpected?"

"Oh yes, that's one of the finest successes of experimentation with light-bending technology. That'll be up for the highest bidder. I just hope it doesn't end up going to the military, but I can almost guarantee it will... Some improvements in energy efficiency and alternative energy resources are on the table for future development. That, strangely enough, was a bi-product of one of the portal projects."

"It's good to know that so much good can come of all that has happened here though... What about all the miners that spread out? Surely they won't have heard anything about the collapse of HoN Co.?"

"Don't worry, we've got that covered. They'll receive a message from their PDA's about a pickup request. They'll know what happened and we can go and get them from where they're based. That's if they want to. I've been talking to a lot of the guards here, and those without families want to stay here..."

"What? With us? We haven't discussed what our next..."

"No, not here with you. They want to remain here in Minecraftia and become miners. Strange I know, but I have to admit, even I found the idea compelling..."

"Are you going to stay then?"

"Like I said, I'd love to but... I've got a family back home waiting for me. I just want to get all this legal bull out of the way first and then I'm free to see them for as long as I like. Until I find another job that is..."

"What about a way of life instead? Rather than go home, why not get your family to come up here and start your life anew! Try out the miner's way of life for a change."

"I suppose it's something to consider... Have to run it past the wife..."

We all laughed, confident laughs. One of the Endermen entered the lab, having to duck through the corridor. We stopped laughing, assuming they'd come back to tell us of the Paragon returning. I felt my stomach tense up, waiting for the inevitable.

"Hey. How's things on the surface?"

"We have the entire area cleared. We have managed to bring one hundred of us from our city to here to be able to safeguard this place until such time as we are no longer needed. The Paragon has left the area, and it is doubtful he will return. There is nothing here for him now."

"It's weird to think that all those years ago we were working towards this point and thinking it would never come. Now it's here I... I don't know what to do. The only master portal is destroyed and the Paragon has no way of accessing the Nether again..."

"Only...? No there are others..."

There was silence in the room; everyone who had been talking quietly to others turned towards the Endermen. The tension in the air... You could cut it with a knife!

"What do you mean there are others?"

"Yes, there are others. Not on this planet, but there are others. We aren't restricted to this planet. Many millions of years ago, we used the portals as a means of transport around the galaxy. The distance travelled in the Nether is greater than travelling anywhere else. Stepping forward one foot in the Nether equates to eight here. And the temporal effects within the Nether also allow for easy movement between planets."

"So... So the master portal we destroyed wasn't the only one? That means the Paragon has access to the others then! Can he reach the others?"

"It is possible, but it will take many years. He is resourceful and does not give up..."

"But I thought the point of it was to prove a point to you that he wasn't useless because of his individuality...? He wanted to destroy this world by merging the dimensions..."

"No, you misunderstand... He is willing to destroy any planet in this manner to prove his point. Life has no meaning to him."

"Well... Where is the nearest portal to this planet?"

"On your moon... The far side, hidden beneath the craters and dust. It has not been used in some time, but it can be activated again. And the Paragon knows this..."

Syeonyx signing off

Wake up call

     I can't hear anything... I can't see anything... I can't feel anything... Was I dead...? I felt like I was unable to move; my vision was a sea of darkness, I couldn't even see any part of my own body... Where was I? I had to be dead... I had died!!! How!?! Trying to calm my mind down, concentrating the billions of thoughts passing through my head, I attempted to recall the events leading up to this point. I had taken the Keystone... Running down from the tree line, I had... I had stopped just short of the portal... The others... Looking back I could see the looks on their faces... Then, I threw the Keystone at the portal... Then... Nothing... What had happened? The portal must have killed me... I was too close to it when the Keystone became destabilised by the Nether energy... The resulting blast likely blew me to smithereens... At least I had succeeded in ending it... I had sacrificed myself for every living thing on the planet... We had won; HoN Co. was... HoN Co. was over... More than over, it was finished. The Paragon... There's no point to HoN Co. any more... HoN Co. ... It was just a cover... A cover to activate the master portal... A cover that had lasted years... Doesn't matter now, everyone's safe. Hopefully the blast killed the creatures from the Nether too... What happens now then...? I still couldn't move or feel anything, and my vision was still dark. I wasn't able to perceive an... Hang on... I can here a slight buzzing sound... It's probably my imagination... No, wait... It's definitely an actual buzzing... It was getting louder... Was that... Was that a flash of light?


I definitely didn't imagine that! Maybe if I concentrate... The buzzing sound is too loud... I can't hear anything over...


There it is again! The flash of light too! What's happening to me? Ow!!! Did something just hit me in the head...? Wait, I felt that! I felt pain...I can't be dead... Where am I then...?


I can't call back... I can hear them, but I can't reply. Where are they...? Who are they? It sounds like... Amie... Ow! There was that pain again. The buzzing... It's deafening!!! My vision... It's gone all white... What's happening to me!?! Wait, it's clearing...

"SYEONYX!!! For the love of God, WAKE UP!!!"

My vision... It's all dark and blurry... What's that in front of me...? It's... It's a face... Amie! I'm not dead! Why can't I move then? Maybe this is a dream... Ow... No, it can't be a dream... I've never felt such pain in a dream before... My vision... Clearing... It's definitely Amie... Ringing in my ears... Going away too...

"SYEONYX!!! Please, don't leave us!!!"

The pain... It's not just my head... Everything hurts... My vision is almost clear now; UOPETA, COLUS, AMPHIS... Amie... They're all still here... In the back... People I've never seen before... Guards...? The Endermen are here too... The ringing is gone... Just the sound of voices... Indistinct voices and the patter of rain... It's beautiful! I can feel my arms... Legs... Body... Ow! It all hurts... Wait, I can move my hand...

"Oh thank God you're okay!!!"

What happened...?

"You were knocked unconscious by the blast. The portal exploded and threw you quite a distance... Oh Syeonyx..."

Amie's hugging me... I'm in a lot of pain... But I can manage a hug...

Why am I over here? I thought the...

"The portal tossed you over here. We saw you throw the Keystone into the portal and than it was instant! The blue energy around the portal exploded outwards, blowing you to the ground."

"The portal then changed to that sickly yellow/green colour, just like the others. But then it changed to a dark red... We've never seen it do that before..."

"This is likely due in part to our modifications made to the Ender Keystone. The unstable energies became unbalanced when exposed to the concentrated energy of the Nether, breaking the equilibrium."

"It started to suck everything in it nearby. You got lucky... Sort of..."

I don't feel lucky... How did I survive...?

"The portal sucked you up, but because of the distance you were from it when began to implode, you weren't sucked into it. You were pulled towards it, and then past it. You practically orbited it about ten or so times, slowly being pulled towards it, before it just... Exploded... You were thrown clear of the portal blast and into a tree."

That's why my everything hurts then...

"Yeah, but you got lucky. I can't say for sure, but it seems you got off with just a broken wrist... That was from when you fell out of the tree onto your arm... There might be some minor internal bleeding, but..."

"We were worried you had suffered a blow to the head... Or worse... We thought we had actually lost you at one point. Turns out you're tough to kill..."

Wish I felt like that... Feels like I've been dropped from thirty thousand feet...

"Come on, we'll get you on your feet and back to the base. We can bandage you and everyone else up, and then settle things..."

Settle things?

"Yeah. Now that the HoN Co. guards here have disbanded, we need to determine what the next best course of action is. Everyone here has now seen them for their true colours, and it won't be long before that spreads throughout the rest of the company."

"By destroying the portal you've slit the throat of the beast. All we do is wait for it to die..."

WE did that together. There's no 'I' in 'team'...

"There is if you write it as an ambigram..."

"Stop being difficult OROTHO and grab Syeonyx's other shoulder."

There are a lot of guards around. They don't seem to know what to do. I don't blame them... Their entire world has just crashed down around them, and they're now left without anyone to guide them. There are quite a few injured guards and soldiers. Some are worse than me... Looks like the Endermen are coming with us as well. I'm glad for their help. Without them we wanted have got this far... It still hadn't sunk in yet...

I can't believe it's over...

"Well you'd better start believing; I'm not going through that again! Just"

"If you will allow it, I we can carry the injured in a way that will not cause further injury."

"Oh... Okay then... Just... Just don't drop them..."

"We will try our best..."

What's going on...?

"The Endermen are carrying you and the other injured. Just lie back and relax. We've got a way to go before we back at the base, although thankfully I don't have to add the word 'safely' to that any more..."

Syeonyx... nodding off...

Finishing the job...

      Myself, COLUS, Joe and UOPETA went back to shooting at whatever available target we could find. It seemed the others were having some success in convincing the guards and soldiers to escape rather than fight, and the Endermen where holding the Nether creatures back long enough for them to do this. It wouldn't be long though before more and more began to pass through the master portal and we'd be overrun so much that not even the Endermen would be able to help us. The Paragon hadn't shown up again since disappearing from before, and I wasn't wanting to see him back here again. What he had told us about teaching the Endermen a lesson by destroying their world seemed insane! Maybe that was one of the conditions brought about by not being born with the connection to the other Endermen. Maybe that was how the Endermen survived; through universal thought, each individual maintained sanity by sharing thoughts. Us on the other hand, humans, are able to think freely and act as we choose. Maybe with that ability, the Paragon went insane... Depending on the perspective, I would suppose it could even be considered a curse...

"Syeonyx, take the Ghast on the left! It's heading to that group of scientists. Try to nail it in the eye. Probably won't do much, but if we can distract them long enough we should be able to save most of them."

Shaking myself from my thoughts, I lined up the shot and fired, the dart sailing through the air, through the wind and rain, landing a few inches below its left eye. Even from this distance I heard it howl, and look in my direction, before turning back to the group of scientists, who had taken the opportunity and had hidden. The number of creatures pouring through the portal from the Nether had reduced, but the ones in our world had now begun to spread out further and further, following the fleeing groups of soldiers, scientists and guards. One of the flame creatures had broken away from the open area beside the tower base, and headed into the trees. As it brushed against the underside of the canopy, the leaves caught alight, despite the dampness of the tree, before being quickly extinguished by the rain.

"Look! One of the Ghasts has gone down! We must have injured it enough to knock it out!"

"The rain seems to be helping against those fire creatures too. Look, they're barely moving any more. They're just sort of lying there..."

We couldn't take any time to celebrate as there were still many creatures left to take down, and we couldn't be sure whether any more may come through yet. The five Endermen standing in a circle a few feet away from us were still together, each of them levitating above the ground, arms pushed towards the centre, eyes closed. Then they slowly lowered their arms, opened their eyes and split the circle, revealing an odd, orange glow.

"We have been able to modify the Ender Keystone with the source of Nether energy you provided. It is highly unstable, and may be unsafe to touch."

"I'll try it. We've got nothing to lose at this point."

COLUS put his rifle down for a moment, stepping closer towards the now-orange Keystone. Reaching out tentatively, COLUS hesitated for a moment, before continuing forwards, picking the stone up from where it levitated. He instinctively winced, but after a moment or two, he opened his eyes finding everything to be fine.

"Right... That's that step done then. Can we be sure this'll work? I can't see how we're going to get up to the portal itself, but if we can, I want to know I'm not just throwing a life at something we can't alter..."

"The Ender Keystone is now comprised of both energy of this world and that of the Nether. It is incredibly unstable and will likely tear itself apart if left alone for long enough. It needs to be exposed to a greater source of one of the other energy types to destabilise it when you need it to."

"So the two energies are currently balanced?"

"Yes. The Nether energy is in equilibrium with the energy from this world, but it will take a lot of one other type to cause it to rupture. The portal is the obvious source of such an energy surge."

"So we don't need to place it in contact with the frame?"

"No. This is not necessary, but would work. Instead the stone could make contact with the portal surface itself, or the energy coursing around the frame. This will cause almost instantaneous detonation."

"What happens after that? Does the Keystone then act as planned and suck everything into a singularity?"

"We do not know. The functions of the Keystone, though basic, have now been altered. Its primary function will still work, but the outcome of this is unknown. Suffice it to say, the portal will be destroyed."

"So one of us just needs to throw this thing into the portal and get back to a safe distance...? Okay then, I volunteer."

"No COLUS, you're a leader. If something happens we won't be the same without you."

"We won't be the same without anyone! I must make the decision and I decide to make the ultimate sacrifice!"

"What if I want to destroy the portal? We all have a right to destroy it, regardless of the consequences."

I listened to them bicker for what seemed like ages. I closed my eyes, and filtered all sounds out apart from the rain. I concentrated on that one form. The rain. I felt it cool me down, running down my face, almost as though it were washing away my worries. But I knew that wasn't right; all I needed to do was open my eyes and tune in again, and I was back to where I was before, worries and all. Sighing a long sigh, I tensed my legs for the event that would likely end my life. I levelled my head with the remains of the tower, opened my eyes, grabbed the Keystone and ran!


I ignored them. Bickering amongst ourselves achieved nothing but wasting time and wearing down our patience. Filtering out the other sounds again, the shouting from the others soon faded away behind the sound of the rain, like a ship lost in a storm. I was calm. I was peaceful. As I ran, I felt every muscle in my body relax as though it had accepted the fate I was choosing. With every heartbeat, with every closing footstep, time seemed to slow down, to the point where I could almost see every individual rain droplet. I neared the sandy edge of the base tower, slowing down a few metres away from the portal. I had luck on my side; no creatures were present nearby, nor had any noticed me as I made my short dash to the portal. Looking back towards the others, they just stood there with expressions of anguish and fear. Turning back towards the portal, I brought the Keystone up close to my face, allowing me to admire the intricate patterns that seemed to swirl and skitter across its surface. Looking at the portal, I arched my arm back, took careful aim and drew my arm forward. Time slowed down even more; my arm a single moving limb in amidst stillness. It seemed to take an agonising amount of time until my arm reached the apex of its lunge, before I uncurled my fingers and let the momentum carry the Keystone to its final resting place.

I didn't even have time to run...

Syeonyx signing off

Energy of the ancients

     COLUS, UOPETA, Joe and myself turned to look at OROTHO who had remained behind with us rather than go ahead with the others to warn the guards. He had said he had an idea, but as far as the portal was concerned, it was unlikely to help. He must have an idea to get the Nether creatures back into the portal. Maybe he found something in one of the labs when he had gone with the others to find the last Ender Eye.

"I have an idea that might work, but I don't know the full extent of its use to us now..."

"What is it?"

We continued to fire at the Ghasts and fire creatures below us ensuring that they were distracted enough for the other guards to escape. They no longer seemed to be shooting at the Endermen; whether this was because they knew they weren't the threat or thought they weren't a big one we couldn't tell.

"Well we know that the portals can be destroyed using the Solus stone that we had to deactivate them and remove the link to the master portal. The Enderman said that the Keystone works in the exact same way."

"Yeah, and...?"

"Well it said that the Keystone was of this world. The Solus stone wasn't. We had to take more from the Nether through a portal, which likely had an effect on its ability to destroy portals. Nonetheless it still worked against them. If the Keystone is more powerful than the Solus stone, all we need is an increase in power."

"What are you suggesting? That one of us heads into the Nether and destroys the master portal from the other side?"

"Exactly! It only makes sense for it to work. It doesn't matter where the portal originates, but provided you use the alternate energy source in the opposite dimension, it might work! Think about it: The Solus stones work on the portals in our world but their energy originated in the Nether. The Keystone was built in our world and works off the energy from our world, so logically it would work in the Nether only. I don't know what it would do to the other portals, but it may be a one-way trip..."

"So someone would have to enter into the Nether and destroy the portal, sacrificing themselves for ever living creature on this planet?"

"I'm afraid so. I can't guarantee what it would do to the other portals; some may remain active, some may not, but if one or two did, maybe that volunteer would be able to pass back into our world."

"Couldn't they just activate any one they find though? If they're trapped in the Nether and they find an inactive portal, all they need is a large enough heat source."

"No, because there would no longer be a link between that portal and the master portal. Without the link there's no need for the portal to be active, and so they cannot be reactivated. Come to think of it..."


"If they can't be reactivated, from either side, it would almost guarantee that they would be trapped in the Nether. Any and all active portals would be deactivated instantly the moment the connection is severed. They would be trapped forever in the Nether."

"We need to tell the others. We need to..."

"No, first we need to run this by the Enderman first. I can't even be sure if that's how it works, but the logic in my head states this would be the outcome. It's a great sacrifice for one person, but it's the ultimate sacrifice. One life for quadrillions of other individuals of every species..."

Calling the Enderman once more, it appeared before us, with the same expressionless face staring at us.

"Do you need assistance? We are helping the rest of you to convince the others to escape. We will need more, but it will take time."

"OROTHO has an idea about the Keystone that might work and destroy the master portal. OROTHO?"

"What if we were to destroy the master portal from the Nether? I thought that if the Solus stone uses Nether energy to destroy the portals from our world, maybe the Keystone can use energy from our world to destroy the master portal from the Nether. Would this work?"

"I'm afraid not. The portal is active because of the connection made to every other active portal. To destroy the portal, the connection would need to be severed between it and every other sub-portal. Only then would it deactivate again. But this is not possible; as we speak, the connection established is spreading to inactive portals, causing them to strengthen the portal. Once it reaches full strength the merging of dimensions will begin."


"However your theory has given us an idea. The Ender Keystone is different to the Solus stone as only it can destroy the portal. If we were able to boost the power of the Ender Keystone with energy from the Nether we could disrupt the connection and destroy the portal."

"How would that work? I thought the master portal worked from the energy from the Nether itself? Surely that would be like fighting fire with fire!?!"

"In a way, yes. The energy that the portal is using is ancient and has remained dormant within itself since its creation. However the powers in every dimension change and fluctuate with time. The energy within the Nether back during the creation of the portal would be more... primitive in contrast to the energy now."

"Are you saying... Energy evolves? But energy is finite... It's the conservation of energy law that governs the amounts of energy in the world. Energy is only transmuted from one form to another."

"Yes, but the energy itself can evolve; continuous use of energy in one form can improve its efficiency. As a popular saying with your culture goes: 'out with the old, in with the new'."

"So we can disrupt the ancient energy by utilising the current energy form from the Nether with the Keystone?"

"Yes, but it would require a vast storage of energy to achieve this. Any form of energy-bearing material brought through the portal would lose mass amounts of this energy."

"What about the CPD!!!"


"The CPD! It's powered by that energy source Jeff found in the Nether long ago! He said it was practically a self refuelling battery! It can run an energy-hungry device like the CPD for an entire day, and then be recharged again!"

"Show me..."

Putting my rifle down, I took the CPD from my belt, slid the back panel off and took out the strange rod. It glowed and incredible orange hue in the dark. I passed it to the Enderman, who took it with both hands, turning it over, before closing its eyes and remaining still for a moment.

"Yes! This object contains vast amounts of energy that can be used against the portal! It must be merged with the Ender Keystone to bind the two energies together."

"How do we bind them together? I doubt sellotape is going to do the job..."

"Both the Ender Keystone and this energy source are incredibly unstable, and will likely be even more so joined together. They must be done so by us."

Four more Endermen appeared in front of us, also hovering a few inches above the ground, their gazes locked on the strange, orange rod that the Enderman continued to hold.

"Please, give us the Ender Keystone and we can merge the two together, forming the device that should be able to shut the portal down."

COLUS passed the Keystone to the Enderman, who took it, before backing off slowly. The other four Endermen began to move around and form a circle. They placed their hands within the centre of the circle; the one holding the rod and the Keystone placed them in the centre, where they then began to float a few centimetres above their outstretched hands.

"Let's hope this works..."

Syeonyx signing off

The Paragon

     We stared in disbelief at the Enderman, who simply stared back, giving no emotion away at all. How could that be the Paragon? He was meant to be at the top of HoN Co., according to Jeff! Why was he here? How was he here?

"What do you mean that's the Paragon? The Paragon is the C.E.O of HoN Co.! Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. We have watched you with keen interest since your first visit to our city. We have watched you enter their places and speak with the scientist. He was the one that gave a name to this otherwise faceless evil."

"How do you know he's evil? We thought that everyone within HoN Co. thought the master portal was used to allow access to the energy contained within the Nether? How is he evil?"

"He is the only one that knew of the true cause to the activation of the portal. He knew from the start that activating it would not allow you to enter into the Nether and take what you wanted, but was a way of merging the two dimensions together. This was done intentionally. He has no intention of harvesting the energy, and the fabrication that was crafted which allowed others to think this was possible was established. He knew that if anyone was to know the true purpose, his project would be shut down."

"How was he able to continue? Surely there are others out there who work within HoN Co. that knew this would be the true outcome from activating the master portal?"

"There were, but the Paragon made sure they remained secret. His initial attempts at thwarting these ideas was to state that the merging of the two dimensions would occur on a small scale, and the energies would still harvestable. However, there were many scientists who continued to explore this and realised he was wrong. He killed them."

"So anyone who wouldn't listen to his lies died?"

"Yes. These mysterious deaths were not connected in any way so no-one took any notice of the pattern."

"This is sounding more and more plausible by the minute. But... What would he have to gain from destroying this world by merging the dimensions? There is nothing he would gain that would outweigh the consequences!"

"There is, as he is not of this world. He was the evil we locked the Nether away from many thousands of years ago. His idea had lasted since before the portal was deactivated, and he has strived this long to reactivate it."

"Wait... He's not human?"

"No. He is one of us, and yet not one of us. He was a single Enderman, and individual like us, however he was born without the unified connection that joins everyone of us together. He was able to think freely of his own accord. He matured in our world with the resentment that we did not expand to colonise the planet. After many hundreds of years he left us, vowing to make something of this world. It was then that he found the Nether through the portals we used. He liked the Nether, far too much, and worked hard to find a way to bring it into this world."

"But why? Why not just head into the Nether and live there on his own?"

"Because I felt like I was leaving everyone behind unpunished!"

We turned to see the Paragon metres away from us! He had made his way down from the base of the tower and had managed to sneak up on us.

"I vowed I'd make something of this world, and I did! I set out to find a way to make this world into one that I enjoyed, completing my goal and showing everyone the potential I alone had."

"You did all of this because you thought the Endermen weren't outgoing enough!?!"

"No! I did this to prove a point! As an individual maturing within an environment where I was told I could not make an impact individually, I began to resent the idea that I wasn't able to make anything of myself. As a freak of nature, one born without the connection, I was singled out and put down regularly. I left on that day to prove to every Enderman in existence that being an individual made me more powerful than all of them combined!"

"But why not just establish your own empire out in the world by yourself! You'd prove to everyone you were powerful!"

"With who!?! I was the only individual of my species in existence! There was no other intelligent beings on this planet; your species hadn't even climbed out of the trees when I set off alone."

"He found the portal and attempted to activate it. We found out, learning of his plan and attempted to stop him. The only way we could was to deactivate all of the sub-portals around the planet, and seal away the only method of activating it with us."

"I've been activating portals for millennia trying to get the Nether to merge with this world! MILLENNIA! And now I've succeeded! There is nothing you can do to stop it!"

"So you set up HoN Co., a mining company, when humanity reached an industrial age and got people to find more portals for you? Once you found them, they were activated, linking back to the master portal? Why have scientists though? You already know what the portals do..."

"They were a cover. Early on when the first portal was found, the public got wind of it, and it proved to be the find of the century! I couldn't sit about letting this incident lay idle! I requisitioned a team to work on it so that it seemed HoN Co. took an interest in this new phenomenon. This kept others out of the way, and this way I was able to more accurately control what happened when a portal was found."

"Why are you telling us all of this? Are you going to kill us?"

"Kill you!?! Why would I do that? I never set out to kill anyone... Not directly anyway... I'm telling you all of this because I take joy in the fact that there is nothing you can do to stop it!"

The Paragon disappeared from view right in front of us, although whether he turned invisible or literally disappeared I didn't know!

"We can't just sit here and do nothing!"

"The people under the employ of HoN Co. are merely victims then. They are not as evil as he is if they are willing to think for themselves. My people will aid them in fighting the Nether creatures back. We may not be able to destroy the portal, but we may be able to help the people here live long enough to escape."

We watched as many more Endermen appeared into view, dotted around the landscape, and began to intervene in the battles that had begun between the creatures of the Nether and the guards and soldiers below. A number of times the guards mistook the help for another attack, and began firing at them instead, but as fast as they could fire their weapons, the Endermen would simply disappear from view and reappear elsewhere.

"What do we do now then? All we can do is help them out..."

"Then let's help them! You three get your rifles out. They're not as powerful as pistols but we know they work! Target the Ghasts first, while we try to get the word out to the other guards not to attack the Endermen!"

Reassembling the rifle, I joined COLUS, UOPETA and Joe in taking shots at any Ghasts or fire creatures that entered our scopes. We couldn't tell if what we were doing was helping at all, but we only slowed down to reload. Luckily there was little aiming involved as we were very close to them. Despite what had happened, despite what we had been told, I fought with the others as though my life depended on it, and with the events yet to unfold, that was definitely going to be the case!

"Wait! I have an idea!"

Syeonyx signing off

End of the world

     I stood motionless, staring at the primary portal that had just become active. I was too late... We missed our one chance to end it once and for all by seconds! All around me, the scientists were cheering, but I phased it out; there was silence all around me, and I felt like there was only me and the master portal in existence. Nothing else mattered now... We had worked so hard to reach this point, and sacrificed so much, but it counted for nothing... My attention was drawn to the master portal now; the cheering and commotion going on around me began to phase back in. A loud surging sound like charging electricity became audible and everyone quietened down. The sound became louder and louder, until it felt like it was buzzing inside my own head! Then from overhead a large flash of light erupted from the ceiling; a crackle of electricity as a bolt of pure energy raced down the conducting rod, and into the frame of the master portal. We all watched, stunned, as the portal slowly began to activate. The frame crackled with a mysterious, blue energy as the portal surface slowly washed into place, like the tide coming into land. It began as a faded, purple shimmer which grew in intensity before our very eyes! When it reached the same colour and hue as the others, there was a huge release of energy from the portal, and the tower began to violently shake! The cheers and celebrations of moments before had now been replaced by screams of terror and fear! I ran back up the stairs before anyone else could reach it, trying to keep my footing despite the immense shaking.

The tossing of the structure around me did not subside or become reduced as I made my way higher up the tower, back to the base. If anything it felt like it was getting worse, and now the air around us rippled with the sound of something indescribable! The shaking increased intensely and I was having trouble getting up the stairs, but I managed to make it back to the base. There was no-one left there any more, presumably they had all ran out to protect themselves from anything falling. Dashing to the exit, I ran directly over to where the Lone 7 had stayed while I had gone into the tower. They were still there, but their faces showed expressions of horror and disbelief. A powered down the CPD, and I slowly came into view before them.

"Syeonyx! What happened? Did you use the Ender Keystone? Is the portal imploding?"

I shook my head and explained what I had seen when I entered the chamber. I began to start on the primary portals when there was an almighty crash coming back from the tower behind me! Looking back, I could now actually see the master portal floating in mid-air, hovering above a hole it had just punched through the base of the tower. We stood there and stared in horror, with absolutely nothing we could do. We were powerless to intervene in any way; the portal hovered on the spot; the blue energy that surrounded it crackled and spat, setting fire to anything it touched, before it was quickly extinguished by the downpour.

"What now? How do we destroy that thing!?!"

"We can't... It's active... We're too late..."

The screeching of stressed metal grew in volume; looking up to the top of the antennae, we could see that the portal had warped the entire tower. The top was now leaning at a precarious angle to the West, and it was still slowly bending. A moment later, there was an ear-wrenching scream as the iron tower sheered off from the base, and began to fall to the ground below. There were many guards running around below it, trying to organise everyone. In the commotion they hadn't spotted us creep closer, but they also hadn't noticed the tower. It continued to fall until it struck the ground with such force we were all knocked off our feet! The guards that had been around that area were now no longer visible; the dust cloud kicked up didn't look like it was going to settle soon, and I'm glad it wouldn't. A flash of lightning struck close to the tower again, drawing our attention back to the portal. What do we do now? We can't destroy it, and we can't interfere with it once it was active!


Right in front of us, the Enderman materialised out of nothing, hovering a few inches above the ground. It turned to look at the portal, but there was no emotion expressed physically that we could see. It turned back to us, looking directly at me.

"The portal is active. All of the evil from the Nether can now spill into our world freely, corrupting our world. There is nothing that can be done to destroy it now."

"What do we do then!?! We can't just walk away, we need to do something!!! What about the Keystone? Why won't that work any more!?!"

"The Ender Keystone was designed to use the energy of the portal against itself while it its early stages of activation. The energy delivered to it is of this world and can only destroy it while it is inactive. However, the portal is now active, allowing the energy from the Nether to spill into ours. The blue incandescent energy flow around the portal is this energy. With the Nether energy protecting the portal, not even the Ender Keystone can work."

We watched as the portal continued to hover on the spot. The blue tendrils of energy coursing and coiling around the air close to it like many thousands of snakes trying to get loose. All around the guards and scientists stood staring at it, dumbfounded at the sight. I doubted HoN Co. knew this was going to happen, or if they did, only the higher echelons were aware. Everyone's reactions showed that they never expected this to happen. They were told it was a way for them to harness limitless quantities of free energy from the Nether and utilise it in our world. The master portal was the only way to get the energy into our world, and it seemed this had been the only remotely true part of what they had been told.

"What happens now then? How long will it take before the Nether begins to merge with our world?"

"We are not sure. It may take hours to start merging, but when it begins, the entire world is doomed. The power from the Nether will cause exponential decay, turning everything to ash and dust."

From the portal we could see activity; the surface of the portal itself began to shimmer as something began to pass through it. It was a Ghast! Then another, and another! They were passing into our world! Then behind them two strange fire creatures we had seen back in the Nether!

"These creatures are not right for this world. They have ventured through the portal out of curiosity, not as a form of attack. When the master portal was activated, the Nether counterpart rose from its place and is now acting as a beacon, drawing the attention of every living creature within many thousands of miles. It may take hours to begin merging but by then many of these creatures will have passed through."

From below we could hear gunshots as the guards and Elite soldiers began to fire upon the intruding creatures. They seemed to do little in the way of damage, and instead only drew attention to themselves. One of the strange fire creatures began to float down towards one of the guards; he fired an entire clip into it, with seemingly no effect. The creature lurched forward, setting fire to him, and despite the torrent of rain, he continued to burn for many moments until he fell to the floor.


We turned to look in the direction of the voice. From below the portal appeared the figure of a man dressed in black. Only his eyes were different; a red glow emanating from the slit that was exposed, which coursed throughout the rest of the body in a a strange vein-like pattern.

"We know this man. He is the evil one. He is the one that set all of this into motion."

"What!?! Who is he!?!"

"He is the Paragon..."

Syeonyx signing off

Into the belly of the beast

     Depressing the one button on the front of the CPD, I allowed a few seconds to pass before I could be sure I was completely invisible. I had hoped the sheath that cloaked my appearance was a little more physical, but instead the rain continued to pour onto my head with being intercepted. I didn't feel like anything had changed, but the others seemed to think otherwise. They could obviously tell where I was, but the device was hiding my form, just not my shape.

"The CPD doesn't work well in weather such as this, it seems. We can just about make out your outline but only when it rains heavily. If you stick to moving quickly and getting into cover whenever you can, they may not notice you."

"How is he going to get past those guards though? Even if he runs the entire way to make it less obvious where he is, the soft sand is still going to show his footprints when he walks over it."

"All I can suggest then is that you head around to the far Northern side and hope it isn't as heavily guarded on that side. Make your way to the wall, and the overhang will at least prevent your silhouette from being visible. As long as you don't walk when someone is looking in your direction, you should remain concealed."

The problem with being invisible is also the main purpose: no-one can see you. That means no-one reacts to your presence accordingly, as they would if I were just standing there. Instead I'm having to do twice the work as I'm having to determine where I am, where they are and where they're looking, and whether I'm likely to get in the way. They won't step around me if I am, and they're unlikely to shake it off as nothing. The other thing was that there were meant to be fourteen Elite soldiers wandering the area, so that was going to be even worse. I wouldn't be able to see them, nor would they be able to see me. However, looking down towards the base of the tower, I could see a few shimmering spots which I took to be Elite soldiers. Their armour would automatically be visible anywhere even in normal weather, according to Jeff, so at least the rain helped me in this way.

"Good luck Syeonyx! We'll be waiting here in case they spot you, in which case we'll create a diversion."

"Syeonyx, we will aid you in any way you require us. We still have not been seen by the evil ones, and so can remain an actual deterrent for longer. If you wish for us to intervene, we will be on hand to help you. Do not worry; there are over twenty of us scattered about the area, lying in wait."

I began to head West again through the tree line, skirting the sandy area the base of the tower was sat upon. I needed to reach the far Northern side and then head across to the base where the amount of sand to cross was the smallest. That way I would remain concealed for longer. As I passed the Western side, I could see that the door to the tower was actually open! There were a few guards outside, manning the entrance, with at least three or four inside the base. I would have to get inside and then deal with whatever I came across in the correct way. As for any Elite soldiers, I could only make out the shimmers I had seen earlier, and no new ones. They were going to be harder to spot inside, especially if they weren't moving.

     I managed to reach the base of the tower with surprising ease; dashing from the tree coverage to beneath the ledge was the most intense part, but no-one saw me, and the sand directly beneath the ledge around the edge was a little drier. That would at least ensure that I would get further towards the tower entrance without leaving incriminating footprints. Edging around the corner, I had to time my dash just right. Not only could none of the guards be in my way, but they couldn't even be looking in my direction. They would likely see where I'm standing and catch me. I had to time it just right. Luckily there were only three at the front, and with the entrance itself actually open, getting inside was easier than I thought. I winced every time I placed a foot forward; the sand beneath my feet crunching with what seemed like deafening sound. At one or tow points I had to remain still as they looked in my direction; the rain was unable to get to me, but I could feel my feet sink slightly as I stood on the spot, the sand not able to fully bear my weight.

"Why have we been called to this place anyway? It's tipping it down, the weather's going nuts and there's nothing else going on. What's with the tower anyway? Does it broadcast radio signals or something?"

"Probably, I don't know... All I know is that we're to remain on guard and to take down anyone attempting to gain entry. Presumably they have stuff in there worth sabotaging."

"There are a lot of civilians running around in there. What do you think they're doing here?"

"Look, we're not being paid to ask questions, we're paid to stand and keep watch. Kill on sight and ask questions later, if we get the time, and even then not the questions about the tower."

Slipping inside, I had to ensure I didn't move too fast; I was soaked to the skin, and would leave a small trail of water wherever I went. Standing still would be my only defence mechanism until I dried out a bit. Heading into the main base, I was able to see a few scientists milling around. Oddly this time the base of the tower was crawling with life; scientists, guards, and judging from the shimmering spots in the corner, at least two or three Elite soldiers. It was then that my attention was drawn to the central column. Up from the main antennae running down to the base of the tower and through to the portal was the conducting rod. At the base there was a mechanism that was used to slid the final piece into place. This would presumably stop the tower from attempting to power up the portal if there were thunderstorms. In any case, the mechanism had been activated, and the single piece was in place.

No-one seemed to notice me enter, and standing to one side to dry myself out of the way, I was able to determine that there were three Elite soldiers in the tower. The shimmering air around them was almost imperceptible had it not been for them moving. It was like a rippling body of water, or looking through the air above a heat source. One stood still for a few moments, and I almost lost them until they moved again. Their technology was good, but ours was more efficient and had gotten me this far undetected. Once I felt I was dry enough, I continued towards the stairs. Careful not to bump into anyone, I walked slowly and cautiously, constantly looking around for anyone that might be coming my way. If they were I would have to move out of the way quickly! Luckily I managed to make it halfway down the stairs before I met someone. It was a scientist going up to the base, and he seemed far too interested in a collection of papers he was carrying to notice me huddled against the corner, trying to flatten myself against the wall. At one point I thought he brushed me; he stopped and looked up to the top of the stairs, before quickly looking around below him, and then his gaze swept over where I was. Nothing. He continued walking and I managed to make it down to the bottom without seeing anyone else.

When I reached the chamber, I was moving quickly, knowing I had little time left; I had to rush forward to the master portal and place the Keystone within the frame. From there I would have to exit quickly; I could only hope the distraction it would cause would be enough to allow me to escape. All around me people were dashing back and forth, talking quickly in excited voices. There were at least twenty scientists and a few less guards. With all of the activity I couldn't make out any shimmering air, so I was unsure how many Elite soldiers were here too, if any at all. It was then that my attention was drawn to the walls. On every one apart from the entrance wall and the master portal wall were numerous primary portals. These were activated by activating normal and secondary portals. Once enough were linked, a primary portal would activate, adding energy to the final activation of the master portal. Once all of them were active, a single jolt of electrical energy harnessed from the sky would be enough to open the master portal, and allow the evils to flood out. I was already familiar with this, but I was paralysed with fear; they had all but one primary portal active! I had no time left! As I began to tune in what they were actually talking about, I realised I was too late. They had activated enough portals to power on the single, remaining primary portal!

"How long until the energy transfer is complete?"

"We don't know. It could be a few seconds, it could be an hour, it could be a day!"

Not if I could help it! I began to dash down to the stairs, when I stopped. There was the sound of some odd machinery powering up, like it was collecting energy or something. Looking up, I could see the remaining primary portal begin to spark with the strange purple particles, flickering slightly, before appearing as fully active! The master portal... It was ready! Once all of the primary portals were activated, nothing could stop the master portal!

Syeonyx signing off

Volunteer for the job

     It wasn't long before the top of the tower slowly came into view over the tops of the trees. The weather had really taken a turn for the worse; the rain was now lashing down, with flashes of light piercing the dark sky every few seconds, the low rumble of thunder changing to an ear-splitting crack as the storm continued to wash over the whole area. Every now and then, the flash of lightning would be brighter than before, suggesting actual forks of electrical energy striking close by. We had taken to dashing from tree canopy to tree canopy, the Enderman leading us further West at a hurried pace. We needed to get to the tower quickly; with HoN Co. being so close to activating the master portal, this type of weather was the last thing we needed, and exactly what they needed!

"Do we know how close to activation the master portal is?"

"From our visions, we have determined that they need to activate but one more sub-portal before the main one can become active."

"That could be any time now! If lightning strikes that tower after that's done, they'll open the portal to the Nether and all types of hell will spill out into our world!"

"The lightning is a key element to the activation process, however a mechanism at the base of the tower must be put into action before a lightning strike is effective. Their protocols state this is to be refrained until all of the sub-portals are active. We still have time."

"We'd better pick up the pace then. Look!"

Looking to the tower where AMPHIS had pointed, we could see that the flashes of lightning in the distance had actually been much closer than we had thought. Fork lightning erupted from the clouds, striking the antennae of the tower, throwing sparks high into the air, which fizzed and popped before burning out in the rain.

A little while longer, and we reached the copse of trees just South of the tower. From there we were able to see all we needed, and what we could see didn't give us much hope. The tower was surrounded by guards! Literally surrounded! Each side of the base was protected by at least two guards, with at least fifteen guards standing in formation closest to us. They were all facing South, but thankfully it was dark enough and the foliage cover thick enough to hide us from sight. Looking up to the tower, I flinched every time fork lightning struck the antennae. Judging from the starting frequency that was happening, HoN Co. would have no trouble activating the master portal once all of the primary portals were online.

"As you can see there is heavy resistance here. You will not pass through undetected without our help. We have determined that there are over forty men here that you can see. There are fourteen men concealed from sight by devices similar to the one you possess. We can track their movement for you, but we cannot be sure how many are within the tower itself."

"Well we'll have to use the CPD to get one of us inside then. If we create a distraction for long enough for someone to get inside then we may be able to escape when the portal blows up."

"Blows up? The portal does not function in this way when used with the Ender Keystone. Much like your Solus stone you had used to destroy the portals before, the Ender Keystone acts in a similar way. It rips the portal of any energy that might be being transferred be each sub-portal before activation and causes and implosion. The entire portal and all neighbouring ones are pulled into a singularity and destroyed entirely."

"That's not likely to cause a distraction from our initial one, then... If there was an actual explosion that would draw them away from us, but if the portal only pulls in other portals and implodes it's not going to be much help."

"You misunderstand. The implosion through the use of the Ender Keystone will cause all material in the vicinity to be drawn in, including the tower. This is due to its incredible power in comparison to the Solus Stone. The Solus Stone was brought from the Nether to your world through a portal, which strips it of mass amounts of its energy. The Ender Keystone was constructed in this world, and possesses full power in this world."

"If that tower's coming down, that'll be more than we need to make our escape. In the confusion we can run off, leaving them to their failed master plan."

We determined who would be going into the chamber to destroy the portal; everyone was reluctant for obvious reasons, but in the end we had three willing candidates: me, COLUS and Joe. It was impossible to decide who was to go; each of us had our own reasons for going in and doing the job ourselves. I wanted to get back at them for the number of people they had killed, the amount of death on their hands, the amount of evil they had got away with. COLUS wanted to go as he felt that being the leader it was his duty. Joe wanted payback; he had been enslaved to work in the obsidian mines which we managed to rescue him from, and he felt he was paying them back what he owed them. In the end we had to let the Enderman decide. We weren't going to get anywhere by arguing amongst ourselves.

"You all have valid reasons for wanting to go, however only one stands out as worthy. A position of leadership does not make you the ultimate choice in a tough situation. Revenge, though a powerful inspiration, leaves you open to mistakes and flaws that may be the result of ending it regardless of the cost. Syeonyx, your reasons for wanting to end this alone are more sincere, more worthy of the task. You do not seek honour or vengeance, but merely and end to evil. I cannot force you to enter, but I believe you are best suited to this task."

COLUS and Joe looked at me, with what almost looked like relieved faces. Amie jumped at me, hugging me tightly. I hugged her back, knowing what this last mission meant to everyone. There were no second chances, no restarts. It was now or never, and we had but one choice. COLUS passed the Ender Keystone to me; much like the Solus stone it glowed a bright green, likely due to the close proximity to the primary portals. COLUS then passed me the CPD, which I clipped to my belt. Taking one last look at everyone in turn, I took my first few steps towards the tower. Let's end this!

Syeonyx signing off

Journey to the tower

     Reaching the portal, the Enderman told us that they would be entering our world soon, and that they had to determine themselves how best to aid us. They were willing to do whatever it took to ensure we succeeded, but a fair amount of planning was still required. Standing beneath the shimmering portal surface, we each waited in turn as we were pulled upwards into it; it was an odd sensation to be floating above the ground. It wasn't like being lifted, but it was like... falling in reverse... if that makes any sense... UOPETA went first, with myself going second. COLUS would be last, carrying the Ender Keystone so that we could protect it if there was a need to. As I ascended through the portal, I felt a sickening lurch before my feet hitting a hard surface told me I had made it to the other side. I was a little confused as to how I had landed on my feet, standing upright, about two feet away from the portal itself, but at this point it wasn't worth wasting time and effort questioning it. Amie came next, followed by AMPHIS and then the others. COLUS was last, still holding the Keystone in his right hand as he floated to the ground. Shaking off the disorientation, he made his way to the front of the group.

"Okay, we're nearly there. We just need to get back through the structure and up into the iron mine again. From there, we can determine the best course of action. We can either head through to the entrance and go on the surface, or attempt to make our way through the tunnels. The latter would mean gaining entry to the base, but at this point speed is key."

"It would be best if we stayed on the surface; we're unlikely to be spotted that way. If we head through the base and are confronted or spotted, even if we make through to the tunnels, they could cut off our escape route at the end near to the tower. At least on the surface we have a way to get out."

"Then it's settled; we'll head back up to the top of the iron mine and exit through the main entrance. We haven't been gone long enough for the sedative to have work off yet, but security may have tightened in our absence."

COLUS led the way back through the tunnels and up into the structure, where we then headed on back to the iron mine. We were nearing the end, and we were so close I could almost taste the victory!


"When are we going to put this CPD to use? Jeff gave it to us with strict intentions on using it when we really needed to. I think one of us is going to need it to get into the conducting tower. It would make more sense rather than all of us going in to our deaths."

"It would, but we've got to get that far first. Also, who would be going in? That place is going to be heavily guarded and we can't guarantee even one of us can get through."

"What if we were to tunnel in? I've got a pretty good idea where would start to dig, and for how long. It could work."

"True, but there are a number of factors that would make that difficult, no, impossible. Firstly that would take far too long. We can't risk taking any longer than we need to. Secondly it would likely generate a lot of noise that would be heard above ground or at some point along the way, drawing attention to ourselves. Lastly, that would only get us past the guards, assuming it worked. If we tunnelled straight into the chamber with the master portal, we're going to draw everyone's attention to us. I know we've found ourselves in a lot of awkward situations before, but I think even that's beyond us."

"How would the CPD work for getting one person through to the tower then? It's all well and good activating it for them to pass by the guards undetected, but if doors start opening randomly, and objects start appearing mysteriously in front of people, I think they're going to catch on pretty quick."

"Well that's all the choices we have at the moment. We can only hope that the Endermen are able to help us out at some point further along the way. Maybe they can get us inside without being detected, or they could act as a diversion to lure the guards away."

"Whatever they do, it had better be incredibly distracting. We're going to see a huge force of guards and other HoN Co. soldiers there, and they're not all going to go running off after an Enderman..."

"Maybe not, but they may be distracted for long enough for us to get inside. As far as we know, they're not aware of the Endermen species yet. So when they turn up, it'll be completely alien to them."

COLUS silenced us with a wave of his hand; we had reached the base of the stairs that led from the tunnels and the shack back up to the iron mine. From here we would have to exit out onto the surface again and head West to the tower. Using the tunnels beneath us that led from the base to just a little South of the conducting tower wasn't a good idea. Firstly we'd need to get through the guards to get to it which would likely cause a disturbance. Secondly, if they found out quickly enough they could block off our exit, trapping us. Thirdly we would have nowhere to go in that situation. Slowing down to a cautious walk, we made our way up the steps to the top, where we were presented with three directions: the left path took us back to the iron mine entrance, straight ahead took us down another set of steps to where there was an opening to our base. To the right was one of the other tunnels that UOPETA had carved out when we were looking for iron to make the initial tunnels.

"It's left here, back to the entrance, and then we can head West to the conducting tower. We can fine-tune the plan from there..."

Reaching the stone door, UOPETA flicked the lever, and it began to slowly open, with a sickeningly loud grinding noise. We waited inside for a few moments in case we had drawn the attention of the other guards, but when nothing happened and when no-one came to see what was going on, we emerged. Looking down to the pool where the other guards had been, we were surprised to find no-one there.

"I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing... We'd best keep moving and not find out."

Closing the stone door behind us, we ran down to a lower level so we were harder to spot. It wasn't long before we were within the tree line and rapidly making our way West. We didn't get the full way however, before we started seeing strange, purple flickers of light and particles floating close to where we had been. We occasionally looked back to make sure we weren't being followed, but instead we had spotted these strange things, and we slowed down. We were being followed... by something... COLUS eventually decided that it wasn't worth slowing down over, and we could deal with it later, but as we turned to continue running, an Enderman literally appeared in front of us, conjured from nothing!

"We have news of evil ones and their progress with the portal. They are incredibly close to activating it; the time left is short, and you are heavily outnumbered. We will help out any way we can, but we cannot ensure you will all get inside undetected..."

"Don't worry about that; we've got that side covered."

"Good. Come with this one to the tower so that you can see what you will be facing. We can prepare the final plan of attack from an advantageous vantage point."

As we followed the Enderman, it began to rain softly, the blue sky being concealed slowly by ominous-looking black clouds; they roiled and bubbled as though being boiled by some unseen heat source, and distance flashes suggested a storm was coming. I didn't like the looks of that...

Syeonyx signing off

Human-Endermen relations

     We all stared at the active portal in silence, none of us moving closer towards it. It was mystifying and eerie at the same time, and none of us could be sure of what would happen once we stepped through. Would we be killed? Would we be trapped in The End? Who knows! In the end I volunteered to go first; I saw the look on Amie's face when I put my hand up; a mixture of fear and confidence. I saw it in the faces of everyone else as well, and in the end I managed to convince THEROS to come along with me. Stepping up onto the frame of the portal, and standing on either end, we looked between each other and the portal. The I jumped! I don't know what convinced me to go, but in the end I felt like I had little to lose. As my feet left the frame, time seemed to slow down, as I reached the apex of my leap and then began to fall towards the portal. Closing my eyes, I waited with baited breath, expecting to feel a watery sensation, as though jumping into a swimming pool. Instead, the feeling of falling continued for a moment or two longer, before I landed on a solid surface. Slowly, I opened my eyes, and my held breath was instantly released in the largest gasp of astonishment I had ever achieved! I couldn't believe what had happened. I had travelled through to The End through the portal and lived! The area around me seemed barren, with only a few odd obelisks and pillars jutting awkwardly from the bone-yellow stone beneath my feet. Looking up I could see the portal I had come through, upside down, with the odd shimmering surface remaining in place, but still convulsing. Moving out from under it, I waited until THEROS came through, and it wasn't long before his feet emerged and he landed on the ground with a dull thud.

We stood in silence, gazing around in wonder at the area around us. The sky was a very strange purplish hue, which seemed to fizz and sputter like static on an old television screen. There didn't appear to be any form of light source, and yet it was still possible to see quite a distance. All around us stood the Endermen; they looked exactly how they had been drawn in the images we had found; tall, thin creatures, with long arms and legs, and an oddly large head sat atop a thin neck. Their eyes were a piecing purple, that seemed to shine with their own light, and every pair was turned towards us!

"Greetings, human. We are delighted you were successful in your task to activate the portal. We have much to discuss and little time to question."

The voice drifted across to us from all sides, and it wasn't for a moment until I realised that it was coming from inside my own head! THEROS had reacted in a similar way to me, indicating he was hearing the same thing. All of the Endermen began to slowly approach our position, as the rest of the Lone 7 dropped through the portal and into The End. We huddled together in a loose group, whilst the approaching Endermen, began to create a s ring around us. Once they were in position, they all stopped. Only a single Enderman continued approaching us, and it did so until it was only a few feet away before stopping. By now everyone had passed through the portal and was stood together in a group. I could feel the apprehension in the air, as we all waited with breaths held, wondering what would happen next. The closest Enderman raised its arms and closed its eyes, before slowly lowering them again. COLUS stepped forward, presumably to act as the emissary for us.

"Greetings, Enderman. We have come through the activated portal, seeking the Keystone you showed us, so that we may put a stop to HoN Co. and destroy the master portal."

"We know who you are, and we are glad of your return to our structure with the means to activate the portal to this world. We have waited a long time to be free, and now our time has come. However there is a little matter to attend to. This one wishes to give you the Ender Keystone we spoke to you of, so that you may put it to its intended use."

"We have been through a lot to get this far, and we can only apologise for the time it has taken to reach The End."

"There is no need for apologies. We are aware of your plight and sympathise with your situation. With the many millennia we have spent in this world, a few more weeks is nothing to us."

"Millennia? How have you survived this long? I can't see any food or water around here at all!"

"We have no need for nutritional substances. Food and water and non-requirements of our species, as we exist as one. We also require no rest of any kind, as our species is familiar with the many countless millennia each individual can live. This individual is approximately 3,425 elliptical cycles of your planet in age. However it is not the eldest, nor is it the youngest."

"How long have you been here since you trapped the Keystone away?"

"We have existed in this world for approximately sixty one millennia. We have passed through the equivalent of seven individual's generations. The Keystone has remained a secret and secure for this entire length of time. It is only now we have revealed its existence to anyone outside this world, by communicating through the Aether."

"Which individual are you then? The one we are speaking to?"

"You are speaking directly to the individual that sensed your presence in our structure back in your world, and communicated the instructions to retrieve the five Eyes of Ender to activate the portal. However, you are communicating with the cognitive power of one."

"We cannot afford to waste any more time. You are aware of what is at stake if you fail, and we cannot allow this to happen. However, besides the Ender Keystone, there is little we can do to help. Follow us and we will take you to where it is kept."

The Enderman turned around and began walking away from us; the ring of Endermen that had circled us parted to let the individual through, and we followed a little farther behind. The other Endermen followed us, maintaining the broken ring formation. We passed many pillars that seemed to be constructed of obsidian, some of which reached hundreds of metres into the air. The terrain around us seemed to be made up of a single component; the yellow stone beneath our feet was flat and featureless, with only a small rise here and there giving any sense of change. We weren't walking for long, before we stopped before an alter that had a single burning flame atop it. The alter seemed to be made of a mixture of the strange, yellow stone and obsidian. We approached it as the individual Enderman climbed to the top and stopped, before turning to face us.

"The Ender Keystone is a singular object with one purpose; the destruction of the portal which threatens to let out all of the evil from the Nether. It must be taken from this place and back to your world, where it can be used against the portal to destroy all others on your world, and prevent the Nether from ever escaping onto the land."

The Enderman turned back to the alter and raised its arms again, before lowering them slowly and moving to one side. From the flames appeared a small, green object which rose above the edge of the flickering fire, before hovering no the spot.

COLUS began to climb the later, towards the Keystone. Reaching the top, he put his hand out to grab it, but was hesitant because of the flames. Eventually, he steeled himself and stretched out his hand to take the Keystone. Curling his fingers around it, he pulled it free and towards himself, before exhaling and stepping down from the alter. We had it! It sat in COLUS's hands, shimmering in the light of the fire, although it seemed to have a surface that coalesced on its own.

"Now go back to your world and destroy the portal. You will only get one chance, and you cannot fail. We will pass through the portal after you and attempt to aid you. You must not let the Ender Keystone fall into the hands of the evil otherwise all is lost."

We began to head back to the portal, knowing that we were literally hours away from finishing this! All we had to do was get into the conducting tower and down into the master portal chamber, and place the Keystone within the frame of it. Then we would have to wait and see what happens...

Syeonyx signing off

The beginning of The End

     We'd relaxed for about an hour before we decided that it was a good time to set off. We had a good enough lead on the HoN Co. guards, even with them being on a high alert. If they hadn't found the shack yet then we were likely to be safe from here onwards to the portal. Preparing ourselves for the next long leg of the journey, UOPETA flicked the lever on the far side of the room; the bookcases began to part in four directions, exposing a small, thin corridor beyond. We ensured that the barricaded door wasn't going to be easily broken through before individually heading into the corridor. COLUS led the way, keeping the rifle at the ready at all times, just in case HoN Co. had managed to find a way inside to the portal. We hadn't found any evidence of that yet, but with HoN Co. you could never tell. We remained quiet for most of the way, mainly because there was little to talk about, but partly to remain as silent as possible in case there were HoN Co. guards lying in wait up ahead.

"We're counting on you THEROS to get us back through the Endermen building and to the portal. From what I remember, that place was a maze, and we can't waste time by getting lost there..."

"Don't worry, I can remember it vividly in my head. We enter through the entrance we found, head to the end of the corridor, take a right, head down to that end, then head right again. Go up a flight of steps and head back on yourself down to the end of the corridor, before turning left. Then turn right and head down a set of steps, before entering a long corridor after a right turn. It's a straight line from there, going up another set of steps and up to the portal over a narrow walkway."

"That's pretty accurate... wow..."

"That's my eidetic memory at work. It's what helps me finish off the maps in detail and from an aerial position without gaining that vantage point. Not many people have it, but the ones that do are usually in careers where exceptional auditory or visual perception is vital."

We had a way to go, and a lot of it was going to be slow going due to the confined spaces. Much of the way before us was also paved with obsidian, which made moving about difficult due to it's inability to reflect light. Any torches placed near them seem to be ineffective, and it was often hard to discern the difference between obsidian stone floor and a giant hole into a black pit! First though we came to the large pit of lava that we had come across when I was digging out a tunnel that SERVERE had started. It veered off sharply to the left as a result of the lava pit, which we found we were unable to cross, but had to navigate around instead. Luckily there was little in the way of a detour, and we continued on our way through another long, thin corridor. Towards the end it opened up slightly, before narrowing again into the obsidian tunnel that we had expected.

"From the other side of that, we have the bridge to cross. The one we patched up with wooden slats. It'll take us to the left where we'll soon then enter the Endermen structure."

"Let's just hope we don't have any more of those weird visions. I felt sick after that last one we had. It was incredibly disorientating too..."

I recalled the last time we were there, we had all begun to disappear individually, having the same vision. An Enderman had begun to communicate to us all, but separately, telling us of the Keystone and how they had come to be trapped in The End. We had learnt all that we had come to do up until now in a single moment, conversing with an ancient being across dimensions. If it was known to the public, it would have been a day to be marked as one of the most important in the history of humanity. To us however, it meant an easier end to HoN Co., which was all we wanted. Just like THEROS had remembered, we exited the thin tunnel and came out onto the obsidian bridge which had been patched up by us. Arcing to the left, we would then enter the main structure. We were nearly there...


     We were here! After navigating through the structure with ease and accuracy, we headed straight through a paved tunnel and up a single flight of steps, up to the portal. Just like before, it sat ahead of us on a platform suspended above a dark hole. The only light came from the torches that we had placed around again and the lava pool it sat above.

COLUS took the five Eyes of Ender in his hand, and gave them out to each of us closest to the portal. We surrounded the portal, ensuring we could reach the slots they fitted into, before waiting for everyone else.

"This is the last moment we have before we either near the end, or unleash untold evil upon the world. If it's the latter, I want everyone to know, it's been an honour working with you."

"I'll see you all on the other side..."

THEROS placed his Eye into the slot on the far side, before returning to the back. AMPHIS was next, then COLUS, me. THEXIS was the last one left. Holding the Eye in his right hand, he remained looking at the portal, hesitating slightly.

"Let's just hope we're doing the right thing..."

"You and me both..."

THEXIS began to lower the Eye into the slot, letting go once the base was fitting in. It clunked into place, and THEXIS stepped back immediately. We waited for something to happen; the portal remained still, and only the bubbling lava pit beneath it showed any change, as it bubbled. Then, as we watched, the lava began to froth violently, as it visibly changed in colour, to a darker orange, through a series of red hues and eventually to black.

"Is that meant to happen...?"

The twelve Eyes began to glow, before silhouettes of them floated up and out of the slots, merging into one, hovering above the blackened lava for a few moments, before dropping downwards. The lava surface exploded into an array of pinpoint of lights, dotted around. Looking into it, we could actually see more lights moving below, as though it were pane of glass.

"Who's first...?"

Syeonyx signing off

Day 166: Nearing The End

     Feeling well rested despite the lack of sleep we had been getting over the past couple of days, we woke up with the sun again, eating enough to sustain us through the day before we reached the base. We had easily covered the majority of the journey by now, with only a short distance to go. Once there we could get into the base, ensure we take whatever we need to survive the journey through to The End and then head up through the entrance of the iron mine to the shack SERVERE had been using. From there we could use the secret tunnel that led through to the portal which would be activated when we placed the five Eyes of Ender into the appropriate places. We hadn't been told any more than that, so we assumed that was all that was required of us; the portal would activate, opening up The End dimension for us to cross over to, and converse face to face with the Endermen. Then we would take the Keystone from The End back through the portal and down to the conducting tower, where we would end it all!

"Just think: in less than a day's time, this could all be over! HoN Co. would be defeated, and their immoral actions revealed to the public. We would have helped out an ancient race of intelligent beings and stopped the world from being overrun with the evils of a hellish dimension!"

"Woah, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've got a LOT to do before then, and every minutely detailed step we take is going to be fraught with danger! We'll have HoN Co. at our heels the entire time, and we can't say for sure where the allegiance of these Endermen lies. It's best to remain vigilant the entire time from now on."

Destroying all trace of the fire without attracting an nearby attention, we picked up our bags and continued on our way. We had all changed back into our Lone 7 armour; I don't know about anyone else but the guard uniforms and lab coats felt creepy to wear. They felt wrong... Being back in my standard armour was comforting, even though it changed very little. We had also re-assembled the four rifles, and myself, UOPETA, COLUS and THEROS had them ready to use at any point they were needed. We hadn't run into or come across any guards as of yet, but we knew it was early days yet, and once we had the Keystone, getting into the conducting tower was going to prove to be the toughest obstacle of them all. HoN Co. would have just lost any leverage they possessed, and the only way to get it back would be to heavily guard the one place we needed to get to. As we continued East it was likely that hundreds of guards and Elite soldiers were being put into position in and around the tower to prevent us getting access to it.

"Look! Off to the North! That's the tip of the conducting tower! We're close!"

We all looked off to the North where COLUS was pointing, knowing full well that the sight of the tower meant we were close to home. It also meant we were close to the base entrance that was just a little South from the tower. We had decided against using that point of entry for fear HoN Co. having found it. If they had, they may well be guarding it, or worse, leaving it open for us to fall into a trap. The best option was to set straight for the main base entrance and work from there.We would be able to get to the iron mine quickly as well if anything went wrong from then on. Soon we could see the huge cliffs that acted as the mighty walls blocking the base entrance from prying eyes, even from above. The entrance itself was ingenious; relying on a platform that could be lowered down into the pool it crossed and become completely invisible. Even with the platform raised, it would look like a simple piece of terrain.

"We've got trouble. Everyone stay low and keep quiet..."

We all slowed down, and readied the rifles, checking the magazines were loaded properly the springs in working order. The last thing we needed was for the rifles to break on us at such a crucial stage. As we were close to one of the huge cliff walls, COLUS stopped us, and pointed forwards. Through the tree line we could make out the beach area that surrounded the pool where the base entrance was hidden. However, posted around the entrance and the pool were quite a few guards, at least four or five. It was hard to tell with the amount of foliage in the way, but it getting inside was going to require a lot of concentration.

"I suppose it was just a matter of time until they found where we were. Luckily we weren't at home when they did, or things would have got messy. How are we going to deal with this?"

"UOPETA, you head around to the right and scope out the area. See if you can spot how many guards we're dealing with. Once you're sure, return to us so we can formulate a plan."

UOPETA nodded once, and quickly dashed off to the South, hugging the tree line so he couldn't be seen. At one point even we lost him; there was no movement for a few moments before he suddenly came dashing back.

"We've got five guards; two at the front of the platform, one near the entranceway, one off to the left on the hill and another way off ahead close to the iron mine."

"Are you one hundred percent positive?"

UOPETA nodded again.

"Right, well it seems we may not be able to get into the base directly through the entrance. We'll need to get through to the iron mine and work our way from there. We can get into the base from there. If we move off to the right and take out the guard closest to where we want to go, we may be able to slip past the others, provided he falls cleanly and isn't seen by the others."

We all made our way across to the right, setting up position where UOPETA had dashed off to moments before. We only needed to take one guard out, but we needed to make sure the other guards weren't watching. UOPETA set up to take the shot, whilst the rest of us with rifles kept watch on the three guards most likely to spot him going down. We waited for some time, tracking their movement and hoping they would each turn away roughly at the same time. We spent nearly an hour tracking their movement, but they remained rigidly stuck to their exact patrol route each time. There wasn't a single time when one guard wasn't looking at another. But we had worked out one flaw with their patrols. The guard closest to the iron mine, and the one on the far side at the hill only looked at each other at the same time, whilst the other three rotated in sequence. That meant that we'd need to take out the one on the far hill as well at the same time, leaving the three in the middle. If we timed it right, we would hopefully take them out without the others noticing, or at least causing a big enough distraction to get into the mine. UOPETA gave the countdown, while COLUS sighted the other guard. At the end of one, two simultaneous sounds of springs uncoiling informed us that the darts had been let loose. The two guards dropped.

"Go, go go..."

We all made a mad dash for the iron mine, knowing full well we wouldn't have this chance again. True to our suspicions, the three guards in the middle noticed the unconscious one on the hill on the far side, giving is us plenty of time to get across the rocks to the entrance. While they remained distracted, we opened the wall, hurried inside and closed it behind us. Luckily there were no guards in this part, which indicated they either had no reason to guard it or hadn't found it yet. If they'd found the base, it was likely to be the former.

"Okay, let's get into the base. We should be able to..."

"Change of plans. It's too risky to try that. Now that they know something is going off, they'll be on full alert. We'll just be making it easier for them if we went back to the base. No, we should head straight to the shack."

Heading up the stone steps, we headed off to the shack, hoping we wouldn't bump into any more guards. We would have to hurry to ensure that we remained out of sight as the security would likely tighten within the next hour or so.


     We've made it! It's taken a little longer than expected, likely due to getting slightly lost along the way, but we managed to reach the shack without running into any more guards. It didn't seem that they had found the shack yet either, which meant we had some leeway in terms of time. We headed inside when we were sure it was clear, blocking the door behind us with a series of bookshelves. Once inside, we settled down, relaxing for the few moments we could.

"Right, from here it's down that tunnel and through to the Endermen structure. I suggest we rest up here for a bit longer so that we're in good shape when we get there. We should also leave the bags here so we're not too heavily laden with stuff we don't need."

Amie had begun to leaf through some of the books on the shelves, and it seemed contagious as everyone else had started doing the same thing. I had forgotten what was down here, but it had been here that we had learned of the alternative method of destroying the master portal. THEROS had found a few pieces of paper, which, upon further inspection, he found to be a map of some area that SERVERE had obviously drawn long ago. It didn't pose any use to us though...

Syeonyx signing off