The Birth of Herobrine Book One: A Gameknight999 Adventure: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure
Can Gameknight999 survive a Minecraft journey one hundred years into the past?
A freak thunderstorm strikes just as Gameknight999 is activating his father’s digitizer to re-enter Minecraft. Sparks flash across his vision as he is sucked into the game… and when the smoke clears he’s arrived safely. But it doesn’t take long to realize that things in the Overworld are very different.
Gameknight sees the same blocky terrain and square clouds as usual, but almost everything else has changed. His friends are nowhere to be found. His castle has disappeared and the village he calls home is missing its defenses and fortified wall. Even stranger, no one seems to know who he is.
The User-that-is-not-a-user realizes he’s been accidentally sent a hundred years into the past, back to the time of the historic Great Zombie Invasion. None of his friends have even been born yet. But that might be the least of Gameknight999’s worries, because travelling back in time also means that the evil virus Herobrine, the scourge of Minecraft, is still alive and trying to annihilate the NPCs. Can the User-that-is-not-a-user help the villagers to defend themselves against this destructive tide or will he too become a victim to Herobrine’s rage.
Mark Cheverton is a former high school physics and math teacher, and the father of a Minecraft fanatic. He is the creator of the Gameknight999 series, action-adventure books set in the world of Minecraft conceived as a way to teach children the dangers of online bullying.
EXCERPT FROM THE GREAT ZOMBIE INVASION
Gameknight admired the amount of work the diggers had been able to do in such a short time. The crafting chamber looked as it had the first time he’d met Crafter, minus the minecart tracks; that was the next project to tackle. Weaver and some of the other young NPCs stood near him, all of them gobbling up his praise like candy.
“The circular room above looks fantastic,” Gameknight said. “And these steps down to the floor of the crafting chamber are spectacular.”
Weaver and the others beamed.
The kids had put in a wide set of steps at the opening to the cavern. They sloped downward, following the wall of the massive cave, then curved so that they spilled down to the center of the floor. Crafting benches dotted the chamber with chests placed along the walls. Each chest had a sign on it, signifying what was within: arrows for one, iron swords for another, leather armor and bows in another. Gameknight had convinced Smithy that they should begin crafting the tools of war, and everyone not on guard duty was either in the chamber, crafting, or in the mines looking for iron and coal and diamonds.
Closing his eyes for a moment, Gameknight listened to all the activity. It sounded just like Crafter’s chamber, with the constant clatter of tools creating a blur of noise that was, for some reason, comforting. For the first time, Gameknight999 felt as if he were home.
“What do we do next?” Weaver asked. “The tunnels for the minecarts?”
“Exactly,” the User-that-is-not-a-user replied. “We need a tunnel that heads straight to the closest village. Use all the iron left over from making swords for the minecart tracks. In no time, you’ll have a minecart network that will connect all the villages together. After that we can—”
“Everyone, come to the surface . . . quick!” an NPC shouted from the top of the curving stairs.
Gameknight glanced up at the villager, but he’d already turned and left, the iron door slowly closing.
“Come on,” Gameknight said to the kids.
He dashed up the steps, then burst through the iron doors. In seconds, he had shot through the round meeting chamber and was heading through the long tunnel. At the end of the dark passage, Gameknight could see a single torch illuminating a ladder that disappeared upward into a vertical shaft.
When he reached the ladder, he began to climb. He could hear the sounds of villagers below him, all of them climbing as fast as they could. As he moved, rung after rung, Gameknight thought about all the times he’d followed this path in the old Minecraft . . . or the future Minecraft, he wasn’t sure. He missed those days. Gameknight had felt like a member of a community back then, but here, in this time, he felt like an outsider that was never fully trusted. Would they ever accept him?
He snapped out of his self-pity when he reached the top of the ladder. The vertical passage opened into the cobblestone watchtower, emerging from the far corner in the floor. Gameknight streaked across the floor and burst through the door. He sprinted across the courtyard and climbed the steps that led to the top of the fortified wall.
Surveying their surroundings, Gameknight found the sun rising over the eastern horizon. A rich orange glow stretched across the skyline as the sun rose higher and higher, the sparkling night sky slowly dissolving into a deep blue.
“Nice of you to finally make it,” Fencer said, a tone of accusation in his voice.
“I was down in the crafting chamber, helping to—”
“Whatever,” Fencer replied. “Just be quiet and look.”
Out in the dark forest, a strange flickering glow seemed to move between the trees. It looked like the light of a fire, but no flames were visibly climbing up any of the trees. Instead, it seemed like the fire was walking through the forest as if it were out for an evening stroll.
“How can fire move through the forest like that?” Smithy asked aloud. “Is this another of Herobrine’s tricks?”
Villagers blurted out many different theories, but none of them made much sense. As they argued, Gameknight sighed. He knew exactly what it was.
“I know what this is,” the User-that-is-not-a-user said.
“Of course you do,” Fencer said suspiciously.
“What is it?” Smithy asked. “Are they setting fire to our forest?”
“No, these are monsters approaching.”
“Monsters? What kind of monsters can survive fire?” Fencer exclaimed.
“Blazes,” Gameknight replied.
“What’s a blaze?” Fencer cried. “I’ve never heard of those before. He’s making this stuff up.”
“I wish I were,” he replied. “They’re from the Nether, and they can throw balls of fire.”
The forest was now brightening as the sun climbed higher into the sky. The timer on the digitizer in his basement was probably ready to go off. Once it did, his father’s invention would bring him back to the physical world whether he was ready or not.
I hope I can at least finish this battle and help these NPCs, Gameknight thought. He knew he didn’t have much time left.
“What’s the Nether?” Smithy asked as he moved to Gameknight’s side.
“A terrible place of smoke and fire and lava and nothing good,” he replied. “We need to be ready. Everyone, keep moving around. If a blaze sees you standing still, they will shoot three fireballs at you. They always shoot a trio of balls, and they always flare bright just before firing. When you see them do that . . . move!”
“You seem to know a lot about them,” Fencer said. “Why is that?” His accusatory tone hurt Gameknight.
“I’ve fought them many times. I know what I’m talking about. Now, everyone get to your battle stations.”
No one moved. They just stood there, staring up at Gameknight999 with scowls on their faces.
“You heard him!” Smithy shouted. “Get to your stations and listen for instructions.”
Archers climbed the ladders to the archer towers while other NPCs moved to the top of the walls. Everyone had a bow in their hands, with an arrow notched and ready. A silence spread across the village. Gameknight could feel the tension in the air; it was like a thread that had been stretched to its limit and was just waiting to snap.
Any minute I’ll disappear.
And then the monsters came out of the forest and crossed the grassy plain that surrounded the village. They were all shocked when they saw at least thirty creepers scurrying towards them, with at least two dozen blazes floating behind. Each blaze burned bright with internal yellow and orange flames that seemed to make up the creature’s bodies. Blaze rods spun furiously around within their fiery bodies, reminding Gameknight of some kind of evil helicopter.
“Remember, don’t stand still. If you see a fireball coming toward you, duck behind a block of stone,” Gameknight yelled. “The blazes will try to distract us while the creepers get up close and try to destroy the walls. We cannot let them do that.”
The User-that-is-not-a-user turned and looked down into the courtyard. He saw Weaver and the other kids milling about, each of them wanting to get into the fight.
“Weaver, come here,” Gameknight said, he had to be quick . . . any time now.
“You kids stay out of the way,” one of the NPCs said. “This battle is for the adults. You little boys can’t do anything helpful here.”
“Weaver, don’t listen to him and come here!” Gameknight shouted. “I have something that I need you to do.”
The elder glared at Gameknight999, but he didn’t care. They had to act fast, or a lot of NPCs were going to lose their lives in this battle.
Weaver dashed up the steps and stood at Gameknight’s side. The other warriors cast angry glances toward the User-that-is-not-a-user, but he ignored them and just whispered into the young boy’s ear.
“You think all of you can do this?” Gameknight asked.
Weaver looked down at his friends that were clustered around the village’s well, then glanced back up to Gameknight999.
“No problem,” the young boy replied, then took off running, his bright yellow smock a blur as he dashed down the steps.
He sprinted straight to the other kids and whispered something to them. The other adolescents listened intently, then nodded to Gameknight999. They took off running through the village, collecting what was needed.
“You know they can’t help in this battle,” Smithy said quietly to Gameknight. “They are too small and will only get in the way.”
“I’ve learned not to judge people by their size, and rather, judge them by their courage,” the User-that-is-not-a-user replied. “A smart villager once told me, ‘Deeds do not make the hero; the fears they—’”
Before he could finish the statement, one of the villagers cried out.
“Here they come!”
The monsters stopped, just out of bow range, all except for the first wave of creepers. They crossed the grassy field quickly, their downturned mouths snarling as they approached the wall.
“Open fire!” Smithy yelled.
But before any of the archers could shoot, the blazes launched fireballs at the creepers. When the flaming balls of death struck them, they instantly started their detonation process, glowing brighter and brighter as they hissed.
“Shoot them!” Gameknight shouted.
He released an arrow, then fired again and again, but his shots didn’t stop the ignition process. The creepers moved forward and continued to glow brighter and brighter until . . .
BOOM! . . . BOOM! . . . BOOM!
The first wave of creepers exploded, one after the other. Fortunately, the blazes had lit them too soon and they hadn’t reached the village walls yet. Gameknight knew they would not make that mistake a second time.
“The next time, the creepers will destroy the walls,” Gameknight said to Smithy. “The arrows should have stopped them from igniting, but didn’t for some reason.”
“What? The all-knowing First-User doesn’t know what happened?” Fencer mocked.
“Fencer, not now!” Smithy snapped, then turned back to Gameknigth999. “What do you think they will do next?”
“They’ll probably send all the rest of the creepers in the next wave, but they’ll wait before igniting them,” Gameknight said. “This time, the creepers will make it to the walls. And once those are destroyed, you can be sure more monsters will come storming out of the forest and walk right into the village.”
“We have to do something!” Fencer yelled.
Just then, the young NPCs, lead by Weaver, came running back into the courtyard. They were each carrying multiple buckets and dipped them into the well, filling each with cool water.
“What?” Smithy asked. “You have an idea?”
“Yep,” he replied. “When it’s time, have everyone focus their arrows on the blazes. We’ll take care of the creepers.”
“We . . . who’s ‘we’?” Smithy asked.
But Gameknight didn’t reply. Running down to the steps, he moved to the cluster of youths and spoke quietly to them. Each of them nodded their heads, though the User-that-is-not-a-user could see fear in their eyes. This was dangerous, but the element of surprise would give them the advantage.
“OK, let’s do it,” Gameknight said as he accepted a bucket of water from one of the boys.
He put the pail into his inventory and moved to the doors, the rest of the kids fast on his heels.
“All of you ready?” Gameknight asked.
They nodded their blocky heads.
“OK . . . let’s go.”
Quickly, he opened the door that barred the monsters’ entrance to the village and let all the kids slip outside the walls. Gameknight then stepped out and closed the door behind him.
“What are you doing?” Fencer shouted.
“Get back in here!” Cobbler cried. “You’re just a bunch of kids.”
“Spread out and hold the line!” Gameknight shouted to the young NPCs. “Nobody runs and everyone waits until I give the word . . . understood?”
The kids turned and looked at the User-that-is-not-a-user and nodded.
“OK, here they come.”
All the remaining creepers moved forward, but this time, the blazes held their fire until they had moved past the crater formed by the last set of explosive monsters. The blazes then opened fire, launching their flaming balls onto the creepers igniting them all. Gameknight could hear them hissing as they began to glow bright and come near. The creatures snarled, shuffling their feet faster and charging toward the line of young defenders. But none of the NPCs drew a sword. They just held their ground and waited.