Second part of an Update Aquatic story I wrote. Part 1 and more info here.
Everyone gasped as one. The leader of the People had just come running – quite fast for his age – out the Palace doors, with the news of the King’s death. It was as frightening, impossible, astonishing and surprising as you can get, especially at a time like tonight. People broke into a panic. A governor nearly passed out. Others couldn’t believe their ears. Something had to be done for real – and so it was.
Soon everyone was settled down, waiting for the outcome of the organised expedition. A small group of men were sent out to the Mountain of Spirits, led by the leader himself. It seemed like the only solution at that time. And so, the group passed swiftly through the deserted villages and looming forests, as the moon rose slowly towards midnight. They made good progress and soon, having taken a break (and disturbed quite a few sleeping people on their way), they arrived at the foot of the north mountains – a vast expanse of rock rising out of the otherwise flat lands. What was once a shadow on the horizon now spread out before them for miles. It was time to begin the climb. They started up the rockface, unaware of the lone man who was here before them.
* * *
Moore had woken up from a sleep he wasn’t supposed to have. He looked up at the sky and saw the moon hasn’t moved much. Good, he thought, there was still plenty of time. Or so it seemed. He started climbing again, and his right foot slipped again. This time, he would have fallen if his left hadn’t found a slit. He had to be more cautious. He couldn’t afford to fail. The wheels were in motion, and the clock was slowly ticking.
Time passed as the group of men made their way up the mountain. They were now higher than anyone else at that moment, or so they thought. And unexplored heights possessed danger. High up they saw the rockface flatten out at one point, creating a ledge – a big one, too. That’s where they’d stop. They were getting tired; a look at their hunger bars confirmed it. They had to take a break and eat. But as they neared the ledge, something moved above them.
They saw a figure clinging to the rockface, slowly going up. He mustn’t have seen them yet, and so they left it this way. They stayed back a bit, then quietly made their way to the ledge. Their break should put some distance between them and the stranger. More questions tugged at the leader of the People – who was the man? Why was he here? And could he be the murderer? Those could – and would – soon be answered.
Soon they set off again, having lost sight of the stranger. But the stranger has not. Little did they know he had seen them; They were the reason he had sped up. The race to the top continued. The winner – and loser – would soon be found.
At last, a hand appeared on the edge of the mountaintop. Then another. And another few. The group of men poured over the edge, panting. They took a side route and quickly worked their way up. They now stood upon holy ground. In front of them was the Spirit’s lake, surrounded by nature’s forest and mankind’s statues in unity. Ancient tribes had worshipped Gods here for centuries. Now the sacred place of worship stood empty. The men felt privileged to be here, but they had a task to do. They scanned the area but found nothing at first glance. They went deeper in, mouthing silent prayers, careful to not disturb the spirit’s that lived here.
CRACK! The noise split the air like a bullet. Someone was amongst the crumbling ruins on the far end. The group
advanced and saw what they feared – the strange man was there. He was dressed in dark, face hidden in shadow, and didn’t seem surprised to see the men in front of him. And whether he was the murderer or not, he was up to no good. He’d snuck up the holy mountain at night, on the day of the sacred ceremonies. An object glistened in the moonlight in his hand. The moon was nearly at midnight now; They had little time. At last, the leader spoke.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” he said, matter-of-factly. The strange man did not reply. He knew time was running out for him, so he slowly lifted the object in his hand, as to not raise suspicion. The group gasped when they saw it. It was one of the lands most important artefacts. A gemstone with powers unknown to all man, stored deep inside the heart of Capitol. It left no doubt in the leader’s head that the man was the murderer, or at least worked for him. They had to act!
* * *
The men around Moore prepared to charge. They had seen too much, yet what else could he do? He was alone. Here to do his mission. The mission that would change the course of all humankind. He couldn’t fail now. He launched for the rockface behind him. It was engraved with symbols – and sure enough, in the centre was a small opening. He had the key. He took a second to admire his master’s genius, then with nothing to lose, he thrust the keystone into the hole. It was too late for second thoughts; The deed was done. The group of men around him watched in curious terror. But for a few seconds, all was silent as ever.
People screamed as the ground suddenly shook, bringing them down to their knees. The noise was defying. A few people pointed east, where a giant wave was emerging, engulfing the land, leaving behind ruins and small islands of mountaintops. The Gods were angry. The people would pay. The end of days was here – otherwise known as the Update Aquatic.
That’s all! A bit over detailed for a short story? But still cool, I think.
Quick overview of the storyline
The story follows the events that led to a giant wave engulfing the land…
The King is killed during a sacred ceremony. A powerful keystone is stolen. A group of men are sent to the top of the Mountain of Spirits in hope to find the murderer. At the top the murderer is already there and inserts the keystone into a special opening, triggering the wave. People panic as the wave sweeps across the land, presumably due to the angry Gods, as the King’s death meant the ancient tradition has been altered.
Later, when the water retreated, the seas and oceans full of ancient ruins as we know them today (in Minecraft!) were left behind.