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In the Darkness (Book 1): The Enemy's Cult


Darkness, Book 1: The Enemy’s Cult





Copyright 2016 Mark Mulle















Author’s Note

This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch













Table of Contents



Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

About the Author

Other books by this Author









Prologue

A year after the Great Minecraft Tournament

The rain fell heavily in the Royal City, and I couldn’t help but feel that it meant something. It had been a very sunny summer and I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen any sort of precipitation falling from the sky. Months, maybe? So why today?

The investigation had advanced pretty well and we had kept a vigilant eye on a particular group of workers that had been spotted in strange meetings.

After Herobrine’s defeat, one of the first orders from the King and Queen themselves had been to make sure we had truly gotten rid of our enemies. They could still be lurking out there, infiltrating our city and our forces. The King believed that we had been betrayed by our own and that after the surprise attacks on the capitals of each race, there was the possibility that a second wave of enemies could come. Herobrine might not have been the only leader.

After months of extreme surveillance we finally did catch the strange activity among groups of the construction workers that were rebuilding the Royal City and improving its defenses. At the end of their shifts, some of them were going into abandoned buildings and cellars for hours. While at first nobody noticed, the gossip began to flow among other workers and soon the police force — including us, the detectives — got word of it.

And here we are.

The rainy streets were shiny and slippery as we walked in small, tight groups. Both King and Queen had given us the order: Find and arrest the workers involved in secret meetings.

We kept to the shadows as the sun hid behind the horizon and the clouds turned pink, yellow and orange and some civilians watched us from their windows. Those on the streets quickly got into their homes when they saw us walking quickly along the sidewalks and heading towards our destination. We were a police branch of the City Guard, a force that was involved in the investigation of crimes and suspicious activity. During the war that followed after the Great Minecraft Tournament, we fought alongside Steve Applewood, Ben, Lewis and the rest and helped destroy the enemy on the battlefield with our fellow soldiers. Now, though, soldiers were not good for the job at hand. It needed to be us, trained for this specific sort of trial.

There were chains on the doors to the basement we were heading to, rusty locks holding them together that would make anyone else believe that the entrance hadn’t been opened for years.

Nice try, I thought with a small smile, and took out my pickaxe. I didn’t know how many enemies were down there but the large force of officers behind me helped calm me down.

Wham.

The lock snapped open as my pickaxe broke it and the chain fell apart.

“Okay, you know what to do. B Team, stick around here and watch for any enemy reinforcements.” Ten officers stayed behind, ready for any arriving threats. The rest of us went down into the damp and dark.



The first thing I saw were the strange letters and graffiti painted all over the walls. There were nonsensical phrases written on the ceiling and floor as well as we descended, the place was beginning to look like something from a horror story as we found pieces of armor — pieces that looked exactly like those worn by the City Guard. Something dark was going on.

We heard them then, the chants.

“Watch yourselves; there are a lot of them down here.”

I carried a baton in my hand, a blunt instrument that could easily knock out a criminal and even become a lethal weapon if used with great force. Still, the thought of enemy infiltrators that had kidnapped guards and…maybe worse…made me wish I had a sword or bow. We continued to descend and the chanting got louder. Before long, we began to see the red light coming from a chamber up ahead. It shined on more of the grotesque graffiti and paintings along the tunnel and many of the officers were breathing heavily now, nervous of what waited ahead.

The chanting stopped all of a sudden and we all went cold.

“Intruders,” came a soft voice from inside the room, and I knew it was time to act.

“Go, go, go! Get them, don’t let them escape!” We charged as one as the sounds of activity began to emerge from the red chamber.

I’ll always remember the first line of officers to cross the doorway to the chamber and the way they stopped as they saw what was inside — just as I crashed into them.

The sacrifices: guards, civilians and other innocent beings that the evil enemies had brought down here…It was all too much.

But then it all ended. The room had been rigged with explosives in case of emergencies. It blew apart instantly.

It was only thanks to that first line of brave officers that had entered before me that I survived at all and am still alive to tell this tale. May they rest in peace.

The shockwave of fire and destruction followed, and all I remember is pitch-black darkness and pain…

Lots of pain.

Very well, this was just an introduction. Now, let us begin with the true tale. Prepare yourself, reader. It will only get more twisted from here on.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.









Chapter One



Present Day

Five Years after the Great Minecraft Tournament

We all watched from below as the beautiful couple embraced before the entire world. They were heroes, Steve and Laura, born leaders and examples for generations to come. They deserved their moment of love and peace, after their lives had been put to the test so many times at such a young age.

I applauded along with everyone else and heard the wild cheers coming from around me. Steve had been so brave with his marriage proposal, it was admirable. For the first time in ages we had a reason to celebrate, a motive to feel cheerful. There were things to worry about, sure. But for now we could at least push them to one side and think of the reasons to keep on living.

Moments just like this one.

The King and Queen looked happy with the scene in front of them and it was clear that they were recalling proposal memories of their own. I turned my attention to the crowd around me again and saw familiar faces of agents, most looking up but others vigilant to the events around them. We weren’t going to take any security risks during such an event.

I decided I had had enough fun for the day and began to make my way out of the plaza, pushing my way through a tightly-packed crowd. Many within the audience got out of the way respectfully since they knew who I was.

The scars give it away, I guess.

Half of my face and neck showed the reminders of that fateful day in the cellar when we found the mysterious cult of workers. Almost all of the officers caught in that blast had lost their lives that day and we still mourned their losses, good men and women all of them. We were never able to get to the bottom of the enemy organization, and I knew that despite the culprits being turned to ash, surely more of them had been outside the chamber when it had detonated.

Still, orders came from higher up a few months after the terrible event. Mourn the lost, but get back to your other cases as soon as possible. Slowly, the City Guard and our Police Force left that case behind and began to pay more attention to other criminals and organizations out there. I can’t say that I didn’t follow the order, because soon I was working to catch more criminals and threats to our security but I had never really left the cellar explosion behind. Or maybe it never left me behind.

As I made my way back to our headquarters, something made me look up. It was that strange sensation you feel when you realize that somebody is watching you from a distance, that weirdness that makes your hairs stand on end. The two men stood to the left of me, among a large group of workers that applauded as they stared at the screens broadcasting the events going on at the very top of the castle. Both of them stood out from their companions because they were not interested in the wedding proposal at all but instead stared intently as I walked past, the strange expressions on their faces making me wonder. I stopped then. What is going on? When I began to walk toward them, they turned back to the screens and discretely disappeared among the crowds of workers.

I stood there, puzzled. What was that about? Suddenly, I remembered a detail I had seen on one of the men’s necks as they turned away from me and a chill ran down my spine. A tattoo…With a figure very similar to one I had seen on that terrible day in the cellar.

I glanced around nervously for a few minutes but the men were gone. Maybe it was just my imagination and the fact that I need to get some rest, a positive voice said in my head.

Taking a deep breath, I entered a tunnel toward the fortified building that was our headquarters. Before I reached the main door, I stopped.

William, don’t fool yourself, another voice said. You know what you saw, and you know what this means. They’re still out there and they have been all this time. Prepare yourself, something terrible is coming and you’re going to need to stop it.

Shaking the dark thoughts from my mind, I entered the building and got to work.





Chapter Two



Being a ‘cop’ in this city was pretty amazing, to be honest.

We had the most high-tech facilities in the city besides those within the Royal Castle, and we could respond to any sort of crime in minutes. Even now during these nice and peaceful times, there were crimes taking place. There had already been some arrests due to some people who got too carried away in their celebrations, and the surveillance team was paying important attention to those who got too close to the castle entrances.

I looked over at a particular officer at one of the monitors, a black-haired young woman named Mary. She was one of my few friends and somebody I could talk to about what I had just experienced before entering the building…but something made me doubt I should be alarming anyone without being completely sure. I guess I’ll have to investigate further on my own and make sure it’s what I fear.

After the explosion that had sent me to hospital for a couple of months, the City Guard and Police Force had closed off most of the access to the city’s underground and made sure that the only open accesses were constantly watched. Still, I thought, somebody could find a way inside and dig whole new chambers if they truly wanted to. I would need to keep an eye out.

Mary turned to me before I could walk away, and I decided to say hello.

“Mary, so nice to see you so occupied, serving our nation with responsibility like you do,” I joked as I approached her at her monitor. She was watching a section of the audience below one of the castle’s main entrances.

“Hello, my beloved,” she said with a grin. We often teased each other but there was no sort of relationship between us, despite our other friends and co-workers insisting that we looked cute together. “It’s been boring but I hope it stays that way. How was your day out there?”

I remained in silence for a moment, fighting off the urge to tell her the truth and simply replied: “It was okay. Let’s hope nothing ruins the Champion’s big day, eh?”

Suddenly I saw something in the screen that made me freeze. Right in the corner, hardly visible among such a large amount of people, were the two men I had seen just moments before. They had made their way across the crowd toward the very front where the main entrance to the castle was.

My mind raced. Should I tell her and risk alarming everyone or go out there on my own? She turned from her seat and looked up at me.

“You’ve seen something. Tell me, right now.” Her voice was firm. I sighed, knowing that we had more to lose if I was right about the men, so I decided to give her a hint.

“Those two guys, here,” I pointed. “I saw them earlier, moments before entering this building. They stared at me strangely, as if watching my movements. They’ve gotten pretty close to the entrance to the castle, I think. We should do something.”

She nodded and began to talk through a mic to someone on the outside. As she turned back to ask me for more details, she sighed in exasperation. I was already gone.





“Please, excuse me! Let me through!” I shouted as I pushed and shoved my way through the crowd. At certain points, the mass of men and women was almost impossible to traverse, a sea of flesh and blood that pushed back whenever I tried to go through it. A particularly chubby and tall man looked down at me angrily as I tried to shove past him. “Look, I’m an officer of the Police Force. Let me through, now!” The fat man lifted his hands when he saw my badge and turned so I could run around him.

Finally, the main entrance was only a few feet away. The guards were clearly struggling to keep screaming fans from pushing past them and into the castle. It was clear that just about anyone could have sneaked past them but I asked them just in case.

“Hello, my name is Officer William Johnstone, have any of the crowd gotten past you and into the castle? Particularly men of a fighting age?” The last two words returned some embarrassed looks.

“Well, yeah…” one of the younger officers said, “A few stronger people have gotten past but we’re trying our hardest out here! Anyway, they’ll be caught on the inside; there are plenty of guards in there.”

Right then, I knew that their stupid confidence would be a cause for tragedy.

“Move,” I hissed, and I was allowed inside past the crazy people and the main doors. The noise levels lowered once inside the castle but I became more nervous. There were no guards in the immediate hallways past the doors. It was as if they had abandoned their posts. “Hello?”

Something is wrong. The echoes of swords clashing reached my ears a moment later. Oh, no. I broke into a run, taking my baton out and preparing to fight. The feeling of dread washed over me. The King, Queen and all four Champions were here along with their families. Just one of them getting hurt — or worse — would be disastrous. Running as fast as I could, I began to see fallen guards on the floor, some of them looking like they had stopped breathing. The enemy had gotten far enough already.

“Stop,” I growled as I entered the room. The elevator to the balcony lay ahead and the two figures stood before it, having defeated the guards protecting the area. The unconscious or dead bodies surrounded them in a circle, and I knew I was facing two extremely skilled warriors. “You’re under arrest.”

The first one to turn began to chuckle softly. He had messy blond hair and a beard, the sharp blade in his grip suddenly becoming visible as he looked over his shoulder. He was a short but athletic man, while his companion was taller and broader, his shaved head tattooed with weird shapes and letters. Definitely the two men I saw earlier, I realized.

“They said the same,” the blond man said, nodding at the circle of fallen guards, “Look how they ended up. There’s one of you and two of us, though we count for like ten men each so…”

I rolled my baton around my hand and spun it. “Show me then.” I let the light hit me head-on and they saw the scar tissue on my face and neck and I noticed it made them a fraction less confident but the fight had begun and they came forward anyway.

“No reinforcements, eh? Brave cop,” the blonde man said as he charged at me and I had only an instant to react. His blade came cutting down in a lethal arc but I blocked it inches from my face. He was fast and he was strong.

And he was not alone.



The other man’s stab came from a blind spot and I moved on instinct, stepping out of his reach just before the sword ran me through. My baton shot out and caught the tall man in the back, knocking him forward before I attacked the blond man with a few rapid blows.

“You’re good,” he growled, as he came forth and attacked me again. We exchanged attacks, before I stumbled over a dead guard and almost fell to the floor. As I fumbled for balance, the tall man ran over to me with his sword over his head.

“Checkmate,” he hissed and brought the heavy blade down.

Clang.

I opened my eyes and breathed. I had lifted the guard’s sword just in time to stop the attack that would have cut me in half. The tattooed man prepared to attack again but my baton shot out and disarmed him, before I slammed him across the face with it and knocked him unconscious.

“You’re next,” I said to the blond man but he shook his head.

“I know who you are. The hero from the cellars. My fellow brothers did that to your face. A good lesson for snooping in our business. You might have stopped me from reaching the King,” he said as his hand went down into his pockets, “But you’re not taking me in today, friend.” The explosion of light and noise blew across the room and I felt my mind returning to that explosion four years ago as I threw myself to the ground in shock.

Only then did I realize that it had been a flashbang-type grenade and nothing more, and that the enemy had escaped.

“At least I have a suspect,” I sighed, before I saw it.

The blond man had stabbed his companion before escaping, killing him instantly. What kind of monster could do that…The doors behind me tore open right then, and more police officers came in, weapons ready and eyes darting across the room.
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