It was nighttime.
Summer nights are always pretty nice and calm. There tends to be a warm breeze blowing, fireflies flit around, the moon's pretty bright whenever it's not a new moon, and the stars stand out like diamonds on dark velvet.
Zombies tend to roam around groaning, too, but nothing's ever perfect.
Tonight was no exception. There was a warm breeze, and the crickets were chirping over the faint rustle of grass and leaves, the moon shone brightly, and, oh look, the wall of that white building just exploded outwards. Y'know, pretty calm.
By the way, if you can't tell, that's sarcasm.
A tiny, young girl with short, fluffy black hair who couldn't have been older than six or seven shot out of the cloud of dust that had plumed outwards from the explosion, scuttling over the ground at top speed like some sort of bizarre crab.
It didn't take long for any bystanders that may have been standing there to realize why- the little girl had four extra arms, her white t-shirt and shorts ruffling in the wind with her extremely rapid, short movements. Her left red eye, and her right green eye, darted everywhere in a hot panic as she tried to keep track of her surroundings, which she quickly gave up once realizing that the monotonous similarity of the forest landscape made navigating properly nearly impossible. With her eight limbs, the little girl looked vaguely like some sort of spider.
Not even a few seconds later, another little kid came shooting out of there, perhaps not as quickly as the girl, since he was missing the extra four limbs. But he was still moving at a considerable speed, as the gold and black-spotted tail protruding from his shorts flapping in the wind told, and a pair of black cat ears were pricked up and rotating around, trying to rid themselves of the ringing that was still evident in his ears. His glowing blue-green eyes rapidly scanned the landscape as he searched for the blur of white that was his friend. "R-right!" he shouted after her.
Not even a moment later, he stumbled a bit and nearly landed flat on his face.
A blur of white and gold came blazing out of the settling cloud of dust and smoke. Once the being was clear of the dust and smoke from the explosion, her short, choppy red hair, glowing gold eyes, and the golden rods that could be recognized as Blaze Rods spiraling around her like a turbine came into easier view. She rotated smoothly in midair and shouted at the building behind her, "Guys, we can't wait! Come on come on come on!" Her words nearly blurred together in her haste, before whipping back around and jet-propelling herself after the two children who'd already run free.
"We're coming, we're coming!" No new entity came rushing out of the cloud of smoke this time- instead, a rather tall girl for being six or seven years old with dark skin that darkened to jet-black around her right, magenta eye with the slit for an iris, bleeped into sight in a spray of magenta, purple, and pink sparks.
She nearly staggered and fell, flailing her strangely long arms, before regaining her balance and continuing to bleep after her fleeing friends.
One last boy came charging out of the smoke and dust with short black hair and mottled green skin that covered his neck and most of his arms. It wasn't easy to spot many other details, because even when he was free of the cloud of smoke and dust, his body still was emitting wavery clouds of smoke into the air. He also already looked exhausted, although he was still catching up to the rest of the group without much trouble. "G-guys, wait up!"
The group didn't slow down from the unseen threat that was racing after them, and he caught up anyway. The small group weaved through the trees, whipping through bushes and ignoring the branches that snatched at their clothing and the roots that threatened to trip them at every step.
It wasn't until the building was far out of sight that suddenly, the Blaze Rods evaporated into a little puff of smoke, and the red-haired girl tumbled violently out of the air, hitting the rough ground with a force that drove all of the air out of her lungs in a soft 'uhf!', rolling several more feet before finally coming to a stop, still panting heavily.
The other children also all finally skidded to a stop, their faces red and shiny with exertion and all of them looking as though they'd run for miles, although perhaps they had- the sameness to the forest landscape really made it hard to tell how far they'd travelled. "You- you guys okay?" the little girl with the extra limbs eked out through her panting, her limbs slowly retracting so that she looked like a normal girl.
The others followed suit, the blonde boy adjusting his hair so that the black ears were hidden even as they shrank out of sight and the tail slowly curling up and vanishing, the tall girl's height shrinking by a few inches and the dark skin around her eye retracting and the magenta in her eye shrinking so that her right eye merely looked brighter than the other, and the other black-haired boy's mottled green skin shrank so that it was under his t-shirt, his irises and pupils shrinking in size until they were normally proportioned in his eyes.
The red-haired girl was breathing in ever-increasing speed that was basically what one would call 'hyperventilating'. "G-guys... I've got a headache..." she practically whimpered, knees drawn up to her chest from the knives of pain driving their way through her head, "I-it's getting w-worse-!"
Right then, all of the children let out a loud cry of pain themselves, hands flying to their heads as they tried to catch their breath. A loud ringing could be heard in their ears, and their vision was flickering rapidly, almost like a faulty television screen.
The boy's hands clawed at his head, shaking his head violently to try to clear it of the pain. "I-it hurts," he gasped, "wh-why-?!"
He was cut off as each of the children in their turn jerked in place, before crumpling to the floor, momentarily convulsing for a few seconds afterwards before falling perfectly still.
And the night was peaceful again.
Back at the white building, a man wearing a white lab coat and holding a remote control was frowning as he double, and then triple, checked the remote. "That's odd..." he mused aloud.
"What's odd?" His partner leaned over and rested her elbow on the table from where she was checking through a pile of papers, security guards and other scientists flooding through the hallways in a flurry of activity.
"The memory chips should be sending out suppressing signals to indicate their location, but they're n-"
As if the universe was intent on interrupting him, the remote suddenly detonated in his hands, making him let out a scream of shock and pain as the separate pieces clattered to the floor, leaving his hands with raw-looking burns and scrapes.
"Oh! You're hurt!" his partner exclaimed, eyes widening, "let me go get you some bandages and ointment for that!"
She leaped up, sending the pile of papers cascading to the floor in her haste, before bolting down the hallway.
The two of them were both sufficiently distracted enough in the flurry of haste to not spot the 'jamming signal' button that his partner had accidentally pressed when leaning her elbow on the table.
Memories can be hidden.
But no matter what, they cannot be destroyed.
Perhaps swept under a mental carpet.
But destroying a memory is impossible, for even when all traces of a memory have been obliterated, there is always a way for it to resurface, for a legend or for a murky trace of it to return.
It would only take ten years for these memories to return.
Nothing built can last forever. Every legend, no matter how great, fades with time. With each passing year, more and more details are lost, until all that remains are myths, half truths.
To put it simply - lies.
And yet, in all the known universe, from here to the Far Lands, the legend of the Order of the Stone endures, unabridged, as self-evident fact.
Indeed, it is only a troubled land that has need for heroes. And ours was so very fortunate to have, not so very long ago, FOUR heroes such as these.
GABRIEL the Warrior, before whose blade all combatants would tremble in fear.
ELLEGAARD the Redstone Engineer, whose redstone creations would spark an era of invention.
MAGNUS the Rogue, who would channel his destructive creativity for the benefit of all.
And SOREN the Architect, Builder of Worlds, and leader of the Order of the Stone.
These FOUR friends, would give so much to be known as FOUR heroes. Their most dangerous quest would take them on a perilous journey to fight a mysterious creature known as the Ender Dragon.
In the end, the dragon was defeated, and the Order of the Stone emerged victorious. Their story complete, they slipped away into the pages of legend.
But when one story ends, another one begins.
The treehouse was illuminated in the early morning light, the sun three-fourths of the way above the horizon and sending golden light cascading everywhere. From within the treehouse, grunts born from battle and the clatter of wood on wood could be clearly audible.
"Would you rather fight a hundred chicken-sized zombies, or ten zombie-sized chickens?" a girl with curly black hair in pigtails and dark skin asked, holding a handful of redstone dust. A green cap with goggles rested on the girl's head, and she wore a red vest the same shade as the redstone dust in her hand, a white t-shirt beneath the vest, and dark pants.
This is Olivia.
The other girl in the room paused in her fighting, the wooden armor stand she'd been hitting with her sword clattering back to the floor in the absence of a second hit. Her long black hair fell to her waist, emerald-green eyes sparkling in the early-morning sunlight. Her gold pin kept the sheets of black hair out of her face, and she wore a pair of pale blue dungarees over a white and red t-shirt and brown shoes.
"Just to be clear, Jesse, you wouldn't have any weapons or armor," Olivia added, still holding her handful of redstone dust.
Jesse finally came to a decision and shrugged. "I'd have to go with the zombie-sized chickens," she said, eyes narrowing thoughtfully as she let the sword drop to her side, before hastily adding, "not because I want to, or because I think it'd be easy..." She paused and made a face. "... but because they would be an abomination."
Olivia nodded. "Imagine their giant feet."
Jesse grinned back at the dark-skinned girl. "Like I said- an abomination." She returned to smacking the armor stand with her sword.
Olivia trotted over to a shelf on the side. "Soo, I've got a daylight sensor on the roof," she said, glancing back at Jesse before placing the redstone down.
"And if I did this right, these lamps should turn on once it gets dark," Olivia continued, still working on the placement of the redstone.
"Mm-hm..." You could be excused for thinking that Jesse wasn't listening anymore (mainly because she wasn't- looking at you right now, Jesse).
Olivia looked back at Jesse, having finished her task with the redstone. "I didn't want to leave Reuben with nothing while we were at the building competition-"
This brought the raven-haired girl back to attention as she twisted to see Olivia, arching one eyebrow. It was a behavioral quirk that she'd somehow perfected over the years, managing to lift only a single eyebrow. She rather liked that little behavioral quirk she'd developed- not many people could manage it. "He's... coming with us?"
The small pink pig with the strange birthmark tattooed onto his left side stopped nudging the armor stand along and lifted his head, letting out a squeal as he looked up.
"Really?" Olivia sounded a little too surprised for Jesse's taste.
Jesse turned around fully, sheathing her sword as she went, her eyebrow still raised at Olivia. "What kind of question is that? Of course he is."
Olivia quickly put her hands up in surrender. "Okay- I'm not saying he shouldn't come. I'm not!"
Reuben snorted disbelievingly.
"But don't you think it's a little... weird that you take him with you everywhere you go?" Olivia continued tentatively.
Jesse just shrugged. "No, not really. No weirder than my left eye being darker than my right eye-" And in fact, if you looked closely at her left eye, it was a few shades darker than her right eye. It looked kind of cool. And, if I'm to be honest, made the girl look faintly lopsided, "or your right eye being brighter than the other." And if you looked closely at Olivia's right eye, it was a shade or two brighter than the other one, which looked almost like onyx.
Olivia shook her head. "I didn't mean anything by it. I'm glad he's coming. It's just... I don't want to give people another reason to call us losers. I'm getting tired of it," Olivia continued, decisively setting her hands down. Had she done it any harder, it could effectively have been called slamming her hands down. "I'm tired of being a laughingstock."
The black-haired girl paused, before simply shrugging at her friend. "Well, I don't think you're a loser," she said. "Besides, he's my pig- so if anyone's gonna call anyone a loser, I'll take all of the insults. I'll own 'em. Make 'em a part of my mental armor. That way," and she shrugged again, "no one can use them against me."
Olivia blinked at Jesse, looking up from where her hands were still resting on the shelf. Slowly, her lips curved upwards in a small smile. "... thanks, Jesse."
Jesse shot the girl a thumbs' up and a grin, before a loud hissing sound became audible. The smile fell off of Jesse's face as she looked around, a concerned expression crossing her face. "Do you hear that...?" Turning around, she trotted steadily towards the trapdoor, eyes narrowing.
Olivia's eyes widened. "Oh no."
Just as Jesse knelt down, the trapdoor practically exploded open, a creeper's mottled green face thrusting through the trapdoor. "BOO!"
Jesse screamed in shock and recoiled from the trapdoor as Olivia also screamed, jumping back and slamming her back right into the wall with a violent flinching motion. Reuben also squealed in shock and, losing his balance from where he was perched on the windowsill, toppled off and landed with a heavy thud on the floor.
A hearty laugh rang out, making Jesse's eyes widen again, and then narrow, in anger. The boy in the green hoodie popped off his creeper mask, dark gray eyes sparkling with amusement and a broad grin plastered on his face. "Oh man! You guys totally freaked out! That was awe-"
He was cut off as Reuben charged forward and headbutted the burly boy, knocking him back a step but not actually doing any damage.
Olivia, having regained her composure, blurted, "Axel-!" She stuttered for a moment, trying to gather her scrambled thoughts, before blurting angrily again, "What's the matter with you?!"
Axel seemed a bit preoccupied, though. "Aw, man," he moaned in complaint, "now I'm gonna smell like a pig at Endercon. I thought we were buddies!" He directed this last bit to Reuben, who let out an indignant snort.
Jesse's hand was still resting on her heart from the slight scare she'd just received, but she was still grinning a bit. "Just what you deserve," she teased him, heart still thudding away, hands trembling slightly. "Cool mask, though."
"It is, isn't it?" Axel immediately forgot the preoccupation with his smelling like a pig at Endercon and grinned up at Jesse.
"Yeah- very convincing." The black-haired girl shot him a joking glare, before dropping it and laughing a bit.
Olivia was less willing to let it go, but she changed the subject anyways. "Did you bring the fireworks?" she asked Axel.
The burly boy rolled his eyes at her with a laugh. "Yes, I'm ready," he told her, "waiting on you guys."
Olivia grinned lopsidedly at him and moved over to the ladder, looking up at Jesse as she started down through the trapdoor. "We'll meet you and Reuben downstairs, okay?" she asked lightly, already halfway through the trapdoor.
Jesse grinned back at Olivia warmly. "Okay!" she agreed brightly.
The trapdoor swung shut. Jesse smiled and turned around- and then gasped, clutching at her head, the smile blowing off her face like a candle, as the room around her throbbed momentarily. "O-ow-!" she gasped.
Reuben let out a worried whine as he looked up at her, Jesse reaching up and kneading at her temples insistently to make this little headache or migraine or whatever it was go away. Instead, the dark spots that had begun to form in the corners of her vision grew bigger and more blotchy.
The trapdoor swung shut above her, the tiny little girl craning her neck back to stare at the ceiling anxiously, her six arms fidgeting with one another as she watched the trapdoor's lock engage.
Slowly, she let her head drop back down to eye-level, feeling her entire body tremble like a leaf as a floating monster slowly rose until it was about eye-level with the little girl.
A monster with a withered ribcage and three rotted heads.
A monster that spat a flaming skull at the little girl.
The small girl with six arms flinched in fear with a scream and flung herself sideways, barely avoiding the skull as it soared over her shoulder and plowed into the floor, creating an at least five-foot-wide crater upon impact.
The Wither floated closer again, and this time the girl spun around from where she'd landed and lashed out defensively. A tugging sensation... well, tugged on her palm and sent what looked like a long, white, silky rope shoot from her hand and tag the Wither, knocking it back a few inches.
The little girl's green and red eyes flashed, and she darted forward instinctively, dropping to all eights and darting around the room. The Wither floated around too sluggishly to quite keep up with the tiny girl as more and more white silk poured from the little girl's hands, tangling itself up gradually, more and more, until finally the little girl dropped to the ground, panting.
She looked up at the white silk that quite firmly cocooned the Wither and kept it from moving around freely.
The Wither was still struggling as the little girl crept closer to it, looking down at the strange creature warily, before leaning forward and biting the Wither's skull.
At first her teeth merely slipped and skidded and slid off of the disgusting skull, making a nasty taste entered her mouth. She drew back a moment later, turning her head and spitting out a few shards of bone that she'd actually managed to scrape into her mouth, before turning back around and biting down on the skull again.
This time, milliseconds before her teeth actually hit the skull, they sharpened into razor-sharp canines and sank deep into the skull, a strange combination of tastes entering her mouth. Something rotten, and bitter, and mealy, almost.
And something sickeningly sweet and smooth and honey-like.
The Wither jerked for a moment from where it was trapped in the web, before bursting into a puff of smoke as it vanished.
Immediately, the small girl dropped back to the ground, spewing to get every last disgusting bit out of her mouth. Blobs of something oddly dark and muddy-colored shot out from between her lips, fragments of bone caught inside it, splattering the floor, parts of the web, the Nether Star that had dropped onto the floor.
A hand dropped onto her shoulder, making her flinch and cry out a bit- she hadn't heard the sound of the lock disengaging, or the footsteps of who she knew was standing behind her. "Good work. You performed admirably."
Jesse let out a shuddering gasp of breath, hands still clutching at her head and eyes wide as she stared at her knees from where she'd fallen to her knees, trying to catch her breath. "That was... really weird," she mumbled after her breathing had steadied, before moving over to the chest which she'd been approaching.
She glanced up as she rooted through absentmindedly, snatching up the stuff she knew she needed.
Up on the windowsill was a small picture of herself when she was a little younger.
A picture that looked very much like the little girl she'd just watched fight a Wither and win.
Jesse paused in her rummaging through the chest, hands clasped around a flint and steel, eyes narrowing. "But... I'm not a spider hybrid," she said firmly, staring resolutely at the picture.
Assured for the moment, she stood up again and was about to turn away when she paused, flint and steel still in her grip, another flash of doubt shooting through her. Slowly, she looked down from the picture back down to herself again.
"... am I?"
A/N: Hello everybody! My name is Ariza Luca, and WELCOME to the rewritten version of Hybrid! This is the universal version based off of Hybrid: Cinematic Mode (which is based off of my original but with changes) that I'll be posting to Fanfiction, Quotev, Wattpad, Deviantart, and Archive of Our Own! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter!
The next chapter may not come out for a while. I'm just posting this so I don't lose all of the progress I had on AO3, haha x3 By a while, I mean until next year, since I'll be working on a multitude of stories. So comment in the comment section (or tag me on Deviantart or Quotev), or PM me on FFN, or basically find some non-invasive way of contacting me (lol, non-invasive xD) to let me know if you want this to come out sooner rather than later.
x.X. A.L. X.x