Hi all! It's been a hiatus of about three months since I've written a Minecraft fanfiction, the last one having been cancelled due to my general disinterest in the storyline, but I've returned here with a new fan fiction that I hope you'll enjoy. It's a post-apocalyptic story, but different from the usual apocalypse tales (no zombies, no nuclear war). So, here's Chapter 1…and I really hope to be updating on a regular basis! Enjoy, and of course comment and subscribe!

I'm not sure what it was about Langsford Peak that struck me. The sprawling, ruined metropolis before me seemed to beckon with some strange, unusual power. I wasn't sure what it was that made this city seem…different. I had been through several cities, all of them ruined and deserted, but this one seemed quite different, unique in its own way. Maybe it was the giant mountain, alone on the broad, ash-covered plains that surrounded the urban sprawl. Maybe it was the lazy river, stained brown from the polluted filth that had since run into it. Or perhaps it was just one of those feelings, ones that you simply cannot ignore, no matter how hard you tried.

Nobody knew what happened, really; some might attribute it to the wrath of Notch, bringing his fist down upon us. Others might attribute it to a breakdown of law and order and a total combustion of civilization. Some might say it was that and a contribution of several terrible natural disasters at once, including the enormous earthquake and the wildfires that still burned in the forests, consuming the dry tinder that beckoned their flames. Or maybe it was a combination of everything, or just nature at work; whatever happened, it had left the world in hell. When the streets erupted into rioting and the cities were consumed with anarchy, the Senate had simply had enough and had fled, to who knows where, with a few lucky citizens and most of the remaining armed forces. My civilization had ended; but my story had just begun.

I trudged down the pavement, enjoying the smooth grade as it descended from the peak of the lazy hill down to the plains below. There were cars abandoned on the roadside, but there were no signs of struggle or a furious flight; rather, they just looked like their occupants had decided to walk the rest of the way, parking them neatly on the side of the road in orderly lines and leaving them nice and empty, their belongings long gone. Toting my stone pickaxe and double-barreled shotgun on my shoulder, along with the backpack of supplies, I passed more cars as I started to walk on the plains. The grass was choked with ash, and the sky was a dull, emotionless gray, choked with ashes and dust from the monstrous wildfires. There were small cracks in the earth, indicative of the power of the earthquake that had happened so far away, and here and there the charred ruins of planes big and small were driven into the soil, the only reminder of the massive solar flare from two months ago that knocked out all electronics and sent every plane catapulting to earth.

It was less than an hour before I entered the urban sprawl, started to see houses and restaurants, crafting guilds and minecart stations. There were some trees, but their leaves had long fallen off, and they were dying. The city looked to be in good condition, at least on the outskirts. Here and there were scenes of destruction or damage, and most of the convenience or department stores were looted and trashed, their windows broken and their shelves empty.

I found a prim little house on a street whose sign was gone; it was simply gone. The little bungalow was made of brick, a rare building material due to the rarity of clay, and its roof, despite having lost some shingles, was relatively intact and looked very strong. The windows were not busted out, unlike those of the neighboring homes; in fact, it looked like the owners were still inside, having left everything where it was. There were no suitcases packed and left behind in a hurry, no door left open in the rush to evacuate, as with all the other houses. It looked so tranquil…too tranquil. It felt wrong, to defile this dwelling that seemed so prim and clean. But I found myself kicking in the oak door, and letting it fall to the tiled floor with a crash that echoed throughout the neighborhood. It was the only sound; no birds, no gunfire, not even wind. It was just a lonely world under that gray sky, the sun dimmed by the ash and the clouds idly surfing the atmospheric winds, oblivious to the anarchy that had ruled the cities below it.

I began to examine the house, search it for anything of use. The porkchops had gone bad a few days ago, and the bread was getting stale; I was praying for some canned food or even some more bread, no matter how old it was. It had only been two weeks since the evacuation; if it was kept sealed, bread in this house might still be good to eat.

My journey would begin due to my damned curiosity; I wondered what might be in the pantry of the kitchen, if any canned or dehydrated food was in there. If there was, it would be a gold mine for me; most of the houses nearby had already been looted, and they would be empty. This one looked full of riches; I decided to open the pantry door, and it would be the biggest mistake of my life.

A decomposing body fell onto me, immediately choking the air with its stench. I reacted rather rashly; I whipped out the shotgun in the blink of an eye, an instinct I had developed in case of bandits, and fired into the body, which was already dead. I had simply wasted a slug on the corpse; the pantry door was now painted with a lurid mural of bodily fluids, multicolored thanks to days of decomposition. The smell was terrible, and as I threw the body off me I wanted to vomit, but resisted the urge; I needed to keep my lunch with me, in case I couldn't find any food.

"Talk about skeletons in your closet…" I muttered to myself. I often spoke to myself to ward off the gnawing feeling of insanity and loneliness. It would have helped to find a pet or even another human being, but I would rather have a pet. Every city I had been in was a battleground so far; there had been gunshots daily, as the remaining human beings fought for simple survival, like base animals. I would rather have one actual animal than all the conniving, thieving rats of humans who now populated our once glorious nation.

The pantry was full of goods, dehydrated food and canned goods, as well as water in large gallon jugs. I could have cried for joy, seeing the gold mine in front of me, alluring with its promise of days' worth of water and food. This single discovery prompted me to settle in this home, however lonely it was. I was so overjoyed over my loot that I barely noticed the letter in the dead man's pocket. His body was still there, lying on the linoleum floor like a ragdoll, oozing some sort of nasty-smelling pus onto the floor. Despite having relieved him of half of his upper body, the note was still intact on his left side, and without a drop of blood on it. Again possessed by my damned curiosity, I withdrew the note from his pocket, and uncurled it, wondering what secrets it could possibly enlighten me to. It was written in fine handwriting, and was only a few days old:

Dear Mr. Hawthorn

My research, as of July 3rd, has concluded that his artifact of power is indeed real, and rare it is. It is something beyond our realm, something we fail to see because of the "dimensional curtain" that parts us from it, much like a shower curtain parts a stall from the bathroom. This curtain can only be breached with enough energy, and that energy can only be obtained through the experimental fusion reactors your Senate has recently shut down due to these so-called "budget cuts" that disgust me. Despite this, I have analyzed the residue of the object in question, as we have not given it a name yet, and have derived energy samples from it that far outweigh that of any energy source we had today, even that of the sun. Having no actual object here in our dimension and having no way to breach the curtain, we are powerless right now, as our residue has no power whatsoever, being too miniscule to power anything larger than a lightbulb. However, if you can get us the energy needed to penetrate this "curtain", we will be able to provide you with unlimited energy, so to speak.

Kind regards,

Dr. Kagsttrom, PhD, EMS

Reading the note curiously, I decided to keep it for future reference. Whatever this doctor/scientist was referring to, I wanted no part of it. It all sounded too powerful, too much power for a single man to control. I decided to ignore it for now and began to settle in to what I had established as my new home, at least for now. The food would last weeks and there seemed to be no human presence nearby. After I buried the dead man's body in the backyard, I settled in downstairs, tucking myself into bed after having locked all of the doors and windows, or at least barricaded them with furniture. This was the first time it felt good to be alone, all by myself.

But, of course, it was too good to last. And little did I know that I wasn't alone.

Far from it.