“You know Herobrine isn't real,” commented my friend, Alex, as he disappeared into what was unrendered map from my view. The only thing that reminded me that he was still in our server was his faint nameplate and the Skype call running in the background window.
“Oh, yeah, I know. It's just something interesting. Like ghosts. You're not sure if they're real or not, but either extreme doesn't make much sense,” I said, only a moment later, as I continued to punch a tree, thinking what life would be like if destruction was only this easy.
“You know we both believe in the paranormal. Something I don't believe in is Herobrine,” Alex said, his voice too close to make sense being connected to his character yet to be rendered. I agreed with him. Sure, someone (or something) that makes structures and appears without warning in servers (and closed, single-player servers much less) didn't make any sense what so ever, but as I spoke over Skype, I still knew it made some sense in the back of my mind. The type of sense it made wasn't clear.
The Skype call fell silent as I continued to gather supplies, imagining Alex doing much the same, until his voice disrupted the call suddenly.
“What the hell is that?!” Alex spoke a bit too loudly into his headset, basically erupting my ear-drums through my headphones. I brought up the F3 menu, checking for creepers and what-ever else might have spawned in vicinity to Alex, but the screen was clear, the only tag being his. It was still high-noon, so unless something was glitched out or spawned in by a player, it didn't make sense.
“What?” I asked, half aware and mostly focused on the iron ore that decided not to be breakable.
“You have to come here. Like now. Qui-” Alex spoke quickly, “I'll t.p you. Hold on.”
I spawned next to Alex, on top of a mountain that I was surprised to have been spawned in what I thought was a desert biome. The expanse of the rendered distance was green, until Alex told me to turn around. I was shocked. I mean, seriously shocked, at what was obviously not spawn-created world.
“Alex?” I spoke, not really having a question, but mainly to break the silence that fell...
...the same as the shadow of darkness fell over the massive diamond structure below us.
“Yeah, I just asked myself the same question,” he said, sort of laughing as he dropped down the cliff, landing with the red flash of damage. I followed, not having any idea of what else to do, taking two hearts damage. I figured that two hearts was a reasonable sacrifice for finding out what this 'obviously-not-made-by-Alex' thing was.
“Herobrine,” I whispered into my microphone as I followed Alex around the massive pyramid of diamond, finger laid carefully on the W key as I cautiously moved forward.
“Shut up. Herobrine isn't real. Notch even said so,” Alex said, his voice very stern, as if he was trying to convince himself of something. I nodded my head and sighed, passing the new silence by punching one of the blue blocks, even though I knew it wouldn't break anytime soon. I heard Alex mash some keys over the Skype call, although what he was doing or even trying to do was unknown to me. Ready for ridicule, I spoke into my mic.
“Yeah, I know. I got that in my Twitter feed months ago. But, if you would just listen to me for a second, who said somebody isn't impersonating Herobrine? Skins aren't that hard to make, and server I.P.s aren't exactly top-secret, you know.” Happy with what I had said, I returned to spawn, and leaving Alex with that thought, I started off on the journey of wood.
About two minutes later, after the long silence I honestly didn't notice, Alex's voice broke over the call and once again I was returned to his spot, teleported against my will.
“Please explain that,” he said, turning to murder a pig as if nothing was wrong, although I picked up a slight sign of panic in his voice. I rolled my eyes, turned around, and literally ripped my headphones off in bewilderment. There was a Nether portal right on the peak of aforementioned pyramid.
“Well, that's a Nether portal.” I said, precariously running down the cliff to get a better look. Alex followed me out of haste and we both paused about half way up the pyramid's side.
“Yeah, I know that. Now explain how it got here.” he said, beginning to hit the frame of the portal. I honestly didn't know, but I don't pass up random portals (not that I had seen one before). I ran and jumped through the purple haze and arrived in a room of obsidian, lit with redstone torches, and lined with signs.
“Hey! Seriously? Would you just go running into Nether portals in real life?!” Alex yelled as I saw him appear on the other side of the portal, in the same room as me.
“Well, there aren't Nether portals in real life, are there?” I laughed as I began to read the signs, ready for whatever prank had been pulled, ready to ban the hell out of who ever had pulled it. My laughter died down as I finished the line of the signs. I stood in shock, waiting for Alex to finish the row of signs, which I had noticed him beginning to read as I had finished.
“No. Bu-” Alex began to say, interrupted by the sudden sound of breaking stone behind us, “What was that?”
I turned to see the same exact portal as before, but not with the same exact shape. Several obsidian blocks had been taken out, leaving the portal back to the Overworld un-usable. I was in confusion on how several blocks, taking at least ten seconds each to destroy, had been removed without us noticing.
“So, Alex? How did this happen?” I asked, breaking another of the silences that seemed to be regular in our gameplay. He turned to me and I heard him take out a few more keys.
“Yeah... I don't know. But it wasn't Herobrine!” he said, catching himself at the last moment. I was equally confused, so I brought up F3 again. As I spun about the room, I was expecting the usual blankness, besides the occasional Ghast or Pigmen tags that might have shown up. This time, I saw a new tag. It was seemingly above us, but being just a number, I wasn't quite sure if it was Alex or just another Ghast. I began to type the teleport command to bring me to Alex, in case it was him up there, but I was only brought back the portal, not having noticed that Alex was still behind me.
“Press F3,” I said, short and fast as I climbed up a badly hidden ladder in the corner. I had reached the netherrack roof and was just about to turn as Alex spoke, stopping me.
“I did. I saw that tag up there, too. But, there's no other players in our server!” Alex said, trailing off with confusion and frustration. I took a deep breath, probably unnecessary as it was only a game, and turned. The screen went black, except for two white rectangles.
Minecraft crashed suddenly, leaving me in shock and staring at the blank desktop.
“What the hell?! Did the server crash?!...” I heard Alex storm off, keys on his side of the call being abused, probably bringing up the server stats and logs.
“Yep,” I said. I, having equal rights to the server, brought up the logs, only to be greeted by the same blank page that Alex was also looking at.
“And I can't get back in! Password's reset! We're hacked!” he yelled, his mic turning off. I closed the logs and continued to stare into my desktop. It was silent. I managed to open up Firefox, to go about normal business, but then a Skype call notification popped up. Seeing it was Alex, and still having my headset on, I decided to open it.
“But it wasn't Herobrine.”
And then the call ended.