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Ladies, gentlemen, and other esteemed readers, what is this? Two chapters at once?!?!?!?! HAPPY MARATHON EVERYONE. Survival Saga is now officially the longest work of fiction I've ever written. WOO. Thanks to silver for being my beta as always, and enjoy!

From The Journal II
Day 338, Entry 1.
Another one dead. We were out in a cave looking for more iron and I just don't know much longer I can take it. There was this unidentifiable box, like a cage. Inside it was some sort of deformed mockery of a skeleton, sparking with ice-cold flame. There were too many skeletons — I couldn't save him. It's my fault. I should have been fast enough. There was nothing I could do. Are those things intelligent? What on earth could have built a perfect cobble cube like that? What is this place? Too many questions. Not enough answers.
 
Why?

 
~ ~ ~
 
Day 338, Entry 2.
We buried Alcemedes this afternoon. Three arrows straight to the chest. He was gone before we even made it out of the cave. He's the third one we've lost. I'm starting to feel like this place is cursed, that every damned man who crosses into this camp is destined to die.
 
I think I've finally figured out what this place is supposed to be: a punishment. I've done something terrible in my past life and this is how the universe has chosen to punish me. Well, good job, Universe. Consider me adequately punished. Fuck you, too.
 
If there were a way to sigh in writing, I'd be doing it right now. I just don't know what to do anymore. New people keep arriving and since I was the first one here, they all come to me for answers, but I aint got none and it makes me feel so useless. Three men have died on my watch and I just don't know anymore. I just don't know.

 
~ ~ ~
 
Day 340, Entry 1.
We went back down to the cobble box with a team of 5 today. Thankfully, everybody made it back alive and mostly unharmed. Kurt concluded that there's a direct link between the cage and the amount of skeletons around. When we get far enough away, it stops sparking and no more skeletons appear. Lighting it up also stops the skeletons from appearing. So, it mostly reacts like any other dark space.
 
I tried breaking the thing with a stone pick. It took a moment, but it worked. It was later suggested that we could have kept it and rigged it up to try and harvest the bones and arrows from the skeletons. I think it's far too dangerous. Knock out one wrong torch and whoever's down there is a goner. We learned that the first time I went down there.
 
Strangely enough, there was also a chest there. There wasn't much in it. Just a pile of bones and stale bread. Unless these skeletons really are intelligent, someone must have stumbled across it before and just never told anyone. The cave wasn’t lit, but that doesn't mean anything if someone like Pause had quickly ducked in to collect some coal. I haven't asked Pause about it yet, but I still think it's pretty darn weird.

 
~ ~ ~
 
Day 356, Entry 1.
It's official. Everyone sat and took a vote. It was their stupid decision, but apparently I'm their leader now. To be fair, they already looked to me for what to do before; nothing's really gonna change. It's just bona fide now. Mr Guude Boulderfist leader of the Mindcrack camp in Notch knows what this place is.
 
At least our potato farm's coming into harvest. I was already sick of bread and carrot a good 300 days ago.
 
In other news, Kurt wrote a goddamned thesis on nightmen. I don't know how. I don't know why. But he did it. The damn guy wrote an all-out 50 page thesis on nightmen. How does one even write that many pages on them? How? Description, teleporting habits, general behaviour, even the damn noises they make; he's documented everything. The man deserves a medal or something.
 

~ ~ ~
 
Day 432, Entry 1.
Nebris went out exactly five hours ago. He was due back exactly two hours ago. BTC thinks I'm overreacting, but I'm sending out a search team. We can't lose another one. I don't know what I'd do if we did.
 

~ ~ ~
 
Day 432, Entry 2.
It's almost dark. The search team's back. Nebris isn't. The cave he was meant to be in wasn't even lit. I'm expecting the worst. I don't know how I'm going to get any sleep tonight. Bdubs says everything'll be fine and he's probably just holed up somewhere to keep safe for the night. He knows its bullshit. I know its bullshit. It's not that I don't appreciate what he's doing, but why even bother?
 
Nebris was is the oldest idiot besides me who's still alive in this hellhole. You'd think he'd be smart enough to not go out and get himself injured—or even worse, killed—in some hole out in the middle of nowhere. I don't want to think about it.
 
Everything will be fine and he'll be back in the morning. He's just holed himself up for the night to keep safe from the mobs. He's smart. He'll make it back. I'm sure he will. If only I could actually believe that.

 
~ ~ ~
 
Day 434, Entry 1.
It's official. I made the announcement: Nebris is dead. A nightman has taken him and there's not a single thing we can do. He's not back here. There's no body. I want to stab the gangly, inhuman bastards. I don't know whether to be sad or angry or frustrated or what. I just want to go out and kill some zombies. 'Cause that'll definitely make me feel better, right? Should we even hold a funeral? It's not like we've got anything to bury.
 

~ ~ ~
 
Day 446, Entry 1.
The damned no good dirty cheating son of a bitch I fucking want to strangle him. Aaaargh. Two weeks. Two. Fucking. Weeks. I know I should be thankful or something but has he any idea what he put us through?! We fucking mourned him and everything. Fucking hell, man.
 
In other words, Nebris is alive and he refuses to tell us anything.
 
I don't even know what to think. He just wandered into camp, like it was any other day. But his eyes — they're not the same. They're this twisted, glowing purple, like he's been touched by one of those Notch-forsaken nightmen. I'm more worried than anything. The others are demanding a tribunal.
 

~ ~ ~
 
Day 447, Entry 1.
Nebris has still been pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing. The only thing we're certain of is that he was, in fact, taken by a nightman. But he's alive and here and I still can't believe it.
 
The others are worried. Some don't think he's the real Nebris. They still want a tribunal. So tonight, we're gonna put it to a vote. They don't trust him, so they want him locked up like some sort of pet mob. We might not know what's going on right now, but I still think he's the real Nebris.
 
Etho says that as the leader I could probably veto this if I wanted to, but I don't think that's right. As much as the title's officially mine, it's just as much their compound too. I may not like it, but if they don't feel safe then it's in our best interest to fix that. (I really hate to think of Nebris as a problem that needs to be 'fixed', though.)
 
Whatever's going on, I hope it'll pass.

 
~ ~ ~
 
“Did Guude send you down here as a guard dog? Does he think I’m dangerous or something? That I’m cooking up some evil plot to take over this place and murder you all?” Nebris sneered, fiddling with the length of chain that ran from his ankle to the centre of the room, barely two blocks long and annoyingly cold and rough.
 
Etho barked out a laugh, sitting down several blocks away from Nebris with his back turned to him in a solid wall of indifference. He was here to watch and wait, having no business chit-chatting with Nebris. His only task was to make sure nothing unusual happened and that no-one was in danger of getting hurt. “Something like that,” he said, staring at the grimy stone wall ahead.
 
The minutes ticked by agonisingly slowly. Etho stared at the wall, tracing cracks with his eyes and counting the more prominent pockmarks that marred the length of the wall. He shifted uncomfortably, fingers drumming in a simple pattern on his knees. He changed positions again, counted the seconds until he tired of that, and went back to staring aimlessly at the wall. Nebris remained silent behind him. Nothing but the soft whistle of the wind escaped through the cracks in the only door to the room, barely filling the silence.
 
The minutes couldn’t pass by fast enough. Despite his earlier thoughts, that he wasn't here to socialise with Nebris, it was almost a physical relief when Nebris broke the silence around them.
 
“Tell me, Etho, the others may think I’m dangerous, but what about you? Do you think I’m dangerous?”
 
Etho turned around, scooting a little closer. He looked Nebris in those glowing violet eyes of his and studied his expression, taking a moment to ponder the question. Did he really think Nebris was dangerous? He wasn’t sure. All he knew was that Nebris got taken by a nightman and survived, albeit not unscathed. Nebris might refuse to say anything about his encounter, but Etho assumed he had his reasons. The question lingered in the air, the tension echoing in the sound of each measured breath. “Yes,” Etho finally said, “I think you’re dangerous.”
 
“Why?” Nebris asked.
 
Etho never responded, instead turning back to face the wall. They stayed like that, silent and on edge, until a sharp rattle on the door pulled them from their thoughts. Etho rose mechanically and opened the door, exchanging soft words with the person on the other side before leaving, to be replaced by Generik who greeted Nebris with a harsh scowl and a deliberate wave of his diamond sword — which Nebris now remembered that Etho had distinctly lacked.
 
~ ~ ~
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Date: Sunday, November 8th, 2015 07:03 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Poor Nebris. I can't decide if he's dangerous either.

And the swearing in the log entry when he came back was funny. "In other words, Nebris is back." Right. I could totally tell that from the first paragraph. xD

So many chapters! I'm happy.

-the lurkiest lurker

Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2016 07:45 am (UTC)
yamina_chan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] yamina_chan
>Nebris was is the oldest idiot besides me who's still alive in this hellhole.

This line...this has me very confused. If Guude is talking about the order in which people have arrived, then either my mental count of the three who are dead is off, or The Jims has died in the meantime as well and it was not noted in between entries.
If he's talking about age, then I have no idea what is going on either, as there are plenty who are oder then Guude.


But we got some more of the backstory of those who have been there before Seth. And I'm starting to get a suspicion, but I'll not cling to it. Not yet, there is to much we don't know.
Now that I am all caught up I can savely say that I'll be wating for the next chapter as well.

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