Chapter 10: Ruin
News of the disaster in Britain spread quickly across the world. It was obviously not a natural event; the idea that a sandstorm could swallow up an entire country in less than a minute was insane.
In the midst of the various theories surrounding the event, some proposed that it was supernatural in nature, something that didn't belong in this world. These ideas were not taken seriously, and went largely unheard.
Simon pushed his head up through the sand, coughing and struggling. After a few moments, he managed to crawl up onto the surface, soon joined by the rest of the group.
All around them, continuing for hundreds of miles, was Israphel's handiwork. They all knew that he had brought the Sands through from Minecraftia, where they were normally inhibited by the Wall. It seemed that Israphel was truly unstoppable.
Everyone was silent as they took in what had happened. Eventually, Lewis turned to the group, his expression stony.
"Well, what the hell do we do now? A nigh-unkillable demon just destroyed the country to get at us. Everyone else is either trapped or dead. Any ideas?"
Hannah was the first to speak. "It's not like we can really do much. We don't have diamond armor or airships or any of the other things we've used against this asshole in Minecraft. All we have are some piddly swords, and we're barely any good with those."
Next it was Duncan's turn. "Something like this can't have gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. It's highly likely that there'll be someone coming along to rescue us. All we can do is wait."
Simon glared at him. "So you want us to just sit here while Israphel is off doing god-knows-what and fucking everything up? We're pretty much the only people who really know what's going on. Either we go after him and hope for the best, or we twiddle our thumbs and wait to die horribly."
Everyone was arguing now, their heated exchange the only thing to be heard for miles.
Israphel gazed up at his true weapon, the endgame of his plan, which cast an enormous shadow over the wastes. His lipless, leathery face twisted up into an unnatural grin as he took in its scale. At long last, what had been kept from him in Minecraftia was now right in his grasp.
He ran a clawed hand over the smooth metal, scraping away the traces of rust from its days of inactivity behind the Wall. And to think, this colossal construct was only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak; the rest was buried under the sand, waiting for its master to free it.
Well, now the master had returned. Nothing in this pitiful realm could stand up to the might of this behemoth. He just needed one final component to awaken it; a sacrifice. Back in Minecraftia, that role would have been filled by that foolish wench Daisy Duke. But that girl, Hannah Rutherford, would fit nicely...
The argument was interrupted by a shriek. Looking over to its source, Lewis saw Hannah standing rigid, not daring to move. Behind her, a cloud of sand shaped itself into the image of Israphel, with a razor-sharp blade around her neck.
Lewis started to run towards her, but the sandy replica drew its sword closer. A tiny trickle of blood dripped from the small cut on her throat.
As the group watched, her captor raised a single finger, daring the group to follow it, and sped off with Hannah in tow.
Now there was no debate as to what course of action they should take. Everyone sprinted in the direction the sand-copy had gone.