"No, it's cool, see? He added new mobs, new everything. There's even a thingie to grow pumpkins now!"
"Even still, I'm reasonably sure this is abuse of portal technology, Lyn. There's no way you're supposed to use it to portal three days ahead to get the newest Minecraft update."
The human glared at her partner over her shoulder - but only for a moment, lest the night grow dangerous while she turned. "Oh, come on, Mohan. It's just a game! What could possibly go wrong?"
He involuntarily cringed. "Why on EARTH would you say that? Good grief, sometimes I think you're actually trying to make an enemy of the Ironic Overpowers."
Lyn, eyes glued to the screen, shrugged. "Um. Force of habit? Anyway, check this out! Survival, so the meters all work, and --Ah! There's one of the new mobs!" She leaned in, maneuvering carefully towards the tall shape. Its back was turned, so she probably had some time...
Intrigued despite himself, Mohan leaned over her shoulder to look. "Do you know what it is?"
"Nah. I haven't checked the Wiki in ages, been too busy-- here, though, let's look." Her cursor centered on the back of the tall black shape, sparking an immediate reaction-- it whirled, staring at her with luminescent purple eyes. As they watched, the mouth began to gape, and the form shook, emitting smoke in black and purple.
"Ye gods, that's creepy." Mohan took a step back, slipped on one of the cordes, and tripped. "Aaah!"
"You alright?" His partner turned in the chair, glancing over her shoulder-- and then everything happened at once. There was a buzzing, a zap, and a zombieish moaning noise, and both of them screamed.
The eerie black monster - very nearly as tall as Mohan - was now glowering at them from the portal, and moving, rather menacingly, towards Lyn. She leapt out of her chair, taking several steps to put distance between herself and the... Thing, and gibbered noiselessly. Mohan merely stared.
Finally, Lyn managed to find her vocal cords, as she stumbled backwards, and the thing moved closer. Unfortunately, the only thing that she could think of was "AAAAAAH!"
Mohan, thinking slightly more beneficially, grabbed the nearest object - a paperback copy of Anathem, and flung it at the creature's head. It didn't seem to notice. He leapt up, grabbed his partner by the arm, and tugged her towards the RC door. "Let's go!"
Together, they sprinted out of the RC, down the hall, and, aiming in no particular direction, through HQ. After three or four turns and a few minutes of running, Mohan grabbed Lyn's arm to stop her, and turned around. The coast was clear - they seemed to have lost it.
Purple and black smoke first, then the tall thing, leering at them from about ten feet away.
"It can teleport?!"
"Don't talk, just RUN!"
“We can’t outrun something that teleports! How do you kill it?” Mohan flung himself around the next turn, past the Escher room, where purple sparks were already falling.
“You don’t have to run! It’s after me, and it can't follow both of us-- go find someone who’s seen the Wiki from that time period! Or portal to Earth and ask Notch, or something!” Knocking over a Ragweed in haste, Lyn barreled through the next narrow doorway, towards another long stretch of hall. Mohan stopped, nodded, and turned back, running in no particular direction - hopefully, he’d find himself back at the RC, or somewhere helpful.
It wasn’t exactly the RC, but the swinging kitchen doors were unmistakable, and about as close to home as he was likely to get in the middle of an equally unmistakable, twice-cursed and thrice-damned chase scene. Mohan went through them at a sprint, sending a four-foot tower of cast-iron skillets flying across the freshly-waxed floor.
“Who waxes these -- argh -- floors?! Have I stumbled unwitting inGAH-- to a Benny Hill sketch?” Mohan swore, shouted, and slid over another ten feet, among the clatter of innumerable pots, pans, woks, and, inexplicably, several iron helmets.
Mohan blinked. “Hi.” He pushed off the floor and stared down at the agent. After a moment to keep himself from exploding, he spoke. “I ask this with, you realize, great care and no wish for any sort of dangerous and violent misunderstandings. Now. Since we're clear--” He paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and did not quite bellow so much as roar-- “What in the nine hells are you doing in my kitchen?”
Cadmar looked around. “Eating,” she replied, after a brief pause.
The tall Cafeteria worker opened his mouth, took a deep breath, and closed it. More important things, he reminded himself. “I don’t... but you. I.” With another deep breath, he closed his eyes, counted to ten, and managed to stop glaring at the agent. “Do you play Minecraft?”
She blinked. “Yes...”
“Excellent! You may redeem yourself yet. How do you stop the... tall... black... portal-monsters?”
Rolling her eyes, Cadmar reached down to retrieve her cleaver and sandwich, and took a bite before responding. Mohan fought the urge to strangle her. Agents, he recalled, did not react well to threats. At all.
“They’re called Endermen, first off,” she said around a mouthful of meat and bread, “And you can either kill them - which is hard, since they teleport away from danger - or put on a pumpkin.”
He stared. “A pumpkin.”
Cadmar swallowed and glared at him. “That’s what I said, isn’t it?”
“The deadliest monster in the game so far--”
“And you can stop it with a pumpkin.” Mohan took a deep breath, cursed his partner, her games, the agent, her sandwich, and the maker of this infernal universe, wherever they were.
(Somewhere in Finland, a single slice of toast popped up inexplicably burnt.)
Then, setting aside the insanity of his situation, he moved around the agent, carefully out of cleaver-reach, and headed for the pantry, at a slightly less dangerous pace. Cadmar raised an eyebrow, shrugged, grabbed the other half of the sandwich, which had been knocked out of direct eyesight (fortunately) by the collision, and wandered back out into HQ, munching.
Elsewhere in HQ...
“Ohgodohgodohghodohgod I don’t even-- AAAH” Lyn dove under the outstretched arm of the monster, rolled past the Bleepka fountain, and sprang up to continue running. The creature lumbered after her, making ominous noises. “Mohan you had better, I don’t, this is...”
“Lyn!” A long, furry arm snaked out from a doorway, grabbed her by the scruff of her neck, and yanked. “Quick, put this over your head!”
She stared at the object, then back at her partner. “Mohan, have you lost your mind? This is a pumpkin!”
“Just do it!”
Lyn raised an eyebrow, opened her mouth to argue, and noticed purple sparks forming in the corner of the room. “Give me that!” Scrambling with panic, she grabbed the hollowed vegetable and yanked it over her head. There was a hollow clunking noise, and then silence. Fresh-smelling, orange-colored silence.
“...Did it work?” Her voice echoed weirdly around the... helmet, of sorts.
“I don’t know. Are you dead?”
She kicked him in the shin, and received a solid thump on the back of the pumpkin in return. “There were purple sparks in the corner... careful, don’t look directly at it.”
Mohan risked a glance towards the ceiling; out of the corner of his eye, a tall black shape meandered aimlessly towards the opposite corner. It paused for a moment, about halfway, and extracted a single cube of material from the floor before continuing. Breathing a sigh of relief, he glanced down at his partner.
“...You’ve got it on backwards.”
The pumpkin swiveled towards his voice. “How can I possibly have it on backwards? It’s a pumpkin, Mohan!”
“I put eye-holes on one side. Here.” He reached down and twirled it by the stem, carefully looking only at the top of the vegetable.
“...Oh.” She surveyed the tall shape. “You know, it's kinda cute, actually...”