Wolves howled in the distance as the moon shone overhead, the stars sparkling around it. There was hardly a cloud in sight and definitely not a person to be seen amidst the thick forest nor out in the vast flat land that surrounded it either. The only thing that didn’t seem to quite fit in… was a cabin in the middle of the scene.
The small cabin glowed in the dark of the cold night, sticking out like a sore thumb surrounded by the white of the snowy surrounding area. The snow had started to build up the last few days, but finally, the night was clear. A break from the blizzard that would probably start up again within the day. But it was nice being able to see the starry nights again.
Perhaps if Techno climbed up the mountain at the right time, he’d see the northern lights start to dance across the inky abyss that was the night sky. Phil used to show them to him whenever he got the chance back when he was a child. That was when he first got the taste of what the snow-filled biomes had to offer.
He hadn’t visited since Techno had given him the compass over a week ago. He knew it was because he was busy and he did live in New L’Manburg, Not with him. He could contact him on his communicator, but he didn’t really want to interrupt him. He just messaged back when Phil messaged him first but… Techno was more lonely than he’d thought he’d be. Without his brothers, without his father, nothing…
But it was fine. He worked better alone anyway. He was just hoping for the helping hands to help with his to-do list after all.
give phil compass and move mobs start trading villagers
- get and breed turtles for potions
- start a honey bee farm
- cure zombie villagers
- destroy L’Ma-
It was a work in progress.
Techno closed the book and stashed it away again, putting another log on the campfire. Just because it wasn’t storming, didn’t mean it wasn’t bloody cold still. He didn’t know why he always thought it was a good idea to live in the ice biomes like this, he hated the cold. Sure, people were less likely to find him and it was pretty and familiar... but also it was freezing . He shivered a little and moved to start cooking over the fire, his stomach rumbling. He’d eat and warm up there and then he’d go out to settle the voices in his head with violence.
They were getting particularly loud again, it might be time for another nether fortress trip… Nothing soothed them more than wither skeleton heads .
There was a thump at his door.
Techno’s head flew up immediately and he stood up, staring at the door across the room as if he was waiting for something more. His hand grabbed the sword that never left his person for anything other than sleep. That wasn’t a knock, that was something else. Something hit it. Perhaps a rogue arrow from a skeleton? But why would they be shooting there unless it was shooting at someone?
It was probably nothing.
He was about to relax and sit down when there was another and immediately he was racing over to the door and throwing it open. One arrow could be a coincidence, two weren’t.
He opened his doors and indeed found two arrows - ordinary, not magical like the tundra skeletons tended to fire - embedded in the wood next to each other. He pulled out his sword and looked off into the night, watching as a hooded figure lowered their bow and ran off into the adjacent forest. He bared his teeth and moved to follow, not wanting to allow this stranger to disturb him without cause, but when he walked forward he nearly tripped on something in front of his door that wasn’t there before.
He caught himself before he fell forward, pushing himself up again, and looked down at the object. It was a woven basket, simple if not a bit worn, with a blanket over it. He looked back up, realising he’d distracted himself. He cursed when he saw that the figure was completely gone from sight. He could probably follow the tracks, but if they were smart they’d have run through the village where the tracks would be harder to trace and Techno didn’t feel like a wild goose chase would be a smart idea.
He raised an eyebrow as he stared back down at the basket. He was curious as to what had been left in front of him.
With a shiver from the cold, he made his decision. He used his feet to push the basket in through the doorway and into his home, leaving it there as he closed the door and walked back over to the fire. His stomach rumbled stubbornly for a second time. It could wait until after he ate. He knelt down next to the fire, listening to the relaxing crackles as he cooked. His mind, however, kept drifting towards the basket.
What was it? Who would leave him something? Other than Phil of course, it couldn’t be him, he would’ve just given it to him. It was obviously someone who didn’t want to be seen. Perhaps Dream? Why would Dream want to help him…?
Maybe it wasn’t to help. Maybe it was a trap. Maybe-
He watched as the blanket over the basket moved.
Techno stood up in alarm for the second time that night, almost dropping his pan into the fire and nearly burning himself too as he did so. He set the plan aside. What the-
There was something in there.
He walked over to it. Had he just brought a monster into his house? Or was it just a small animal? Why would someone bring him a small animal? It had to be a monster. A trap. A noise came from the basket. It didn’t sound like… any monster or animal that he knew of. Slowly he pulled his sword out again, careful to make as little noise as possible, before moving down to grab the blanket. On the count of three, he’d pull it off and be ready to kill it if it posed a threat.
Techno pulled off the blankets and the voices that rang through his head encouraged him to plunge his sword into whatever it was, but him and them both stopped when he saw what was there. For once in his life, the voices that craved blood instead told him to put away his weapon and he did so without hesitation. They’d never agreed on something so innocent before.
Then again, there was something very unfair about holding an enchanted netherite sword to this creature’s neck.
There, in the basket, laid two things. A note, which Techno hardly registered, and… a baby. Not just any baby either…
A baby that looked like him. Pink hair, grey eyes, pig nose and ears… only thing it didn’t have was the protruding lower tusks, but he imagined they’d grow in. Phil said that he didn’t have any tusks when he first found him either.
Why in all of the Nether was there a baby hybrid piglin here ??? Why did someone bring it to him ????
He knelt down slowly, as if he still felt like one wrong move would lead to his demise, and the baby watched him as he did so. That’s when he properly noticed the note tucked in beside it. He reached forward to grab it but hesitated, so close to touching it. It had its hands out, looking like it was going to grab him, so he quickly snatched the paper and pulled his hand back before it could get him. He wasn’t sure what he thought would happen if it grabbed him. It wasn’t that he was scared of it! He’d just… not seen a baby before.
That was a lie. He hadn’t seen a baby since Phil brought Tommy home, but that was a long time ago.
He unfolded the note and sat back on his feet.
‘This one is cursed. She came from the Gods.
We cannot keep her.
She is a danger to us, to everyone, but I couldn’t kill her.
She’s just a baby.
They said you would teach her.
- Someone You Will Never Meet’
Well… wasn’t that just cryptic. What did that mean? And what was he supposed to teach it- her. It-She was a baby!
‘She came from the gods’? ‘She’s a danger’? He leaned over the baby slowly, as if he was expecting her to smite him dead with just a glance, but instead she just shivered. Techno’s eyes widened.
“Shit! You’re cold!” Of course, she was cold! She’d been outside and then he just left her beside the door without even checking what it was! Of course, he should’ve known it was a baby, babies were always left in baskets and stuff! Tommy had been in a basket too when he first met him. He scrambled to his feet and picked up the basket, walking over to the fire and placing it next to his fireplace. She reached her little hands over the edge, obviously liking the warmth, and Techno panicked before pulling the basket away from a little more. “Right. Babies have no survival instinct.” He said to himself as a reminder.
Besides, if she was anything like him, she’d also prefer being too warm to too cold.
In the piglin sense! Not in the- you know- she wasn’t him. She was just a random baby that looked a little like him. Because she was a piglin, nothing else.
Oh he was in way over his head. Why couldn’t someone more qualified than him be given this baby? Someone who knew what to do with babies!
Techno’s face lit up. That’s it! He pulled his communicator out of his pocket, selecting one of his very little contacts before raising it to his face to talk. One ring… two rings… three…
Come on… come on! Pick up!
“Phil! Hi! I need help.” The hybrid adult piglin side-eyed the basket as the baby kept her hands stretched out towards the fire. She was making some noises. He hoped they were good noises. He looked away again.
“Notch, what have you done? How serious? Am I going to need to help you move?”
“What-? No, Phil, I’ve not done anything- Why do you always think I’ve done something?”
“ Because you’re my son.”
Techno huffed a little but didn’t confirm or deny the statement. Sometimes Techno had trouble calling Phil his dad despite the fact he’s the only parent he’s ever known. He didn’t think he deserved the pure parental love Phil gave him, not after some of the things he’d done. Phil never pushed him to call him dad though, he simply chuckled at his son’s huff of disapproval.
“Fine then. Techno, if it’s not urgent though I am rather busy with the president right now, so-”
“I found a baby.” Techno interrupted, the line went silent at the other end. “Well, I didn’t exactly find it. She was left on my doorstep. She is… like me. Half piglin, I mean.” He looked back at the baby leaning over to look at her. She cooed up at him, he blinked down at her. “I don’t know what to do?”
There was a long pause.
“Does this make me a grandfather?”
“No- First of all, you’re already a grandfather- but Phil, I want you to take her?”
Techno rolled his eyes so hard that he half expected Philza to hear them on the other side of the communicator. “Phil, you saw me and Wilbur and adopted us immediately, you didn’t even own a house!”
“ Well, I mean-”
“And then you left for work one day and came home with our ‘little brother’-”
“Then you found Tubbo on the side of the road-”
“I didn’t keep him-”
“Recently you let Fundy move in with you-”
“He’s my grandson-!”
“Quackity calls you dad-”
“As a joke!... I think?”
Silence settled on the call again before there was noise in the background on Philza’s end of the call. The mic became muffled a little as Phil’s voice yelled ‘ Coming, Tubbo’ on the other end before it returned.
“Listen, Techno, I really can’t do anything tonight but… If you give me three days I’ll be able to come and sneak to your cabin. Tubbo is having me help him out with a lot of projects at the moment so I can’t leave without grabbing his attention.”
“Don’t you think that calling me dad will change my mind… But you should do it more often. I’m not putting you in danger especially since now there is a baby living in your house, you hear me? Feed her something soft if she’s hungry, make sure she’s warm, cut some cloth up to use as diapers with that sharp sword you have, and for the love of God, don’t be afraid to hold her alright? Don’t be afraid to contact me if you need any more advice. Also, remember to give her a name! Bye! Love you and my granddaughter!”
Phil hung up before Techno could get in a single word, not even letting him correct the old man, leaving him holding his communicator and staring at the baby. Her face was starting to make a sour expression and she’d stopped reaching for the fire. She was reaching for him now and she looked almost frustrated that she couldn’t reach. Techno didn’t move any closer, still wary. Damn! He didn’t even mention to Phil about the whole curse god thing.
The person had to just be insane. Gods weren’t real.
‘Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood God Blood for the Blood-’
He shook away the sudden burst of voices before noticing the baby do something similar, her face screwing up like she just heard a bad noise.
Could she hear the voices too? Was that what the curse was?
Was the Blood God real? He thought it was only in his head...
He was surprised when suddenly she burst into tears, taken aback. “Hey! Hey, no, that’s not- please- oh god.” What did Phil say? Food, diapers, and… oh! Holding her! He could try that first, that involved the least amount of work. Awkwardly he slowly bent down and put his large hands under her arms, picking her up. For a moment the crying calmed down and he let out a sigh of relief, but then the screaming got worse. He was holding her at arm's length, not sure what more to do. He was sure Phil would be laughing at his panic right now.
‘ Hold her against your chest’ Said a voice in his head that he didn’t know whether or not it was him imagining Phil’s guidance or one of the many voices… though, if it was a voice it was being surprisingly soft and helpful.
He did as it said nonetheless and held her closer, sighing again when she calmed down, this time properly. She still sniffled a little, but this time it didn’t seem like she was growing more upset.
“There. Great. Done, that was easy.” He looked down at her tear stricken face, her eyes red from crying. He winced. Not a great start… but he remembered holding Tommy like this, so that helped. She was still upset. What had helped Tommy when he was upset?
Stories! Stories helped! Tommy used to say that Techno was the best at reading stories. He was sure there was a book he could read upstairs in his library suitable for a baby… and it’s not like they really understood words at this age, right? Right?
“Come on, uh…” Right, she didn’t have a name. “Rachel?” The little girl whined. “Okay, not Rachel, we’ll try something else.” Techno walked over and climbed the ladder up to his attic, very careful not to fall or drop her as he struggled to climb with one arm. He’d have to make her a sling or something… For the three days until Phil picks her up! Obviously! She wasn’t staying here. He didn’t need a permanent solution like stairs or anything.
He huffed as he pulled himself up to the top floor, sitting on the ledge as he pulled his legs up too. It was a little tricky, but the kid was fine, so what else mattered?
“Sally?- No, wait, that’s the name of Wilbur’s salmon wife.”
Techno pulled himself to his feet again and walked around his enchantment table to the bookcases that were pressed against the wall, he searched through the books as the piglin baby sniffled again. He needed to hurry up before she decided to start crying again. What the hell do you read to babies?
His eye caught the upside-down book resting beside his bed and his eyebrows raised. He forgot he’d been reading that. When was the last time he’d actually been up here after all? He hardly ever slept, and when he was awake he was honestly hardly in the house. He had things to do, and then when he didn’t he could usually hunt monsters for fun.
He walked over to the bed before sitting down on it. He raised his legs and rested against the headboard, adjusting the infant as she seemed to still a little. She pressed her little pointed ears against Techno’s chest, just above his heart, and closed her tiny eyes. He was very careful not to disturb her as he reached for the book.
A book on Greek Myths and Gods.
It was open on a page, what had he been reading again? Oh, right.
The little girl cooed and he looked down to see her staring at him. He blinked down at her, confused.
She cooed again.
Techno couldn’t help the soft smile that spread over his features even if he wanted to. Okay… maybe babies could be cute sometimes. He subconsciously held her a little tighter with the arm that was protectively wrapped around her to stop her from falling. “Do you like that name? Athena? Little Athena?”
Athena answered with another coo and closed her eyes again, cuddling close.
Techno returned to his reading aloud.
“Athena, also spelt Athene, is the Greek Goddess of War, Wisdom, and Handicraft. She was the daughter of Zeus, produced without a mother, sort of like you huh, so she was born full-grown from his forehead- starting to sound less like you. However, there was an alternative story where…” His low voice continued on, telling Athena all about her namesake despite the fact that the infant was very clearly now asleep.
It was only ten minutes later he broke his not sleeping streak along with her.