BONUS SHORT - "Along came a Spider"

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BONUS SHORT - "Along came a Spider"

Postby Sterling on Fri May 11, 2012 7:31 pm

-Along came a spider...-

2005, A corporate Data Center, California

Night work had always suited Sterling, partly because of his condition, partly because of his natural inclinations. Being alone for work suited him even more. The job he held for the time being was perfect for both. Third Shift operations at a Corporate Data Center meant that he interacted mostly through email and phone calls with the outside world and rarely, if ever, actually saw anyone except the people whom he relieved and who relieved him, and one of them, Carl, was a Vampire. Most nights he didn’t see anyone at all.

Sitting alone with a room full of computers monitoring another room full of servers was peaceful and gave him time to get away from the stresses of living in a large city without killing anyone. Besides, he wasn’t entirely alone, there was always Kasha. Pets weren’t allowed of course but nobody ever saw the darkling, not even the cameras on which she only appeared as a shadow or dark patch that was usually discounted as an anomaly or trick of the light. Not that there was anyone to view the camera footage but Sterling.

It was a night like any other when the strange incident with the spider happened.

Sterling was typing contentedly into a console, monitoring the latest batch of processes and composing his nightly report on the activities, when he noticed a small flick of movement from the desk on his right just under the lip.

He moved his right leg just in time as the spider jumped from the underside of the desk toward his knee, missing by millimeters to drop to the floor.

Kasha’s ears came up and she looked over from her perch atop the monitor that Sterling had been typing into. She was alert because Sterling was alert but totally uninterested in something as mundane as a simple spider.

Normally Sterling would have been as well.

But as the spider dropped to the floor it flared its legs and turned toward Sterling’s boot, jumping again.

The quickening adrenaline of the initial assault of the spider gave way to confusion. It was unusual behavior from an arachnid at least and the creature was not large, only about the size of a quarter including the legs. This time Sterling rolled back in his chair, the wheels sliding almost noiselessly along the smooth tile of the floor, straight away from the console and the spider.

The spider, however, would not be dissuaded and turned to follow Sterling in a direct line. Jet black and fuzzy, it ran at full speed toward its target.

Now completely befuddled at the behavior of the beastie Sterling rolled his chair to the side. The spider, however, barely paused to change course and came on fast as before.

Enough was enough. Sterling stood, sending the chair rolling back behind him to bump into the far console and rose to his full height. He was a grown man, over 400 years old, and a Kinsmir. He would not be intimidated by a simple bug.

The spider paused at this turn of events, stopping in its tracks in the middle of the floor of the small room, and bounced up and down on its legs twice as if sizing up the situation. Apparently what it saw computed as a good chance for victory in its tiny spider brain and it decided that it could indeed take Sterling no matter how big he was. It charged again, straight ahead at Sterlign’s foot, full speed. Sterling could practically hear the thought going through the spider’s mind; “I can take him.”

Confusion gave way to anger, and anger folded neatly into fury. To be attacked here, by this, when he was having such a good night was more than Sterling was willing to put up with. He raised a booted foot.

The spider came on, never slowing.

Six feet and over two hundred pounds of man, plus the anger of being attacked, and the strength that that anger brought came crashing down on the spider with a resounding “Ka-WHUMPPppnnngg...” that resonated through the floor of the building, shook the consoles, and brought a small mote of dust drifting down from the ceiling tiles. All of it landed square on the poor, deranged, arachnid.

Kasha bounced from the monitor on which she sat, her wings lifting her into the air with a look of harsh disapproval on her feline features at the disruption of her napping.

Sterling laughed, both at Kasha and at the thought of the spider cartoonishly being plunged headlong into Hades and bursting through the ceiling confused at how it got there. He looked over at Kasha, still chuckling.

“Oh shut up. He was asking for it.”

“Mrrow,” she said, amused disapproval plain in her tone.

"Naive wishing for peace is the surest possible way to invite an aggressor."
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