© Copyright 2006 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: Other/mf+; driders; wrap; silk; cocoon; susp; web; captives; nc; X
Drider 4: War!
Special thanks to Kemmer for suggesting some of the ideas in this story
The cold night air stung Antonio as he walked through the desert. He cursed himself for not bringing a coat. He didn’t even bring a jacket. All he had was a shirt and his jeans.
"Stupid, stupid!" He cursed himself. "You're such a fool Antonio! You might freeze out here, and you didn’t think to bring a jacket did you?"
He kicked a rock in frustration. The Mexican watched as it skipped across the ground, coming to rest at the edge of a fence. That fence caused Antonio to forget all of his worries which had so plagued him only a few seconds earlier. Here it was. The border between the U.S. and Mexico. It was the border leading to his new life. Excited, he sprinted to the fence and grabbed it. He scurried up the metal fence with ease and managed to leap over. He had done it! He was in the states!
He was so ecstatic that he literally leaped for joy. He was here! A new life awaited him!
He started to jog, when he lost his balance and fell. He grunted in surprise as the ground dug into his face. Spitting out some blood, he started to get to his feet. But instead of rising, he went backwards. Surprised, the man tried getting up again. But again, he went backwards. Antonio looked back. What he saw terrified him. There was a white rope-like thing around his ankles. It led off into the darkness, vanishing down a hole.
"No!" He thought. "The Americans have got me!" But how? He hadn't heard anything. His sharp eyes hadn't seen anything.
As if sensing his confusion, the rope began to pull. Fast.
Antonio was dragged towards the hole, the rough and sharp desert digging into his body as he was dragged. He cursed and shouted for help. But he was all alone. There wasn't another human being for miles around. He started to scream hysterically as he reached the hole. Hands flailing, he tried to grab a branch, anything to stop his movement. He caught hold of a bush, only to have it disintegrate in his hands. Letting out a howl of pure terror, the homeless Mexican was pulled, screaming, into the hole.
Silence fell upon the desert. There was no sign that the man who walked there only a few minutes ago had ever existed. An hour passed. There was movement near the hole. It began to crumble. The hole collapsed completely. There was the sound of many bodies moving. Inhuman shapes began to appear in the hole, coming out, climbing into the cool night air.
To them, it felt like paradise.
Theodore moaned as his alarm clock went off. Its buzzing noise was so annoying, so disturbing to the peaceful dream that he had been having only a moment ago, feeling the warmth of his mothers arms…
He groaned and tried to go back to sleep, to shut out that infernal noise. But it refused to let him rest. "Get out of bed!" it shrieked. "A new day ahead of you!"
Gritting his teeth, he gave in and slammed his fist on the "off" button. The infernal contraption finally shut down. The young man groaned and shook his head, feeling the warmth and comfort of sleep sloughing off him as he slipped out from under the comforter and slipped on his green bathrobe. The apartment was quiet as he heated up some waffles for breakfast. A fan blew quietly in the corner. The stereo played Mozart as Theodore munched down on blueberry waffles.
He gave a glance at the clock and cursed. Classes started in an hour. "Why?" He thought to himself. "Why do classes have to start so early? Why not nine? Why not ten?" The young man grumbled to himself as he got dressed for college.
The large building was the only feature for miles. The desert lay to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west. This was the local seismology building. Its sole purpose in life was to measure earthquakes and other movements of the earth. Sensors lay inside the building, quiet and still. The lights were off, the air conditioners hummed, and all was peaceful.
No one was there to see it, though some felt it. The building began to shake. It was small at first. But then it grew. And grew. And grew. The sensors came to life, needles scribbling fast and furious at the paper running underneath them. The lines being written down were off the charts.
It was a big one. The biggest the states had ever felt. And unknown to almost all, it was only going to get worse.
It played out across the world. Not all at once, but close.
Within the period of an hour, every single fault line all around the world was shaking and quaking. It was a world wide earthquake. Completely unheard of. The event seemed so remote, so completely impossible, that it wasn't even included in textbooks. Yet it was happening.
The president of Russia was eating a snack when he felt it. He felt the floor beneath him begin to shake. Then it quaked, swaying to and fro. He dropped his food and ran for the nearest doorway, remembering what his school had taught him about earthquakes. He braced his form inside the entryway, clutching the wood tightly. The quake continued. There were loud cracks, loud explosions as the building around him began to tear apart. The president prayed. He prayed for the quake to stop before it destroyed everything around him. But his prayer was not answered. The quake continued. For five full minutes, the quake went on. To the president, it felt like a lifetime.
At last, it finally stopped. The building stopped shaking. The floor was still again. Moving cautiously, the present walked on the floor, heading for the window. His instincts wanted him to see what had happened to the city outside. He knew it would be bad. The sight that awaited him outside his window confirmed the worst. Pillars of smoke rose for miles. There were distant screams, both of humans and of ambulances.
The president cursed. He needed help. This would take the efforts of many to clean this up.
Those in France felt the quake too. And like in Russia, it went on for a full five minutes. Buildings shook and fell. Streets cracked and split, creating deep wounds in the earth. Panicked citizens ran for shelter. Many were crushed in the chaos, both from people and from buildings.
Scientist Jean Pierre was in his laboratory when the glass began to fall around him. He froze for a moment, stunned at the sight of vials and chemicals falling to the floor. The roar of the ceiling collapsing caught his attention. Snapped out of his stupor, the old man ran for the exit, shouting for his daughter, who was somewhere inside the laboratory.
He heard her voice, calling to him from somewhere behind him. He spun, instinctively trying to find his loved one. But it was a mistake. A large chunk of ceiling plaster fell and landed on him. He collapsed to the ground, blood flowing from his head.
And still it went on.
The quakes all across Europe, Asia, Russia, and Africa lasted a full five minutes. In five short minutes, thousands of cities, towns, and villages were destroyed. Millions were killed or injured. The Pacific Rim shook from the quakes. Tokyo was hit especially hard. Skyscrapers fell, smashing into the streets below. Long dormant volcanoes erupted. All across the pacific, volcanoes came to life, spewing magma and ash into the sky.
The United States and her neighbors Canada, Mexico, and South America were not spared the destruction. The continents shook and quaked.
And still it went on.
Theodore was driving to school, anxiously glancing at his watch every few seconds, and cursing afterwards. Not enough time, not enough time. He was going to be late! Glancing over his shoulder, he quickly turned into the fast lane and sped up. Sixty…seventy…eighty…ninety…if he could keep going, he might make it in time…
A siren dashed his hopes. Looking behind him, Theodore saw a police car right behind him, its sirens wailing. The officer signaled for him to pull over. The Young man couldn't help but scream a curse in anger. They got into a turn off lane, the kind used for runaway trucks. There was no one else in sight for miles. There would be plenty of time to issue the ticket.
An officer walked up to the car. Angry, but determined not to show it, Theodore rolled down the window.
"Well, well." The officer chuckled. "What do we have here? A little runaway!"
"Could you please give me the ticket?" Theodore said through clenched teeth. "I'm late for class. I've got to get there as soon as I can."
"Whoa!" The officer said, raising his hands. "Calm down there partner!"
"I am calm." Theodore said as calmly as he could. "I'm just in a hurry. My finals are today, and I can't afford to miss them."
"Now, now." The officer said. "Let's just cool down buddy! Let's just cool down!"
Theodore hissed silently. The man was toying with him. He obviously had nothing better to do.
"Look." Theodore said again. "I'm sorry I was speeding. Now, please write me the ticket."
"I'm afraid not." The officer said sadly. "You've got to cool down a bit. Maybe a little stay in jail will do that." The man grinned.
"You must be joking!" Theodore said, rapidly loosing his composure.
"Come on." The officer said. "Out of the car. Don't make me call for backup."
Growing, his face turning red, Theodore got out of the car.
The officer took his sweet time in pulling out the handcuffs. "Now," he said cheerfully. "Why don't you just turn around so I can put these on you?"
It took all of Theodore's willpower not to throw a punch. This guy obviously just wanted to have fun. Stupid cops.
"Look," Theodore said. "I just want the stupid ticket. Why can't you get that?!"
The man's smile faded. "Son, you just threatened an officer." He pulled out his pistol. "That's a federal offense."
"I was not threatening you!" Theodore said. "I was not threatening you."
"Get up against the car." The officer ordered. "Now!"
"No!" Theodore said. "You've got no right to do this!"
The officer reached for his radio… then vanished.
It happened so fast that Theodore didn’t have time to figure out what happened. One second the policeman was there… and then he was gone.
Looking down, he saw what had happened. There was a crack at Theodore's feet. One big enough to swallow a man.
But… where had it come from? It hadn't been there a moment ago.
There was a loud tearing noise. Then the ground began to shake. "Shit!" Theodore shouted. An earthquake!
Not bothering to see if the cop had survived, the college student grabbed his backpack out of the car and ran off the road. He reached the fence just as a huge crevice appeared in the road, widening with each passing second. The officer's car teetered on the ledge, then fell into the earth. A few seconds later, Theodore's car followed.
Theodore watched it all in shock. The loud tearing noise got louder. The freeway began to buckle and tear. Huge cracks and crevices were appearing in the asphalt. Theodore looked down the road and saw cars coming towards the cracks. Cars screeched to a stop in a desperate attempt to not fall in. Within seconds, there was a huge pileup on both lanes of the freeway. People jumped out of their cars and ran for safety.
Watching with a feeling of surrealism, the college student completely forgot about his finals. What was he going to do now? He thought about it for a bit. The college wasn't far from here. Maybe he could walk over.
And so he began to walk. After a few seconds, he began to run, leaving the wreck behind.
Jean groaned as he heard his daughter's voice. Thank heavens, he thought. She's alive.
"Father!" There was a sudden pull on the debris piled around him. He felt his daughter pulling the debris away. "Mona." He gasped, pushing up.
"No father, let me do it. Don't move!" Another shove and the last of the debris was pushed away.
Jean coughed the dust out of his lungs. "Mona." He gasped as he felt around for his glasses. "Are you all right?"
"Yes father." She coughed as she helped him to his feet. "I'm all right. Are you all right?"
The old man nodded and coughed. "Better then usual." He joked. "Just a bit sore."
He staggered over to the window. "What happened?"
"An earthquake father. I don't know how strong, but it must have been off the charts. It felt like it went on forever."
Jean opened the window, and stared. He gasped as he saw what remained of his city.
Paris was a wreck. The Eiffel tower was still standing, apparently intact. But everything else that he could see was a complete wreck. Smoke rose from a hundred different sections of the city. The destruction had been total.
"Oh my God." He whispered.
Mona was at his side, holding his arm tightly. She too, was shocked by the devastation.
Something caught her eye, far below on the streets. "Father!" She said. "Look!"
Down below, there was a very large opening in the ground. People were gathering around it curiously.
There was movement inside the crevice.
What happened next shocked Jean and his daughter to the bone.
In Tokyo, a man got off the ground, spitting blood out of his mouth. He looked around, gasping at the devastation that filled his eyes. Skyscrapers lay on the ground. Buildings, cars, and people had been crushed and flattened. Blood ran down the streets. The man didn’t know what to do. He sat there, dazed into shock. Nothing entered his mind. He was blank.
Sound slowly returned to him. Over the shrieks of the sirens and the moans of the injured, he heard a very faint sound. It sounded like ticking. It was coming from a rather large crevice behind him. Curious, the man slowly crawled over to the edge, peering downwards. There was darkness, nothing to be seen. Yet…the sounds of ticking were still there, down below.
The man focused his eyes, trying to see what was below him. At last, he could see. There were…shapes…shapes coming towards him. What the hell?...
They came into focus, and the man saw what they looked like. He managed half a scream before a glob of white goo smacked into his face.
Theodore sighed. He had never felt so relieved to hear his girlfriend's voice.
"Shauna!" He called out as he jogged up to the outskirts of campus. The two went up to each other.
"Are you okay?" Shauna asked, noticing Theodore's heavy breathing.
"Yeah." Theodore panted. "I'll…*wheeze*…be fine."
"I was so worried for you! There was a giant earthquake earlier, and there's a huge crack in the center of campus."
Theodore smiled. "Oh good."
"Everyone's outside, in case there's another earthquake. Why don't you come and join us?"
Theodore nodded, finally getting his breath back. "Okay. That sounds like a good plan. Lead the way!"
Shauna led Theodore into the campus square. There were over two thousand students standing outside the buildings, all of them talking excitedly.
"Where's this crack you were talking about?" Theodore asked.
"It's near the bookstore. Looks like there's a large crowd there already."
The two looked towards the campus bookstore, and saw a large crowd gathered around the unseen crack. Theodore struggled for a look as the two walked up. The wall of human bodies however, proved impassable.
"Excuse me!" Theodore said. "Can we get through?" A few students tried to move out of the way, but the rest stayed in place.
"Oh great." Theodore said. "Now I'll never get a rock sample for geology class!"
"Look!" Someone shouted. "There's something down there!" The talking mass instantly went silent.
"What is it?" A girl asked.
"I don't know. But…it's coming up!"
The crowd backed up slightly, just enough for Theodore to slip in and see what was going on.
The crack that Shauna had talked about was not really a crack. Rather, it was a large hole in the ground, easily wide enough to drive a truck in. It went down several hundred feet. Theodore slowly went closer to the hole and cautiously peered in. He could see nothing, but he could hear…something coming up.
Someone kneeled next to him. "What is that?" He asked, as dumbfounded as everyone else.
"I don't know." Theodore admitted. "But…it seems like I've heard it before. I just can't remember where."
The ticking noise increased. "There's definitely something coming up!" Theodore said as he quickly stood up.
The other student however, remained kneeling.
"But I don’t…"
He never finished his sentence. For at that moment, a large lump of white material shot out of the hole, ramming into the students face. He was able to give off one muffled scream before the white material was pulled into the hole, taking the student with it. Everyone screamed and backed up from the hole. The ticking was now very loud. And then it stopped.
For a brief second, there was silence. Then…it began.
Wads of the white material began to shoot out of the hole, landing on trees, students, and the pavement. The material was pulled taunt, pulling some screaming students into the hole. And then they emerged. Monstrous, terrible forms, things out of a person's deepest darkest nightmares. Theodore didn’t see much as he ran. He did however, catch the impossible sight of a human body blended with that of a large black widow spider.
The screams of terror deafened Theodore as he ran for his life. Students were running with him, completely panic stricken. There was a viping sound as the white material flew through the air and attached itself to the surrounding buildings. One of the globs struck a young woman running next to Theodore. It engulfed her upper body and knocked her flat the ground. Theodore didn’t stop to see what happened. More and more of the strands were coming, hitting and adhering to people left and right. Screaming students and staff were pulled away by the strands of white material.
Up ahead, a corner. Theodore ran and leapt around it as a strand narrowly avoiding hitting him. He landed hard on the concrete ground. Gasping for air, he quickly scrambled to his feet. To his left lay a long slope down to the road, and safety. But despite his fear, Theodore's curiosity got the better of him. He slowly crept over to the corner, and peeked out.
The sight in front of him was simply too unearthly to be real. There was a huge web (to Theodore, it looked like a spider web) being erected in the center of campus, its support strands clinging to the nearby buildings. And those creatures… there were dozens of the human/spider things crawling over the web and the building. They were horrendously ugly to watch. But what they were doing chilled Theodore to the bone.
The creatures were grabbing the humans caught by the sticky strands and wrapping them up in silk material. The students and staff were screaming as they were wrapped from head to toe. When a person was finished, the screaming and squirming silk cocoon was tossed onto the web and secured in place with several more strands of silk. Theodore shook his head in disbelief as he watched several of his classmates, male and female, be wrapped up in the silk, enveloped in inescapable cocoons.
"Please, no!" A cheerleader was screaming. "Let me go!" The creature wrapping her paid no attention, save for continuing to wrap her gorgeous body in white silk. "You can't do this to me! Noo! Nooo…mmphhhhpphhh!!!" Her screams were silenced as the silk covered her face.
"Damn." Theodore thought. "I was going to ask her out."
The mummified cheerleader was placed onto the large web. She continued to squirm and give off muffled screams as she was secured to the web by several more strands of silk.
Down below, more and more of the creatures began to pour out of the now gaping hole. Dozens of them were coming out, and they showed no signs of stopping. The new arrivals began to scurry over the buildings, searching for people to capture and mummify.
"Time to get out of here." Theodore thought. He started to run, but he stopped. Where was Shauna? His instincts told him to go and look for her. "No way." He thought. "Those things are still coming, and I don't want to end up like the others."
"But she's your girlfriend! You're not just going to abandon her are you?"
Theodore cursed. He hated making decisions like this. The continuing shrieks of the remaining students answered his question. He turned and ran down the hill as fast as legs would carry him.
"I'm so sorry Shauna." He thought. "Please forgive me."
Behind him, the last screams of the remaining people were quickly dying out as they were captured and bound. There was a thundering noise behind Theodore. He didn’t stop to look. He kept running. The thundering noise stopped. It was replaced by a voice. A very loud voice.
"Search every building here!" It shouted. "I want every inch of this complex searched!"
The voice roared, and Theodore ran.
Across the world, the attacks commence.
Around the world, the creatures appear from every crack, every crevice in the earth. They swarm like ants, attacking and overwhelming any humans near them. But they never kill. The humans they capture are mummified and placed onto giant webs quickly enacted throughout cities.
Beijing, Japan, London, Spain, Morocco, Pakistan. Everywhere, it plays out.
"And next on the agenda is the verification of the motion to approve a letter of warning to the warring countries warning them that further attack will not be tolerated." The speakers bored voice echoed through the UN building, almost putting to sleep the remaining delegates who had not already dozed off. "All those in favor of approving this measure, please say ai".
The Swedish representative yawned, trying desperately to stay awake. These sessions were getting worse all the time. She fiddled with the miniature flag on her desk. A sudden crashing noise interrupted her bored thoughts. Glass fell next to her, causing the nearby representatives to jump in fright. A horrible ticking noise found its way to the Swedish representative's ears. She looked up.
There were horrible things coming through the glass windows up above. Dozens of hideously ugly human, spider… things were pouring into the building. Screams of terror filled the air, including those from the Swedish representative. White silk began to shoot through the chamber, sticking to anything it touched. Walls, floors, chairs, representatives.
The speaker managed to get off a "oh dear." before he was enveloped in silk.
The Swedish representative ran, cursing her high heels for slowing her down. A sudden glob of silk around her ankles stopped her in her tracks. With a yank she was pulled off her feet and hauled into the air. She was pulled high up towards the ceiling, where one of the creatures was waiting with a web. An all too human face looked at her curiously. "Hmm…" the face said as silk began to wind its way around the representative's body. "Yes, you'll do. My children will be happy to have you."
The representative screamed as silk stuffed her mouth and began to cover her face. Though she was plugged up, she still tried to scream as the silk blinded her, and as her body was wrapped and bound.
"I'm telling you!" The British prime minister shouted into the phone. "We need everything! We need tanks, we need planes! Get everything you can down here now!"
A loud zipping noise shot past the window. The prime minister looked out the window. Those spider creatures were running loose. He watched as women, men, entire families, were wrapped up in silk and carried off to God alone knows what. Distant gunfire could be heard a few blocks away as the police tried to fight back.
There was a squeaky voice from the phone. "What?" The minister shouted.
"We're trying sir!" The general on the other end said. "But we're under attack too. These things are...uh… webbing up my men! I'm loosing… Johnson, look out!" There was a loud scream.
"Damnit!" The general shouted. "I just lost six more men! We can't get out there minister! You're going to have to… ahhh! Nooo!!!!"
There was a loud vvviipping sound on the other end of the phone, followed by a thud.
"General?!" The minister shouted. "General!" Only silence.
The minister cursed as he dialed a number. There was a loud scream nearby.
The phone clicked. "Yes Mr. Prime minister?" The secretary's voice said.
"Elsa, are there any other connections to the armed forces?"
"No sir. All the phone connections are going down all over the country. You'd better get out of there sir, before it's too late."
"I know. You'd better get out too Elsa. Get as far away as you can!"
"Cheerio Mr. Prime Minister. I'll… ahhh!"
Another scream, another viipping noise. There was a thud on the other end, and the minister heard a muffled scream, quickly silenced.
Damn. This wasn't good.
There was a loud cracking noise at the door. Judging by the loud thuds, it wasn't his bodyguards. The prime minister dropped the phone and ran to his desk. Pressing a switch, a drawer slid open, revealing its contents.
"Yes." The minister said as he picked up the automatic shotgun. "I've been dying to try you out for years." He quickly loaded several shells into the weapon. The door buckled, and several spider appendages began to appear.
The shotgun was pumped and primed. The minister jumped on his desk, the gun pointed at the door. "Come on you bastards!" He shouted. "Bring it on!"
The door burst, and the trigger was pulled.
Wi Piang was standing on the top of the Great Wall of China, watching the clouds drift lazily overhead. It was a quiet day. Nothing much had happened, aside from the earthquake. But where she had been, it was only a slight tremor, barely worthy of notice. The one thing that had been odd was the lack of communication with the city of Beijing. There were no video coming out, no phone calls, nothing. It was odd, but it was probably only a power failure. Such things could be expected at times.
The woman sighed as she watched the gentle clouds drift overhead. This was the day she really liked. A calm, peaceful, uneventful day.
There was a loud rumbling noise. Li didn’t think much of it as she drifted off to sleep, deeply relaxed. When she awoke, she found herself wrapped head to toe in a tight, white material that encased her tightly. She tried to scream, couldn't. The silk plugged into her mouth silenced her. With great difficulty, she managed to twist her wrapped head. Li saw the wall covered in what looked like giant spider webs. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of white cocoons wrapped to the wall, all of them squirming.
A bound, gagged, and mummified Li screamed as she joined the other cocooned people on the Great Wall of China.
The driders have been planning this for years. For decades. The invasion of the human world, the surface of the earth. The time has come for them to rule the land.
Though no declaration is signed, no announcement made, a war has started.
A war that will decide the dominant species of earth.
To the victor, goes the planet.