Part 3: The Next Wave
They were sunbathing on the beach, each laying on a striped beach towel. Kathy, a 38-year-old with dirty blonde hair, lay on her stomach with her bikini top partial off. Monica, her 19-year-old daughter, looked much like she had at that age. She sat up and applied more sunscreen to her arms and belly before laying back down putting on her pink sunglasses. All around them, people played in the sand and waves. it could have easily been just another peaceful summer's day if not for one thing. Actually several things.
There were several military vehicles in the parking lot, and a squad of uniformed soldiers with big rifles in hand watched over the beach goers. The military was pretty much everywhere, all over the town and the surrounding countryside since the previous night's attack. It was all so bizarre to Kathy, she thought to herself, Giant robot spiders? Really? Was I transported into some cheesy 1950s science fiction movie?
She remembered watching the late night news and their report on the attack. Of the thirty that attacked that suburban neighborhood, twenty seven successfully abducted women while the other three were taken down by a handful of local firearms enthusiasts before the military was even involved. It really was like being in some bad science fiction movie.
It wasn't long before she heard screams and panicked people started running. Kathy raised up, barely able to believe her eyes. It was one thing to see them on the TV, it was another to be staring down a vast army of Arachno-Bots, big as life and headed her way! It was hard to count all of them but she was pretty sure their numbers were in the hundreds. Kathy hastily put her bikini top back on, grabbed Monica, and they both ran, leaving their towels and bags behind.
The soldiers rushed to engage the metal monsters, firing their weapons. One or two of the machines took a hit to the head, spat sparks, and seemed to convulse before sprawling motionless in the sand. Others took their hits in locations where the bullets merely scuffed the black paint on their thick armor shells. Among the legion of Arachno-Bots were variants that had turrets mounted on the sides of their main bodies. The purpose of the turrets became apparent as they began launching spiderweb-like capture nets! The nets entangled the soldiers and knocked them to the ground. After incapacitating the soldiers, they turned their attention back to the fleeing beach goers.
A young woman in a one piece swimsuit was a few feet behind everyone else. She gasped in surprise as she was enfolded in a capture net, stumbled, and fell. A young man in board shorts and a muscle shirt, presumably her boyfriend, ran to her and attempted to free her, but the strands that made up the net were too strong for his meager folding knife to cut through. An approaching Arachno-Bot batted him aside like he was nothing with one of it's powerful front legs. From the way he rolled and sprawled in the sand, it was clear he was out cold. The girl screamed in terror as it raised up on four of its legs, and with its others picked her up and brought her under its chassis. It extended a hypodermic "fang" and injected her with the paralytic drug in the neck; it then immediately began spinning her in a cocoon, capture net and all! When it was done, it put her cocooned form on its back and strapped her down tight.
As Kathy and Monica continued to flee, other women all around them were being entangled in capture nets and falling in mid-stride. Arachno-Bots moved in quickly to seize and cocoon them, and any men--civilian or military--who tried to interfere were effortlessly brushed aside. Sniper fire took down a few more of the menacing machines, but as ammunition was running low, it was impossible to stop all of them.
They instinctively ran for the parking lot, and their car. Kathy had reached the driver's side door... when she remembered she'd left her keys in her bag back on the beach!
They turned around to find an Arachno-Bot standing mere feet from them and staring at them with its eight red eyes. Both Kathy and Monica froze in place, helpless but to gaze in wide-eyed terror at the giant metal arachnid before them. It advanced towards them and seized Monica first. Kathy could only watch as the mechanical monster injected her daughter with the paralytic drug and then seized her! A white hot sting as the need plunged into her shoulder and then her entire body went numb and limp as a rag doll. The Arachno-Bot then raised up on four of its legs and with the others brought both of the women beneath its chassis. A hatch opened and out came the arm holding the roll of white plastic. As the robot spun them, the plastic wound around them from their feet to their shoulders, wrapping them together chest to chest. The spinning and wrapping paused just long enough for two long tubes to be placed in their mouths and then their world faded to white. After more layers were added to their shared cocoon, their captor hoisted them on to its back and strapped them down tight. By then, both Kathy and Monica had completely lost consciousness.
A figure in the shadows sat at a desk, watching a large screen across the room. On screen, the Arachno-Bots were leaving the beach with their captives. The figure played with a ring on his left pinky finger then glanced out the window of the office he was in. He was overlooking a vast complex with several Arachno-Bots plugged into recharging stations and several rows of stasis pods. Twenty seven of the pods had naked women asleep inside.