Another episode in the continuing saga of the space colony the universe forgot—Today, we find Melanie Hunt on the run, desperately seeking safe haven in an Avenir space station that’s coming apart at the seams.
She’s also being chased by spiders.
Her brother is locked in his apartment, wired into the station’s virtual-reality game grid. Like most siblings, he’s less than helpful:
There was a rumbling sound in the distance, followed by a long, warbling shriek that climbed slowly in both pitch and volume, then stopped, as if it had been cut off with a knife.
Melanie swallowed hard and fought to keep her voice steady. “Do you have any idea what’s happening out here?”
“Don’t know, don’t care. This is a really inconvenient time to pester me. My guild’s getting ready to run the Fathomless Catacombs in Wizard’s Realm, and I still have to equip.”
“Carson…I…am…in…trouble! The whole station’s gone haywire. Things are exploding, and there are spiders everywhere!”
“How do you expect me to help? Go back to your apartment, or call an Enforcer.”
“The corridors to my apartment are sealed off, and the only Enforcers I’ve seen are running as fast as they can in the opposite direction. These spiders are aggressive…the brown ones are attracted to motion, the gray ones move in packs, and the red ones go straight for the throat. I need a safe place to hide. You’re all I’ve got.”
“Don’t be such a baby. They’re bugs. One-shot kills.”
“This isn’t a game, idiot. I don’t have a gun.”
“Fine. Step on them. Hit ’em with…with a book or something.”
Read the whole thing at Avenir Eclectia. If you’d like to find out how Melanie got into this mess from the beginning, here are links to all the stories in her thread:
And if you’d like to read all my contributions to this ongoing, interactive, multi-author, shared-world, cooperative microfiction project sponsored by Splashdown Books, here’s a link for that: Fred Warren’s stories at Avenir Eclectia