Simon’s Backup Weblog


Fiction Snippet: Spider Walking

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on July 13, 2006

[A little bit of background first. There’s an empty moon orbiting a brown dwarf covered with the detritus of a dozen or more long gone visitors. The small human archaeological colony has found a hole into one of the world’s many many middens. Yes, they’re the bunch with the train from an earlier snippet…]

Marietta went into the hole first. Plugging herself into the spider, she walked it slowly away from the train, down the midden’s slope, and carefully paused at the mouth of the well.

“I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…”

“You’re always late. Now give me the countdown”

White rabbits flashed up and down the walls of consensus reality, an abacus clock peeling away the seconds, one by one.

“Go!”

Left leg 1, right leg 1, right leg 2, left leg 2. Shuffling like an arthritic dog the spider began to enter the well, spinning a line of fibre optic cable behind it. Laser light down Perseus’ thread linked its sensors to the banks of machines in the heart of our carriage. Over the edge and into the dark, carefully balancing itself against the walls, the spider slowly crawled down the hole.

“Incy wincy spider…”

“At least it won’t rain here.”

A hundred or so metres down, and the walls suddenly changed. We’d reached the end of the midden layer, and the spider was crawling through regolith. Its LED headlights reflected off the loose rock, illuminating scrabbling claws that struggled for purchase.

“What’s that ahead?”

“Looks like a corner. Deep radar working yet?”

The spider let off a neutrino burst.

“No. Nothing but reflections.”

“What the fuck did they make this thing with? It looks and feels like rock, but reflects neutrinos.”

She took the spider round the corner. The narrow well became a wide tunnel.

“I think we’ve come in the back way.”

The spider walked towards the tunnel. Then, nothing.

“Signal gone.”

Marietta pulled the plug from her neck.

“Ouch. That hurt.”

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One Response to 'Fiction Snippet: Spider Walking'

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  1. ccomley said,

    Something vaguely familiar about that. Now can I put my finger on it… nope…


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