Posted on Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 6:06am by Category V: Supervillain Frederick Hollywood
The Villain's Spire
Location: The Spire
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse
Deep in the heart of The Spire, Lorde looked over the cryo unit that Stryde was being held in. “So how has our favorite arachnid been holding up?”
Aryel’s form flickered for a moment before answering. “She has been doing well in most of the simulations we have been putting her through.”
“Where is she now?” Lorde’s eyebrow arched just a bit. He traced his finger over his old lieutenant’s cage, making the shape of a heart.
The golden mephit’s eyes turned red for but a moment. “I do believe she is in the required weekly knitting class you personally instituted.”
Fred smilled. “Excellent, Aryel. I want you to start transitioning her to an exit point in the program, at which time we will place her into the training room. Once there, Stryde will get a bit more hands on training. I have an idea or two to keep what happened before from happening again.”
The AI looked at her master. “How long do you wish the transition period to take place?”
Hollywood couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. “Real world, let’s have it done by the end of the day. In the box, we can have her coast along for another week or so.”
The Academy wasn’t the worst place Arachnia had ever been. That said, some of the trainers could be very abrasive, trying constantly to push her harder to snap in almost every way imaginable.
She was standing in a line up of of mutants who, in one way or another, had not made the cut by Lorde’s standards. In her uniform, standing at attention, Stryde had come a long way.
The sergeant screamed at the queen of spiders, only inches from her face. “What is your job?”
She shouted back at him, “I am the arm of The Spire!”
The trainer screamed again as a strange green slime dripped down his face. “Who do you serve, maggot?”
“My Lorde and Master!” As her temper flared, Stryde had to fight the urge to start spinning in the line up and making something from her webs as the sergeant spoke.
Then the man addressed the entire group. “It appears that an emergency of dire consequences has come up that requires our attention. Consider this an early end to your training, and a welcome to hell.”
Before her unit was sent off to defend a piece of rock she could barely stand, Stryde and the others were given a two day leave to go home and visit family or take some time on the town. Arachnia had chosen the latter. When she walked through the door of her small apartment, two children with faces that could light up a room came running up to her yelling in unison, “Mommy!”
One of the children had hair as white as snow. The other had blonde hair like spun gold. They seemed to be growing up so fast. Lorde had made sure that they had everything they needed while the spider queen had been away at camp. Their eight eyes blinked excitedly at her. “Did you bring us anything?” Charlotte asked.
The her white teeth showed, as she could not hide her own excitement in seeing them, and that she had indeed brought her broodlings gifts. “Have you to been good while I have been away?” She ran her fingers through the children’s soft hair.
The pair jumped up and down. “Yes, Mommy, yes, Mommy!” They pointed back towards the kitchen. “Just ask Aryel!”
It felt so strange to Stryde that some lifeless automaton had been watching over her children and her home, but the AI had done a great job in the two years she had been acting as a nanny. She went into her large olive green canvas bag and produced two large gift wrapped boxes, which she handed to the children.
They quickly ran over to the couch and began tearing them open. In Shelob’s package there was a radio controlled model. It was designed after some of the new aircraft at The Spire. In Charlotte’s box the little girl found the newest version of the now famous talking cat plush toy. Aryel had helped Stryde track that down before coming home.
“Can I play with it now, Mom?” little Shelob asked, her locks drooping down into her eyes.
“Me to! Me to!” yelled Charlotte.
The answer was not simple. The woman knew that the stuffed cat was safe enough. The flying toy, on the other hand, might not be for use in a small apartment. “Ice cream first.” That would give her time to ask the nanny about the jet propelled toy.
As her time with the younglings came to an end, Arachnia’s heart filled with dread. She hugged them and kissed both of them. “You both be good for Mistress Aryel.”
“Where are you going, Mommy?” Shelob had always been the insightful one, seeing things in ways Stryde could not easily explain, unless the young girl was developing powers unlike her own.
She tried to measure her words, but at the same time be honest. “Mommy has to go save people from a bad guy.”
All eight eyes widened. Shelob prodded further. “Why are you saving people you hate?”
She held the young girl’s face close to her own. “It’s my duty, honey. Don’t worry. I promise to be there whenever you need me.”
This promise would haunt her until the end of her days.