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Sol awakened again to an unfamiliar sound and feeling. The sound of squeaky wheels turning, gruff breathing, items jingling about and the sense of a rocking motion tipped Sol off she was no longer where she was before. For the first time in a long time, Sol did not run her daily status check and just took in the sights and sounds of everything. She remembered where she was, and who saved her. The experiment was a success, her memory did last longer than a single outage. She gazed into the blackness, the expansive cavern was enormous, she couldn’t see the ceiling or walls. She half wondered if they were even underground anymore. The floor of the cavern was covered in a thick green moss, the wheels making an impression into them. Sol could see the stray violet light here and there along the route they took. The cavern was pure blackness where the light did not shine.
Marker lights? Sol thought.
As the journey went on she spotted actual road made of flattened metal, cobblestone, wood, and silk. They passed a fence made of scrap metal.
The cart kept up it’s pace, pulled along by the spider. She could tell it was struggling under the weight, yet it kept going. Sol managed a closer look as they enter what appeared to be a property. The fence went on a way to her left and right, with a gate made of scrap with a sign. The fences were odd, in that they were angled and covered in silk like a blanket. It resembled simple fortification. There it looked to be a written language on the sign, but the understanding of it escaped her. The spider unharnessed itself, letting the cart lean forward as it quickly skittered over to the gate unlocking it. It pushed and pulled at the gate, a metal on stone scraping sound breaking the otherwise serene calm.
Sol could see more of the violet lights at the entrance.
The lights are from the mushrooms? Sol pondered.
Power: 90/92 QC
The violet lights were emitted by a simple mushroom. Their purple outer layer was glowing with a bright glow, enough to bathe the fences and road with a violet hue. They had long black oval eyes and a mouth; they stared right at Sol. It occurred to her that her eyes lit up in an aquamarine hue.
Odd creatures. Maybe they are attracted to my eyes? Sol wondered.
The scraping of the gate finished, signaling it was opened, the spider made his way to the cart and harnessed itself again. It began to quickly pull the cart while Sol heard a ticking noise. As the Sol and the spider passed the gate for a distance, she heard an engine fire up; the gate began to scrape against the stone again as a motor she couldn’t see pushed the gate closed. The spider began to make a panting chittering as they began an ascent up a stone hill. On either side of the paved road was that green moss. Sol also heard different sounds. Of different creatures making noise, but Sol couldn’t see what was making those noises.
What entered Sol’s view next was the rock hill’s ascent ceased and a home slipped into view. It was snug against a cavern corner wall. A large sphere of neat spider silk; mansion-sized. Sol would even garner even larger. There were silk rope support struts along the ground to stabilize the structure.
A humble garden decorated the silk manor’s porch. A shed made of mushroom wood and metal was off to the side. It had a wild, arachnid, homestead feeling to it. Under the deep crevice of the world.
Where did it get so much scrap? Sol processed.
There was ore, but everything else, the shed, fences, and more, looked like it was used for something else at one point. It all appeared that it was scrap taken from something else in the past. Perhaps he had done something else and settled down here later on. She was curious about it and hoped to discover the answer later. Every moment led to more questions. The spider pulled the cart inside his shed, unharnessing itself.
Power: 53/92 QC
The spider began to unpack his tools, an energy rifle, and several det charges. It took great care in putting the equipment away back where it belonged. Each tool had a place. The ore the spider had collected was casually dumped into a processing bin, filling the bin halfway. He worked to empty the cart, carefully shifting Sol around. For some reason, he did not place her on the ground, as if she was too precious to sully on the rocky ground.
He must think I’m valuable, Sol deduced.
Her power was getting low.
The spider kept absently working, cleaning out the cart and making sure everything was as it should be. Sol thought it wise to speak, as her power was good and they were at it’s home.
“Hello… What is your name?” Sol asked.
The spider stopped and turned back, staring intently at her. She felt the gaze of his eight eyes, weighing her. It let out a deep chitter in a tongue she did not know. The spider turned back, finishing tidying the shed. It maneuvered itself to her with a spidery smile and gently picked her up with a grunt. She felt she must have been heavy. She also suspected the spider was quite strong.
The spider skittered out of the shed, holding her atop his head with four arms. He slowly made his to the estate’s entrance, his movement compromised by the four arms dedicated to carrying Sol. Her power was getting critical, but it was OK now.
She was safe.
The spider placed Sol down on the doorway. There she spotted a welcome mat made of spun and knitted silk, the words embroidered into it unknown to her. The spider opened the steel door; it looked like a dark green bulkhead door to a ship. The door groaned and shrieked upon being opened, possibly a security measure to alert of intruders. It seemed the spider liked being alone. The spider picked up Sol and scurried through the rooms, too quickly for Sol to process. It stopped in a room with a workbench, the floors creaked and groaned as the spider walked. The room was lined with spun silk in a stripe pattern, the floors were lined with mushroom wood. It got to the bench and gently placed Sol down where it began unpeeling the raw silk that she was wrapped in, like a present. Sol heard a click and saw a light splay onto her. The Spider dumped the silk to the floor to inspect its precious find.
Power: 46/92 QC
Sol looked like a curved and elegant manikin head, where the sharp details of the brow, eyes, mouth, and jaw were all subdued and smooth. Her mouth was smoothed over, with no raised features. The pits of her eyes were pale aquamarine lights. She had the appearance of her skull being made up of layers of filigree. The phthalo blue steel was matte from the dust of ground-up rock of the mining detonation. The bottom of her skull, where the neck should have been, were raw cables, glowing blue. The spider got to work. It grabbed a silk rag, oil, and began to polish her. It used a soft pick to get inside the filigree to remove stubborn stone flakes. The spider absently chittered a tune as it worked, it’s red eyes were staring with intense concentration. The spider put down the rag, turning Sol to check it’s work. It looked at her and gave that same smile again with a coughing chitter.
Power: 21/92 QC
“Thank you,” Sol said. She felt better. Clean. And low on power.
The spider again picked up Sol and scurried through the house, with Sol unable to see much except the ceiling. The spider climbed up a long flight of groaning stairs along the inside of the silk sphere to the third floor. It entered a room and gently placed Sol on an empty pedestal. THat answered her question on what the spider intended to do. She was in amazement over the trophy room. A menagerie collection of items. Rare metal bars, jewelry, powered down tech, weapons, a Tachodine Nacelle-
“A nacelle!” Sol exclaimed. This was what she needed to get repairs.
The spider stopped and looked at her with curiosity. Sol began to focus.
Her right eye shined, a blue laser emitted, lighting up the nacelle. The spider jumped back at the sudden feedback of light.
Power: 5/92 QC
It looked to Sol.
Then to the nacelle.
Back to Sol.
Then to the nacelle.
The spider formed a big grin on its face as it picked up the nacelle and placed it next to Sol, patting her gently on the head. It scurried out the door and left. She heard stairs creaking and groaning as it went further up.
She surveyed what she could of the room, seeing many different treasures and trophies along the walls. They all told different tales of their compilations. A golden bar, A strange energy weapon, a plain curved blade, a necklace of coins. All created more questions and no answers. Right now, these things excited her. It was because each new question meant that she wasn’t trapped under the earth, her tomb was long absent. The answer to her biggest question.
Who would rescue me?
She couldn’t see the nacelle as it stood just off to her side. She could feel it nestled against her skull. She knew instinctively the nacelle was good; it was something she needed.
At least I’m closer now, Sol thought as she began to power down; her internal cranial nacelle drained.
The last thing she heard was a soft humming in the background. Someone or something was singing.
Sol Powered Down.
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