Eight Legged Monster

The lab Artemis had spent so long perfecting was utterly trashed. Years upon years of flowcharts, perfecting organization formulas, creating a new barcode system, developing specialized robots....all ruined in the span of 60 minutes.

At least he had help putting it back together.

The glass of the shattered beakers piled up in the center of the chemistry lab, being swept there by Artemis and The Missus. The duo was debating if it was worth melting all of the broken glass down to re-use, otherwise one of them would have to make a trip down to the old storerooms to fetch new beakers....and doing that would require battling the mutant German roaches that lived there.

"I could always whip up some pheromones, they'd leave me alone long enough to grab a few crates of beakers and test tubes" Artemis commented, sweeping more glass into the pile.

"They're susceptible to fire, you could just take the flamethrower down there" The Missus replied.

"I'd rather re-use the glass we have now, the manufacturing plant still sort of works, but the AI is so damned lazy....."

The Missus giggled "I could always sweet talk him into it, damned fool will do anything for a mech with XX Hardware"

Artemis put his arm around his wife "That snark is why I love you so much" he said affectionately.


The ship shuddered.

"Oh, what the hell does this mean" Artemis said, grabbing his new flamethrower from the workbench.

The door to the main corridor was pried open, a heavily damaged mech walked through. The hulking wreck was slowly pulling itself together, tiny arms and fibers latching onto broken components and pulling them back into place.

"Son of a bitch, we fucking killed you!" Artemis yelled, drawing the flamethrower. Before he could fire, the mech, recognizing the instrument of its past demise, slapped it away using its good arm. Before it could grab Artemis, it was blasted back by a red hot sabot round, tearing off its good arm and sending it back into the corridor.

Artemis spun around to see the Missus struggling to hold up the modified rivet gun. She tossed it aside, grabbed Artemis by one of his monitors, and dragged him out of the room.

"Who the hell made that damned thing?! Not even my best adaptive mechs were able to bounce back from total destruction! ARG! If I still had some of those mechs maybe we wouldn't be in this trouble!" Artemis yelled.

The duo slipped into the surgery lab, and hid behind the automated surgery robot.

"The auto-doc....this gives me an idea...." The Missus opened the control terminal and loaded the "unwilling patient" subroutine. She Artemis' ID tag out of his storage "pocket" and stuck it in his hand.

"Hold onto this and sit on the table" The Missus ordered.

The auto-doc scanned Artemis as he sat down. It recognized the chip in his ID and went back into standby, scanning the room for other patients.

The mech lumbered into the room, scanning it with a tracking beam. It caught Artemis, sitting on the table whistling a tune, and drew its weapon with its recently re-attached arm. The auto-doc locked onto the mech and grabbed onto it.

"Shit!" Artemis swore, hopping off the table as the mech was restrained.

"Performing vivisection" The auto-doc reported, tearing the mech apart with surgical precision.

"Hah! Brilliant" Artemis said to the Missus as the auto-doc pieced out the mech. Within seconds, however, the auto-doc was overcome by the micro-components of the mech. The auto-doc was torn apart and cannibalized into the broken mech. The mech now possessed eight arms with surgical tools, after ejecting its broken legs, it climbed into the vent with spider-like agility and vanished.

"Oh, fuck".

ISL Control Room

"Hello? Damnit....Hello, anyone there? Fuck!" Artemis cycled stations on the ship, trying to get in contact with the others. He finally gave up and called all stations.

"To anyone that's still alive, this is Artemis, these mechs have the ability to reconstruct themselves after being destroyed, they also seem to be able to cannibalize foreign components....be careful"

Artemis loaded up with his flamethrower and a motion tracker (regularly used to track missing experiments through the ship).

"I really think I should be the one to go after this thing, I'm built to take more punishment than you" The Missus said.

"It's not that I don't think you can handle it, but out of the two of us, you're better at manipulating ship systems, so I'd rather have you hear guiding me. Besides, if I can't stop this thing somebody has to protect the kids" Artemis replied.

The Missus sighed. "Alright Artie, just come back alive, alright?"

Artemis grabbed something off his desk. "This is a military grade hyperwave beacon, I used these back at Charon to track experiments in their habitats. You should be able to track my movements with it, anywhere on the ship or science forbid, anywhere in the surrounding space" With a flick of the switch the beacon began transmitting, Artemis stored it in his 'pocket'.

"Alright, I'll try to lure it to an airlock, let's space this bastard"

Primary Access Corridor

The motion tracker popped with each sweep, there was no movement around Artemis....at least within range.

"I've got nothing on my end, do you see anything on the cameras?" Artemis reported.

"No, not yet, the cameras are still screwed up from the EMP though" The Missus replied.

The tracker pinged softly.

"Wait, there it is" Artemis drew the flamethrower, the soft blue glow from the tip casting an eerie glow on his surroundings.

Artemis approached the signal, it was weak and stationary, but was enough to trigger the tracker. The signal was coming from a nearby storage center that bordered Artemis and Phil's labs.

Artemis entered the room, keeping the flamethrower pointed in the direction of the signal. Artemis rushed around the corner towards the source, finding a robot doll placed on a crate, marching in a circle.

"Robotic toy in a science facility? That's the most obvious trap ever" Artemis said, burning the doll and the crate.

The motion tracker kept pinging, the signal coming from right behind him. "Oh shit...."

The mech lept out of the darkness at Artemis, who dropped out of the way just in time. The mech fell into the fire, it scurried up a wall, hot red and on fire. The mechGrabbed onto the ceiling scaffolding using its original two arms, and spun its eight new legs around like a saw. It rushed at Artemis, who turned and raced away.

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU!" he yelled, shooting flame at it in a last ditch effort to melt it.

Artemis reached the end of the room, and was pounced upon by the mech, who pinned him to the floor. The mech drew its weapon and prepared to "goo" Artemis.

"WAIT!" Artemis yelled, the mech hesitated. "Firstly, thank you ever so much for completely destroying my lab and trying to kill my wife and colleagues. It's going to take weeks to get it back together, as if I didn't have enough distractions from my experiments. Secondly, fuck you, fuck the portal you came in on and the machine that created said portal, fuck your constructor, fuck your constructor's wife and kids, fuck your stupid 1970's horror movie aesthetic, and fuck whatever mission you're on. If I ever get my hands on the materials to build a quantum bomb, I'm gonna fucking bury you"

The mech put its hand over its 'mouth' and 'blushed' at the obscenities.

"Also...." Artemis 'spat' oil on the mech. "....fuck you for wrecking that auto-doc, that thing was as close to a best man as we had at my wedding you dick!"

The mech aimed its weapon at Artemis and fired.....


Sorry if anyone was offended by that rant but I've had that in mind since the mechs showed up and it would be a crime if I didn't include it : )

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