The Mine

“That’s strange, he’s not here.” Griffin mumbled.

“Who’s not here boy?” Coffer asked.

Griffin Kerry shook his head. “This is where Harold went down. I thought for sure his body would be here. We saw the spiders mob him and he went down.”

Coffer scratched his chin. “That would be a terrifying sight, I can’t say I’ve ever seen them attack as a group like that. Even the last time Drake and I came down here, they only came at us one or two at a time.”

“Then you’ve never seen what that much venom would do to a man?” Jake asked.

“No, I can’t say I do. The venom doesn’t kill a man, it just make it harder to see the spiders.” Coffer answered.

Jake thought for a moment. “Hmm. It is an opiate so maybe Harold fell into a stupor from the bites. Except it’s a very long lasting opiate so that stupor could last a very long time. Look ho! Harold’s boot prints, and they’re walking toward the spider’s den! Even drugged, why the douce would he go back in there?”

“There’s something unsettling about it alright.” Proclaimed Griffin, “I fear it may be why Drake hasn’t emerged from this tunnel but it does lend something to the hope that he’s still alive down here.”

“Explain your meaning Mr. Kerry. What does this tell you about my father?” Emily asked.

“Well, if your father ran into the mob of spiders like we did, he may have been bitten.” Griffin started but was interrupted.

“But Drake was never effected by the spider’s bites!” Coffer argued.

“Even still, you said yourself that you’ve never seen anyone bitten so many times. If Harold was drawn deeper into the mine by the fiends then so may have Drake. We may find the both of them still down here. I just hope that somehow they’ve found some small stream of water in the depths to sustain themselves.” Griffin said.

He positioned the next mirror, shining the light down the tunnel. A spider scurried away, fleeing the brightness.  They advanced and came to the chalk markings that Drake had made on the stone. Coffer and Emily could see the web as it truly was. Griffin listened for signs of the Jackal Spiders. “There are at least three I can hear on the other side of the web, probably more. They aren’t massed like before.” he whispered. They positioned the last mirror, pointing it at the web.

“Move to the far side of the mirror so you’re not blocking the light.” Emily commanded. “Are we all in position? I’m starting up the cutter.”The soda engine gurgled and it’s focusing arc lamp gave of a brilliant bright blue light. Then it began to scream as it came to life. The force of it was something unbelievable as it’s steam blade cut through the webs that would resist any material edge. Despite the mirror a spider leapt from behind the now rent curtain but Emily intercepted it with the cutter’s stream and it’s insides were messily projected against the far wall. Emily jumped back, anticipating more spiders but none emerged. Coffer tapped her on the shoulder, signaling her to shut down the cutter.

“We don’t want to waste the juice in the cutter.” He said as the scream quieted. He kept his pistol on the entrance and Griffin stood ready with his gun.

“I don’t hear anymore in there, maybe they’ve retreated?” Griffin said cautiously.

“We only have seven more minutes before my elixir wears off and they’ll smell us.” Jake urged.

“Well then, let’s not delay.” Emily said as she stepped through the spiderweb.

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