Unknown Sci-Fi -- A Web Novel

Chapter 7 - Torment

          Torment stood taller than the forest that flanked three of its sides and interrupted the sunlight entering the office of Mr. Luscious. The training course was daunting for all the recruits and especially those new to the Defenders ranks. The terrain was composed of all the different environments except for the Arctic which was never finished. Mr. Luscious had made the decision to keep the cooling systems offline due to the limited oil resources and the fact that no conflicts or threats had been waged in the Arctic region. The parameter of Torment was protected by a six foot wall with burning flames providing an additional defensive layer several feet in front of the edge of the woods. The final defensive measure were twelve foot wooden posts driven flush into the ground at the edge of the woods. The fencing and other defensive measures were only installed after Mr. Luscious brought in arachnoid's because the UCCS deemed them a critical threat. Their quick rise on the critical threat index happened almost overnight as their sightings went from very seldom to attacking outlying small group towns.

          The capture of four young arachnoid's were the talk of Torment. Mr. Luscious and his top leaders devised an environment cage system so they could analyze them as they grew to full size. The UCCS wanted as much information so they could understand their strengths and weaknesses to better combat and ultimately exterminate them. The environment construction finished with no time to spare as the arachnoid's arrived one per large crate. The transport Infantry unit warned Mr. Luscious to be cautious when transferring them into their cages. Two of the Infantry lost a limb when the young arachnoid's sunk their pincers in and sliced clean through the bones. The limbs were enough to keep them occupied while they were tranquilized and safely crated.

          The transition of each arachnoid to their own cage went smoothly as they were tranquilized per the suggestion of the transportation Infantry unit. The following days of observation were not exciting as the arachnoid's remained stationary and appeared to be dead. Mr. Luscious had them fed bloodied legs of pigs and cows in hopes to get some response. Again this failed to illicit a response and the frustration levels began to boil over. Mr. Luscious and his Leadership team agreed to let the arachnoid's eat in peace but left the camera's recording for them to review in the morning. The next day came with Mr. Luscious and his Leadership team gawking at the enclosures as each were filled solid with a grayish white webbing that blocked the view of the arachnoid's.

          The designated volunteers to maintain the arachnoid's on a daily bases had no training as there was nothing known about them. This fact plus the addition of a webbing so dense they couldn't see into the enclosure caused fear amongst the handlers. Mr. Luscious seemed to feel that their razor sharp pincers and overall fearsome look was more accurate. Regardless of the reasons the arachnoid's needed to be extracted and put into a more feasible venue for monitoring. Their were many discussions on the proper approach of removing the webbing while keeping the arachnoid's safe but all of them resulted in the handlers being in danger of being attacked. The Engineering Infantry unit designed a shield that sat on the ground and had metal reinforced gloves that allowed the handlers to do their work while remaining safe behind the barrier. As an additional defensive measure an Infantry flamethrower unit was ready to burn the arachnoid's if they escaped the containment. The plans were set and the removal of the webbing began. After a few tense minutes the first cage was cleaned but no arachnoid was found. Upon closer review the bottom of the enclosure had been ripped apart and was the escape route. The anxiety level was high as they quickly moved through the other three enclosures to find each had a similar ripped floor. Torment went on an immediate high alert as a massive search ensued looking for the arachnoid's. The only trace that the Infantry could locate were raised earthen tunnels starting from under the enclosures and into the nearby woods.