Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and Hanna-Barbera characters are the property of their original owners.
Observe the little yellowish-tan spider down there crawling across the soil, pebbles, and other parts of the desert floor in the middle of the night. Known as Loxosceles deserta,
or more simply as the desert recluse spider, millions of years of evolution superbly adapted this tiny arachnid for life in a waterless region.
It really was a pity that evolution couldn’t do anything about the rapidly descending boot heel which stomped the spider into a damp smear on the dry ground.
Lifting his head, Spike the vampire smirked at the military base below the squat hill where he was standing, with the whole place there seemingly fast asleep at this late hour. Surrounded by the barren, treeless landscape, this compound was surely going to be easy to break into and then complete his murderous task. *Well, might as well get on with it.*
Strolling downhill, Spike headed towards what looked like a warehouse behind the protective chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. No reason to let any possible sentries around lay eyes on him right off. He’d jump the fence, investigate the building on the remote chance his quarry was in there, and then start searching elsewhere if that didn’t pan out.
Since the amount of money offered was good, plus he’d been feeling a bit bored when some mysterious villain had contacted him, Spike didn’t particularly care why
he was supposed to murder some big-brain scientist located tonight in the base. He’d been shown a picture to help him to recognize Dr. Benton Quest without any trouble, and also another photograph, which looked like some sort of family group with this same man and a few more people. Remembering it, the vampire shrugged. If those others were also there, the bodyguard and the two kiddies, they’d die too, with the little dog kept for an after-dinner mint.
Actually, the only thing which had concerned the English demon had been where
the job was supposed to take place. Even a couple of years after a very humiliating encounter in another desert, Spike kept a wary eye around whenever he had to visit those specific arid environments. Speaking of this, the vampire paused to suspiciously glance to either side, and then over his shoulder to check the rear. Seeing no sign of advancing dust clouds which would indicate he risked getting eaten again, this time by one of those soddin’ worms who’d changed their minds about the taste of his treasured skin, a somewhat reassured Spike continued his journey towards the military base.
Stopping in front of the fence, Spike began to bend his knees in preparation for his leap, only to then freeze solid. He’d felt from the bottoms of his feet a faint vibration in the ground--
The warehouse exploded.
Flinching back from the sudden cloud of flying debris which a moment ago had been an intact building, Spike continued to stand there as he gawked at what was now revealed through the nighttime gloom by his keen sight.
In the middle of the destroyed storage structure, an enormous object made of some kind of black metal now reared itself up. Four lengthy, multi-jointed legs met to support a ten-foot-wide central globe, which then swiveled to stare right with a single bright-red eye at a stunned Spike. For the next few moments, as alarm sirens began to wail throughout the wakened military base, the two unnatural entities regarded each other.
Without any warning at all, the bizarre machine then moved, scuttling on all four limbs directly towards the chain-link fence and Spike behind this. Though, the extraordinary automation was most likely taking the straightest path away from its former location, rather than making an actual attack against the blond demon. This still wasn’t any great comfort to the vampire, who couldn’t tell exactly which of those flailing legs were moving in his direction. Desperately trying to guess which way to dodge, Spike then made a hasty lunge over to where he hoped was the correct spot--
A shadow passed over the undead young man, and as Spike lifted up his face to the sky, the vampire stared in sudden horror at the descending flat plate attached to the end of the extremity which was coming right at his head.Crunch!
An hour after sunset on the following day, a hand broke free from the surface of the soil slumping inwards into the hole where Spike had been driven deep down into the ground, just like a nail briskly hammered into a block of wood. However, nails don’t usually feel like just about every bone in their body was broken, because his
had bloody well been! It’d taken hours for him to fully heal up, and by then, the sun had arisen. Something Spike had painfully found out by a set of scorched fingertips when he’d previously poked his hand in a cautious test upwards through the earth covering him. Having no other alternative, the annoyed demon had to wait for dark to free himself, which was right now.
Grumpily digging himself out, Spike eventually wiped away sand from his eyes, and while looking around, he found at his location numerous tire and tank tracks of these vehicles which had hours before gone after the weird contraption that’d walloped him. Fortunately (for them, that is), nobody was presently in the vicinity to see Spike appear, since the fuming vampire would’ve instantly massacred any witnesses who hadn’t left after viewing the destruction from today’s incredible events. Casting a very evil glance at the military base, Spike stalked off, crossly snarling the decision he’d previously made while stuck in the hole.
“Bugger going after the Quest bloke! Me, I’ll be having instead a pleasant little chat while ripping off their arms and legs with the pillocks who sent me here! Like they couldn’t have said anytime before, ‘Spike, laddie, when you’re doing the job, look out for the big robot spider who might step on you!”
Author’s Note: When the 1960’s Jonny Quest
tv cartoon show ran its credits, among the most iconic images for me was how the giant mechanical spider easily shrugged off direct hits by tank and bazooka shells. A single vampire wouldn’t have lasted long against that thing, you have to admit.