octopede

Peter Parker Imagine #3

“What are you waiting for?” Ned asked, nudging Peter forward with his arm.”Go and talk to them.”

“Are you kidding me? No.” Peter whispered back harshly.

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

“They hear me talk.” Peter asnwered, making Ned roll his eyes dramatically.

Ignoring his friends’ worries, Ned calls out to the one person who had caught Peter’s attention all night. “Hey (Y/N)!”

Seeing them respond to Ned’s call with a grand smile and a wave made Peter’s heart flutter and palms go clammy.

“Play it cool Peter, play it cool.” He repeated under his breath like a small mantra as he saw them approach him.

“Hey guys.” They spoke a bit loudly over the loud music playing in the background. “Enjoying the party?”

“I like octopedes.” Peter blurted out, effectively silencing both members in their little circle. He closed his eyes and exhaled when he saw them look over to Ned as if seeking for an explanation.

“Umm… oh, look, someone is calling me! I should probably go.” They excused themselves, giving a tight smile to Ned and a wary look to Peter before attending a group of people who had in fact not called anyone.

“Dude.” Ned spoke in disbelief. “You had one job.”

“I know.” Peter groaned, leaning his head back against  the pillar. “It’s just so hard when they’re around. It’s like I can’t think.”

“Clearly.” Ned said, raising his brows high before taking a sip from his drink.

Peter looked over in their direction, watching them laugh and chat with everyone else so seamlessly and wondered how long it will take before he could do the same.

Jack in the Box

Arjan considered the hill at the end of the wooded valley, and wondered if he was going to die this day. 

The hill was irregular and topped with some scraggly metal ruins. The ruins themselves were alien, but unremarkable. Most of this world had been covered in similar ones, when the colony ship had arrived. Much still was.

The ruins were stanzas of an epic tragedy written across the planet’s very soil: mile after mile of devastated cityscape, overgrown, weed-choked, blasted and desolate. When Arjan’s grandfather had set out from Earth, frozen in hypersleep, this planet had barely developed steam power. By the time they arrived, centuries later, the creatures who built this civilization were long gone, victims of a catastrophe Arjan’s colleagues at the University were only just beginning to understand.

Now, the colony was expanding. And expansion meant roads. And this is where the hill came in: it was in the way. It blocked the proposed Leotis-Kola high-speed route.

Except it wasn’t a hill, at all. Arjan’s surveys discovered the ruins on top were just part of a very complicated structure underneath. It was dense metal, quite probably some sort of machine. It seemed to have eight legs and a thick armor carapace. It must have been some sort of octopedal tank. Somehow it had been half-buried here when the cataclysm overtook this world, and lain silent for centuries.

It couldn’t possibly still be active, Arjan thought, as the engineers’ lasers began to cut.