Posted in Standalones
May 16, 2018


Man-Spider stretched her web across the branches of a tree. It was boring work but the powers she had inadvertently gained by biting a radioactive human didn’t obviate the need to eat. The powers weren’t even that great. They were things like the ability to brood introspectively and to decry injustices. It wasn’t right for a spider to be so self-aware. It made life more difficult.


As she sat on her web, waiting for her dinner, she spotted an insect she recognized. Man-Ant had once done some work for a human who had the ability to shrink himself down to insect size. That human had accidentally shrunk the shrinking device and Man-Ant claimed it for herself. She could now shrink to the size of a microbe which, of course, is a useless talent.


As Man-Spider watched Man-Ant, she saw her suddenly disappear. Looking around, she quickly spotted the reason. Manbat had landed and was attempting to walk in human fashion though he did so very awkwardly. He was a strange mammal. He was terrified of humans, so he adopted their mannerisms, thinking this would terrify the insects he hunted. Instead, this only gave them a greater chance of escaping. The bat was a mostly harmless creature, but he was annoying.


“Hey! Is that a human coming!” Man-Spider yelled. Manbat flapped his wings furiously and flew away in a panic. Man-Spider had only a brief moment of self-congratulation before Man-Ant suddenly grew to full size on a branch near the web. How she was able to move so quickly while microscopic was a mystery that had bothered Man-Spider for a long time.


“Thanks,” the ant said. “I was looking for you. I need your help. My colony is under attack from a vicious anteater.”


“Why would I help with that?” Man-Spider asked. “I’m no friend of ants. I eat you guys too.”


“You have to help! You have powers. You’re the only one that can,” Man-Ant explained desperately. “Besides, the anteater doesn’t belong here. If it’s allowed to stay, it will eat all the insects in the grove.”


“Fine,” Man-Spider said. “I’ll come look and see if there’s anything I can do. Don’t expect much though. Like my uncle used to say before my aunt ate him, ‘With a little power, comes a little responsibility.'”

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