Chapter 5 - Web of the Iron Spider
Richard laughed as he closed the door to the bathroom, leaving the rest of his family in the living room of their cabin in the woods. As he did his business, he could hear the sounds of his family enjoying themselves outside.
Finishing his business, Richard flushed the toilet and started washing his hands.
Suddenly, the lights in the bathroom went out. Muffled sounds could be heard for a few seconds before the silence settled in.
"Guys? Honey?" Richard called out, "What's going on?"
Richard flicked the light switch a few times, but to no avail. Luckily, the moonlight allowed him to finish washing his hands.
Richard stepped out of the bathroom and peered out into the darkness. He called out again, "Hello? Guys?"
Richard made his way into the living room, where he had left his family. What awaited him there caused him to stare in shock. There was now a huge web on the wall of the living room and his wife and three kids were struggling to get free from the web cocoons that they were trapped in.
A female voice, full of sultry evil, called out to him, "Hello dear."
Richard looked at the source of the voice.
Standing by the window stood a figure. The moonlight from outside reflected off her metal armour. The figure stared at Richard from behind her helmet, which had two red eyes where one would normally find eyes; but it also had three more smaller eyes above each of the two main eyes lined up in a single line, leading to a total of eight eyes. Long, black hair flowed out from the helmet. On the figure's back were four metallic poles, which stuck up, but then folded down, bending as if they were the legs of a spider.
To Richard, the figure looked like a metallic, humanoid spider.
Stepping towards Richard, the figure, in a sadistic tone, said, "Why don't you come over and join your family?"
David opened his eyes.
The first thing that he noticed was the pain and soreness echoing throughout his body. The second thing was that he was in a hospital bed.
As David struggled to get up a little, he noticed the third thing, which was that Sasha was sleeping on the chair next to the bed and that the top half of her resting body was on the bed.
As soon as David saw Sasha, he tried to gently lay himself back down, so as not to disturb Sasha's sleep.
But, it was too late. Sasha woke up and saw David. "David! You're awake!"
"Hi, Sasha," David said, weakly.
Sasha helped David sit up.
David looked outside and saw that it was night. "What time is it?"
"Around 5 in the morning," Sasha replied, "You've been asleep for almost half a day."
"What happened? Are the others alright?"
"Well, you fainted after defeating Iron Elephant. The paramedics arrived not long after that and we got all the injured to this hospital. We didn't want to risk using the infirmary back at the headquarters, in case the damage was too severe. Despite that through, Courtney is fixing up your exosuit right now in her lab back at the headquarters..."
Sasha continued, "After the doctor checked you over and bandaged you up, Emma went home to take care of her sister, and the Captain had to go to an emergency meeting with the mayor and the police commissioner."
David hesitated before asking the next question, "How many were hurt in the attack."
Reluctantly, Sasha answered, "23 people were injured, and 6 died. ... Thomas was one of them."
Tears began to well up in Sasha's eyes, but she tried to hold them back.
Sasha blinked, "Wh-What?"
"Just cry," David repeated.
Unable to hold it back any longer, Sasha started crying, with David there to comfort her.
As Sasha finished crying, Emma opened the door to David's hospital room, "Sasha?"
Sasha wiped away her tears and managed to sob out, "Y-Yes?"
"There's an emergency, the Captain is outside."
Sasha stood up, "I-I'll go out right now. I hope you get better soon, David."
"Thanks, Sasha," David replied.
Sasha left the room.
Emma gave David a smile, "Good to see that you're up, sir."
"Thanks, Emma," David returned a smile as Emma left the room, "And don't call me 'sir'."
Outside, the Captain was waiting for them.
"What's the emergency?" Sasha asked.
"We have a hostage situation. One of the generals of the Iron Legion is holding a family hostage in a cabin in the woods," the Captain replied, "And she's asking for Justice Knight."
Sasha's eyes opened wide. It was most definitely a trap, but what did this mean? Was the Iron Legion planning on using this opportunity to kill David and destroy the Justice Knight exosuit?
David's voice derailed Sasha's train of thought, "I guess I better suit up then."
Sasha turned to see David leaning against a wall behind her, "David! What are you doing up?"
"Well, if Emma had to come here in the middle of the night, it must be pretty serious. So I got up to see what the emergency was," David struggled and managed to stand upright, "So, what's the plan?"
The Captain pulled out his phone and showed it to Emma, David, and Sasha, "Around three hours ago, at 2:34 AM, this was posted on several video streaming websites."
The video in question finished buffering on the Captain's phone and began playing. A metallic, humanoid spider - a cyborg with spider-like features - appeared on the screen, "Greeting, Internet. I am Iron Spider of the Iron Legion."
Iron Spider walked out of the frame to reveal a family of five struggling in web cocoons hanging on the gigantic web behind her. Iron Spider continued, "As you can see, I have a whole family of hostages wrapped up here. I want Justice Knight to show up here by 7 AM, or else I will start killing them one by one for each hour after that."
The video ended.
Silence hung in the air as the team considered their options.
"You obviously can't go!" Sasha started, "It's a trap!"
"Of course it is," David said, "But I still have to go, or else they'll die."
Sasha started to protested, "But-"
"Look," David interrupted her," We have a little bit more than an hour. I trust that you guys will come up with a plan while I go get the Knight-Former back from Courtney?"
"But, David, you can't just walk into a trap!" Sasha said.
"I'm not," David replied, "I'm trusting my team to come up with a plan to save all of us."
The Captain nodded, "David's right. Sasha, gather what resources you can and start working on a plan right away."
Sasha looked at David and then at the Captain. Reluctantly, she said, "Y-yes, sir."
David got out of the passenger seat of the car, along with Emma and the Captain.
It was a gloomy day, with the sun nary in sight. Light mist surrounded the area, creating a moist feeling in the air.
The Captain had driven the three of them to just outside the woods where the cabin was located.
"Suit up," David said while pressing a button on the Knight-Former. Tiny, blue, metallic squares shot out of the red orb on the Knight-Former and formed the Justice Knight exosuit around David.
"Okay, David," Sasha's voice came through their earphones, "The cameras on the exosuit are online. We can see what you're seeing here in the HQ. How about you, Captain?"
The Captain looked at his phone, "We have visual here as well."
"Good, we're all set up then," Sasha replied.
"Are you feeling alright, David?" the Captain asked. "Can you proceed with the mission?"
"Still sore, but the pain killers are helping," David replied, "I can proceed with the mission."
"Good," the Captain said, "Then commence the mission."
Justice Knight knocked on the cabin's door.
"This... is kind of awkward," David muttered to himself.
"Come in," Iron Spider said from the other side.
Justice Knight walked into the cabin.
Iron Spider was sitting on a gigantic web in the middle of the room. Behind her, the webbed-up hostages were struggling in the web.
"Please," Iron Spider said, "Close the door."
Justice Knight did so. Walking in closer, Justice Knight said, "I'm here, so let them go."
Iron Spider giggled sardonically. "If only it were so easy."
Iron Spider lifted up her left hand, allowing Justice Knight to see that each finger had a thread of webbing tied around it. As Justice Knight traced these threads back, he could see that each of them were connected to one of the hostages. Iron Spider explained, "You see these threads? All I have to do is flick one of my fingers..."
Iron Spider slowly retracted her index finger and Richard yelled in pain. Blood was seeping out from his neck.
Iron Spider continued, "And I can cut off one of their heads."
She extended her finger back out and Richard breathed heavily in relief.
Justice Knight stared in shock.
Iron Spider got off her web and walked up to Justice Knight, "So I wouldn't do anything rash, if I were you."
Justice Knight regained his composure. "And why would I listen to you? You're probably going to kill them no matter what I do. So why don't I just shoot you down right now?"
Iron Spider giggled again, mocking Justice Knight, "Yes, I will probably kill them after I'm done with you. You know that, logically, it would be better to just attack me. However, even so, you just can't bring yourself to do it, can you?"
Iron Spider placed a hand on the left cheek of Justice Knight's face. "You're the type of person that would risk it, even if there was only a one percent chance of me not killing them if you do exactly what I say."
Iron Spider jumped back onto her web, "Who knows? Maybe there is a one percent chance. Maybe if I'm satisfied after I'm through with you, I'll just simply take my leave without hurting anyone else."
Iron Spider placed her hand on Richard's cheek, "Aw, poor baby, did I hurt your neck?"
Suddenly, Iron Spider flicked her right hand at Justice Knight.
A stinger flew out of Iron Spider's wrist and stabbed Justice Knight in the chest.
Justice Knight yelled in pain.
Not skipping a beat, Iron Spider jumped off her web and slashed Justice Knight using her bladed stiletto heel with a dropkick. Then, the spider legs on her back activated, and spears came out of the tips. Quickly, the legs slashed their spears across Justice Knight's chest, causing sparks to fly out of the exosuit as it was damaged.
Justice Knight dropped onto his knees, weak from the assault.
Iron Spider chuckled. Then, she kicked Justice Knight in the chest, stabbing him with the blade at the end of her stiletto heel.
Justice Knight yelled in pain as he was kicked back through the air. He hit the ground hard.
Iron Spider walked over to where Justice Knight laid.
"Looks like this is it," Iron Spider said.
Iron Spider lifted her foot up. Then, she stomped on Justice Knight's chest.
David yelled in pain as the stomp shattered the Justice Knight exosuit into tiny, blue, metallic squares.
The tiny, blue, metallic squares that made up the Justice Knight exosuit fell onto the ground around David.
Iron Spider lifted her foot off David and chuckled, "Don't worry, my dear knight, the next one will end your pain."
David couldn't do anything. He just laid there, breathing heavily. He whole body felt numb and tired from the pain that was pulsing through it.
Iron Spider knelt down. She directed one of her spears to hang just above David's chest and giggled, "Goodbye, Justice Knight."
Just as Iron Spider was about to stab David, Emma suddenly jumped out of the shadows and quickly severed the threads attached to Iron Spider's fingers with her dagger.
Iron Spider turned around in shock, "What-"
Emma slashed Iron Spider across the chest.
Staggering back, Iron Spider screamed in pain.
Emma helped David to his feet.
"I'm in," Emma said into her mic. Then, to David, she said, "Are you alright, sir?"
"I've been better," David groaned, "Thanks for the rescue."
"Here, sir, please take care of the hostages. I will take care of her," Emma handed David her dagger. Then, she lifted up her arm, revealing a water drop shaped device on her wrist with a familiar red orb in the round part of the device. It was a Knight-Former. "Dr. Onodera managed to complete this on time."
Iron Spider recovered from her shock and angrily spatted out, "Who are you?!"
Emma smirked, and then calmly said, "I am the knight who delivers fiery justice."
Then, Emma pressed a button on the Knight-Former on her wrist and commanded, "Suit up."
Tiny, red, metallic squares flew out of the red orb. Then, as if drawn by some magnetic force, the square flew back towards Emma, forming an exosuit around her.
Emma stood, cladded in a red exosuit of similar design to the first Justice Knight exosuit, except that her helmet adorned a huge black heart that covered where the eyes, nose, and mouth were.
The exosuit finished forming and Emma grabbed her pistol with her left hand. Pointing the pistol at Iron Spider, Emma stated her code name, "I am Justice Knight Love."
Justice Knight Love fired her gun at Iron Spider, who quickly jumped out of the way and spun around. With her back towards Love, Iron Spider fired a ball of webbing at the new Justice Knight's pistol. Then, completing her spin, Iron Spider fired a stinger from her wrist at Justice Knight Love as well.
The webbing hit Love's pistol, knocking it out of her hands. Luckily, she managed to dodge the stinger.
Unfortunately, the stinger was headed for one of the escaping hostages, but luckily, David noticed and managed to deflect it with the dagger.
"Hurry!" David yelled to the rest of the hostages as they continued with their escape.
"You ruined my plan!" Iron Spider yelled at Justice Knight Love.
Ignoring the spider, Love pressed a button on the Knight-Former on her wrist and commanded, "Dagger."
Justice Knight Love held out her hand as squares shot out of the Knight-Former. The squares managed to find their way to Love's opened hand and formed a dagger, which she grabbed in a reverse grip. Then, to Iron Spider, she said, "I will kill all of you damn cyborgs, starting with you!"
Justice Knight Love ran towards Iron Spider, pressing a button on the end of the hilt of her dagger as she did so. The blade began to glow.
Love slashed her glowing blade at Iron Spider, who managed to jump out of the way.
"A super-heated blade, I see," Iron Spider commented, "There's no way I'm letting that touch me!"
Iron Spider began to release webbing from her back as she jumped from floor to wall, wall to floor, and back again several times, trying to encase Justice Knight Love in her webbing.
Love tried to cut through the webbing, but soon enough, she found herself trapped.
"Damn you!" Love yelled.
Iron Spider landed on a wall and giggled at her ensnared prey.
"Well, you know what the spider said to the fly!" Iron Spider yelled in excitement as she leaped off the wall, stretching her metal spears and aiming them at the hapless Justice Knight Love.
Struggling, Justice Knight Love managed to reach her Knight-Former. Pressing a button, she spoke the following command, "Fire: Release!"
Suddenly, the Justice Knight Love exosuit was engulfed in flames and the webbing that had encased it began to burn.
When the webbing was loose enough, Justice Knight Love pulled her fist back. Then, as soon as the leaping spider was close enough, Justice Knight Love smashed her flaming fist into Iron Spider's jaw.
As Iron Spider hit the ground and rolled into a crouch, Justice Knight Love sneered at her, "Actually, I have no idea what the spider said, and I don't really care!"
Love, still engulfed in flames, charged at the spider cyborg.
However, Iron Spider was not interested.
"I think it's time that I made my leave," the spider said. She jumped up onto a wall and shot a huge ball of web at the flaming knight.
Justice Knight Love managed to slice the web ball in half with her dagger, only for it to reveal a grenade inside.
The grenade exploded and filled the cabin with smoke.
Justice Knight Love staggered back from the explosion. Luckily, the bomb was more for concealing than for damaging, so she hadn't been hurt badly. She waited inside the smoke, looking and listening for any hint of movement or attack.
However, minutes passed and the smoke subsided without anything happening. Looking around, Justice Knight Love saw that she was in an empty cabin.
Iron Spider had escaped.
"Damn it!" Justice Knight Love yelled in frustration.
David was sitting in the hospital bed again.
Surrounding his bed were Courtney, Sasha, the Captain, and Emma.
"It was fortuitous timing that I had managed to finish the second exosuit when I did," Courtney said.
"Thanks, Courtney," David smiled at the doctor's way of saying that she was happy that David hadn't died.
"I recovered what I could of your exosuit in the cabin. I can't exactly repair it, but I can use it as a base to build you a new exosuit," Courtney said, with a twinkle in her eye, "I will get started on it when I get back to my lab."
"That's good," David said, in a serious tone, "because it looks like we'll be needing it soon."
"For now though," the Captain said to David, "you need to rest up."
"Yes, sir," David said, "Thanks, everyone, for coming to my rescue."
"Of course!" Sasha said, "We're a team!"
"And good job, Emma, for your first time out in the suit," said David.
"Thank you, sir," Emma said. Disgustedly, she added, "I just wish that I hadn't let that spider get away."
"And that's why I had to escape, great leader," Iron Spider said to the Iron Legion's leader, who was sitting on his throne in the shadows. Next to her were two other cyborgs, one with cheetah-like features, and the other with octopus-like features.
"I see," their great leader, the lion cyborg said, "I believe that your assessment of situation was correct. Welcome back, Iron Spider. You have done a good job, all things considered."
"Iron Cheetah, Iron Octopus," the lion addressed the other two cyborgs in the room, "We must strike now, while the veteran Justice Knight has been incapacitated and the new Justice Knight is still inexperienced. How fast can you two prepare the Iron Army?"
A cocky, male voice came out of Iron Cheetah's lips, "In three days, sir."
"Good," the lion said, clearly pleased, "Then, in three days, the invasion shall began!"