SIM:Henk the Spider: Encountering Henk

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Characters

Kevin Breeman, Henk the Spider


Summary

Lt. Kevin Breeman is startled by the giant arachnoid robotic spider Henk


Sim

((Science Labs - USS Independence-A))

((OOC: This takes place sometime after Kevin's meeting with Cody and before his meeting with Ralik. So, early in the mission.))

:: Kevin was about to leave the laboratory for the library when he felt something weigh down on his right shoulder. It felt almost as though someone had landed a hand on him, trying to get his attention and so he turned.

No one was there. The weight was still there. Looking down at his shoulder he shrieked and instinctively brushed his hand at the awful thing that sat there. It was a horrible black spider about the size of a human hand. As Kevin's own hand brushed at the creature's leg's every nerve in his body was causing his skin to crawl and he shuddered as he made contact with the hairy appendages.::

:: As the thing fell to the floor Kevin thought he heard a quiet voice.::

Spider: That's what you get for being a spider. Everybody either wants to stomp on you or brush you off. Pheh!

:: Kevin cocked his head. Had the creature just spoken? To the best of his knowledge there were no species of spider that could speak.::

Spider: Every time I try to talk to someone is "Aah!" this or "Shoe!" that. Well fine then! Be that way. I'll just crawl off into a corner and die.. See if I care. ::Mumblemumble::

Breeman: Wait! Wait a minute. Just.... just wait. Just just... wait and.... what... wait

:: He was still shuddering, and when the spider began to move again he jumped back.::

Breeman: Who are you?

Spider: My name's Henk. I'm a standard science probe robot.

:: He thought about it for a moment. Could he trust this spider? Was he really trying to make Kevin calm down so he could craw on him and on his face and head and... Kevin's hands shook and he drew them close to himself to protect them from being further profaned by the nasty eight-legged abomination of nature.::

oO Get a grip on yourself man! It's just a spider!Oo

:: Yes, but it was a huge spider. And a hairy one. And it had big black eyes. And pinchers at its mouth. And...and...::

:: The spider began to crawl toward Kevin.::

Henk: Are you going to step on me?

Breeman: I promise I won't step on you. Just don't.... land on me like that.

Henk: That's a neat trick though, eh? Replicated real spider silk!

:: Oh God, it was a Canadian spider too.::

Breeman: Look. I ... uh...

:: This was a very strange situation. Here he was trying to be polite to the object of one of his longest standing childhood phobias.::

Henk: Just spit it out man. ::The spider crawled closer and Kevin stepped back.::

Breeman: I have to go the library. Bye!

:: He beat a hasty retreat from the science lab, vowing never to go in there again.::

((Library - USS Independence-A))

:: Kevin stepped into the library, trying to keep himself from thinking about the spider. He'd already called Ralik just for the sake of keeping his mind occupied. But he still felt the ghostly after effect of crawling skin.

Librarian: Response?

Breeman: Uh yes, I'm wondering if you had anything here pertaining to 22nd century mining operations, particularly their interactions with geological and seismic forces.

Librarian: Response?

Breeman: Understood.

((OOC: Okay, Cmdr. Rogers. Any ideas? Feel free to backsim here.))

:: As he browsed through the texts to which the librarian had directed him, Kevin thought he saw something move in the corner of his eye. And then there was a familiar voice.::

Henk: These replica books are a nice read! Take a look at page 342 in that one over there.

:: Kevin started to shriek as he saw the spider on the desk beside his right arm, pointing at one of the books with his leg. He cupped his hand over his mouth and said, still covering his mouth slightly::

Breeman: What are you doing here????

Henk: I help out here in the library too. I'm a great physical database maintenance machine, you know. See watch.

:: The monster crawled toward the book Kevin was holding on the desk and Kevin let it go and stood up.::

oO This is ridiculous. You're afraid of an eight-legged hand-held robot. Oo

:: The spider put one of his legs down inside the page to keep Kevin's place in the book and then closed it with two of his other feet. Then he grasped the top of the closed book as though he were a hand and began slowly to rise. Kevin looked up and could see distinctly a shimmering cord stretching partially visible all the way up to the ceiling. On reaching the ceiling himself the spider spun rapidly until the book had a strip of white silk around it. Then he crawled, book hanging from its spinneret and over the edge of his abdomen, all the way over to the shelf from whence the book had come and, lowering himself down, pressed the book back into its place.::

Henk: Tada. I'll bring it back.

:: The spider brought the book back and said,::

Henk: Look, I can see you're still getting used to me. Why don't I leave you alone for a while and then I'll come by and pay you a visit later, okay?

:: Kevin had to admit that the spider had been rather helpful, as he had open the other book to page 342 and was eying soemthing that looked very much like a colony of Desperot's description.::

Breeman: Okay. I mean no disrespect. This will just take....time....

:: He breathed a sigh of relief as Henk crawled away. He could hear him off in the distance saying,::

Henk: Slow day today?

Librarian: Response?

TAGS (to the heretofore unknown librarian)

Lt. Jg Kevin Breeman Chief of Science USS Independence-A

and

Henk the Robotic Aracnoid Science Dapertment Probe as simmed by the same


Commentary

I decided to give Lt. Breeman arachnophobia if only to explore my own arachnophobia. So these sims about him and the phobia are in a sense my own way of trying to do away with it in myself.

Henk's initial reaction was designed to personify the phobic object - put a face on it. If you like, you can treat it as a kind of examination of the need to get to know something you're afraid of instead of vilifying it. We know well from history that such vilifications are rarely a wise course of action.

I've also dropped some subtle humour into this sim. For example, when Kevin wonders if he can trust the spider and fears that he will crawl on him (a fear which I myself have had on occasion about spiders) he is ignoring the fact that it is often very difficult to get a spider to crawl on one's self. Believe me, as I've written these Henk sims, I've tried to get the spiders in my own house to crawl on my hands and they have tended to avoid me rather than climb onto my fingers. Granted perhaps larger spiders the size of Henk would be more likely to crawl on people.


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