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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Steampunk · #2289304
Written for STAG January 2023 contest
I stand in the west clock tower looking down on New City. That is what the builders called it when they rebuilt after the Great Earthquake. The Great Earthquake was caused when they destroyed my father's wonderful new steam-powered underground transportation system. It would have revolutionized every mode of transportation in the city or on the planet. Papa said it could even take us to the stars.

They destroyed it. They destroyed it out of their own fear and greed. They knew that once it was put into full operation, it would make their airships obsolete. They knew that it would allow every human being on the planet to travel anywhere in the world quickly, easily, and cheaply. No more charging outrageous prices to carry people and goods anywhere on the planet.

Now, I, the only surviving member of my family, would avenge the deaths of my family and the destruction of my father's wonderful contraption. An obscene contraption was what they called it when my father introduced it to them. They said it went against the laws of nature to use steam to burrow holes in the planet, just to transport people underground.

I am not sure how they destroyed my father's marvelous invention. All I know is that they destroyed it on its first test run. They destroyed it and caused the earthquake that destroyed the town and buried my family under tons of stone and dirt. They destroyed it because they were terrified of losing their livelihood. Now it is my turn to show them what true terror is.

It has taken me years to perfect the eight-legged arachnids that are now crawling through New City. Infesting every home and business from the lowest basement to the highest tower. My clockwork arachnids are crawling through the airships and gondolas. They are casting their sticky webs across every living and nonliving thing in the city and the surrounding countryside.

Soon I will be in complete control of this section of the planet. Once I am in control here, I will send my army of spiders across the Earth. I will capture one nation at a time until I have conquered every nation in the world. At that time, I will give them a choice. They can either declare me Emperor or remain imprisoned in my clockwork spiders' webs for eternity.


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