Author : George R. Shirer

Adam woke, as usual, with a headache and a weird taste in his mouth. There was a woman by his bed, wearing a prim white nurse’s uniform.

“Good morning,” she said.

“Good morning.”

His eyes rolled past her, taking in the familiar institutional green walls of the room. This time, there was no window. The door behind her was open, revealing a green-walled hallway.

“How do you feel?” asked the nurse.

“Fine. Considering.”

Adam sat up, swung his legs over the bedside. Too late, he realized he was naked. Blushing, he grabbed the blanket and pulled it over him.

The nurse was looking away.

“Sorry about that.”

“It’s all right,” she said.

“Why did you wake me?”

“The usual reason.”


She gave him a gray boilersuit and some boots to wear. He pulled them on, while she stood with her back to him, humming a funny melody.

“I’m dressed,” he said. “You can turn around.”

She did and presented him with a rolled up sheaf of pages.

“Where?” he asked.

“The bath at the end of the hall,” said the nurse.

He nodded and set out to perform his duty, the duty womenkind brought him out of cryo at least once every five years to perform.

The spider was about the size of a kitten, an ugly purple thing with a luminous red hourglass on its back. It hissed at him when he approached. He didn’t use the paper, just kicked it to death with his boots.

Adam remained awake for about a day. It took them that long to get the cryo-machine ready. Meanwhile, he discovered womankind had moved underground because of some sort of war. When the machine was ready, Adam stripped down and slid into the tube, grateful to sink back into dreamless, dark sleep.

The nurse was the last to leave the chamber. She locked the heavy doors herself and pocketed the key, grateful that the Spider Killer would sleep until they needed him again.

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