Bricking It

It was always fun to play in the forest, and now they had paintball guns it was better than ever. Running through the trees and crawling through bush, they were warriors with semi-deadly weapons, each ready to kill or be killed.

Hiding in tree holes and ditches was also fun, getting to know the bugs and spiders, picking their legs off, one by one. There was a tipping point though, and you could only wait for so long. If nobody was available to ambush, then they were probably creeping up to ambush you themselves.

“What about that pile over there?” shouted Sami. “Let’s take a look.” It would make a good fort. However as they approached it, they saw that it wasn’t a wood pile, but a squat brick building, ten feet square, completely enclosed with no obvious entry point. Vegetation around it was disturbed and some trees were smashed. It looked like it hadn’t been there too long. Who had built it, and how?

Sami did a full reconnaissance. There was no door, no windows, no chimney, and no drains. No warning signs either. The building’s only notable features were eight brick buttresses – one at each corner, and one at the centre of each side. He’d seen such features when visiting French cathedrals.

Boys with guns and anonymous buildings, it was a good combination, and there was only one thing to do. The building became their official target.

They made a range on every side. There was a swamp range, shooting uphill through rushes; a mountain range, firing downhill through roots; an east range, aiming through tree trunks; a west range, blasting across flat, rocky ground. They agreed to have a shooting match each day, with teams moving around the ranges.

Four teams of two were established and given different coloured pellets. They counted out one hundred pellets per person. At the end of four days, the differently coloured hits would be counted and the winners declared. If people were caught in cross fire, so much the better!

Sami and Jonah were blue brothers in arms. As they started shooting, they heard noises within. “There must be some machinery inside,” said Sami. Should we stop?”

“No way”” said Jonah, and they continued firing with a pretty good hit rate.

On the third day, when the building had been hit exactly 1,028 times, it suddenly rose up and the buttress roots emerged from the ground. The android spider had been very patient, but every creature has its limits. 1,028 hits, coming from all directions, were a sure sign of attack, and it was programmed to defend itself. It squashed one fleeing humanoid with each armoured leg, and fed them into its underside. It had been resting for too long and was feeling damp and kind of rusty. Their fats would provide good lubrication.

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