It was Winter Solstice on Araknai. A damp dark grim little planet. Located on the furthest edge of the largest star system in the universe. Araknoids were spider-like sentient beings. Not unlike the spiders we see on Earth. Except Araknoids were much larger, and organic beings far more ancient than humans. They had 12 legs, not 8. The additional four legs were prosthetic, and could be controlled at will. These metallic legs had razor sharp edges to them, and Araknoids used them for everything. No one knows when or where Araknoids first started using mechanical legs. Every Araknoid gets his prosthetic legs at birth, surgically implanted into their Sternum. This has been the way since as long as every living Araknoid can remember.
The day an infant Araknoid masters the use of its prosthetic legs is the day for great celebration. It is the proudest moment for any Araknoid parent (Parent as in singular, because Araknoid hatchlings eat their mother at birth). At the beginning of every Winter Solstice, when the last bit of the distant sun’s warmth leaves Araknai; little Araknoids get to show off their mastery of metallic legs in front of the elders. It is the rite of passage for Araknoids, where an infant loses its infancy and assumes responsibility for its actions.
In many ways, the celebration of Winter Solstice also marks the beginning of a new journey for elderly Araknoids. As many of them willingly sacrifice themselves for the great feast. So their young are well fed during the entirety of the festivities.
Krokxzr was restless for the festivities to begin. He had learned to walk on his prosthetics some time ago, and was eager to show the elders what he could do. The precision with which he wielded his prosthetic legs was the stuff of legends. They called him Czarnax after the legendary Araknoid hero Czarn, who had banished the sun to the furthest edge of the universe and brought forth perpetual rain and darkness on Araknai.
Krokxzr eyed his prey with glee. It was a Quadrupedal of Canidae species. Known as “Dogs” in their homeworld. It was an infant which had recently mastered walking, just like Krokxzr. It was cowering in its cocoon made of web, hanging from the grand hall’s ceiling. Krokxzr could smell its fear even from the distance. It smelled delicious. Krokxzr felt his venom canals moisten, little grey drops of venom started dripping from his fangs. He could endure no more.
Krokxzr cut the thin strand of web with one prosthetic leg and sliced opened the cocoon with another in one fluid motion. The earthling mammal made a strange barking noise. Krokxzr laughed inwardly, he had expected the quadrupedal to run for its life. The little vermin would soon pay for its insolence.
Krokxzr grabbed the canine with his four prosthetic legs. He squeezed them together to form a cage for the mammal. The puppy finally realized the gravity of the situation. It looked around frantically for its human master, too stupid to realize he was a long way away from home.
Krokxzr squeezed and squeezed until the razor sharp edges of his prosthetic legs cut deep into the soft fur of the quadrupedal. It shrieked dreadfully. The elders started scuffling in their seats. Some of the elders at the back of the grand hall stretched their legs so they could get a better look at Krokxzr, the one rumored to be a reincarnation of almighty Czarn.
“Good. I finally have their attention,” thought Krokxzr. He let go of his death grip on the canine and flipped it over on his back. The quadruped was too weak to move at this point, it seemed to have accepted his fate. He gave Krokxzr a pitiful look, a look that would have earned him heaps of treats from his human master. Krokxzr measured the mammal for the fraction of a second and then sliced open his neck. Then he started meticulously skinning the puppy. The elder Araknoids frantically clicked their fangs together. They had never witnessed such mastery or precision with which Krokxzr wielded his prosthetic legs. The euphoria amongst the elders was almost tangible. Had they finally discovered Czarnax, the reincarnation of Czarn?
Krokxzr sliced the last shred of skin from the puppy’s skull. The mammal was now a skinless bloody abomination with blank dead eyes that no longer blinked. Red bloody bubbles were still forming at his neck, where Krokxzr’s legs had cut him deep.
Krokxzr was now standing on only two of his prosthetic legs, stretching them so his organic legs were now levitating off the ground. He picked up the freshly skinned canine pelt with his other metal legs and lifted the skin on his back, tying a knot with the mammals hind legs around the gap between his Sternum and his Coxa. The elders clicked their fangs in unison. Although there were no audible sound waves, the Araknoids were chanting loudly in their heads. “Hail Krokxzr, Bringer of Winter Solstice, Reincarnation of Czarn. Hail Czarnax.”
The grand Araknoid viewed the entire scene from the distance. His fangs were dripping wet. He clicked his mandibles restlessly and his eyes gleamed with fierce pride. “The moment is finally upon us. The blooming of Araknai, the rapture of the cocoon. The moment is finally upon us,” he said once again; to no one in particular.