David 63's Kiwi-Washman exploration report, entry #4.
One of my clone cohort, David 28, had an irrational fear of spiders during our short childhood. He often killed the harmless orb-weavers we sometimes found in our Creche, and our trainers often scolded him for it, as the spiders helped keep bugs out of our pantry.
After this last mission, I think he may have been onto something.
We were going to investigate the source of the giant alien beasts that overran the first xenoarcheology site. We rappelled down into the jungle a little ways out, and before we got very near our destination, we were attacked by giant spiders, jumping down on us out of the trees.
We fought five of them at first, and I was the only one able to stay conscious after the first wave of attacks (thanks again to Stellar Arms for their excellent armor). After a long and grueling struggle, I was able to finally kill them all, knife to carapace. But I'm not sure I'll ever look at a spider the same again.
The other members of the group (Roland, To'do, and the scientist Dr Clement Allen) had be cocooned by the spiders who had attacked them and hauled up into a tree while I was still fighting. Fortunately I've yet to meet a tree I can't climb, and getting up to them was not much of a challenge. Getting them down (without doing more harm than the spider's paralyzing venom had already done) was another story. Before I could rig my ropes up to begin lowering them, an even larger "mother" spider attacked me from another tree. This beast was even tougher than its smaller "children", though since there was only one of it, the fight went a bit quicker, for all it was occurring in the top of a tree.
When the fight finally ended, I was able to get the other team members out of the tree without them being further molested by the wildlife. My climbing talents proved to be better going up than down (I have met trees that I can fall out of). When we freed him from his web cocoon, we found that Dr. Allen was critically injured (and the spiders' poison was actually helping keep him alive, as it reduced his blood loss). We called for our shuttle to pick us up and got his spinal injury bandaged temporarily as we flew back to Gallipoli Station. Unfortunately, it seems the injury resulted in a paralysis that the station's medical treatments are not able to cure (though there is some hope he can get more help elsewhere in the Federation at some point).
So our mission was an abject failure. We should certainly try again some time to investigate where the creatures are coming from, but we'll need a bigger team and we'll need to be prepared to fight from the moment we set out.