Spider's Smile

Credit to BB13 for writing this.
Nothing is scarier than losing time to this. You find out there’s some ‘cool shit’ just down a hallway. You walk over bodies of sleeping drugged out people all around, pop a squat, and link into the sensate.   It’s hard to describe. Imagine clouds and cotton candy and fluff under your skin. Imagine a full body warmth and comfort that’s impossible to convey. Imagine your face tickling like someone is tickling your nose with a feather. Imagine your eyes full of stars as you gaze out into the expanse of the universe in your imagination. It’s fucking orgasmic.   And then you wake up, or you don't. In my case my sensate link got severed by a fellow party-goer. Lets just say that, in order of magnitude of fear from least to worst: I’d lost weeks and was near death starved and malnourished. The ‘mule’ in the center was nearly a fucking cadaver. And an egg-sack in his neck had burst.   I could have been the next ‘mule’ if I didn’t die first. That’s the scariest part of this fucking drug.
— A lucky survivor
  ‘Spider’s Smile’ is a two-part drug experience exclusive to the lands of Hedon in it’s widespread use. Due to the nigh insane dangers inherent, very few banners have the consistent number of users in their midst. Most banners instead have the occasional ‘outbreak’ that get a moment of limelight in the news when a drug-den is found.   Spider’s Smile is the dual act of a ‘sacrifice’ or ‘mule’ and any number of individuals linking to the mule via sensate. The drug is administered by a particular variety of large genesculpted spiders. The web-creating arachnid’s venom is tooled to become an extremely powerful neurological toxin and mind-altering drug that can be extremely attractive to newcomers and hardened junkies alike.   The mule is often set in the middle of a room or in a position of power. A throne or a head of a table for instance. Then, the spider is released from it’s holding onto the mule or among their clothing. Some mules take relaxants beforehand as the spiders in question are particularly terrifying, but a easy short-hand is that whoever releases the spider ensures it is agitated enough to bite the mule immediately, thus ensuring a very short-lived fear before the drug takes over.   Once released, the spider is instinctively drawn to the mule's mouth. A cavern of warm, moist airflow. A perfect spot to find insects, theoretically. Naturally the spiders will choose the mule’s mouth and quickly spin a web over it. From it’s throne it will maintain it’s ‘home’ by biting the mule as it senses the drug is failing. Given the arachnid’s choice of location, these bites are often on the jaw or cheek. And often result in untreated gangrene and necrosis.   From its position over the mouth, the spider lays perched, ready to feast upon insects. What is more often the case is that as the lack of prey is made evident to the arachnid, the spider begins to instead eat the ‘mule’. Bites around the victim’s mouth induce further damage that culminates in death and/or disfigurement.   It is fairly common for the spider to also begin to burrow, using the mouth or throat as an egg-chamber from which it’s meat-hungry offspring will emerge. Unlike most arachnid species, the ‘Spiders’ Smile’ eggs are rather large and it’s progeny well developed. As a result, the few spiders that emerge from these laid eggs will often be old enough, if not to lay their own eggs, then to find their own hosts.  
“You want to try Spider’s Smile? That’s some good but dangerous as fuck shit. Here’s my suggestion. Find a reputable place. We’re talking good people, responsible. Fucking hospital-type place. Don’t go for grungy, glitz, or glamor. Go for the people who you *pay* to take you on a good trip.   Second, don’t fucking worry about the poor shit getting bitten into. It’s not your job to worry about them and if your conscience troubles you about them, just get high and walk it off.   Thirdly, and I have to make sure you understand this. The ultimate rule. The last rule. The most important thing about this fucking thing. You find out how long the poor bastard in the middle has been ‘spiked’ and you get your sensate connection on a fucking timer. You don’t want to get bit by a little one and be the next mule.
— A helpful hedonite
  Spider’s Smile is also a morbid reference to the end result of the ‘mule’. Almost all mules who do not have the spider removed will sustain massive facial damage and scarring. It is not uncommon for entire jaws, noses, cheekbones, and tongues to fall out rotten or eaten by the spider.   Those who survive or dabbled with being the mule are instead derisively called ‘Spider Kissers’. Easily identifiable by the tell-tale pock-mark scars of bites around their lower face. Such people are relatively common as the spiders themselves have a fairly short lifespan and there are numerous cases of Hedonites claiming fraud for ‘short highs’ from spiders who did not last the promised week or more trip.   Perhaps most frightening, or sad, is the effect prolonged exposure can have on the mule. The spider’s venom can rewrite their chemical balance and potentially even killing off higher brain function. Without the constant venom keeping the bestial remnant of a sophont pliant, they become easily enraged and feral. It’s not uncommon for abandoned ‘Spider’s Smile’ dens to have atleast one shambling, slack-jawed, sore-riddled zombie-like monster roam the hallways looking for the bliss that made them into what they are.  
Course I guess there’s a fourth rule… double check the sensate connection yourself. Even if you’re paying them, they could make more money off you if you stick around. And you’ve already consented to be there for ‘a while’…
— A helpful hedonite

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Author's Notes

Inspired by this

They say you will eat around 23 spiders in your lifetime.   But really you can eat as many as you want.   Treat yourself, you deserve it.

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