The Mudulcis were created as a military experiment by Iemochi Innovations & Sales at the classified directive of the Founder. They were designed as a organism that could reproduce via lateral transfer of genetic material, as to convert enemies into biological weapons that will kill more enemies. Supposedly the company is in possession of a unique mutagen that acts as a vaccine to their reproduction.
The Mudulcis appear much like a velociraptor in appearance, with milky white reptilian flesh. Veins and arteries running under their translucent skin run with a brilliant blue-violet colour, roughly 5'7“ with legs reaching 7'.
No eyes are visible on the elongated cranium, in reality they are embedded under the skin, adapted to see through the thin layer that covers them. A ridge of bone appears to run down the meridian of the head, crested with a sharp hook both under the chin and where the head connects to the neck.
The mouth has no lips to speak of and remains open a fraction at almost all times. The mouth appears to extend to the same point ears would be situated on a humanoid head. Like the eyes, its ears are situated under the skin. Two long almost indistinguishable slits run from the center of the face up to where the eyes are hidden, acting as a nose yet normally covered by a flap of skin that lies flush against the head.
The creature can adapt to mimic either a bipedal or quadrapedal stance depending on the nature of the prey. The “arms” of the creature appear slightly shorter than the “legs”, causing the creature to naturally lean forwards as if about to pounce when mimicing a quadraped. These limbs appear almost catlike despite the skin, yet they are topped with “hands”, each made of three large “fingers” which sit in a 2-1 formation. The nails of these appendages extend in a curved fashion much like short talons.
Along the ridge of the spine sits the most prominent feature. Armour-plated spider-like legs protrude outwards, six flexing naturally to each side usually used for capturing prey or traversing rough terrain. Unlike most naturally occurring legs, these have two ball joints, allowing absolutely free omnidirectional movement. When not in use, these joints fold over on themselves, allowing the legs to lie across the creature's back folded double. This allows the Mudulcis to disguise the naturally aggressive predatory features as simple defensive carapace, luring prey into thinking it is simply a herbivore sharing some sustenance rather than a carnivore intent on consuming it.
The creature naturally secretes a sweet, intoxicating smell from its pores, attracting any nearby prey. The smell is centred on the creature's mouth, which constantly holds a pool of neon blue blood. No teeth are visible inside the mouth, they are retracted into its gums at all times other than eating.
The Mudulcis is an omnivore, capable of eating almost any organic material that can fit into its mouth, that is either a plant or incompatible/dead animals. Using a standard one-stomach system it digests its food and extracts any water it needs from it. If starving, the Mudulcis can emulate a process similar to photosynthesis for a couple of days, becoming a shade of green, black or purple in an as of yet unknown process. If starved with no access to light, the creatures have been recorded eating their own legs for survival however if they resort to cannibalism of any sort a toxic buildup begins up to the point they die.
The Mudulcis adapts to a limited degree to the environment it was 'born' into via useful genes naturally extracted from its host prior to conversion.
The Mudulcis are one of the only known species to reproduce via horizontal gene transfer. Rather than birthing new generations, the species procreates by converting the DNA of other creatures to its own via intense gene therapy.
Upon luring prey to itself via the attractive miasma it gives off, the Mudulcis will offer the creature some of its blood. This is normally decanted out of eyesight of the target creature, as to seem like nectar or other such liquids.
The animal will likely drink the sugary-smelling and intoxicating blood, at which point the liquid's concentrated payload will paralyse the animal for several hours as the liquid disperses into their cells. By the time the subject has regained bodily functions the Mudulcis DNA is unextractable. The prey's brain will be flooded with endorphins following the event, likely causing them to bring more prey to the Mudulcis to share the experience. Over the course of several days the target's DNA will be overwritten and it will become a Mudulcis.
If the prey does not fall for the trap, the creature will likely extend its legs and pounce on the prey. Constricting it in a tight “hug” with these legs and grasping limbs, the bone ridge will detach from the skull. Like a jaw, the bone will clamp down on the victim's head, hooks preventing the prey from turning their head. At this point the Mudulcis will “kiss” the prey, vomiting electric blue blood down their throat forcefully.
If the blood touches the skin only, the affected area can be cut free before the paralytic takes full effect due to the reduced amount of fluid.
The Mudulcis are nomadic, only stopping to harvest a pocket of prey and only long enough for the endorphin-lures to conclude. They almost never leave the biome (desert, rainforest etc.) they were born into however, as their donor DNA's favorable adaptations would no longer help their survival.
The Mudulcis almost never meet due to the delayed nature of their birth, however if they do meet they normally ignore each other, simply not seeing them as useful for their primal goals. Occasionally, following huge damage to the environment or themselves, they engage in a ritual involving a saliva exchange which acts to purge any environmentally caused defects in their base DNA by replacing it with a more intact copy.
They are named as such from an ancient language, “dulcis mutatio”, meaning “sweet change” for their reproduction and smell.
Having found a planet populated with hostile forces that one wishes to destroy or occupy, they send a small covert team to infiltrate the wilderness. Releasing some Mudulcis blood into a watering hole or similar, they then leave the planet. The Mudulcis replicate to the point where their forces are sizeable and to the point their spread is hard to stop. Eventually, as they spread like a virus they will reach a population center, taking the local militia offguard and quickly gaining specimens as the settlement is converted. At this point their forces should be enough to weather forces sent against them fairly well, using sheer numbers over actual defence to overcome. If all goes well, the Mudulcis will spread exponentially fast to the point where every lifeform is of their kind. At this point, they will quickly die off as they resort to cannibalism and die from the toxicity of doing so (as mentioned below), leaving the planet totally uninhabited.
This preserves all the material and strategic resources on the planet, as well as any buildings or structures build prior. Most importantly, during this entire period not a single soldier or asset was risked.
Ethereal created this article on 2017/09/18 18:52.