Earthbased Species, Part II
Twenty four to seventy two hours after its birth, a Shrieker will metamorphosis into the next, and possibly last, stage of the Graboid lifecycle; a creature that has come to be known as the AssBlaster. What triggers this metamorphosis is unclear at this time, however it is likely to be either a biological or environmental cue; hormones being the most likely explanation. When the metamorphosis occurs, the adult Shrieker sheds its outer layer of skin, as a snake would, revealing the new physiological configuration of the AssBlaster.
The AssBlaster is similar in form to the original Shrieker - both posses a squat, bipedal body, and multi-sectioned beak-like mouth parts. However, there are obviously striking differences between the two. Other than possessing a more slender and elongated beak, the AssBlaster's major difference is that it possesses three wings (two ventral, one dorsal). These wings are constructed from skin membrane stretched between spines and are not capable of being flapped, as the connecting musculature is too weak. However, they are used to great effect for periodic gliding, as the AssBlaster can perform precision manoeuvres by flexing, lifting, lowering and folding its wings.
Of course, to be able to glide, the AssBlaster must first be able to reach a useful height. To do this, it produces a tail end propulsive force by igniting a mixture of explosive liquids (which are produced within its body) which launches it into the air. Once airborne, the AssBlaster will open its wings and use them to glide for several miles. The chemicals that the AssBlaster mixes to launch itself are thought to be highly combustible methane-based binary compounds. This means that they are perfectly safe until they are mixed, at which point they become unstable and therefore explosive. This unique form of locomotion is very similar to the action of the Bombardier Beetle which produces a volatile discharge as a form of defence mechanism.
Like the Shrieker, the AssBlaster does not possess eyes and must locate its prey using heat. As it can only use "see" using the thermal spectrum, AssBlaster (like Shriekers) also communicate using heat. Once prey is spotted, the AssBlaster will give a shriek, which releases heat to signal other AssBlasters. However, it has been noted that AssBlasters are capable of a far greater variation in the tone and pitch of their call than a Shrieker. This may indicate that they possess additional auditory senses. Unlike the Shrieker, an AssBlaster is incapable of multiplying. Instead, an AssBlaster will lay a hard egg from which will a Graboid will hatch, thus completing the lifecycle. For further information on the Graboid species, including external and internal anatomy, ecology, evolution and hypothetical taxonomy, refer to the US Department Of The Interior "Scientific Analysis of the Graboid".
Deep Sea Cephalopod
Forty thousand feet below the surface of the South China Sea, in the Sulu Basin, lurking in the Palawan Trough of the Mindanao Deep, exists a species of Cephalopod, the likes of which have never been seen before. Mutated by leaked toxic and radioactive waste, dumped in the depths far from prying eyes and populated areas, the Deep Sea Cephalopod has grown to gargantuan proportions, becoming a fierce and deadly predator. Naturally feasting on whales and sharks, the Deep Sea Cephalopod has been known to attack ships, ripping them apart and devouring the crews. After it has eaten, it will usually rest, waiting several feet under the ancient silt for its next meal. The Deep Sea Cephalopod is so large and powerful, it can easily hold 8 sixteen-foot-long lifeboats underwater, and tear apart ocean liners.
An elusive creature, the Deep Sea Cephalopod is very rarely seen, and when it is, usually only its tentacle-sacs are encountered, leading many to mistakenly think its tentacle-sacs are huge seperate sea-serpent like creatures, rather than part of a larger whole. Each tentacle-sac is a deadly entity in itself. Responding to sound, each veiny, slimy tentacle-sac is covered with worm-like feelers and suckers protrude up and down its length, which wriggle and writhe, feeling their way across surfaces, searching for prey. Constructed from glistening striated muscle, each tentacle-sac ends in what appears to be a mouth which can expand and unfurl, with powerful jaws and deadly teeth.
The Deep Sea Cephalopod, like others of the Cephalopod family, is capable of vastly reducing its body volume to allow it to squeeze through gaps and pipes which would seem impossible for it to fit through. Tentacle-sacs have been known to be able to ooze through tiny latch holes, expanding and filling like water balloons, forming veins, feelers and suckers, until they once again reach full size.
Attacking its prey, the Deep Sea Cephalopod will use its tentacle-sac to swallow its victims whole. Once inside the tentacle-sac, powerful stomach acids are used to digest its prey, dissolving the skin and flesh from the bone, liquefying its victims so that it can literally drink them. The skeletal remains are unneeded and are regurgitated. As well as attacking prey with its tentacle-sacs, the Deep Sea Cephalopod can secrete a form of very thick, sticky yellow gelatin. Covering whole surfaces in weird, inhuman, geometric patterns, it acts like a spiders web, trapping and immobilising prey. The more a victim of this gelatinous web struggles, the further into it they are sucked, their body becoming constricted and paralysed by some form of nerve toxin. Once trapped, tentacle-sacs can glide through the gelatin, snatching prey away.
When it finds large quantities of prey, the Deep Sea Cephalopod will store victims in a form of huge gelatinous womb, or 'meat locker', to be consumed later. A massive, thick wall of clear-yellow jelly, with hundreds of blue veins running through it, it would be considered beautiful, if it weren't all so horrific. Inside the gelatinous womb, prey float around in some form of twisted embryonic state; the living dead. They appear to breath the gelatin. Tentacle-sacs can wriggle through the stuff, which divides and re-forms in some sort of strange mitosis, to seize prey and consume them. Though extremely deadly, the tentacle-sacs are only part of the gigantic Deep Sea Cephalopod. A relative of the Cephalopod family, it is squid-like in appearance: tentacles, a feed sac, the ability to squirt ink, one central nervous processor. The creature's head is a giant mutated protoplasm: huge, horrible, mutated, mucus-covered and sucker-faced. Beneath slimy, translucent membranes, the Deep Sea Cephalopod possesses some form of organic liquid eyes, below which is situated a gaping, tooth lined maw, capable of tearing prey to pieces.