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Modified on 2013/05/04 13:41 by Kerrick Categorized as Deathlands, Outlanders, Totality-Concept


   The scientists of the Totality Concept created all sorts of wondrous, bizarre, and horrific beings, designed for everything from battlefield use to security to assassination. This section covers all the ones that appear in the books.


Robots, Droids, and Borgs

   Cerberus: The construct known as "Cerberus" is a force field containing particles of antimatter, which takes the form of a large fog bank. It is sentient, to a degree, and can recognize certain markings or symbols, like a badge. It is immune to almost all known weaponry (the companions destroyed the one guarding Redoubt Bravo by tossing an implosion grenade into it). It attacks by sending forth pseudopods of mist, which wrap around its target and inflict horrific electrical burns. Anyone dragged back into the main body is torn apart within seconds. It doesn't need to eat or sleep, making it a perfect guardian.
   The Cerberus constructs are extremely rare. One guarded the road to Redoubt Bravo (Pilgrimage to Hell), another appears outside a redoubt called Spearpoint (Encounter), and a third guards a redoubt in the Marshall Islands (Shadow Fortress). It is not known if the construct has an actual name; "Cerberus" is the name given to it by Doc Tanner (Cerberus is the three-headed guardian of the realm of Hades in Greek mythology).

   Sec Hunter Droid: These are the most common droids encountered by the companions; their primary function is to track down and kill people (usually the poor sap who stumbles upon them). They are always found in redoubts, armories, and other military installations; some are inactive until a trigger sets them loose, while others are already active when found. They operate by synching to the target's DNA; once set forth, they can only be stopped by their own destruction or the target's death (in predark times, the guards could use devices to deactivate them, but these are - of course - long lost). They are deadly and can take a lot of punishment before being destroyed.
   A card found by Ryan Cawdor in the Project Styx redoubt (the first time any of the companions encounter the droids) reads:

   Developed in the late nineties using the latest in cybernetic technology, the sec hunters are the most sophisticated devices known to man and are years ahead of any comparable machinery from the Eastern Bloc. They "sniff out" the genetic body pattern of their prey. Once locked on to that one individual, they will follow and destroy, even though it takes them to the ends of the known world. Nothing short of total destruction will divert them from their lethal purpose.
   Warning: During test conditions on the sec hunters it is very dangerous to cross the marked red line. To do so may expose you to a potentially serious threat. If this caution is ignored and death, maiming and harm to personal possessions results, then the Government of the United States declares itself not liable for any, all or several suits for damages arising. In the event of accidental crossing of warning line IMMEDIATELY notify the nearest guard who will negate termination instructions to the devices. You have been warned.


   A sec droid stands about six feet tall and has a domed head with two glowing red crystal lenses for eyes and a slit mouth with a hint of sharp teeth. Its arms are prehensile cables, longer than normal for a human of its size, giving it the look of an ape; one hand has two pincers and a clubbing hammer, and the other has four razor-sharp blades. Its feet are tipped with shorter blades which are capable of giving better traction.

   Spider Bot: Spider bots, also called walkers, come in a variety of designs: some have four legs, some have eight, and weaponry varies between pulse lasers and 1-mm needlers that fire depleted-uranium rounds. All models have a small camera that can see in visible light and infrared. They are used as guards and sentries; they have minimal tactical programming (including the ability to adapt and set traps), but aren't nearly as smart as a human.

Bioweapons

   Bioweapons (also called transgenic bioweapons) are creatures designed via genetic manipulation by the whitecoats before skydark. Their purpose was to be used on the battlefield; as with most other things the whitecoats created, however, it didn't go so well - the bioweapons eventually got out of their control and found the post-holocaust world a perfect place to live and breed. Bioweapons are designed for one purpose only: to kill. All such creatures are easy to identify - their blood (and often their eyes) is yellow, and they heal very quickly from most non-fatal wounds. Bioweapons are more intelligent than normal animals, and some are nearly as smart as humans.

   Gotch-Eye: The creature known as "Gotch-Eye" (a colloquial name) lived in the bayous of southern Louisiana. It is believed to have been created to live in extraterrestrial environments, but it got loose after skydark and found a new home on Earth.
   Gotch-Eye is huge, though its size (and, actually, appearance) are a matter for debate, since it lives underwater. It has several tentacles lined with tendrils like a man-o-war's that exude highly toxic poison, a single large eye, and a mass of seaweed-like acidic tendrils that it uses to dissolve its prey (Haven's Blight).

   Hellhounds: These creatures have features of dog (and/or wolf), saber-tooth tiger, possibly bear, and a few other things. They are about six feet long and three feet tall, with a dog-like body and a cat's head with long saber-like canines. They have overdeveloped shoulder muscles (similar to a bear's), clawed feet with rear-facing spurs, and twin barbed tails.
   The companions encounter a pair of these creatures in the Marshall Islands (Savage Armada) that look exactly like normal mountain lions, but have two tails. Given that there are several other bio-engineered species on the islands, it's likely that these are a variant form of hellhound, not muties.

   Howler: No one has actually seen a howler, since these creatures are always surrounded by a cloud of toxic radioactive gas. It is known that they are heavily armored, appear to heal very quickly, and have tentacles. They are tireless, nearly unkillable creatures that attack anything that moves, constantly emitting a noise that varies between a low moan and a loud shriek (hence the name).

   Kraken: Krakens are gigantic waterborne creatures the size of a large bus. They move on a mass of tentacles, which they also use to attack prey, and have a bulbous head with multiple insect-like eyes and a huge mouth filled with teeth.



Bioengineered Species

Humanoids
   All humanoid races that breed true are widely considered to be muties, but evidence points to their actually being artificially created (either before or after skydark) by various individuals or groups. There are also some other species that came about through genetic manipulation that have no apparent purpose - likely they escaped or were let loose and began to multiply in the wild.
  • In the Marshall Islands, there is a tribe of beings called the Sisters, a number of women who are clones of each other and have snake DNA - they have forked tongues and are immune to poison (Savage Armada).

   Fish-Men: Fish-men were created by a group of scientists on the Georgia coast after skydark. They are 6-7 feet tall, with scaled skin, webbed and clawed hands and feet, large goggling eyes, an underslung jaw filled with needle teeth, and a crest over the head. They are intelligent and speak their own language; some can also speak English, after a fashion.
   A small colony of them lives in the ocean off the coast, trading with a commune near Kings Point Naval Station (Watersleep). The companions also ran into a group of fish-men in the Florida Keys (Deep Empire); it's entirely possible that the two groups are related. Another group lives in an abandoned nuclear power plant in the Great Lakes; these ones are shorter, but similar in appearance (Downrigger Drift). They are likely the product of a similar (or the same) experiment in a different location (freshwater vs. saltwater).

   Greenies: Greenies appear to be related to scalies and swampies (and may be a hybrid). They have green skin, rows of shark-like teeth, yellow eyes, and three-fingered hands. They are incapable of speech, but hoot like stickies. They are distinctive because of the noticeable smell of salt water that precedes them. They are found only in the Virginia/Maryland area, and may have come from Washington Hole (Gemini Rising).

   Little Ones: The creatures identifying themselves as "Little Ones" are about three feet tall and covered in brown fur - in effect, they resemble Ewoks. They are peaceful and herbivorous and have telepathic abilities. They have a small tribe in the American Southwest, near the Grand Canyon (Vengeance Trail).

   Muddies: These diminutive humanoids appear to be relatives to swampies (see below). They are pygmies (they stand three feet tall) with rows of sharp teeth, hair like coils of wire, and distorted features. They speak their own language. The companions encounter a tribe of them in backwoods Tennessee (Circle Thrice).

   Rotties: Rotties are humans who have been infected with an experimental prion discovered in a redoubt in Kansas. They are, for all intents and purposes, zombies - they're dead, but still mobile; they can take wounds that would kill a normal person; and they hunger for flesh (living or undead matters little, but they prefer it warm). Only damage to the head or spinal cord, or complete destruction of the body, will put a rottie down for good. A horde of rotties was unleashed on several villes in Kansas, but they were finally stopped by an acid rain storm (Wretched Earth).

   Scalies: Scalies are lizard-like humanoids with greenish, scaled skin, yellow eyes, and sharp teeth. Like most humanoid muties, they eat flesh, preferring it fresh. They can be found in many places in Deathlands, though always near water. A large army of them controls a good portion of southwestern Manhattan, in the ruins of Newyork.

   Stickies: Stickies were created by Magus in the mid 2070s and quickly became widespread. They are humanoid in size and form, but are always bald, of low intelligence, and incapable of any speech beyond gabbling, hissing, and hooting (there is one notable exception; see Charlie). They generally have small, slit-like noses, black eyes, and razor-sharp teeth; their bodies are elastic and heal very quickly - blades are very effective against them, as are explosives, but bullets will only kill a stickie if it hits in the head or heart. Stickies gained their names from the hundreds of tiny suckers on their hands and feet; once attached to a surface, only main strength or the stickie's will can release them - even death often won't relax a stickie's grip. A favorite tactic is to latch onto a victim's face and tear it off the skull.
   They can form cooperative societies, like humans, but view almost every other life form (norms especially) as food. They love fire and explosions - the bigger and louder, the better; oftentimes, one can distract a stickie by starting a fire or setting off a grenade. Some stickies are capable of using firearms or even simple weapons, but most prefer to rely on their natural weapons, burying foes under the weight of numbers and tearing them apart with their suckered hands.

   Swampies: Swampies stand around 5 feet tall, but their bodies are much more muscular and dense than normal - an adult swampie usually exceeds 200 pounds. Their skin ranges the gamut from white to red to brown, and their hair is short and curly; they have extremely dense bones, two circulatory systems, webbed hands, and yellow eyes. The redundant organs, along with their natural toughness, make them extremely hard to kill - about the only way to stop one is to shoot it in the head or decapitate it.
   Swampies have low intelligence (they can make and use tools), and some are capable of coherent speech, though they often communicate through grunts and howls. They hunt in packs, killing anything that's not a swampie; they have a special taste for babies, often raiding settlements to steal and eat them.
   Rumor has it that swampies were created in Redoubt 47.

   Transadapts: Transadapts, aka "trolls", are humans genetically altered to live and work in low-gravity environments like space stations and other planets. They are shorter than normal (about 4 feet tall) and resemble chimpanzees - hunched-over posture, low brow, long arms, and feet with opposable thumbs and nine long toes suitable for grasping. They are also immensely strong, far more so than their size would suggest. A large population was created to work on the space station Parallax Red and the Cydonia One colony on Mars; after the station was badly damaged during skydark, everyone (humans and trolls) fled to the Mars colony. Most of the transadapts were killed in a rebellion in the colony incited by Sindri, and the rest serve him.

   Trackies: Trackies are a breed of humanoid that live underground. They are intelligent, speak their own language, and have a society; they subsist on whatever they can catch (mostly fish), using crude spears, knifes, or tridents.
   Trackies rarely top five feet; they have hairless skulls, large ears that are set further back than normal, large protruding eyes, a slit nose, and a lipless mouth filled with rows of ragged teeth. Their skin is pallid white with a tinge of green, and their blood is faintly phosporescent. They have vastly improved senses of sight and hearing, enough to see in nearly no light and hear even the smallest sounds.
   Ryan and Kate Webb encounter a tribe of trackies in a sulfur mine/series of caves in Canada (Chill Factor).

   Troggies: The term "troggie" is based on "troglodyte", or "one who lives in a dark place". Troggies are a seldom-seen species that lives in caves and other places underground. They stand around 5 feet tall, with pale, softly glowing skin; bulbous, watery eyes with no iris; a tiny, nearly nonexistent nose; huge, protruding ears; and a small, lipless mouth filled with blunt teeth (it is possible that they're related to trackies). Troggies are very light-sensitive and extremely weak, no stronger than the average human child; they rely on numbers to overwhelm their prey.
   The companions' sole encounter with troggies was in an unknown redoubt (Northstar Rising).



Other
   All non-humanoid creatures created through genetic manipulation appear here.
  • In the Marshall Islands, the companions are attacked by a horde of blue crabs of varying size, which have rudimentary intelligence and obey the commands of a gigantic leader (Judas Strike).
  • In the Marshall Islands, the companions are chased by a gigantic, 10-foot-tall spider that, apart from its size, appears normal. It has low intelligence, however (enough so that it knows to wait near a rad hotspot for prey to come, whereupon the prey dies from radiation poisoning and it can feast on the bodies) and an internal skeleton to support its massive weight (Savage Armada). Another, larger one (this one 20 feet across) guards a predark city (Shadow Fortress).
  • In Savage Armada, the companions are attacked by a horde of creatures that are a combination of crab, spider, and scorpion. They have a crab's hard blue shell and pincers, twin scorpion tails, and a spider's mandibles along with the ability to spit a substance that hardens on contact with air (similar to webbing, but used to entrap prey). They range in size from 3 to 6 feet across and are intelligent enough to be organized and use crude tactics in battle.

   Armored Cat: As the name suggests, an armored cat is an enormous tiger-like feline covered in armor plating. A full-grown cat weighs around 1000 pounds, but is still amazingly agile - they can leap up to 25 feet. Their preferred method of hunting is to leap and crush their prey beneath their massive weight. They were created in a redoubt in Puerto Rico, and can only be found in the area (Crimson Waters).

   Chupacabras: Chupacabras ("goatsuckers") were originally some form of mutie that appeared in Puerto Rico. After Silas Jamaivous arrived in 2094, he found some and sent them back in time to the late 1990's as test subjects for his work on a new gateway (one that he could use to go back in time himself). They were they found and captured by the US government, who took their DNA and combined it with other creatures, creating something completely new that survived past the holocaust and continued to plague the people of Puerto Rico.
   Chupacabras are about four feet tall and bipedal. The head is similar to a horse's - oval-shaped, with a strong jaw, small nostrils, and a mouth full of needle teeth; the eyes are red with greenish-yellow, vertically-slitted pupils. The hands and feet have three fingers and toes, all tipped with claws. They have a row of spines down the back, which can be used defensively as well as to impale victims. Chupacabras are capable of powerful leaps which, when combined with the small, bat-like wings under their arms, means they can glide for short distances. They can mesmerize their victims by projecting a rainbow of colors, as well as cloud the minds of those around them and cause fear and nausea, and are extremely hard to kill (Dark Emblem, Crimson Waters).

   Gravedigger: This creature looks like a gigantic spider, about 8 feet across, with an oblong body and 6 multi-jointed legs. It appears to be a cross between panther, spider, and a few other things. It moves with incredible speed and agility and feeds on both living and dead flesh, and is capable of digging up the dead to feed on them, hence the name (Sunspot).

   Hunters: Hunters are large silverback gorillas with four arms. They are immensely strong and hard to kill, and are easily as intelligent as normal gorillas. A tribe of them was created to guard a predark city in the Marshall Islands (Shadow Fortress).

   Pilots: Pilots are tiny tentacled creatures created through genetic manipulation and gestated in an embryo's brain. They respond only to someone who has the proper code words, and were designed to guide missiles in the absence of computer chips (such as after a nuclear war). Baron Kinnison had an unending supply of them (he could breed more, though how is unclear) and knew how to control them; he used them in black-powder rockets to retain control over the Marshall Islands (Shadow Fortress).

   Scorpion Dogs: These bizarre creatures were created in a redoubt in Puerto Rico, and can only be found there. They largely resemble dogs, but have a scorpion-like tail complete with poisonous stinger; they hunt in packs and will attack just about anything (Crimson Waters).

   Snowcats: These creatures were designed to live in arctic climates. They are about the size of a cougar, but every part of them is pure white - they're nearly invisible against snow. They can be found in the mountains of the Marshall Islands (Judas Strike).

  
Copyright
DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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