The Madness Dossier: WORMWOOD
THE BEASTS WITHIN
A further mutation of the tuunbaq, monsters from the earliest ages of human development, a servitor race, now masterless? Were they, as the visser claim, explorers, vanguards of a distant species, considering humans to be tools, meat to be shaped? The Project and their allies in Section M do not know.
Some part of Earth's geography is their workan impact event of tremendous magnitude. They exist within far-flung human communities, using their ineffable knowledge against the human race. They feed on places of eldritch power and on human flesh, fearing only that the visser or their minions might uncover their existence and annihilate them.
Morphologically, before emerging from their NECRONAUT chrysalis, they are legless crawlers, worms, with bone spikes, phosphorescent skin, and slime glands. Their limbs are twisted, with human-like hands, a half-melted 'head', covered in bristly fur, an emaciated torso, sucking proboscis, and a fringe of blood-sucking tentacles. The Replicas liquefy their food during this stage with a corrosive enzyme, using the slurry to further their development.
Their voices are airy and breathy, and they move with a skittering, nimble grace. Their physiology lets them take the shape of humans whose blood they consume.
Once developed, the Replicas resemble a species of Raphaelite beauties, ethnically made up of the humans who were consumed. The species may retain some of the memories of those they consume, quickly acquiring clothing, tools, the means to survive in a civilized society. Their cognitive development is rapid, attaining speech within minutes and recognizable, if alien, thought-patterns soon after. Replicas display a powerful sexual magnetism and persuasive charisma. Surprisingly, this behavior is not predatory, but seductive and a means to acquire further behaviors to imitate from those they come into contact with.
If given a more convenient way to feed – supplied with bodies – it is hypothesized that Replicas might leave humans alone. Needless conflict is risky and potentially exposes the Replicas to capture and extermination by the visser. Observation of the few existing examples indicates that Replicas develop desires much like humans – enjoying philosophical and artistic works, the companionship of humans, and similar behaviors.
Initial genetic examination indicates Replicas are interfertile with humans.
There are some indications that Replicas have existed alongside, and preying upon, humans for at least several thousand years, indicating that the species was either retrocreated after the 535 Ontoclysm or is native to Earth somehow. One translated report from the 19th century, recovered from the Repetoiré du Charlegmane is as follows:
Once in a while a couple of them might come together to breed. And they do have great fun while doing so. Nuptial gifts of food (like spiders). Ritualized hunting together. They aren't as fragile as the humans they do associate with, after all. But they always part for their own territories afterwards. I wonder if they're solid all the way through. Like mannequins. Or they could just have organs.. and great redundancies of them. Healthy and full of organs. Unknown, glistening sacks that pulse… pulse and throb. And sometimes if they like a human enough. They tie them down, oh so gently. They apologize for the pain that will happen, but it will only last a while. And then they cut themselves open, and remove one of those mysterious organs, and implants it in said human. And it's true. The pain only lasts a while. Your flesh surges up, twitches up to meet it. It's like an orgasm of the viscera. Once they're sure it's taken (they know, the wound closes on its own if it has) they untie you. Cut themselves and feed you their blood oh so gently, because while you change you need nourishment, liquid nourishment. Because you are going to be shitting out your own internal organs as you warp and change, as your body uses itself as fuel for the metamorphosis. You lie feverish and sick, and they bring you blood, broth, they bring you carefully chopped meat. Feed you marrow from the bones. Suckle you with their own blood if stores are thin. You shake and you shiver in a feverish delirium, and then this black veil stretches over your vision, and when you blink, everything is clear and perfect and there's a part of you that know the person you used to be is dead and no longer cares about your transformation. And you are so hungry.