Imagine if you will, a sound. A tapping, something solid and sharp, against a metal surface. Imagine the sound rapidly growing in volume and bass, followed close behind by a wet, meaty squelching. Gross, right? Imagine what sort of, thing, could make such a noise. Some kind of spiked sphere, propelled by an unending mass of writhing viscera and tendrils of nerves? A gelatinous sphere full of xylophone keys, barreling down I-95 with the same sense of purpose as a soccer mom on Black Friday? A very excited crab, tap dancing to the dulcet tunes of an endless waterfall of bologna? The Skittering, is all of that and more. It is the last of the Crossovers, the many impossibilites foisting themselves on the unsuspecting doldrums of Canvas. It has conquered untold other settings, each closer to Truly Mundane than the last. It is herald. It is hated. It is hungry.
Between Settings, the Skittering sheds its definition to become a mass of pure, unadulterated concept. In the Medium between Narratives, there is only ideas, the Skittering's being its sound. As such, it descends into a Setting sound first. This noise, creeping in the back of many a poor unsuspecting soul's mind, its unending racket gnawing at their sanity like nails on a chalkboard. As the infectious noise spreads through word of mouth, its form becomes defined; matching the ideas its victims have about its source. In one Setting, they manifested as distended mockeries of the human form, arms and legs split down the middle to make eight, mucus covered spindles of meat and bone; a noxious thorax of grey matter wrapped around former intestines jutting out of its hindquarters. The Skittering's senses, growth rates, life cycle, habitats, and general yuckiness vary wildly, based entirely upon the bodies it is given to inhabit. The only constants, are its initial infection cycle, and prey.
Genetics and Reproduction
Before the Skittering takes physical form, it is spread by word of mouth. In the early stage of invasion, beyond the initial victims, by hearing the infected speak of the ceaseless noise, one is sentenced to a foul and gruesome end. The noise worms its way into one's subconscious, chipping away at one's mental stability until one's mind is ready to crack itself like an egg. Once the degradation has reached a climax, and the Skittering has gained a form, it tears its way out of the imagination and forces its host into the shape that it has been given. Depending on the nature of the form, it could cause anything from severe tissue damage, to a complete rewrite of physiology, to outright identity death. What remains, is at best a pale imitation of the host. At worst; a cruel joke, played by an author with an unfortunate sense of humor. Once the host has been subsumed, the conception, gestation, and birth analogues of the Skittering vary wildly, depending on the conceptualization of its shape. The phrases "egg," "clutch," "spawning pools," "spermatophores," "goopy," and "just kind of upsetting to think about really," are often involved, but this is not a universal truth.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The Skittering exists for one purpose, and one purpose alone: To consume every sentience, sapience, and Setting it comes in contact with. It is aggressive, it is adaptive, and it is angry. It hunts in vast hordes, crashing over a Setting with an endless tide of bodies, devouring all in its path, from the lowly aphid to the mighty rhinoceros. Once a Setting has been exhausted of its narrative and natives, the Skittering simply cease to be. Written entropy takes hold, and the Setting is forgot about by its audience, as the Skittering approach another unfortunate world.
Don't, just, don't try it
Sometimes has a face
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
N/A, is a parasite
A narrative long since abandoned
Longer than really necessary
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild