Named for the sharp inhalation that precedes an attack, Gaspers are a family of unusual Wormbrains adapted to a largely sessile, predatory lifestyle. The typical Gasper consists of a single, enlarged platyhelminthoid parasitizing a larger outer nematoid worm, in turn rooted in the body of a shrunken Wormbrain hostling.


This unconventional Gasper, sometimes called only a Bleeder, consists of two platyhelminthoids and a highly reduced, minute nematoid concealed deep within the bulbous, black hostling body, which anchors itself tightly in place with its oral disk. Each platyhelminthoid possesses four functional oral suckers, lined with rasping microteeth and powerful esophageal muscles used to penetrate the skin of prey and drain large amounts of blood.

When threatened, the Bleeding Gasper can secrete its own pungent, bitter, sticky blood from its suckers and minute pores in its skin, often attempting to spray the substance in an attacker's eyes or equivalent organs. Though the pair has no nematoid large enough to retract into, the saclike hostling can stretch to encompass both of the branching worms in a beachball-sized sphere.


The Bleeding Gasper prefers aquatic environments, dangling above water or hiding beneath the surface for passing prey. Snide and unscrupulous, it will resort to any treachery it can to acquire more blood, and typically initiates an attack with only one of its two flatworms, reserving the second for a surprise strike when its adversary is at their most distracted.


With its softer, squishier and stretchier bodies, the Bleeding Gasper can be concealed in much tighter spaces than other gaspers, springing forth from unexpectedly compact containers and trap doors. One tactician housed Bleeders in large, rocket-propelled hypodermic devices, capable of penetrating steel walls and permitting their bloodthirsty occupants to reach inside.


COLONIAL MIND: the monster's consciousness is distributed across multiple organisms, giving it immunity to mind-altering substances and psychowave attacks.

BLOOD DRAIN: the monster's multiple, powerful suckers are lined with rasping teeth and can suction large volumes of blood from prey in a short amount of time.

BLOOD GUSH: the Bleeding Gasper can eject its own foul blood as a distraction mechanism.



Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik

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