Slime of the Sea Slugs!
Slime of the Sea Slugs
The yacht sailed slowly into the fog. Never to be seen again.
Newcott Waikes grunted. He had grunted before, but this time the Department of Touristry agent really meant it as he stood on the deck of the rescue cutter while it streamed along. “Can’t believe I’m in the middle of the ocean looking for missing yachts.”
Bran Farsimmon looked amused. If the ace seafarer and folklore expert had seen one like him, he’d see five. “You Touristry boys are always up to your necks when tourists go missing.”
“I know why I’m here,” growled Newcott, “but why the scientist?”
Karsly Morbin looked at him like he had three hands. “Simple, Mr. Waikes. I’m an expert on marine life, as well things that live in the ocean.”
“Of course!” exclaimed Bran. “I read your paper The Science of Disgusting Things. Interesting stuff.”
“Something in the sea might be responsible for these disappearances. Something alive.”
“There’s mystery connected with this part of the ocean.” The folklore expert paused to light a pipe. “Satan’s Septagon, it’s sometimes referred to.”
“Don’t expect scientists to get caught up in superstitions, Bran,” scoffed Karsly.
The next day, the cutter drifted into dense fog. Then, one by one, crewmen on watch began disappearing overnight without a trace, save a sickly yellow-green slime on the deck. With half the crew gone, Karsly, Bran and Newcott started to wonder.
“The instruments are going haywire,” said Bran in the pilothouse. “Typical for Satan’s Septagon.”
“Is haywire good or bad?” asked Newcott.
“At this moment we are hopelessly lost, without hope,” uttered Bran who looked at Karsly, who turned to Newcott, who turned to Bran, which went round several more times, stopping only when something emerged from the fog: a yacht.
Onboard, they found it empty — the telltale slime their only clue, of which Karsly took a sample.
That night, Karsly went to get some air on deck and ran into Newcott enjoying the fog.
“How’s the slime analysis, doctor?”
Karsly chuckled. “I’m afraid slime isn’t analyzed like you would toothpaste or whipped cream. I should know more tomorrow.”
“There’s another analysis I’d like to make… Karsly.” Newcott moved in and kissed her, not realizing Bran was watching from the pilothouse. “Been wanting to do that for a long time,” murmured the Touristry agent.
“We’ve only known each other a week,” said Karsly.
A squishy sound made them freeze and feel queasy.
“Something over the side!” exclaimed Newcott. “Too dark to see!”
A steady slapping. Some thing was climbing the hull. With a massive splat on the deck, the creature sprawled before them: an unholy union of seal and slug, big as a walrus. Of the four stalks on its head, the upper two housed shiny black eyes, while whiskers betrayed its seal side. It dragged itself along with large heavy fore-flippers, its tapering bulk leaving a trail of slime.
Suddenly, a crewman was there with a boathook. Before he could act, the monster absorbed him into its body, like fruit sucked in gelatin. Karsly screamed. Apparently sated, the horror pitched into the sea.
Newcott and Bran watched lab-coated Karsly study slime under a microscope.
“No doubt about it. Half seal, half slug.”
“A Seal Slug!” exclaimed Bran.
“That’s crazy,” sneered skeptical Newcott. “I mean how would they… you know?”
“It’s possible these are some sort of atomic mutations. I spent years studying seals. Maybe I could communicate using seal fin claps.”
“I dunno,” reasoned Bran. “I mean, it absorbed a guy.”
Their clapping-and-absorbing talk was cut short by a cry from the deck. They rushed out and immediately stood agape. Seal Slugs were climbing up the sides in a slimy horde.
Crewmen battled with anything they could lay their hands on, but the slushing hulks continued overpowering and absorbing victims with disgusting slurps.
Newcott drew his Touristry Department gun and fired, but bullets just passed through. Like any good hero, after running out of bullets, he threw the gun at one. It was quickly absorbed.
Bran grabbed whatever was handy, which was a tennis racket, and started swatting, but it only made obnoxious waffle patterns.
Karsly tried an acetylene torch from her lab but even flame had no effect. She then tossed sodium, even acid, but nothing slowed them down. As a last-ditch effort, she started barking and clapping, but Bran just moved her delicately away. Finally, having absorbed all remaining crewmen, the slimy hulks disappeared overboard.
Karsly brought her science stuff to the wheelhouse where they were holed up.
“Maybe they’re done with us. They ate a whole crew,” suggested Newcott.
“Absorbed,” corrected the scientist.
“I don’t think they’ll be done with us until they’re done with us,” said Bran. “At least the fog’s lifting.”
No sooner was that said than Seal Slugs began dragging themselves onto the deck. Soon, they surrounded the wheelhouse, smashing doors and windows.
“Quick, you two!” yelled Bran. “Up onto the platform on top while I hold them off!”
“Are you crazy?” barked Newcott.
“No, I’m sacrificing myself!”
“Let’s all go up there!” called Karsly, grabbing her science stuff.
“No, no, I really wanna sacrifice myself!”
“Oh, come on!” said Newcott, and they dragged him out of there onto the top of the platform. Seal Slugs started squishing up the sides and Bran and Newcott whacked them with baseball bat and boathook respectively. Karsly saw the sun coming out and had a brainstorm. Hastily, she began whipping something together.
“What are you doing?” asked Newcott as his boathook harmlessly pierced a Seal Slug.
“A little trick that just might work,” declared Karsly, coming up a couple of large magnifying lenses rigged together. She shifted it, aiming the sun’s rays at Seal Slugs, one after the other. Horrible shrieks filled the air as they started smoldering, then melting. Until, finally, only smoking pools of slime remained.
The three caught their breath, enjoying good fortune, as a rescue ship appeared on the horizon.
And now we've met the Seal Slugs! One of the coolest parts of the game - yet to be revealed - are the antagonists and creatures that our heroes will encounter! Next week, we'll be looking at the Threats chapter and previewing some alien invaders and posting the complete Threat chapter. You'll soon learn that the creatures from beneath the waves don't always share the same motivations, or allegiances, and may provide even more colors for a Director to use when painting a bigger picture.
Until then, check out this awesome Actual Play threat from Cinder on the Onyx Path messageboard - "Explorers of the Fathoms!"
And let's see if we can hit 600 backers over the weekend! Keep up the good work - keep sharing in your social circles and on social media, and let's continue to grow this game!