The hybotrone /ˈhaɪbəˌtɹəʊn/ is a long and limbless stranger, whose red, yellow, or blue head is followed by stripes in various sequences. Its cement-leather flesh surrounds a sludgy core (its one-of-three primaries giving the hybotrone nine color varieties in total). The core acts to stabilize the hybotrone; should the core be exposed, a meltdown state begins (see aging and meltdown).
Neither temperature nor weather states do much to affect the stranger's physical state. The flesh of its body is impermeable to all liquids, sediments, and glues. Both lava and frost slide as easily as water from its multicolor surface, and nothing leaves a mark upon it. Though resistant to saturation, the hybotrone is not slick; rubbing its surface recalls the rough patina of a well-loved plastic toy. Durable to the extreme, its body resists all but the most extreme violence.⺊
⺊ Though the eventual slapdash, slipshod extrusions (or "yanks") claim so many of this strain's brethren, it is only the rare hybotrone that cracks (and often within a range for usability), making them one of the largest sought-after strains in the collapsing underground market.
It uses its honking, joyous voice as a young child would use their first toy instrument - with great enthusiasm, though little other discernible intent.
Fun, fun! It's fun, it's fun! And, it's fun!
Any organized collection of toxic chemicals (from bases to solids, and paint to solvents) can create the conditions for a hybotrone's generation. It is thus most common within factories, warehouses, and workshop storage rooms, where anywhere from one to a bundle of hybotrone pop into being, often in regional clusters.
When the hybotrone first appears, it is eyeless, and each no bigger than a finger. It rolls around like a tiny (but immensely heavy) toy, each turn and reversal spurring an increase in size. Though some never grow much larger than their initial size, most stop growing at around three to ten feet in length. A small minority of exceptionally destructive "god toy" hybotrone grow massive, reaching lengths of up to forty feet.
The largest and smallest hybotrone are most likely to generate alone; those that appear in clusters separate into individuals territories as they age (if by forceful door clatter, in some cases).
The delighted hybotrone does not show its personality through subtleties; of the strain, it could be said that "what you see is what you get". Throughout the course of its life, it genuinely seems to enjoy itself, and its mood never sours. It rolls back and forth with a slight bounce, altering its path with each twist of its coiled body. This is enough to amuse it indefinitely; it rolls, giggles, guffaws, and little else.
Despite its exuberance, however, the strain proves destructive in its rumpus. While the smallest hybotrone leave only dents in shelf-sides and scratches on the floor, the largest break metal shelves and brick divider-troughs, if not walls or greater structures.
Hybotrone "interact" only rarely, the clatter shaking the factory walls around them. The strain does not explore beyond its limited territory, and furthermore or otherwise, shows no ability to learn.
The hybotrone's body absorbs a wide range of toxic chemicals, should they touch its surface. Though this saturation does not show itself in any measurable way, it greatly affects the stranger's later meltdown.
The hybotrone's unpredictable careening makes even the smallest individuals a potential hazard (if not an enemy, per se). Impossible to reprimand, its automatic nature cannot be curtailed, while its formidable strength makes it difficult to contain (with it paying no mind to violence). If thrown a ball, it grows raucous in its curls. If it hears music, it rolls (somewhat) in time.
Though the hybotrone remains excited by a sensitive, the limited stranger cannot play complex games with them. Should a sensitive grow bored, the stranger imitates the sensitive's own voice and exclaims how much fun it is having, though still not explicitly encouraging the sensitive to join in.
Despite its high energy
level, the hybotrone is not without a need for downtime. As the sun sets, the stranger's excitement slows, and then settles. Its eye markings "close", then fade with minimal distortion. When "asleep", the hybotrone responds to nothing, though it is no less indestructible.
It bounces back to life each morning with a gleeful squeal, taking no time to warm-up before resuming its fun.
And so, with the coming of the first god toy hybotrone in the "first world", the Bariyard-Bluth Chemical Company building and the immediate neighborhoods cave in. From the bookstore factories and vender-halls, the rumblequake shakes out, rolls in, and the dust pours up.
The (body that calls itself the) state is quick to act. For how can they deny it this time? Crackle-crackle on the radio, a perimeter secured, and the scramble to the heads of state to rule out foreign involvement. The sufferers cry and the cars crunch down into the hole. They send the troops in, and what do they find, but an empty pit...
And the partisan age trembles, growing to a close.
The hybotrone shows neither wear and tear, nor any signs of aging. Its roll-and-sleep cycle continues, unchanged, for the duration of its life, and the stranger's final night announces itself without fanfare.
The sun sets, and the hybotrone winds down as usual. Rather than fall asleep, however, once its eyes close, the stranger undergoes an instantaneously fatal "meltdown" state. Its skin crumbles inward and is absorbed into its core, which neither implodes nor burst, but instead pours outwards. Any paint thinner, arsenic, jet fuel, selenium, poly-birium, chlorinium dichlorihyde, prussic acid, or other toxic chemicals it absorbed during its life spill out tenfold from its surface until the stranger is fully drained, at which point the core dissolves to nothing.
The effect of this meltdown may be minimal in the case of small hybotrone; the environmental impact of the largest hybotrone, however, is in many cases irreversible.