strangers: mosaics
creator
Nuve NuVonde
class
valetudinary
disposition
melancholic
height
7 ft, 11 in
length
42 ft
weight
460 lbs
size variance
12%
I.Q.
304
core temp.
102°F
stability
83%
prevalence
( see entry )
constancy
22%
longevity
108 years
no. appearing
1
vision type
near-far
language family
imitative/inarticulate
physical appearance

The helminturi (hɛlmɪn'tɘɹi) is similar to its parent strain both in build and in composition. Its shapely body is a brilliant lime color, and tends to reflect upon lighter surfaces, faintly tinging its surrounding green under certain lighting conditions. Its dark lips vary imperceptibly in hue, and while identically colored helminturi are rare, the difference is so small as to need direct comparison to be noticable. It has a subtle and pleasant smell, always able to be described as like a scented candle but otherwise unique to the individual, and over enough years slowly inundating its home with this odor.

Its skin is similar in thickness and texture to an inflated balloon, and equally as unpleasant to rub firmly. Cuts tend to initially beget further opening, with lacerations immediately growing anywhere from 22-73% in size, though all wounds eventually close after weeks of gradual healing. Scarring is minimal, except in its beige flesh, which like its parent strain's is unable to heal properly.

The helminturi is a talkative strain, and speaks with much flapping of the lips and emotive body language. Its voice is an obnoxious bawl, the exaggerated weeping of a bad actor's fake distress. Rarely, it repeats fragments of overheard conversations with greatly pained stuttering, sounding especially dissonant when it relays mild small talk with obscene emotion.

0.23% of helminturi generate with teardrop markings. These "repentant"1 individuals display no other notable differences from their fellows.

1.
"Please understand this has been one of the worst experiences of my life. I had to do it, every other option had been exhausted by then. I didn't "enjoy" it, like some of you have accused me of. The way some of you think, it's really sick." Zener, Lucy. post id #55568948
environment and generation

The helminturi appears exclusively in cities already infested with the helmintrobi. Because of this, it intrinsically requires the same circumstances as its parent strain to generate. Otherwise, it appears in buildings with four or more distinct floors, showing great preference for those with even more. Within them, it appears exclusively on either the topmost or second highest floors, although never on rooftops. Additionally, it requires enough space to rest without significant contortion, and as a result almost never generates in closets or extremely cluttered rooms. Stark, sterile environments are suboptimal, with warm and livable atmospheres being preferable. As a result, penthouses, hotel rooms, and exceptionally extravagant offices are some of the most viable sites for a helminturi infestation.

It appears first as a dense rubber worm, no larger than a finger, which swells into an immature form over the course of forty minutes to an hour. These undeveloped helminturi display some wrinkling around the extremities, as well as a looseness of skin, as though not filled completely during development. It takes several weeks to mature into its complete form, during which it is more quiet and adventurous than typical, and may cause unintentional damage to its environment during this brief period of roaming. Upon reaching full size, it sits down and begins its life in earnest.

behaviour

The helminturi is, above all else, completely inconsolable. It acts as though it needs more than anything to have a witness to its emotional anguish, and its unceasing cries are interrupted only by infrequent periods of rest, during which its wails quiet down to hushed mutters, and it lowers its head to sniffle pitifully into the palms of its hands.

It is averse to ambulation of any kind, preferring to sit in place for long stretches of time with its hands and feet tucked beneath its body. Once every several months, it may shift slightly to adjust the angle at which it sits, but never anything more drastic. The helminturi moves itself only as a last resort, when the environment around it is changed too dramatically to continue to rest comfortably in its current spot. When it walks, it walks with tottering uncertainty, joints shaking as if straining with every fiber of its being to not collapse into a heap.

An individual that finds itself near a window may, on very rare occasions, press its head against the surface and peer down at the going-ons below. This is one of the only activities that can calm the helminturi, which only sniffles softly in these scarce moments of peace. Although it only does so rarely, the ability to engage in this "people watching" behavior does observably increase the strain's stability.

interactions with sensitives

When a sensitive enters the building in which it lives, the helminturi becomes suddenly desperate, pounding at the floor and bellowing out onomatopoeias for cartoonishly exaggerated crying. The longer it goes ignored, the more driven it becomes, its pleas getting louder and louder. If enough time passes, it may even pick itself up and attempt to move closer, with much ungraceful stumbling and falling as it does so. It will never, however, leave the room in which it was born, and when it reaches the boundaries of its living space it sits down and pines at unbearable volume.

Once finally faced with a sensitive, the helminturi at last grows placid, though only tenuously so. It closes its mouth tightly to try and stifle involuntary whimpers, and the corners of its quivering lips tighten into the shadow of a smile. It cranes its neck out to try and stroke sensitives with its snout, and when close enough, reaches forward to tenderly hold their arms or legs. It reacts to assault with agonized betrayal, but does not retaliate, nor does it become evasive. Instead, it assumes a submissive posture, allowing itself to be brutalized without resistance while it cries plaintively.

While intitially harmless, the strain's effect becomes apparent upon attempting to leave. Proximity causes the helminturi's voice to become permanently audible, no matter the distance and no matter the barriers. Even when the stranger itself isn't present, its sobbing still rings clear in the minds of its victims. As it does not have physical basis, this sound cannot be alleviated by any means, and pervades even the realm of sleep.

Such a connection does not relent with time, and can only be severed by either the death of the helminturi or the afflicted sensitive. When the helminturi senses the death of a sensitive bonded in this fashion, it becomes instantly and profoundly remorseful, and remains utterly silent for up to three months following.

attraction to other strains

The helminturi is attracted to other strangers just as it is to sensitives. When one enters its territory, its sloppy cries grow louder, and it reaches out to its cohabitants feebly. Its cacophony scares off most smaller strains, while larger, more predatory strangers tend to avoid it deliberately. On the fortuitous occasion that a small enough stranger enters reaching distance, it darts forward to grab it, and does not let go except for the most hysterically struggling catches.

Its touch causes a severe drop in stability, and after several hours of the helminturi's loving embrace, these unlucky captives rot alive in its arms. Just as it does the death of a sensitive, the helminturi mourns the death of these short lived companions, but is unable to learn from such a mistake. Even as corpses pile at its feet, it continues to seek comfort from these victims whom it murders one by one without malice or understanding.

aging and death

Like the helmintrobi, the helminturi goes limp at the end of its life. This change is sudden and complete, with the helminturi sensing its doom only moments before it arrives, collapsing mid-scream.

Its body falls apart in dry chunks over the following weeks, scattering eventually to nothing. Its inner contents do not dissipate for many hundreds of years, however, and thoroughly sully the site2 of its death.

2.
"Due to sustained harassment, I've made the decision to go on indefinite hiatus. Logging on has become a daily source of stress, and I will not be able to continue updates in the near future. I'd like to extend a profound apology to everyone involved. I could not have imagined things would turn out this way when I shared what I believed at the time to be just a novel anecdote. Goodnight." Zener, Lucy. post id #55570023