The chevradrole (/ˈʃɛvrədroʊl/) is a black and dark grey stranger with an engorged head and narrow limbs. Its thick skin is very slightly textured, and its inner flesh is rubbery and black, like the material of a car tire. This strain can be characterized by the causticity of its fluid, which can eat through most substances (the chevradrole's skin and muscle tissue remain uneaten by this effect). The strain possesses a body cavity filled with bright green sludge and soft, organ-like structures, which grow either firmer or less solid as the chevradrole's inner acidity fluctuates. The chevradrole's eye markings, inner mouth, and teeth are a bright green, and exude a similarly acid fluid from their surface, with foaming becoming more evident upon direct physical contact. Due to the noxious fumes emanated from its fluid, the chevradrole is difficult to be around for more than a few minutes at a time, with its odor causing headaches or skin and eye irritation in the short term. More advanced health issues may follow prolonged encounters1.
The chevradrole's thick skin makes it resistant to injury, and its regenerative ability is steady and persistent, with even deep cuts growing fibrous after several minutes (with much frothing and bubbling following injuries), strands connecting and thickening to join the edges in a process that takes less than a half hour. Injuries do not become discolored, but scarred areas do take on a slightly rougher texture, which persists for the remainder of the chevradrole's life. Notably, the chevradrole is impervious to all heat, but does grow slower in sub-zero conditions, its acid losing some of its corrosiveness.
The chevradrole's voice is deep and slow, with a bellowing, resonant smoothness to its words. Its language is complex and pleasant to the ear; though it tends not to rhyme, it does feature considerable alliteration in its speech. It opens its mouth only slightly when it talks, its tongue animated but its lips relatively still.
The chevradrole appears in city streets late at night. Its generation appears exacerbated by streetlights that do not flicker, walls that lack graffiti, and pavement that lacks cracks. Upon an open, flat surface, it appears first as a limp, crumpled skin, which grows inside and fills from within, taking on the chevradrole's full bulk within fifteen minutes. The chevradrole's innards are initially basic, beginning to turn acidic only once movement begins, with the stranger rising to its feet once its formation is complete.
The chevradrole's disposition appears deadened, the more pronounced aspects of its behaviour muted. Its movements are dutiful and ordered, and it holds its head erect, but not proudly so, its tail relaxed in height, but not dragging. Its footsteps leave behind a thin layer of the same acid that fills its guts, which eats through nothing but does discolor any paper or fabric that the chevradrole steps over, avoiding obstacles but paying no mind to the bits of string, bottle-caps, crumpled magazine pages and other detritus that line the city streets in which it appears.
Each chevradrole is drawn to a random point within a city, and spends the initial phase of its life on the move towards this location. Though its path is often meandering or looping, the chevradrole moves with deliberate patience, and does not pause. It tends to stick to large, open streets, with alley paths taken only out of necessity, and no inclinations towards interior environments, avoiding even bridges, overpasses, or other overhanging architectural structures.
Interactions between individuals are regimented but brief, with nodding motions, overlapping statements, and turns of the head over the shoulder. Larger chevradrole often use their fingertips to trace the shapes of lines across the ground in front of them2.
The point to which the chevradrole is drawn can vary enormously, but does not tend to be a monument or anything out of the ordinary; a specific pipe behind a building, a particular brick beneath a window, or a nondescript spot on the ground are all likely targets for the chevradrole's pilgrimages. Upon arrival, the chevradrole sits down, its pose becoming stiff and reverent, and lowers its head. It does not freeze in its motions entirely, with some opening and closing of the lips or adjustment of the hands or fingers occurring, as well as the rise and fall of the chevradrole's pseudo-inhalations in and out, but it does not move beyond that or engage in any further ambulation.
The point at which the chevradrole becomes fixated is linked to physical location and not an object in and of itself; when the point appears to be the side of a trash can, for example, the chevradrole continues staring when the trash can is removed, with no change in demeanor except for a slow and deep breath3.
The arrival of a chevradrole to its destination exacerbates the generation of other strains within the region to a small degree, precipitating new mutations and other growth.
The chevradrole's reaction to sensitives varies between individuals. The majority are indifferent unless attacked, while a small minority display a grumpy defensiveness when approached, with baring of the teeth and the expulsion of a loud warning shot, acidic saliva spraying outwards.
The chevradrole repeats any statement spoken in its vicinity. The delay between the original phrase and the chevradrole's echo is so short, however (at a 0.04 second delay), that it seems to speak at the same time as those individuals whose speech it mirrors.
Proximity to the chevradrole causes a specific visual distortion accompanied by an acidic sensation upon the skin. Surfaces near the chevradrole initially appear to bubble very slightly, and then drip or melt as though composed of a clay-like substance. When the affected sensitive touches these surfaces, a distinctive burning sensation is felt, which continues to spread across the skin, the pain growing further as more time is spent around the chevradrole. This effect ceases only when the sensitive leaves the area, or upon the chevradrole's death.
As the chevradrole ages, its body becomes more prone to its own acidity. Its gums and eye markings are the first areas to be affected, with the acid eating through the skin, this corrosion spreading outward. Although this slow corrosion of form appears quite painful for the chevradrole, it endures with a bracing of the limbs, a sharp intake of breath, and a clenching of the teeth. These holes in the eye and mouth region grow larger and larger, giving the chevradrole a grotesque appearance, its jaws flopping loosely.
The chevradrole eventually collapses, its corpse bursting apart. Due to its fierce acidity, it leaves behind a bubbling pool of deliquescing muscle and organs, which sizzle away to nothing but the occasional scrap of rubbery skin, which other wandering chevradrole fold neatly in half before placing them on their tongues, mouth remaining open until this reminder of solidarity dissolves to nothing.