The ondridrome (/ˈɒndrədroʊm/) is a large, lumbering stranger with a fleshy, wide-framed form. It can be characterized by the two to four arms that grow upwards from its back, in addition to the four legs it uses for locomotion. A pair of small, floppy, ear-like appendages hang from the sides of its head, like the limp ears of a stuffed animal. Its soft skin, which has a musty, old newsprint-like smell, leaves behind a fine powder on any surface with which it comes into contact. The ondridrome's inner flesh is doughy, and uniform throughout. Although this strain's coloration is marked by varying shades of grey, subtle pink or reddish hues are apparent around the hands, feet, mouth, and underneath its "ears". Despite its great bulk, the ondridrome's soft, padded hands and feet allow it to move without making a sound, even over rocks and gravel.
When injured, the rate of regeneration varies between individuals, with some ondridrome healing almost instantly, while others requires months, if not years, to fully recover. Subsequent scarring, similarly, ranges from a barely noticeable discoloration to raised, jagged lines and blotches across the ondridrome's surface. Otherwise, the ondridrome resists cold temperatures, but appears subtly poisoned by both extreme heat and high humidity, with some temporary wrinkling of the skin around the hands and ears.
The ondridrome's deep voice is subdued, but human-like, and resembles the weary mutters of an aged man or woman. Nearly half (50.1%) of ondridrome speak with a masculine voice, while 49.9% speak with a feminine voice. The ondridrome's volume is always quiet, and it never speaks as long as there is a louder sound nearby.
The ondridrome appears in a wide range of outdoor residential locations, but prefers the narrow side streets, community gardens, and alleys of back driveways found in certain residential neighborhoods. The ondridrome does not generate while around human beings, and as such, specifics of its initial manifestation remain unknown. It never appears in areas with more than minimal commotion or activity.
The ondridrome's disposition is listless and apathetic, and it shambles forward with slow, trudging steps, like a haggard pensioner suffering from countless untold aches. It stops every so often to let out a grumbling, tired sigh, using the arms on its back to scratch at its ears, pick off dirt from its skin, and push away branches or other obstacles from its path. It tends to stay within a small, specific territory, and dislikes changes within its environment. Once an area becomes too active for its tastes, the ondridrome moves towards a quieter locale, and grows ill when unable to find a suitably peaceful environment.
Despite its depressive nature, the ondridrome is not without its small pleasures, and displays some interest in random, minute details of the world around it. It listens to soothing songs from beneath open windows, cocks its head at flickering lights, and chuckles when certain birds and insects land on its back.
The ondridrome seeks out and gathers objects within its territory. The criteria by which these objects are selected varies between individuals. Some ondridrome seek out specifically-colored objects, while others are drawn to objects of a certain shape, and still others prefer particular textures or materials. In addition, three percent of ondridrome seek out objects based on weight or length. One ondridrome might, for example, only seek out objects which weigh exactly 21.84 pounds, while another might find itself drawn to objects with a width of exactly seven inches at the widest point. The ondridrome seems to be able to sense these properties intrinsically, without the need to measure or pick up an object to test its weight or size. Only one percent of ondridrome select objects which do not seem linked by any immediately identifiable criteria, although it is anyone's guess whether these objects are selected at random, or share a secret, unknown commonality. No ondridrome, however, selects objects longer than two feet long at the widest part, or heavier than 38 pounds.
Once it has found an object that fits its criteria, the ondridrome picks it up with one of the arms on its back and carries it to a specific location within its territory. This location can be anything from a gap between two dumpsters, to the bumper of a parked car, to a small alcove in the wall of a building. The ondridrome places each object with care to build "shrines" in these locations. Objects are always meticulously arranged, although an ondridrome's arrangement of objects does differ from standard human placement and use. Books, for example, might be propped up on their edges like tents, whilst small statues might be placed so that they face backwards, or lay on their sides. The ondridrome never modifies or destroys objects in any way, and takes great care to rearrange its shrines many times over as new objects are added. The ondridrome also rearranges its shrines when objects are scattered or repositioned due to outside forces, carefully removing objects which have been modified to no longer fit the ondridrome's criteria for selection.
The ondridrome does not react when its shrine is completely removed, and it takes no time before starting on a new one.
Shrines are considered complete once a set number of objects have been collected. This number varies between individuals, but is always a multiple of nine, ranging between nine and 999. Once this number of objects is met, the ondridrome nods and emits a slight murmur of satisfaction, before it begins a slow wander into a neighboring area, where it builds a new shrine.
Half of one percent of ondridrome appear to seek out objects by a criteria which no natural object is able to match (for example, objects composed entirely of neon molecules, or items weighing -0.5 pounds each). These individuals wander forever, their hands always empty and their shrines un-built, but appear no more or less weary than their more fruitful companions.
The ondridrome does not display much regard towards others of its strain, although quarrels can occur when one individual takes an object from another individual's shrine. These fights, which consist of much shoving and grumbling, are short, half-hearted, and cause no ultimate injuries, with the smaller ondridrome giving up after several minutes.
A small minority of ondridrome (0.02% of individuals) displays affirmative reactions towards 0.4% of objects, which cause it to chuckle under its breath. An ondridrome which displays this behaviour pushes these objects into its own flesh, where they remain for the rest of the stranger's life. An ondridrome never pushes more than five objects into its body, however, and once it contains five objects, no further objects elicit any reaction.
Whenever the ondridrome discovers a human corpse, the edges of its lips curl up into a slight, self-satisfied smile, and it lets out a sigh of relief. It then drags the corpse back to its shrine, where it rearranges all objects so that the corpse can be the centerpiece of the shrine's arrangement, often with objects placed inside the mouth, nostrils, and over the eyes of the corpse. When the corpse possesses large wounds, objects are often placed inside these holes or gashes, as though the ondridrome hopes to fix the body in the only way it knows how. The ondridrome never does anything that causes harm to these corpses, and, in fact, appears greatly distressed when the corpse is removed, when decomposition sets in, or when damage does occur due to scavenging strangers or feral animals.
The ondridrome displays shyness towards sensitives, hiding behind nearby walls or objects when a sensitive approaches. It does not appear to take its large size into account when selecting these hiding spaces, and mostly seems concerned with hiding its face. As such, it is not uncommon for it to hide behind trash cans or recycling bins which do not conceal the entirety of its bulky form.
Once a hiding spot has been chosen, the ondridrome remains stationary, even as the sensitive walks closer. When touched with calm, slow strokes, or approached with a gentle, quiet demeanor, the ondridrome emits a slight "ahh" sound before it wanders away to continue with its shrine-building.
Firm impacts cause an ondridrome's fleshy body to harden to the consistency of cement. As such, it is difficult to kill when in this state, as it can only be destroyed by impacts strong enough to crack stone. Furthermore, it must be broken apart into pieces to be killed, as the ondridrome's putty-like, regenerative form allows it to heal from partial wounds once it re-enters a softer state. The ondridrome remans in this statue-like form until its attacker leaves the area, at which point its texture begins to yield, it shakes a layer of dust from its skin, and it returns to its usual activities.
Although the ondridrome is not directly hazardous, proximity to one causes weariness and muscle soreness in both sensitives and non-sensitives alike, the effects of which require several days of rest and relaxation to lift. The human body neutralizes this effect within one to three weeks exposure, and individuals which live near ondridrome display little to no lasting negative effects.
As the ondridrome ages, it slows down, and its behaviour grows more fatigued and absent-minded. It no longer gathers objects in shrines, but rather, places them at random in its surroundings – in the tailpipes of cars, on doorsteps, or in open mailboxes. As the months span on, it grows clumsier and clumsier, and loses the ability to hold onto the objects in its hands, dropping them as it moves.
Death comes suddenly for the ondridrome, and at the end of its life, it lays down with a weary sigh and passes on with little fanfare. Its corpse turns dry, then powdery, then breaks apart into a pile of dust and ash after one to two hours. Other ondridrome place offerings near these ashy piles, and pay no mind to the dust from their fallen companions, which leaves a chalky residue on the soles of their soft but heavy feet.