Tide Stalker

The bane of sailors, oil-rig crews, coastal ports and other sea operations, tide stalkers are 100-meter-long eel-like fish with bony hooks along their underside. The creatures spring from the water, grab their prey in their toothy mouths, and drag them below the surface to drown.

Typical Tide Stalker

Agility 4D: brawling 6D
Mechanical 1D: navigation 1D +1
Strength 4D: lift 8D
Knowledge 1D: survival: sea 5D
Perception 4D: search 90
Technical 0D
Strength Damage: 4D
Move: 30 (swimming)
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 22
Wound Levels: 4

Natural Abilities: breaches in water (takes 4D damage per round out of water); bite (damage +4D ; +5 to combat difficulty); bony protrusions (+15 to resist being moved when hooked to solid objects; cannot dodge when hooked); hardiness { +2D to damage resistance totals); large size (scale modifier of 12).

The sea creatures are capable of such quick and ferocious attacks because of the series of hooks that run the length of their body. The unjointed bony protrusions act as legs for partial locomotion, pinchers to grasp objects, and stakes to help them hold their ground.

Tide stalkers earn their name because they only target prey that’s a few meters from the shoreline or other solid objects. Prey farther from the shore reveals their weakness – tide stalkers must keep their gills submerged in water, lest they suffocate in the open air. However the creatures have adapted to this weakness. Over generations the placement of their gills has slowly moved down their body. Modern tide stalkers’ gills are situated at the back underside of their tail. The placement of the gills allows the creatures to operate with more than 90% of their body outside of the water. Should the creature’s rear end be pulled out of the water, it begins suffocating.

To defend their breathing apparatus, the creatures often imbed their bone hooks into the beach, latch them onto ladder rungs, or stake them into the underside of an ocean-going vessel. This action allows tide stalkers to essentially pin their tails underwater.

After their prey has drowned, the ride stalkers pin their food on a “corpse hook,” usually under an underwater rock, a natural reef or dock piling. Over time, the bodies decompose in the water, and the tide stalkers strip away the flesh at their leisure – leaving bones, equipment, and other objects to settle in piles beneath the corpse hook.

With their unique food preparation methods, it’s not uncommon for the creatures to go on a hunting rampage when they discover a new prey site. The tide stalkers attack and drown every available prey creature and store them for later meals.

Particularly daring tide stalkers have been known to snap at in-flight ships, hoping to clamp on to the craft and pull it underwater. Once the ship is immobilized, it tears open the hull and kills the passengers.

Aside from its unique use of its bony appendages, ride stalkers also have a series of eye stalks that sprout out from their backbone and give them uncanny perception. These crablike appendages often break off as they battle prey, but new stalks grow to replace them in a few weeks.

While at first only a threat to water mammals that live by the seaside, tide stalkers have learned that prey – particularly humanoids – can be found in similar locales, including ocean-going vessels, water-based interstellar landing platforms and offshore mineral extraction facilities.

Even worse, tide stalkers have proved to be a problem for most planets because their pebble-sized eggs are often trapped in the holds of interstellar vessels that are equipped to haul seafood, marine creatures and water supplies. Some planets ban such shipments from known “infection” sites.

D6 Space Aliens, Volume I (WEG 51022), © 2005 Purgatory Publishing Inc.
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