Amazing Future Tales
A sarpashana, or poison eater, is an aggressive colony of disparate microbes that have mutated to excrete and survive within a protoplasmic medium. This creature appears to be a bulging, surging mass of blotchy, semi-transparent ooze. At rest, a sarpashana would just about fill a 125-cubic-foot container. It weighs approximately 1,400 pounds, but has it has enough bouyancy to swim clumsily. Its protoplasmic mass has sufficient cohesion and strength to climb up walls, but is still fluid enough to ooze through spaces no larger than the diameter of a adult’s little finger.
As its name implies, a sarpashana survives by consuming toxins. It is especially attracted to the toxins produced by the metabolic processes of mammals. These include carbon dioxide, sulfates, nitrogen compounds, and phosphates. Using acute chemical sensors (roughly analogous to olfactory senses), a sarpashana detects its preferred foods. Devoid of anything resembling intelligence and always hungry, a sarpashana always moves toward the closest source of nourishment in order to feed. Unfortunately for mammals, a sarpashana’s preferred foods are found in vital places such as the kidneys, bladder, liver, lungs, and bloodstream.
A sarpashana attacks with a crushing lash by rapidly funneling a portion of its mass into a protoplasmic extension. The power of its lash is not main danger posed by a sarpashana. Rather, the creeping residue invariably left behind on the victim merits the greater amount of fear. This residue slithers rapidly on the victim, seeking ingress via whatever orifices are available. Inside the victim’s body, the microbes burrow through soft membranes in order to enter the bloodstream, which then carries the microbes to those aforementioned internal organs richest in the creature’s preferred food. This can wreak horrible internal damage on the host.