Thursday, October 14, 2021

Rapacious Child

    Rapacious Child is the factory/foundry complex that serves as the base of Father’s Corp’s operations in Chunky Space. It is an astral entity that budded off from Father Corp itself. It is possessed by the same greed as its sire but it is much less intelligent. It is a simple, grasping thing that only wants to melt down astral matter in its blazing gullet. 

    Seen from space, Rapacious Child looks like a monstrous face. A huge mouth splits the station in half vertically. Massive plates the size of cities overhang the opening like snaggly teeth. The mouth is lit by a warm glow.  Both hemispheres have a single large glowing eye.

    Rapacious Child is Father Corp’s most valuable asset in Chunky Space so it needs protection. In every system it visits it is escorted by 10 micro missile swarms, each hundreds of units strong. The swarms are kept hidden in ready mode in key locations across the system. Fire control for the swarms is provided by observers in stealthed watch posts. In addition, there are 2d20 astral trawlers docked or in system at any given time. Astral trawlers are armed with twin medium mazer banks and a squad of astral marines in battle panoplies. Between the ships there will also be 1d8 psychic weapon officers, split between telekinetic and offensive telepaths. Lastly, in dire situations the meld minister can focus the attention of the Child itself on intruders. The Child attacks with telekinetically controlled webs of molten metal.

    Close orbit around the Child is known as the Feed Yard. This is a holding zone for astral matter that is destined to be fed to the Child.  There are chunks of impossible edifices, surreal trees, and bloody corpses of astral creatures. Cyborg Prime Strain void laborers pick through the remains, scanning for items of value and potential threats to the Child. In emergency situations they mobilize into an ad-hoc militia.

    Baby Blues are creeps that manifest in the Feed Yard. They are thought to have come from Prime Strain misconceptions about human reproduction. They look not unlike fat human infants, but much larger and solid blue. They float around the yard, motionless until they're looked at. They feed off of disgust and revulsion, so they begin to twitch when observed. They converge on people having panic attacks, mobbing up against them in a tide of soft blue flesh. The void workers try not to look at anything blue or baby like if they can help it.

    The Jaw Dex is the slightly nicer of the two jaw cities. The hab complexes are cleaner, the rations are fresher and the security forces are less trigger happy. The permanent residents are entirely Prime Strain. The office of the Meld Minister is here. The current Meld Minister is JXTRL, once a cunning and ambitious middle manager. Their mind is already deteriorating from exposure to the Child. When they’re not directing the Child, they are locked in their office playing with blocks and eating candy. The bureaucracy of Father Corp has rerouted management of the child around them, to a council of upper middle managers.

    Jaw Dex is home to the Eye of What You Want, a large temple complex where astral radiation shines from the depths of the child. The whole temple acts as psychic focus for clairvoyance, with the catch that it only shows material goods the psychic would wish to acquire.  

    The Jaw Sin is the shabbier of the two cities. The foreigner ghetto that houses non Prime Strain Father Corp employees is here. These workers are often debt slaves who were pressed into service by rescue fees when Father Corp found them in dire circumstances. They are given the most dangerous jobs in the child, like bowel maintenance worker. Also here is the visitor’s dock and the outlet store, where outsiders can purchase Father Corp goods.

    The Eye of What Others Have is here. It is similar to the Eye of What you Want, except it shows material possessions belonging to people the seer knows personally. The two eyes are in constant use by “Clerical Associates” who use them to conduct “market research”. This results in an endless stream of  intelligence products that swirl through the bureaucracy until they congeal into action items. Both eyes together give Father Corp strategic vision of almost anywhere in Chunky Space 

    The Bowels of the Child is a cramped and sprawling mass of brass pipes and tanks. Astral matter is melted down in the mouth and processed in the bowels. High levels of astral radiation means the machinery here does not operate on rational material rules but rather by dream logic. Constant maintenance is required, simply because it seems like constant maintenance should be required. Teams of workers plumb the sweltery depths, looking for dials to adjust and bolts to tighten. Accidents are frequent and deadly, like leaks of molten dream stuff and flash fires. There are also factory dwelling creeps that can be hostile. Somewhere in the tangle is the Umbilicus, the cords and pipes that connect the Child to Father Corp. The Umbilicus runs through the astral current called the Squeeze, which can act as a backdoor into the Child. 

    Jerkies are a type of creep found in the bowels. They are crude humanoid simulrums made of burned and desiccated meat. They are shy, hiding between pipes, peeking out of shadows with skeletal faces. Bowel workers say they are the corpses of those who were killed by accidents. They say they congregate around future accident sites.  They are ambiguous figures, sometimes saving workers from their fate, sometimes trying to make more of their kind.

    Rarely a Jerky will have a damaged mask on its face. This is actually a dangerous creature called a Maskform revenant. These beings are the damaged and distorted egos of dead maskforms, still clinging to existence. They are driven by revenge, but they can’t remember the source of their grudges. They grow wicked blades out their bodies and attack at short range. They will not attack the friends and family they had in life. 

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