Mul'Tals, The Siege Plant
More subtle than artillery, Mul'Tals, the siege-vine of the Kel'Regar, is more than capable of reducing the strongest of defenses to rubble, growing, twisting, and devouring its way through them.
Once they had beaten us back, they cames for us, for revenges, to finish the job, we were not quite sure why. Facing them in the mountains, in the swamps, we knew they would kills us there, after the disaster that was our firsts offense during the wars. We ordered our peoples into the cities. They were our cities, and we knew how to fights in them, yes? We retreated behinds our shields and our fortifications that had served so well in the pasts, and powered up the missiles that seeks out and destroys the flyers. And we waits.
They came, and they launched the pods at us. We shots them down, and they disintegrated, rainings that green dusts all over our cities. We laughed, and we waited for the next wave. We did not laughs agains. Our cities fell to the dusts, and our peoples died to it.
Great Fang Ithols - Commander, 2nd Army
Designed from the uniting of a simple rock-lichen and some of the hardier, ivy like vines of Regar, the Mul'Tals, the 'Quick-Vine' is a Kel'Regar weapon of war, used for the destruction of defensive emplacements. A simple plant, once it is released, and finds itself on a surface, it begins to grow extremely rapidly, each tiny seed sprouting hundreds of tendrils to seek out nutrients. With its acidic composition, it is able to digest many soils, stones, and flesh, and it will rapidly erode away at most metals, even as it rapidly drains away all the available moisture from an area. As the plant grows and takes root, it begins to vine, sending its tendrils into every available crevice of the surfaces it has landed near, worming its way into them, and crumbling the surface through both the acidic decay of its touch, and the steady push of its growth. Beneath its touch, walls and buildings crumble, and devices are burst and jammed by the growth.
Other environmental factors, however, can greatly constrain the vine's growth. The plant does require sunlight, of at least two-thirds earth normal energy, and a reasonably temperate, oxygenated atmosphere in order to grow. As well, it is not able to grow normally through most exposed metals, as they lack the raw materials required for the plant to grow - while a spore that lands on soil or rock can erode nearby metallics, spores scattered across a metal sheet will not grow, and will be passed over by many attempts to clean up.
The siege vine... That showed us what horror could be. I survived the fusion salvos at Deneb. It was over in a flash. Half my platoon got eaten at Gamma Cygni. It was ugly, it was painful, but at least we saw what was killing us, we knew what it was doing. But those poor bastard Scranja at Deneb.. They got eaten from the inside out, by god damned plants. By plants! Through the scopes, we could see the vines tearing their way through their bodies, out their mouths, and out those wierd breathing holes on the sides of their necks. Out from between their scales. Ten miles off we were, and we could only imagine their screams...
A weapon of mass destruction, the Mul'Tals does not pay much attention to what it grows on, feeding upon any available organic material, and a host of inorganic materials, as it grows. The fine, dust-like seed easily sifts into crevices, into the folds of clothes, and is often inhaled during the initial bombardment. Once it has entered the body, it will grow much as if it has landed elsewhere, though with an exceptional speed, the body providing almost perfectly the needed nutrients. Typically, this involves extreme pain inflicted upon the 'host' of the seeds.
The Mul'Tals will continue to grow until it has stripped everything that it can reach of nutrients, then shortly thereafter, it will die. Having no natural method of reproduction, the seeds must be grown in the Womb of Creation, and will die away once they have sprouted and consumed their target. The ruination left behind is much like that of an ancient city claimed by a jungle, the process of a thousand years compressed to a few short days. A tailored 'clean up' fungus is able to break down the vines, returning fertile soil to the area attacked, though it will not touch the spores. Still, those seeds that do not find nutrients will lie dormant, a hazard for generations to come. While it can be produced enmasse, large amounts of the seed must be deployed, at great risk to any near by ground forces. Because of the difficulty of delivery, and the narrow distribution of suitable targets, the siege-vine is only rarely deployed, when the destruction of the target is more important than capture. Few of the allies of the Kel'Regar appreciate the use of the weapon at all.
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? Responses (13)-13
Holy...Just when I think the Kel-regar couldn't get any worse. 5/5
Very cool, but seems too perfect a weapon. Even nukes - which largely have the same net effect - have their downsides.
I suppose it could look that way. But it is not without drawbacks. It is a fine seed, difficult to disperse and contain safely. It is not difficult to imagine it winding up in all the wrong places. Don't drop the shell!
And I thought my jock itch was bad! 5/5
Pretty cool. I like the idea behind it. But I feel like there are some facts missing that would make it a more complete submission.
Such as: How easy is it to produce? Or how long does it take to produce a batch capable of completely wiping out an enemy? Do the Kel'Regar always produce this, or only in rare times of very threatening wars? When do they use it, and how often? Is it a secret weapon? And, you say it can end up in the wrong places, but that hardly matters if you can get your troops off the ground and just sprinkle away, especially with a 'clean-up' fungus.
I think it is too perfect of a weapon, since it will completely wipe out anything and leave nothing harmful behind. I'm not really sure how you could fix this sub (in my eyes anyway, others seem to think it's perfect). Sorry, it's not bad, but it's certainly not perfect.
Update: Edit: Addressed some comments - pointed out the narrow band of use, and clarified that unfired spores do not clean up well. Also, the usage rate is low.
Thank you, and for your work, a re-vote.
And I seriously didn't need to hear about your jock itch, Cheka. Good luck with that. Maybe some of the Kel-Regar 'clean-up' fungus would help.
Whoa, nasty! I would imagine the Kel'Regar, if they wished to reuse the place, would shower it with a nutrient-rich rain, to help along regeneration and help any forgotten seed to sprout. So figure another bomb with some basic nutrients and elementar weather-control abilities.
They wouldn't use a nuke, now would they?
Nah, nukes would be out of theme. But, like a nuke, this is non-trivial to clean up after. It can be done, but you prefer not to use it unless you're out of better choices. Or you want the terror effect.
Nasty is right! And pretty cool too. The way I judge sci-fi subs is, do they make me want to play sci-fi. This one does.
Interstellar siege vine. Yum.
I like this, a lot, I kind of feel like passing it a note and seeing if it likes me back
I think this could easily be adapted to a fantasy setting and the idea of the vines growing out of people is both fun and horrible.
I also really liked the flavor text, it gave the fun slip stream feel of this space/D&D setting.