ENTRY 056: Seedless
On some of the windswept canyons of Mars, along the lonelier beaches of Titan, and in other strange parts of the Solar system where no human voice should be, a strange whistling permeates the atmospheres that no unmodified throat should be able to breathe, and some people go to investigate…and fall into the trap of the seedless.
One of the more obscure exsurgent threats, seedless resemble medium-sized, exotic plants with fleshy, heavily, veined, dark purple-brown leaves and thick stocks. Forensic analysis of deceased specimens has revealed that each seedless is “built” from harvested human tissue, augmented with additional clonal material. The leaves contain sensory cells and nerves harvested from the eyes, ears, nose, and tongue, feeding an agglomeration of sensory data down a central nerve bundle (formerly the spinal cord) in the trunk down to the brain, which is situated near the root of the plant. The trunk typically displays six-fold radial symmetry about the central axis, with 12 two-chamber hearts and 18 micro-lungs per organism, though in the wild some folds are damaged and others more developed due to the environment. As their name indicates, the seedless have no means of reproduction.
Seedless are each unique, their anatomies tailored for their environments, and from a genetic perspective are nearly immortal, exhibiting no signs of aging. Principally they draw what nutrients they need from their environment, and produce a loud multi-harmony whistling by passing air through modified tracheas; though some examples use hollow bone tubes and gas-filled bladders to achieve a similar effect, and the Siren of Ganymede was even known to sing a wordless, endless ululation through a full vocal-esophageal tract, complete with a lower jaw, teeth, lips, and tongue. The whistling is presumed to attract human prey—not to damage them, but only to pass on the exsurgent virus carried within the seedless’ system.
Each seedless has unique stats with attribute limits equivalent to a wrapper (Eclipse Phase, p.370), but all are immobile and typically with no physical offensive capability. However, each is a Level 3 psi, and a carrier for the Watts-Macleod viral strain (Eclipse Phase, p.368). Whether or not an individual seedless is sentient is left up to the gamemaster; if they ever were intelligent beings then they have been so warped by strange science and left alone and incommunicative on alien worlds for so long they are probably insane by most transhuman standards.
- Firewall has information that a seedless has been captured from a remote moon and is being brought back to the player character’s habitat. The ship bearing the seedless has already communicated an outbreak of a communicable virus aboard and is slated for quarantine rather than being allowed to dock or land; the PCs will have to break quarantine and risk infection to infiltrate the ship…unless they come up with a better plan.
- Jhal Dan, an ice miner from the Jovian Republic has been experiencing bouts of missing time, and the cumulative stress is taking its toll. He believes the source of his troubles lies in an underground lake on Ganymede, and wishes to return to find out what is causing his condition, and perhaps cure it. Jhal hires the player characters to escort him and provide needed firepower—but the source of Jhal’s troubles is the Siren of Ganymede, an unusually large and aggressive seedless who infected Jhal, erased his memory, and has caused him to subconsciously bring back more victims.