LONG STAIR Designation: Xenofauna Classification Guro
Looking Glass Designation: ANT #0014
GURO-class xenofauna, called Gremlins or LGBs, are all small, tough, burrowing trap-builders. They are all pack hunters, and have tribal political structure, with strong nest-building behaviors evidenced. Further, all demonstrate linguistic capacity, and pose overfraternization risks.
Because of the similarity of their tactics, they're grouped together. Their phenotypes vary widely - some seem to be scaled reptiles, some green-skinned and hairless with canine-shaped heads, others are invertebrates who look like wrinkled old men.
All three kinds are also prone to suffer from bizarre "mutations", though these are extremely rare in the invertebrate species. The canine specimens show a mutation quota of about 1:30, however, and their mutations are *freaky*: additional heads, arms, eyes - or even tentacles or spider-like bodies..."
While the classified details are not available, the wild stories circulate about Operation GNOME KING that almost closed down Project LONG STAIRS back in the '60s keep DOGs from attempting to over-fraternize again.
See Also: SHAVER, RICHARD.
The invertebrate bodies are covered in smooth moist skin which reminds one - like their round bulging eyes - of small amphibians like frogs or newts. Their "beards", in fact all of their "hair", is a bundle of fine semi-transparent tentacles - and probably a kind of sensory organ - which secretes a lubricating viscous fluid which dries to a paste and which can then be 'spun' into an impossible thin wire-like consistency. Weirdest fact of all, however, is the complete lack of bones in their bodies! They can squeeze through any kind of opening, much like an octopus, but are still very strong for their size and able to walk upright." The slugs - the most intelligent and also the most butt-fucking crazy of them all - have incorporated scavenged ammunition clips and repurposed IR goggles to deastating effects.
The caniform specimens, often mistaken for the rumored juvenile state of xenoform OSCAR are reported as being "the most feral, cruel and creepy nasty little buggers you'll ever not want to meet."
Yellow Bellies Edit
The reptilian xenoforms should probably be classified as arachnids. Vestigial wings and 'feeding arms' under a chin-flap raise the limb-count to eight, which when paired with a thoracial spinneret which facilitates the regurgitation of a pulpy, web-like substance, argues convincingly for the classification. The lizards have been the slowest to adopt cast-off technology from topside
Field reports relating to Guro Edit
"Well, it depends on the trap."
"Some of them, they're set up by local talkers, mostly. I watched one, once, while we were negotiating for intel. It spun a thread of monowire across a corridor with it's beard, like a spider, and - here's the thing - it wouldn't admit it. I watched it happen, watched it with my own two eyes as it set up that little neckslitter, and it wouldn't admit it was there until I threatened to huck it into it. So, yeah, some of it boils down to local work."
"Other parts - like the pitfalls - they seem to show up by themselves. Part of the 'unstable architecture', as the intel types call it. On our way in, area clear. On our way out, Peterson vanished down a deadfall and broke his leg to pieces."
"Others ARE the locals. There was this thing in the ceiling that fired these glossy blue barbs and reeled in one of the eggheads we were escorting. Swallowed him like a grape... The thing was the size of a blue whale, just sliding along a huge chimney in the rock."
"No one knows much about the reality snap-points. You pass through a doorway or step on a sigil and all of a sudden - POP - the air turns in to napalm or poison or your pointman turns in to a fish. The equipment to detect those is so expensive, they don't let us have it except for the deep dives. But sometimes, you'll find em' on the upper levels. So don't step on anything that's a funny color or just looks wrong. Trust your gut."