Sunday, June 14, 2015

165. Tall-Dogs

TITAN bred tall-dogs wander the deserts of Mars, ranging far from the TITAN Quarantine Zone. Physically, tall-dogs resemble the maned wolves of old Earth, walking on stilt-like legs. They also, however, have toothless jaws and meter-long, prehensile, blood-sucking tongues.

Tall-dog behavior is defined by their apparent lack of consciousness, with behavioral patterns that remind many of insects or robots, not mammals. They are nonetheless social, although they do not form any permanent or even semi-permanent packs. Tall-dogs maintain contact with each other through constant ultrasonic howling, sharing information about themselves and their surroundings. When they are in a secure position they will attempt to breed. They are hermaphroditic, so each member of a pair will impregnate the other, then they separate. Like normal wolves or dogs, they will dig a den to give birth in, although they always give birth to twins. Tall-dog pups grow almost as fast as they can be fed, usually reaching maturity in a month.

They hunt primarily through ambush. If one picks up the scent of prey, it will follow from a distance, staying out of sight and following the scent trail, while howling to draw other dogs. Once enough dogs have joined, they rush the target, piercing it with their tongues and killing through rapid blood-loss.

Sequencing of the tall-dog genome has revealed a disquieting fact: the dogs do not seem to have been engineered, but rather, even their most extreme traits were formed, somehow, through selective breeding.


COG 5 COO 10 INT 10 REF 20 SAV 5 SOM 20 WIL 10
INIT 8 SPD 2 DUR 35 WT 7 DR 53 LUC 20 TT 4 IR 40

Skills: Perception 80, Unarmed Combat 60, Infiltration 60, Fray 60, Freerunning 50
Enhancements: Bioweave (Heavy), Claws, Echolocation, Enhanced Vision, Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Smell, Enhanced Respiration, Temperature Tolerance
Sleights: Unconscious Lead (Constant)
Movement Rate: 6/40
Attack: Tongue 1d10 + 2 DV, AP −1
Armor: 3/4

1 comment:

  1. ": all signs point to the dogs not having been engineered, but that even their most extreme traits were formed through selective breeding."

    Presumably in a simulspace, as there shouldn't have been enough time to do anything like that in meatspace. The alternative is that the TITANs can violate causality, and that's just too horrifying to consider...