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Bodysnatcher Slime

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 19
Purportedly born from some ill-informed experiment performed during the Gap, bodysnatcher slimes are parasitic organisms that commandeer hosts to experience life through their senses. Unlike most oozes, these slimes contain a complex yet amorphous neural network that enables learning, memory, and reasoning. These neurons can also integrate with a host’s nervous system, enabling nearly instantaneous communication between the two beings. Studies suggest the slimes replicate and absorb copies of their hosts’ neurons, so hypothetically, a prolific slime could grow smarter over time.

In most cases, though, a bodysnatcher slime never grows to occupy more than several cubic feet. Replicating neurons grants the slime greater control over its form, allowing it to grow and still coordinate its movements and metabolism. However, bigger oozes find it more difficult to fit inside hosts without causing the body to bulge such that it betrays the parasite’s presence. Furthermore, the slime’s modified neural network can develop multiple personalities that compete for resources and control. Ultimately, such a creature splits and forms two new slimes, each of which begins rebuilding the vast stores of knowledge and neurons that it lost in the process. Rarely, an ooze retains control over its growing mental prowess and so avoids splitting. These rare bodysnatcher autocrats selectively infest hosts they perceive as powerful.

As with humanoid brains, a slime’s neural network requires the slime to consume a large number of calories to sustain it While infesting a host, the slime draws its necessary nutrients from the host’s body and digestive system; this process adds a faintly citrus scent to the host’s sweat and excrement. However, without a host, a bodysnatcher slime can absorb nutrients from a wide variety of foods, favoring high-calorie options like sugars and flesh. When denied sustenance, the slime can enter hibernation, awaiting suitable prey for months at a time.

Bodysnatcher slimes aren’t malicious, but they are insidious. When spoken to, they are baffled by claims that abducting others is reprehensible. Given the oozes’ simple physiology and psychology, this mindset likely results from a lack of higher thought processes and capacity for self-reflection. However, bodysnatcher slimes grow increasingly ambitious the longer they spend in hosts and the larger they become, suggesting a moral compass doesn’t accompany greater intelligence.

Having stowed away on countless ships, the slimes have spread across the Pact Worlds, the Veskarium, and beyond. Stewards officers have logged several reports of people having extended blackouts and behaving strangely on Absalom Station, and although several operations have cornered and eliminated bodysnatcher slimes, the reports continue to come in. With increasing frequency, authorities contract independent trackers to eliminate these slimes; as such, the bodysnatchers have learned to recognize and avoid the Stewards. The oozes are common on Verces, where hosts have dispersed these parasites along the habitable Ring of Nations. Several cohorts of the Augmented have designated bodysnatcher slimes not as enemies but as intelligent biotech that they accept into their bodies.

Aliens in the "Bodysnatcher Slime" Family

NameCR
Bodysnatcher Autocrat10
Bodysnatcher Slime3

Bodysnatcher Slime, Bodysnatcher Autocrat

Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 18

Bodysnatcher Autocrat CR 10

XP 9,600
N Medium ooze
Init +5; Senses blindsight (vibration) 60 ft.; Perception +19

Defense

HP 140
EAC 23; KAC 23
Fort +11; Ref +8; Will +11
Defensive Abilities share body; Immunities ooze immunities

Offense

Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee slam +20 (2d8+14 B plus grab)
Offensive Abilities bodysnatch

Statistics

STR +4; DEX +5; CON +5; INT -1; WIS +2; CHA -1
Skills Athletics +19 (+27 to climb), Bluff +24, Disguise +19, Stealth +24; see neural integration
Languages See neural integration

Ecology

Environment any land
Organization solitary

Special Abilities

Bodysnatch (Ex) This ability functions as the bodysnatcher slime ability, but the autocrat can infest a Medium, Large, or Huge creature (Fortitude DC 19 negates). The autocrat can also use any of the creature’s supernatural abilities. It takes a DC 25 Medicine check to expel an autocrat, and each failed check deals the host 2d6 damage.

Neural Integration (Su) This ability functions as the bodysnatcher slime ability, but the skill bonus is +19.

Share Body (Ex) This ability functions as the bodysnatcher slime ability, but the autocrat leaves the host only after taking 70 or more damage.

Bodysnatcher Implants

Bioengineers can dilute the chemicals that allow a bodysnatcher slime to control a host; uses include sedating medical patients and suppressing neurological activity. Incorporated into a special biotech gland, this same technology can protect users against mental attacks.