Ore Vermis
Ore Vermis
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"Monsters Among Microbes"
Type Threat Level
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Active Status Other Names
blank.png Invisible Mouth, Stomach Cruncher, Belly Biters, Love Bug

Description: Ore Vermis is a microscopic worm-like parasite with a ridged transparent exterior. This predator predominantly searches for hosts with little to no keratin follicles surrounding their navel areas. These worm-like creatures use their rough bodies to scale towards hosts' soft navel cavities unnoticed, burrowing through flesh once there with three jagged mandibles. The excavating stops at the host's fatty tissue where the cryptid dissolves and fuses with adipose cells, mutating its physiology around the navel area to suit the parasite's needs. This process continues until the cells mimic both Neurons and Glial brain cells. Once complete, the now evolved parasite lies dormant and acts as a "Shadow Brain", mimicking the same input/output signals the host's original brain gives off. Doing this acts as a deterrent towards the body's natural defenses.

The next stage in Ore Vermis' life cycle triggers with a combination of chemicals when dopamine levels surge and serotonin levels drop within the original host's brain simultaneously; signaling to the "Shadow Brain" the host is currently interacting with something they love. This mix of chemicals causes the Parasite to rapidly excrete a goo-like substance from its mimicking cells, giving the Shadow Brain full control over the host's body as it blocks signals the original brain may send or receive. Once total control is accomplished, Ore Vermis violently draws in all fluid inside the host, leaving all but the now swollen belly a brittle skeletal husk.

The fluid acts as nourishment to fuel the rapid growth and mutation of brain cells which help to form the parasite's final stage: an enlarged pseudo-mouth which mirrors the host's own mouth contained in the abdomen. The transformation provides the pseudo-mouth with elastic properties, giving it limited elongation and flexibility. Depending on the size of the host, the last stage of the parasite could take up to three to five seconds to fully complete.

Provided the host is engaging with another organism of the same species, the reproductive process begins for the parasite. By ingesting the other organism's (referred to as the victim) brain tissue with the enlarged elastic pseudo-mouth, the cryptid converts their brain tissue cells into sperm cells through chemical mutation, all while simultaneously changing the parasite's own cells into egg cells for the sperm to impregnate. The parasite then chews up the brain tissue after clamping off the victims cranium, exerting sheer force. Chewing helps spread an even coating of sperm cells among the egg cells, ensuring the highest probability of egg cells being impregnated.

Given a matter of minutes, Ore Vermis pseudo-mouth violently changes back to the previous outward appearance of the host's stomach regardless of if it had consumed brain tissue or not and succumbs to death. If consumption of brain tissue was successful, rapid growth occurs with the egg cells mere seconds after sperm and egg cells fuse. It only takes thirty to forty five seconds afterwards to give rise to a fully grown Ore Vermis. Once grown, the offspring waits until the pseudo-mouth reverts it's physical form back to it's previous state, where thereafter the original Ore Vermis spurts out the offspring in a milky cloud to be carried off by the wind.

Background: Fossil records from the late Pleistocene Period found in ice pockets show the earliest known existence of Ore Vermis. Paleontologists connected to the Society in Alberta, Canada unearthed rare samples of the creature's husk, possibly frozen after its reproductive cycles. These worms were identified in the examination of mammoth abdomen tissue taken from Siberia and correlated samples taken from deceased hosts. Physically, they've evolved very little over millions of years save for a thicker exterior. It seems the parasite not only preyed on Homo-Sapiens but most likely infiltrated larger hairier creatures such as Mammoths and Giant Sloths. Due to their larger brain size however, humans were a better candidate to have more quantities of offspring, eventually leading the cryptid to exclusively hunt humans. With less keratin surrounding the navel areas on humans, Ore Vermis evolved to having a thinner exterior to help climb up naked flesh.

The existence of these records have been heavily modified to portray them as some kind of "Ice Age Tape Worm" in order to keep the public unaware of the cryptid's true nature. Throughout human history, the bodies of both hosts and victims until the early 20th century, were thought to have been the results of devil worship or alchemical experimentation gone wrong. 'Course, due to the rapid changing anatomy of the parasite and how the deaths occur, very few written records on the creature exists. The records, however, do provide a very vague description of Ore Vermis, most referring to it as "The Mouth Of Satan". If given to the public, these records were more often than not dismissed as something too outlandish to be real, even in modern times.

Now, thanks to Data Collectors and Warders within the Wayward Society, the existence of these parasites have been kept secret and knowledge of their cycles make them fairly easy to handle.

Location and Population: Originally isolated to North America, these parasites were scattered across the globe thanks to advancements in aviation at the turn of the 21st century. Ore Vermis tend to thrive better in colder climates than tropical ones, but this reason is currently unknown. Places like North America, Europe, and Russia have higher chances of experiencing this creature than in places closer to the Equator.

As a microbial being, it cannot be counted. We can only track it during the later stages of its reproductive cycle, but thankfully such outbreaks have only occurred by the handful. This could have something to do with the way it reproduces and its method of spreading offspring. Modern anti-bacterial advancement has surely helped as well. It's currently unknown how long they live before entering inside a host.

Hunting or Procurement Methods: Due to the nature and size of this cryptid, Warders must stay vigilant of its presence at all times. If Warders are actively hunting Ore Vermis, any ultrasound, MRI, or tissue sampling device is needed to scan targets' stomachs to show any irregular anomalies in fatty tissue. Once a target is confirmed to be infected two methods have been proven useful to eradicate the parasite: Killing the host and igniting the body or cutting out the infected tissue then igniting it.

Prevention is truly the best method to stop Ore Vermis. Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Encounter Records: One record involving the Warders is worth noting. In 1998, Northern Alaska, an Outfit of Warders purposely infected themselves with the parasite for experimentation. They wanted to see if the cryptid could be utilized to help hunt more dangerous creatures. They succeeded… sort of. In short, a symbiotic relationship formed, with the hosts turning cannibal and choosing to consume human brain matter with their own mouths (not the pseudo-mouth) to survive; doing so proved to be a safer alternative to the host, triggering the last stage of the parasite's evolution without out right killing themselves. Using the consumed brain matter to be converted into sperm cells activates Ore Vermis reproductive cycle. In return, the parasite grants the host an elastic body in order to protect them so they may repeat the reproductive cycle.

Though they had a new body, the outfit quickly realized the folly of their success. The Shadow Brain parasite gave the host strong cravings for only brain tissue in humans. If the cravings weren't met, the host would starve to death with anything other than brain tissue being expelled from the body's stomach-mouth. Thanks to this, the Warders were forced to constantly search for people to kill in order to sate off their cravings. It wasn't long after that news reached other outfits around the area, spelling the end for those who dabbled in the parasite experiments.

Additional Notes: Ore Vermis is Latin for "Edge Of The Worm". The reason for giving the parasite this name has been lost to knowledge. Some Warders want to believe its named that because the discoverer thought it sounded cool.

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