Celids

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Celids are artificial life forms, engineered by the Ministry of Food[1] on the Moreau V Biological Research Facility and NAAFI Canteen to solve the problem of Sham’s near-zero nutritional content. Celids were first created at a top secret research facility: however, they have spread throughout the galaxy and are encountered on many worlds, largely because celid seeds were caught in a certain space captain’s turn-ups.

Genetic Heritage

Celids are, essentially, oversized celery plants. To accelerate growth and protein content, the original celery genetic makeup was spliced with DNA from sharks and wolverines. This worked perfectly, except for the moving around and the homicidal tendencies. This tendency was first observed by the head of the genetic team, Professor Hector Lewis, whose field research was unfortunately curtailed by his bloody death.

Appearance

The average celid looks like a seven to eight feet stick of celery, ending in foliage at one end and three stumpy leg-roots at the bottom. The legs move the thing, albeit no faster than walking pace. The foliage hides the being’s rudimentary brain, which is little more than a cluster of nerves. The cluster contains sensory apparatus that can detect other life through vibrations and air movement. Destruction of the nerve cluster – usually by severing the upper part – will kill the celid. Some older specimens grow a pair of branches from their mid-section, which are usually held out gropingly towards potential prey.

Cultivation and care

Celids can gain nutrients from the soil, but have a bizarre, if somewhat predictable, preference for human blood. They attack en masse, and will seek to knock an opponent down, whereupon they will batter him to death by jumping on him. Nutrients are absorbed via the legs/roots. Blood travelling into the celid will turn the stem red, making it easy to see when they have fed.

Celids tend to loiter in wooded areas, and will come out when they detect possible prey, closing in slowly in large packs. They don’t really feel pain, and can’t be frightened or demoralised. One celid is a feeble enemy: a thousand of them, lurching inexorably forward, their stems creaking and groaning, is a fearsome prospect.

Recent reports suggest that celids have mutated to be able to infect other forms of life with their seeds. Scattered reports suggest that, on ingesting active celid seeds, an organism will start to turn into one: skin taking on a greenish tinge, hair clumping together in the manner of leaves and so on. This is highly [REDACTED BY ORDER OF SERVICE INTELLIGENCE]

Notes

  1. Information courtesy of the Ministry of Near-Food