Entity 5

Carpet Fungus

rating: +3+x

Entity Classification

Aggressiveness 2/5 Carpet Fungus is capable of taking over the body via growth in the lungs of an afflicted wanderer.
Rarity 3/5 Carpet Fungus is relatively common on level 3, preferring dark, damp locations.
Intelligence 1/5 Carpet Fungus does not appear to be capable of making conscious decisions acting like a terrestrial fungus.
Pritoria Index 2/5 Carpet Fungus is only dangerous if direct contact is made to it, or if consumed.

Description

Carpet Fungus is a highly dangerous, mold-like fungus with a soft fuzzy appearance; Carpet Fungus is
sometimes seen with softball-sized caps resembling the fruiting bodies of a terrestrial fungus protruding from the area of growth.

Behaviours

Carpet Fungus grows in diverse conditions, they dislike direct lighting, tending to prefer areas of partial to total darkness. They are most commonly found in damp environments, however, they dislike areas with large amounts of carpet fluid. Almond water, however, will cause them to grow extremely quickly and take over large areas. Carpet Fungus is typically non-aggressive, however, it will release spores if one of its bulbs is disturbed, causing an extremely dangerous infection if the spores are inhaled.

Biology

Carpet Fungus is extremely similar to the fungus of the terrestrial world. Their main form of energy intake involves dissolving the stone that it's attached to and breaking down its molecular bonds, which often results in large amounts of CO2 and CO being released into the air. If proper ventilation is not maintained this can result in the asphyxiation of wanderers. If Carpet Fungus is exposed to an acidic liquid it will begin to produce a neurotoxin capable of killing humans. The symptoms of said toxin are said to be similar to that of Schizophrenia. 98% of recipients of the neurotoxin die or commit suicide.

Discovery

Carpet Fungus has been known about for almost 100 years, the first modern documentation of the entity was recorded at around the year zero, detailing its deadly properties. In it's first documented discovery it was found during one of the early expeditions into Level 3 in one of it's most common habitats, the various airlocks that separate tunnels of differing pressure. the first airlock was chock-full of blooming fungus, and the resulting infections from inhalation of the spores resulted in 5 deaths among the group of 18. Carpet Fungus was then warned about among the sparse community settlements in level 3. this action is credited with saving the lives of hundreds, and a memorial was constructed depicting the first wanderers to die on that level.


Survival Guide

To survive an encounter with Carpet Fungus there is one rule you must always abide by,

Do NOT Touch The Bulbs.

This will almost certainly lead to your death and the death of those around you. Otherwise, the most common way to deal with Carpet Fungus is to simply avoid it altogether, it can't hurt you if you don't touch it. If it is necessary to travel through a patch of Carpet Fungus, try to find a path with the least amount of bulbs in it. If, during travel through a patch you set off a bulb, run as fast as you can to where you were going, this will hopefully get you out of the blast zone before the cloud reaches you. If you were behind someone who disturbed Carpet Fungus, run in the opposite direction from where you were going. If for any reason you need to remove a blooming patch of Carpet Fungus, burn the area with anything that burns hot for a period of an hour or more. any less and you risk not killing all of it

Infection

If a wanderer were to inhale the spores of the Carpet Fungus, they would begin to develop a "searing pain" in their windpipe and lungs, followed by a state of extreme euphoria, while the euphoria is in effect, the afflicted person does not acknowledge or feel the pain. While this happens, Carpet Fungus is beginning to grow in the afflicted person's lungs, forming hundreds of sacs of the spore-like powder, impairing breathing. This causes boughs of coughing to begin approximately four hours following infection. The state of euphoria then resides, and the searing pain in the lungs returns, causing further stress to the afflicted person; along with instinctive hyperventilation, nausea, and shortness of breath. At this point the spore sacs begin to burst inside the afflicted person's lungs, releasing the hallucinogenic toxin mentioned before into the afflicted person's system, and the explosion of hundreds of thousands of spores into the air around them, possibly infecting more people. The afflicted person will then promptly die of the earlier mentioned causes relating to the toxin, or suffocation due to the spores in their lungs. The infection is then likely to spread to other nearby humans if the afflicted has not been separated from the rest of society.

Anomalous Instances

Some cases of the fungus behave differently from the common form. For example, one explorer had been lost for some days, and he was attempting to make his way back to a nearby camp. Either from madness or an attempt at suicide, he consumed several cm2 of the mycelium, and in the process, he inhaled spores from a bud. He shortly after passed out. When he woke, he found himself in a settlement estimated to be several hundred kilometers from his last known location, sleeping in a room that the owner says he had rented for the night.

Another anomaly happened very recently, two hours following the euthanasia of a subject with the fungal infection, he was reanimated, but still dead. This "zombie" was exhibiting odd behaviors from the stereotypical one, instead of attacking living humans, it preferred to stay close to them, but not attack. People surrounding the "zombie" felt a sense of calm. Shortly after, it was lead to a pit and promptly incinerated to avoid further infection. It may be worthy to note that the subject was euthanized by use of a firearm to the head, and many have theorized that the destruction of the brain paved the way for the fungus to take over the victim's motor functions, however, this is not confirmed.

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