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It is alleged that only a madman would believe such heresies to common logic that are written in this tale. In a world ignorant of its past, all of the tell-tale signs, monoliths dedicated to pagan worship within the city’s ancient inhabitants demolished by power-hungry iconoclasts are plastered on every building new and old; all signs of the universe that lie many fathoms beneath the asphalt-laden earth, of inhuman beings who were vanquished by their greatest enemy, the alien race of mankind. They are a diverse lot, many of whom live like outcasts reveling in Sodom, others having morphed into more feral beasts lingering below, feasting upon whatever living meat they could sink their fangs into, and others who still to this day, after thousands of years, await the day they could wage war on the world above and conquer the earth they once inhabited in freedom. Their transition into the sunlit world varies to this day, perhaps due to their intolerance of the light, or their physical weakness outdone by the might of creatures above them. But what is clear is that they still plague the sewers and tombs underground, breeding like pigeons and waiting, just waiting for the day they will infest the city like viruses and drink the blood of gods.
Lately, Chicago had been in a state of unrest ever since the summer had ceased due to the merciless climate change that plunged the state into darkness. Let it be known to the reader, it's not in the mishap of the human inhabitance our interest lies throughout the story, but of some rather unfamiliar beings who had made themselves at home throughout the city, some of whom went completely ignored by man, as if they were just another morsel in Chicago’s melting pot. Among these newcomers are a mix of subhuman beings, parodies of man but contrary in nature when compared to people. Others consisted of arthropod-creatures (insect and arachnid) who sometimes doubled the size of any Illinois land-animal to prehistoric proportions. Others like the infamous species of Jaw-Plants that bore their roots deep beneath the bedrock as their soil and festered in alleys and on the facades of buildings.
The Jaw-Plants, need I remind you, are easy enough to avoid, unless camouflaged by the damp chiaroscuro of an alley in the Loop, or the El tracks, the Kennedy overpass, or just recently discovered, under the bridge between the Marriot Hotel and the McCormick Place, which recently caused a massive traffic block when it swooped down out of the darkness and grabbed a mouth full of cars like popcorn. The Jaw-Plants are basically mutant Venus flytraps, often appearing in the shape of a blackish-green poinsettia or head of cabbage at first glance. If big enough, a Jaw-Plant can devour a fully grown human with ease, but the smaller ones, particularly those growing on top of certain buildings, windowsills or fire-escapes, only manage to catch smaller prey, like rats and pigeons.
Another creature to be avoided are the giant solifugids. Despite their need for dryer climates, they somehow adapted to the rainy, urban climate. Unlike regular solifugae, they have doubled in size, some nearly the size of a large dog, and since they are unable to burrow, they hide in every dark hole and crevice, hunting in the absence of daylight. They have also developed a black, slimy exoskeleton and two beady eyes which have remarkable fields of vision. They have longer legs so they can climb, and powerful silk glands like those of a tarantula. Being arachnids that hunt, they don’t spin webs. Instead, they use their silk as a network to map out their territory. When prey is detected, they pounce and bite, then use their four fangs to saw and eviscerate its way into the meaty innards, which it sucks up like a vacuum. Aside from humans, the giant solifugids do enjoy a taste of dog, cat, pigeon, seagull, horse, and rat, all of which make up a good variety in their diet. They also enjoy the taste of their mate in many situations. Should you wish to keep these creatures out of your apartment, hotel room or garret on the Loop, don’t live where you are allowed to keep pets and if you see what looks like a slimy golf ball hidden in the corner of a room, crush it. Just keep an eye out for its mother, they’re very overprotective of their offspring until they hatch.
A particular trait of these creatures that sets them apart from other arachnids is their tendency for mating for carnal purposes and not just for reproduction. At any given time, one female giant solifugid alone (they’re bigger and stronger than the males) will seek out sexual pleasure with several males in one week before choosing the toughest to bear her offspring, sometimes engaging in homosexual pleasures to avoid impregnating herself with offspring that are unfit for survival. It is also rumored that giant solifugids, particularly the males, have been known to take out their sexual urges in acts of necrophilia in order to avoid being eaten.
Another carnivorous beast that preys on humans is the gazzornunplatt*, which are basically nothing more than giant, reptilian vultures. Standing up on both talons, a fully-grown gazzornunplatt can reach up to two and a half meters in length, their wingspan reaching four feet when stretched out. In order to avoid being seen, they often hide on building tops or in fire escapes. The place to avoid if you don’t want to be caught in a pair of vice-like talons and eaten gut-first while still alive would be Harold Washington Library, which has become a breeding ground and colony for several of the city’s gazzornunplatts, ever since they managed to break into the terrace on the ninth floor. From dusk onward, they live like any other carnivore on the top of the food chain, killing, eating, and mating day-by-day, sometimes when the rumbling of the L ceases one can hear them cawing loudly, that is until a flock decides to descend upon a train in motion and tear open the roof in order to make a meal out of a few tasty humans.
Among these specimens that replace man at the top of the food chain are a few lesser-in-strength creatures such as the horse-mutants, which are physically deformed horses who often flock to the water to drown themselves; the vast balls of light, which are nothing more than overfed pigeons who spontaneously combust when exposed to extreme heat; the poisonous lizards which infest the Red Line; the giant hornets in the Sears Tower; the rabid dogs who live in various elevator-shafts; and of course the blood sucking, flesh eating leeches which infest Lake Michigan. However, there seems to be something that everything human and inhuman alike seems to fear above all others; the giant solifudgids often succumb to being brutally mutilated and sometimes eaten alive by them. And the gazzornunplatts have lost many a battle of tooth and claw (and makeshift swords) with these mysterious aliens.
What is it that infests the city, unseen, that the foulest of beasts fear above all others? Surely, it isn’t man, since he has become too passive to establish his dominance over them. But whatever they are, they are slowly on the rise of power, making their mark in blood and friezes of stone. Surely, I cannot say for sure what they are, but perhaps the following story should clear things up as I hypothesize my idea. True, it may come across as something an idiot may ramble endlessly on, but I think it's only right to make my mark now before I run out of mercury fumes to huff.
[For the whole story, DM for details.]