This antiquated biological weapon was once used to deliver lethal but short-lived diseases to isolated enemy settlements. Now more common in petting zoos than war zones, they are still durable enough to hold their own in the battle leagues. Within its hollow cysts, the Catoplagas breeds millions of insectoid bodies anatomically identical to common fleas. When the beast is threatened, up to twenty solid pounds of the insects may pour forth on an attacker, each capable of draining its weight in blood and leaving behind an intensely painful welt.
The interior of the Catoplagas' humps are actually lined with coarse black hair and a high concentration of blood vessels to accommodate its hungry legion. Dead fleas and their waste products are regularly combed out by a long, barbed tongue in the floor of each hump and drawn into one of the stomachs for reprocessing. If blood (its own or otherwise) is in short supply, the Catoplagas begins to consume living fleas to avoid anemia. It enjoys a diet of roots, tubers, fungi and anything else it can find as it digs its wormy head into soil.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik