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From the dirty side of the Frontier
Star Frontiers
Episode 3 - The Expansion

 

Vacuum Spider Venom updated Mar 19th 1998  
   
[HTL] - The vacuum spider, often found buried in ion engine intakes and otherwise making a pest of itself to spacers, is feared not for its ferocity nor its size, but for its contact neurovenom.

Since the vacuum spider can rarely puncture a spacesuit, the oil it secretes rarely comes into first-hand contact with flesh. Unfortunately for spacers, the oil retains it's venomous qualities for up to 20 hours after initial contact. What this means is that many spacers find themselves coming in contact with the venom while removing their suits, or while suiting up in an airlock that has been contaminated.

Persons under the influence of vacuum spider venom have a 1% chance per turn per point of damage dealt to them by the poison of hallucinating. Most hallucinations are in the form of crawling insects, breathing walls, changing and shifting environs, etc, and reduce all actions for that turn by -50% (-5CS). Some especially hardened Humma spacers actually contact the venom on purpose as a recreational hallucinogen.

Some effort has been made to both "farm" and manufacture the oily venom of the vacuum spider. Farming has proven frighteningly simple since the spiders accumulate where a suitable source of heat energy and titanium alloys (their food sources) can be found. Fortunately it must be kept in a vacuum to remain effective, decaying within 20 hours when exposed to an atmosphere containing either carbon dioxide, nitrogen and/or oxygen.

Manufactured vacuum spider venom still has the same flaws, but costs significantly more and is stronger (double damage rating, same duration). As a contact venom, vacuum spider venom needle rounds can be made for most standard needleguns, and are sometimes available on the Black Market at Cr650 per magazine (1d10 damage plus venom effects).

Another interesting side effect is that the oil ignites when it comes in contact with a flow of pure oxygen. This method is used to "burn off" residue around engine intakes and landing gear of infested ships or in infested stations.

-=Race=--=Toxicology=-
Demu S3 / T10
Dralasite S3 / T8
Human S2 / T12
Humma S1 / T10
Ifshnit S3 / T7
Jakar S3 / T5
Osakar S4 / T10
Vrusk S4 / T9
Yazirian S2 / T12

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