Posted on July 2, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
In that preview we learned of the fight against the Othersiders. The alien beings who have been stealing parts of our world and replacing them with “fake” versions. Today we are going to take a look at some of those Othersiders…
Although not the rarest of Othersiders, the Shadow Crews are the least seen. These beings, while roughly humanoid in shape, appear to be in a constant state of shadowy flux, hence their moniker. Their flesh is somewhat malleable, and its texture resembles cold pudding. Their skin is a filmy membrane protecting a gooey mess devoid of internal organs.
A Shadow Crew consists of two to four individual creatures, known singularly as Shadowlings. Shadowlings never act alone, always working in tandem as a Shadow Crew.
Shadow Crews do not simply enter our dimension, steal one item, and then leave. If that were the case, even the Anonymous would probably be ignorant of their existence. Instead, they snatch several items on their excursions, unless they are bringing a doppelganger over or making off with a larger, more significant, item. Shadow Crews push smaller objects through their semi-permeable skin, carrying their bounty back to Otherside within their malleable forms (this tactic is also used to bring the replicas from Otherside). When there is enough light, the Anonymous report that one can see the stolen items just beneath their flesh; it is even possible to reach right into one of these creatures and take back a stolen object. Encounters with the Shadow Crew are typically brief and shrouded in darkness, however, as the creatures are wholly uncomfortable with light, be it natural or manmade.
The agenda of the Shadow Crew appears clearer than most, although the more paranoid warn that they only seem straightforward. Like thieves, the Shadow Crew works in darkness where they leave doppelgangers of scanned people, take household items and other small bits and pieces, and replace the originals.
Combating the Shadow Crew demands a unique fighting style. Attacks of massive kinetic force will do little to these creatures, as even bullets will pass right through them as if they were ghosts. The secret to defeating Shadowlings rests is less forceful attacks that tear and rip at their outer membrane. It is this shell that keeps what consistency they have. Imagine a Ziploc bag full of pudding. Throw it against a wall and it will probably be fine once it slumps down to the floor. However, carefully rip the bag and the pudding within slowly seeps out. This metaphor illustrates one way of handling the Shadow Crew. Another tactic is through the use of bright light, which causes them to slither away. Light-based attacks alone will not kill Shadowlings. However, their panic will make them much weaker opponents. It is in the instincts of the Shadow Crew to remain in darkness, and any time this is removed, they act like fish tossed on dry land. Dim lighting won’t have this effect on them.
Exquisite Replicas – Available August 2008
Visit the Exquisite Replicas webpage at Abstract Nova for more information and free downloads. More previews are on the way at Flames Rising each week as well.
Look for Abstract Nova products at Indie Press Revolution and at GenCon Indy this August (booth #2115).