|Verdane the Praying Mantis|
Chinese Praying Mantis
Carnivorous; mainly eats whatever prey he can catch in order to increase his biomass reserves.
Ambush Predator; Highly Maneuverable; Scything Talons; Insane Regeneration; Adaptive Evolution; Highly Acidic Blood; Stereoscopic Vision; Apex Predator.
Feral Minded; Vulnerable to Temperature Extremes; Gnawing Hunger.
None; since he was originally a non Mobian Praying Mantis, however it is assumed he can communicate through some form of hive mind.
Verdane is a large rust red bipedal preying mantis like creature with thick, studded plates of carapce that are about seven milimeters thick interlocked on his back, arms, legs and to a lesser extent his underbelly. Standing at a total height of six feet three inches tall and weighing in at three hundred and seventy four pounds. His eyes are compounded with an irradiated green glow to them that adds in an intimidation factor. His arms are veiny and bulky, given the carapace that covers them, and they end in wicked sharp scything talons that curve down to nearly his feet, with the blade lined with spikes meant to assist in grasping and tearing his prey apart. His legs are also covered in thick carapace, but they are retrograde instead of digigrade like humans and they're riveted with sharp thorny spines that grow on key junctions in his carapace. As for his feet, well they are two toed like a chickens foot, with one long spur in the back for balance and kicking.
Verdane was not birthed like most mobians, rather he was created in a lab as one of Xavek's first successful attempts at genetic manipulation. With the DNA samples of many creatures used in order to create a superior breed of ultimately disposeable predator to assist in his quest to terminate all organic life. However such an undertaking needed the creature to have sentience, something which Xavek was loathed to give any of his creations for fear of them rebelling, almost putting the project on hold permanently as he debated aborting the creature and abandoning this venture of his; however, something about the creature that would come to be known as Verdane, its untapped potential stopped Xavek from aborting it and went through with the process of making Verdane sentient.
The results of this decision would come to both please Xavek greatly and infuriate him tremendously in later times, as he started to get more invested in this project Xavek refined Verdane's original genetic structure, unlocking Verdane's hidden potential to adapt and evolve based on the situation through extensive gene therapy and structural modifications. Finally, when Verdane was fully grown and released from its birthing tank Xavek set about the task of instilling his beliefs, teaching the creature to kill and to hate organics.. Feeding it sweet nothings and lies along with brutal VR simulations designed to hone Verdane's bloodlust, to foster his predatory instincts and drive to evolve.
However, at some point, Verdane started to notice a few things; oddities in his creator's voice and posture. What he would normally obey without hesitation he would start to question, hesitating before killing simulated fleshbags.. Is this what I want to do? Is this right? Were some of the questions he asked himself. This behavior did not go unnoticed by Xavek, who was more than willing to scrap Verdane anyways.. He had his genetic template anyways, so creating more of him would be much simpler. Added to that he could even make tweaks much easier than before so he really didnt need to keep around defective product. So he set about terminating the creature, activating a safeguard he placed that stopped the creature's heart he watched the life fade from his creation's eyes with a grin, even melting the creature's head with his plasma gauntlet before warping the body of his failed creation to the deepest depths of the Amazon.
However, Xavek made a mistake; he did not realize the extent of his creation's adaptive capabilities. being able to quickly regenerate from wounds in a manner similar to how a cancer cell can rapidly grow.. Meaning that shortly after Verdane's head had regenerated, and it was livid at how callously his creator tossed him aside. He would grow stronger.. Consume and adapt until he was ready to face his creator; and when that time came, Verdane would tear Xavek limb from limb and devour him.
Insane Cellular Regeneration
Thanks to Xavek's extensive tampering and modification of Verdane's DNA, the artificially created Preying Mantis' cells have developed a peculiar similarity to active cancer cells in terms of growth, only difference is that instead of ultimately being harmful to Verdane's body this peculiarity in his cells have actually turned into a potent healing factor. Thus making him capable of healing from even the most grievous of injuries at an insanely high speed, even capable of regrowing lost limbs in a relatively short time frame. In addition, Verdane has even been shown to be capable of regenerating his head after it was practically vaporized by Xavek.
However, the major downside to this healing factor is that he can only heal injuries that are proportional to how much biomass he currently has inside of him. For example, if he happened to wind up with an arm or a leg severed from his body, said limb would regrow but Verdane's mass might shrink in order to compensate for the process of regenerating the lost limb. Keep in mind however that this doesn't take into consideration Verdane grabbing the severed appendage and holding it to the stump while his regeneration reconnects said appendage, something which Verdane will attempt to do as this is far mor effective in terms of bio-mass preservation than just simply regrowing the appendage.
Part of his Adaptive Evolutionary capabilities, Verdane has shown a remarkable degree of control over his own exoskeleton, increasing its durability exponentially among other things depending on outside stimuli.
This control is not limited for defensive purposes either, the Mantis can 'shed' his carapace at will and control it as if it had never shed the protective layering in the first place. How Verdane can utilize this protective coating in that fashion in the first place defies all common explanation as the husk is, for all intents and purposes, a husk..
However, Verdane doing this does leave him vulnerable; as this is essentially the equivalent of someone seperating a man from their skeleton.
The root of nearly all of Verdane's powers and abilities, his adaptive evolution allows him to learn, adapt to his opponent's powers and strategies and develop appropriate counters for them as fights drag on. In addition he is capable of assimilating the genetic material of those who fall prey to him in order to further evolve his arsenal of abilities at his disposal, how he assimilates said genetic material is rather simple, by devouring their flesh like a predator would consume freshly killed prey. Of course, this power has a few down sides as well, and there are some physiological limits that he cannot overcome as a result of current adaptations. He may even run the risk of hitting an evolutionary dead end, however he can shed certain evolutionary traits deemed unviable in order to reverse the course of his evolution and avoid that specific evolutionary dead end.
Even so, Adaptive Evolution is not just limited to combat, following the principles of natural selection and the theory of evolution only at an accelerated timescale. Verdane can adapt to his very environment as well, having little trouble assuming the role of apex predator no matter what environment he finds himself in.
This was a recent evolutionary change that Verdane quite liked, in this instance Verdane can sprout a set of wings comprised of a flimsy filament like substance, that is protected by a thinner layer of carapce, capable of beating eighty times per second, the same wingbeat speed as a hummingbird. He can use these wings to his advantage in a fight, adding more versatility to his attack patterns and increasing his jump distance to better dodge attacks.
Serrated Sickle Talons
These fourteen inch long bone like structures are actually made up of his naturally thick carapace and years of accelerated evolution. The actual blade like structure is strong enough to slice through even the strongest of metals with ease, and can be used for a variety of different tasks like climbing or carving rudimentary tools. Along the edge of these blades are many small and spikey rivets that upon closer inspection not only serve as barbs to hook into flesh, but as a series of passage ways for small doses of Verdane's caustic blood to enter the wounds created by these Sickle Talons; causing further damage and other complications to an enemy as the fight goes on.
Acid Bodily Fluids
Another adaptation, this one meant to inflict damage on enemies who engage in close quarters combat with him since his bodily fluids, like his blood for example, are highly caustic. Resulting in severe burns upon contact with flesh and eventually leading to tissue decay if not thoroughly washed off. In addition, Verdane naturally has an extremely high blood pressure so injuring him in melee combat runs the high risk of his blood spattering onto exposed flesh and fur.
Despite Verdane's adaptive capabilities, he does not do so well against well coordinated assaults with three or more opponents whom are experienced in terms of working together to take down larger and stronger foes. Namely because they could time their attacks with such precision that Verdane would be quickly overwhelmed from trying to adapt to everything all at once.
While Verdane's exoskeletal carapace is extremely thick, offering ample protection against attacks, it is still quite thin in the joint regions, thus his joints tend to be rather fragile in comparison to other parts of his body. This obvious flaw is actually a necessary limitation as he wouldn't be able to move around otherwise if his joints were covered in the same thick carapace as the rest of his body, be that as it may; striking at the joints is an effective way of inflicting lasting harm to Verdane, hampering mobility and breaking his limbs in a way that cannot be adapted to easily.
I would hope this is self explanatory, even though it's not enough to kill him; then again there isn't much in the way of things that can put Verdane six feet under permanently as far as I'm aware of.
This is a rather complicated weakness, basically evolutionary dead-ends are a result of the DNA of whatever he's consumed recently being integrated with his; kinda the same process that allows him to rapidly adapt and evolve based on what is happening, the only difference being that the DNA that is being integrated into Verdane's genetic structure may fail to sucessfully integrate; leading to all sorts of problems that may hinder him in the long run, thus his body has to actively purge the offending strands of DNA. The purging process is painful, and it leaves him quite exhausted days after it's been completed.
Specifically the chemicals found in insecticide/pesticides, or the stuff that napalm or agent orange is made from; these chemicals affect him on the genetic level. Literally destroying his DNA when Verdane is doused in these chemicals; the worst part about this is the fact that there is no way for him to successfully adapt and develop resistances to these chemical weapons, and Verdane fears this.