The Sarlenian is an indigenous plant-like creature native to Vitam II.
The Sarlenian is a collection of pale, fleshy tentacle-like appendages. The Sarlenian has no eyes and must rely entirely on its sense of touch. Along each tentacle are rows of countless cilia which sense both air displacements as well as any sort of contact with one its tentacles.
Sparsely scattered throughout the creature are thick, leathery pods which act as the "brains" for the Sarlenians. The pods contain large roots which burrow deep into the ground to metabolize minerals. However, consuming these nutrients is not enough to maintain the require metabolism for the creatures, so these pods serve a secondary function. They open up in order to consume prey, bathing them in acid. However, this task is much easier when the Sarlenian has suffocated its prey first.
Sarlenians are believed to live for thousands of years due to the sheer estimated size of it. Their ability to grow at one meter per day along with its tolerance to chilling temperatures has allowed them to infest the entirety of the subsurface oceans as well as the caves.
Habitat and range
It is believed that the Sarlenian is the oldest living creature on Vitam II. It originated in the deep, subsurface oceans, then quickly spread to overtake any caves. Naturally, when the Karalian Empire performed drilling operations, the Sarlenian was given a new path to the surface.
The Sarlenian eats any organic material it can find. Its most common prey are Vitamite Slugs, a creature that shares a diet of minerals and organic molecules, but far less dangerous. However, as touch is its primary sense, it will try to feed on anything that moves including Vaikan.
Sarlenians reproduce by budding which occurs at smaller pods on some of the tentacles. Deliberately, they are more vulnerable to mutations in order to randomize their DNA to keep genetic diversity. However, if a newborn Sarlenian proves to be faulty, the creature will resort to cannibalism.
If a new Sarlenian is born healthy, it will connect itself to the parent and become assimilated, promoting the growth of the massive creature.
When the Karalian Empire drilled a hole into Vitam II's subsurface ocean, the Sarlenian broke out onto the surface overtaking the entire settlement. An evacuation of the whole system was put in order due to the potential danger of discovering other such creatures.
Possibility of a bioweapon
A few DNA samples were recovered from one of the tentacles. However, no pods could be obtained. Scientists have learned that the Sarlenian is highly adaptable and could potentially survive on environments such as garden planets. Should enough DNA of the creature ever be obtained, the Sarlenian could be weaponized used to quickly overtake colonies.