Shadow’s Monster Survival Guide: Fiends – By Timothy Martinez

Name: Fiends

Monster Genus: Brainsuckus Invisblus

Notable Appearances: Fiend Without A Face (1958)

Description: A Fiend is a rather unpleasant thing to look at. They look just like a Human brain and spinal cord, albeit with a pair of antenna poking out from the frontal lobes and with a few loose strands of nerves which the little buggers uses as both limbs and as a means to aid in locomotion. Naturally, they can only be seen after they have become visible. Their size is approximately the same as the Human organ they resemble, but slightly larger than the real thing.

Special Abilities: For their size, Fiends can really get around. They are able to use their spinal cord tails to propel themselves through the air, making great leaps and covering several dozen feet at once, so don’t for an instant think you are relatively safe from across the room. With just a casual flick, they can be on you in a split second. Fiends are naturally invisible, but draw some of their energy from any nearby nuclear power source. The more power they draw, the higher the chances become of them turning visible. Fiends are also able to adhere to any surface, giving them the insect-like ability to crawl up walls if need be. Keep that in mind at all times when entering a new area and always check the ceilings and walls for lurking Fiends.

Height: Fiends are rather small creatures, being about the same size, if not a tad bit bigger, as a Human brain and spinal cord. Not that anyone ever took the time to haul out a measuring tape while evading the beasts, it is just that a quick visual inspection was all that was necessary in order to gauge their size. Of course, this was only after the monsters had become visible. Up until that point, the only ones who could give a close approximation of their size were those poor schmucks who were currently being attacked by the critters…and they were far too busy having their gray matter forcibly removed to be bothered rattling off their impressions of the creatures’ dimensions. Because of their diminutive size, Fiends are easy to fend off when dealing with just a few of them AND they are visible. When dealing in larger numbers, it is important to remember their leaping abilities if you are trying to seek refuge atop something tall. Make sure it is tall enough that the Fiends can’t reach. Alas, they can easily climb walls, so your shelter will not last unless you are encased within a protective barrier of some type.

Weight: Fiends are among the smallest monsters one can encounter, weighing no more than just a few pounds. This is good news for you, because it means you have a significant mass advantage. You should find it most easy to swat the odd Fiend away if one makes a jump at you. However, despite their puny size, they are quite strong and a single Fiend can easily overpower you long enough to attach itself to your neck and suck out your brain if given the opportunity. Be alert and quick enough, and you can prevent this from occurring. Sadly, the upper hand you enjoy is only good when the creatures are visible or when there are just a handful facing you. When they are invisible, you will not be able to anticipate their attacks and won’t know about one until the beast is sucking away at your neck. True, if you are quick and strong enough, you can still manage to remove the beast, but chances are slim that you will accomplish this feat. When facing numerous Fiends, visible or not, you are at a severe disadvantage and your best course of action is to run and hide.

Intelligence: 4/5 Fiends begin life as not much more than pure instinct, but given time they can develop an intellect every bit as complex as our own. This enables them to size up any situation reasonably well in addition to forming tactics and strategies to capture their prey, which is YOU. Do not underestimate them by any means. While more often than not they will attempt to ensnare you through brute force – batting down doors, swarming you in numbers and what not – they can be deviously clever when they want to be. So do not take anything for granted when dealing with them. Stay alert and stay alive.

Origin: Fiends came into existence quite by accident. A Professor Walgate was experimenting with the development of telekinetic powers, using a nearby nuclear power plant to help fuel his efforts. Things got a bit beyond his control and the first Fiend came into being through a combination of raw energy and pure thought. This initial Fiend was not dangerous at first, but as it developed it became more and more malevolent, finally escaping from the lab. After that it began to reproduce (see behavior below). While all the Fiends were eventually destroyed, it is in the realm of possibility for such a confluence of thought and energy to occur again.

Habitat: It is generally believed that Fiends are most at ease in the same environments that we Humans find most comfortable. Harsher conditions with more extreme temperatures are thought to be more detrimental to the creatures, but this is pure speculation at this point. Still, locations with more intense cold or heat may prove beneficial in avoiding and/or escaping the beasts and should not be dismissed out of hand when planning your own survival strategies.

Behavior: Fiends seem to engage in only one pastime: seeking Human brains to suck out. Why they do this is still unclear. Some have suggested that they acquire some type of nourishment through this process, in addition to the power they draw from somewhere else. Others have posited the theory that this behavior is part of their reproduction method. After all, they do not possess any external organs for such procreation. Like some sort of mental vampire, they remove the brain and spinal cord from their victim and these organs then transform into a new Fiend, which continues the cycle. At this point, it is not known if either theory is correct, but what we do know is that Fiends crave brains, so there is no such thing as a peaceful Fiend. One additional item to note is that Fiends produce a distinctive noise when they move – one that sounds like a heartbeat and a squishing noise all in one. Keeping alert and listening for this sound can greatly improve your chances of survival when dealing with the monsters, especially when they are still invisible.

Weaknesses: In spite of their strengths and abilities, Fiends are rather fragile creatures. What would kill a human will certainly kill a Fiend. They have been brought down by bullets, knives and axes. Even blunt objects will squish their poorly protected brain-like bodies, and this includes anything ranging from a baseball bat to your fist. This is good news for you if the time ever comes that you must put up a fight, as darn near everything becomes a decent weapon. In addition, since Fiends siphon large amounts of energy to maintain their forms (usually in the form of nuclear energy), shutting off that power source will quickly and effectively kill them en masse.

Relatives: Gor and Vol from The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), The brain from Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962), the space brain from The Space Children (1958) and the title creature from Brainiac (1961).

What to do if you encounter: Once again your actions depend on the current status of the creature in question. If the Fiends you are dealing with are invisible, you are somewhat screwed. Your best option is to run like hell out of the immediate area and then find a solidly defensible place to hide, as it is extremely improbable that you will be able to fend off attacks from a single invisible Fiend, let alone numerous. On the other hand, of you are facing off against visible Fiends, your chances have improved dramatically. With one or two you should be able to keep them at bay with just a few good punches and waves of your fists. When there are more, then you need to look for weapons. Just about anything will do, but given the leaping abilities of the Fiends, you will want something that will take them out from a distance, like a gun. If guns are not an option, knives will work as long as you keep them moving and prevent the Fiends from swarming you. When fighting is no longer an option, run like hell…but remember that the Fiends can easily follow you and in some cases keep pace with you. That is why it is best to find a place to hide that is easily defendable. From there you can (hopefully) call for help. In the long term your ultimate goal, whether achieved alone or with help from others, should be to locate the source of the Fiends’ power and shut it down, dropping every single one of them at once.