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Viktor approached the dwelling and knocked on the door. The scientist lodging inside answered the knock and looked at Viktor with mild impatience. “Hello,” greeted Viktor. “You’re that scientist that’s come to do some investigations?”
“Yes, that’s me.” Noticing Viktor’s reddish-brown hair and overall appearance, he noted, “You don’t look like the average Laplander.”
“I emigrated from the Russian mainland.” He folded his arms across his chest, which allowed the scientist a glimpse of his long, untrimmed nails. “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about. You see, these people have been very good to me. They’ve become like a family to me and so I don’t like anybody being disrespectful to the people of Lapland. The word is you’ve been rather cold.”
“Well, I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to research The Lichen Beast,” the scientist replied dismissively. “Surely you’ve heard of it.”
“Sure. It’s a greenish-blue humanoid creature with glowing eyes. Just like lichens are a merger between algae and fungi, the Lichen Beast is said to have the power to merge with people. The thing is it generally merges with people against their will. That’s the creature you’re talking about, correct?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
Viktor smirked. “If you ask me, The Lichen Beast’s victims deserved anything that happened to them.” Ignoring the scientist’s hard stare, he continued, “I’ve met scientists before of several different belief systems, and most of them were good people. They didn’t feel the need to be arrogant and dismissive. In fact, it’s stupid for a researcher to be rude to the locals.”
“Well, I don’t need anybody’s help, nor do I need to justify myself to anybody! As I said, I’m simply here to uncover the truth behind The Lichen Beast!”
“You make no apologies, then?”
Viktor glared at the scientist. “So finding The Lichen Beast means so much to you, eh? Well, I’ve got good news for you then.” He suddenly reached out and grabbed the scientist’s hand. “You’ve found him.” His skin turned greenish-blue and slimy, his nails became dark grey, and his eyes took on a more animal appearance, with fluorescent orange sclera, elongated black irises, and elongated white pupils. The scientist stared in open-mouthed horror. Upon feeling an uncomfortable sensation in the hand being grabbed, he looked and became even more alarmed. Viktor’s hand had begun merging with his own. Grinning with sadistic glee, Viktor grabbed the other hand before the stunned scientist could react. The scientist screamed in terror before losing consciousness.
When the scientist returned to his senses, he found that he was still standing upright, though he was now facing the same direction Viktor had been facing. He felt strange. Something compelled him to go to a nearby mirror. He looked in the mirror at his reflection. To his horror, his features now bore some of the same characteristics as Viktor – the slimy skin, the reddish-brown hair and eyebrows, the long gray nails, and the glowing eyes. He felt terrified, but the face looking back at him bore a sadistic grin. The merged figure chuckled before speaking. “I gave you the chance to act nicely, and you chose to be haughty instead. Now we’re going to have some fun, you and I.”
As a bonus, here’s an entry on the character
Nicknames and Aliases- The Lichen Beast
Secret identity- Viktor Yevgeny
List of powers, abilities, and weapons- merge, mind merge, speed, stealth, healing merge
Status- member of Basilisk, member of Re’em, member of Shophetim
First appearance- SLJ#99
Personality- Due to the discrimination in his past, Merger generally displays an anti-social attitude. Before joining Re’em and Shophetim, the only ones he seemed to feel comfortable around were his fellow Basilisk members, Laplanders and the people living near Lapland, and his pen pals. Though he has always been guarded around members of Shophetim, he has always respected them. He relishes using his powers to dominate his foes. Though he can be unrelenting, he is nevertheless a man of integrity and has a softer side. He has a fascination with lichens (organisms which are combinations of algae and fungi) and enjoys dining on the edible varieties.
Appearance- Merger is a male Russian human. He has a Caucasian skin tone and reddish-brown hair with two tufts. Like Karl Fangks, he has visible eyebrows. His long fingernails and toenails have the appearance of claws. He wears a teal jacket with light green sleeves, a green shirt, blue-grey pants, a reddish-brown belt, and grey boots. When he is ready to use his merging power his skin becomes greenish-blue and slimy, his nails become dark grey, and his eyes take on a more animal appearance, with fluorescent orange sclera, elongated black irises, and elongated white pupils. When he merges with another being the merged form has traits of both creatures in addition to Merger’s slimy skin, reddish-brown hair and eyebrows, long nails, and glowing eyes.
Entry- Viktor Yevgeny has the ability to merge with others. Made to feel like a freak and an outcast, he moved to an area close to the region known as Lapland. Though he established a comfortable life as a farmer and gatherer, he decided to make use of his powers by hiring himself out as a criminal thug that some dubbed “The Lichen Beast.” He eventually met up with Dart Tongue, who was able to defeat him in combat. He was impressed by both Dart Tongue’s mettle and the gracious attitude he showed post-victory, and soon the iguana man convinced him to join Basilisk. Taking the moniker “Merger”, he became Basilisk’s representative in Russia and one of its chiefs. Later he became a chief in Re’em as well. Relishing in using his powers to serve Re’em’s interests, he is an intimidating force.
Description of powers, abilities, and weapons- Merger can merge with other beings by touching them. When merged with another being he can use the powers of the being he’s merged with. He can also heal their injuries or free them from mind control. The merged being has increased attributes, such as strength and endurance. Merger also has good degrees of speed and stealth and can mind merge with people (allowing him to read their mind while they read his).
Weaknesses- Merger suffers any damage done to the merged form. Some protective clothing and certain powers, such as body switch, psychic shield, sand shield, purple haze, power theft, and psychedelic touch, make people immune to Merger’s power. Opponents with enough willpower can resist Merger enough to force him to stop merging with them, and those with hypnotic abilities can take over Merger’s mind, causing him to relinquish control of the merged form.
- I came up with the character after reading about The Brood, an alien race from Marvel Comics. The Brood lay eggs inside a subject, and when the eggs hatch, the young gain their hosts’ powers by forcing their hosts to merge with them.
- “Viktor” is a Russian name meaning “Conqueror” while “Yevgeny” is a reference to Yevgeny Zamyatin, the Russian author who penned the anti-totalitarian novel We. The name “The Lichen Beast” references the fact that lichens are merged organisms, combinations of algae and fungi. People in Lapland and other areas in or near the Arctic Circle use certain lichens as food, which is the reason Merger’s background involves Lapland. I thought about saying that Merger got his power by a reaction his system had to his lichen consumption, but decided not to go that route.
Written by Raidra