Horrible Radiobunker

The coastal waters of the Horrible Rectangle Island are infamous to many as being a dead zone to any marine organism in 2s2tworld that is neither a radiobiotan or a wiggler. The sheer intensity of radioactive emissions there, combined with the general lack of suitable sustenance, means that nearly anything attempting to settle in - even most radiation resistant biota such as the soopyfauna - will end up perishing from a variety of factors.

Although there is one notable exception.

Some populations of the ancient Arctic Legobox are already skirting the outer border of coastal HRI’s area of emissions. While it would seem that even they would have no hope of settling in further even with their increased tolerance, it would be through their overall simplicity (and a decent helping of gradual, radiation-induced gene meddling) that some vagrant offspring would become the most successful multicellular organisms outside the radioactive endemics to establish any population in these irradiated waters.

As a pioneer into the wastes that is coastal HRI, the Horrible Radiobunker is well-acclimated for the inhospitable conditions. What’s most obvious about this basal legobox is its unboxy shape, instead resembling more of a dome, and that it’s ten times its ancestral width. Already the larger, rounder proportions work to inhibit the transfer of radioactive emissions into its internal systems, but to cope with the level of radiation in its range, this legobox regularly incorporates dense metals into its chitinous cuticle, bolstering the crucial shielding. Often the legobox accretes so much metal that its texture is almost indistinguishable from a lump of galena.

Being so simple and undemanding in energy, the Horrible Radiobunker requires only plankton as sustenance. Although otherwise shut tight to protect its less defended insides, the legobox’s lid can open somewhat to allow the entry of minute prey. Should its apical setae - derived from the ancestral lid motors - detect a disturbance (e.g. a passing larger wiggler), it will promptly shut its lid.

Although outwardly dome-like in shape, the Horrible Radiobunker indeed retains the hallmarks of its cubic ancestry: chiefly, a skeletal framework delineating its faces and margins, directly responsible for holding together its bulwark-like form. Much like other, similarly-derived legoboxes, it expels copious spores into the water column. The intense radiation can serve as a substitute for genetic recombination here, altering the genes of the legobox’s offspring and inducing mutations. Spores that have successfully settled in germinate into minute copies of their parents, and because they must accumulate so much heavy metals into their tissues, they grow surprisingly slow - young Horrible Radiobunkers may take up to a couple of decades to reach adult size.

It is worth noting that, due to intense competition from less demanding basal legoboxes, the Horrible Radiobunker is exclusively found in HRI’s coastlines.