Beach Grappler

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As the colony grappler continued to expand into new environments, some found themselves on the beaches of East Glicker Tropical Beach. Living among waterlogged sand grains, some eventually came across the beachtrop. After being consumed, they found themselves among a smorgasbord of immune cells to eat. However, these intrepid grapplers had to face a wide variety of threats as well, resulting in them ultimately evolving into the beach grappler.

While living in the vein networks of the beachtrop provides an inexhaustible supply of immune cells to eat, the vein network also poses one threat, as the walls of the vein network are lined with digestive cells. If a beach grappler were to come into contact with a digestive cell, it would mean certain death. As a result, the beach grappler has developed chemoreceptors that allow them to detect the enzymes that are produced by the digestive cells. This is particularly effective when swimming past a digestive cell undergoing digestion. Meanwhile, the beach grappler's thick cell wall protects it from the residual enzymes that perforate the vein network's fluids. Because they leave their host's immune system compromised, the beach grappler will effectively become a new immune system for its host. When attacked by crystalkillers, beach grapplers will frequent infected sites, feasting on the invaders. They also have a habit of reproducing rapidly during times of infection, as their rapidly-multiplying prey provide an ever-increasing food source to fuel their reproduction. When the infection stopped, the beach grappler population will revert to normal levels, with the dying excess being consumed by its host— fueling its regeneration.

When outside of its host, the beach grappler faces a wide variety of new threats to its survival. While it initially lived among waterlogged sand grains, the majority of the population now lives further up from the coast. It is here where their photosynthetic abilities become useful, as they will lie near the surface of the substrate floating in hygroscopic water. There they will rely on photosynthesis and pathogenic cells unfortunate enough to land on its sand grain until they are consumed by a new host. During rainstorms, beach grapplers become much more active, hunting for pathogens that are trapped in the substrate. If not enough water is present for them to survive, they will fall deeper into the substrate where they will enter a state of dormancy.