Ogrambe, The Sixth Sense, Shell-Hydra, Beast of Busco, Oscar, Aspidochelone
Rogue — The Swamp Monsters Alignment:
Chaotic Neutral Classification: Chelydra serpentina Length:
1,065 feet Height:
360 feet (main head
125,000 tons Weaponry / Abilities: Bolt-Cutter Beak:
By far Chelydra’s most formidable weapon is his massive, recurved beak. Powered by enormous musculature and each jaw tipped by two punishingly hooked points, the mutant snapping turtle’s bite is easily among the most powerful of all daikaiju. Add to this the kaiju’s long, muscular neck and shoulders, and Chelydra can tear, crush, and utterly destroy practically anything he can get his massive beaked maw around. The beak’s edges alone are ferocious weapons: sharpened against one another as his jaws articulate, these biological guillotines are perfectly suited for chopping through the thickest kaiju flesh and hide, even breaking bones with a bit of effort. Can-Opener Tusks:
Sprouting halfway along the edges of Chelydra’s lower jaw is a pair of thick, slightly blunted tusks. Used mostly to punch through thick-shelled food items, the monstrous turtle has remembered their effectiveness and applied them to many of his kaiju adversaries, crushing bones, shredding muscle fibers, and crippling his opponents, sometimes permanently. Even when his jaws are shut, Chelydra can still use his tusks to gouge, impale, and gore his adversaries. Digger / Ripper Claws:
While not particularly unique in terms of appearance, Chelydra’s thick, blunt talons are superbly built for excavation purposes, allowing the kaiju turtle to shovel through enough soil to fill a football stadium in mere minutes. Clearly, Chelydra also uses his claws to grip unstable terrain, tear apart prey, or pin and rip into his adversaries’ flesh. Sledgehammer Tail:
Rare amongst turtles, Chelydra’s tail is rather long and surprisingly massive in structure. Used mainly for counterbalancing his bulky head and neck, Chelydra also utilizes his heavy tail as a powerful bludgeoning weapon well able to crush, upend, and bash most threats into submission. If necessary, the kaiju turtle will use his tail to aid in underwater propulsion, albeit a bit clumsily. Serrated Half-Shells:
Unlike any other turtle, Chelydra’s massive shell doesn’t completely cover his body. Far too large to need such extensive defenses, the kaiju’s spiked shell has shrunk to the point of only covering his shoulders and thighs, for both of which biological support structures are a necessity. His shoulders protected by a thorny carapace reminiscent of his close relatives, the alligator snapping turtles, Chelydra’s shoulder armor also protects his secondary heads as well as serving as attachment points for his neck’s heavy muscles. Requiring more bodily support than defense, his bulky thighs are covered by a plate-like carapace rimmed with flat triangular spikes, the former of which provides attachment points for several enormous muscles in the kaiju’s lower back and tail; atop the plate-carapace sits a pair of large spikes used for additional rear defense. While unguarded by a shell proper, the thick skin of Chelydra’s middle back is underlain by the remnants of his pre-kaiju bodily shell, which suffices for much of his defensive needs. Most of Chelydra’s plastron (the stomach portion of a turtle’s shell
) has disappeared, though this grants the monster much more flexibility at the expense of having slightly less body armor. Despite its one-off adaptations, Chelydra’s segmented shell still renders him nigh-indestructible. Ironsides:
As with any large turtle, Chelydra’s pleated hide is rather heavy. Underlain by a mesh-like array of bony plates, the kaiju’s already thick skin is rendered practically impenetrable by slashing weapons, and has enough flexibility to its structure to take the brunt of most blunt-force assaults without issue. These osteoderms are especially prevalent around Chelydra’s upper flanks, neck, and tail. Four particularly large osteoderms sprout from near the end of the kaiju’s tail, and serve a similar function to the tail clubs of many advanced ankylosaurs: a brutal bludgeoning weapon. Amphibious:
Being a snapping turtle, Chelydra is equally comfortable – and formidable – either on land or in the water. Able to hold his breath for nearly two hours, the turtle can switch between the two elements relatively quickly and fluidly for a monster of his size: however, Chelydra is a poor swimmer in deep water, and he prefers sinking to the bottom and walking instead of swimming. Like most amphibious kaiju, Chelydra is tolerant of freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater. Sheer Size:
Thanks to his immense size and reinforced barrel-like torso, Chelydra merely shifting his weight can throw opponents off their feet, allowing his intended blows to literally send his foes flying. Titan’s Wake:
Due to his titanic size and bulk, Chelydra boasts an almost unbelievable amount of raw muscle power throughout his body. Easily strong enough to thrash 70,000-ton kaiju around like ragdolls, and with enough physical stamina to tow under an aircraft carrier against its will, the turtle is easily among the most physically powerful kaiju ever seen. When in the sea, the monster has been known to use his sheer size and weight to produce monstrous surface wakes, plowing his opponents aside or, when diving down to attack from below, forcibly drawing them into range. Hydra:
By far the most notable feature of Chelydra is his additional heads and neck – six of them, to be precise. Smaller, leaner, and less armored than his primary head, these secondary heads are joined to his spine and notochord via a pair of tri-forked bone/nerve splits, and are fully equipped in terms of brain capacity. To prevent conflicts and potential injuries to himself, Chelydra’s secondary heads operate only on their lower brain’s functions while attached to him, and are controlled essentially like arms by his primary head’s brain. Used in unison, these six heads are formidable and nearly unavoidable grapples, each tipped with a miniature version of the main head’s vicious shearing beak; joined by flexible cartilage joints, these heads can extend to nearly 140% their average length, or retract almost completely beneath the safe confines of Chelydra’s massive shoulder carapace. Surprisingly strong, and yet quite delicate when necessary, Chelydra’s secondary heads can lift rather large objects when united as well as manipulate and examine small objects independently. Based on the findings from several autopsies, the secondary heads appear to have a small pair of lungs situated just behind their mouths; while a head is attached to Chelydra, these organs are believed to lie flat against its throat, unused. Sixth Sense:
Due to having seven fully functional heads instead of one, Chelydra’s sensory range is increased exponentially. Fully able to see, hear, smell, feel, and taste with his six secondary heads, the kaiju snapping turtle can detect distant stimuli and respond accordingly, or examine objects and places too small or too inaccessible otherwise. Given his almost supernatural detection abilities, Chelydra is sometimes referred to as “The Sixth Sense” amongst the superstitious. Cerebral Autonomy:
Every now and then, one of Chelydra’s secondary heads will get severed from his main body due to accidents or combat: normally, the severed head will regenerate in roughly one week’s time. If cut off “cleanly”, Chelydra’s severed head may temporarily revive
in a process known as autonomy
, its higher brain functions rebooting as its nervous system branches out to make up for a scarcity of internal organs; the lungs behind the mouth will also expand along the bottom of the throat. Working itself out into a strange, serpentine posture, the severed head will begin moving freely within the hour, slithering and jerking about for as long as its neurons can fire. Once the severed head’s neural receptors finally burn out – within 5 hours of revival at the most – it will simply roll over and die. This is comparable to – but far, far more complex than – the bizarre biomechanism present in glass lizards, which literally shed their tails if attacked, leaving the twitching tail to distract the attacker as they escape. Weaknesses: Heavyweight:
Due to his enormous size and weight, Chelydra is a noticeably slow mover. Lumbering across the battlefield, the gigantic daikaiju can easily be outmaneuvered by both military and monster. Rogue Wave:
Even with the influence from his massive size, Chelydra can’t literally control the movements of water, and therefore the wakes he can create aren’t always that reliable. Sometimes, they even work against his favor, pushing targets away from him or out of more favorable attack ranges. Low-Value Targets:
While Chelydra certainly finds having six secondary heads useful, this feature can also present itself as more problematic in nature. Weaker, less heavily armed, and nearly devoid of armor, the snapping turtle’s secondary heads are relatively easy targets in comparison to his central head. Though not “weak” by any normal standard, Chelydra’s secondary heads are simply much more vulnerable to harm compared to the rest of the monstrous turtle’s heavily armored body. Personality:
Contrary to the popular depictions of his non-kaiju relatives, Chelydra is, for the most part, a relatively quiet, laid-back daikaiju. Preferring to wallow and sleep rather than actively hunt, the gigantic turtle proves to be somewhat difficult to motivate into activity, even by his fellow Swamp Monsters. Not exactly “lazy”, Chelydra’s inactivity is believed to be caused by his snapping turtle heritage, being mostly sluggish ambush predators themselves. However, like his direct ancestors – the common snapping turtles – Chelydra occasionally goes on active hunting forays, stalking and ambushing his prey with brute force and a surprising amount of stealth. Otherwise, the kaiju turtle will simply lie in wait for prey to pass his way unawares. If left to his own devices, Chelydra keeps to the water, but he will begrudgingly come onto land at Agron’s request and Agron’s alone: if forced to stay out on dry land for extended periods, Chelydra often becomes irritable and stubborn, even to the point of his bad attitude becoming a liability to the Swamp Monsters. Some kaijuologists believe Chelydra resents leaving the water so greatly because he is actually overweight
for his body frame, and therefore dislikes having to strain his limbs by carrying his massive bulk without the support of water. Combat Strategy:
Once sufficiently roused from his typically placid, lethargic state, Chelydra is a surprisingly vindictive opponent to face on land. Ground shaking as he advances, the colossal turtle will initially lunge out from a distance with his six secondary heads, attempting to grapple around enemy limbs and reel them in ever closer to his flesh-cleaving beak. Avid strugglers are grasped ever tighter – even to the point of constriction – as Chelydra tows them near, slowly squeezing their very life away as he drags them towards an almost certain death. If this assault is interrupted, Chelydra usually goes on the defensive, forcing attackers to keep their distance as the mutant snapping turtle readies to launch another volley of coils and cutting beaks. In the water, however, Chelydra is a slightly more timid combatant, and he tends to stay on the defensive rather than actively charge after his opponents. Chelydra relies on his massive shell segments and his armored skin for protection, both of which he puts to good use by slamming his barrel-like torso hard into oncoming enemies. When even he can’t defeat a rival on his own, Chelydra will emit a loud resonating hiss, calling out for aid from his Swamp Monster comrades. History:
As with the other three Swamp Monsters, the exact date when Sunset Blade actually created Chelydra isn’t clear (it is presumed, however, that they were all created around the same general time
). Based on undated stock inventories attained from Sunset Blade’s archives, Chelydra was in fact a wild common snapping turtle, and he was collected out in the field – the Florida Everglades, supposedly – instead of being purchased through a specialist reptile dealer.
Sometime in 1998, one of Sunset Blade’s most aggressive creations, the mutant American alligator Agron, had broken free of his enclosure and run rampant throughout Pen Block B. Tearing through every defensive measure put in his way, the monstrous reptile made his way through to Pen Block C, its security measures still intact. As Agron’s destructive rampage subsided, he eventually called for the attentions of Block C’s most colossal occupant. Towering high above even the giant alligator, Chelydra watched with beady eyes as Agron neared the thick bars and electrified grids that held the titanic turtle in his cage. Agron paused, as if awaiting confirmation from the giant prisoner; the alligator soon turned towards the pen’s electronic locks and let loose, igniting, cutting through, and destroying the devices with a torching breath of biological acetylene. Backing up almost immediately, Agron narrowly avoided the barred gate dent outwards and launch off its hinges across the courtyard, landing in a crumpled heap against another kaiju pen, startling some unseen occupant from its sleep. A hulking form slowly emerged from the shattered gateway and was soon joined by six smaller, yet similar forms that coiled and hissed in anticipation. Turning to his liberator, Chelydra slowly knelt in gratitude, then alertly regained his stature, senses sharpening as Block C’s emergency sirens began to sound. Snarling in annoyance, Agron turned back to Chelydra and snorted, his message made clear.Free the others
Late September, 1998. Residents all along the American Gulf Coast were battening down their valuables as a vast Category-4 storm, dubbed Hurricane Georges, lazily approached from the Gulf of Mexico. Having passed through at least six island countries already, the massive hurricane showed little sign of slowing down as it neared the east Louisiana coast; the threat of the storm had forced boaters from the water by the hundreds of thousands, leaving the gulf itself a veritable ghost town. With no one around to report a sighting to authorities, four enormous underwater objects trailing directly beneath the hurricane’s cloak of rainclouds went…unnoticed.
Even as Hurricane Georges was running on fumes an entire state away in western Mississippi, formerly vibrant towns and cities in Louisiana continued to become burning wastelands. The coastal supercity of New Orleans, despite having survived the hurricane relatively intact, was the first of many to fall. Whatever this unknown force of destruction was, its path seemed to be following that of Hurricane Georges, leveling whatever manmade structures the storm had left standing in its wake. As the last vestiges of Hurricane Georges crept their way through Alabama and Georgia on September 29th, the four unseen sources of devastation followed from the ground beneath the storm, well aware that their cover was fading and fading fast.
October 3rd, 1998. On this dim, downcast morning, SGOC forces were already moving en masse towards Jacksonville, Florida: apparently, the mystery destroyer – or more accurately, destroyers
– had finally been found, and they were working as hard as ever. As hordes of troops and combat vehicles noisily arrived on the outskirts of Jacksonville, the monstrous raiders’ leader took notice; turning towards the largest, a hideously mutated turtle of some sort, the leader snarled, one slit pupil unerringly trained on the human infantry. Understanding the orders, the gigantic turtle stomped in the soldiers’ direction and roared, slowly building up speed into a thunderous charge… [link]
-------------------------------------------------- Artist's Commentary:
This is DOD’s resident polycephalic sauropod-turtle, Chelydra. Back in DOD’s infancy, I had unintentionally created four kaiju whose base species can all be found in the Florida Everglades; once I noticed this coincidence, I took the opportunity to group them together as “The Swamp Monsters”. The first of the group I created was Chelydra here, whom I based off of my favorite shelled reptiles: snapping turtles. The term “Chelydra
” refers to the scientific name of the common snapping turtle, but at the time, it also sounded like “Shell-Hydra”, which I then made my inspiration for the kaiju’s design. Design-wise, Chelydra was originally built like a conventional snapping turtle, but I eventually realized that a retro sauropod-like form would suit his long-reaching capabilities better, and I revamped him as such. Character-wise, I envision the Swamp Monsters as being something like a gang of prison inmates, but with a better established chain-of-command in effect; Chelydra specifically is the group’s “muscle”, often being regulated to tasks involving heavy lifting, transport, and/or mobile defense. One could accurately compare Chelydra to The Blob, a portly, self-conscious mutant from Marvel’s X-Men franchise. Artistic Notes:
— Chelydra has 5 toes on each front foot, and 4 toes on each back foot. All of his digits are tipped by thick, blunt claws, though the claws on the hindfeet are somewhat larger and bulkier.
— Chelydra’s central head is based on that of the alligator snapping turtle: [link]
. His secondary heads are based on that of the common snapping turtle: [link]
— Chelydra’s shoulder-mounted shell is based on that of the alligator snapping turtle: [link]
, but his spines are angled more vertically.
— Chelydra’s thigh-mounted shell is vaguely shield-like, with two large spines running down its center; these spines are similar to those along his shoulder-mounted shell. The flat spines around the shell’s edge in the image actually run all the way around the edge, their points facing back.
— The top pair of Chelydra’s secondary heads is positioned directly above the back of his neck, while the two lower pairs are positioned above his shoulders.
— Chelydra is heavily
based on the Toraton, a massive future species of tortoise from the speculative zoology program “The Future Is Wild
— Chelydra very much resembles this: [link]
, but his tail is much larger/longer, his neck is bulkier, and his legs are bulkier.
— Chelydra is, because of his vast gut, rather broad in shape when viewed from the front. Like this: [link]
, but his neck and head are somewhat larger/longer than in that image.
— General References:Overall
– [link] [link] [link]Toraton Features
– [link] [link]