Bradley saw himself as self-hating coward, and largely acted as an ambusher, though he could be provoked.
Breed is described as a fairly normal looking man in appearance; the original Breed was known to have no special identifying features.
Abilities and Powers
Breed has the ability to create trilobite-like parasites that become more dangerous over time, they emerge at about the size of a lemon from his orifices. He could create nine or ten a day. The original Breed may have had greater skill and power than his clones.
Despite their arthropod appearance, Breeds trilobites are best understood as organic automata, emulating life without truly 'living', 'running' off of a instinctual programming script. Thus the inability of Weaver's power to 'register' them, among other reasons.
When released they will ignore hard targets and go after the more vulnerable prey and corpses provided they're not already infested. They probably feed exclusively on humans, but they would attack non-edible targets to remove a threat.
They are described as resembling trilobites, with hundreds of small legs, spines, and long tails equipped with stingers. They're resistant to conventional weapons, but not totally immune to knives or Weaver's bugs. Thanks to their small size they can lurk in spots where they can get access to orifices, sites of injury, or corpses. Then burrow inside, wait until the target is still and quiet for an hour or two, paralyze the target, and emit pheromones to call their fellows to them. Their barbed skin makes it difficult for them to be removed. They devour the target from the inside out, molt once or twice as they digest the fats and proteins they ate, then find a new target. Their limbs are tipped with sharp claws that can penetrate flesh, cloth, and even spider silk, making them difficult to dislodge. The legs can be retracted into the hard carapace to protect them. They make a hissing noise as they move. They're usually slick with gore from previous victims.
In a process that takes one to two weeks, depending on the availability of food sources, the creatures will reach the size of a full-grown human being. After this, they’ll do two or three major molts with big physical changes.
In their final form, the creatures develop a number of natural weapons, including a shotgun spit composed of pellets which dissolve into a flesh-melting acid.
Bradley did not have good experiences growing up.
The original Breed was believed to have died when the building he was in fell during heavy ordinance bombardment. Because the bugs stopped appearing afterward, one of the burned corpses left over was presumed to have been Breed.
↑ 1.01.11.21.3“Sure,” Swansong said. “Close enough to being related. Same person brought us into this world. Nedley? You need to be something more, if you’re not going to make the rest of us look bad.”
He rankled, but he didn’t act on it. He was Ned and he was Bradley. There was overlap between the two and he lived in that overlap, drew memories from it, and pieced himself together. Half of the time, when he reached for memories, he stumbled onto the memories from that overlap between the two characters, seeing them like double vision. Cockroaches scurrying across a kitchen. Staring down at bloody hands. People with twisted expressions shouting at him, so much larger they had to be parents or authority figures.
More cockroaches, scurrying across the kitchen.
Ned would have been driven by those taunts, pushed to attack despite the apparent trap. Bradley would hang back, trusting his creations to do the work. [...] He could heal rapidly, and his creations could use material to piece him back together, but he had been maintaining a Bradley mindset to avoid being provoked, and Bradley was one to run first when he was unsure. [...] Another overlap between Ned and Bradley is that we are survivors. [...] “Darkness is my ally,” she said.
↑ 3.03.1I couldn’t go after the Breeds until I knew which of the people in the building were them. The original Breed had died when someone had hit a building with an incendiary missile, and the bugs had stopped appearing. He wasn’t altered in appearance. For all respects, he was just an ordinary man.
↑Breed Creates small lifeforms that inhabit corpses, grow and become more dangerous over time/after eating Slaughterhouse 9 Master - ParahumanList, Bolded edit by Wildbow
↑ 5.05.1The swarm went on the attack. People in the crowd screamed and ran. Of the three I'd targeted in their midst, I saw one open his mouth wide. Four small trilobite parasites crawled out, dropping to the ground.
His nostril bulged, and one crawled from his nasal cavity. One crawled from each of his ears.
His pants bulged, a great deal in the back, then a little in front. They fell out of the bottom of his pant legs.
The others were producing some now too.
Crucible caught the first in his forcefield. He paused a second, then turned it on full burn. The forcefield dissipated, and man, parasites and a circular section of floor were scorched black.
The other two were still fighting off the bugs when Crucible burned them as well. - Sting 26.3
↑ 6.06.16.26.18.104.22.168“They start off the size of a lemon, lurk in spots where they can get access to orifices or sites of injury, or like you see here, corpses. Inside beer bottles, in toilet bowls, bedcovers, on the underside of kitchen tables, even inside food. Then they burrow inside, wait until the target is still and quiet for an hour or two, paralyze the target, and emit pheromones to call others of their kind to them. They devour the target from the inside out, molt once or twice as they digest the fats and proteins they ate, then find a new target. It’s a process that takes a week to two weeks, depending on the availability of food sources.”
I could see Getaway shift position, folding his hands behind his back, as if he could shield his rear end. His mouth had shut into a firm line.
His nose was still unprotected, I noted.
Even Rachel seemed a little concerned. She glanced at her dog.
“They aren’t a danger to us,” I said. “Probably. They choose easier targets over harder ones, and there are enough corpses around here that we aren’t worth the trouble. What we should worry about is the later stages. When they’re about the size of a full-grown human being, they’ll do two or three major molts with big physical changes, gaining some natural weapons, including a pellet-spit that kind of acts like a shotgun blast with fragments that dissolve into flesh-melting acid.”
“Read his file,” I answered.
“Shouldn’t we kill them before they get big?” Foil asked.
“Not worth the time it would take to track them down,” I said. “We don’t have any strong offensive powers, they’re durable against stuff like conventional ammunition and physical blows, and he generally produces about nine or ten per day.” - Excerpt from Sting 26.1
↑Though it’s somewhat justified in this instance as they don’t retain their full memories – only cobbled-together personalities and histories. - Comment by Wildbow in Sting 26.3
↑The entity observed the ongoing conflict. No less than five seconds after it had been trapped, two figures had emerged from a doorway between worlds. The entity could see the paths forming, trace them back to the source. Another world, a living world without a shard occupying it.
They engaged the eight with their own perception abilities, intervening to assist a group of others. As a pair, they opened fire with guns, then waded into hand to hand combat.
↑ 9.09.19.2He fought a machine of a thing, all instinct, and it wasn’t a machine that learned. It sought to continue doing what it was doing, but as it fought to open his mouth wide and shove itself within, it tried to use the leg that was now damaged, pulling and throwing its weight to one side. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.y II
↑“Breed’s creatures. Can you control them?” this from Revel, taking advantage of the stunned silence.
I glanced up at the body the things had invaded. I tailored my response so both Revel and the Undersiders could make sense of it. “I can’t control those things, and I can’t sense them either.”
“A shame. That would simplify things just a little.”
It would. I wouldn’t have minded the firepower, either, even with their particular diet. - Excerpt from Sting 26.1
↑Chiro I was wondering as of late, why Taylor can't control Breed's parasites? Is it because they as lifeforms don't fall into the portfolio of creatures Taylor controls, or because Breed controls them already?
Kyakan might be as simple as them not being around when Taylor's power was defining what counted as "bug"
Wildbow Kyak has it right. Bonesaw talks about how shards conceptualize their idea of what X is when the trigger happens. It's why Taylor's notion of what a 'bug' is remains pretty nebulous, including some things (crabs, earthworms, arachnids, insects) and bypassing others (skin mites, bug case 53s). And it's not just Taylor- it pulls from the shard network of wider human knowledge across hosts. - Discord conversation Archived on Spacebattles.
↑ 12.012.112.212.3"I thought you said they don't go after people!" "They don't!" I said. "So long as there's other food sources available." I kicked at one as it advanced on my right foot. "There are dozens of bodies here!" Already infected, I realized. These parasites were seeking fresh hosts, ones not already occupied by anything. I caught the ones I could with my own bugs, used thread to haul them free, but there were twenty, and their dozens of legs were sharp, capable of punching through flesh and clothing to maintain a grip. Difficult to dislodge. One had landed on my shoulder. I tried to pull it free and failed, stabbed at the legs with my knife, only for it to fold them into its carapace. It lashed at the lens of my mask with its spike-tipped tail. It didn't penetrate, and rolled off my shoulder before I could get a hold on it. Its legs extended, and it found a grip on my flight pack. In an instant, it was racing up towards my head again. It stopped twice, pausing for one second as it transitioned from my flight pack to my costume, then stopping again as it reached the area where the mask and body of my costume overlapped at my neck. The needle points of its legs were pricking through the fabric of my costume, no doubt as it tried to find a way under. I got a grip on its tail, but failed to dislodge it. Too slick. The others weren't faring a lot better. Crucible shouted something incoherent as he used both hands to stop a softball sized creature from advancing on his mouth. Its millipede-like limbs left bloody tracks in his skin as it made excruciating progress towards the orifice. - Excerpt from Sting 26.3
↑druxilitch I think the S9!Taylor fic handles this pretty well: allow the parasites to inhabit and feed on cow carcasses or other large mammals that are commonly farmed. I think that if the parasites themselves could be trained and controlled by people other than their creator, they would make pretty good guard dogs and stuff. You could also maybe harvest them for resources.
↑I wasn’t the only one. Crucible’s forcefield shorted out. Clockblocker had been in the midst of reaching for Breed-bugs to lock down, and found himself only giving them easier access in climbing up his arms.
The Mannequin staggered back, tripping on the stairs. Just a little less coordinated.
Still, it wasn’t useful. One dog was entirely disabled, crawling with countless Breed-parasites. Only the fact that it clenched its jaw kept them from getting in its mouth, but its nose- - Excerpt from Sting 26.3
↑ 15.015.115.2The fat man deflated in an instant as a small collection of what looked like trilobites found their way out of his rear end. Slick with gore, they darted forward a short distance on their hundreds of little legs, then turned our way, bristling with spines. Tails trailed behind each of them, twice as long as the foot-long creatures, narrow, with stingers on the ends.
I could hear a hissing, but I wasn't sure if it was from the creatures or the way the spines rubbed against one another.
"Oh… god," she said. She took a step back, with Foil stepping forward, as if to defend her.
"Breed's power," I said. "They're mostly harmless, for now."
"For now?" Rifle asked.
I watched as they made their way up the side of a building to a corpse that was hung there. The corpse had been cut into sections, the arms and legs each severed at the joints and reconnected with lengths of chain. Breed's creatures found their way into the body through the holes in the neck, mouth and rear end. It jerked a little as they worked bodies the size of footballs into apertures only a fraction of that size, then went still. - Excerpt from Sting 26.1
↑Imp stepped up just in front of Crucible, impaling the bug on his face with her own knife. - Excerpt from Sting 26.3
↑I used my swarm to attack the Breed-bugs, but it was slow going. Twenty bugs with strong mandibles could kill one, but it took a minute, maybe two, before they reached something resembling soft tissue. - Excerpt from Sting 26.3
↑ It shoved its face between the legs, into his face and his mouth, and the texture of it was like wet sandpaper on cold, naked skin.
Its head narrowed, a spear or a wedge, and it tried to force its way into his mouth. Its shell was like scales, oriented so that passage in should be easy, the grit of the sandpaper and the slant of the shells making entry smooth. To go the opposite way was to have the sandpaper texture scrape and the scales catch. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.y II
↑I could sense Breed's minions make their approach. In the midst of the banging and screeching, their hissing was almost impossible to make out. - Sting 26.3
↑Her eyes tracked the rows and columns of incubation chambers. They weren’t her field either. A different row for each member of the Slaughterhouse Nine, past or present.
↑Three Mannequins, three Murder Rats, three Breeds, a Nyx and a Tyrant taken out of action. Fifty hostages rescued. - Interlude 26.x
↑"The second group made their way to New York." "Bonesaw and a captive Nilbog that's apparently rigged to create things on demand," Weaver said. "Crawlers, Breeds and a handful of others I didn't identify." - Interlude 26.x
↑A Hatchet Face, Breed, Cherish and King made their way towards the entrance of the alley. [...] The gang of lesser Nine members approached the periphery of the fight, but they didn't join it. [...] The illusions collectively shattered as he squashed the head of the ‘Cherish' against the wall. Nyx.
↑There were ten more of the things he had fought, some twice the size. There were other things. Dead things like the one he laid on. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.y II
↑I found members of Bonesaw's Slaughterhouse Nine. Clones who'd fled, or who'd been left behind, lurking in dark corners, or simply hiding. A Mannequin, two Damsels that were keeping each other company, a Night Hag-Nyx hybrid, and a Crawler-Breed hybrid.
When I had the vast majority of them, I began looking to other universes. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4