My objet d’art is a representation of the tunnels a space termite bored inside one square hectometer of a massive, sentient, spacefaring creature’s flesh.
Microscopically honed mouthpieces pulverize tunnels through flesh growing and dividing in a complete vacuum. This tough, dense, whitish material is torn through by a creature whose mouthpieces treat diamond like wet paper. The alkaline ooze spurting out of defensive pockets is designed to protect outer layers of flesh from exactly these parasites. The termite treats it as a mild irritant at best, and an unfortunate hit at worst. A lucky gush occasionally triggers an autoimmune response that causes a leg or an eye to slough off.
The barely insectoid form drills away, powering its mandibles with thick, acidic blood naturally pressurized to function as organic hydraulics.
The titanic creature registers an itch, somewhere along its lower dorsal quadrant, around its third supernumerary cluster of redundant filtering systems. Analogous to livers and kidneys, they filter the sludge-like blood and produce the long strands of proteins necessary to replicate the mammoth’s incredibly dense, armored cells.
This creature, this fleshgod, unwinds a manipulatory tactile organ, a spiraling tentacle hundreds of meters long, to scratch at the itch.
The termite is hit with a sudden, colossal convulsion that ruptures the stressed sides of its tunnel walls, engulfing it in a sudden deluge of superalkaloids. It instinctively engages a natural defense mechanism, encasing it in a shell not dissimilar to the ones formed by anthrax bacteria to hibernate. Particles blossom from hidden gills, reacting to the bases and forming a hardened, crusty shell, that encloses it in seconds. Currents of blood are drawn outward to the vacuum of space, simultaneously boiling in the sunlight and freezing in the shadow of the fleshgod as its solar sails eclipse the light from the closest star, filtering all but the most unstable wavelengths and converting them into energy.
The encapsulated termite floats with the blood, forming crystals of ice on its dark side and steaming on its sunlit side.
On the flank of the fleshgod, the blood pouring out of the wound undergoes an instant reaction as proteins from a nearby lymph network reach the site. The blood, in a matter of milliseconds, freezes, expands, and adheres to nearby cells, creating a crusty shield keeping thousands of gallons of blood inside.
The cracks are where flesh has started to regrow, eradicating the crystalline clots filling the tunnels. Nubs are tunnels being reclaimed by growths of new, healthy flesh.
Opaque blue for the outer coating, the scum over the living flesh and fluid.
Green for the areas affected by void bacteria, those hardy space organisms.
Brown for the necrotic areas, those dying and being reabsorbed. Targeted for waves of antibacterial product by the local lymph network.
Digging through this flesh is akin to mining through solid metal. The tunnels are geometric, the result of technique adjustments made by the parasite while drilling.