The origins of the Malacoda were discovered by pure chance when scientists were conducting routine t-Abyss experimentation on various fish, only to find one of the specimens was infected with a skin fluke. The Capsalidae is a family of monopisthocotylean monogeneans; a group of ectoparasites commonly found on the skin, gills, or fins of fish. They have a direct life cycle and do not require an intermediate host. Adults are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive structures. Monogeneans have a series of hooks which are used to attach onto fish and as a result, could lead to infections. These organisms can be found in small numbers on healthy fish, living on mucus and skin debris, without apparently causing any harm. Alongside its host, this skin fluke was also infected with the t-Abyss Virus and specifically altered the base B.O.W. fish, significantly improving its development.
The Malacoda larva is approximately 1cm small. If its small body is employed efficiently and parasitizes a host, the larva will first secrete a particular kind of bodily fluid and transmit the virus to the host. With t-Abyss and its secretions, it stimulates the host’s metabolism, and as it enlarges the host, it grows into
an imago. Therefore the size of the imago depends on the size of the host. A matured Malacoda parasite has a long eel-like body with a head and mouth textured like a bed bug. A circular appendage extends from its head with a ring of sharpened teeth. These are accompanied by two large mandibles that allow the parasite to clamp onto its prey. This organism is a similar shape to a parasite copepod and has numerous phrixocephalus triangulus egg sacs.
Because the t-Abyss virus stimulates metabolism growth via a synergistic effect, no planned experiments were carried out for researchers hypothesised that if any cetacean species became infected, the growth possibilities could be limitless and extremely dangerous. In 2005, several mature parasites were isolated in storage inside the labs on board the Queen Zenobia, but during the crisis when the ship was damaged thanks to a strike from the Regia Solis satellite, the parasites escaped and infected a nearby whale. This enlarged the creature and caused it to become drastically deformed. Instead of water, the whale sprayed an infected red fluid, becoming a red cloud that hovered and mutated into an airborne virus. Its skin was dark green and stretched to the point where it had split down the vertebrae, exposing deformities within. Its fins were covered in barnacles and the Malacoda parasites burrowed holes between the wrinkles of the whale’s skin. When under threat, the parasites would emerge from the whale and shoot out small eggs as projectiles. Fortunately this creature was destroyed by the B.S.A.A. quickly after initial infection and before it could do more significant damage and spread its infection to further marine life.
The name Malacoda is a character reference to the leader of the Malebranche, the nine demons who guard the eighth circle of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy.