PIDGE [ID ]
Pidgeons take the form of birdlike wyverns, with long necks, tail, visible external ears, and a pair of small horns. Approximately the size of a pigeon, they also exhibit a similar level of intelligence. Most pidgeons sport garish colours and patterns, and plumage even among siblings is wildly variable.
They can often be found in large flocks where food is abundant. Initially observed at tier 2 depth, they have since migrated closer to the surface to scavenge off human leftovers. As omnivores, they primarily eat seeds, fruits, and insects, but will happily forage in trash for leftovers.
While they are not particularly bright, they appear to possess a reliable homing ability, and the inconvenient ability to break out of any holding cell when not under close observation. Capture of wild specimens tends to be difficult as a result - pidgeons to be kept in captivity need to be raised from the egg. As they don't pose any harm to humans and are fairly easy to care for, they can in theory be kept as house pets - though once again, keeping them in cages may prove difficult. In any case, taking them outside of the mall ecosystem is not allowed, as they can pose a threat to the outside as an invasive species.
In all biological aspects they appear to be plausible Earth-like creatures except for one: their nesting habits. Pidgeons "eggs" are found in collective nests, which, for all intents and purposes, are gachapon machines. The egg-laying process has never been observed, and neither is it known where the machines come from. A certain amount of conscious thought appears to go into the placement of the machines, as they are always placed in areas where humans pass through, yet not frequent. The slightly run down rooms of the mid-tier are a favourite location, as are quiet alleyways and back roads closer to the surface. The machines do not require money to use, and disappear of their own accord just as mysteriously as they appear.
A more detailed set of observations on the machines and capsules is attached below, pending more formal tests.
By some luck, the machine location that was reported to us two days ago is still valid. Pidgeon machines are not particularly rare, but it is surprisingly difficult to find them when you're looking for them. Commencing my observations.
The machine is physically indistinguishable from a normal gachapon machine found in the surface mall. Dimensions are approximately 30cm (width) x 25cm (depth) x 40cm (height). No pidgeons were observed in the vicinity, but a few empty half-shells of gachapon capsules were littered on the ground. These were retrieved for further tests in the lab.
The label on the front of the machine describes the "product" as "PIDGEONS". Warning and information text appears to be present, but on closer inspection, they appear to be garbled text. The chamber is transparent and shows many colourful gachapon capsules; they appear to be mixed up evenly, with there being about 4-5 similarly-coloured capsules per colouration.
The machine material looks and feels like plastic and metal - perfectly inorganic. According to D, this machine's design appears to be a mash of several different machine types, without matching any documented machines on the market. Notably, the design doesn't match those shown in existing photos of pidgeon nests.
D██ has made several attempts to open the capsule storage case, with no success. While some key holes are present on the machine, these appear to be entirely decorative and are too shallow to accept any real keys. A scope inserted up the chute seems to bump up against a transparent barrier, preventing access to the egg chamber. Attempts to shake or move the machine do not work - it appears to be very firmly fixed to the ground. As pidgeons are not especially rare or endangered, we have decided to make an attempt to cut open the machine after retrieving whatever capsules we can.
(I should note here that we have been calling these capsules "eggs" interchangeably as that appears to be their function (containing the young of the species during early development), but we do not truly know if they do correspond biologically to the eggs of other species, as their reproductive cycle has never been observed.)
While a coin slot is present on the machine, it appears that a coin isn't required to turn the handle. I attempted this twice, once with no coin, and then once with a dollar coin. It took the coin, with no notable effects. (While a coin return hole is present on the machine, there is no discernable way to retrieve any inserted coins.) Each spin of the machine yielded one egg.
The eggs resemble opaque gachapon capsules down to the half-shell casing. Like the machines, the casing also feels like plastic. The top and bottom halves of both the capsules I received were coloured differently. According to D██, they look like standard 48mm capsules, where the only observable difference is that they do not have the holes that capsules usually have. Peeping noises can be heard from the capsules when shaken gently.
We decided to try and empty the machine of its contents before forcibly taking it apart. Curiously, the handle became stuck at 18 additional eggs dispensed, and refused to turn any further. By our estimates, there are approximately 30 capsules left in the machine. E█████ has packed the obtained capsules securely in our carrier - they will be taken back to our lab to be opened, as we do not wish to have a handful of chicks on our hands without adequate preparation.
E█████ took an electric drill to the machine's side, with care to not touch the egg chamber. Nothing happened! Not a scratch! She proceeded to use a blowtorch with no small frustration, with no tangible result. I had originally intended to retrieve some samples of the plastic material, but it seems like I will not even be able to shave pieces of it off the machine. We have, however, set up a camera to observe the machine for any changes, in the hopes of learning how these machines disappear, and what happens to the eggs that are left in the machine.
This concludes my observations. Further observations of the retrieved capsules will be made and recorded when we return to the lab.
To fully understand the biology of pidgeons, a new batch of pidgeons is obtained every week for observation. Please click the handle of the gacha machine to collect the capsules.
I would like to allow you to use my pidges on small personal websites freely. A link back is greatly appreciated!
I'm very sorry for having to even write this - I'd like very much to give out some free graphics on my little website for other people's little websites and not worry about it so much, but I've spent way too much time in spaces that try to take advantage of artists for profit. 'Tis the hellscape we live in, I guess.
Pidgeons are a project in image generation I came up with, as a challenge in generating creatures with unique and pleasing colours/markings! I'm not sure on the "pleasing" part, but they turned out surprisingly coherent. (The gacha component wasn't strictly necessary, but I did enjoy putting that together visually.)
Data about which pidges you've obtained is saved in your browser using local storage - none of this info is transmitted anywhere. This data is reset when visiting the pidge page again in a different week. If the data doesn't get saved, it means local storage isn't available on your browser.
New pidges will arrive 1 October 2023 (Sun).
Pidgeons are refreshed every week - all randomly generated for interest! See the project here for more info.