The Texas Tummy Twister is a disease/abomination found in Deadlands Classic. It is native to the Texas region of southern Central America, being more common in southern Texas and less common anywhere north of Dallas.
The Texas Tummy Twister is detailed on pages 140-141 of the Marshal's Handbook.
Texas Tummy Twisters are parasitic organisms that infest stagnant water sources throughout the Texas region. They are close relatives of the Blood Baby. Microscopic in their larval state, they embed themselves in the stomaches of those who drink them and parasitise upon the host. Over a period of seven days, they achieve the size of a cat, becoming a nightmarish array of tentacles and eyeballs that connects to the spinal column by means of a spiny appendage. Once they reach this state, they have total control over their host; they aren't very smart, but they do have total control.
The victim of a Tummy Twister initially seems to have a strange, dysentery-like plague; after initial symptoms of feeling "tight" in the stomach, they become plagued by unceasing hunger, start to cough up blood, and eventually enter a high fevered or delerious state. These are symptoms of the Tummy Twister growing inside them; the "delerious behavior" is actually due to the Tummy Twister's own mindless efforts at controlling the host and imperfectly accessing its knowledge.
The obvious symptom of a Tummy Twister is not only a visibly engorged stomach, assuming the host was not too obese before, but the presence of a long, slime-oozing scar across the stomach. Though Tummy Twisters can see through their hosts's eyes, they do so imperfectly, and so they instead open gashes with which to more clearly see.
Once they have a host, a Tummy Twister's sole goal is to infect as many other people with its larval spawn as possible.
Whenever a person drinks from stagnant water in Texas, they have a chance of contracting a Tummy Twister; the odds are 1 in 4 in Southern Texas and 1 in 6 north of Dallas.
The Tummy Twister grows to maturity in the span of a week, after which it takes control of the host's body. This inflicts a Light wound to the Guts that does not bleed, as the Tummy Twister crafts its "viewhole" with its coagulant-secreting tentacles. Seeing a Tummy Twister viewing the world through its viewhole requires the observer take an Incredible (11) guts check.
Removing the Tummy Twister is extremely difficult; attempting to remove it by surgery requires a Medicine: Surgery roll of at least 15, takes ten minutes, and exposes the doctor to potential infection by the Tummy Twister. Less difficult, but more dangerous to the patient, is dosing them with a potently spicy meal - something like jalapenos works just fine. This will cause the Tummy Twister to evacuate the host's body, but causes a Critical hit to the Guts that can't be negated by a Fate Chip. The one advantage of this is that the wound doesn't bleed, so it is potentially survival.
The Texas Tummy Twister's profile is as follows:
Corporeal: D: 3d6, N: 1d4, S: 2d4, Q: 3d10, V: 2d6
Fightin': Brawlin' (Deftness based) 4d6
Mental: C: 2d6, K: 2d4, M: 1d8, Sm: 1d4, Sp: 1d4
Damage: Spiny Tentacles that inflict Strength + 1d4 damage
Infection: If a Texas Tummy Twister inflicts at least 1 point of Wind damage upon a victim with its Spiny Tentacles, that victim becomes infected with a Tummy Twister in turn.