by M.D Schultz
A brief overview of the Chimera and the discovery of the Queen.
Fifteen years after the prism gate was opened, we started noticing strange defects in a small population of young children. These Chimera are humans whose living cells possess a carbon-silicon backbone like creatures from the parallel realm. To date, only female Chimera have been discovered, and it is hypothesized that a second X chromosome is required for their existence. Most of these children were discovered between the ages of twelve and fourteen. This suggests that effects on the human genome began within a year of opening the prism gate. However, the girls were discovered late because their physical appearance is almost identical to that of a female child. One defining characteristic that sets them apart is that chimeric cells lack the ability to produce pigments. This means that the children are often pale with gray hair and eyes. So far, we have discovered four different kinds of Chimera called the Rook, the Bishop, the Knight, and the Queen. Case study 365061 will summarize our data on the Queen.
Last year we received unusual reports from a middle school located in the Midwestern United States. Several students had been found dead after teasing another classmate. The classmate in question, Anna Knott, was a thirteen-year-old girl with an introverted personality. The Fifth Chapter was dispatched in response to the baffling medical reports surrounding the deceased. Investigators had discovered high doses of a potent neurotoxin in the bloodstream of the victims. In fact, the venom was found to be far more potent than any known life form. Our own investigation quickly led to Anna who was identified as a Chimera due to her cellular structure and pale complexion. Because of the casualties surrounding the Rook, our investigators were better prepared to deal with Chimera. When transporting Anna to our medical facilities, she was kept sedated with low doses of nitrous oxide allowing us to communicate with her without the fear of inducing stress or anxiety. The parents were also brought over as a precaution to keep the girl stable. They were informed that their daughter was exhibiting the same symptoms as the deceased students before death. The threat of losing their only child was enough to get them to come without question. Further studies must be conducted on the parents to detect any anomalies in their genome.
A simple physical revealed nothing out of the ordinary in terms of Anna’s health. However, we detected elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the girl’s urine. This struck us as odd considering this is usually associated with pregnancy or, in some rare cases, cancer. In addition, we noticed structural differences between the Chimera’s CG and that of a human's. The protein is normally made up of 237 amino acids, but Anna’s possesses 240. Notably, we identified the presence of an additional tryptophan, proline, and phenylalanine. The position of these bulky nonpolar amino acids created a slight kink in the structure of hCG. In addition, we found the presence of several silicon-containing amino acids which enhanced the protein's resistance to degradation. Despite our discovery, the presence of this protein did little to explain the deaths of her classmates. Having examined the medical reports of the deceased, it was clear this mutated hCG was not present in the victims.
Like all previous Chimera, Anna has uniquely modified tear ducts and sweat glands used to secrete a hormone that, unlike the girl’s hCG, bears no resemblance to human protein. We treated these secretions with care as the hormones produced by chimeric glands have been known to be harmful to humans. However, Anna’s protein was different from those of the Rook, Bishop, and Knight identifying her as a yet unknown Chimera. This made her extremely dangerous and yet baffling at the same time. You see, both proteins that she produced were completely harmless to human cells, and her body exhibited no signs of producing the venom responsible for killing her classmates. However, having studied the Chimera, you learn to adopt caution in the face of innocence.
Over several days of study, investigators noted little change in Anna’s behavior outside of an unusual bedwetting habit for a girl her age. In addition, sleep studies revealed no stress or patterns of fear in her nighttime routine. This made her habit even more confusing. Thus, we began to wonder if the bedwetting and elevated levels of mutated hCG were linked. It was around this time that our staff noticed something odd about Anna’s room. Several chapter members claimed the ceiling was moving.
Camouflage is a unique mechanism used by many mammalian and insectoid species both as a defense and a weapon. The best examples are found in the insect kingdom with the likes of the walking stick and orchid mantis. However, even these masters of disguise pale in comparison to the Wraith. Roughly five and a half feet long, these insectoids could not only change the color of their carapace but also compress and shape it to their environment. The nurses attending Anna discovered two in her room. To the naked eye, the ceiling appeared normal except for a few oddly shaped tiles. It was the flickering movement, like a moth caught in a light fixture, that gave the Wraith away. Unfortunately, they were disturbed and, in Anna’s fear, became violent. Wraiths act like predacious diving beetle larvae as they hang from their environment with a modified abdominal segment. Furthermore, their mandibles are hollow limbs used to puncture and inject a potent neurotoxin. Both staff members were regrettably killed in the attack. The Wraiths, having become a clear reddish color, struck with the swiftness of a viper. Anna’s distress only served to aggravate them further, and the nurses were torn to pieces. Fortunately, the creatures were not strong enough to break through the reinforced observational glass giving us a moment to observe their behavior. Anna had long since passed out and the creatures exhibited a protective pattern towards her. They wrapped around the girl with mandibles poised to strike any further disturbances. Within fifteen minutes of the attack, they returned to the ceiling and began reshaping themselves. The creatures pressed flat against the tiles as their carapace softened and turned white. After a time, you would’ve never known they were there. Before extracting the girl, our team filled the room with a mixture of sedative gases to neutralize the Wraiths. Anna was removed to a separate chamber and kept heavily drugged until we could learn more.
We discovered that the hormones produced by the girl’s modified glands were an attractant to the creatures we call Wraiths. These organisms feed on her secretions using a coiled proboscis in a lapping motion like butterflies. It is entirely possible that they were “licking” the surface of Anna’s skin although how this was accomplished without her noticing is completely unknown. The Wraith was found to possess an unusual form of living chitin. Under the right stimuli, the creature can restructure its carapace by incorporating a silicon based protein. This creates a rubber like outer shell that can be reformed and hardened however needed. In addition, unique cells found within the shell could produce many different colored pigments depending on its surroundings. Furthermore, we discovered that the Wraiths neurotoxin was identical to that found in the blood profiles of all the victims. However, one mystery yet remained. How were Wraiths created?
There were two popular hypotheses at the time. The first, and least likely, was that the Wraiths originated from the parallel realms. We knew from our analysis that these creatures possessed the carbon-silicon backbone common to all organisms from that plane of existence. As such, the hypothesis stated that the organism had the ability to create their own prism gates and thus crossed into our world in response to the Chimera’s hormone secretions. Despite this, our research showed nothing to suggest that the Wraith could cross our realities let alone have the complex sensory organs to detect food sources from another world. The second hypothesis was that Anna herself was involuntarily creating these creatures. Indeed, a pelvic CT scan revealed a secondary set of ovaries as part of the girl’s reproductive system. We later discovered that the Wraith embryos operated on a 24-hour menstrual cycle. Whenever Anna slept, an egg would be released to travel through the birthing canal and be expelled with urination. The elevated levels of mutated hCG in the urine acted as a fertilizer stimulating the embryo to develop. Amazingly, every night Anna was undergoing a form of hermaphroditic reproduction. The young Wraiths are motile and fully develop into an adult organism within four hours. However, these creatures are ephemeral and die quickly without the presence of their food source.
Unfortunately, complete removal of the ovaries was the only way to stop the formation of these creatures. Anna was placed under observation for a month after the procedure and, in that time, no other Wraiths were detected. Despite the operation, her bedwetting and hormone secretions continue and will likely never stop. Like all Chimera, Anna was sent to a secured research facility to live out her life in a studied environment. Her parents were informed of her passing and paid well for compensation.
The research of Anna Knott led to the discovery of a new Chimera dubbed the Queen. Although Anna is the only known Queen, all Chapter members are to remain vigilant in the search for others. Current research is being done to determine if a weaponized form of the Wraith can be produced from the Queen’s hormone secretions and the larvae extracted from her ovaries. As an added note, the regenerative capabilities of the Chimera are well documented and so members are to remain cautious around the Queen. Regular pelvic CT scans are to be performed to determine the state of her reproductive system. For further details surrounding the Rook, the Knight, and the Bishop see case studies 365058, 365059, and 365060. All matter pertaining to the Queen and the Wraith are now closed.