by M.D Schultz
A brief overview of the Chimera and the discovery of the Knight
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, these 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 365059 will summarize our data on the Knight.
England has been a hotbed of interdimensional activity ever since the appearance of the scar. You see, this country was the site of the second largest prism gate opening since the bunker incident. This highly unstable doorway closed shut after only four days but left a mile-wide sheath of light. Smaller gates have since risen all over England because of chaotic energy rippling from this scar. As such, it was no great surprise when a Chimera was discovered living in Birmingham city.
Amelia Gardener was a medical anomaly before her registration as a Chimera. The girl was diagnosed with congenital analgesia when she was an infant. This rare genetic anomaly renders the subject unable to feel pain but most other physical stimuli, including touch, remain intact. Despite her condition, Amelia could carry out a relatively normal life with careful monitoring. However, that would all end when she entered her teenage years.
Puberty in children usually begins at the age of eleven and ends somewhere around sixteen. This normal process of sexual maturation is often a time of great stress but, for girls like Amelia, it can be a terrifying process. Chimera, under the class of Knight, undergoes their first metamorphic changes at the time of puberty. These changes are caused by a new type of osteocyte which was discovered in the bones of Amelia’s hands and feet. These unique cells can clonally expand into a brand-new structure. The rate at which this process occurs is truly remarkable especially considering that human osteocytes lack the ability to divide. Upon receiving an electrical impulse through a series of channels in the skeletal network, these chimeric cells become active and turn a dark reddish brown color. The process that follows, in any other individual, would be excruciatingly painful. The mutated osteocytes expand into a new rigid structure that quickly ruptures the muscle and skin of the subject’s arms and legs. This leads to an excessive amount of blood loss and tissue trauma. When the process is complete, Knight class Chimera enter what is known as the hybrid state. In this form, Amelia’s hands are replaced by two claws half the size of her body. These modified limbs each possess five serrated digits capable of splitting steel and a hardened exoskeleton that runs from her palms to her elbows. In a similar fashion, her legs are also modified into living shock absorbers. Beneath a layer of hardened bone is a complex network of coiled tissue that can convert kinetic energy into heat. This allows the Chimera to survive great impact from falls or otherwise. In addition, X-rays revealed new musculature beneath the limbs of the hybrid Knight. Dense muscle fiber is packed beneath the exoskeleton of the girl's limbs allowing for immense bursts of strength. Further studies revealed that chimeric osteocytes were also present in the girl’s spinal cord. These cells carry out a very different function from those found in the limbs. When a transformation is triggered, weighted projections form outwards from the thoracic and lumbar segments of the spinal cord. These elongated sections of the spine are slightly visible as protrusions from the girls back. The tailbone is also extended by several inches in the hybrid state. These weighted segments of bone act as a counterbalance to the oversized limbs produced in transformation. Without this adaptation, it is likely the subject would be unable to walk let alone defend herself.
Fortunately, Amelia’s first transformation took place in the middle of the night. Despite the violent changes her body was undergoing, the girl likely slept through most of it due to her inability to feel pain. In the morning hours, her parents awoke to a horror scene, and the police were quickly dispatched in response to their call. The investigators who arrived found the girls room in chaos. Blood and tissue coated the walls and light fixtures as if someone had been torn to pieces. It was described as if a feral animal had broken through the bedroom window and attacked the poor girl in her sleep. They would later conclude that Amelia was dead as the amount of blood lost was too much for any human. The Fifth Chapter was dispatched in response to the unusual circumstances surrounding the case. Blood samples confirmed Amelia was a Chimera.
A containment team was dispatched to Birmingham City in search of the missing girl. She was found within 24 hours huddled in an alleyway. Her fear must have only served to hasten her transformation for she had fully developed into the hybrid state by the time of discovery. Despite her bestial appearance, the girl was taken with little resistance. She was not an aggressive or violent person by nature and this made her very easy to work with. Despite the harm she can potentially inflict, Amelia is the least dangerous Chimera for she is in control of her actions. The girl's cooperation allowed us to learn so much more about Knight class Chimera.
Once contained, we could test the capabilities of the hybrid state. In addition to heightened strength, the subject’s stamina is also improved because of increased blood flow from the vasculature. As a hybrid, Amelia’s heart can achieve a staggering 600 beats per minute which is roughly six times the rate of an average human heart. Thus, blood pressure skyrockets and yet, even when sustained for days, the Chimera’s heart and vascular tissue remain undamaged. This suggests that silicon-based tissues are more resistant to high tensile strength. Furthermore, the heart rate was found to be maintained by a mutated adrenaline hormone. Like other Chimera classes, this protein was made up of silico-amino acids capable of resisting decay and enzyme digestion. Put simply, the Knights adrenaline can remain in the bloodstream for extended lengths of time before being broken down or removed. In addition, we discovered abnormalities in Amelia’s vasculature system. In addition to arteries, capillaries, and veins, the subject also possesses sac-like structures across the major blood vessels. These sacs can expand and contract like lymph nodes in an infection. We discovered that each structure can hold up to billions of dormant red blood cells. Unlike human blood, these sleeping cells can potentially survive for over a year until activated. The sacs are an adaptation allowing the Chimera to survive immense blood loss because of her transformation. While human, Amelia’s dormant blood cells are replenished and the sacs swell to a noticeable size. When entering the hybrid state these sacs are emptied into the bloodstream to prevent anemia and subsequent death. Furthermore, analysis of the blood revealed elevated levels of factor eight. This protein is an essential clotting factor used to reduce blood loss from open wounds. Knight class Chimera have increased blood clotting protein to prevent further blood loss due to the trauma induced during transformation. This adaptation doesn’t come without flaws. Amelia’s elevated factor eight leaves her susceptible to blood clots. This, coupled with her inability to feel pain, puts her at great risk every time she enters the hybrid state. This was demonstrated when, during one of our tests, we nearly lost the girl to blood clots that formed in her lungs. As a result of these findings, it is recommended that Amelia stays on high doses of Coumadin (warfarin) after transformation to prevent this from happening again. As an additional note, blood thinners are never to be given to the subject before or during her transition into the hybrid state. Preventing her blood from clotting in this process would likely lead to her death.
During stress tests, we determined that Amelia can sustain the hybrid form for up to 72 hours. Afterwards, her body is unable to change for an additional 48 hours. Whether due to exhaustion or the inability to sustain the additional bone and tissue, Amelia’s hybrid state eventually ends with her sloughing off her modified limbs. At the end of this process, she retains the appearance of a normal human girl. Amelia is now able to enter and withdraw from her transformation at will.
The studies surrounding Amelia Gardener led to the discovery of a new chimera dubbed the Knight. Since this case, several girls exhibiting characteristics of Knight class Chimera have been found. All Chimera are to be relocated to a secured research facility for continued study. Further research is being done to determine if the modified blood sacs found in these Chimera can be utilized as a medical therapy against blood loss. This would be invaluable to soldiers as well as our field agents exploring the parallel realms. For further details on the Rook, the Bishop, and the Queen see case studies 365058, 365060, and 365061. As of the current time, all matters pertaining to the Amelia Gardener and the Knight class Chimera are considered closed.