The Chimera Syndrome
Scientists had been predicting the effects of climate change on Earth for decades prior to the ’20s. The call for clean energy became more desperate as these grim predictions gave way to even grimmer realities. By 2025, the sea level had risen nine kilometers, and natural disasters became increasingly common. No one was prepared for the onslaught of these disasters, striking one after the other.
In just six years, the sea level would more than double its previous rise. At thirty meters and climbing, it seemed that the Earth was in the grip of a civilization-threatening catastrophe. Little did the inhabitants of Earth realize that this was only the beginning.
While the human race was struggling with the calamity of a rapidly flooding planet, a new horror began to rise up. Early reports were sparse and inconclusive, and chalked up to hysteria in the wake of the disasters. Soon they were increasing, and by 2035, one in every 1000 children born were being classified as mutants. Their often strange and inhuman appearance was a harbinger of the unusual gifts (called “powers” by most) that they bore.
Even more alarming than the birth of these mutants was the eerie similarity of nearly fifty percent of their appearance and “powers”. Clearly adapted to an aquatic nature, they were classified homo sapiens coleoidea. As more and more of these children were born and thrust into the public eye, they were separated from their families and raised in scientific and government enclaves for study. These enclaves came to be known as “Coly-Camps”.
Men of science spent the next twelve years trying to classify and categorize the mutations of the new generation of humans, and their theories ranged from the soundly scientific to the oddly conspiratorial. The Chimera Virus and its effects upon the human genome was eventually discovered by Dr. Lloyd Stebbins. But this discovery was made even more horrific than any had anticipated with what came next.
They came, not from the stars, but from the watery depths of our own planet. The invaders’ initial strikes began on December 29th, 2051. They were surgical strikes meant to render the human race defenseless. Their first targets were communications satellites and facilities, followed swiftly by the governmental centers of the nations of Earth. Third world nations and coastal areas were subjugated brutally and ruthlessly by the aquatic alien swarms.
Divided by the chaos of the flooding and the horrors of a mutating populace, the world reeled under the Ixhari invasion. Their technology far surpassed our own, and their numbers were great. It seemed hopeless to resist, and many did give in. But a shocking truth emerged that galvanized mankind’s resistance.
The flooding of the Earth was a terraforming effort on the part of the invaders, changing the planet to suit Ixhari needs. The Chimera Virus had been engineered by the Ixhari to modify the human race to exist in their new world as slaves.
Surprisingly, the resistance effort of the very mutants created by the Chimera Virus, the victims of the Chimera Syndrome, were the most successful. Although very young (all being under the age of twenty), these mutants’ “powers” gave them the advantage they needed in their fight for freedom. The Ixhari, though possessed of a higher technology, had no such powers.
The war against the Ixhari was disorganized at first, but after two years it gained traction with the union of many of the mutants of Earth. They also found themselves aided by the Colys, whose mutation by the Chimera Virus was the original effect the Ixhari had planned for. These mutants’ ability to survive and thrive in an aquatic environment proved to be what turned the tides of battle. Coly infiltrators were able to discover the undersea bases of the Ixhari, and lead strike forces against them.
The Ixhari War ended with a decisive victory by the mutant defenders of Earth on September 15th, 2054. It had been discovered that the Ixhari hailed from another dimension, and the rift through which they accessed Earth was positioned on the depths of the Marianas Trench.
A team of mutants, The Vindicators, was assembled, and these heroes drove deep into Ixhari territory. Their attack left the dimensional rift devices of the Ixhari destroyed, and drove the majority of the Ixhari army back to their home dimension. The members of The Vindicators would go down in history as the defenders of mankind, but their victory did not come without a price.
Now, one year after the expulsion of the Ixhari invaders, most of Earth’s governments have united their efforts towards recovery. Peace is far from established, however. Pockets of Ixhari renegades still make trouble. Pirates and bandits roam the widened oceans and abandoned highways. Many mutants have become threats, empowered and maddened by the Chimera Syndrome. Governments and corporations do their best to hold onto their mutant acquisitions, performing experiments and studies behind shadowy, locked doors. Petty dictators have taken advantage of the years of chaos to establish their own kingdoms. And the disasters leading up to the Ixhari War have taken a horrendous toll upon the population of Earth.
Now, more than ever before in its history, Earth needs heroes.