Chapter 1: Naqy

All men are self-governing. What is right and wrong is determined by the actions of the people. There is no such thing as destiny. All men make their own path. There is only the survival of life and the struggle not to die, for what else is there. Noble ideas and people are dead and gone. What can be done with nobility when you starve? What worth is an idea of peace and equality when the strongest prevail? There is no yesterday, nor tomorrow. The sky is always grey and the streets always dark. The Shadows are alive and creep. If someone has a roof over their heads, they are lucky. If someone has a jb, they are part of the elite few. If someone has food, they are emperors of the underworld. Crime is rampant. There is no hope.

That is what she had believed her whole life. She was one of the street rats, a creature that had no place in the technologically advanced overworld where hunger was a myth and the suffering of the underworld a well-kept secret. Part-animal, part-human, she was a descendant of the Chimera.

The Chimera had been the result of a long and exhausting scientificc research that had had the goal of improving the human genome. The team of scientists, a culmination of several generations of work, had used the dna of several animals sequenced together with that of two human embryos, the children of the future, Alwal and Thania. Yet instead of a genetically engineered superhuman, the Chimera race was born.

She, like many of her kin, had the mane of a lion and the great cat-king’s strength.  Her mane was black as pitch and flowed down her back in a velvety waterfall of curls framing her face. She had the nose of a snake and scales covered her from head to toe. They were a deep purple with blue, slitted eyes. The wings on her back surged upwards handsomely covered in dark, black eagle feathers. Her toes and fingers had retractable claws like those of a cat.

In her heritage, she was indeed one of the lucky ones. Though she yawned like a lion, roared when she was mad and had a liking for meat on the rare side, she was intelligent, more than an average human and definitely more than the greatest minds of the overworld.

There were several types of Chimera. Three, in fact, from the three human enchancing projects. The descendants of the latter undertakings weren’t as fortunate as the descendants of Alwal and Thania. From the second, came four Chimera who were quite normal, as far as the race went, but those of the last project were notorious. The purpose had been to infuse the power of the gorilla into the human race. Instead, it had made new Chimera, the six. They had been beasts consumed with rage towards those who had created them. They were monsters of pure instinct and raw power. An ideal weapon if harnessed properly.

The Thnashar, first twelve, they were called by the Chimera race. The first two, Alwal and Thania and their descendants of the Great House of Atnan were considered the most powerful and were respecte by all Chimera. The second four and their descendants of the Great House of Arbe were considered valuable for their loyalty. The last six and their descendants, the beasts of the Great House of Thym, were thought to be raging brutes though a few of them that had mated with those of the other two houses were loyal, kind and strong, gentle giants.

Alktyra was what the Chimera called Naqy, the pure. Being a Naqy of Atnan gave her power had she wanted it, but things had changed in the Chimera world.

Those who had raised her had told her several times that they could pinpoint the exact moment everything had changed. It was the death, massacre, of Alktyra’s parents. They had been Alwara’a and Alwakarh, first female and male, essentially the empress and emperor of the Chimera. Theere had been no others to take their place as she had been too young to inherit the throne. She was also the only Naqy of Atnan left.

It had been drafted into Chimera law that no other than a Naqy of Atnan could rule the Chimera.

Everything had darkened. The Chimera world had been taken over by the lower houses of Atnan and Thym. They ruled over the weaker and kinder of Arbe with force and cruelty. These lower houses were supported by factions of the overworld as a form of entertainment and proxy war to drive their own political agenda.

Alktyra Naqy had been raised by her parents advisors, the Thannaqya or the second pure, an elite of Atnan Chimera who were nearly pure in their bloodlines descending from the first Alwara’a and Alwakarh. But the Thannaqya had been decimated when she had been eight, all but Almustashar who had disappeared long before to the overworld.

Alktyra scavenged the garbage dump turning her lion-ears nervously as her tail twitched. She had not eaten in days as there had been nothing even resembling edible to find. Food was scarce and she suspected that the oppressed Arbe used all they could of the food they did have.

As she searched, she heard heavy footsteps nearing from the opening of the back alley that contained nothing but grey, decaying backs of buildings, rotting garbage and a few filthy containers, one of which she was currently rummaging through. She stilled her movements and listened. She knew she was not directly visible from the alleyway opening. Many lessons in her twenty years had taught her to never have her back facing a potential enemy.

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