Chimera is the creation of Professor Thomas Buchanan. His work involved transforming humans into animal hybrids, for a price. Some are willing clients but others have the transformation performed against their will. So warped is his morals that he no longer cares, so long as he gets his payment.
The group attracted CLEA’s interest in Chimera originated in the fact that Buchanan has a group of hybrids that act as his muscle. They not only protect his interests but take out any threats making them highly dangerous.
CLEA DATA FILE
- Prof. Thomas Buchanan
- (unknown male) – Warden
- (unknown female) – Screech
- (unknown female) – Dragon Lady
Previous Group Members
- Stampede (Deceased)
- Raven (Deceased)
- Rex (Deceased
- Grizzly (Deceased)
- Ratface (Deceased)
- Lurker (Abandoned group)
- Bioengineer (Buchanan)
- Animal/human hybrid (rest of group)
Special Skills and/or Abilities:
- Prof. Buchanan is a brilliant geneticist
- All members of Chimera (except Buchanan) have either the ability to transform from a human to an animal form which retains some/most human properties or permanently have a combined form and are extremely powerful.
Warden transforms from a human into a large humanoid lizard complete with tail, clawed hands (minus a digit) and his skin truns green and becomes a tough hide. Though his head becomes more reptile in looks he retains his “human” hair. At three time the strength of a human male he is hard to beat in a direct confrontation. Of all the hybrids, Buchanan considers Warden to be the team leader and the most trusted of his people.
- Screech when transformed remains essentially human apart from she grows a large pair of bat wings from her back. As a bat hybrid she also is able to use echo location to find targets in the dark. She can also lower the pitch of the echo location to produce a deafening squeal.
- Dragon Lady was Buchanan’s attempt to create an insect hybrid. When she transforms her head completely changes to become similar to a dragonfly but the rest of her body remains the same. She also grows four large insect wings out of her back.
- They cannot remain in human guises for long lengths of time.
- When in their animal forms each member of the team gains enhanced animal instincts/senses/properties based on the creatures they were created from. In some cases this can lead them to act irrationally when compared to “normal” humans.
- Much of the team is kept inline by a pecking order not unlike that found in nature. The others consider Warden the “alpha male” and will defer to him but they will complete with each other at times. Having a lack of fixed command structure and argumentative natures can lead to spectacular internal struggles during confrontations and this can be capitalised upon by clever opponents. However if the group realise they are under attack they will quickly regroup to take on a common foe.
- Buchanan is considered unstable and this unpredictability can lead to tactical planning mistakes (such as when his Russian lab was seized).
Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:
- Muscle for hire
- Industrial sabotage
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault and battery
- Attempted homicide.
Chimera originally started out with a brilliant geneticist, Thomas Buchanan. Once he finished university his talent was spotted by a leading medical research company. Whilst working for the company into research he made several important discoveries in researching human diseases.
After publishing papers he became sufficiently well off to start his own research company. One the fields he was most interested in was how animals seemed naturally immune to certain types of disease and whether certain animal DNA could be used to cure the diseases science classed as “incurable”. Similar views to Thomas were shared by the equally brilliant Dominic Bryant and for a time they worked together. However whereas Bryant was specifically looking into hereditary diseases, Thomas was looking at more generalised groups of diseases.
The two differed in where the introduction of animal DNA should occur. Since Bryant wanted to stop hereditary disease in its tracks he had the idea of stopping it progressing to the next generation by introducing the “cure” at the embryo stage. Thomas, by comparison was simply trying to cure diseases which might appear later in life, so any cure he came up with would have be suitable for being administered to anyone from children to adults. Creative differences between the pair eventually led to the breaking up of the partnership and the two went their separate ways. Since their research was funded exclusively by Thomas and his backers the split resulted in leaving Bryant with nothing and he was forced to start from scratch.
A number of years passed and Thomas continued his work alone. At first he was able to balance his work and social life. This gave him the opportunity to find a partner and eventually start a family. However things started to sour when he made a number of breakthroughs in his research. Believing his goal was just “around the corner,” meant Thomas threw himself into his work. As a result his home life began to suffer which led to the end result of his wife walking out on him and the inevitable divorce. As he won custody of his daughter, Emily, he decided to try and make amends for her sake and so distanced himself from his personal research and took up a number of less demanding jobs which ensured he had enough time for her, at least until she was in her late teens.
Figuring that since she spent more time with her friends than him, Thomas decided that it was the right time to return to his abandoned research. Getting back in the game was a tricky as many things had changed and the science had moved on. By now he had heard of some interesting research by other scientists looking into the Alpha Effect which was another means to cure diseases by artificially creating an Alpha human. Realising his own research combining animal and human DNA might be used as a vessel into solving the Alpha Effect he stopped concentrating on curing diseases with animal DNA and began trying to make an artificial Alpha human.
Having obtained samples of tissue from an actual Alpha, he tried cloning the cells and then adapting them so that they could be grafted onto anyone without being rejected (a similar process tried by the rogue science group ARGO). Eager to test the theory he rushed into an experiment on an equally keen junior scientist who wanted to be the first artificial Alpha.
The final result ended in tragedy and from that moment in time nobody wanted to know him or was interested in his research. Using his own funds he continued his work, this time with more patience and discovered that the reason his original work killed the work colleague was because he had actually come close to doing the opposite of the Alpha Effect. He had in fact created a “cure” which would transform Alphas into ordinary people. Though not the intended outcome, Thomas believed that the obvious solution to creating an artificial Alpha was to turn his thinking and experiments in reverse but that would take time and money and the latter he did not have.
However the moment word leaked out about his original discovery, he unexpectedly found a group of backers. They were interested in his research and agreed to fund him. Grateful of being able to continue he never asked many questions about who they were or why they were so interested in his “cure” which was a failure. What he did not realise was the backers were in fact Black Shadow and the crime syndicate believed if Alpha Superiors could be removed of their “gifts” then they could be held to ransom thus giving them the ultimate power they had not enjoyed since before the time that Zodiac had brought down the old organisation.
Black Shadow though was not aware that they had a rival in the form of the Justiciars a group of Alpha Superiors who amongst other things liked their “abilities”. Consequently they saw Thomas as a threat. Aware that the scientist Thomas was too well protected by Black Shadow the Justiciars chose to get to him by targeting his daughter.
Herein lay a problem because threatening to kill her or kidnapping her would not work. If they held onto Emily for any length of time Black Shadow would find her and if they simply killed Emily then there was a strong chance he would want revenge on Alphas. Far from stopping him, the Justiciars imagined Black Shadow would have all the ammunition needed to convince Thomas to abandon creating an artificial Alpha and concentrate on perfecting the means to depower Alphas.
Knowing that Thomas worked best when given a puzzle, the Justiciars therefore decided to give him a problem of such magnitude that he would abandon all aspects of his current work. Trojan chose to initiate the plan and she went after Beastial. As Beastial was not part of the group they did not have a problem in using her as a pawn. It also had the advantage that if something went wrong Black Shadow would be looking for the wrong person to target. Catching Beastial by surprise was tricky but Trojan pulled it off and “reprogrammed” her.
Beastial then was given orders to seek out Emily and use her Alpha abilities to permanently change her into an animal. Though Beastial had done this before (Octoman and Echidna of the Beast Warriors) most of the time she only created temporary changes. Under the influence of Trojan, Beastial did as she had been “ordered” to do and effected a permanent change in Emily. The process though nearly killed Beastial through overworking her Alpha ability. The Justiciars though did not care and got what they wanted and Emily was left as a humanoid cat like being.
Wiped out by the process Beastial was captured by the local authorities. The damage to her body and mind was so extensive that Trojan’s influence had effectively worn off but at the same time she had been left with amnesia and no idea of where she was or even who she was, so was unable to undo what she had done. Vine would later rescue her friend from prison and once Beastial’s memories returned she would actively start pursuing the Justiciars.
Since no help was coming from Beastial, Thomas abandoned everything as he tried to find a solution to what had been done to his beautiful girl. This was of course the Justiciar’s plan all along. Black Shadow were obviously not happy about his change in direction so decided to assist him in every way so that they could have him return to “their” work. What Thomas needed most were people he could use as test subjects since he did not want to carry out experiments on Emily and make her “condition” worse.
Black Shadow found him what he needed but for the second time the syndicate was manipulated by the Justiciars. Taking an opportunity to keep track of Thomas’s progress Trojan volunteered her services to the syndicate as a criminal. She inferred she had similar enemies to them so she was better off working for the syndicate. Being ex CLEA that was quite believable. Aware that Thomas would not simply experiment on healthy people for good reason the syndicate had Trojan program the test subjects to believe they were criminals that had received sentences of life imprisonment. The test subjects believed they had volunteered for a test program which would give them more privileges whilst in jail.
Thomas was told this same information and also the “fact” that if any of the “volunteers” died during an experiment the “prisoner’s” families would be taken care of financially. Though he did not like the idea of using untested ideas on human hosts he was so driven by the need to “fix” his daughter he decided to use his backers “test subjects” without question.
When he began work his first initial stage was to try and artificially recreate Beastial’s Alphas ability by merging animal DNA with his test subjects. To cover every possible angle he used a different animal on every test subject. Three people died but the rest survived. Once he had succeeding in perfecting the hybrid humans he then started work on seeing if he could reverse the process.
In all of them he was partially successful in that they seemed to gain the means to change to and from an animal form but always they would return to an animal form if they lost concentration or in times of emotional stress. This was not really acceptable but using the data he managed to use it on Emily so she could at least regain her human looks, even if it was only temporary.
All the while in carrying out his work he had kept Emily away from the main lab. Emily always saw the good in people and Thomas was worried she would be horrified that he had used others to fix her, even if they were prisoners. There was always a risk she would find out but he figured if he “cured” her then even if she never spoke to him ever again then at least he would have done his duty as her father.
Ironically Emily did find out about her father’s use of test subjects but this was only down to Trojan’s manipulating. It came at a time when Black Shadow began to grow impatient at Thomas’s lack of progress on their work. They gave him an ultimatum that unless he returned to what they had originally paid him for they would remove all his funds.
Reluctantly Thomas did as they wanted and split his time between carrying out Black Shadow’s work and his own “project”. The Justiciars became aware of this through Trojan and the agreed Thomas could not continue with his Black Shadow research. After a great deal of thought they came up with a plan to derail everything.
Since Black Shadow trusted her, she had access to Thomas and his test subjects. Rather than killing him which she could now easily do she decided to use him to destroy Black Shadow.
She did this by removing her programming from the test subjects. Since the experiments had a side effect of altering the brain chemistry of each of the human/animal hybrids even with Trojan’s programming gone they were only left with shattered fragments of the previous lives and none of them could remember who they were. However with free will they all knew one thing for certain, they were not criminals since it was not in their nature.
Thomas was horrified that he had be experimenting on innocent people. He demanded an explanation from his backers who finally admitted who they really were. Naturally he felt obliged to fix the people he had used but some surprisingly seemed to enjoy the “power” they now possessed.
Going against their ultimatum would not be tolerated so Black Shadow pulled all funding. They had contemplated simply killing everyone but figured such a mess would draw attention to themselves. Angry at being used and guilty at what he had done, Thomas was desperate to make amends.
The hybrids who wanted fixing thought that desperate times called for desperate measures and so decided to use their unique shape changing abilities to steal money and resources so Thomas could continue his work. Since they did not want to hurt anyone they regarded themselves as the ‘pacifists’. The other ‘renegade’ hybrids happy with their new forms chose instead to take their revenge on Black Shadow. They wanted Trojan was well but she was long gone.
At the lab Thomas tried his best to make everything seem “normal” but with Black Shadow and their money gone and a new problem to solve he was under far too much stress to maintain the charade. Emily noticed almost instantly when her father’s demeanour changed and her need to find out why he was lying to her eventually led him to confess the truth. In one respect he was relieved he no longer had to hide his work from her but she was shocked at what he had been a part of.
She accepted that Trojan had been the instigator but knew if he had not being trying “fix” her then innocent people would not have been made victims. Rather than see him repeat any mistakes she demanded that she be allowed to leave. She had accepted her ability to become an animal and felt it was time to move on.
Thomas though would not listen. He was going to fix her and the “pacifists” that wanted to be fixed. He believed she was not thinking straight and so had her locked up for her own good.Now his prisoner, Emily still got to talk to the hybrids. Since they were committing crimes to fund Thomas’s work she tried to get them to accept what they were and stop hurting other people through their acts. This was not a problem for the renegades but was a problem for the pacifists. However when she suggested that the renegades stop attacking Black Shadow because they were hurting innocent people through collateral damage it was their turn not to listen.
For months she kept up her argument until one day the pacifists saw reason. They finally decided to accept what they were. However by this time Thomas’s mental reasoning was practically gone and the pacifists were convinced that if they chose to simply stop committing crimes for Thomas he would see them as a threat and lock them up just like Emily.
Figuring that the only option to guarantee their freedom was to get as far away from the lab as possible the pacifists decided to slip away at an opportune time but that meant leaving their friend behind. Unable to abandon their friend they put their plans on hold until such a time they were able to free Emily from her cell and once they had the means to do that the group “escaped” the lab and went into hiding.
Thomas sent the renegades after them to bring Emily back but they returned empty handed. In leaving him, Emily sent Thomas’s now fragile mind over the edge. He became convinced that the pacifists had manipulated her so any time he learned where Emily and others were hiding, the renegades would show up and try to snatch her.
Meanwhile the activities of the hybrids had not escaped notice of various law enforcement agencies and around the world there were warrants for the capture of Thomas and his hybrids. Word had also spread in the criminal community about the attacks on Black Shadow. Though the syndicate was far from defeated powerful players began to see value in the hybrids. He was approached on several occasions by various individuals who considered the hybrids would be useful mercenaries and wanted them for jobs. Other individuals wanted Thomas to “create” new hybrids to serve their goals.
At first Thomas resisted but when he accepted he had lost his daughter for good and accepted the hybrids as a surrogate family any resistance his conscience might have had soon eroded away. He needed powerful friends to stay ahead of the law and since his hybrids were backing his goals he figured he had nothing to lose so he decided to reap the rewards from his work and Chimera was born.
Having replaced his humanity with money Thomas allowed the word to get out in the criminal community offering the services of himself and his hybrids. He also made it quite clear that providing the financial incentives were right he had no problem in transforming people into new hybrids whether the person being changed was a willing participant or not. Without Trojan around Thomas knew any future hybrids would probably retain their existing memories but figured with the appropriate usage of drugs he could tailor the end product so that even the most unwilling “volunteer” could be made to comply with the clients wishes.
Around this time Emily and the other “pacifist” hybrids decided it was time to stop running and start trying to oppose the madness of her father and became crime fighters under the guise of “Fur and Feathers”.
CLEA certainly took note of Thomas’s “advertising” seriously and for a while were not sure whether or not to believe it until Russian special forces raided a suspected Chimera lab and discovered a pair of aquatic “made to order” hybrids. The pair had received drugs as part of their final conditioning and had no idea who they were. The Russians did not have the resources to look after the pair so the agency took custody of them and over time doctors restored their minds, after which they became part of the CLEA Hammerhead team.
Other occasional hybrids have appeared but not at the rate CLEA had been expecting. However Chimera’s mercenary hybrids have quite often clashed with the agency and when FFF started to oppose them CLEA considered it prudent to begin using the hero team as special assets when the agency is dealing with a Chimera “problem.”
Encounter with the Praetorian Club
The group’s worst tragedy occurred when the Praetorian Club decided to take an interest in them. Looking for more powerful animal hybrids to use in its illegal fights, the Club sent a strike team to “collect” the Chimera hybrids. They did not come quietly, Ratface and Grizzly were killed in the initial encounter whilst Warden, Stampede, Screech, Raven, Rex and Dragon Lady were captured.
Held for six months and made to fight for sport, the six eventually planned an escape attempt but it did not go smoothly. Only Warden, Screech and Dragon Lady were able to get away. Once back with Buchanan they found things had changed. Angry at his hybrids had been taken, the professor was determined to not allow such a thing to happen again.
To this end he had created a new type of animal hybrid, which could not change form as the DNA was more fully integrated which made them stronger. These were the super hybrids.
Super hybrid and Infiltrators
Determined to make the Praetorian Club pay for what they had done to him, Buchanan designed his super hybrids to instil terror and fear into the enemy, The first of his new creations was therefore a half human/half spider which he called Lurker. As with most of the hybrids that “worked” for him, the humans used in the experiments were either willing subjects, or unwilling but genetically suitable specimens which would later have their memories altered.
After Lurker came Gouge, Sphinx, Harpy, Gargoyle, Squid Girl, Skeeter, Wrench and finally Medusa. The last was perhaps his most terrifying work for apart from the fact she could not turn people into stone, she was in every way a creation that matched the creature from mythology.
Unable to change from had one disadvantage and that meant the group could not gain entry to places without being noticeable. To this end Buchanan needed some more “traditional” hybrids that could wear a human guise. He therefore created Carrion, Rut and Boaris. To most people these are animal hybrids but Buchanan called them the Infiltrators since they could gain entry to a place as “humans” and then change form and clear a path for the super hybrids.
With twelve hybrids, Buchanan decided to have his revenge on the Praetorian club. Though their successes were mixed when Warden, Dragon Lady and Screech returned after escaping the tide turned and they nearly succeeded in destroying the club.
However the internal dynamics in the group started to change, Squid Girl started to gain her old memories and hating what she had been made to do and had become, she fled the group. Lurker and Skeeter also left since their hunting nature was too overwhelming and they became to aggressive around the others.
Now down to twelve member the group is still highly dangerous.