Astral, l'Etoile du Lion

Astral, the Lion Star


 Year 2060.

Humanity has made giant strides in its industrial development, but the consequences of these advances are serious and it is a real ecological devastation which now threatens the balance of the Earth. Because contrary to what they believe, men are not at the top of the food chain...

No, at the same time, Nature mixed the specificities of humans with those of certain animal species to give birth, a long time ago, to Metamorphs.

This species has two forms, one human and the other animal. Its role is to maintain the Earth and preserve the balance of its resources. Some purify water, others the air, and still others enrich the soil. Not all animals are represented among them but every large family was affected. Predators and prey. The Metamorphs have always lived hidden in wild spaces, and were only vague legends more or less known to men. But the advance of cities on territories hitherto preserved from human activity pushed them to finally make themselves known in broad daylight.

And chaos has spread across the surface of the globe in an unprecedented explosion of violence! Each of the two camps struggling to establish its supremacy over the other in bloody clashes. Until the populations, bloodless after thirty years of incessant fighting, agreed on a geographical distribution for each, with strict management rules. Humans gathered in the large cities already established while the Metamorphs reserved the wilder spaces for themselves. Tensions were high regarding the agricultural campaigns and a common management clause was specifically put in place for these areas, because they were the main sources of food for men. No species had the right to establish itself in a place that was not governed by its community and everyone preserved their productions for their own benefit.

The Gaia Accord was ultimately, and often reluctantly, signed by all countries that year to establish cohabitation of the planet by different ruling species.

Peace thus officially returned to the continents... but nothing lasts forever...


 Ninety years later – Year 2150 – Felisha – California.

I'm floating, finally, I think... The chaos, the fear, the pain, everything has finally stopped! From my aerial point of view, I observe the paramedics working frantically on a young woman whose lower body is nothing more than an indistinct and bloody mass of flesh... However, I recognize my face, frozen in a silent cry mixed horror and shock...

So is this death?

Turning away from this macabre scene, I am attracted by the stars that I see shining in the distance, beyond the edge of the forest where I am breathing my last. They form an image on the celestial canvas... like a lion? They begin to glow more and more intensely and seem to call me... I then try to join this constellation, but when I approach it, I suddenly reenter my body, hearing a cry, no, a roar! The violence of this sound is matched only by the pain in which I drown while trying to take a labored breath.

" She came back ! We have to move now or we'll lose her again! Miss, hang in there and stay with me! »

I want to tell this voice to leave me alone, but I'm paralyzed in this ocean of pain. No sound comes out. Even breathing is agony and I find myself in the emergency room where I welcome the morphine as a blessing as I let myself be submerged in a black wave of oblivion.


 At the same time – Year 2150 – Cedrik – Oregon.

Full of rage, my Leo feels the connection with my parents suddenly broken! This tear is a pain as intense as it is brief, but it takes my breath away! My Beast does not want to flee and wildly urges me to return to the fight. His deep nature does not understand that I am not near my family to defend them. But I muzzle her with all the strength of my will! I must live! To better avenge them! And not die with them!

“Run away without looking back!” Your father and I will keep our attackers busy so you can slip through enemy lines. My son, your destiny is to restore the balance of this world which is losing! Let your Leo take control to guide you to your star, because it is the key to our future! »

My mother's last words are more than obscure to me but I repeat them over and over throughout my run, like a mantra. It's the only thing that allows me to cope with the grief that overwhelms me. In my leonine form, although with a heavy heart, I relentlessly run as fast as I can to reach my goal.

The Refuge is finally in sight! Arriving at the entrance to the village, I jump on the rock that juts out of the mountain and provides a view overlooking Portland. There, I finally release all my emotions in a violent roar that alerts all the Metamorphs around!

All in my anger and my suffering, I pay no attention to the glow that floats before my eyes coming in my direction... and disappears as quickly as it appeared.

Because I am now the last of the Lions, the only one of my species, and yet the future Alpha of the Columbia Clan.

Chapter 1

 Year 2160 – Portland.

Blog Chatty - Post of the day 03/21 - 10:00 a.m.

Hello everyone,

In three months we should celebrate the Centenary of the Gaia Accord which established the rules for cohabitation between humans and Shapeshifters. This should be an ode to Nature and interspecies collaboration, but the atmosphere between the different governments on American soil is really not good...

Will we have a real celebration on June 21?

Nothing is less sure…

Negotiations on the boundaries of the Metamorphs' territories do not seem to be successful. Let us remember that over the last three years, around thirty clans have abandoned their lands to settle elsewhere and have, as a result, redesigned the geographical divisions between us and the animals. Migrations which led to a lot of clashes between the newly settled clans and the humans already there. Particularly in California where tensions are increasingly palpable.

It is therefore not surprising that the Metamorph emissary once again left the meeting with state governors empty-handed this Monday in Los Angeles. Worse, he lost control of his Beast and had to be targeted by the police, taking the time to evacuate our elected officials to protect them from the savagery of the Wolf.

The next session will not take place for around ten days in order to let the emotions on both sides subside. However, the governor of California did not fail to express his indignation and appealed to the President to request a review of the clauses of the Gaia Accord. It is true that with this incident, we cannot blame him when he claims “that men do not have to negotiate with animals that are uncontrollable and dangerous for us”.

Do you think we should continue to accept these migratory movements? Do you believe the arguments made by the Shifters regarding the pollution of their lands by human activity? Thus justifying the rotations of territories as permitted by the Gaia Accord. Do you support the governor of California in his approach?

As usual, share your opinions on the blog!

Psst, this evening the appointment of the Alpha-King must take place even though it has been decades since the last one died... Why replace him only today? Stay tuned to discover the portrait of the man who will lead the Metamorphs for years to come!

Signed: OS (Omnia Scire [1] )


Post comments:

*Marek272 – 30 minutes ago.
Honestly, these Metamorphs are crazy! Under the pretext that they no longer want to stay on their land, they choose our forests which we must give to them without saying anything. Because they decide where they want to go. And then they then prohibit us from accessing it. This is unfair and unjustified! They are stealing from us and we should let them do it?! The governor of California is absolutely right, we must no longer submit to obsolete regulations which these animals abuse more and more every day! Why would they have more rights than us? Because conversely, we cannot decide to leave a city to settle in Metamorph territory.

*Gouramo – 27 minutes ago.
When Shifters leave one territory to move into another, their former lands revert to humans. So the zones are not stolen but exchanged and the sharing remains fair. They have as much space as before, not more, not less, just like us.

*Fancky – 23 minutes ago.
If they leave their land, it is under the pretext that it is supposedly polluted! So they settle elsewhere and the exchange is not fair! Why should we collect their waste? Humans are not trash!

*Carly120 – 21 minutes ago.
Metamorph lands are polluted by human activity: you refuse to recognize your negative impact on nature and the ecological disasters you cause. It is only fair that you live on the land you are destroying! Let's start by taking care of our environment instead of blaming others...

53,470 comments – see all comments


Cedrik – Alpha of the Columbia Clan

Crack! I'm so angry that I just punched the wall next to my desk, knocking out a good chunk of plaster.

— Do you know that Carlos threatened to go on strike the last time he had to redo the partition in this room? Malcolm calls to me in a placid tone from the depths of his leather armchair.

— It’s definitely this OS that I would like to stick against this wall! I exclaimed in an exasperated tone, pacing back and forth in my office.

“Cedrik,” he replies, rolling his eyes, “no one knows who this journalist is and yet, every Shifter clan on this continent has been trying to unravel this mystery for five years now... It's driving every Alpha completely crazy and although it's only been a few days, apparently this madness has affected you too...

— But why does this guy insist on publishing the worst things for our clans? I said angrily, causing another cloud of dust to flutter.

— Scandal and controversy sell, he replies with a shrug. Initially, it was to denounce those of us who lived hidden among humans. The approach, although I do not subscribe to denunciation, is understandable and has aroused enormous interest from the populations concerned. Then, although this is intended for humans to inform them about our lives, many of us are also part of the readership. THE PROOF since you also follow this blog. Gossip is often juicy, let's face it...

— But for me, it’s just out of professional interest! To take the pulse of the population... But this pseudo journalist is biased and only posts comments to fuel discord between our people! In addition, for some time now he has begun to want to get involved in politics, but what he says is in no way a news report worthy of the name!

— The negotiations linked to the Gaia Accord are important and have an impact for everyone over the next four years, he sighs, exasperated both by the subject and by my gesticulations. We are within our rights but humans are finding it more and more difficult to accept it...

— This meeting with the governors was secret and behind closed doors! I continue, focusing on the essentials. How did this OS know? And above all, how did he obtain these photos of our half-transformed emissary? This makes us look like monsters!

— It clearly doesn't give us good press but unfortunately, it also reflects public opinion, we must admit...

Even if I understand my Beta's fatalism, I can't help but want to slaughter this human parasite who only exacerbates dissension with his popular articles.

Despite the understanding reached by our ancestors nearly a century ago, the fears and resentments on each side have created a deep schism between humans and Shifters. When men learned of the existence of other species through “The Announcement”, their reaction was as primary as that of our Beasts. They chased us away, shooting us on sight without warning and comparing us to wild animals to justify their behavior. On the other hand, Shifters massacred entire families by decreeing that we were superior to humans and should not tolerate them on our lands. Rather than relying on what they had in common, everyone focused on highlighting their differences.

But behind the fear and philosophical concepts of all kinds, it is unfortunately the individualism and selfishness of each person who spoke: MY land, MY species, MY truth, and above all, MY interest... The territorial war lasted for three decades before our respective leaders finally reached an agreement to avoid total annihilation on both sides. Despite everything, cohabitation is never easy because humans have taken over the big cities and the Metamorphs have taken over the wilder natural spaces. Agricultural land was the subject of tough negotiations given the stakes, and the distribution remains criticized even now in both camps.

Because over time, human overpopulation pushes developers to want to invest land that is still unbuilt to expand urban areas and therefore, to take back fertile land to feed this uncontrolled growth. What the Metamorphs oppose as allowed by the Gaia Accord, which causes growing discontent on the human side. Particularly over the last three years, notably with this governor of California as spokesperson.

We regulate our numbers and our impact on nature by ensuring not to overexploit our resources, so for us there is no reason why others should not do the same. But they don't want to hear about it. Their reasoning? Why change your behavior when you just have to settle elsewhere when the water is dirty, the air is unbreathable or the density is too high? The harmful casualness with which men behave towards the planet is incomprehensible to us, but we let them manage it as long as it did not impact us.

But this irresponsible operation over time now has repercussions on us when pollution ends up making our little ones sick. Nature is a whole and the poison released by factories is unfortunately not confined to the networks of large cities. It infiltrates the soil or the air and thus circulates even in our regions. This pushes clans in desperation to settle elsewhere despite themselves. The situation is increasingly explosive and we absolutely must find a solution before war breaks out again, fueled by the anger and frustration growing on both sides.

The existing truce is therefore, at best fragile, when it is not illusory or even at risk of breaking at any moment...

— Malcolm, it is impossible that this OS could have this information without some help!

— Obviously it must be a Metamorph, but this point has been dug by all the Alphas, he retorts, getting up because his phlegm is starting to crack too. They all sent one of their Sentinels, without any results. No Beast could have access to this much information across all clans. However, a collective of informants working together in secret is not realistic either, given the nature of our animals. You can't lie to your Alpha. They have all, at one time or another, questioned their respective members and vouched for it...

— We must neutralize this OS, I said in a determined tone. Until not long ago, he was harmful but now, by disclosing political data almost live, he is dangerous!

—And how do you want to go about it, eh? How do you plan to succeed where everyone else has failed before you? he exasperated, raising his arms to the sky.

— When they tracked down this OS, each Alpha launched an individual investigation. We should all cooperate together by pooling our resources. Given the competitive spirit that drives our Beasts, let's make it a challenge to motivate the troops. Alone, each on our own, we have failed, but if we work together...

— Do you want to gather all the hackers and trackers from each clan?

“Hackers only in the first place,” I said, thinking hard. Let them at least give us a starting point. Then I'll find it myself! It will even be my priority mission…

— As Alpha-King, you will be responsible for all negotiations with humans. You won't have time to devote to a hunt!

— If this OS sabotages the discussions with its harmful revelations, I will not be able to negotiate anything at all. We have ten days until the next meeting with the governors. Until then, we need to put in place a coordinated strategy and find a path.

“You're only twenty-seven, Cedrik. The youngest Alpha-King ever named, knowing that the last title holder dates back to before you were born. If you announce this agenda to the Circle this evening during your induction and you fail in this mission...

— I am well aware of the risks and the issues. But my Lion is sure to find it!

This stops Malcom's protest, who stares at me intensely.

— Nature has blessed you with a fusional bond with your Beast. Only Lions have this capacity for clairvoyance, even if you have always denied your gift, he whispers. Your mother was having dreams while your father “heard” his pet talking to him. If you are sure of yourself, you have my unconditional support. But be careful what you get into because it will have repercussions on the entire clan... and the planet.

— I have always appreciated your help and would not be who I am today if you had not guided me and taken on the responsibility of interim Alpha until last week. You have all my gratitude for that. I know I can do it, I feel it!

— Very well, let's see how we can present this to the Circle then because it's really not a given, he sighs. In parallel with this journalist, we should take advantage of the cooperation to also find proof that it is indeed humans who have knowingly polluted the Metamorph lands for some time. This would perhaps allow us to reverse the trend towards governors.

—As always, you are wise. Sometimes I think you must have a fox among your ancestors...

— I am a Tiger! Malcom replies with a falsely offended air. Say something like that again and I'll definitely find an alley cat among yours!

Despite the tense situation, we tackle the arduous task with lighter hearts, strong in a long-standing friendship that has taken root in blood.

My great-grandparents were killed during the Purges organized by humans following the massacres of theirs by Shifters. This dark period was the prelude to the Gaia Accord because almost everywhere, clashes between the two worlds broke out to avenge their respective losses. Causing others in the process. A vicious and infernal circle which led to self-destruction; which pushed the elders to find a more lasting peaceful solution.

Unfortunately, this relative peace is regularly threatened by greedy humans who always want more without sacrificing anything themselves. My grandparents and parents were victims in turn during clashes which occur recurrently all over the country. When I was orphaned, it was Malcolm who took in and mentored the angry, hurting teenager I was.

However, I have learned the lessons of my family's bloody history: men learn nothing and forget the lessons of the past. They happily hide their mistakes only to make them again a few decades later. Trap that I swore to myself to avoid.

[1] Means “know everything”

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