Astral, the Lion's Star

Blog Chatty–Post of the day

March 21st 2160–10:00 a.m.

 Hello everyone,

Three months from now, we should be celebrating the centennial of the Gaia Agreement, which established the rules of coexistence between humans and shapeshifters. It should be an ode to nature and interspecies cooperation, but the mood among the various governments on American soil isn’t exactly all rosy…

Will there be a real celebration on June 21st?

Nothing is less certain…

Negotiations over the borders of shapeshifter territories don’t seem to be going well. Over the past three years, some thirty clans have left their lands to settle elsewhere, redrawing the geographical boundaries between the animals and us. These migrations have led to several clashes between the newly settled clans and the already established humans, especially in California, where tensions are increasingly palpable.

So, it isn’t surprising that the shapeshifters’ emissary came away empty-handed from a meeting with the state governors in Los Angeles on Monday. Worse, he lost control of his Beast and had to be held at gunpoint by police while our elected officials were evacuated to safety from the Wolf’s ferocity.

The next session won’t be held for another ten days or so to allow emotions on both sides to subside. However, the governor of California has expressed his outrage and is calling on the president to demand a revision of the terms of the Gaia Agreement. It’s true that with this incident we can’t prove him wrong when he proclaims that “humanity has no business negotiating with animals that are uncontrollable and dangerous to us.”

Do you think we should continue to accept these migrations? Do you believe the arguments put forward by the shapeshifters regarding the pollution of their lands by human activity, thus justifying the switch of territories as allowed by the Gaia Agreement? Do you support the governor of California in his actions?

As usual, share your opinion in the blog!

 Psst, the appointment of the Alpha-King is supposed to take place tonight, even though it’s been decades since the last one died… Why replace him today? Stay tuned to find out who will lead the shapeshifters for years to come!

 Signed: O.S. (Omnia Scire)             


 Post comments:


*Marek272 - 30 minutes ago.

Frankly, these shapeshifters have some nerve! On the pretext that they don’t want to stay on their land, they choose our forests, which we have to give them without a word. Because they’re the ones who decide where they want to go. And then they deny us access. It’s unfair and unjustified! They’re stealing from us, and we’re supposed to let them? The governor of California is absolutely right: we cannot continue to abide by outdated regulations that make these animals more abusive every day! Why should they have more rights than we do? Because, on the other hand, we can’t choose to leave the city to settle in shapeshifter territory.


*Gouramo - 27 minutes ago.

When shapeshifters leave one area to invest in another, their former lands revert to humans. Territories aren’t stolen, they’re swapped, and the distribution remains fair. They have as much space as before, no more, no less, just like us.


*Fancky - 23 minutes ago.

If they leave their land, it’s because it’s supposedly polluted! So, they settle somewhere else, and the exchange isn’t fair! Why should we collect their garbage? People aren’t garbage cans!


*Carly120 - 21 minutes ago.

Shapeshifter lands are polluted by human activity: you refuse to acknowledge your negative impact on nature and the ecological disasters you create. It’s only fair that you live on the land you destroy! Let’s start taking care of our environment instead of blaming others…


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 Cedrik–Alpha of the Columbia Clan

 Whaaam! I’m so pissed I just punched the wall next to my desk and blew off a good chunk of the plaster.

“You know Carlos threatened to go on strike the last time he had to redo the partition of this room?” Malcolm calmly calls to me from his leather chair.

“I’d like to put that O.S. up against the wall!” I exclaim, infuriated, pacing my office.

“Cedrik,” he replies, rolling his eyes, “nobody knows who that journalist is, and yet every shapeshifter clan on this continent has been trying to solve this mystery for the past five years… It’s driving every Alpha completely insane, and even though it’s only been a few days, it seems that this insanity has affected you as well.”

“But why does this guy insist on publishing the worst for our clans?”

“Scandal and controversy sell,” he replies with a shrug. “At first, it was to denounce those of us who live hidden among the humans. Though I don’t believe in denunciation, the approach is understandable and has aroused great interest among the involved populations. Then, although this is aimed at humans to inform them about our lives, many of us are also part of the readership. Evidence? You, since you also follow his blog. Let’s face it: the gossip is often juicy.”

“But for me, it’s just a professional interest! To take the pulse of the population… But this pseudo-journalist is biased and only publishes things to stir up discord between our peoples. What’s more, he’s been trying to get into politics for some time now, but what he says isn’t newsworthy of the name!”

“The negotiations related to the Gaia Agreement are important and will affect all of us for the next four years.” Malcolm sighs, annoyed by both the subject and my gestures. “We’re within our right, but humans are finding it harder and harder to accept–”

“That meeting with the governors was secret and behind closed doors!” I continue, concentrating on the essentials. “How could this O.S. have known about it? And above all, how did he get hold of those photos of our half-transformed emissary? He makes us look like monsters!”

“It doesn’t give us good press, of course, but unfortunately, we have to admit that it also mirrors public opinion.”

Even though I understand my Beta’s fatalism, I can’t help but want to slit the throat of this human parasite, who only exacerbates dissension with his prejudiced articles.

Despite the deal our ancestors made nearly a century ago, fears and resentments on both sides have created a deep rift between humans and shapeshifters. When humans learned of the existence of other species through “the Announcement,” their reaction was as primal as that of our Beasts. They hunted us down, shot us on sight without warning, and compared us to wild animals to justify their behavior. On the other hand, the shapeshifters slaughtered entire families, claiming that we were superior to humans and had no obligation to tolerate them on our lands. Instead of relying on what they had in common, everyone was determined to emphasize their differences.

Unfortunately, behind all the fear and philosophical concepts, it was the individualism and selfishness of each that 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. Still, coexistence is never easy, as humans have taken over the major cities and shapeshifters have taken over the wilder, natural areas. Agricultural land has been the subject of bitter negotiations, and its distribution is still criticized by both sides.

Over the years, human overpopulation has led developers to seek out undeveloped land to expand urban areas, taking over fertile land to feed their uncontrolled growth. The shapeshifters oppose this, as they’re allowed to do under the Gaia Agreement, and the result is growing discontent on the human side. Especially in the last three years, with the governor of California as spokesperson.

We regulate our numbers and our impact on nature by being careful not to overuse our resources, so there’s no reason why others shouldn’t do the same. But the humans won’t hear of it. Their reasoning? Why change their behavior when they can simply move elsewhere if the water is dirty, the air unbreathable, or the density too high? It’s incomprehensible to us that humans would be so careless with the planet, but we let them get away with it as long as it didn’t affect us.

But this irresponsible approach is now affecting all of us, as pollution is making our little ones sick. Nature is a whole, and the poison emitted by factories is unfortunately not limited to the networks of big cities. It seeps into the soil and air and circulates to our regions. As a result, some clans are desperate to settle elsewhere. The situation is becoming increasingly explosive, and we must find a solution before the war breaks out again, fueled by the anger and frustration rising on both sides.

The existing ceasefire is therefore fragile at best, if not illusory, and could break at any moment.

“Malcolm, there’s no way this O.S. could’ve gotten that information without some kind of help!”

“Of course, it has to be a shapeshifter, but all the Alphas have thoroughly investigated this path,” he retorts, rising to his feet as his composure begins to crack as well. “They’ve all sent out one of their Sentinels, to no avail. No single Beast in all the clans could have access to so much information. However, a collective of spies working together in secret isn’t realistic either, given the nature of our animals. You can’t lie to your Alpha. They’ve all questioned their respective members and vouched for them…”

“We’ve got to neutralize this O.S.,” I say in a determined tone. “Until recently he was a nuisance, but now that he’s leaking political data almost live, he’s dangerous!”

“And how are you going to do that? How are you going to succeed where all the others have failed before you?” he demands in exasperation, raising his arms to the sky.

“When they tracked down this O.S., each Alpha started an individual investigation. We must work together, pool our resources. Given the competitive nature of our Beasts, let’s make it a challenge to motivate the troops. Alone, on our own, we’ve failed, but if we work together–”

“You want to gather all the hackers and trackers from each clan?”

“Only the hackers,” I say, thinking out loud. “Let them at least give us a starting point. Then I’ll find this journalist myself! It’ll even be my priority mission…”

“As Alpha-King, you’ll be responsible for all negotiations with the humans. You won’t have time to hunt!”

“If this O.S. sabotages the talks with his damaging revelations, I won’t be able to negotiate anything at all. We have ten days until the next meeting with the governors. Between now and then, we have to come up with a coordinated strategy and find a lead.”

“You’re only twenty-seven, Cedrik. The youngest Alpha-King ever appointed, considering the last holder of the title predates your birth. If you announce this agenda to the Circle at your enthronement tonight and fail in this mission…”

“I’m well aware of the risks and the stakes. But my Lion is certain to find him!”

This stops Malcolm’s protest as he stares intently at me.

“Nature has blessed you with a special bond with your Beast. Only Lions have the gift of foresight, even though you’ve always denied it,” he mumbles. “Your mother had dreams, while your father heard his Beast speak to him. If you’re sure of yourself, you have my unconditional support. But be careful what you commit to, for it will have repercussions for the whole clan … and the planet.”

“I’ve always appreciated your help, and I wouldn’t be who I am today if you hadn’t guided me and taken on the responsibility of acting as Alpha until last week. For that, you have my gratitude. I know I can do this. I can feel it!”

“Well, let’s see how we can present this to the Circle, because it’s really not won.” He sighs. “Besides this journalist, we should also use the cooperation to find evidence that it is indeed humans who have been knowingly polluting the shapeshifter lands for some time. That might help us turn the tide with the governors.”

“As always, you’re wise. Sometimes I think you must have a Fox among your ancestors…”

“I’m a Tiger,” Malcolm replies with a falsely offended look. “Say something like that again, and I’m sure I’ll find an alley cat in yours!”

Despite the tense situation, we take on the arduous task with lighter hearts, strengthened by our long-standing friendship rooted in blood.

My great-grandparents were killed during the human-organized Purges that followed the shapeshifter massacres of their own people. This dark period was the prelude to the Gaia Agreement as both sides clashed everywhere to avenge their respective losses, causing others in the process. It was a vicious, infernal cycle leading to self-destruction, which prompted the elders to find a more permanent, peaceful solution.

Unfortunately, this relative peace is regularly threatened by greedy people who want more and more without sacrificing anything themselves. My grandparents and my parents were victims of the fighting that were taking place all over the country. When I was orphaned, it was Malcolm who took in and cared for the angry, suffering teenager that I was.

But I’ve learned well from my family’s bloody history. Humans learn nothing and forget the lessons of the past. They like to forget their mistakes, only to make them again a few decades later. It’s a trap I’ve sworn to avoid.

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