“Many years ago, the Human Race transcended to a different state of mortal existence. The world's scientists discovered that Human DNA was about to do what it was originally programmed to do: Diversify. Our DNA already had the fragments from every species that had ever existed in our bloodline. They discovered, though the course of research spanning 5 years, through the first convertees, that everyone had a 'DNA Flag', a set combination of protein code, which was primarily dictated by descent, but could apparently also be influenced by environment if present for long enough. This DNA Flag dictated the animal traits that a specific person would inherit. As to the actual animal traits that everyone inherited... they were mostly mammalian in nature, but a few Cetacean, Avian and Reptilian forms emerged, too.
The first species to emerge were the Foxes. But, somewhere down the bloodline of the planet, a gene had mutated, meaning every so many of the new converts possessed more than one tail. The Foxes possessed many of the historical traits and characteristics that so befell the four-legged variety. Many were cunning, many were ruthless, but no-one could dispute, they were well-adapted to this new life. Next to emerge were the Wolves, who turned out to be perfect as combat warriors. They were strong, fast, and every bit as ruthless as their vulpine cousins. However, where they really lacked, was in their cunning, something the Foxes excelled at. The Wolves resented the fact that the Foxes had arrived first, and this sparked the first major conflict since the Transformation. Not many were killed, but it was at this point, the Humans (who still greatly outnumbered either species at this point), ordered a quarantine zone in affected areas, trying to contain what they still saw as a Viral or Bacterial “Epidemic”. So far, the only major countries afflicted were the then-United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, and Australia.
After that, the species explosion really began. Dragons, long thought to be creatures of myth and legend, appeared spontaneously across the Earth. They flocked to what was Australia, and ousted the Government, claiming it as “Dragons Isle”. Naturally, the International Community used this as justification to embargo the new country, under claims of “Protection”. Of course, this was really out of fear, of what the Humans still didn't understand. The embargo failed, principally because the Dragons realized just how powerful two Uzi's can be while airborne.
The Dragons themselves were immensely powerful entities. Capable of extended flight, and possessing virtually unmatched physical strength, they are a terrifying force to go into battle against. Their scaled form offers limited protection against standard ammunition, but are as vulnerable to heavy weaponry as any living thing is.
Inspired by this, the two Canid species, who by now had taken up roughly half of the North-American Continent each, went to war, to try to wipe each other out, in a bitter, and bloody power struggle. It was a war driven by the primal need in both species for the protection of their territory. It lasted two years. Many thousands were killed, and during this time, even more species began to emerge from the surviving Human bases. Felines were the next to surface, with Snow Leopards primarily originating from the Siberian and Arctic Areas. Tigers, Leopards, Lions, Lynxs, and Panthers emerged among the African, Middle-Eastern, and Far Eastern countries.
The Felines were possessed of a self-assured, and slightly arrogant nature. They resented coming onto the world scene so late, with everyone else having taken up such a large proportion of the landmasses of Earth, and they sought to possess what they saw as rightfully theirs: A Nation. Many were prepared to do whatever it took to achieve that goal.
In Europe, things got even more chaotic. Domestic Canine and Feline forms sprouted across the former European Union. Great Britain saw an explosion in Otters, Orcas, and Lizards. Within the next year, only a few tens of millions of Humans remained, concentrated on remote places across the globe, fearful of the growing conflict, Antarctica became a reluctant home to millions who feared what was going on. The number of Humans that were left unmutated was around 60 to 65 Million. Scientists dubbed this "The 10% Rule”. They theorised that no matter how badly an organism's family was altered by a genetic, viral, or bacteriological factor, approximately 10% would be resistant. This would give the organisms the ability to continue carrying on breeding.
But... the 10% rule isn't totally 100% reliable, hence why it was called a Theory, much like Charles Darwin's 'Theory of Evolution'. While the number of completely unaffected humans numbered only around 10% of the total world population, many went through a partial genetic change only. Some only developed specific attributes, such as a tail, ears, or claws, for example. They sprawled across all the corners of the planet, afflicting every species. These human-animal species hybrids, were referred to as “Handarcas”, derived from the Dragon's Tongue, which meant, “Half-Breed”, by what became known as the “Bundarcas”, which meant, “Pure Breed”; those who had all the features of their species. The 'Handarcas' became an undesirable caste, shunned amongst the 'Bundarcas', and shunned by the unaffected Human settlements. They became nomads, and still they wander the Earth, shunned everywhere, no longer accepted by anyone else but their own kind.
The Otters, meanwhile, spawned out of the late Great Britain, and soon, they controlled most of Western Europe. They were masters of Naval and Amphibious Combat, and used this to particular advantage when they came up against species, who knew only of land-based combat. They were also remarkable scientists, a fact envied by all, and a fact they harnessed superbly, even with the limited resources they had.
As the Fox vs. Wolf conflict escalated, many saw it as their chance to gain the upper hand, by subjugating vital areas and resources. On the 21st of October, 2018, the Dragons, and the Felines, simultaneously invaded the southern part of the then-United States, using then-Mexico and what was the US State of Florida, to launch a devastating offensive. In the middle of all this, the Otters, and the rest of the aquatic life and Cetaceans, gained a foot-hold in the north-east, using the element of surprise fully to their advantage. But, unlike the Felines and Dragons, they saw only the need to add to their economic presence contained in Europe. Everyone else was after blood; they were after resources.
These simultaneous invasions took the Canids by surprise, and both sides took heavy casualties in the first week of conflict alone, sending them reeling to the north-western part of the continent. At this point, the Foxes and Wolves both saw the need for Mutual Co-Operation and Protection. Ending nearly 3 and a half years of unremitting hostility and conflict, both sides swore a Pact of Brotherhood. It was rather sudden, even by the Human standards of diplomacy.
As the ultimate show of support and co-operation, the Canids erected a city together; Canidia, a direct impersonation of the old nation of Canada, and a play on words of “Nirvana”, another word for “Utopia”, although it was debatable if those who picked the name had a rather sadistic sense of humour.
It was large, fortified, and well-defended. But, unfortunately for the Canids, they did not have the manpower to defend it. The Dragon's, Otters, and Felines all invaded, taking a chunk of the city for themselves. Conflict continued for another six months, until all four sides reached a deadlock in this city.
Canidia proved to be the focal point for what all sides saw as a Final Showdown. The first first Demilitarized Zones were erected in the first few days of the invasion, and Skirmishes proved a normal part of daily life for a long time, with every side taking up positions in skyscrapers, and other high-altitude positions. However, as soon as one side gained the upper hand, one of the others gave them a slap on the wrist shortly afterwards.
The Dragons had the easiest time out of the four sides. They possessed an impressive Aerial Presence, and were capable of striking deep into any territory that didn't possess sufficient Anti-Air defenses. It was they who first coined the idea of doing a drive-by shooting across a skyscraper with Aerial Weaponry. The Felines discovered just how powerful Tanks and other Assault Vehicles could be, while the Otters found out that Canidia had a thriving river system built within their foundations, and used this to their full advantage, launching strikes deep into the heart of every side, to acquire resources, and to plant evidence linking one attack to another side, thus fueling the ill-feelings across the city. The Canids, meanwhile, focused on Electrical Surveillance, Espionage, and Sabotage, while amassing an unparalleled level of Infantry, and the only Air Force capacity to rival the Dragons. They also placed heavy emphasis on Industry, more so than anyone else.
After months of fruitless battles and increasingly frustrating border skirmishes between all four sides, everyone agreed to a truce.
And it was in this truce, that the present scene was decided. Within Canidia, it was decided to split the city into 4 distinct Districts, later called Zones. One owned by the Dragons, One by the Felines, One by the Otters, and the Other jointly-owned by the Foxes and Wolves. The situation exists to this day, with neither side ready to risk war with one, lest it drag the entire world into an Apocalypse.
Universal Law fell apart, as did most world governments, the United Nations, and even charity organisations like the Red Cross. Nobody was immune to the destruction that these genetic changes wrecked upon the fabric of society.
It has now been 30 years since that day. Alliances have come and gone, technology has been traded, and many would argue that a lot of good has happened since then. But, there will always be individuals who want to possess so much more than what they have. And until that element is removed from the equation, the world will stand no chance of truly ascending into paradise, as so many wish...”