Hello all! I thought it was time to get back to a somewhat regular posting schedule on the blog, and as I brainstormed topics I checked my email. I had a THIRDS question from a lovely reader. I get quite a few of those every week which I always have so much fun answering. Usually they're questions regarding the THIRDS world.
One of my awesome proofreaders brought up the fantastic idea of having a THIRDS Wiki. At some point, I'd love to get something like that together. I figured in the meantime, I could post the answers to a lot of those reader questions about the THIRDS world here on the blog for folks to read when they fancied. That way I could expand on the answer without bombarding any poor readers with essay-sized emails. So today's the first post of THIRDS 101.
Therian Markings (Tattoos)
With the birth of Therians came new laws and a new branch of Therian government. One of the many laws enforced was the legal requirement to be registered and marked. All Therians must be registered at their nearest CDC Therian Registration Office where they'll be marked by classification for the safety of both Therian and Human citizens. With the uproar and violence brought about by the riots in the 80s, Humans wanted assurances from the government that they would be safe from this new stronger, potentially lethal species. If there's one thing Humans fear most, it's the unknown. Governments around the world were desperate to ease the unrest and put an end to the violence. They issued the Therian Registration Law.
Therian adults who were around before the law was passed, were instructed to register. After that, any Therian children born would need to be registered and marked by the time they turned two years old. The process is supposed to be painless, but that's hardly the case for small children. New procedures are currently in development to improve this.
What does this Therian mark entail? Three letters tattooed in black on the left side of a Therian's neck, making it illegal for Humans to get tattoos in that spot, though there are of course Humans who ignore this and risk the penalties, especially Therians chasers.
The three letters specify: Family, Genus, and Species. For example, here are the tattoos you'll find on the necks of some of our THIRDS crew. It's three letters, and the default font for the government is what you see below. It's an attempt to make the markings look less like letters--but still legible enough--and more like small graphics.
What do those letters mean? Let's take a look at Sloane's tattoo. The "F" says his Therian form is of the Felid Family, the "P" for his Genus Panthera, and the "J" for his species Jaguar. With that in mind, here are the meanings of our THIRDS crew's markings.
FPL: Felid, Panthera, Lion (Ash)
FPT: Felid, Panthera, Tiger (Hobbs, Seb, Rafe)
FAC: Felid, Acinonyx, Cheetah (Cael, Austen)
FPC: Felid, Puma, Cougar (Sparks)
CCL: Canid, Canis, Lupus (Hudson)
UUB: Ursidae, Ursus, Bear (Zack)
Not all Therians reacted kindly to this law when it was introduced in the late 80s, and it continues to be a topic of controversy in the THIRDS world. Many Therians chose and still choose to remain unregistered. Another difficult job of the THIRDS is to deal with unregistered Therians. These cases are handled by Unit Alpha and Unit Beta. Anyone who's caught has a week to register and get marked, or a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
Life is difficult for these Therians, as it makes it illegal for them to be hired. They're not entitled to benefits or aid from the government. There are unregistered Therians who prefer to remain in their Therian form. Many of these unregistered Therians hide out in dangerous sections of New York City, such as Greenpoint in Brooklyn, a once a thriving community that's now in ruins, the buildings and streets dilapidated with Humans staying far away. An undisclosed number of Therians reside there, and due to the danger of simply stepping foot in the area, no law enforcement agency enters unless absolutely necessary. The state has decided it's best to just leave those Therians there, providing they don't hurt anyone outside. It gives new meaning to the term Urban Jungle.
Copyright © 2014 Charlie Cochet. All Rights Reserved. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.