...Since I then promptly FORGOT what said blog post actually WAS, that of course leaves me with only my best guesses.
I could talk about how I woke up early, but I'm reasonably certain that wasn't it. I could talk about how my cats (well, my sister's cats) are hyperactive in the morning as I just witnessed, but that happened well after the fact.
I could talk about how many different dreams I had during the night, but the only one I remember is a Pirates of the Caribbean fanfiction/alternate universe that played out in my head. (Long story. Basically, the Dutchman caught up with the Pearl in a storm; Elizabeth was the only main character on at the time. Captain Barbossa came laughing into the scene, freed the crew, fought for a stealthy recapture of the ship, and they made a hasty getaway.)
Oh. And as I was typing this, Chrome (my browser) crashed. So I just now had to restart it, inconvenient as that is. However, throughout all of this, I'm not really blogging about that much.
If I was a better blogger, any one of those I could flesh out to make a well and true, proper, blog post. Since I'm not, though...what I have to do is go back to a fallback item I've had in mind ever since a vivid image popped into my mind relevant to it on Wednesday.
The image which popped into my mind was that of a teenaged girl, stage-left hand (so she's facing the camera, and to the camera it's the one appearing to the right) being clawed and piercing through some dark, shaded figure, a monster of some type that she just killed with a partial transformation into a monster. In her right hand, pointing to the side (to an off-camera, or mostly-off-camera target), her fully-human hand is holding a gun, so she's in the middle of a fight.
It was a surprisingly-detailed image considering the idea randomly popped into my mind. (It happens with some artistic ideas of mine from time to time: things I could never, EVER make myself because I'm not nearly good enough to do so, but to which all the same I see.) Unlike most ideas that pop into my mind like that, which I leave as just the artistic image, in the case of this one, I thought, "Okay, so what's the story, here?"
...And I came up with an answer surprisingly quickly. And that answer was, "that claw...it doesn't quite look like a werewolf's, but it's close...so maybe a werewolf-something hybrid?" My mind immediately jumped to the last story of mine to HAVE a hybrid in it, which led me to the conclusion that this girl, drawn somewhat animesque as she may have been in my mind, was in fact a werewolf-zombie hybrid, the mature form of the vampire's baby sister, child of the werewolf father and zombie mother.
So that got me thinking...what, exactly, is the nature of hybrids between the races? So I decided that I might as well take a stab at it. First of all, a common thread with all types of hybrids is that they are born like normal, and then grow at an accelerated rate. This accelerated growth slows down once the hybrid is, at least visibly, in their teens. The reason behind this is basically that the hybrids grow at the rate where they can learn to control their powers, and to blend into human society. As they have enhanced intelligence and instincts regardless of hybrid type, they take much less time to pick up on the basics of human interaction. However, the finer points of said interaction cannot be suddenly grasped, and the best time to refine these is in the teen years of a human life, since that's when most humans are themselves beginning to hone their social and practical skills.
Thus, why it takes only a few years (depending on hybrid type--vampire-zombies take up to five, werewolf-zombies can take as little as one, with werewolf-vampires somewhere in the middle) for the hybrid to become a teen. And from there, the hybrid will age at a normal human rate until adulthood, after which they will cease aging at all, because regardless of hybrid type, all three races hold immortality and thus, so too do their offspring.
Werewolf-Vampire hybrids are an easy-enough combination to make. Strengths of both (albeit slightly lessened), weaknesses reduced from both, creating a creature that is the best of both worlds. In this case, the Vlyks as they're called, hold tremendous strength during the day, able to bend big steel bars with their bare hands. They can also transform their bodies, not limited to just wolves, but any form that their mind can envision and which is physically possible for them to take on, essentially allowing the vampire's illusionary powers to be real. They've also got the ability to run faster than human (albeit only slightly), and have the endurance level to continue indefinitely. They're also tough as nails, hard to wound, and healing rapidly from any injury.
All this during the day. During the night, their abilities become stronger. They gain full transformation, along with all the various advantages that holds for combat. Their strength and speed are now far exceeding human, to the point where they're invisible to the naked eye. Their five senses--already strong during the day--are raised to killer levels, and their instincts are incredibly strong as well.
In short, vlyks have strength and speed higher than that of their parents' already peak levels, instincts that also exceed the norm, killer intellect, and endurance that is tough to defeat. They additionally have the unique power of unrestricted transformation so long as the transformation keeps their mass close to the same. (They can gain some or lose some, but it must be close to the original, similar to how a wolf transforming gains raw muscle among other things but doesn't gain said mass from nowhere.) An added power of theirs is that while they lack vampire's abilities to hypnotize opponents, they have the ability to sense feelings of those around them, and with some instinct and intuition, this ability allows them to practically read the mind of their opponents.
All these strengths do come with some downsides, though. A disadvantage is that you cannot create vlyks; they must be born. So a bite from one is lethal. A second disadvantage is sterility, stemming from the above. A vlyk cannot father any children. A vlyk mother can give birth to a vlyk child, but this is only possible with a human father...and the process can easily kill said father if bodily fluids from the vlyk enter into the father's body.
Thus, why vlyks are so rare. The other disadvantage vlyks suffer from is that they have maddeningly-strong instincts for the hunt. Both vampires and werewolves are hunters: vampires hunters of humans, and werewolves hunters of whatever prey they fancy. They don't suffer from the thirst of vampires, but do require a high-iron diet to stave it off. They don't have the hunger of a werewolf, but they do need to eat meat on a daily basis. (One common way vlyks deal with the problem is to eat red meat: the raw, bloodied meat fulfills both their sides' needs.)
So in short, though they are stronger, they require far more maintenance, both physical and mental, to survive.
Vampire-zombie hybrids are a bit unique in that they're basically far more undead than most. They're slow to grow, but hold much better control than vlyks as a result. They also don't offer as many advantages, though. A Zofer (as they're called) basically is little more than a mutated zombie whose mutation grants vampiresque powers. Zofers hold the overall highest endurance of any race combination. To demonstrate, if a vampire or a werewolf or a vlyk loses an arm and later has it reattached, the arm will not work. If a zombie loses an arm and later has it reattached (or if mutated, simply grows a new arm), it will work. The tradeoff is that zombies have the weakest regenerative capabilities of the three base races; damage done to them is hard to heal. Except zofers don't have that weakness; they gain vampiric regeneration, while maintaining zombie's reanimation abilities.
Thus, while they're easier to inflict damage on than a vlyk, they are capable of healing said damage with far greater ease. In fact, while vlyks have been known to die, there's no recorded deaths of zofers because not even removing the head is enough to kill them as with most zombies. However, there's more to it than that. Zofers hold the strength of a vampire enhanced with the unyielding power that a walker will provide (there's a reason walkers are a threat after all), making them capable of extremely-difficult physical feats, especially if those feats require endurance. These are nothing particularly impressive like bending steel, but are still very strong, such as busting down a wooden door.
Predictably, though, what makes zofers particularly dangerous is that they have the speed of a vampire enhanced with the tenacity of a runner, giving them the ability to out-run a vlyk during the day by speed. (With their endurance being about equal.) Zofers don't hold the same illusionary control as their vampire parent would, but they're able to use it at full strength during the day (not requiring the night) in addition to their hypnosis. (They lack the temporary-mind-control that vampires can have.)
This means that during the night, zofers don't actually become that much stronger, putting them at a bit of a disadvantage. Their speed gets enhanced, and so does their strength, but not by much. The main tactical advantage a zofer has, then, is their mutation which they can combine with their illusions, creating (similar to a vlyk) weapons of combat. In short, while a mutated zombie generally has only one mutation, zofers have access to any possible mutation, even though they generally have the base-mutation of claw-like appendages. (Thus, their moniker: Zofer comes from zombie-Nosferatu, similar to how vlyks come from vampire-lychanthropes, though vlyks partially also get their name because the first-recorded vlyk was Vlad the Impaler, who was not, as history knows him as, a vampire but a half-vampire instead.)
This basically means that zofers hold the most flexibility of any race. They're also the most human, because they hold the best ability of any race to blend in: their vampire thirst is cancelled out by the zombie lack of need for such sustenance, making them able to pass for human with far greater ease. It even extends to offspring, too. A zofer cannot mother any werewolf child, but she can mother a zombie, vampire, or human-fathered child, albeit the last one at the father's risk. Her child will be a zofer regardless, thanks to the nature of zombie and vampire genetics when mixed. (The child doesn't become half-human, half-zofer, or 3/4ths zombie, 1/4th vampire, or 3/4ths vampire, 1/4th zombie; the balance is always half-zombie, half-vampire.) A zofer similarly can father a child with any vampire, zombie, or zofer. (Though not human, because zofers still are lethal to humans if their bodily fluids enter into the human.)
In short, zofers hold the best balance, having the most advantages and the fewest drawbacks. They've got the instincts of both parents, yet the intuition to recognize them and not be ruled by them. It even comes with immunity to the zombie horde; zombies recognize zofers as being their own, allowing the zofer to be undisturbed by the spread and offer a bridge between two of the three races. (This, however, is not taken kindly by vampires, werewolves, or vlyks. The zofers and zombies are fine with it, but the vampires aren't save for when it's their own child and the werewolves obviously fear them.)
Which brings us to the girl herself, who'd be a Ched. (I think you've got the pattern down, of lychanthrope-zed in this case.) Cheds are a bit of a middle-ground between zofers and vlyks. A ched has the strength of a werewolf, and is able to partially transform even during the day, with this extra strength backed by the power of both a walker and a mutated zombie. In particular, cheds transform their arm into a weapon, creating claws that aren't quite inhuman, but are much greater than those of a werewolf. They can run at peak human levels for quite a long distance, but not quite as far. They've also got the combined reanimation and regeneration ability that zofers possess, but unlike zofers who have it in equal amounts, the emphasis is placed more on regeneration for cheds. (In other words, they don't heal as fast as vlyks nor reanimate as indefinitely as zofers, but do heal second-fastest and reanimate second-best.)
A ched does hold the full senses of a werewolf full-time, but the trade-off is vulnerability to their instincts. They have far, far better control than a vlyk, but not quite as much as a zofer, because the zombie's base instinct doesn't fully counter the wolves' base instinct, meaning a ched does have to learn to control themselves.
However, once they have, a ched is pretty similar to a zofer, just with the races altered. A ched can mother a child from any race (except vlyks), meaning that with a vampire or zofer father, a hybrid of all three races can be born, but the problem is that a vampire father has a significantly-reduced fertility rate with the ched mother, when both races don't exactly have the best fertility rate in the first place, meaning that only once has such a child ever been born in history, and they died shortly after that by an unfortunate fire. A ched can father a child with a werewolf or a zombie as well as other cheds.
Cheds also possess the same natural immunity to the zombie horde as a zofer. This, again, makes them be seen as a threat to vampires in particular (which is another reason why so few vampires have relationships with cheds) but also werewolves. Fear of your race going extinct is a very powerful motivating factor.
In short, both zofers and cheds offer a bridge between races, however, cheds typically end up hunted a little more than zofers. Zofers blend in better, cheds are seen as a larger threat because they don't have as much control (though some disagree and think zofers are a larger threat specifically because they blend in better and have near-perfect control), and most importantly of all, be it because they want to create one or because they wish to prevent it from ever happening, female cheds suffer hunting for the possibility that they can produce offspring of all three races.
It has been theorized what the offspring would be like, however.
Dubbed tribreeds, they'd in all probability continue the trend of hybrids in having most of the strengths with few of the weaknesses. It's theorized they'd take 4 years to grow to their teens, and from there, it's mere guesswork as to their capabilities. It's theorized that they'd still have the connection to the zombie horde, but that like cheds, can also have a communication link with other races such as werewolves. In fact, it's thought that a tribreed would be able to form a link with vampires or even humans as well, owing to vlyks' abilities to practically read minds.
It's thought that they would be able to fully transform during the day, and that their transformation would be limitless, and that they would hold immense strength, speed, regeneration, and reanimation. It's therefore also thought that they'd have the enhanced dietary needs of a vlyk and may suffer from insanity if their enhanced senses were always turned on. However, it's also thought that they'd be able to live entirely normal lives if they can tune out the extra noise, should they choose to do so.
It should be noted about all races, they generally age themselves as they appear. So while that vampire might be hundreds of years old, if he's casting the illusion that he's a teenager, then he wishes to be treated as a teenager. Inversely, if he casts the illusion that he's an old man, he wishes to be treated as an old man. If he lets you see his appearance as he actually looks, then he wishes to be treated as that age. (Typically, mid-20s to early-40s is the range most of them prefer: adulthood and experienced, but not old and past their prime.)
This runs the other way as well. Hybrids age rapidly, but they're not a 4-year-old in the body of a teenager. Their mind matches their body in growth. They haven't lived as many years as they visually appear to have, but for all intensive purposes, they are the age they look. This owes to multiple factors. First off, they're faster both physically and mentally. They do more in those four years than a human would do in 16. Their speed means they physically do more activities, and their mental acuity means that they process an average of five times the amount of normal. In short? They physically experience so much more that they gain life experienced at a rapidly-evolved rate. Then there's their intellect. Hybrids are always smarter than their parents, and depending on the type of hybrid, may contain some of their parents' memories embedded in them from birth. This allows them to pick up on details much faster.
So as a result of their mind growing faster, their body grows faster too as to allow them to experience the widest possible variety of things in the least amount of time possible. The one area that slows them down is their emotions, and that's one of the reasons why it takes as long as it does for them to get to their teens. Their bodies (thanks to their genetics) can grow as fast as needed, so literally overnight there'd be nothing stopping an infant from becoming a ten-year-old...except for the fact that the infant first needs to learn how to control their body, how the world works, and how their own mind works. The first two are the above, the physical activities and intellect they do, the experience and intuition layered together. The last one is the harder one, for it requires them to experience most possible emotions for most possible causes for most possible stages of development, something that takes a fair amount of time to do.
What does this all amount to? That by the time the hybrid appears to be a teen, if anything, their body is underestimating their 'true' age. Regardless of hybrid type, the hybrid learns so much in so little time in their youth especially that they're almost entirely ready for the real world by the time their body's growth slows to a human rate. A one-year-old ched, for instance, might ask to celebrate her sixteenth birthday on her date of birth. And from there, at 2, celebrate her 17th. That's because, as far as she's concerned, that is her age. Her accelerated youth means that she's not a child in the body of a teen; she's a teen in the body of a teen.
This is a concept that most humans (probably out-of-universe just as much as in-) struggle to grasp, and admittedly even the three base races have some degree of difficulty understanding the finer points of it, but it's an accepted aspect of their world.
And if you couldn't tell, this is story-relevant, and in fact brings me back to the origins of the blog, about the girl, and how she's the vampire's little sister. I'm thinking of having it so that she grows rapidly over the course of his second year of high-school: baby near the beginning, toddler a couple months in, child about half-way through, tweenager near the end, and closing the gap over summer break to be a younger-sister that's going to start at second-year level while he begins his third. (He got held back a year.)
I realize it's weird, and even to me I don't fully grasp it (me being human), but I think that it works wonderfully in-story.
I'm also progressively realizing that this story idea I have is probably going to evolve into a whole book series, and that it's going to largely be slice-of-life and following specific characters throughout the book, because of how I seem them all living in a small city and because of how many things I see going on. About the werewolf pack with its own alpha, who moved in with the blessing of the vampire's father (the alpha-alpha) so long as the pack can follow his own rules (which basically boil down to, "don't hurt my son, don't hurt any of my son's friends, don't hurt those friends' friends, if your body fluids enter someone, don't kill them and instead add them to your pack, don't hunt zombies, and keep yourself from making too much noise", essentially meaning they're free to roam around and do almost anything and to enforce their own rules, so long as they are not overly violent--and a bit of a plot point involves how the vampire's father also makes sure that if so much as an accidental death happens to his son's friends and their friends, the pack's in trouble).
About the zombie who mercilessly tracks down and kills both vampires and zombies.
About the other couples in the area who have settled down other than the werewolf-zombie parents.
About humans and how they interact with this whole mess.
Maybe occasionally expanding to see the world outside the town, and how it's getting increasingly more tense with how the wolves are fighting more aggressively thanks to zombies infiltrating corporations and vampires infiltrating governments, but still very largely focusing on how the common folks are treating this war.
Sad thing is, as much as I love this story idea, I'll probably never write a word of it. It's simply not my priority, interesting as my take on things may be. It only exists on my blog for the time being. I've not even bothered to write it down elsewhere. Aside from a few notes here and there which came into the blog to be expanded, that is.
My priority is, of course, the novel I should be working on instead of typing this. Or failing that, Disease which is the other big novel I want to work on. (Or, failing that, another of my big multi-story ideas.)
Anyway, mom's birthday, got a workout scheduled with a TKD friend, so should be going, now.