D.2. Cursed Human or Breed
About 41% of the population of Metamor City are humans or Breed that have received the Curse of Metamor. The Cursed fall into three broad categories, which follow very different cultural and social patterns:
Androgynes are found at every level of society in Metamor City, but their extroverted nature often leads them into white collar sales and many of the skilled professional career paths, including sports, entertainment and journalism. They are also very common in the sex industry -- not surprising, given the natural beauty and enhanced libido that are integral parts of the androgyne Curse. Most androgynes avoid the staid, repetitive work of blue collar jobs and white collar clerical positions -- monotony is like a death sentence for these people.
See here for more about androgynes.
Theriomorphs make up a large portion of the Metamor City population -- about 17% -- but they are an extremely diverse group of people and tend to subdivide themselves into much smaller communities, often on the basis of their template species. They can be found at every level of Metamor society, from the lowest Street Rat to Kyia's Cabinet.
Theriomorphs are especially common among the very old, powerful families of Metamor City and Glen Avery. Many of these families are descended from famous heroes who fought against Nasoj and Talia in the late 600s and early 700s, most of whom were part of the first generation of theriomorphs. These families have kept the memories of their departed ancestors alive by adopting their forms, wearing the guise of horse, rat or fox as a badge of honor. Some of the most powerful and influential theriomorph families include House Hassan, descended from Duke Thomas V and Dame Artelanoth; House Matthias, descended from Sir Charles the Mighty; House Brightleaf, descended from Misha Brightleaf, the founder of the now-legendary Long Scouts; and House Avery, which founded Glen Avery and still dominates its politics to this day.
Each subtype of theriomorph has a distinctive set of instincts and mannerisms inherited from the template species. Horses tend to be proud, noble, and often stubborn; rats are shrewd, stealthy, resourceful; wolves are team players who are fiercely protective of their loved ones and extremely tenacious in the pursuit of their goals. Naturally, there are exceptions to every rule, but these patterns are consistent enough that most Metamorians come to expect certain types of behavior from each species, and employers often tend to pick people for jobs that match the stereotypes associated with their template species. A rabbit, for instance, is unlikely to be chosen as a uniformed police officer, while a jackal would have a hard time finding a job in child care.
Breed who take on the Curse almost invariably choose to become theriomorphs, since their morphic forms mask their lutin heritage and make them indistinguishable from Cursed humans.
Since Kyia brought the Curse under control, very few people have willingly chosen to become age-regressed -- the hassles and inconvenience associated with being a child forever are even greater than those associated with a change in gender or the acquisition of partial animal traits. Pedomorphs must constantly prove that they are old enough and mature enough to function in adult society -- whether they're doing something as important as trying to get married, or as trivial as stopping at the bar for a drink. Many people have a hard time taking them seriously, and some purveyors of goods and services will simply refuse to serve them, no matter what their ID cards say.
There seem to be two main reasons why someone would become a pedomorph: the desire to honor a heroic ancestor, or an inordinately strong fear of aging. Kyia does not believe it is her right to refuse someone who wishes to adopt the pedomorph Curse, but many medical professionals tend to assume that pedomorphs are psychologically unbalanced and irrational. The fact that a pedomorph's instincts often cause him or her to revert to childlike behavior, especially under stress, only reinforces this viewpoint.
There are few jobs for which pedomorphs are particularly well-suited; any occupation that requires strength or stamina is usually beyond them, and customers rarely take them seriously enough for them to be successful in sales positions. Some survive as curiosities in the music world, or as "career child actors" in the TV and movie business. Those with a more empathetic bent can sometimes find work as counselors and child psychologists, where they are often particularly successful in working with the mentally disabled. A few even find work as spies or runners -- their unassuming appearance allows them to infiltrate some places that adult agents might never be able to reach. The Imperial Ministry of Intelligence (IMI) is particularly fond of employing "familial operational units" -- two adult agents accompanied by a pedomorph agent, who together pose as an ordinary family for the purpose of infiltrating enemy organizations.
One place you won't find pedomorphs is in a Sensualist parlor. The sex workers' guild decided in 1957 to bar age-regressed individuals from becoming Sensualists, after a number of high-profile cases of abuse and mistreatment by clients. The guild decided that any customer seeking sexual relations with an individual who was apparently underage was likely to be psychologically disturbed, and that a Sensualist in a child's or young teenager's body would lack the physical strength to protect him- or herself from mistreatment. Pedomorphs are sometimes found working as unlicensed prostitutes on the Street, or in the darker corners of the Fringe Sector, but such individuals are rarely happy and often come to an unpleasant end.