While quite an advanced civilization in many respects, Incarnate social structure is said to be archaic by many anthropologists and sociologists. Chiefly, their society is divided into two major groups: the lower caste, or Adept class, is a population of humans whose DNA has been genetically modified to improve physical strength, agility, tolerance to harsh conditions, and even gain natural weapons like sharp incisors and claws. These alterations most commonly come in the form of the Adept in question taking on animal attributes, which are normally passed down through family lineage.
As such, a man-lion hybrid will most definitely choose a female hybrid of the same sort in order to successfully pass on these genes to his children. This has created several sub-classes of Adepts based on what animal their ancestors chose to take on traits of. For example; Anubians have canine DNA from a fox, wolf, jackal, or coyote spliced into their genetic code. They are covered in fur, have sharp incisors, claws that excel in digging, excellent sense of smell, and are capable of surviving in intense dry heat or bone-chilling frost. Gallians are the feline version of this, having their genome spliced with that of a leopard, a tiger, a lion, or a cheetah. As such, they excel at climbing trees, sprinting short distances at unbelievable speeds, and tearing out the guts of their enemies with sharp, retractable claws.
There exist several other classes just like the aforementioned, and it must be noted that the genetic code spliced into the human DNA becomes the identity of an entire lineage. If a person chooses to wipe his or her genome (effectively eliminating all non-human DNA from one’s genetic makeup), it will be considered a shattering blow to the pride and honor of one’s family. This is, as such, a rather uncommon decision to make, as one who carries out the procedure is usually not welcomed back into his or her family.
The upper caste, or Progressive class, are the minority of Incarnate society, though the level of control they command over their own genetic makeup gives them near-godlike status in the eyes of the lower class. Progressives are descended from the founders of Incarnate society, and have had the knowledge of willful genetic modification passed down to them through the generations. Progressives are considered to be the nobility of their communities, and are sought out by Adepts as a means of altering their own genetic code (as long as they are able to pay the Progressive who performs the alteration).
Another way of altering one’s genetic makeup (if one is unable to get an appointment with a Progressive, or cannot afford the procedure) is to locate a CORP clinic which offers an operation catered toward Incarnates called “geno-purge”. Quite as invasive as it sounds, the geno-purge utilizes an ultra-fast supercomputer which is capable of reading and analyzing the patient’s entire genome in a matter of minutes. Once the entire code has been stored in its system, it goes through and wipes every bit of non-human DNA that exists in the patient’s genome.
Once the operation is complete, and the person in question has lost all his or her non-human (i.e. animal) attributes, he or she is considered to be “naked” in the eyes of Incarnate society. This is, again, a gigantic disrespect to one’s family and ancestry, as things like feather, scales, yellow eyes, talons, or manes are passed down through generations and thought to be a sort of “wearable coat of arms” for proud families of Adepts. An Adept who wishes to change his or her own genetic code without being forsaken by his or her family must seek out a Progressive who is willing to do the job, and pay him or her an exponentially large sum of money to carry out the operation. This procedure is known as “transitioning”, and is far less invasive than the process offered by CORP clinics. Transitioning is more accurate, only eliminating certain aspects of one’s genome which are chosen by the patient prior to undergoing the operation. Therefore, one may leave in traits that are considered essential to their family’s identity, like blue eyes, a large lion’s mane, green skin, and so on. Transitioning, while incredibly expensive and uncommon, is seen as less of a dishonor to one’s family and more of a slight embarrassment. A subject sheepishly skirted around during conversation, but not necessarily thought of contemptuously.
DNA splicing, as common as it is in Incarnate civilization, does not always go as planned. Occasionally a mistake is made, resulting in two or more animal genomes being spliced into the human one, resulting in an “impurity”. This can cause horrendous disfigurations in the patient’s appearance, and from that point forward, the person in question will be known as an abomination to every person who looks upon his or her nightmarish physique. Traits such as hands being replaced by long tendrils or tentacles, a mouth crowded with thousands of teeth or hundreds of long, thin tongues perpetually intertwining and groping about like worms will surely alienate one from his or her family and friends. One who has far too many eyes, freakishly darting about in one’s head in different directions, or dozens of long, spidery fingers on each hand will bar a person from obtaining a career in a respectable field. Becoming an abomination almost certainly calls for the person in question to either seek out a Progressive to perform a transition, or to visit an CORP clinic where they may be purged of all their Incarnate DNA. Once the purge has been done, the Incarnate may not be welcomed back to his or her family, and so must oftentimes begin a new life in CORP society, or carry on as an unaffiliated person.
Incarnate genes do not always contain animal DNA. In many cases, people simply opt to design a genome that exemplifies the ideal human form. They mold their bodies into figures of eerie perfection; with smooth, supple skin; high cheekbones; piercing eyes; and toned muscles. They will choose a hair or eye color not otherwise possible with natural human DNA like bright green, purple, orange, or teal. They sometimes even choose to have bioluminescent nodes just below the skin, arranged in such a way to form beautiful patterns that turn their bodies into glow-in-the-dark works of visual art.