Banner artwork by Samael. Homepage artwork by Tuxedo Dragon.
Ashley Altmann, or simply Ash for short, is a former human who was infected and transformed into an amphimorpho, a genetically engineered alien hybrid species capable of shapeshifting.
(Amphimorphos are an open species created by Tuxedo Dragon.)
Ash was born as a regular human of European descent. Although identifying as female and assigned female at birth, Ash is not gender-normative and has many stereotypically masculine interests. Following her transformation, Ash is biologically unisex (as are all amphimorpho) but continues to present herself as female when appearing as a human.
Ash is in a long-term relationship with their partner Olive and was present at the time of Olive’s unexpected transformation into a plush suit. Ash moved in with Olive soon afterwards to help them acclimatise to their transformation.
Ash is composed and stoic, relaxed under pressure and readily adaptable to change. All of these traits came into play following both Olive and her own transformations, with Ash quickly coming to grips with the situation and working to bring calm and levity to the situation. She is kind and helpful to those who have done no wrong but can be viciously aggressive to those who have slighted her or her loved ones.
She is a ‘cosy’ goth, subscribing to certain aesthetic and musical elements of the subculture and rejecting the pessimistic and ‘miserable’ stereotype that comes with it in favour of a more optimistic approach.
She takes great excitement in the unusual, the supernatural and the macabre. She adores and embraces the weird, often encouraging events in her life in that direction. Upon her initial mutation into an amphimorpho, she was excited at the prospect of becoming non-human. When it appeared that the process had reversed itself, she broke down, expressing that she secretly suffered significant species dysphoria.
Ash’s favourite animals are bats. Olive has a bat patch sewn into them to represent this interest and their relationship with Ash.
When she was a human—as well as when appropriating the appearance of a human—Ash is caucasian with medium-length hair. Her hair was formerly dyed black with coloured highlights, the colour changing periodically when it was re-dyed, however, she can now change it at will. She is typically seen ‘wearing’ eye shadow and dark-coloured jeans and jackets with a variety of patches, badges and accessories.
Following her infection with the amphimorpho virus, she rapidly mutated into a form resembling the species. Her ‘default’ appearance is as a bi-coloured quadruped with an elongated body, tail, neck and ears. She has a short snout with prominent teeth and, like many amphimorphos, lacks nostrils.
As a shapeshifter, she can change her fur colouration at any time. She typically favours a mixture of dark green and a slightly green off-white, to match the bright green bioluminescent parts of her body. She maintains a similar hairstyle to her former human form, being medium length dark green fur with lighter highlights, as though dyed.
Post-transformation, Ash has many of the abilities intrinsic to the amphimorpho species. This includes:
- Shapeshifting, being able to alter her physical appearance at will. Shifting requires significant energy, however, as does maintaining a different shape for a long period. She cannot shift into anything substantially larger or smaller than herself.
- DNA imprinting, which allows Ash to touch a living thing and immediately be able to transform into it.
- Flexibility. Amphimorphos are ‘fluid’ to some degree, lacking any rigid shape or skeletal structure, and are capable of great feats of dexterity and acrobatics as a result.
- A long, prehensile tail, capable of grasping and lifting objects.
- Efficient digestion. Due to the energy needs from shapeshifting, amphimorphos are capable of consuming and storing a significant quantity of calories without ill effects and without creating waste products.
As Ash was turned into an amphimorpho via infection by the amphimorpho virus, she is classed as a Mutant Type 0. This gives her some abilities that are distinct from naturally born amphimorpho:
- Genetic fluidity. Mutant amphimorphos are more ‘fluid’ and more easily able to shapeshift. However, they also struggle to hold their shape for as long and are more prone to spontaneous, uncontrolled shifting.
- Bioluminescence. A result of strains of the virus containing glowing biomarkers, which are now incorporated into her DNA, certain parts of Ash’s default body glow a faint greenish hue. This includes the inside of her mouth, inner ears, paw pads, and the end of her tail. These parts of her body lack physical cohesion, appearing ‘goopy’ at times.
- Viral carrier. As a carrier of the amphimorpho virus, Ash is able to spread it to other living beings through a variety of vectors, purposefully and accidentally.
Ash is a shapeshifter and transforms regularly. She is enthusiastic about having being turned from a human into an amphimorpho.
Ashley will do this sometimes, if the mood strikes.