Project Chrysalis is a black project spinning out of Project: LONG STAIR's NATIVE SONS program with the aim to create hybridized xenofauna for use as "super soldiers" that are capable of surviving outside the Subterrestial Operations Theatre for indefinite periods. The project is currently being head by Dr. Eric Soong under direct authorization of the BLACKLIST Committee.
Biological Specimen NX/1701 was an elven "sapling" procured by Project: LONG STAIR in order to aid research in developing specialized defoilents for use against the species. Previous samples of the fauna in question had only managed to survive in surface laboratories for at most two and a half weeks, and NX/1701 was expected to have a similar life expectancy. However, it suffered an unplanned biological contamination when one of the security personnel utilized an inhibitor designed to suppess the elven pheromones in order to have sex with it.
Shortly afterward Specimen 1701 underwent an unprecedented metamorphasis. The humanoid portion of the specimen detached from its vine, the vegetative portions of is anatomy atrophying and being replaced by mammalian biological systems. When the transformation was complete 36 hours later, NX/1701 opened its eyes and began communicating in English. What had been a non-sentient reproductive component of a Basement botanical had become a sapient mammalian humanoid capable of sophisticated social interaction and tool use.
Lengthy interviews and extensive psychological analysis, confirmed with telepathic probing via xenomethodologies, revealed that NX/1701 possessed the cultural knowledge, alliegences, and social mores of her human progenitor. It is currently believed that prolonged exposure to a terrestial environment in tandem with an infusion of human genetic material in the presence of the inhibitor compound catalyzed a hybridization process, altering her biologically and mentally into a lifeform able to survive on the surface indefinitely without evidence of psychological or physical degeneration.
Preliminary studies showed NX/1701 to possess agility and perceptual acuity much higher than average human baseline including enhanced low-light vision, while metabolism and cellular activity suggested a lifespan at least triple of that a modern human. Further testing has demonstrated a natural aptitude for stealth, and as well as an immunity to all known mundane, xenotechnological and xenomethological sedation techniques, as well as a heightened resistance to other mind alteration methods of such nature. These traits, along with an obvious genetic memory incorporating the human genetic donor's socialization and loyalties suggested to the researchers such transhumans would make ideal special forces operatives; additionally it was felt there was potential for backward engineering such positive traits to eventually incorporate them into humans via gene therapy.
Once granted permission to proceed, Project Chrysalis initiated a harvest of elven specimens from the Basement for insemination with genetic material from a limited pool of donors in peak physical and psychological health and displaying unimpeachable loyalty. Both donors and progency are subject to periodic xenomethological mental monitoring, while the offspring are equiped with subdermal transponders to allow their location to be monitored. An initial production run of 30 operatives were authorized.
When deployed in the field, Chrysalis operatives are mandatorially paired with a human partner who is tasked with maintaining oversight and who is not to be a donor in order to reduce the risk of contamination and cross hybridization. Further, no more than three should be assigned to any single operation.
To date, attempts at artificial insemination have proven unreliable. The procedure initiates a viable transformation roughly only 40% of the time, and the resulting offspring demonstrating a similar inability to remain outside the Subterrestial Operations Theatre for long periods as hybridized humans. All other functionality however has been as predicted as based off the initial specimen, suggesting a viable means of countering the force depletion experienced by the Delver Operations Group.
Direct physical contact between human and elf, though enjoying only a 25% success rate, is however entirely successful in producing operatves capable of as yet indefinite existence in the surface world and displaying all of the attributes that inspired the project.
With such a small population it's difficult to tell if this is a result of something akin to the captivity effect that precludes certain species of animal from successfully breeding in such conditions, or a statistical aberration. The elves were harvested from multiple locations, and preliminary examination of their genome has shown the sort of variances found across the finch populations of the Galapagos Islands. The elves were assigned to donors and impregnation methodology using random double-blind procedures each time, and there seems to be no reliable correlation between their genetics and success or otherwise of the transformation.
Sexual experience, position, and time to orgasm on the part of the donors have all been preliminarily ruled out as a contributing factor affecting the success of face-to-face breeding. As all donors were of uniformally high motility, that too has been excluded. Thanks to current US Armed Forces recruiting policy, the effect if any of sexual orientation as a contributing factor cannot be judged as of this time. Human ethnicity however does appear to be a factor, with caucasian donors demonstrating the least success in creating viable offspring via both artificial insemination and copulation even though the most uniformally successful donor was caucasian. As a trend, offspring viability increases with skin tone.
All offspring, even those that do not complete the transformative process, inherit the obvious ethnicity of their donor but uniformly manifest skin tones that are darker but within expected variations for that type. Comparison has shown this holds true for NC/1701 as well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all viable offspring regardless of means of impregnation, are female and fall well within the human definition of attractiveness albeit they demonstrate a noticeable androgyny. Surprisingly, a small percentage of non-viable specimens all of which were linked to a single donor were found to possess vestigial male sexual organs; it has been strongly recommended that no such operative ever be allowed to become viable on the basis that at least Project Chrysalis can control what happens if one of the operatives ever becomes pregnant but a hybrid capable of impregnating other hybrids or worse humans is a RUNAWAY scenario waiting to happen.
All offspring to date have initially claimed ownership of their donor's masculine oidentity, but once introduced to their progenitor show little if any psychological trauma at a complete change of sex and species, and once aware of their identity appear to spontaneously manifest feminine mannerisms intended to manipulate men with little difficulty. Offspring of the same donor react with hostility to each other until disabused of that identity, at which point they begin exhibiting strong filial attitudes.