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 The Pathogen

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SPACE_LEMON
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PostSubject: The Pathogen   Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:59 am

A really bloody long time ago, I asked on the Sporum is a zombie-mutation "virus" was possible. Now, a lot has changed in the mean time, but some of the basics and most of the details explained here still remain the same (excuse the massively large amount of spelling errors. I was like 13 or something at the time):
Spoiler:
 

Back at the present, the pathogen isn't a virus, fungus or actually any earthly microbial life anymore. It's now essentially a black, blood-and-other-bodily-fluid-bound goop that originated (on Earth, at least), from the remains of an asteroid dug up in some mine or quarry in Africa. Miners noticed the peculiar black "rock" and alerted their superiors. Investigators were sent in to examine the strange substance and, upon further investigation, it was found to be organic. All trance of the substance was immediately taken to a research facility and the international scientific community notified. The US government near-immediately purchased the substance and hushed everything about it. This was during the fifties. Over the next decade, the substance was studied under the highly classified Blackrock Project, and eventually the means by which to reanimate the organism was found. It was discovered that the organism was parasitic and would attack itself to the nearest living organism. Experiments with creatures such as lab mice and house flies revealed that the organism (in small enough amounts as not to ingest the creature completely), would bond to the blood of the host, kill it, reanimate it as a and then begin altering it physically to make it a more successful (and violent) organism. Below is another quote, telling what happened next (also quite old):

Spoiler:
 
I'm thinking of perhaps replacing blood cancer with HIV, and Alex and Andrew would originally be a couple both dying of the virus (FASE would then be able to acquire volunteers as those dying of AIDS, perhaps under the guise of attempting to find a cure).


There have been four strains of the pathogen since Patient Zero:

-G1: Generation One of the Blackrock pathogen is the one effecting Andrew. I didn't mention it above, but FASE tried a different means with which to get the serum to work with each of the various final test subjects - with Andrew, they injected him with Rabies, believing it could act as a vector for the organism. The organism bonded with the virus and resulted in the pathogen (okay, so I guess it kinda is a virus). G1 infected are able to consciously control their mutations, though their consciousness is also highly suppressed by the pathogen, as they are also the centre of the pathogen's hivemind. A G1 can also infect other living organism through transferal of genetic material (eg. a bite or scratch). The infection, however, will be G2 and not G1. Initially, the only known G1 is Andrew.

-G2: The original contageous form of the pathogen, which results in zombification and extreme mutation controlled by the pathogen (which is sentient, in case I failed to mention that). The flesh of an infected organism will remain alive as long as energy is available for it to survive and can only be killed by incineration or extreme cold (like, near-complete-lack-of-energy cold). Once infected, the pathogen kills the host, then reanimates it as a mindless zombie (mindless only until the pathogen has evolved enough in the host to sentiently control it and connect to the hivemind). Sadly, shooting (or any other attack method that causes great trauma) a young G2 infected in the head will only incapacitate them for as long as it takes for the pathogen to repair the brain (same with the heart and other vital organs). However, shooting a mature G2 infected will likely have no effect whatsoever.

-G3: Upon entering a woman named Sheila, who was infected with some or other aggressive virus (preferably airborne, or something interesting like HIV could also do, then I'll just keep blood cancer above), the pathogen bonded with the virus which, though making it less potent, also made it airborne, but only for Sheila's blood-type (AB-). G3 infected are not killed by the virus and retain their consciousnesses. However, the will periodically fall into comatose-like states, at first lasting just a few seconds, but eventually lasting hours, during which the pathogen mutates them in stages, first unnoticeably, but later in very extreme ways. Eventually they will connect to the hivemind as well and their consciousness assimilated into (and therefor lost to) the hivemind (they will become slaves to the hivemind). When killed, the pathogen reverts back to G2, reanimating them as zombie-monsters.

-G4: The pathogen attached specifically to the brainstem and results in mild psychokinetic ability instead of mutations by unlocking higher parapsychological power. Only an exceptionally rare group of people are able to react to the pathogen in this way, but I cannot for the life of me recall what it was. The Hivemind is still able to psychically connect to G4 infected, but directly to them, as apposed to through the pathogen.



And that's just about all I can think to tell you at the moment. Any questions, please feel free to ask.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pathogen   Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:35 am

Actually, I just found this written down somewhere: "The scientists can find no discernable pattern involving genes or blood type or lifestyle". This line is from the "Breakdown: The Pandemic" RP by the Sporum's OsakaSun (and a very close friend of mine) which this is very loosely based off (though the RP up to when it died will essentially do as Part I of the first book of Breakdown).

And you know what? I agree with that line. It adds a very unpredictable, even somewhat sentient, quality to the pathogen, which are of course qualities it possesses. Instead of having the pathogen only work on certain people because of certain disorders or deceases they have don't work for me anymore. Therefor, I shall edit some of the info I mentioned above:

-Firstoff, FASE wasn't trying to create a serum from the Blackrock organism (by the way, I would very much like a better name for it. I originally had "Darkrise", but I couldn't justify why it was called that, and spontaneously came up with "Blackrock" one day, given that the organism was originally seen as black rock in a quarry or mine). Instead, they were trying to find a means to control it, using some or other microbial pathogen to do so.

-Alex (I actually had this figured out long ago, but forgot) is the daughter of the FASE scientist originally in command of Project Blackrock/Darkrise/whatever. She was born with astropathically sensitivity (she was a mild psychic) and, perhaps when Dr. Craig (working name for the past lead scientist) brought her to work with him, the organism inexplicably and unpredictably reacted to her, as if she could somehow communicate with her. When a tissue sample of her was exposed to the organism, it didn't even attach to it. Eventually (Dr. Craig being rather emotionless at the time), further tests were done of her and eventually she became a permanent subject at the Wales compound and was injected with the pathogen. Anger at her being denied the freedom to leave led her to accidentally incinerate her test cell and everyone and everything in it, after which she found nude and unconscious with her hair and nails scorched off in said room. She was then indefinitely placed in biostasis until a means with which to safely perform experiments on her was found.

-Andrew, Alex's boyfriend, went looking for her after she went missing (permanently detained in the Wales compound), and eventually tracked her down to the Wales compound via stuff in her father's Vancouver residence. Upon getting there, however, he was captured and about to be killed, were it not for the organism seemingly reacting to his presence (in reality, it was Alex reacting to his presence and the organism reacting to Alex's reaction). He was then tested on and subsequently became the first human test subject to survive (because of his connection with Alex), though appeared completely unaffected. Then the stuff happened.

-I've actually changed how G3 formed already, but just forgot. Patient Zero, though normally in the form of a very Dead Space-esque monster, still retains the ability to morph back into his original form (Andrew). As Andrew, he approached the psychologist, Sophia Wilmore (and old school mate of his and also one of the important characters), for "counseling". Perhaps he infected her with a handshake, perhaps he could get sick in his human form (and then coughed infected flu onto her), I don't know, and I'll even leave it open to speculation. Anyway, Sophia became infected as the first G3-infected, though her infection had no exterior signs. Her "mutation" was something akin to immortality - the pathogen preserved her physical state at the time of infection: she no longer aged and healed supernaturally well. (This, however, is spoiler information, as I'm going to make someone else seem to be Patient X (the first G3 infected).)

-G4 infected now results from the pathogen (in G0 (testing) and G3 forms) infecting an astropathically sensitive individual. FASE was able to track down such individuals via the work (and threat-induced co-operation) of Dr. Jonathan Right who, in the SPIRE timeline, also invented technologies that can "see" Aether (the energy/substance from which everything metaphysical (such as the "soul") is made).
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