Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dr. Cabalot Serenity's Science Report- New Virus Research

As it's become common knowledge, Nomos has a new strain of the Virus. Once only a minor nuisance, the virus has mutated, making the infected delirious and much more aggressive.

Because of the recent Nomos invasion by a swarm of virus infected zombies, which have also had the unfortunate side effect of infecting our rat population. I felt compelled to investigate and learn more about the nature of this new affliction. After retrieving archives and scientific journals from the deceased scientist who have besieged us with this plague, I'm saddened to report that once again, pencil pushing bureaucrats, concerned only with themselves and the "bottom line" are behind this abomination.

The infected miners were people once, with lives and families, trying to eek out a living by working the Numasol mines. Life in the Mines can be relentless, as they work long hours past the point of collapse because of productivity enhancement drugs they are forced to take as a part of their contract. But as the miners became increasingly more disenfranchised with their compensation, and the time away from their families, there was talk of forming a union.

MetroTek's response to this threat was to create a new "productivity enhancement" drug which would suppress their will, and cause them to forget both the amount of time they've spent in the mines, and their families.

The scientists extracted a toxin from a breed of Algae in the earth's oceans called "Pseudo-nitzschia."

The population of this algae explodes in rich concentrations of Iron. The iron and algae produce a red color which has been named the "Red Tide."

The toxin itself is called Domoic Acid ("Demon" on the streets). Domoic acid was originally isolated from the red alga in Japan back in 1958.

In humans, or any species with significant humanoid physiology, the toxin attacks the brain, producing confusion, memory loss and hallucinations. By modifying this toxin, the goal was to make the Miners work harder, and feel better about it. Instead, the toxin erased their brains and increased feelings of fear and aggression. The infected Miners see everyone except each other as a threat, feel no pain, and will relentlessly target and pursue anyone who gets in their way. Infected rats, who share many common physiological traits with humans, are affected the same way.

I have been working on a permanent cure, but the research is slow, and the outlook is not promising. Meditek has managed to create a new vaccine, modified from the vaccine against our original virus, but the effects are short lived. Every species afflicted with a harmful pathogen always seems to have a handful with a natural immunity. But I have not found any such subjects amongst the Nomos population, and so I'm stuck working with weakened strains of a live virus for a vaccine which wears off, creating no permanent antibodies. I remain both fascinated and frustrated by this new pathogen.

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