Unfortunately, I'm having some major issues with workload in college, and I can still review and accept a few RPers, but it may be a few weeks before I've been able to sketch out enough ready-to-go story to start the actual roleplay. A secret organization struggles to control the global population of vampires - individuals who have had the misfortune of contracting a mysterious disease. The legend of the vampire has been told for centuries, perhaps millennia, and has changed with the taste of the times and the mythology of every people who have encountered it. NosAva is that secret organization. A modernized, globally-reaching underground corporation whose sole purpose is to keep the vampiric disease in check, and whose divisions are many and varied. In this modern setting, there are vampire hunters, scientists bent on deciphering the mechanics of the disease, searchers who look for the newly turned and the hard-to-catch vampires... Welcome to NosAva. Please respond, if you are interested, with a character suggestion (for yourself). See the bottom of this post for further information on bio sheets. Any suggestions for the story are also welcome, as well as multiple character ideas. This is just a second step toward getting the actual RP going. IF YOU GET LOST IN THE DESCRIPTION: Most of the disease info is too in-depth to be of much use, unless we want to RP as Excinav scientists finding a cure for the disease. Just reading the Summary of the symptoms is good enough. *This color is for important notes, this color is for world information, this color is for the story premise. In-depth information will be in this color. BASIC WORLD INFO: This is now. This world, these politics, these constraints of reality (more or less.) The difference is, those legends of vampires? Based in reality. Vampires are people infected by a very specific disease, which incurs a form of immortality, at a price. Those infected experience several years of high metabolism and meat cravings before they stop aging and start developing some small mental health issues. (Details in the Disease section.) ORGANIZATIONS KNOWN TO EXIST: NosAva is a relatively recent grouping of vampire experts who want to do something to cull the global numbers of vampires. Formed by a Christian fanatic (who has since been displaced) and now not simply against vampires, but for research and understanding of the disease and control thereof, the 30-some-year-old affiliation is based in Maine and operates in the Americas and south Asia. The president is a vampire who calls himself the Lion (he is very old and very dyslexic, but also highly able to multitask) and the vice is his human descendant and assistant, Avery Kennan.NosAva has several divisions: The Hunters, including the notable pair Lilac and Icarus Wallace, two experienced vampires with excellent senses and logical capabilities, but no empathy. Social Relations, which keeps the outward appearance of a privately owned epidemics control organization as cover. General Operations, the office sector (all the paper pushers that keep the budget in line and communications in sync). Technology and Logistics, Tech and Log, or TAL, the programmers and developers for the monitoring equipment given to all vampiric employees. Mobile Donations, the fund raising group, does bake sales and other fundraisers to cover some of the holes that can happen in the budget, and is constantly active. Mobile Donations also runs a semiannual, mobile, open audition freak-show, which sometimes nets a vampire in need of some serious help. New employees usually come in through General Operations or Mobile Donations and work their way in. "The Rooters" are a small coven of strongly bonded young vampires (Alvin, Richard and Lizabeth) that help NosAva collect information on vampires. They reside in Maine and travel occasionally to other places around the world in order to do first-person research. They reside in Chicago, IL, USA. Excinav was a struggling genetic research group that was nearly shut down over controversy about stem cell research. It is now funded by NosAva and operating underground. THE DISEASE: (SUMMARY:) The transformation begins when a human exchanges bodily fluid with either a vampire or a victim who has a strong enough concentration of the bacteria in his or her system. The less contact there is, the less chance there is that the victim will contract vampirism. The victim expresses a fever and flu-like symptoms for roughly two to five days. If his/her immune system beats the disease, s/he does not become a vampire. A vampire grows new teeth, gains a preference for meat, and becomes more muscular and thin in the beginning stage of up to ten years and at least six months. After that, his/her metabolism slows, the aging process slows to a halt, and loses most distinguishing marks on the skin. Hair and nails become tougher, and healing processes accelerate. Hair loss, partial, bodily, or patchy, may occur. The brain begins to change, and the vampire usually develops some handicap or mental illness symptom (or several). S/he also experiences an increased sharpness in a different area of the mind. The Vampire is infectious once s/he has lost the first fight with the disease (fever abates). Vampires are difficult to kill, but are simply more resilient than humans. (FULL DESCRIPTION:) Full study performed and compiled by “The Rooters” under the guidance of the NosAva Affiliation: The transformation begins when a human exchanges bodily fluid with either a vampire or a victim who has a strong enough concentration of the bacteria in his or her system. Typically this is done through a wounding and the introduction of bacterial-ridden saliva. This is also the fastest and strongest transfer – but if the wound inflicted is on the neck, and deep, the victim usually dies of hemorrhage. Slower changes result from kissing, accidents (i.e. touching of injuries by both or either side), or sexual contact. In two historical cases, transmission by coughing has been documented. The bacterium cannot be passed through the air or very far through liquids; it does not live long outside of the host body, and although the virus stays intact a while longer, it does require living vampiric bacteria in which to reproduce. The less contact there is, the less chance there is that the victim will contract vampirism. After the bacteria reaches the bloodstream, it begins to invade every part of the host’s body, becoming part of the various systems. Swollen lymph nodes and stiffness usually accompany initial growth. The body attempts to fight off this infection, and almost always loses once the virus begins to influence the immune system. The typical, young vampire is altogether normal in appearance and general behavior, and shows very little sign of difference. The main symptoms that can be observed are fever and a general preference for high-calorie foods, and then a changed preference to meats. Within the first year, the host becomes more thin, hardened and muscular. Females retain more fat than males. Within a decade, a noticeable slow in aging occurs, and the need for sleep becomes minimal. Fairly early into development, a new set of 32 to 36 teeth pushes out the old teeth and grows in within a week or two of initial tooth loss (which is naturally staggered). These teeth are likely to grow in fairly straight, and often gives the appearance of slightly longer or sharper teeth. This portion of the transformation can occur many times faster, but the time frames are generalized and differ from person to person. The faster it occurs, the more painful it is for the host. The end product is most often a very attractive version of the victim – one very likely to pass on the disease. Most infectors are within this range of development, before they become somewhat more noticeable and (likely) repulsive. This stage usually lasts little more than ten years. The next stage is a significant slowing of the metabolism and the drastic change in the bacterial balance of the digestive system - the host has already become completely carnivorous, and has difficulty digesting anything cooked or anything other than meat. Blood is now digestible as well, and many have cravings. This internal change happens, usually, within the late first or early second decade. External changes may include a general paling or darkening of complexion (depending upon the light conditions and to maximize vitamin D production, just like the normal tanning and paling process) and partial or complete loss of specific marks such as small scars, blemishes, moles, tattoos and freckles. Other external and internal organs also become more “perfect,” as the body tries to heal itself, excepting the more permanent structures (i.e. irises, large malformations in bones, etc.). Nails become harder (often hair as well, making it less controllable), and although nail and hair growth does not stop, it does slow, more drastically in males than females. Males often lose the majority or all of their facial hair, and in some cases, baldness may occur. Rarely, some to all body hair or all hair is lost, which may happen in the case of either sex. About this time, neurological differences may noticeably surface – the new vampire’s brain is changing slightly. His or her behavior becomes more focused on a favorite activity, and in the other affected areas of the brain, a dullness may be noticed – as in being emotionally dysfunctional, trembling uncontrollably, or severely decreased logical capabilities. This is a very gradual process and does not necessarily exclude the given individual from society for many years. Within the span of half a century, the now full-fledged vampire usually begins to shimmer vaguely in strong light, due to the high concentration of bacteria in the blood. Most vampires avoid strong light or use sunscreen (or any oily rub), which dulls the effect by changing the way light reaches the topmost living cells. If the individual has enough body hair, the shimmer is unnoticeable. The infection is complete when the now high concentration of bacteria is consistent throughout the body. Free-floating bacteria continue to reproduce and die in bodily fluids, and bacteria which have invaded human cells are long-lived - as long as the cell itself lives. As early as a century or as late as several centuries, the former human body has completely been taken over by the bacteria. The brain of the victim has been enhanced as well as degraded by the bacteria, and in some cases the side effects are alternatively pitiful or monstrous. Along with a high degree of sharpness in, say, music or logic, degradation in another area is inevitable. Many vampires have trouble with emotions or memory, or have several neurological disabilities. The more base of instincts are magnified over this time, and although some individuals may be able to control themselves, it is only to an extent. This usually means that the vampire has become, behaviorally, a predator. Human-vampire relationships, provided that the human is not devoured, are usually difficult throughout the transformation (most often it is instinct or aging that breaks bonds). Mature vampire blood pressure is rather low, the heartbeat is much slower, and the internal temperature, after the first decade or so, becomes cool (all in a comparative sense). Vampires function as lukewarm- to cool-blooded creatures unless in a state of agitation. Wounds shut quickly (due to bacteria acting as another clotting aid), and, as the skin and flesh underneath toughen, may not often occur in the first place. Healing is slow, but, as stated, the knitting-together part of the process is almost instantaneous. Vampires are not indestructible. They are susceptible to burning and freezing, although (freezing) not as much as other people. The bacteria throughout the bloodstream act as an antifreeze of sorts, lowering the point of freezing to several degrees below 0 Celsius. Vampires fall into a comatose state in below-freezing temperatures, but need to wake and consume food eventually. Ice crystals can sometimes form within the cellular structure, but in most tissues where the bacteria have formed a sort of knitted net, the network stops larger crystals from forming and causing too much damage. Vampires can starve over long periods of time, and waste away. They need some amount of oxygen consistently. They can be crushed or cut up – not easily, but it can be done. If the head is smashed or removed, the major arteries will constrict and those severed will close. The body will only continue to “live” as long as it has enough oxygen and nutrients, and will waste away as a cockroach would. In this state, the body becomes alternatively as a vegetable or moves about spasmodically until death. If a part or whole of the brain stem is left, the body may run about like a beheaded chicken until collapse. Footnote by Excinav Incorporated operating under the guidance of the NosAva Affiliation. The vampiric ‘bacterium’ is actually a mutualistic combination of a virus replicating within a bacterial cell. This is why antibiotics alone usually don’t cure or hold back the disease for very long. Soon after initial infection, the virus attacks and temporarily overwhelms the immune system early on in the infection to allow for intensive bacterial growth. The bacteria possess very little cell wall, and specialized pores for accepting and releasing its viral counterpart. The bacteria are able to attach to mucous membranes in the mouth and prefer to live free-floating in the blood and bodily fluids. They also colonize the salivary glands of the human victim. The properly formed virus is a single stranded +ssRNA, enveloped retrovirus resembling HIV. It possesses spike proteins that allow it to attach to human T-lymphocytes (an important kind of immune response cell), some skin cell types, bone, skeletal muscle, and nervous tissues as well (and the particular species of bacteria in which it is introduced into the human body). This bacterium provides very specific and various enzymatic pathways for the production of the virus, each of which are controlled by the cell itself, thus insuring that, if the retrovirus “captures'”one part of the genetic instructions, it will not override the cell. The Bacteria is able, by detecting “critical mass” of virus production and/or optimal environment, to cease production of the necessary enzymes for production of the virus, dramatically slowing (or stopping) the replication of the retrovirus and preventing most cells from lysing. The improperly formed virus is able to infect human cells, but, lacking the enzymes to form its capsid and envelope spikes, is inactive. It may possibly be used as a vaccine, but this particular leap has not been accomplished on a usable scale yet, due to the lack of willing vampires and the unfortunate tendency of large corporations to dismiss vampirism as myth. NOTES: I will be playing several members of NosAva and other NPCs as a matter of NPC management and providing a combination of information, story progress when necessary, and jobs that are not very interesting anyway. I will also be playing one particular representative or another of NosAva to start the parts of the story. JOINING PLAYERS: Some examples of roles: Someone going through the early stages of infection; A vampire who is partnered/bonded with another; A human who becomes involved with or has a family member/loved one involved with NosAva...etc.; Vampire hunters, either sanctioned by NosAva or not... The possibilities are many and varied. Example Character Bios: Please don't be discouraged by the detail I've gone into here. At the very least, I would like the most basic character bio, with a couple of notes about his/her involvement with the beginning of the story. Please note that Vampire characters, if beyond one decade of being a vampire, need a mental ability/disability trait pair. DETAILED EXAMPLE: Character Name: Avery Kennan Gender: Male Species/Race: Human Age: 36 B-Day: Jan 19, 1976 Place of Birth: Joliet, IL, USA Current Residence: Somewhere in Maine, USA (current Headquarters of NosAva) Occupation: Acting President of NosAva, in reality a figurehead for The Lion, an ancient vampire who benevolently runs the organization College Degree: Majored in Business with a Psychology minor (Bachelor's) Family: Extended living family in Chicago and Joliet area, with whom he does not keep contact; also, The Lion is an ancestor of his, and President of NosAva is a hereditary post. Height: 5'9" Hair: Mousy brown, average short cut Eyes: Yellow-Hazel Distinguishing Marks: Nose slightly crooked from being broken (childhood incident, unimportant) General Appearance: Strong jaw, clean shaven, expressive eyebrows. Regularly dresses in button-up shirts with slacks and black tennies, almost never remembers his tie. Tends to roll up his sleeves. Appears the presentable, if sometimes rumpled, CEO. Tends to sit leaning forward, listens intently, and stands relaxed, with most of his weight on one leg. Strengths: Good reflexes and kicking power from playing soccer since he was little. As a requirement of his post, he has also been trained to properly shoot a pistol and is required to practice weekly. Weaknesses: Not very strong in his upper body. Has mild allergies to most pollen and cat dander. Allies: The Lion, Miss Shandra Herald (his secretary), The Rooters, and in general all loyal members of NosAva Enemies: His Aunt Prudence, who calls him every weekend to rag on how much of a disappointment he is. Others unknown at this time. Current Goal/Purpose: To forward the goal of NosAva, which is to keep the global number of vampires at a manageable level and to further the organization's knowledge of the disease. Aspirations: Has always wanted a dog, but never had the time. Also wants eventually to retire on the Lost Coast of California, where nobody will ever bother him about vampires ever again. Hobbies: Reading modern fantasy novels, folding origami. Likes: Blue-grey, classical music, jazz, spaghetti, rain, dogs, quiet evenings. Dislikes: Loud noises, letting his hair and facial hair grow out, really bright light and colors, the desert, cats (due to his allergy), getting sick, static electricity zaps. Talents: Reads extraordinarily fast, types about 50 wpm with coffee. Particularly good at "reading" people (nonverbal communication). Good cook. Inabilities: Tends to nod off when bored, which has recently been rather often. Has some issues with attention span and commitments. Does not get along with cats, at all. Fears: Arachnophobia, the ocean, dying, disappointing people who count on him. General Personality: Formally friendly, although hard to read (unless he is drowsy). Obviously disinterested in a lot of social aspects of life. Seems easy to approach, always tries to help. Inner Personality: Has romantic ideas of the American wilderness, loves dogs, reluctant to get into friendships because he fears he will disappoint. Avid reader. Fondest Memory: His fifth Christmas, when his parents got him a dog from the pound. He named him Ricky. Biggest Regret: Never talking to his high school crush/ tied with his acceptance of his current position. Secret: His greatest friend is The Lion, whom he respects as a master/mentor/grandfather. BASIC EXAMPLE: Character Name: Lizabeth Gender: Female. Species/Race:Vampire Age: 33, appearance of ~19 B-Day: Sometime in February, 1979 Place of Birth: NYC, NY, USA Current Residence: Dublin, Ireland, with the other two Rooters Appearance: 5'2"; long, wavy, corn-silk-blonde hair; grey eyes; thin and lithe build. Current Goal/Purpose: Research assignments and local searches for vampires. General Personality: Skittish and shy, but fiercely loyal to her two friends. General History: Was turned by Richard, her only love and now co-Rooter, when they kissed for the first time. Before then, she had been a waitress with trash parents. Since her and Richard's discovery by NosAva, they have been working for them alongside another younger vampire named Alvin.Mental Disability/ies:Liza hears voices. Her own, in her head, but incessantly - as though her thoughts are put to words. She also has paranoid tendencies. Enhanced Ability/ies: Enhanced night vision, reflexes, and sense of smell. Capable of thinking through possible outcomes exceptionally fast - which can be distracting, if they are paranoid delusions.