With the progression of science and society, comes the greater longevity of the human race. Life expectancy rises all the time. Death by illness is increasingly rare, nearly impossible. Still, there are viruses that are unable to be vaccinated against, or cured. They can mutate, and change, and adapt to break past artificial barriers. They're not always dangerous, or deadly. But they can be. A university in western United States was studying a peculiar strain of virus in the winter of 2020. It is unknown what virus it was, and exactly how it originated- it was rumored that the virus was extracted from a patient with a mysteriously fatal illness. But it was known that researchers were analyzing and watching the virus as it grew, and were studying it as it mutated. It wasn't an uncommon thing to do. It may have been expected for things to go out of hand, and they did- always out of nowhere, the entire university was quarantined, all students, researchers, and professors locked on campus, under examination. Sturdy walls went up around the entire campus, including houses and apartments in between buildings, and neighboring cities reported military presence. After a week, smoke began to rise from the campus, and ash was falling around the quarantine. Emergency news revealed that a mystery virus had spread across the campus, infecting and killing hundreds at record speeds. Almost the entire campus and those related died- due to illness, or perhaps other causes- before the quarantine was released. Everybody leaving the scene was declared clean. There were no other incidents until the following winter of 2021. Thousands of people- across America, across Europe, even Asia- suddenly came down with a horrifying, unknown illness. It was identified as a virus, but as nothing more. Victims died rapidly, and even researchers and doctors were too harried and scared by the virus to attempt much in-depth research. Most research performed was quickly destroyed, research stations quarantined for outbreaks. Come spring, most cases of the virus stopped. All traces of the virus seemed gone by summer. People were wary. Some stockpiled food and resources in their homes, creating panic-rooms and basements for survival. Some planned to coop themselves up inside their homes all winter. Others thought they would be fine. The following winter was even worse. One in every six people fell ill. One in every five died. By this point, doctors had mostly given up treating patients. The young and old weren't being treated. Those of poor health were left to die. Economies were skyrocketing, with labor force starting to fall in short supply, and medicinal and cleaning supplies growing expensive. During the winter, public schools, offices, and stores were abandoned. Nearly every country had closed their doors to immigration. Physical contact was discouraged, if not entirely prohibited. At last, three years after the initial emergence of the virus, came answers. The virus, although it's predecessor unnamed, was discovered to be somewhat related to the flu. The virus was, supposedly, spread through coughing, sneezing, physical contact, and other bodily fluids, but also through DNA. Researchers stated that they found DNA abnormalities in both the deceased victims of the virus, but also of the children of men and women that had died from the virus, only infants at the time. The DNA tethered to the virus itself seemed inactive at the time of study, but during the winter months, grew active, multiplying rapidly and creating new strains of the virus that was so deadly. Each virus strain was unique to each person's DNA. No vaccine was found. The fourth winter was the worst. Most records of the fourth winter were lost. It is believed well over half the population of the United States was decimated. Other countries received heavy casualties themselves. Hospitals denied patients. People protested the lack of medical care, raided stores for supplies, stormed government buildings. The U.S was put under martial law, but even the military was being beaten down by illness and rioting. The country collapsed. Communications to the outside world fell. It is assumed other countries experienced the same disturbances. Those near the border of Canada often find smoke and debris. Some cities along the very border itself were destroyed by air strikes from an unknown source. Southern borders were littered with bodies. Sometimes, those near the coast find abandoned ships, and those in the mountains find downed planes. It has been another year since, and the world is approaching the fifth winter. That's my intro. It didn't take long to write and at the moment I don't have too much time to write a formal, pretty intro at the moment. Hopefully, it reeled someone in. This roleplay is quite blatantly post-apoc (of a sort). A virus has spread throughout the entire world, and has decimated the population. Most governments have collapsed due to various reasons (war, illness, rioting, economic collapse). Some countries are in war, others are in absolute silence. This roleplay takes place in the United States (subject to change), the home of the virus. The country exists under martial law, with a broken Congress, no judiciary branch, and a president that rules more as a dictator than a president. Surviving cities are quarantined and run with military force. The idea is that the main characters are surviving together outside of the quarantine zone- each character has been denied from the zone for various reasons (infected with the virus, had contact with somebody infected, left with a loved one, escaped because they wanted to, never were in a zone to begin with) and is now living with the group. There are probably other groups of survivors outside the quarantine zones to compete with, including looters and other violent groups. -- The virus acts similarly to other viruses, invading cells and reproducing to spread the illness. However, the virus has mutated to permanently alter genes inside of cells to a) produce viruses much quicker and b) to mutate as the viruses are produced. This means that each and every strain of the virus, in each human being, is unique and different, negating nearly all possibility of a vaccine being created. When the virus enters a human's cells, it randomly deletes a segment of DNA code and inserts its own, so that the very DNA that produces the virus is written into the cells chromosomes. The cells do not detect the anomaly in the DNA, and continue to reproduce and divide as normal. Eventually, every cell in the body will be infected with the virus, and nearly all the DNA will have been changed to the altered version. Cells that do not replace themselves over time (think nervous system and the brain) usually are unaffected. The virus is inactive in the body until late fall, when the genes become active and viruses start to be produced, causing the 'host' to become ill. Sometimes, the genes remain inactive all winter, and the 'host' does not become ill. This is relatively rare, however, occurring in one of every thousand people. That considered, most people living outside a quarantine zone are fortunate to have survived at least one winter while hosting the virus. The virus can be passed through one of three ways: 1. The virus is primarily airborne. Covering up your cough is probably the best way to keep your loved ones from instantly catching your fatal virus. 2. Physical contact. This only counts for a person in Phase II of the illness (see below). 3. Inheritance. The path of the virus has been broken down as follows: Phase I (3-5 days after contraction) Headache, fever, a subtle cough, sore throat, joint aches Phase II (6-9 days after contraction) Migraines, fever of over 102 Fahrenheit/39 Celsius, phlegmmy cough, weakness and exhaustion, lack of appetite, lightheaded, hot and cold flashes, trembling Phase III (8-11 days after contraction) Difficulty breathing/inability to breath, cannot walk, cannot eat or drink, vomiting, disorientation, shaking Phase IV (9-12 days after contraction) Intense pain, vomiting blood, loss of sight and hearing, intense fever, muscle degradation, shutdown of bodily functions Phase V (9-12 days after contraction) Loss of brain functions, total loss of bodily functions, death Typically, it has been found that after Phase III, the virus is fatal. There are known cases of prolonged illness- some people survive for months before death. The virus does not ensure death. If provided with intense medical care, a victim may survive. Or, if you are extremely lucky, you may only contract a sampling of the illness. Many of those that have survived to the fifth winter are such extremely lucky individuals. The virus is passed down to offspring. A sampling of tests were conducted on children born after the second winter. Of 100 children 'surveyed', forty-two died before their first birthday, eighteen died before their second, twenty-one have fallen ill and recovered, nineteen had never had sickness due to the virus and nine of those tested negative to having the virus. There is technology in place that can detect the existence of the virus in peoples DNA and body. The manual examination of DNA can find traces of the virus all year round- scanners only detect active traces from fall through early spring. The military uses these to determine who is allowed into quarantine zones and who isn't- those with any trace of the illness, or anybody who has come in contact with anybody with the illness, may not stay in the zones, and are thrown out into the abandoned world. -- This is more of a preferences section; a small group roleplay doesn't really constitute rules, so instead this is rather a list of what the roleplay will encompass and what I am expecting/hoping for: 1. Casual group of 3-7 people (10 max) that can closely work together to develop plot and internal conflict. 2. Posting size is intermediate-casual. This is my way of saying that I expect around two paragraphs for quick replies, bit longer for introduction posts and more montage-esque posts. The idea is to allow for quick and easy conversation and interaction between characters. 3. Casual posting speeds. People will be expected to post often, but daily/every-other-day isn't necessary. I prefer to have players that won't abandon the roleplay due to occasional slow spells. We all have things to do outside of Iwaku that must be attended to first and foremost. 4. This roleplay will most likely contain death. I'm not asking for people to thrust their characters into the guillotine, but please be reasonable: Nearly everyone not living in a quarantine zone is infected. It does not guarantee death and illness, but it doesn't guarantee life either. 5. This roleplay will also have survival/drama aspects. 6. This roleplay will be realistic. No, "She rummaged through the debris of the old store and found twelve cans of food, duct tape, and fresh bottled water to last a month!" In the apocalypse, things are largely looted and plundered to extinction. Not to say that we will not find supplies- we will, just not to an extreme extent. 7. Characters will be surviving together in a community of sorts. 8. Other opposing forces (other groups, looters, military & rebel groups) will be present. 9. A cure and vaccine may be searched for, but is is recommended that it is not the primary focus. 10. Please actively participate. Communicate with the group and share your ideas. We all want to hear them! -- Name: Age: (primary characters must be 9-50 years of age) Gender: Origins: (did they immigrate from another country? have they come from another state? State where your character is from- not why) Nationality: (optional) Appearance: (image. Optional) Appearance: (description. required) Personality: (list traits with small description, or write in paragraph form) Preferences: (if any.) Weapon of choice: Skills: (list anything relating to survival: archery, martial arts, a weird knowledge of edible plants) Brief history: (required) Family: (optional) Other: -- The roleplay doesn't have to just be about survival. This being a (hopefully) small group oriented roleplay, I'm hoping that once we get a few takers, we can discuss plot and plot candies together, to come up with a plot that everybody is happy and involved in. This can be anywhere from character to character conflict, to political and even environmental conflict. A few ideas to consider: - Competing survival groups (the players and NPCs are struggling to survive within the same small area) - Government/military attempting to wipe out 'infected' population - Characters come from different political viewpoints or from different factions - Factions in the un-quarantined zones cause trouble - Romance (people are going to die, probably, so this could add some added drama) - Blah.... Hopefully we can come up with better than my quick ideas. That's about it. If anybody's interested, leave a message! If i get two/three dedicated people we can set up finalized setting/whatever.