Wednesday, July 22, 2015

203. Virtue Plague

The virtue plague is an exsurgent strain that supercharges the brain's mirror neurons as well as greatly increasing human-to-human empathy. The infected are highly empathetic and strict pacifists, for which reason they are called the virtuous.

Among themselves the virtuous are extremely tightly bound, with their overactive empathy giving them a sharing of emotions that can resemble a group-mind. They maintain constant eye-contact with each other whenever practical, and typically share a mood when together. A constant deluge of stream-of-consciousness conversation is occasionally broken by periods of silence, when words are not needed.

To all others they are seldom seen, isolated, clannish, and paranoid pacifists. The bands of virtuous that form will seek isolated, unclaimed areas to live in, and do not threaten or interact with outside society at all. They will avoid contact with non-infected through any means up to (but not including) violence. If forced to interact with non-infected, they will attempt to due so via text, avoiding voices and face-to-face contact.

The virtuous often also exhibit echopraxia, and will also compulsively mouth words spoken near them.

Mechanics

The virtue plague is a biological strain, infecting biomorphs.

Stage 1: (Initial infection to one week) During the early stages of infection the virtuous become more friendlier, more empathetic, and more social in general.

Stage 2: (One week to two weeks) During this stage the virtuous' mood will begin to become unpredictable while in the company of others, their moods easily influenced. They will begin to seek the company of other virtuous.

Stage 3: (Two weeks+) At this stage the mental transformation is complete. The virtuous will form into tightly-knit communities of several dozen, seeking isolated places where they can live among themselves.

Plot Hook: A recently recovered datastore has information suggesting that this strain is the result of promethean experimentation with the exsurgent virus. It is hypothesized that the prometheans attempted to render the strain benign, but only partially succeeded, The players are tasked with investigating this possibility, with the understanding that the utmost discretion is required, so as not to endanger Firewall's relationship with the prometheans.

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