Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
THE INSANIA VIRUS
The lucky ones die quickly.
The previously unknown pathogen that would be dubbed as the Insania Virus was discovered by a Saffron Corporation exploration team in the Himalayan Mountains. The subsequent incident was also the Corporation’s first encounter with Starspawn and samples retrieved from the beast and its minions unveiled the link between them and the virus. Like the Starspawn themselves, the extra-terrestrial virus has been on this planet for thousands of years. It is spread through any degree of contact with alien abominations or other sources such as the meteorite in the Tunguska Event of 1908, leaving any afflicted living entities physically and mentally transformed.
The Insania Virus itself earned its name since a majority of the afflicted that do not die slowly devolve into a permanent state of primitive cannibalistic and murderous rage. Other strains of the virus are capable of permanently altering the physiological make-up of living species, transforming them into completely new creatures, granting them superhuman abilities and, in extremely rare cases, biological immortality.
Zombiefication. One of the most common effects of the Insania Virus.
Although relatively unknown to the world in general, the Insania Virus has impacted humanity throughout its written history. The numerous pandemics such as the Black Death of medieval times that killed over 75 million people and the Spanish Flu of 1918 that caused nearly 20 million fatalities were just two of the more devastatingly lethal strains of the original Insania.
A slow and lingering painful demise is not the worst thing that may befall the hapless victims however. Aside from spreading Death and desolation in its wake, situations are further worsened by the genetic metamorphoses the virus has on living survivors. The countless legends of the creation of supposed supernatural beings were other effects of the viral mutations.
The most common mode of transmission of the Insania Virus is through the pocket dimensions generated by Starspawn called Miasmas, making it not unlike the many existing airborne diseases. Other methods of transmission include contact with Starspawn (including parasites), and in the case of SHADOW Company experimentations, via injections and blood transfusions.
For still undetermined reasons, certain strains of the Insania Virus do not immediately affect females, leading to the theory that the genetic make-up of women grants them a degree of resistance to the virus while most males easily succumb to the infection particularly strains like the Rage Virus.
So far, the only known vaccine that can suppress, if not completely halt, the Insania virus’ takeover of a living being is the Amaranthus Serum created by the alien hunter Shroud. However, the serum only works if the victim has not been completely consumed by the effects of Insania, and for unexplained reasons, the administration of the Amaranthus has only been successful on female subjects. Such “fortunates” maintain the toughness and preternatural strength of zombies and yet maintain their intelligence and emotions, labeling them as Revenants who linger between the veil of the life and the curse of undeath.