Description of the Ferals. Refer to origins in pandemic/scenario. Conctrate on their psysiology, physical description, evolution, abilities, etc. Possibly consider theories about the origin. How they are killed? How they work in groups (or not)? How they kill? And so on. Mursal's drawing?
It will be noted that while half the human population turned Feral, within the first three months their population had already fallen to 500 million. By the end of the first year it was down to 100 million. Five years in the wild Feral population stabilized around 10 million worldwide and remained that way.
The inital infected monsters were nothing like they are today. They were ravenous and insane humans, sick from the Lycophagic Fever (named much later on by scientific archaeologists why this name, though?) and violently reacting to everyone around them. The infection was fast, but quickly died out after the initial pendemic. The damage had been done however, and for those infected higher brain functions were gone. Sapient thought had been taken from half of humanity and a sentient predator was left instead. When the population levels stabilized, the Ferals fit perfectly into the natural order. This has led many to speculate on the reasons to both the cause of the virus, and the potential meaning behind it.
Origins and Stages of InfectionEdit
The first case of Lycophagic Fever was recorded on May 12th, 2015 in a hospital in southern New Mexico. However, in the days immediately before May 12th there had been multiple unconfirmed reports of sick individuals acting unusually aggressively. It is believed that the disease originated in Mexico, but nothing definitive has been discovered to fully support this claim. As such, the official place of origin remains listed as “unknown”.
Lycophagic Fever is a viral bloodborne pathogen transmitted through the direct transfer of bodily fluids, similar to HIV/AIDS. The virus attaches itself to blood cells and travels to the brain. Upon reaching the brain the virus attacks brain cells and invades the Medula Oblongata, or “reptile brain”, causing it to swell dramatically.
Stages of infectionEdit
- Within several hours of infection victims would begin to develop a fever and a sense of disorientation.
- Within 12 hours the infected would develop increased adrenaline levels and cognitive functions would decrease dramatically.
- Within 24 hours the infected would start hemorrhaging, causing deaths in about 10% of all cases.
- Within 48 hours of initial infection, victims would develop extreme appetites, triple the average adrenaline levels and all but basic cognitive function would be nonexistent.
- Within 72 hours the infected would lose all self-recognition and become extremely violent. All but essential brain activity has ceased at this point and the Medula Oblongata has swollen to four times it’s original size. Basic human needs remain, but other than that the infected became feral, being seemingly devoid of all empathy.
It should be noted that strains of Lycophagic Fever were unknown to scientists prior to the outbreak, so the immediate response that would have been required to prevent the pandemic was unavailable. There were no cures, no treatments and no vaccinations, and infection was widespread throughout the global population as a result.
Remember that these were the reported symptoms of the Lycophagic Fever, and since the Pandemic have not been seen since. Those infected with the virus were showing any or all of these symptoms prior to the complete degradation of advanced mental faculties. Scientists now believe that this virus ultimately attack the person's ability to perform higher levels of thought, due to the destruction of brain cells by the virus. The weaker stages of the fever were always followed by heightened levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body, by those that survived the first stage anyhow, which lead to violent episodes and increased hunger. The infected transformed into Ferals at this point and began to feed off of everything alive around them.
- Adrenaline and cortisol levels
- possible foaming of the mouth
- excessive bleeding (diarrhetic)
- fever / high temperatures / high pulse
- neurological dysfunction
- violent episodes
- increased hunger / iron/protein deficiency
Aggressive and carnivorous. Instinctually form packs of ten to twenty strong, composing mainly women. Like a pride of lions, usually a male leads the pack as alpha while the females focus on hunting and child-rearing. Semi bi-pedal in movement, strong climbers, and adept ambushers. They use group tactics to hunt their prey. They can swim! Boaters beware. As they are no longer sapient, they have no access to technology and therefore became another link in the natural food chain. No longer on top, they had competition to survive in the wild, and they evolved into physically hardier animals.
As natural predators, they also had to contend with humankind and its technological prowess. Some populations of Ferals quickly learned to fear mankind equipped with firearms and fire itself. Later on, Ferals learned to become reclusive around human presence.
Lifespans shortened considerably, and most born Ferals did not live past twenty. Feral offspring have a shorter gestation period as higher brain functions were no longer being developed. Physical changes occured rapidly as Ferals began to procreate. With fetal nutritional energy no longer being used for brain development, it instead was channeled into the physical properties. Hands and feet became tougher, hair grew in thicker, and muscle strength increased. As humans already possessed the most endurance of the mammal world, the Ferals developed upon this basis and would spend hours chasing down their prey if necessary.