Monday, May 14, 2007

A Biological Disaster--But What?

Are you writing a Science Fiction story that has an armagedon bought about by a Biological Disaster, but you have no idea what that disaster could have been? Maybe I can help. In "The Epidemic" (Part of the Twighlight Manor series, written 1993), I had such an event.

In "The Epidemic", I used a scientist (a minor character mentioned in passing) working on experaments with variouse diseases. No one knew for sure what his intentions were, some speculated that he was seeking a cure for these illnesses, while others said he was creating a "super virus" for an enemy nation to use as an act of war.

In any case, his true intentions played no role in the story, because the result was the same either way: one of his assistants, had a brain storm and set out to prove his theory, by taking samples home and running his own tests on rats, which in turn got lose and infected the local public. The disease started out with physical contact, but later gets into the lungs and becomes air born. No one knew this though, and the disease took 6 months to incubate inside it's host's body.

The end result was, that everyone who had come in contact with the rats, contaminated everyone that they came in contact with, who in turn contaminated everyone that they came in contact with... and so on. Six months after the rats had escaped, the contamination was spread nearly world wide, before any outward symtoms became known. Once people started getting physically sick the disease had too great a hold for anyone to stop in.

Once the incubation period ended, and the sickness started in a person's body, they died rather quickly... most in a matter of hours, while the more hardy lingered on for as long as 2 weeks.

In my book, in less than a year, more than 75% of the entire planet was wiped out. Only those living in the most romote regions remained unaffected.

Well, that's what I did in my book anyways; maybe it'll give you some ideas for yours.

~~EK

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