In a secret government run laboratory (under military supervision), underneath Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, scientists were tasked with finding new ways to weaponise biological agents such as viruses, bacteria and parasites.
During these experiments one scientist stumbled upon a parasite known to attack rats called; Toxoplasmosa Gondii. This particular parasite attacks the brains of rats, and forces them to find another host through suicide. An example of which could be a rat willingly putting itself in the way of a hungry cat and being eaten for the sole purpose for the parasite to change host to reproduce.
As experiments on this parasite grew and developed, human DNA and genomes were added to the genetic make-up of these parasites to try to create a new parasite that could affect all living creatures, specifically humans.
But like many untested experiments, this came with disastrous consequences. The leading senior scientist working on the experiments with this newly mutated specimen, Michelle Choo-Kheng, sadly became patient zero and effectively the reason why this new parasite changed the world. Whilst doing routine tests on animal subjects, she was violently bitten with a newly injected rat carrying the new parasite, Toxoplasmosa Corpus.
Through her panic she caused an accident that released the test subjects. Rats being rats, found their way out of the research facility and into the populated outside world. From there it was no time at all before the parasite had been spread to all walks of life. Cats, dogs, birds and even humans. By the time anyone realised what was going on, it was way too late.
With Toxoplasmosa Corpus, infection can occur through the exchangement of bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood and mucus. The incubation period for this new form of parasite is between 3-8 hours. The parasite burrows its way into the brain of the host, there it reproduces itself into the bloodstream and the nervous system. Due to the early symptoms mimicking common illnesses such as the flu, many don’t realise they are infected until they pass the 8 hour mark. At which point, death is certain.
First symptoms to be shown are respiratory issues such as sneezing and coughing, fever, confusion, rapid mood swings, sudden confidence or willingness to put themselves in harms way (schizophrenia and suicidal tendencies), and lack of logic or reason. As the parasite takes hold (usually the 8 hour mark), chemical changes in the brain begin to cause seizures, slowed heart rate and breathing which commonly results in a coma-like state developing, with eventual cardiac arrest. But due to the human genome now being part of the parasite’s genetic make-up, instead of the parasite dying due to host death, the parasite effectively reanimates the body to suit its own survival needs, thus creating a new species altogether.
This new breed of parasite has a constant need to infect other hosts bodies, causing the host they are currently inhabiting to exhibit extremely violent tendencies, towards other non infected creatures, and in some record instances, each other. One thing was certain, once the host died, all trace of who they once were are lost. Nothing but a soulless gaze stagnates in their eyes. The person they were is gone and is replaced by a blood thirsty killing machine with only one agenda, spread.
In extremely rare cases, the Toxoplasmosa Corpus parasite doesn’t always take complete control of the host body. No one knows for sure how or why this happens, as human testing never began but instead of the parasite taking full control, the host retains some resemblance of free will. These individuals still have full cognitive control, however, due to the parasite, certain, life altering effects take place. The parasite still replicates itself inside the host but for some reason, Toxoplasmosa and the host merge their consciousness and combine rather than assimilation.
As with the fully infected host, most of these rare cases still have the hunger for raw flesh, mostly of the humanoid variety. However, they will also consume raw animal meat. Although these individuals still have most of their own free will and control, they can still fly into fits of murderous rage, like their fully infected kin, attacking any non infected in their range.
Another interesting trait that developed was personality changes. Again, because no testing was ever conducted on human beings, no one knows for sure why these individuals have this drastic personality and behavioural change. Many but not most develop strange, almost schizophrenic tendencies, almost like they are talking to a being that the non infected cannot see.
As with most cases that have never been studied, side effects vary greatly to the individual and their previous constitution. Sadly, all the information conducted on the virus is still in the underground facility in China. A place hardly anyone knew about. No one we know to still be among the living.
The dawn of 2020 saw a new threat for the battle drained population of Chernarus. After years of what seemed like constant fighting, they were met with a deadly new terror. No one knew where they had come from, but mutated, monstrous abominations came down from the north and decimated everything in their path.
These abominations possess heightened senses and increased strength and speed. They are the perfect killing machines and they portrayed that in their wake. These new creatures arrived without warning from the North, coming down from Tisy and flooded Novaya. The people there launched a counterattack to try and keep them at bay but they were overrun with great ease. As was anyone else who were brave enough to try.
In a matter of days most of the country was lost. The last remnant of human survivors gathered in the ruins of Cherno, at the last bastion of life, the town of Albion, the home of the SRD. It was there the survivors devised an escape plan through salvaging a couple cargo freighters and a host of smaller vessels. With only limited fuel for their escape and the ever-growing horde closing in on the city, they were left with only one option. Run.
While civilians and anyone able to use a welding torch worked on the two battered freighters in docks of Chernogorsk, the remnants of the South Zagorian Alliance built up defences and awaited the terrifying horde that had wiped out everything else they knew. For whatever problems the people have between them, to meet an end such as this is no way for the human race to cease.
As work on the freighters neared completion, the hordes of the undead reached the city limits. The SZA manned the walls along with anyone who was brave enough to pick up a gun and fight these monsters back. It was their duty to give the civilians time to board the boats. Just before the horde entered the city, the night set in on the last day these people would see in Chernarus.
The evacuations had begun. The people had done some effective work, very quickly. These old, rusty freighters were once again sea-worthy. With limited resources loaded on board and whatever food and fuel they could find, they would at least survive a few more days at sea than on land. While survivors scrambled onto the freighters, the city erupted in gunfire and explosions. The fighters rapidly throwing absolutely everything they could at the amassing horror but they were advancing too quickly. Within minutes the outer walls were down. What was left of the front line fell back to the inner defences.
The time had come for the last line in their defence. The entire outer perimeter was rigged to explode. The fighters drew in the horde and just as the defending forces fell back to the ships, they detonated. The blast lit up the night sky as the people already on the ships gazed in horror. A symphony of explosions echoed through the air as a blanket of fire swept over their once thriving settlement. In the midst of witnessing this utter chaos, there was a breath of hope in the air. They had bought themselves several precious minutes in which to load up the last ship with the remaining SZA forces.
The host of smaller vessels set off first and just like that, the first ship was away. They used spotlights to try and distract the undead to buy time for the second ship, but to no avail. Most of the fighters made it onto the ship as the horde reached them. They managed to set off from port but they had sustained some losses. As the ships drifted out of the harbour, the amassing hordes threw themselves into the ocean. Disappearing into the darkness, the survivors had escaped just in time.
They sailed into the night but what was at first calm waters, soon turned into the wrath of the depths. A huge storm set in out of nowhere. The sea turned deadly. The smaller vessels attempted to abandon ship and board the two larger freighters, but not all made it in time. Amidst the roaring thunder masking the hiss of the waves crashing over the sides of the freighters, lightning lit up the sky for moments at a time. The storm was so bad radio communication between the ships was impossible. The host of smaller vessels already lost to the deviant waves crashing against the steel. The storm was merciless and raged on for days.
After three long dark days, the storm had passed and the oceans were calm once again but all was not well. Both ships had run dry of fuel and were now just drifting miles apart but, through a miraculous stroke of luck, still in view of one another. The smaller vessels nowhere to be seen and as they drifted in the ocean for the next few hours, they caught sight of land.
An island located somewhere in the Black Sea had several shipwrecks just off shore. Wrecked on the sharp, dangerous rocks that surrounded it. There was no way those freighters were going to make it to shore so the survivors loaded into the lifeboats on board and in smaller groups, made their way to shore. The tides were unforgiving and some boats never made it past the rocks, but one by one the lucky survivors made it to shore wherever the tide took them.
Making it to shore, this first wave of survivors were the first people on this island in a long time. Everywhere they searched, all they found was unlife. Unmarked towns and cities all laid uninhabited by anything living. The survivors now struggle to survive this mysterious new island and find some way of escaping. The ever growing number of shipwrecks continue to bring new waves of friend and foe.
And, to their utter dismay, those monstrous creatures they fled Chernarus to escape from, were already there.