Saturday, November 5, 2016

RAGE + ROT = ZOMBIE

So I don't like writing "because magic." I hate that. For me, there has to be some scientific reason for everything, VERY LOOSELY scientific, but I can't just write something like, she used her magic to make him this or that, or magic brought the zombie back to life, or vampire magic...there has to be a "reason" for everything. Biological, chemical, neurological, something tied into something real.

I made vampirism a virus that acts like a parasite, which changes the host's body to better suit it's continued existence. Everything about the vampire is tied to this; from it's super human talents, to it's aversion to the sun. 

Gods are aliens who have advanced to the point of sentient energy. They've learned to manipulate matter on a molecular level and Angels are their slave robots, also made of pure energy. Demons and Devils are simply put, Gods and Angels of a different view point not popular among the species. 

Witches are half-breed offspring of demons, thus gaining some talent in manipulating molecular structures. But lacking the foresight into the consequences of their actions, often what they do comes back to bite them, so they believe in some rubbish about magic having a price and create "familiars" animals and people who they feed their blood in order to place the burden of their magical deeds on them instead, when really it's all about luck and expectation. Blah, blah...seems legit, right?

So Zombies...The myth: these are undead folk brought back from death by magic and they are super hungry for brains or flesh, almost exclusively human bits. Yummy. But it makes no sense whatsoever. 

Dead people can't function because the very nature of our biological existence would never allow it. Also, dead bodies don't function, therefor they do no feel hunger pains. 

The best idea I can come up with to explain their murderous, rotting, contagious ways:

Murder: Must be some kind of brain damage that creates blind aggression. They rip, bite, destroy anything and everything; animals, humans, moving parts and each other. The parts of the brain that must be damaged is the part of the brain that controls serotonin (empathy). Also the logic center of the brain and the memories. Without logic, empathy and our memories we don't add up to much. Add in overproduction of certain flight or fight hormones and boom, murderous rage!

Rotting People:  People do rot while living. It's called Gangrene and it's caused by lack of blood circulation. When a part of the human body loses blood flow for a long period of time it starts to die off, first by the destruction of the nerves and then the ability feel goes. When you can't feel a part of yourself, you can't be as careful as you need to be, and a cut can become infected, which will progress unimpeded by the health benefits of white blood cells. That part of you becomes gangrenous and rots away. The rot can spread fast. So, if a disease of some kind takes away the blood flow to the majority of your body, especially around the surface areas, you can hurt yourself while attacking someone in a murderous rage and then gangrene sets in and rot spreads from there. 

Contagious: Believe it or not, but this was the hardest part for me to rationalize. Violence, easy...brain damage that's caused by some kind of drug or disease or parasite. Rotting flesh, easy....gangrene. How all of that can be transferred from person to person...harden than you think. Most movies and books have the disease spread through bites and claw marks. Basically it's blood to blood contact, assuming the zombie has oozing bloody stubs of fingers and shredded lips. Or it could be in the blood and saliva. But, in The Walking Dead the zombie virus is in everyone and no matter how you die, you will come back a zombie. I'm more interested in zombism as a contagion to be avoided. 

Introducing a manufactured disease created for biological warfare; Nezhit’ Kontsa.

Nez for short, it causes the brain to shut down higher functions, increases aggression and kills red blood cells in the skin and extremities. The person is actually still alive, but they are crazy murderous and rotting with gangrene. Nez has two stages of contagion. When first released into a populated area it's a gas, but once it infects a host it becomes blood born, only transferable by blood to blood contact.