Articles and stories on the history and people of The Demon Archives world.


Nov 2012

The Plague of Fire

Posted by / in Lore / 10 comments

What have we done?!  The purpose of Project Wormwood was to develop antidotes and treatments in case of advanced biological attack.  They told us that they would never use our research as a weapon.  If we had known what they were planning on doing, if we had had any idea… No, we should have known.  When faced with invasion and near-certain defeat, any nation would have done everything possible to defend itself.  But at such a cost.  Millions dead.  Millions more dying.  The survivors are the unlucky ones, cursed to be plague bearers forever.  God almighty, what have we done?!

– Excerpt from the personal records of early Glaucus scientist Hendrik Poinar, circa 2029.  Poinar and other scientists, members of the covert US research group known as the Biological Computing Laboratory, abandoned their posts once Wormwood was released and joined Minerva soon after.

A couple hundred more plague victims died today.  Our quarantines are proving practically ineffective against the agent.  We can’t even pin down what is causing it, be it virus, bacteria, or something else entirely.  We’ve had to begin burning the bodies of the deceased, because even after death they are contagious.  If we can’t isolate the agent and improve our quarantines, I don’t know what we’ll do with the survivors.  We can’t let them leave, or they’ll just spread the plague even more.  There are some who are saying we’ll have to euthanize the infected unless a cure is found soon.  It’s just too dangerous to let them be.

Some of the patients and even the other medical workers have begun referring to the illness as the “Holy Fire” sent to purge the Earth before the coming of Christ.  I can’t blame them.  With the way the world is going even I’m almost tempted to hope that this is more than just politics gone wrong.  I need to get more sleep, but it’s too hot…

– Last entry from emergency medical technician Nicole Ferringer of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.  Her coworkers’ logs report that she was diagnosed with the plague the next day and confined to quarantine.  I cannot find record of any entries for the response team the following week or beyond.

The Purgers, as they call themselves, are a pseudo-religious military group based in the southeast portion of the North American continent.  Convinced that the world ended during the War, and that we are currently in the ‘Millennial Reign of Christ,’ members of their group actively try to spread their ‘gospel.’  This mostly entails of sending out ‘Missionaries’ to infect communities with the Plague of Fire, or the “Holy Fire” plague, with the belief that the ‘chosen’ people will survive.  Purgers are difficult to identify by sight alone, but they will nearly always begin preaching about the Fiery Purge as soon as they see you, giving you the time necessary to shoot them and back away.

– From Aegis’ Operations Manual under the subheading “Enemy Militant Groups.”  Few realize the historic origin of the Purgers, but to me the connection between them and Project Wormwood is clear.

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  • Tamara Haitaka

    Quarantine was ineffective? So, what was the agent? If it’s that contagious… Probably air born? Anyway, it’s logical for survivors to feel special, either that or cursed…

    Wait, does that mean that all the people who are still alive are plague bearers? Although no one will ever get the disease again, because everyone who is alive is also immune. Except when they meet people on other continents, communities that have never been infected, then a lot of people will die from some illness the new comers are carrying without realising it… Hey, that sounds familiar…

    • Daniel Sharp

      Hehe, the plague was fairly geographically contained. Person to person contagion is very high, but it’s not gonna infect the whole world via air currents or anything.

      So basically just the SE United States is plague carrier central, trying to spread it as best they can. But even the “immune” are just resistant and succumb eventually, limiting their spread, especially since they don’t have much in the way of resources for intercontinental travel :)

      • Tamara Haitaka

        Oh I didn’t think the entire world would be infected, unless it’s a slow disease that leaves it’s hosts alive and well to carry it everywhere, like Herpes type virusses that are speculated to have co-evolved with humans and are even beneficial in some ways to their hosts. At a lecture about virusses I heard that nearly everyone carries with him or her around nine types of herpes virus that are latent. But if it ‘s a disease that kills everybody, even the ones that are immune… a virus like that can’t get very far and will eventually die out. Unless it’s got some kind of vector, for example a reservoir in other species than humans where it can go when the local population of humans has died out… Scary possibilities ^^

        • Daniel Sharp

          Those scary possibilities (that I’m planning on using the story or in the next future story) are why I had fun writing this lore piece :D

          • Tamara Haitaka

            Oh wow, 0_o
            You’re an evil man.

          • Adriano

            Just call him “Dan, the all-mighty”

    • Daniel Sharp

      Oh, also, look for the “Birkenhain Journal” in the lore/guest content section, it’s a short story written by a guest author at the start of this plague :)

  • RTM

    This reminds me of a thing called “Neococcus ecoclasticus” or “Little Boy” from a forum I frequent quite often, a bioengineered pathogen that’s maybe semi-possible with today’s or perhaps several decades in the future (and probably is more or less possible here) science. It is basically a highly resilient thing that can let me paraphrase something here… “turn puppies, and children and entire ecosystems into black toxic goo”.