Shortly after the nuclear barrages later coined The Flash, the surviving populace faced a new, rising, and potentially cataclysmic threat: a strange new illness with no known cure or origin; the Radiation Accelerated Disease. Taking entire towns within days, survivors of the Flash lived in fear of an outbreak.
No country was safe from the disease, but areas with more severe levels of radiation suffered far worse. The confusion of the Flash left many nuclear missiles off course, detonating early through miscalculation or defenses, or outright failing to detonate, leaving radioactive waste scattered throughout the wastelands of former countries.
Those infected by the disease gradually lose control of themselves, with the disease taking total control eventually. Mutants work together with a singular end goal; The infection of all healthy humans to take over the post apocalyptic world.
Airborne spores from Biomass growths or extended decomposition of a RAD-5+ mutant corpse are a potential hazard for uninfected. Infection can be as quick as seconds to minutes depending on exposure levels. The spores released by decaying mass or the biomass can even clog up gas mask filters.
Example: The spores from the biomass inside Lake Mead Nuclear could infect in seconds if inhaled and can clog filters within five minutes.
Food & Water:
Capable of staying a source of infection for months, Water and Food can be contaminated by Spores, or the blood of mutants.
Individuals can be infected through physical attacks by RAD-4 and above. Deep wounds, such as significant stabbings, injections from Leachers' barbed cells into open skin, or excessive contact with infected blood and flesh may also spread the disease.
Clearly shown in the name, radiation accelerates the disease’s progression. The higher the intensity of radiation, the quicker the speed of change. Radiation also allows for the growth and sustainment of Biomass.
Example: The radiation inside of Lake Mead Nuclear allows a mutant to change from a RAD-4 to a RAD-6 in days, whereas a mutant roaming the wasteland could take years to do so. However, the radiation in that area is strong enough to kill a normal human within minutes of exposure.
Created shortly after the Korean Crisis in 2031, Deradiators were initially used to treat the soldiers sent that survived the single nuclear strike that ended the Crisis. Large scale manufacturing was done by the US and its allies as an insurance, and was distributed to government bunkers, ultimately finding its way into the hands of survivors after the Flash.
Deradiators consist of a fluid compound, injected primarily through a syringe into a vein or artery. The solution inside flushes the body of radioactive compounds, but is painful to those infected with RAD-X as it kills off the disease. While Scrap Towns would have rarely have supplies of Deradiators, the resources of larger, wealthier factions like the USCPF and SLF would be capable of manufacturing some for sale, while the CDF would willingly distribute them as needed.
When used against the later stages of RAD-X (5+), Deradiators act similiar to tranquilizers, starving the disease of the radiation it requires, allowing for capture of a mutant albeit incredibly risky.
A USCPF designation chart for the Stages.
In the post-apocalyptic wasteland, news and information came almost solely from other survivors. For many years, long range communication such as radios were nonfunctional or only usable by militaristic post-Flash organizations such as the USCPF and SLF. These groups classified each stage according to a numerical value, i.e. RAD-7b or RAD-6a.
This lack of communication and verifiable info is the origin of the nicknames, such as Marauder or Leacher. Because survivors accounts are so scarce, most wastelanders know only the bare minimum of each mutant, such as their basic appearance and abilities. The gruesome visage of the mutants combined with the rumors causes many to be irrationally fearful of mutants.
== Stages ==
A period of time between the infection and initial symptoms of the disease showing up. Varies from less than a week up to several months, depending on the amount of radiation afflicting the host's body. Can be detected through blood pricking and is not infectious. If the infected person is discovered and treated with Deradiators, this stage can be cured within a day.
RAD-2 (Green/Yellow Sickness):
Flu-like symptoms post the virus' incubation period. The disease at this point weakens the immune system, making it much easier for radiation to pierce the body. Subjects may be exposed to vomiting, headaches, nausea, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, hallucinations and fever. Their skin pigmentation begins to change, coloring a pale yellow or green. If the infected person is discovered and treated with multiple Deradiators, this stage can be cured within a week. Stage 2 is the beginning of actual risk to others, as those infected who have reached this stage may unknowingly infect others through bodily fluids.
RAD-3 Variant 1 (Refugee):
More serious conditions start to occur. Hair loss, skin pigmentation change to pale yellow or green. Infected become deeply paranoid and suffer schizophrenia-like symptoms. The symptoms of the previous stage continue.
RAD-3 Variant 2 (Outcast):
If the infected person is treated with multiple Deradiators at this stage over the course of a month, the infection is halted and the disease dies off. This process is extremely painful and not a guarantee, with a noticeable side effect that the skin pigmentation turns to a deep red color. This pseudo cure is a mixed blessing, as while they’re no longer capable of being infected and won’t mutate further, the fear of mutation
by most survivors drives these “Outcasts” out. Likewise, health problems plague them for the rest of their lives. Their skin is incredibly prone to burning from sunlight, and their immune system is degraded, resulting in many dying from disease.
In some cases where the Deradiator treatment fails, the infected will continue to advance along the stages, but their skin will maintain the red pigmentation. It gradually fades over time, but is nonetheless noticeable. However, the years of isolation means many suffer from emotional and mental trauma or illness.
Skin fully changes to a deeper shade of yellow or green. At this stage, RAD-X begins influencing the infected’s mind. Away from higher stage mutants, Marauders become reclusive, continuing the symptoms of the previous stage. However, when in groups or when higher stage mutants are present, Marauders seemingly shift to the single minded purpose of infecting others. Retaining human intelligence and strength, they plan and coordinate with other mutants to spread the disease.
Marauders act as frontline commanders for the disease, whether to kidnap uninfected or to raid towns to further spread the virus. Fully capable of using firearms, their numbers and capabilities mean they offer a significant challenge against opponents.
Once an infected human has reached this stage, the disease takes full control. Infected will attempt to find a source of radiation, and then will stay close to it. At this point, intensive physical altering of the human body begins at this stage. Limbs may detach, bones snap, and muscles contort, giving a horrific visage that sometimes has them referred to as
the Undead. Victims of this stage seem to be locked inside of their own bodies, with reports that Sapiens have been seen talking and moaning to themselves. However, when sighting uninfected, they go eerily silent while attempting to kill or maim those who entered their vicinity.
Sapiens act as guards for mutant dens, spreading spores to create biomass from their exposed wounds. Lacking any feeling of pain, Sapiens are capable of wielding their exposed bones as makeshift blades, spreading the disease to those unfortunate enough to be hit. If a Marauder is present, they can be given orders, but lack the intelligence to do anything other than blindly attack if not.
A possible transformation from Sapiens, Creepers' bodies undergo further mutation. Their skin tightens around their bones and muscle structure, going so far as to prominently show off their ribs as the skin tightens around them. Their joints change to allow inverted movement, and combined with their streamlined body grants them the ability to climb surfaces at high speeds. A lumpy growth appears on their upper back, a precursor of their next stage, forcing the Creeper into a quadrupedal hunchbacked form.
While all mutants save for the Sapiens are capable of communication through speech, the A strain is unique as both Creepers and Leachers are able to mimic the voices of survivors. They usually fake a cry for help in order to lure unsuspecting prey into their ambushes. Additionally, they gain their characteristic Cat-Eye look, as their eyes are altered to give near perfect low light vision.
Creepers act similar to scouts for the mutants, using their skills to lure away patrols. Creepers rely heavily on other mutants for frontal combat as their weakened bodies means they are unable to use weapons more powerful than a basic knife, or wear any meaningful armor for protection. When a Marauder is present, they can further coordinate their traps with fellow mutants.
The following stage after the Creeper, Leachers are even more physically altered. From the lumpy growth on the back of the Creeper, Leachers grow an additional limb. They also gain a second head, with the purpose of spitting barbed biomatter filled with disease and acidic fluids. Additionally at the knuckles, the skin peels back to reveal bones sharpened into a claw like form, while overall their form grows taller and thinner.
Leachers new transformations allow it to combat uninfected toe to toe. Their extra limb allows them to climb walls and suspend themselves from ceilings to ambush unsuspecting people, while the exposed bones are sharp enough to stab through clothing and skin, infecting those they injure. Their slim stature, longer limbs, and internal mutations allow for bursts of speed seemingly unnatural, making them fearsome in close quarters. The barbed biomatter their second head spits can fly up to 15 feet, piercing exposed flesh and burning skin, infecting those it injures. Much like their predecessor, Leachers are not built for frontal combat, but are more than capable of dragging away a victim.
*Leacher barbed cells can be blocked by thick clothing as simple as a leather or heavy jacket
The alternate transformation after Sapiens, the Hitman’s mutations are muscular focused. Bones strengthened and muscular growth are accelerated disproportionately, with one arm staying relatively human and the other growing to massive proportions. All over the arm, portions of skin harden and grow in patchwork fashion. Hitmen possess superhuman strength in this arm, capable of shattering bone and throwing full grown men. This disproportionate weight means the Hitman moves at a slow gait, incapable of matching the speeds of an average person’s full sprint.
Hitmen act as frontline troops for mutation, breaking down defenses and attacking defenders. Their mind is weakened after their transformation, meaning Hitmen’s only tactic when a Marauder is not present is to simply rush the opponent and pound them into submission. However, this does not mean they’re incapable of communication or in any means stupid, merely that they prefer aggressive tactics.
The following stage of the Hitman, Crushers' other arm grows to equal size as the enlarged one, bones become denser, and their skin thickens all over the torso and arms. The patches originally on the arm now spread to the torso and arms, becoming thick and hard enough to fully block blade slashes and blunt trauma, while also absorbing the impacts of small bullet calibers. With the redistribution of weight, Crushers are able to move at higher speeds, capable of matching a human in sprint but the altered center of mass means their control at speeds is diminished, causing many Crushers to simply charge in a straight line until they stop, forcibly or gradually.
Crushers are significantly better in combat than their previous stage. With their thickened skin and weight, their invulnerability to the common pistol calibers and wastelander weapons, Crushers can easily attack multiple uninfected. However without the presence of a Marauder, their tactics are the same as their smaller brethren; blindly attack until incapable or successful.
*Pistol calibers consist of all calibers small and including .45 ACP. Higher calibers, such as rifles, will penetrate their skin.
RAD-8A (Malicious Ones):*
The final form of the the Type-A variation, Malicious Ones seem more like RAD-X personified than as a human being transformed. Growing a third head capable of spewing corrosive acid capable of melting metal, Malicious Ones’ limbs also grow longer, and a second hooked limb grows alongside the other. This allows them total control for climbing and hanging, and also increases their overall speed and agility to superhuman levels. Some instances have hair-like follicles
Their overall intelligence is also regained along their transition into the final stage of RAD-X, allowing them to be able to create complex traps and manufacture items for other mutants. Like Malevolent Ones, they seemingly lack emotions, with the purpose of spreading the disease as efficiently as possible.
As a result of their increased intelligence, Malicious Ones are the de facto leaders of the mutants, capable of issuing orders to Marauders and organizing all other mutants. When in the presence of a RAD-8, lower stages of mutants seem to gain intelligence due to proximity.
*Due to the "OP" nature of RAD-8A, should be restricted to LPMs+ **Survivors of RAD-8s are few and far between, making most wastelanders believe they are myths used to scare others.
RAD-8B (Malevolent Ones):*
The final form of the type-B variation, Malevolent Ones grow even more physically adept. Larger than an average human, all of their bone and muscular structure is enlarged to allow incredible strength. Their skin also hardens into a chitinous-like substance, capable of deflecting or halting most small arms fire, but does nothing to stop explosives or fire.
Unlike the Hitman or Crusher, their intelligence can be compared to humans, though they seemingly lack emotions, with their only goal being infecting more and more people. Like the Malicious Ones, they too can command other mutants and seemingly increase lower stages intelligence within proximity.
*Due to the "OP" nature of RAD-8B, should be restricted to LPMs+ **Small Arms consist of calibers smaller than and up to .50 caliber. ***Survivors of RAD-8s are few and far between, making most wastelanders believe they are myths used to scare others.
RAD-9 (The Beast):*
Not much is known about this mutant. The only references to it come from USCPF documents, but whether its
existence is real or not is speculation even within the USCPF’s ranks. *This is a Story tool, similiar to the Super SEAL Suits, and is restricted to LPM+ if ever used.
While not part of the RAD-X Stages, Biomass is a byproduct of Sapiens, and an alternate form of the disease. When in proximity to an adequate source of radiation and a sufficient supply of water, Biomass can quickly grow in the span of hours to cover entire rooms and buildings, expelling spores in ever increasing quantity.
Biomass consists of organic material similar to the patches of skin grown over the bodies of Crushers, along with the bodies of deceased infected and any other organic matter such as animals or food. Given sufficient time, it can cover entire rooms, and will spread outward, even forcing open access through barricades to allow for continuous growth. When mutants are around, they will tend to its growth through expansion or increasing organic material the Biomass has access to.
Biomass is immune to bullets and incredibly sturdy against physical trauma, with the only known method of removing it is continued exposure to flame. Attempts to cut pieces away are incredibly risky, as direct skin contact is guaranteed infection, and worthless as the Biomass will eventually regrow what was removed.
Biomass offers beneficial traits to mutants. Wounds sustained in combat will be healed overtime, replaced by growths of biomass over the body. Biomass seems to be able to communicate with later stages of RAD-X infected, with disturbances being investigated by Sapiens or higher stages. Attempts to destroy it will also draw mutants in the area to its defense. Biomass growing out of Lake Mead Nuclear, breaching the old Silo’s surface and spreading to the surface.
Other forms: ==
As RAD-X spread across the continental United States, the USCPF began experimentation and investigation into the disease. One byproduct of these tests was the creation of Descendants. Hybrids of normal humans and the later stages of RAD-X, they lived lives of constant inhumane testing. This treatment eventually lead to revolts as Descendants and Outcasts overtook facilities, breaking out and escaping.
Much like Outcasts, Descendants were forced to live in seclusion. Whether through fear of USCPF retribution or the acts of terrified normal wastelanders, Descendants would disguise themselves if forced to interact with others. Many continue to wear clothing taken from their former prisons, the last reminder of their experience.
Some factions willingly acknowledge and accept the Descendants, as they are both incapable of being infected and unable to spread RAD-X to others, while others regard them warily, or in the USCPF’s case, willingly attack the Descendants to remove any trace of their former experiments.
Descending from the Hitman stage, Sluggers have the characteristic overgrown arm. However, instead of a protective and strengthened limb, their arm is entirely nerve dead and lies limply along their side.. Most suffer from severe
balance problems as a result, and are forced to use their opposite hand for any tasks. A common practice is to cut the dead limb off or cover it up in an effort to disguise their origin, but like all Descendants the Sluggers suffer from a compromised immune system and a target on their backs courtesy of the USCPF.
Considered an even worse fate than Sluggers, Deadweights rarely survive without assistance from their brethren.
Both arms are completely useless, the nerves entirely dead, and the chest mutations means Deadweights have difficulty breathing, and the center of balance shift means they have problems walking upright.
Permanently hunched over, Hunchback are near permanently malnourished. Their muscles are atrophied, forcing them to rely on others for even the most
basic of physical tasks. Incredibly sensitive to light, many of them are forced to wear sunglasses to even being to bear the sunlight.
Sharing the same problems as the Hunchback, Leachers also suffer from brittle bones. The second head, meant to spit acid barbs, instead lies limply next to their real head. The sharpened bones in their knuckles painfully tear their skin from the slightest of movement, and their double jointed limbs instead make simple movement painful. Their shrunken in skin and skeletal like appearance combined with their tall stature gives them the nickname Stick Man.
*Descendants are incapable of using prosthetics as their mutated internal structures and physical problems render them incapable of any wasteland prosthetics.
Story information: == "Plague Towns":
Scrap Towns unfortunate enough to be fully infected by RAD-X are known as Plague Towns. Across the wastes, tales of these towns spread, driving the fear of the disease to higher levels. Those that have been discovered are usually destroyed by the factions in the region, for fear of the mutants spreading further.
The Osaka Medical Bunker “Cure”:
Just as the Osaka Medical Bunker was overrun with mutants, its scientists managed to develop a Serum capable of reversing and nullifying the RAD-X disease for any infected before Stage 5. Unfortunately, the doors to the Bunker were closed until 2054. It is possible the scientists inside sent out the Schematics to other medical bunkers worldwide.
Created in the early 2070s, the RAD-X Vaccine renders RAD-X a non threat. Outright stopping infection, combined with lower radiation levels in the later part of the 21st Century, the Vaccine soon led to the end of most mutants, though it is not yet universal.* *ATF 1, 2, 3, Deep Winter, and Mirage do NOT have this vaccine. In ATF 5 and Deep Six, only Outcasts and Descendants would exist, not the normal stages.
In Character Knowledge:
- Survivors with no first hand knowledge of mutants would, for the most part, know only stories and their “nicknames”;
- Official documentation for the USCPF refers to Mutants as labeled Stages, but most troops in the field would refer to infected by their colloquially known names;
- Plague Towns would be a constant worry, and sick people would likely be seen as potential threats due to the nature of RAD-X;
- Due to the grotesque nature of their appearances, survivors are generally disgusted by mutants, and terrified of meeting the same fate by being dragged off.
- RAD-1: No symptoms, can be treated with Deradiators with no negative effect.
- RAD-2: Common sickness, can accidentally spread infection, can be treated like above.
- RAD-3: Hair loss, skin color shifts to pale green/yellow, mental breakdown.
- RAD-3 “Outcasts”: Deradiator usage at RAD-3 results in permanently red skin, weak immune system, sensitivity to sunlight.
- RAD-4 “Marauder”: Crazed mutant capable of leading other mutants, no phyiscal problems.
- RAD-5 “Sapien”: Zombie-esq appearance, guards and spreads Biomass. Capable of detecting biomass being disturbed, uses broken bones as makeshift clubs and shanks.
- RAD-6A “Creeper”: Hunch backed ambusher capable of mimicking voices and seeing in the dark. Physically weak, relies on stealth to scout out enemies and lure in prey.
- RAD-7A “Leacher”: Taller than average human, Skeletal appearance. Uses bone claws, sets up traps to isolate and carry off uninfected.
- RAD-6B “Hitman”: Enlarged single arm capable of crushing bone and lifting people. Prefers aggression if not being lead by a Marauder.
- RAD-7B “Crusher”: Torso and arms covered in hardened skin and enlarged muscle, able to pick people up and crush through most materials. Hardened skin can block pistol calibers.
This is hear to debunk some common myths about mutants:
Myth: Crushers are brain dead, crushers are not brain dead or incapable of speech, they only prefer aggressive tactics like a angry dog.
Myth: Crushers can't climb, Crushers are able to climb however due to the growths on there hands they have a hard time.
Myth: Biomass can't be taken away from the biomass and put onto weapons, it is possible to take biomass off of the biomass however without proper care of the biomass it will dry up and die. To keep it alive you'd need to water it and give it a good source of radiation.