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     Uuuuurgh... Brains!
 

Zombiefication Process by Plantaeform Viral Symbiosis

Two forms of life, one completely carbon based, the bacterium, from which we eventually evolved and the other, an almost unliving entity known as a virus were the origin of all "life" on earth. Standard viruses, like the bacteriophage, could not survive out of living cells any longer than necessary to transfer to another. Due to the near ease by which early bacterium could secrete antigens, bacteria won the evolutionary battle for primary life form. Bacteria, as we know, split into plantae and animalia, while viruses stayed virtually dormant by comparison. Viruses, however, managed to split themselves as well. But beyond the common viruses we know little. According to all definitions of life, viruses are not alive. Like computers, synthetic in nature, we refused, merely because they did not win, to believe that they are in fact a unique form of life that, if dice rolled differently, could easily be as prevalent as prokaryotes. In fact, many worlds may exist where viral based life-forms with 500 year life-spans consider bacterium to be a non-life.
Deep in the heart of the Earth and in swamps and seas lays another form of virus. That virus decided to trade in its lipid shell for one not so easily damaged by the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Its structure slowly changed until it functioned nearly as the plant cells it could often resemble. Instead of acting as a bacteriophage, it found through many failures, that control of the cell is most important. Production of other virus by cell replication techniques was becoming useless. From the super species that broke into virus and bacterium, was passed down the genetic knowledge that each would soon develop. Within every plant cell flows the code of a human being. Through each virus, the same. The virus adapted. Certain viruses could hold at bay the cells within a system and plants under water grew madly, controlled by the virus. The virus multiplied itself using a modified form of mitosis, made possible by the now softer structure of the earlier capsid. Each time the virus replicated itself, it took on more and more of the characteristics of its original plant hosts. Soon, it managed to take hold of any life-form and slowly, chemically, convert in into plantae.
One problem arose in the consumption and symbiotic control of the animalia, the pain suppressant Dopamine. With its open ended NH2, the virus would instinctually attempt to digest the chemical. Nitrogen, being its new primary consumer after the plantae shift, was not the only element present in the compound. The OH bonds were broken down and the plant-like virus was bathed in oxygen. This did not kill it, rather it slowed the spread greatly. The process was akin to the over hydration of early seedlings. In order for the virus to take hold, the creature would have to be dead and thusly no longer producing dopamine. Other defenses would end at that point as well. The virus, strong enough to exist by itself, though non-complex and shapeless, was able to resurrect the recently disengaged cells and simulate the original brain signals that kept them at their tasks. Meanwhile, further copies of the virus would seek out the optimum place to begin colonizing. The nitrogen and salt rich, recently deoxygenated brain proved to be the most efficient place. Interwoven through the brain, the virus would activate portions to which it had evolved and slowly after thousands of simple subjects, learned to walk, navigate, and feed as a colony of individuals.
The cells in an animal, if the animal had no brain to control them, would continue in what task they had been originally programmed for, a community of individual programs. The virus was a large system of individuals, each with a complete knowledge of the entire system. In order to fuel the needed nitrogen supply to all extremities, that vascular system in the genetic profile was found and used as a map to begin the cellular construction of xylem and phloum. The greening of skin and loss of hair served both as a means of absorption of light for photosynthesis and the digestion of outer lying skin cells that would prevent the virus from breathing in CO2. Any injury suffered by this primitive life form would cause little trouble, given that the xylem and phloum are one way nutrient systems, unlike the complex vascular system on which it was built. The only truly deadly injury would be one that damaged what resembled a root system born out of the pitted and spongy, oxygen deprived brain tissue. Insufficient nutrients would exist for long life if the root systems were possibly severed, though separate parts could in some cases re-root and begin to form again. The virus itself, individually intelligent, flowed through each and every fluid remaining in the system. And ingestion of blood, nutrient solutions, urine, saliva, fecal matter, or flesh would result in transmission. In viral generations that did manage to take hold for periods of time during the past, a bite, both simple and instinctually programmed into all life forms, became the standard method of recurrent transmission. Often times, animalia controlled by this virus would be seen eating all non-viral-required body parts of the target in order to speed the process of awakening in the subject. Strong subjects would often consume nearly all brain matter in order to make room for the viral rooting and remove traces of dopamine. The ingestion would often weaken the predatory virus, and it had identical effects as in first transmission. The dopamine in the brains of other animalia later became craved and primarily sought after due to its pleasing, yet deceiving, chemical structure.
Forms of the virus in history that have taken hold include a prehistoric plague that swept through a great deal of what is modern day Europe (Triassic period). Resurfacing in the same area, millions of years later, another unsuccessful strain resulted in the mutation of Yersinia pestis and caused the most virulent plague to sweep the planet. During the same time period, the Nile-born "Ebola" virus proved unable to purge the human system of blood and dopamine while still controlling the cells. Cells spontaneously burst apart and the virus strain fell. Perhaps certain natural defenses in the regions attempted to protect bacterium evolved animal cells after the only recorded successful symbiotic viral takeover, nearly 3000 years before this date in Egypt. The term Vampire was coined from the Egyptian term "evampyrist", or man who consumes man. The infection spread to Europe and there are strong possibilities that not only do residual hosts exist, but also that they have evolved as a separate strain to become independent of the human race and independent of the instinctual bounds of viral genetic code. They, in some cases, seemed to have life as we would define it. The reproduction is still impossible without another host. The related theories then go on to tell that certain life in the region of the evampyrist viral outbreak managed to develop a self sacrificial ecosystem defense, witnessed in the bleed-out of Ebola infected hosts.

Effective methods for defense against the new unconscious/instinctual strain:

Dopamine is produced only in base amounts until pain is detected. Dopamine production is increased in the seconds following a bite. Supplementary chemicals can help slow, if not in certain quantities, reverse, the spread of the viral agent. The chemicals include heroine, mescaline, caffeine, nicotine, and complex carbohydrates. Most effective are mescaline and caffeine, as their chemical structure is almost identical to dopamine.

Methods for destroying viral infection or consumed host include oxygen bathing, high dosage of dopamine or supplement, separation of 90% of host from host's root system, 60% damage or greater to the root system, or consumption by fire.

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