Everyone has a general idea on how the human body is supposed to work. Your brain sends and receives signals across the entire body. Your bones and muscles work in tandem to hold you up and move you. Your ears, eyes and nose alert you to possible dangers, as your stomach and intestines process nutrients, your liver weeding out the toxins. Every grade school child is taught this, and doctors tell you the basics.
Only, it's not that simple. The human body is held in balance by a complex system of chemicals and reactions, and even the slightest variation can lead to a domino effect of disorder that no one can rectify. Your cells mutate and become malignant tumors, eating your body from the inside. Your brain chemistry goes into flux, and what once were clear neural pathways become twisting neurons of madness. And that's just on your own. Foreign bodies assault the body every day, playing hell with the human immune system. For the most part, mankind has evolved to survive these diseases, and what we haven't evolved out of, we fight with medicine, science, and determination.
If you know what the disease is.
As much as Western science likes to think it's found everything sometimes, it hasn't. Diseases mutate every day and evolve into new strains. Ancient viruses somehow find new life after centuries of dormancy, as bacteria gain more and more strength from medicines made to combat them. Parasites carry with them microbes into the body, managing to remove the immune system from the equation. Disease pass from the very air, and no one can do a thing. If you're lucky, it's just a cold or fever and you can move on with life. But…what if it's not?
You wake up one morning and see a rash literally moving along your arm. Are you hallucinating? What about that fever that refuses to go below 102 degrees? That night of sleep you can't just get? Are you sick? Or are you just going crazy?
Pathogen: The Infected looks not at the monsters out there, but the creatures inside you. What is the disease ravaging your life? Is it even real at all? And what are the things shadowing your every move, the misshaped freaks hiding outside the corner of your eye?
Theme: Body Horror
You think your body works for you, but it doesn't need you to keep working. And when your body decides to change in a new way you don't know about, that makes it all the more frightening. Body horror is a type of fiction where the human body simply rebels against it's normal state, becoming something else. It's disgusting, it's terrifying, and it's what can happen if your disease takes a strong hold.
You don't have the comfort of a sire or pack able to explain it all, you just have to find a way to live with yourself. Can you overcome the disease that controls you, becoming well again? Or will you revel in the sickness, becoming something more than just a person. The anxiety is what you don't know, and how much concern you have over not knowing at all. Then there's the fear of revelation, that others will find you for what you are, forcing you away into seclusion, only making a person more anxious of being found. Unless a stable mental state can be found, this constant anxiety can break a mind in half.
Chapter 1: Outbreak details the origins of the Infected, as best can be pieced together. Who are they? What causes them? And what could it be leading towards?
Chapter 2: Infection handles character creation and abilities. What your character is infected with, what they can do, and possibly what the Infection is driving them to do.
Chapter 3: Mutation are the many new abilities gained. From mutations in the skeletal structure to the ability to electrify with a touch, there is barely a limit to what a character could do.
Chapter 4: Evolution is the finer points of running a possible Infected game, from antagonists to settings to characters useable for chronicles.
Appendix Two: Atlanta acts as the "city of adventure" for the Infected, as New Orleans is for vampires and Philadelphia is for Hunters. Why are the Infected so drawn to the city? Is it because of the massive amounts of diseases held in the vaults of the CDC building? Or is there a darker reason, hiding just below the surface of the Southern metropolis?