To Death: Book 1

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Q&A Chapter

A/N: This chapter answers a few questions I couldn’t explicitly answer in this book! There may be some that some of you have. Because who is literally just going to stop in the middle of an encounter with the infected to explain why the military has failed? Or why don’t mosquitoes spread the virus and fungus-like wildfire? I can’t have these characters being hyper geniuses so I give more background here! They’d be perfectly boring if things were handed off too quickly.

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Q: What is the origin of the pathogen?

A: Well, something the characters will never learn is that fact that this is in fact an alien pathogen. A bio-engineered weapon crafted by foreign life forms that accidentally wound up here in an intergalactic scuffle. It was meant to bring about global extinction on whatever planet it winds up on, which is why it infects such a wide variety of beings. It is also an amalgamation of various pathogens found on Earth, as well as some unknown to human beings. And you’ll see just how much it can change the organic bodies it infects in later books! It is part organic and natural, and another part other-worldly given enough time.

Q: What if you’re bitten by a mosquito that has drank infected blood?

A: The answer to this is quite simple. It is a relative of both rabies and Ebola. Rabies spreads through saliva. And Ebola is a very fragile entity outside of bodies. Meaning someone being stabbed by a tainted weapon can infect. But also it can cause symptoms and be eased off safely if treated and handled quickly. The fungus relies on the virus succeeding. So if the virus fails; the fungus fails. Mosquitoes drinking the blood of infected won’t add to the spread as their bodies aren’t ideal environments to grow a source of the pathogen. This being a fictional virus means I also have some creative liberty when combining and picking traits. It’s lethal yet just as fragile and picky.

Q: The military? Why didn’t they just bomb cities to eradicate something so volatile?

A: I briefly discuss this I think? The virus incubates anywhere from mere minutes to at the longest eight hours. It's rare that things last past the ten-minute mark in case you all haven’t noticed! That means there is this hyper durable army attacking that is unlike anything we would have ever fought. It spreads rapidly and violently. Incubates quickly. Durability is increased. A shot to the heart which isn’t always easy or a shot to the head is what takes them down. Shots to the body can be ignored and they would just keep coming until they eventually win. Ranks were quickly invaded and torn to shreds by something that had quietly been building up over years and years. I would like to write an origin story as to how this all started but I’d have to think of how to write something like that. It landed on Earth on space debris, lying dormant for a few years until it mutated enough to do what it was created to do; reap life.

Q: Resistance and immunity? It's unrealistic.

A: The answer to this is simple and selfish. The viral immunity can be logically explained. It binds to healthy immune cells and forces itself into them and hides in plain sight while infecting more and more. Issac lucked up with immune cells with unusually shaped points of connection so the virus can’t latch on to his immune cells rendering them useless. That isn’t to say that eventually, his immunity will wear off as time draws on and the virus changes! But the amount of immune individuals the virus encounters is slim to none. So there is some time. His immunity to the fungus is creative liberty and also adding something unique to the main character. But I carefully balanced this. He could of course die from other means and I make that apparent.

Q: Why are such awful weapons used?

A: In a real-life scenario with the world I created you couldn’t pay me to use the weapons Issac does. They’re terribly ineffective versus the threats I’d be up against. I myself see this. Though the weapons used are more interesting than what would be most effective (guns, spears, and blunt objects). Seeing someone with some finesse take down an infected with nothing but a katana is more compelling than someone striking a tweaker down with a spear in some cases. It's mostly to add some variety as most weapons tie in with character personality and background.

Q: Just how dark will chapters get? This book ended off grim.

A: Chapters will contain darker subject matter. Though more so on the psychological side of things. Little details that you all will hopefully piece together and find haunting. I put a lot of work into this series. It's something I legitimately enjoy. I have my fair share of creative blocks but I love this series of mine so much. And I hope you all enjoy what I create as much as I do. Even if it's just a small number that feel as strongly about it as I do is a dream come true!

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A/N: I’m glad after years of silently working on this I got the chance to share it somewhere. It started as little notes in a notebook. Even crappy sketches. I pushed myself to write something I ordinarily wouldn’t have ever dreamed of. Something with a world deeper than anything I’d ever created before. So many new things. It helped me take my writing more seriously instead of something I just did on a whim (Which lead to books being incomplete). If you enjoyed this experience as well, thank you! I have a lot more content to come. Until next time!

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