Reality - Back to Sourcelarp

Infection - What We Know

It's Not Like the Movies

It's transmitted like a disease - that much was clear from the progression before Collapse. The easiest way to get it is to come into contact with an Infected. Some caveats to that, however:

  • It's *not* strictly blood-based...people have caught it just from being grabbed, without even breaking the skin (theirs or the Infected's). That said, fluid transfer appears to be a much surer way of catching it.
  • A wound is *not* a death sentence: you don't *always* catch it from even violent contact, so don't go capping yourself or your buddy just because someone got tagged. See below re: Exposure.
  • It has other vectors: you can just get it "spontaneously" - though we have no good numbers on how likely that is, and it's hard to say for sure. No one *appears* to have ever been Infected from drinking boiled water, for instance.
  • It appears to be restricted to humans.


If you *do* catch it, you should be able to tell long before you go hunting for kidneys. There are obvious symptoms - your heart rate goes way up, to around 140, and stays there - this will shortly give you a 30's-wino-look, splotchy red nose and cheeks. You also start to feel pretty awesome...your pain sensitivity goes down, you're stronger and faster. These symptoms *never* take longer than 3 hours to show up after your initial if you got tagged 4 hours ago and aren't blooming, you can relax and change your pants now.

Somewhere between 24 and 28 hours after Exposure, things go completely south - you immediately lose most of your higher brain functions, and go bat-shit crazy in the Infected flavor (see below, re: Behavior). You are *not* infecti*ous* until this point - so even if you're Exposed, you're not going to pass it on until you actually flip the crazy switch (unless, I suppose, you gave someone an actual blood transfusion or something retarded like that).

To date, nothing anyone has tried has un-Exposed someone, and lots of things fail to "prevent" it. Here's a list of things which may or may not make you feel better, but are confirmed to not be helpful wrt. Exposure/Infection:

  • Cauterizing wounds
  • Treating wounds with CRF
  • Disinfectants
  • Bathing in Alcohol
  • Getting Shit-faced
  • Being Pregnant

These are other even-less-wise things which have been tried before or after confirmed Exposure, none of which "cured" them, or slowed the progression (unless they died from treatment):
  • Everything ending in -cillin
  • Ceftobiprole
  • Polymyxin B
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Tetracycline
  • Aztreonam
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cefepime
  • [Forsooth: extensive list of antibiotics, including many invented after 2010]
  • Complete blood change
  • Inducing a high fever
  • Cannabis
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy
  • Any amphetamine (this usually causes a heart attack)
  • Cocaine (heart attack)
  • Sedatives/Anesthesia (they're effective until the instant they flip, then not at all)
  • [Forsooth: list of other random drugs, recreational or otherwise]
  • Brain death and CRF revival
  • Prayer (there are of course anecdotal reports of this being successful, but they inevitably turn out to be bullshit, wrong, nth-hand reports, etc. Do it if it makes you feel better, but make the proper arrangements before your 24 are up.)
  • Burning at the stake (stay classy, Tennessee)


First and foremost - Infected are not actually zombies, ok? In practical terms, they're maybe about as intelligent as an ape or a chimp - they can use and understand simple tools, but most moving parts are beyond them - they may club you with a shotgun, but they'll never pull the trigger. Important exception to this: *They do get fasteners - door knobs and crash bars, and car door handles*.

I'm going to break the rest down into two different "modes", because they are quite different. "Wandering", which seems to be the default state, and "Rage".

Normally they just shamble around, essentially randomly unless something catches their attention. There's a list (see below) of what those things are, most of which trigger Rage (see below). The ones that don't are basically food - anything obviously edible that isn't alive, they'll purposefully go over and try to eat it, until they get full, then they just drop it and wander away. "Obviously edible" includes colorfully-packaged dry or wet goods - apparently consumer conditioning runs deep. They'll try to bash open cans or jars, but not with much skill. While wandering, an Infected will not vocalize at all - they don't grunt, they don't moan. Maybe they breathe hard if they're doing something, but that's about it. Eventually they appear to get sleepy, and just lie down wherever they happen to be for some Z's, but they never seem to sleep for more than an hour at a time. [anyone with reliable data on how long they can go without sleep, post it on the forums]

This is where they want to kill whatever triggered them. Note, I said *kill*, not eat. Sure, they'll eat you afterwards when they go back to're just meat then. But when they Rage they want to kill you as directly and efficiently as possible. So they usually don't bite, it's more punching/choking/clubbing/etc. You can tell an Infected is Raging because it will be vocalizing loudly (this varies, screeching is the most common), and running *very fast* towards whatever it wants to kill, or in the process of killing it. They'll keep on until they succeed - and they are not bears, they do not get bored...curling up in a ball will not save you. They *may* switch targets, however, if something else seems to be a better (i.e. more active?) one. Once everything's definitely dead, they go back to Wandering.

Rage Triggers:

  • Seeing living non-Infected animals larger than a rat (yes, this includes humans, even Exposed ones).
  • Speech - language doesn't appear to matter, nor or memorex, they want it to die. This actually includes non-verbal human vocalizations...ululating, laughing, crying.
  • Being touched. (R.I.P, Geoff - balls of steel, but sadly the rest was as squishy as everyone else)

Investigate Triggers (they'll go over and check it out, but not Rage):

  • Visible food (most organic matter, really, but they don't graze on random foliage or grass)
  • Commercially packaged food - cereal, pasta, rice, candy, etc.
  • A better weapon than they currently have. They appear to like heavy things they can swing - they don't appear to *prefer* bladed weapons, but when they use one, they do try to strike with the blade.
  • Large object movement (vehicles)
  • An Infected vocalizing

Notice Triggers (they might look around to try to visually identify these, but they don't specifically "investigate", nor immediately come for them with death in their eyes):

  • Flighted Birds (seeing or hearing them)
  • "natural" sounds or movement - wind, water, insects
  • "mechanical" sounds - vehicles, generators
  • Human-produced whistling (natural or artificial)
  • Other Infected


  • Notice: Only a few seconds, unless it hits a new trigger
  • Investigate: As long as it takes 'em to deal with it.
  • Rage: I don't have very many reports on this - the few I have say if you can avoid them seeing or hearing you for 5-10 minutes, they'll go back to wandering.