Sapriads, colloquially known as “Infested”, are formerly human individuals who have had their bodies ravaged and twisted by a strange bioorganic infection. They possess strange mutations, such as claws, additional or enlarged teeth, additional arms and legs, strange growths such as tumours, cysts or boils, and sometimes they lose body parts as well.
The virus was first noticed in the year 9000, at the beginning of the massive species interchange known as “The Great Discoveries ” when an expedition found a strange, decaying corpse in a tunnel deep below Jaidong . The body was inert, and it emitted strange spores that did nothing upon being inhaled. Every individual that came into contact with these spores reported slight breathing problems, but they spores simply sat inert in the throat, lungs and bloodstream, so they were left to be disposed of naturally. At a certain point, however, the spores exploded into life, causing hideous mutations to the infected in mere minutes. The Infested either ran from their comrades to escape, or went berserk and attacked them. An investigation was launched, and another team was sent to find the original corpse. However, the corpse had disappeared, leaving no trace of itself or the spores. The Infested who escaped with their lives attempted to reason with the Triad commanders, but they were rejected as outcasts and freaks. They fled deep underground, uncertain of what to do, but the initial “corpse” returned, revealing that it was an infested Draknan that had been placed there for the expedition to find. The Draknans did not create this virus, they had merely found it, and planned to use it as a weapon against the Triad . Bringing the Infested back to their base, they made them a promise that they would cure this infestation if they fought against the Triad . They agreed, but the infestation has only spread ever since, and the Draknans as of 39000 are beginning to fear that they won’t be able to contain it forever.
The Danger of Sapriads
Sapriads can wield conventional weapons and armours, but often use their own mutations to their advantage in battle. There are several side effects of the infestation: vital organs begin to shut down, and the body acts as one huge digestive tract, meaning that losing organs and limbs does not hinder the Sapriads, and their own psychologies begin to alter in time. They become aggressive, emotionless, and begin to develop a ‘hive-mind’ with the other Infested. They communicate with pheromones when this point is reached, and they operate as a more concise unit. Draknans use them en masse as a sort of meat shield, and their resilience makes them very effective at it. The Infestation does not spread as other viruses do, however. When the point of ‘hive-mind’ is reached by an individual, they develop the spore sacs needed to spread the Infestation, but possess full control of these sacs. Some Infested individuals that have been captured report a ‘strange presence’ in the back of their minds, like having another being in their heads. It has been hypothesized that there is some larger organism that produced the initial virus, and eventually it will seize control of the Infested when their numbers reach a critical mass. Many disregard this theory, but as the Infested grow in number this seems increasingly plausible.
Work Towards a Cure and Psychological effects
There is no known cure for the Infestation, a fact that the Draknans and the Infested themselves are perfectly aware of. The Infestation cannot be cured with conventional medicine as it quickly adapts and resists it, and it cannot be isolated and removed through surgery as the spores spread too quickly and embed themselves within the other cells. Sapriad are perfectly intelligent, fully capable of normal conversation, giving and interpreting orders, and formulating plans. When the point of ‘hive-mind’ is reached, their mental capacity increases significantly due to the shared memory of the ‘Hive-mind’. The infestation seems to increase their loyalty, however, as Sapriads are fiercely loyal to each other and their cause. Sapriads are a Class C threat.