The year is 2026. Professor Ladislav Černý of the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Academy of Sciences has discovered a new experimental drug. This drug should finally give civilization what it has desired for so long. Eternal youth. The drug was made by the controlled evolution of a “good” virus. It consists of a single strand of nucleic acid which is able to use reverse transcriptase to insert its genetic information in the DNA and the genome of its host cell. This changes the gene sequence and slows ageing.
The results of tests on mice and monkeys were fantastic and scientists managed to double their average lifespan. Their success drew the attention of a pharmaceutical company that wanted to start mass-producing the drug as soon as possible, and also included in the process less qualified scientists who, lured by the vision of getting rich quick, were not thorough with their safety precautions.
to a new
Just before Professor Černý started adapting the virus to human DNA, there was a containment breach. Within weeks, the unmodified virus spread everywhere and caused a disaster that modern humanity had never encountered before. The virus attacks human DNA and triggers the destruction of the cells. Instead of eternal youth, life now ends after twenty. The chaos that followed was more dangerous than the disease itsef.
1 000 000
as we knew
it is gone
The epidemic is too fast for people to respond. A few surviving scientists tried to discover the cause and find an effective antibody, but die before their work is finished.
Soon afterwards, all the adults are gone. Civilization collapsed. Communication systems, security forces, services and infrastructure are all out of order. The only humans left are children, joining up in clans and fighting for survival until they develop the first sign of the disease: a black spot on the tongue which indicates they have only one month left to live.