|This article is about effects of the Corruption Virus. For more on the character, see Xenon Naginata.|
The Corruption is a microscopic, magical self-replicating parasite that wishes to bond with man, nature, and machine. The virus is the result of an infection brought on by a highly infectious and invasive genetic material that possesses supernatural/magical qualities. Anyone who becomes "Corrupted" is linked to the Corrupted Hive Mind. They're subject to grotesque transformations in which their bodies are elongated and their body ejects their organs in the form of a black, slimy substance.
“Corruption” is also the virus itself. It takes on a humanoid form (or blends in by other means), erupting into a more eldritch form during some occasions. Not only does it create Parasites, but it also produces Nests. It is the center of the Hive Mind and can grant others (Parasite Kings and Queens) the ability to create Parasites and Nests as well. It also has the tendency to possess another host, even though it already has a host. Its original identity is Xenon Naginata.
These are the transformations that occur:
- Tongue flushes black and becomes pointed + stretchable.
- Teeth become sharper, and canines are sharpened and slightly enlarged (which results in them being mistaken for vampires).
- Another row of teeth appears in the host's restructured upper and lower jaws. However, the second row of teeth remains retracted until the host transforms into their "Awakened" state.
- Their internal organic and skeletal structure are compromised and replaced, resulting in a being with long limbs, pointed spinal columns which becomes exposed when they're in their Awakened state, and black, retractable claws.
Venom is the essence of Corruption; the buildup is what creates Corrupted "Hunger", which motivates the creatures to spread the virus. Corrupted followers appear to be delusional, referring to it constantly as "Father's Love" and a "gift".
Methods of Infection
The Corruption virus is spread by a variety of means, some more intrusive than others. One can be infected by the following means:
- Ingestion of egg, parasite, or venom
- Absorption (via Guardian, Parasite King/Queen, Nest, etc.)
- Sexual Intercourse
- Birth; Anyone born in Oniyex or who was born following a corrupted having intercourse with an uninfected party is infected during conception and completely corrupted at birth.
Being infected with the virus can be signalized by a wide variety of symptoms. Some symptoms don’t present themselves until the later phases.
- Slowed pulse; resting bpm is far lower than normal.
- Coughing up/ vomiting black blood
- Low body temperature
- Rapidly healing wounds/ Regeneration
- Irregular breathing patterns
- Dilated pupils
- Uncontrollable trembling
- Unexplainable increase in strength, agility, and speed
- Sharpened teeth
- Protruding spinal column
- Dizziness/ Vertigo
- Unresponsiveness to external temperatures
There are six general phases of turning into a wholly Corrupted being. Some of the phases and the symptoms that accompany them are more apparent than others. The stronger Corruption itself is, the less apparent the phases are. At a certain point, the virus can shift into a “Stealth Strain,” meaning the first two to three phases don’t present until phase 4, where the body begins undergoing the actual mutation. Sometimes all phases can be skipped, but this is only if Black Venom is introduced.
Phase 1 (Mild Symptoms): The infected develops a slight cough, nothing out of the usual. As time progresses, however, the infected begins to feel dizzy and experience intermittent chills. The infected person’s resting bpm is lower than normal.
Phase 2 (Moderate Symptoms): The infected experiences a heavier cough and has trouble with their eyesight (double vision). Their heart rate is higher than normal due to their body switching to fight-or-flight mode, having detected that something is wrong.
Phase 3 (Attempted Rejection): The body of the infected is attempting to reject the virus. The infected begins coughing and/or vomiting a thick, black liquid that will try to infect the nearest living organism it can find. This usually lasts 10-15 minutes, though varied periods of this phase have been reported.
Phase 4 (Internal Metamorphosis): The inside of the infected person’s body undergoes metamorphosis. A lot of its organs aren’t needed, and so the venom present in the body uses these internal organs to multiply and grow until it replaces said organs. The brain and heart are preserved. The infected is unconscious during this process, often thought to be dead if not for the present albeit slow pulse.
Phase 5 (Hysteria): The infected enters a phase of hysteria as a result of unfathomable hallucinations. Some reports of this phase are more severe than others, the more extremes leading to either the infected harming themselves or others. If anyone is bitten or scratched by an infected, they’ll become infected themselves.
Phase 6 (Rite of Passage): The infected is abducted (willing or not) and taken to Oniyex or a nearby Nest. Here, they’re kept in an egg while their body finishes transforming. During this time, the person or creature’s mind begins merging with the Hive Mind, though the psychological effects vary. One thing is for certain, they desire to spread the virus as it has become a blessing, a gift, etc. in their eyes.
The Stealth Strain
When observing the transformation of specifically younger victims, Xenon Naginata devised a strain of his virus that would be “kinder” to the victim. While turning, the victim does not experience phases 1-3, which is the body attempting to reject the virus. This comes at the cost of the victim’s mobility, which Naginata directs the Hive Mind is an opportunity to console and protect the victim. This strain also allows for the user to resist phase 5, hysteria, due to the comfort received from any Corrupted.