Mutant Year Zero: Stable Mutations. (F/Any. Seeking GM. System or freeform)

Started by Lustful Bride, April 06, 2021, 11:31:13 PM

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Lustful Bride

'I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones'-Albert Einstein.

“The world will not be inherited by the strongest, it will be inherited by those most able to change.”-Charles Darwin

The world as we know it, has ended. But life still thrives, though mutated, and the world is reborn anew. The world has ended, and it has been reborn.

How did we come to this?  It all began with a virus, and all the rest toppled over like a house of cards.

The Red Plague spread across the world at an alarming pace. People died faster than they could be buried. No one was immune, no vaccine could treat it, and no place on earth was safe. Entire communities, generations, nations, were wiped out, leaving only pools of their own blood and bile to mark their passing. Perhaps if it had happened in a better time mankind might have been able to rally together and beat back the disease. But it was not to be so. Fate had decided to turn the chapter on the world. The Red Plague hits a world already on the brink of collapse. Extreme climate change, global economic crisis, increasing conflict between old and new superpowers. When the pandemic comes, the last thin veneer of stability crumbles. One billion people die in the first year. Utter panic reigns supreme, solidarity between nations is non-existent. Wars break out over the last, dwindling resources of the world. For the first time since 1945 nuclear weapons are used in armed conflict. Mushroom clouds rise from east to west.

At this point, the top 1% of humanity had seen the writing on the wall, and cared only to save themselves. While governments busied themselves with trying to control the disease, fight old foes, or engaging continuity of Government plans, the elites were planning to save themselves and just enough servants and workers to make sure they could ride out the apocalypse in style and comfort: going deep underground, to the bottom of the oceans, into the cold darkness of space. The seats in these final lifeboats for mankind are desperately few. For most of these final escape measures, they ended in failure. No matter how much money the suits had, they could not bribe the apocalypse, and in most cases survival was down to luck as much as it was to skill and preparation.

Such was the case for an old military base that was used by the government for a biogenetic program. Chasing the eternal holy grail of any military, a super soldier program. The ability to either create a superior soldier, or turn any average grunt into one would be the kind of force multiplier that could ensure the survival of any nation, even in an apocalypse.

As the rest of the world burned and collapsed, a hidden facility built in and around an old missile silo continued its work. The Red Plague was still out there. Causing hemorrhaging and internal bleeding in survivors across the world. It wouldn't be just enough to survive the disease or the collapse of society. The survivors that came next had to do both. Some of the scientists present had previously worked on other projects for the elite of society, such as Elysium, Gen-Lab Alpha, or whatever other secret projects the ultra rich megacorp owning families of Warburg, Zhukov, Krueger, and Killgore had been working on. That is until the researchers realized that despite their loyal service they weren't being given space on the lifeboats.

All it took was a promise of safety for them or their families in a government bunker and the researchers were willing to do anything and everything that the feds asked for. Morals and ethics went out the window when you're options were to suffer the nuclear winter, die of starvation, or vomit all your organs out from the Red Plague. They would do everything to ensure the survival of mankind in the coming new age....even if it might not be recognizable to those that came before. As far as many of them knew, this was their final chance to save the species.

So it was that as the final lights were going out, and the bombs were falling, soldiers, engineers, specialists and researchers all fell back into the safety of the bunker. They brought with them all the supplies they could carry. All the knowledge that could be stored on discs or in hard copy archives, and all the members of their families and loved ones that they could make it before the last call came.

Because once it did, no one would be allowed to enter, and no one would ever leave, until the final lethal doses of radiation were gone.

The doors were sealed shut and welded closed. They turned off every radio, cut every connection to the outside, and soon they were just a nameless bunker of concrete, durasteel, and sentry turrets. When the end came, they weren't even that. They were just another ancient relic of the world that was, acting as a time capsule, with huddling survivors praying to make it through the last gasps and death rattles of their civilization.

The outside old world ended, and a new world began. It moved on without the Trillions of human beings that once called the Earth home, cities crumbled, and nations were left as forgotten as the many nameless innocents who fell in the past. But the bunker remained. Sealed, alone, and always working on its little project, of making a better humanity to inherit the Earth. One strong enough to retake and re-tame the world. One that would never have to fear the ravages of time, of a broken and polluted earth, and especially not the Red Plague.

Many attempts were made, many initial creatures, and all were found lacking. Resources were getting scarce, and the soldiers at the base (as old as some of them were) had to venture out to defend the bunker and its surrounding area, or even sometimes to raid for supplies or things that the researchers needed, among them being specimens of the creatures and...mutants...that had come to inherit the earth. It became clear that Man was not the dominant species anymore, but a part of man could find a place in this world. And so the researchers began a new project, perfecting some of the mutations that they found, making them stable and something to be passed on and controlled, instead of a random roll of the dice. Man was not subject to the whims of nature, man tamed nature, such was his way, and mutation was just another beast that mankind would put a yoke upon.

It was hard going in the beginning, many of the creations they had were infertile, insane, or violent, and many things would have to be labeled as 'Need To Know' information for only the upper echelon of the bunker, lest the more innocent or naïve members of the bunker have objections to the more immoral methods of experimentation that occurred. It was all for the greater good though and the ends would justify everything they did.

For many years the project seemed little more useful than creating more muscle and soldiers for the bunker, until some of the tests finally began to come out positive, for both immunity to the Red Plague, and successful fertility. Success leads to further successes as the stable mutations are better able to be used, standardized, studied, and improved upon with each subsequent generation. Some of the old, infertile, guard are still around, some in command, others disgruntled at their lot in life, and some happy to be of service however they can. It has been so long that to many the bunker and its rules are just a way of life now...a code for them to live by.

1) The bunker and its people come before all other things. 2) Secure Grub, Water, Bullets, and Spare Parts. 3) Trust your CO and NCOs, they know better than you. 4) Secure materials for the Researchers to work on their Projects. 5) Strive for more stable evolutions. 6) Tame the Zones.

As time has gone on, other researchers have been brought up to fill the gaps left by death and old age, until other mutants are creating newer, viable, stable mutants. All working towards the goal of improving the base human genome, as some even forget that they were meant to be expandable soldiers or were monsters, and inter marry and interbreed with the pure strain humans, helping to pass on their genes and unintentionally aiding the program by further stabilizing their mutations.

Some have even gone out in search of specific mutants in the Zone, or pure strain humans to better help stabilize their changes through the generations. To some within the area around the Bunker, being chosen can be seen as a blessing, or a terrible curse. But the work must be done. As expansions and searches have come, the Bunker has needed to add more modules and accommodate the increasing population, as well as the challenges that come with a populace that is increasingly hybridized and changing.

It isn't always pretty when the mutations come. There are times when it is downright painful as teeth are replaced with fangs, or skin is shed like that of a snake, and the immune system overcharges itself to be able to fight off diseases like the Red Plague, or the Rot.

The great change can be sudden or gradual, but for some they are Haphazard and awkward, making it clear they are a mutant. While some are changes brought on by different stages of life, leading to an entirely new being. But what has been noticed by the researchers and people of the bunker is that the primarily stable mutations tend to have a set of traits that always occur again and again, traits that tend to leave the person looking downright reptilian , or leaving them a mish mash or an even balance of the two if one is lucky.

The current theory is that the old Super Soldier project was rolled into the project to create a cure o the Red Plague, and then also rolled into the mutation project. The end result was some leftover genes being given to people now. Genes that some suspect were from various species of lizards and reptiles designed to improve a soldier's regenerative capabilities. But this is good, it gives the bunker a way to track the successful mutations and breedings. It is just what they need, and soon the entire bunker will be better off for it as they continue to perfect their method and refine it with each generation.

In time it will no longer be just mutations, uncontrolled, without direction, without order.  No, it will become evolution. With each improved version of its new soldiers, the Bunker feels just a little bit more confident in sending its scouts farther away from home, and making additions to it the outside portion of the bunker, risking drawing attention. But the time for fear and hesitation is over. No more hiding, fortune favors the bold, and it is time to be bold indeed.

It is time, for Homo Sapiens-Sapiens and Homo Sapiens-Mutantis, to make way for the next step in evolution. It is time for Homo Novus Serpentes to take over.

Among these new members of Homo Novus Serpentes is a woman from the Bunker named Julie McGrath. Her original work within the Bunker was essentially shuffling paperwork and acting as a scribe to help keep track of resources, information, and sometimes acting to write down what the superiors said when they had public debates and plans. But she felt that she could do more to help the Bunker and even the peoples that lived in the surrounding environs.

So she put up requests and asked to volunteer her time outside of the bunker, until someone finally relented and decided to humor her. She was one of the few allowed to go out of the Bunker regularly and to nearby settlements where it was thought she could do some good to foster better relations with them. They were nothing more than small farming hamlets really, living off of scraps left by the Ancients and farming mutated crops or abominable animals. It wasn't much but it as a living. The Bunker gave ammunition, protection, and repairs from its crews to the hamlets in exchange for a share of their food crops and occasionally one of the women or men to come with them to live in the bunker. As of late though some of the hamlets have been rejecting these offers, and hostility has threatened the previously stable trade deal.

Julie was there to teach their children to read and write in the language of the ancients, as well as some simple things to help out with their day to day lives, such as First Aid, spotting signs of the Red Plague, The Rot, Radiation sickness. But she never got more than a few students, every time she showed up. The locals didn't believe in her work, and saw the value of their young more on helping farm than on learning fancy squiggles that never helped the ancients stopped the end of the world. When she did have students it was mostly so they would stay out of the way of their parents, treating her more like a glorified babysitter. Not even her superiors thought this was worth the time she could have spent helping out back at the bunker, but it was important to try and keep relations good between the bunker, especially now.

Too bad that didn't seem to matter to a few of the more extreme members of the hamlet she was staying at. They didn't think they could take her personal guard (just one armed reptilian mutant), but they were sure she was easy pickings, and attempted to take her hostage. It didn't go as they planned, as an accidental discharge caused a bullet to ricochet around the trailer she used as a schoolhouse, and the bullet struck her in the shoulder, alerting her guard. As he came racing back to her aid, the bullet dug deep into her, sending Julie tumbling back, but also putting her body under a great deal of stress, that seemed to cause some mutated genes in her body to activate, making fangs sprout in her mouth, and her nails to fall out, replaced by claws.

Needless to say, that after she was done eviscerating the surprised kidnappers, her superiors felt she was wasted playing teacher, when she could be better used going out with the scout teams and helping them search ancient wrecks and buildings for vital supplies that the Bunker needs.

Of Wolves and Men.

(Note: The entire section set within Elysium could be skipped in order to have the tale set up on the surface with the wolves if that interest you.)

The Elysiums were meant to be the salvation of mankind. A chance at a new beginning in the world to come. They failed.

Despite the best preparations of the richest and most intelligent people on the planet, the underground sanctuaries began to fail one by one, until only a single one remains active. The people inside fell into a new caste system, one which they now chafe under, and the shortage of resources, of freedoms, of space, is slowly driving everyone mad and looking for an outlet to their frustrations.

A rebellion is brewing within the city. Not just of the lower classes but of two of the major families. The Military and Engineering/Biotech families are sick and tired of the media/mining moguls. They don't do nearly as much work as the other two families, yet take the most resources for themselves.

So, the Military and intelligentsia of the Elysium are now looking to make a play and reaching out to the disaffected populations of Elysium to help sell it as an uprising of the people.

Part of why they are rebelling is because the Military is tired of fighting insurgents for scraps of resources and disrespect by the common folk. Coupled with the last few decades having had the military fighting against rogue robots and horribly mutated insects (and worse) trying to break into the Elysium. They have seen that would turn even the sanest man into a gibbering mess.

Resources that could be used for defense or expansion have instead been wasted by the Oligarchs in extravagant parties and useless infighting.

The scientists are rebelling because their research is constantly being cut or underfunded for the sake of what the Oligarchs want. Why focus on curing cancers when we could invent ever stronger narcotics for the sex parties, right? Why build better organs when cold metal prosthetics are cheaper and keep the workers subservient if they want their parts to keep functioning? So many grand discoveries and inventions were tossed away because it didn't entertain or get the Oligarchs to orgasm harder (Or they just didn't like it because it used too many big words). After a while it really leaves a chip on your shoulder.

All of this is a waste, it cannot be allowed. The Oligarchs live in their own fantasy world, writing checks that the rest of humanity cannot pay.

It also helps that the two houses aren't so different. A military is more than just people who swing clubs and chest thump. The Oligarchs have made the same mistakes as many other failed leaders, in understanding a military is a culture of its own within a larger culture. They feed themselves, have their own rituals, build and maintain their own tools, which is how they were able to come to an understanding with the engineers/biotechnicians.

"With our brains and your brawn, we will be unstoppable."

At this point I'm picturing the Oligarchs going full on Mask of the Red Death/old French Monarchy. They are partying it up to an obscene degree while everyone else is struggling to stay alive and not eating their own fingers.

The main leaders of the rebel families are:

-For the Military it's a General who has fought mutants since he was still just a cadet. He has seen the abominations that have been trying to break in, seen men devoured by creatures with a thousand lidless eyes, seen invading machines from (god only knows where) crush a man's skill with a single hand. He knows that Elysium is no longer a paradise, but a prison. Humanity is trapped, dying, being chocked from within. He has long sworn a duty to his people, and he will not allow anyone, especially not the Oligarchs, to prevent him from carrying it out.

-An academic who cares only for discovery for the pure sake of discovery. Mankind has been trapped in its guilded cage for so long that it has stagnated. So much has been lost, never to be learned again. Mankind cannot return to being cave men, they must leave their prison, retake the Earth and begin a brand-new age of discovery. But they cannot do so with the Oligarchs stamping out any dissent, even if it is something minor, or for the betterment of mankind. It's a new world out there, one ripe for the taking, one ripe for all new kinds of research never before thought possible.

This brings me to my character thoughts.

MC: She is either military or engineering (Maybe a rare example of both as she's really from the Corps of Engineers, specifically made of those born from authorized marriages between both those houses?), and had to go deep cover. Taking action against her home house to the benefit of the enemy houses, and even faced a public lashing (ten lashes in public square) for "unrelated crimes against her house".

All to help sell the idea of her being an impartial judge who puts duty and humanity above loyalty to her house.

It's partly true, because she is an idealist who really does want those things. But she knows it can only be achieved once the Oligarchs are removed from power. So she must make a terrible sacrifice in order to secure her position and get in close with the Mining and Media houses.

She carries her scars on her back as proof of loyalty to those in-the-know, as well as to those who think they know her.

The revolution is soon to arrive. She will know the time has come when the General has his smoking pipe delivered to her. She will then use some evidence planted in it to call for a meeting of the House leaders, to discuss a major uprising by the houseless factions in the slums, who may have built a dirty bomb.

Once the leaders are there, the coup will strike, and she will have to try and kill as many of the enemy house leaders as she can with a hidden weapon passed on to her by the leader of the science house. A special weapon designed to be used by her, and hidden from every last scanner that the Oligarchs might have.

But until that happens, she is to maintain her cover and continue playing the role of lawbringer to the ever-destabilizing Elysium. There can be no doubt to her loyalty when the time comes.

When it is over, all shall be forgiven. She will have a new role in the world to come. Helping to lead humanity out into the void, into the cold darkness outside of their sanctuary, to begin retaking the world and facing whatever is out there.

Both because she's proven her capability, and because a heroine is better when she's not hanging around the capital questioning everything. People need heroes and legends to give them hope, but leaders do not.

She's too useful to kill, especially if she does make peace with the wolf people, but too...idealistic to really have a place in Elysium.

So, she is instead sent up to the surface, to secure the resources that Elysium needs in order to survive, and make it safe for future habitation by the under dwellers.

Yet, what they will discover on the surface is that it is a cold and snow covered tundra. Populated by old warbots, and a wide variety of mutants. The closest of which are actually a population of wolf-people. Mutants who adapted wolf DNA into their mutations to better hunt and survive in the cold. They do what they must in order to survive, be it hunting, farming, or raiding. The winter this season is going to be a long one, so the wolves see the newly arrived humans as prey that they can take resources from.

They have done it many times before there is nothing malicious about it. To them this is the way of things, predator and prey. The wolf must hunt, and prey must be consumed. It is nature.

At first the wolves think the same of these squishy under-dwelling humans, just weak prey to robbed, until they are exposed to laser and railgun fire which kills some of their raiders.

Then the wolves come back with much friendlier terms, seeking to partner up. It is not every day a raiding party is sent into a route, and truth be told...the wolves are very desperate. Their food supply is running low. Their scrap metals even lower. Their fuel is all but used up and only a hand full of them know the old ways enough to even use a firearm.

If they suffer further defeats, then this might be the end of their people. Something needs to change, and so they reach out to the humans with an open invitation to parley.

The humans of Elysium have proven themselves strong. They are not prey to be raided, but they could instead be partners to be traded and allied with. So, the Jarl of the wolf settlement offers one of his sons to MC, since she is the chosen representative of her people, to secure this alliance between their houses.

The concept of it amuses the Lawgiver, it seems the more things change the more that they stay the same.

She accepts the deal. Taking the hand of the Jarl's son, marrying into the family through a ritual where she and her new spouse cut their hands and embrace, swearing an oath to one another. Little does she know, that small act, will put her into contact with the wolves' DNA, putting her on a path to mutation.

But what matters for now is the alliance between the two species.

The wolves can guide the humans far from their Elysium, showing them places to scavenge for resources and ancient artifacts, the wolves can provide them with muscle and some hunted meat to trade. In exchange, the humans can build things for the wolfmen that they themselves cannot build.

The wolves do not have the technical knowledge or understanding to be able to run the factories that the Elysium has, nor do they have the 'Engine-Seers' and 'Science-Witches' to be able to fully understand what is needed to recreate these devices.

This isn't to say they are stupid barbarians. They are smart enough to see a war with the human settlement would be a bad investment. They are smart enough to know that they don't know things. They can be taught how to use these machines in time, and why take by force when you can just be gifted it with marriage?

The Wolves are also not total savages. They do have firearms and a few remnant vehicles. But those are rare among them due to a lack of spare parts and training.

Think Mad Max.

The future is now set for humans and wolves to form a greater union, as they once did long ago when man and hound became companions for all time.

So this is the product of my out of control muse. Setting up a new faction/stronghold within the setting of Mutant: Year Zero that allows for play within the setting while also changing things up abit. Not sure where I would take this, but it was fun to do and work out some of the details. :) Hopefully you had as much fun reading it as i did writing it.