tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Grateful Virus Missing Chapters

The Grateful Virus Missing Chapters

byjadling©

The Grateful Virus: Missing Chapters

Parts of this story are open for other authors to contribute. This chapter describes how, and also outlines the general events of the first missing time period, which readers may find interesting even if they don't intend to contribute.

Chapters 6-10 haven't yet been written, and are reserved for me to write someday if enough of you want me to. They include the events at the restaurant and the hotel through the end of the soccer tournament. The story then fast-forwards through the next four months, skipping to chapter 100. The details of events during these four months are open for other authors to fill in. Chapter numbers 103-199 are also open for contributions -- for more on this, see chapters 100-102 and 200.

If you write a chapter in the 11-99 range, try to fit it within the general outline below. And please make sure you read chapters 100-102 and 200 before writing anything, so you know where the story is headed. If someone else has already written any particular event or chapter number that you wanted to write, feel free to write your own alternative version with the same number as theirs. If you want to write about events immediately before or after a particular other chapter, use the adjacent chapter number. Otherwise, avoid adjacent numbers so that there's room for someone to fill in the connecting story.

Above all, if you write, be sure to email it to me so I don't miss it!

First two months (chapters 11 to 55)

The virus begins to spread quickly all over the world, curing all infectious diseases, cancers, and obesity in everyone it infects. Drug companies, trying to delay the demise of their entire industry, team up with allies in the FDA and CDC (and their equivalents in other countries) to produce a PR campaign saying it might be dangerous in the long term, so people should wear masks to prevent its spread until more research can be done on it. Many people follow this suggestion for the first two months. The infection rate climbs steadily, reaching about 10% of the population by the end of this period, but infection rates vary wildly across locations. Smaller cities with any infection during the first week tend to very quickly reach 100%. Other small cities remain nearly or entirely uninfected. The two initial outbreak cities of LA and Chicago reach 80% in the first week, before the CDC's warnings, and 90% by the end of the two months.

During these two months, Jim is running scared. After a harrowing week in which he tries to continue with his sales trip, he calls and tells his wife that he has to go into hiding and can't tell her why, but that he loves her, hasn't done anything illegal, and just wants her to trust him and be patient. After two more weeks, she suddenly stops answering his calls, for reasons unknown to Jim until chapter 101. At times this throws him into doubt about whether to still consider himself married, but his loyalty generally prevails. When he manages to keep ahead of the spread of the virus, and when he wears his surgical mask to prevent sneezing on anyone, things remain normal. About half of the people he runs into are also wearing masks, so he blends right in. In some places, nobody is wearing masks. This is a sign of either 100% or 0% infection. Of course, the mask doesn't protect him from already infected women who see his face. But early on, the infection is rare in most places, so as long as he avoids sneezing on anyone (or sometimes shaking hands, sharing food or drinks, touching door handles, etc), people act normally toward him. Newly infected hosts become active in 30 minutes. And of course, just because a woman wants his baby does NOT make her instantly lose her mind, run screaming after him, tear off her clothes, and fuck his brains out in public no matter who is watching (although some might try this). Seeing Jim being fucked by someone else, or even just in the nude, makes this kind of behavior much more likely (as in chapter 5). In general, each one deals with her desire for him in a different way, depending on her personality and the situation.

Jen forms a secret cult called the Church of Sneezy starting with her teammates. Sarah is her second in command. They recruit other students at UCLA, which was rapidly saturated with the virus, and then begin to expand to the general population of LA, as it soon becomes a major hot-spot of the outbreak. The "chosen ones," girls pregnant with Jim's babies, form the inner circle. These few keep Jim's picture as a closely guarded secret. Only Jen has his home phone number, and his cell phone number as well, which she got early on by simply calling his home and asking his wife for it. They identify potential recruits based on whether their bodies are hot enough to deserve to mate with Jim, then show them his picture and use the powerful resulting emotions to indoctrinate them in a mishmash of prophecies and dogma concocted by Jen, all driven by the promise that under her leadership, if they can reach a critical mass of sexiness, Jim will return and impregnate them all. Soon Jen has thousands of the very hottest girls in LA answering to her. She sends them out in squads to scour the country looking for him. Jen calls Jim often, sometimes several times a day. These calls usually begin with out of the blue questions about whether he thinks particular female celebrities are hot, and usually end with her begging him to "visit and meet a few friends." He soon gets paranoid, thinking she might be able to track him by his cell signal. He throws his phone out. Following a similar line of thought, he wonders if anyone might somehow be able to find him by following his credit card records. He gets rid of his credit card and begins supporting himself by selling his semen to random women on the street for cash.

Nicole, Erin, Heather, and a few other members of Jen's church reject her new religion and split off, forming their own competing group, which they name Jim's Angels. They too use his picture to recruit, but their approach is scientific, not religious. They keep their recruiting much more selective and their organization smaller. They choose recruits intelligently based on a broad range of resources they bring to the organization. Because they quickly figure out that infection with the virus is necessary before a woman can be affected by Jim's picture, they are able to establish a national network instead of remaining limited to the Los Angeles viral hot spot, as Jen's organization initially is. They comb news reports and divorce filings from around the country looking for signs of Jim, and their agents are ready at all times to fly in and investigate any possible leads.

Members of either Jen's or Nicole's organizations may have brief encounters with Jim during this period, but neither group manages to bring him in to their main base until chapter 100. Jen has spies in Nicole's organization, so they know when Nicole's group has a lead and are usually right on the Angels' heels in far greater numbers. However, the Church of Sneezy is full of selfish, shallow, egotistical princesses. Their squads tend to lose all discipline when they do capture him, allowing him to escape again at the end of the catfight and/or orgy that ensues. Refer to chapters 100-101 for more on what they wear and how they act, but keep in mind both groups are less organized in earlier chapters.

Scientists do not understand much about the virus during this period. They certainly don't guess that it's intelligent. Likewise, the virus remains basically at the same level of understanding of people. It knows how to make them want to replicate with Jim. It knows only to try to do this to people who could actually get pregnant. In other words the elderly, pre-pubescent girls, and men do not respond to Jim any differently than they normally would, except to be unable to cause him harm. The programming that makes women lust after Jim and want to have his babies only activates when a fertile woman sees him, or sees a picture of his face. This programming is therefore inactive in almost all people, because the media has not connected the virus back to Jim in any way and therefore has not shown his picture (although the CDC has traced the virus back to two seemingly simultaneous outbreaks in downtown Chicago and on the UCLA campus). The virus still can't understand human language or higher brain functions. It doesn't even believe people are intelligent, so it doesn't make any effort to communicate with them. Its mission remains solely to help Jim replicate.

Next two months (chapters 56 to 99)

Some people begin to see the cure-all virus as a gift from god, and the efforts to stop its spread as evil. Two months after the outbreak of the virus, self-described "vigilante healers" execute coordinated raids on the terminal cancer wings of a few major hospitals around the world. Although they are caught and locked up, the media loves the story, giving endless airtime to the people they saved, all of whom are of course very grateful to the vigilantes. Over the next few days, various kinds of religious fanatics everywhere copy the vigilante healer idea, but not just for terminally ill patients, and not just in hospitals. The idea gives a green light to every restaurant worker who has ever wanted to spit in someone's food. Some people go around ripping off people's masks and sneezing on them or kissing them. More organized groups pop up all over the world with more sophisticated techniques, like targeting the water supplies of major cities or soft drink bottling facilities. In three days, the worldwide infection rate goes from under 10% to over 99%.

Suddenly Jim can't seem to show his face anywhere. Like everyone else, he ditches his now useless surgical mask. He tries wearing a hood, but it makes buying anything difficult, because they assume a man hiding his face is planning to rob them. When he slips up, he sometimes loses most or all of his clothing, which then tends to lead to a very difficult period indeed until he manages to find new clothing and, most importantly, a new way to hide his face. He tries a variety of disguises, but each one only works briefly. See chapter 101 for more on this.

The Church of Sneezy goes national and tops off at thirty thousand members, then stops recruiting and focuses on hunting. The tabloids have taken notice of their secret activities, since they recruited numerous famous models and actresses due to starting out in LA. The organization refuses all interviews, but wild rumors circulate about its connection with the equally tabloid-worthy story that the entire UCLA soccer team is inexplicably pregnant, all with the same due date, all with at least twins, and most with quadruplets. They too refuse to be interviewed, but they are often seen with members of the strange new celebrity / supermodel cult. The tabloids love the story. It has everything: quadruplets, celebrities, secret cults; one tabloid even manages to work an alien invasion into the story, and another asserts they're planning to form a radical lesbian commune and kill all the male children. All that the members of the Church of Sneezy will say to the media is "Jim, come home." No explanation of who this Jim is or what they mean by telling him to come home. Tabloids speculate that this cult thinks it can use the media to communicate with their prophet in the afterlife. The media can't seem to get enough of Hollywood's hottest women, many of whom seemed perfectly sane the day before, looking right into the camera and saying "Jim, come home" in a sultry tone. There's at least one new famous convert every day. Nobody connects these stories to the more serious news story of the virus.

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