WorldEmber2018
 

The Sixth Flavor

A Madness-inducing food-borne bioweapon

Written by Barron

There are certain devils which should never be unleashed; Orga super weapons. The Sixth Flavor to bring up the most recent example. Hunger as a weapon, returning scarcity to post-scarcity society. They eat and eat, never satisfied, never full. They descend into hunger-induced madness, never knowing that a invisible demon will grasp them til death.
 

The Manifestation of Parasitic Hunger

The Sixth Flavor is an infectious fungi organism, a parasite created from genetic manipulation and forced evolution. It leaves no marks, nor is it traceable by Meta. The spores are tasteless and orderless- an easy addition to any dry food. Once ingested, it waits until it is passed into the intestines where it finally blooms. Bright purple ascomycete root into the lining of the stomach manipulating the signals of the Gastrointestinal System and feeding off the hosts ingested meals. It can cling to the host for their entire life, only curable by stomach transplant.  

Discovery

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The initial strain of the Sixth Flavor was designed with good intentions. It was originally intended to assist with metabolism of soldiers and colonists, a pet project of Angelic Pharmaceuticals. The goal was to create a symbiotic life form that could suppress the need to eat and improve the metabolism of cells. An army able to survive on a quarter of the rations could be sent much farther and left for far longer. When it was rolled out to a select platoon for testing, the side effects proved too chaotic to roll out to general forces.  
Ever since they switched our rations, each meal feels more like air than the last. I don't get full anymore, my tongue still tastes but my stomach still craves more. It's... it's torture. It's been a month. My poor men have been reduced to twigs, but they cram everything they can get down their throats. It's disgusting, it's humiliating, what sort of sick asshole thought this was a good idea?
— Somnolent First Lieutenant Abigail
  After six months or exposure, the platoon tested upon was unfit for service. The entire unit had withered away until not an ounce of fat was stuck to their bones, yet their stomachs were bloated with recently gorged meals. It was only until a invasive surgical procedure that Angelic found out the answer. Their stomachs were entirely coated with the Sixth Flavor, it absorbed every ounce of nutrition consumed by the host and continued sending messages of hunger. It left just enough to sustain the hosts ability to seek food and eat. They had not created a symbiotic benefactor, they created a parasitic killer.
 

Experimental Warfare

They're turning into savages. Somnolent help us, I watched Private Javier stab my Sergeants hand with a pen just to get the apple he had. It's sickening, but I can't blame him. We're all so damned hungry, we are squabbling over everything we find out here. Luckily no one has found my stash of crackers yet, it's all that keeps me alive.
— Somnolent First Lieutenant Abigail
The Sixth Flavor in its second and final strain is the good intentions of the first strain twisted to dark purpose. The Banners in Ethins never limited their fights to the battlefield. The Somnolent himself saw the devastating effects of the Sixth Flavor. He saw a potential weapon; a weapon invisible to the naked eye. He ordered his cultural warfare specialists, known as the CultOps, to take the fungus and weaponize it. Angelic Pharmaceuticals was ordered to cancel the product, and the fungus which nearly killed off an entire platoon in its test run, was whisked away from public knowledge.   Rumors are that the fungus is still being prepared to use, perfected and evolved to become a devastating planet killing disease. The validity of this rumor are of course, unsubstantiated.  
We're more skeletons than soldiers. Starving shells of skin clinging to bones like paper. I'm ending it, death is better than cannibalism. May the Somnolent forgive me.
— Somnolent First Lieutenant Abigail (Deceased)

Producers

Angelic Pharmaceuticals - Original Conception Somnolent CultOps - Warfare Refinement  

Type

Synthetic Gastrointestinal Fungus  

Usage

Economic and Cultural Sabotage

Comments

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1 Dec, 2018 20:58

Yeah! Awesome stuff, Barron! I look forward to seeing more of your worldember stuff!!! :D

1 Dec, 2018 21:10

Thanks for the comment Q.

1 Dec, 2018 21:46

Haunting dialogue there Barron! Really good balance of lore and personal perspective. That level of hunger sounds maddening!

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