So I have a zombie outbreak in one of my stories, not a full blown apocalypse mind you, but a few hundred zombies. Now since this story features super humans, regular zombies stand an even worse chance than normal, so I needed to change things up a little bit.

So this virus comes in three strains, the first two only work on regular cells and turn anything they infect into a "zombie" version. I have this pretty well figured out. The original strain, however, instantly kills any normal cells it infects, but works wonders on super humans. Instead of turning them into regular zombies, it kills them and rewires their brains, allowing the body to technically still be alive. The virus also allows the "super zombie" to keep all of their abilities while granting them the ability to heal and control the infected. The super zombies are also intelligent and capable of strategy. Really they have more in common with apex predators than traditional zombies.

So here's my question. Does this seem plausible considering the capabilities of real world pathogens? If not, how could I make this more believable?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Mołot, sphennings, Andon, Renan, L.Dutch Jan 5 '18 at 19:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ A lot of the believably of any scenario is how you sell it to them. We are here to help you build your world not critique you're writing. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jan 5 '18 at 18:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Does this scenario strain the reader's willing suspension of disbelief too much?" can only be answered if you will describe your target audience. Other than that, it's a matter of personal taste and opinion. Luckily for you, most of the things in "superhumans" genere does not really make sense and most people probably do not expect it to. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jan 5 '18 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ This is true, my general premise is kind of an "if-then" scenario. So in this case, if there were a zombie virus like this in this universe, then does this seem reasonable or does it seem forced? $\endgroup$ – Nick Jan 5 '18 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Have you read Ex-Heroes? Zombie super heroes is kind of the setting. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jan 5 '18 at 19:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While this is a very interesting question I do not think it is a good fit for this site. There is no way to answer it objectively. $\endgroup$ – Olga Jan 5 '18 at 19:26

Bad: Looks to be a set of designer viruses this way.

Good: I'm interested already.

You put down a very specific set of features but I'm indeed having trouble to make it come together in my head. Why? It sounds like a machination or ploy to make your story go in the direction you want.

Your original strain:

  1. instantly kills any normal cells
  2. works wonders on super humans:
    • kills and rewires their brains
    • allows the body to technically still be alive
    • keep all of their abilities
    • adds the ability to heal and control the infected
    • keep intelligence

That is a huge shopping list. Without a logical structure why it does all this it comes across... really artificial.

My advice would be to spend a sizeable chunk of attention to why as well as how it does all that.

(And from there build a solid bridge to a reasonable way a superhero actually becomes infected. The numbers would seem to be against this happening by chance.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I was actually after the whole artificial thing because I wanted the main characters to realize that someone had created this virus and that it wasn't natural. Thanks for the feedback! $\endgroup$ – Nick Jan 5 '18 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Nice. Intelligent adversary of the aspiring evil overlord type WILL do the trick :-) $\endgroup$ – Bookeater Jan 5 '18 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ (How does it get out? Seems to be tailored for self...) $\endgroup$ – Bookeater Jan 5 '18 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ I had figured that the creator had infected a group of people on purpose, specifically so he could utilize them to attack the protagonists. $\endgroup$ – Nick Jan 5 '18 at 19:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.