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I am currently working on a post-apocalyptic world where roughly 90% of humanity get infected by HDD (Human Degenerative Disease). HDD causes the human brain, gland and tissues to change quite dramatically. Reducing the majority of the infected to a feral state in which they are no longer sapient, but can be trained (with effort) similarly to gorillas, chimpanzees and dogs. The infected breed true among themselves, seem to have no memories of their past lives, and over the past 30 years have propagated a great deal. An immune or uninfected person who breeds with one of these new ferals has a 75% chance of producing non-feral offspring.

However, many of the infected bred with other infected and as a result the disease developed into several new strains. One affecting the endocrine system most strongly, one affecting the bodies tissues (musculature,skin and tendons most),one overhauling the neurological system in new and alien ways (maybe developing similar structures to an electric eel?) and, lastly, one that leaves the sapience intact but creates non-linear mutations in some to all systems of the body.

I am wondering what kinds of human sub-species could result specifically from the mutating tissue strain? I imagine their size and musculature would be affected,but surely more could occur. I am thinking the development of more predatory features and perhaps natural camouflage. But I want more info on how this could occur if at all.

The idea is this is a massive spontaneous mutation that occurs following the outbreak of an airborne retrovirus which at first seemed harmless. Ideally I need ideas for plausible changes that could occur in at least one of the strains above in humans.

Thanks in advance. Just let me know if this needs to be narrowed down further.

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Jeremy Barrett is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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put on hold as too broad by Renan, Gryphon, Bellerophon, JBH, Cyn 2 days ago

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi Jeremy, as you have guessed, it would be helpful if you could narrow it down. $\endgroup$ – NofP Jan 12 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ This really does need to be narrowed down and the scope of perspective answers defined; you've floated psychic abilities as a potential outcome, which doesn't help. $\endgroup$ – rek Jan 12 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Is this an infection or a spontaneous genetic mutation? These are very different things that do not overlap. There are no infections with the genetic effects you imply. Though with magic/etc, you can make up anything you want. And yes, narrow it down! $\endgroup$ – Cyn Jan 12 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ Please read our meta posts about high concept questions and open-ended questions. The problem with questions like this is they are not objective and you've provided no criteria for judging a best answer. Please remember that SE is not a discussion forum. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 12 at 19:41
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you could use the fantasy races as a starting point

perhaps the mutations reflect peoples subconscious fears and desires for their current situations and personalities

there were humans who went underground to escape the deasise, but got infected anyways, becoming dwarfs, with more hardy bodies to operate the last working machines and tanks.

perhaps vampires could be former doctors and nurses, who immediately after the collapse were in extreme starvation, forced to consume blood, afterwards amassing power by controlling precious medicine, and antibiotics

hobbits are those who lived in small agricultural communities such as the Amish, and those who lived in the rural areas of third world countries.

the first infected you described could be orcs, who fighting for scavenged cans of food and small game would be selected for large musles, and hunched heads to minimize the killing power of sneak attacks to the back of the head.

The people who became psychics could be the elves with the side effect of having less dense bones, as they feel the need to escape quickly from the din of the cities, newly amplifeyed by their heightened senses

a repurposed high tech aircraft carrier that was sent out to sea, to harbor high ranking government officials could see its inhabitants gain the ability to breath water to repair the ship and forage for food, becoming Atlantians.

anyways I'm not saying you should make it a fantasy story, just that this is how I thought up the races.

also I'm new to this stack exchange, and I wrote this over some time, so if you have any questions or criticisms, please ask

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JD Fullerton is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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