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In the 22nd century, the major world powers are at each other's throats, fighting over dwindling resources and territories. One of the sides develops a biological weapon, let's say a virus, to be released among enemy soldiers/settlements. But as these things go, a flaw in the design causes the bioweapon to become much more dangerous.

What I want is for this biological agent to kill billions, leading to a mass extinction event among humans. Furthermore, I also want the following effects:

  • The majority of people that come in contact with it die - on the scale of billions
  • A smaller group of people are immune to it - maybe due to something in their blood or organs or whatever
  • Yet another group of people are affected by the virus, but don't die. Instead, they are physically affected - disfigurement, constant agony and shortened lifespan. Maybe they discover that a blood transfusion from the immune survivors can somewhat counteract the effects, which would lead to the main conflict

How could the above potentially work?

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    $\begingroup$ At what level of detail? This is a well established premise, a fictional virus and immune system works like that. The only reason I can think of why you would feel the need to ask is because you want to get specific and into greater detail. Please elaborate so people know what you want and what you don't want. One could go into why some things most likely don't work like that, but if we start like that, every fictional world collapses $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Oct 3 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ It could work whichever way you want it to work. Its a virus that's highly contageous, generally fatal and causes disfigurement. Job done. What's the real question? $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Oct 3 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ The virus-run-amok catastrophe is a trope, a convenient shorthand storytelling device. It's not intended to be realistic. It's a handwave. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Oct 3 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ Please do a little research into diseases and how they spread and then come back with a more detailed and specific question. cdc.gov is a good place to start as it is based in real life, is a primary source, and up to date. $\endgroup$ – kleer001 Oct 3 at 20:58
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This sounds like a variant of basically every apocalyptic zombie movie/game/comic ever. What's the problem?

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  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes those answers are the best, but maybe it would help for other members of the community to appreciate your post if you would perhaps elaborate how those other works are similar. But I'm just adding this because I really like this answer and want it to stay because I think it's teaching more about building worlds than a detailed explanation about antibodies. +1 $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Oct 3 at 16:48

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