In my story, I want to have a world in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, but I also want it to feel different from any other interpretation out there. I call my monsters "Odd People" or "Oddities/Odds" for short, because of course I don't want to actually call them Zombies. How do I make some sort of mutated creatures contaminating our world's civilization new and interesting to an brand new audience watching it?
How could I structure the introduction of these types of creatures in a way that doesn't feel like treading the same ground over and over again? We all know how much Zombies are over-used these days in modern media. The real reason I want to try this idea at all is because I like designing totally creative mutant zombie creatures, I'm really good at making up body horror in some of my stories. These things aren't like the "undead" zombies, their based on pure science, not magic.
Here's what I have so far:
The zombie apocalypse was not what everyone expected it to be, the “Odd People” are not your ordinary, everyday zombies. Odd People are very intelligent beings, although not sentient like the regular humans they once were, they function on a Hive-Mind style of thinking, and treat all the other infected like those of a partner caste.
They are stunned by water and light, they only walk out in the open when it’s cloudy or at night, and pouring clean water will upset them. On the flip-side, Odd People tend to live the abandoned sewer lines and swim in the sewage, most likely because it is contaminated with unhealthy junk. Where they hate pure water, they feed on the dirty water and illness.
Humans who dare go out into the ruined world and fight back against the hordes of infected soldiers are known as “Code Drivers,” as they drive the code of the new order right into the beast that feeds upon us.
Odd People are only truly vanquished when their weak points are destroyed, luckily enough they can be easily killed by being shot at or punctured with some vial of hot moisture (fire-acid). This process is because the “Red Thorn” within their infected bodies form dense concentrations of the virus that clump together into growths known as “Thorn Bushes” or “Thorn Fruit.” These tumor-like parasites attack the human victim’s most vital organs to transfigure them into their Core, therefore an Oddity’s weak point is usually the brain or sometimes the heart, rarely anywhere else will do.
If a human were to be pricked by one of these Thorn Fruits, they would undergo the virus process, eventually turning into an Oddity. It is called Red Thorn because of the crimson, thorny vines that jut out of an Oddity’s bullet wounds as their limbs get shot off, but if their weak points are still not destroyed, the detached body parts slowly grow back made entirely out of the Red Thorn. The flesh of the dead Odd People molds away, growing all around the walls and floor.
The reason this whole thing started is because a secret government organization wanted to weaponize normal human beings to control guns with their mind, unstoppable warriors dubbed as "Gunsmiths." Their underground bunker was nuked, and the resulting radiation caused the adjacent cities to be infected by a strange virus. Odd People eat the humans who they think are worthless (people who don’t deserve to be infected and transformed), they feed on our DNA to mutate further in the evolution chain.
When the “Red Eye” (red thorn origin) imploded within the Technology Complex, it released a highly potent mixture of energies that were absorbed within the lifeless bodies previously killed. Scientists found the bodies during a cleanup operation, for a moment the people came back to life and acquired the power of “Red Eye.”
Each Oddity of the Odd People has its own job with its own special ability to boot, it all depends on how they mutate their bodies and regenerate their limbs again and again to become stronger.