The Old World - Timeline
The old world before Respirazon was released runs largely in tandem with the real world as we know it. There are a few divergences, listed below:
March 2010 - The World Health Organisation draws attention to the deadliness of lower respiratory disease as a preventable major cause of human death and suffering. As a result, there is a drive to try and find ways to minimise or even cure these diseases.
November 2014 - Major American pharmaceutical company Novamed announce that they've made a breakthrough in regards to lower respiratory disease medication, having worked on it for the last five years with extra effort and funding diverted to the research in the last two. The FDA announces that they will be keeping a closer eye on all following research with the aim to see this drug released as soon as possible.
May 2016 - Novamed announce that their tests have all been successful, in both rats and in human testing. The FDA gives their approval to the medication based on the last ten years of research and testing into it. Novamed state that they will be looking into methods to see the medication spread as widely as possible for the lowest cost.
May 2018 - The World Health Organisation announce support for Novamed's new cure, publically named Respirazon, and offer support and funding towards it's worldwide release.
December 2018 - The first doses of Respirazon go on private sale, with successful results. The public complain due to the high cost and low availability of the drug.
April 2019 - Worldwide pharmaceutical company Panacea Pharma purchase Respirazon for an undisclosed amount.
June 2019 - Panacea Pharma announce that, if the UN is willing to aid with funding, they will make Respirazon free for all people. The UN agree before the end of the month.
August 2019 - Panacea Pharma reveal that they intend to make Respirazon an airborne cure, so as to ensure the widest possible release.
January 2020 - Panacea Pharma and the UN announce that the first release of Respirazon will take place at various locations worldwide in June.
June 2020 - Respirazon is released in major cities across the world. Within two
weeks, the first deaths begin to be registered on a huge scale.
July 2020 - All releases of Respirazon are placed on hold. Respirazon is largely
blamed for the sudden bout in illness. Patients are reported to cough up blood
and struggle to breathe. Some die and never wake up. Others collapse for a
short period of time before regaining consciousness but appearing to lose all
higher brain function...
August 2020 - Most of the world is dead. Those who didn't die are forever
changed by Respirazon. Those rare few who were immune to Respirazon are now
struggling to survive in this new world...
THE NEW WORLD - From 2070 onward
There is no publicly accessible recorded history from August 2020 onward, and the information below is common knowledge that all characters would know. Any additional information that a character may know based on their background would be included in their character pack.
The humans altered by Respirazon are commonly referred to as "Infected" by most people. It is known that they are feral with a level of pack mentality, grouping together with one another and forming their own basic hierarchies. They are omnivorous and will turn cannibalistic if needed against both Infected and Healthy humans. However, this is not seen often, as it appears the creatures do not need to eat very often. Some people claim it takes months for one to starve to death, while others claim it's far longer, so where the truth lies is not common knowledge.
Some of the Infected seem to retain some basic levels of intelligence in regards to use of tools and motor skills. They understand basic concepts such as how to wield a basic weapon, or how doors work. They are not the mindless zombies that people were first reporting, and this makes them that much more deadly. The intelligence level varies between Infected, and most folks seem to agree that they are 'caveman-like' in nature.
They seem to operate on various forms of non-verbal communication, though no success at replicating this has been noted to date.
Those humans who were unaffected by Respirazon are commonly referred to as the "Immune". No-one is quite sure just how many were immune to the mutated cure, but humanity is now far from the dominant species on the planet. As far as anyone can tell, no other creature was affected by the mutated Respirazon drug.
The Immune began to band together where possible for safety and sanity, with those making groups and communities faring far better than those who chose to try and survive alone. Over time, within the UK, a few more well-known communities have been established, which many people know by name.
It's unsure whether this is a rumour or true, but many people claim that some of the original scientists and chemists of Panacea Pharma within the UK survived the Respirazon release, and are still actively working on the drug. Some claim they intend to try and cure the Infected, while others believe they intend to wipe them out. No-one seems to mind which option is true, ultimately! However, if Panacea staff are still out there, no-one is sure where, or how many of them.
THE UNITED KINGDOM ARMY
Founded by a handful of surviving army officers, who recruited wherever they could, the United Kingdom Army (or UKA) are a known force within the UK. Yes, they are very limited in number, but where they exist, they make their presence known. They have several bases around the country that are heavily fortified. Some even claim that they still have firearms, which no-one is stupid enough to want to test the validity of. Small communities tend to crop up close to UKA bases and benefit from their protection, though also have to live under the rules of the UKA for the privilege.
Sadly, even at times where humanity would be best served working together, there are still always those who prefer to rob and steal to get by. Even now, this remains true. Commonly referred to as Highwaymen, these are Immune people who prefer to prey on travellers rather than make anything of their own, and are pretty dangerous individuals. That said, they are still rare, as all humans are, and many are hesitant to kill them in case they have some special skill or ability that could help an established community, if only they could be convinced to change their ways.
ANGELS OF THE NORTH
Some wanderers referring to themselves as The Angels of the North have been sighted across the country. Usually moving alone or in groups of two, they claim to be part of a community near Edinburgh that is seeking out the best that humanity has left to offer to create the start of a new British civilisation. They claim that the location is safe, with water and electricity, and is an invite-only haven for those deemed worthy. They speak of it's leaders, Lord and Lady Graysen, with admiration bordering on reverence.
While there are setups in rural areas, it seems that most small groups have established themselves in suburban areas, out of the dangers of the larger towns and cities, yet still close enough to them to scavenge there for supplies. Most are people simply trying to survive, while others may have more elaborate setups. It can be tough to find these locations as, for the most part, many communities once they are established and surviving do not want to be found, for fear that newcomers may ruin the tentative balance they have achieved.