A microscopic parasite has crippled humanity with night terrors and paralyzing anxiety. In this world of increasing dystopia, hope yet remains in Karma City. But when mercenary drifter, Jameson Shoals, learns that a famous scientist has created a stronger parasite to kill the original, it isn’t until the bodies litter the streets that he realizes the horrifying truth: the new parasite is a killer with a mind of its own, and upon dominating Patient Zero, this killer acquires legs, hands, and eyes. It falls upon Shoals and his partner, a deadly female mercenary, to stop PZ and his mob before they can overcome and supplant humankind.
Though the degradation in society perpetuated by the Malady parasite crippled advancements in industry and commerce, coal mining prevailed in the mountains and parts beyond Karma City, producing abundant fuel for steam engines and thermal power plants. As a result, the railroad had become the people’s last lifeline. Two 4-8-4 steam locomotives, antiquated yet reliable engines, wheeled along cardinal tracks transporting people, medicine and goods back and forth from Karma, Rime, Lobos and many other unnamed stops in the endless Void Lands. The masters of these locomotives were the rifle-bearing men and women sworn to a life on the tracks— the cold-hearted, Iron Tribe.
A Special Note From The Author
Hello to everyone at Sybrina’s Book Blog!
Thank you for hosting me and for supporting my new science fiction novel, Karma City.
One of my favorite writers is the late, Michael Crichton. I always admired how intelligent he wrote. His stories were packed with science that was so real, it left me chilled when the technology went awry or the outbreak occurred. I wanted to dive deep in the scientific elements of my story to achieve the same realism so as to have the same powerful impact on the reader. During the early writing of Karma City, I worked with members of the scientific community to develop the mind-altering parasite known as “Malady” that plagues the world in the story and the competing treatments that have the people divided. Today, I’d like to share my notes on the science of Karma City so that readers will get a scope of the level of research that went into the book.
The Science of Karma City
The MALADY PARASITE
Life cycle: Direct
The parasite named “Malady” has a direct life cycle. It requires one obligate, intermediate host—human beings— to complete its life cycle. Malady may travel by means of paratenic hosts (hosts in which it can survive but not develop) such as animals and animal product. Malady cysts in paratenic hosts until its obligate host is infected. In the absence of any host, Malady larvae cannot survive beyond twenty days.
Classification: Worm, Parasite
Malady is a microscopic, asexually reproductive, parasitic worm that is nourished by human tissue, proteins and cellular glucose. The parasite seeks the brain cavity of the human host, where it can progress through its life cycle and release its eggs. As the worm feeds and develops, it releases chemical waste toxins that cause adverse mental functions. As development progresses (maturity), the chemical toxins change. These chemicals, coupled with the increased loss of brain tissue, cause profound psychotic alterations in the human host.
Genesis: Asexual Reproduction
Though Malady is asexually reproductive, it must develop to “stage 3,” adulthood to create and release its clutch of eggs into the bloodstream. Once the adult Malady worm releases its eggs, it will remain alive until it perishes from the accumulation of its waste toxins in the brain environment. This accumulation is known as “spoiling.”
The eggs become larvae and are forced to seek another host. The Malady larvae travel the blood and bodily fluids of the parental host, either actively feeding on proteins and glucose or in cystic stasis, waiting for exit and transference to a new host.
Detection: Chemical, Antigenic
Malady Worm is detected by signature chemical toxins released during its natural life cycle. Three signature toxins have been identified and linked to the three developmental stages of Malady.
Symptoms and “Stages” of Infection:
Stage One: Malady Worm is in egg and larva stage. Host experiences night terrors and sleeplessness.
Stage Two: Malady Worm is in pupae stage. Host experiences forgetfulness, night terrors and sleeplessness.
Stage Three: Malady Worm is in adult stage. Host experiences severe anxiety/depression rendering him or her volatile and withdrawn. All previous symptoms remain constant.
Mortality and Transference:
Malady parasite is, by nature, territorial. A single worm occupies a single host at a given time with the sole exception being the released offspring (eggs/larvae). The Malady offspring cannot dwell in the parental worm’s occupied host brain due to the amount of accumulated toxins. Should a Malady parasite enter a human already infected with a Malady parasite, the “invading” parasite will die from the toxins of the inhabiting parasite.
Malady parasite eggs and larvae move through the bodily fluids of human beings and can be found in all bodily fluids. Human to human contact is the most frequent cause for the spread of Malady.
Malady itself will not kill the host. It will place the host in a state of being/life that is likely to lead to his or her death. Example: forgetting diet and hygiene, severe fatigue leads to fatal accidents, memory loss leads to unsafe and life-threatening conditions, anxiety/depression leads to crazed and unnatural behaviors.
SCIENCE AGAINST MALADY
Oasis “Victory” Vaccine:
Created by Doctor Wolfgang and Carmen Victoria as a phase one attempt in their advanced medical research to create an anthelmintic (anti-parasitic drug) “cure” against Malady. The Oasis Vaccine is a focused formula derived from the collective chemical signatures of Malady eggs/larvae—Malady’s natural antigens. The Oasis Vaccine uses the triple primer antigens to trigger an intense immune system response against invading Malady larvae. After one year, the human immune system no longer recognizes the Malady antigens as foreign and the vaccine becomes ineffective.
Oral pill, “Quell”:
Created by Doctor Marcus Graves as part of an alternate approach to advanced medicinal sciences against Malady. The drug named Quell works off the principles of cryptobiosis—an ametabolic state of life entered by an organism in response to adverse environmental conditions where the organism exists in a state of “living death” until conditions improve. Cryptobiosis can be triggered or forced through chemical exchange/interaction. This is called Osmobiosis. The chemistry of Quell adversely affects the Malady parasite, forcing it to fall into cryptobiosis—the parasite “sleeps” while the drug works through the human system. The parasite’s influences and negative effects to the host are relieved.
Thank you for hosting me! I hope you enjoyed the science. In closing I’ll leave you with one fun fact: There could be a REAL parasite in your brain right now! Look up the “Toxoplasma Gondii Parasite” and you’ll find that my Malady Parasite isn’t too far off!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Gardner Michael Browning is an award-winning author and professional wrestler. In addition to receiving a New Hampshire Literary Award, two of his novels were part of an international English literacy program for middle grade readers. Browning enjoys classic literature, fishing, playing guitar and spending time with his family.
Amazon Author Page:
The book will be on sale for $0.99.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Gardner Browning will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.