Mythic Engine World of Darkness
‘Victorious’ is the strain of amoebic disease that caused an epidemic in September 2010 on the Northwest Coast of North America, primarily striking Seattle and Vancouver, roughly co-occurring with the media recognition of the disappearance of Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. An estimated 1.6 million people died of Victorious from September 2010 to November 2010. Cases of Victorious since then have not been more serious than influenza, and have a much lower death rate.
Victorious was able to spread by air and water as well as person-to-person, and was briefly thought to be making the jump to Global Pandemic (Category 4 or 5). Primary symptoms included paleness, shortness of breath, coughing, severe gastrointestinal upset, and finally rapid death by catastrophic organ failure – usually lung. Epidemiologists based in the Northwest have publicly concluded it was a propagated zoonotic epidemic coming from (probably) rats. A minor debate exists about its classification as a pandemic or epidemic (given that it affected two countries) and its taxonomic relationship to other amoeba; research is ongoing.
Many conspiracy theories exist about the behavior of the disease. Conspiracy theorists allege that the disease was an engineered bioweapon, due to its simultaneous appearance in two places, previously unknown disease profile and genetics, the purported immunity or resistance possessed by Indigenous peoples (First Nations Canadians and Native American Indians), and the relatively sudden disappearance of the epidemic variety of the disease.
International aid agency United Chord, which is based out of Seattle, committed nearly their entire staff to the Victorious Outbreak. CEO Laura Newman was quoted in a rare interview as saying “We drew a line in the sand with Victorious. If this one gets by us this country and species might not recover.” United Chord collaborated with multiple other international agencies and coordinated efforts by local and regional authorities to suppress the disease. Newman’s research team is rumored to be under consideration for a Nobel Prize in medicine following the successful prevention of a pandemic-level breakout.
Some supernatural forces in the area are aware that the Victorious Strain is indeed artificial – possibly produced by Unagilis’s magic, although new evidence has led to suspicion of Jay Taglieri. Surveillance video exists of a raving man wearing outdated formal clothing in Seattle at the beginning of the outbreak there, near the Pike Place Market. Simultaneously a formally-dressed woman with a violin was seen behaving suspiciously in Vancouver, at the Living Shangri-La. Both were sought for questioning by the authorities and neither were captured or identified. Any official mention of this has been suppressed by unknown authorities.
The deaths of 1.6 million in the Vancouver/Seattle metroplex has had very serious effects on the Northwest Coast Dark Umbra. The activity of ghosts, zombies, and other horrors has become far more serious.