Zombies (Necroform or Necromorphic entity) are reanimated corpses that roam the Fogscape. Though often considered mindless automaton-like monsters, the Zombies of the Fogscape are networked parasitical micro-organism that assume control of the motor functions of a host, dead or alive, in order to operate. Zombies become more intelligent in higher numbers and so stay in large hordes, the largest of which operate on separate "networks" who's drones can simulate sapience. A being fundamentally a virus, the so-called Zetaform parasites are highly susceptible to mutation and adaptation, and so can survive in most environments. As a proxy of the Fog, once a host comes under zombie control, it loses it's soul as a beastly sludge that is used to infect most lifeforms worms it's way into the brain. The fate of a living host is a slow, painful and madness-inducing loss of autonomy, although the host can survive as a zombie indefinitely and is generally fully aware of it's situation while the fate of the soul is unknown.
The Zorathk is a necroa virus, a form of viral micro-organic parasite that hijacks other cells in order to reproduce, as per the nature of typical viruses. What makes the Zorathk different is their relationship with the host. Typically, a virus takes the form of a capsule containing smaller capsules that themselves contain the virus' own nucleic acid, used to assimilate other cells, whereas Zorathk viral cells are much more complex, baring similarities to a form of nanoscopic, biotechnology.
Under a powerful enough microscope, a Zorathk bares the appearance of a trilateral pyramid, each side having a spherical protrusion with a spherical, latticed outer shell with barbs protruding from the vertices. The internal viruses is conected to the shell via proboscis-like tubes that protrude from the spherical pouches.
The viral agent is designed in such a way that the barbs on it's outer shells can penetrate the skin of other cells, but are also able to easily lock with other viral cells to form complex structures. These structures are built to replace damaged tissue, organs and other bodily structures while being under complete control of the viral network within an individual.
A remarkable evolutionary factor of the virus is it's ability to gain intelligence in large numbers thanks to a more sophisticated hive mind built up of sub networks that intertwine, creating something akin to an artificial intelligence. The various swarms of parasites that converge to form the Zorathk structures all have their own individual intelligence that decide a course of action between themselves, run this by the primary Hive and then execute it via the less complex structures in the body. A common Structure Zorathk the size of a human being may have over 100,000 congregated swarms whereas a Grimm may have well over a billion, inside and outside of the body.
As parasites, the Zorathk Contagion infiltrates the body of a host, generally through contact with the skin while in the form of an adhesive sludge. Upon introduction, the parasite immediately begins paralysing the host by burrowing into muscle tissue, after which it then begins working it's way up the nervous system towards the brain, and assuming complete control of the locomotive system. In living hosts, the parasite will often assume control of the pulmonary system, threatening sapient hosts with complete respiratory shutdown if they are not compliant during the assimilation.
Due to the parasite's ability to use corpses aswell as living lifeforms, it is easy to assume that there is no actual need to ensure the survival of the host, leading one to make the assumption that the abominable monstrosity does this out of pure sadism, or the host needs to be alive for another reason. In both cases, the complex nature of the virus becomes apparent: the virus is sentient, maybe even possessing rudimentary sapience or intelligence beyond what can be imagined of such a seemingly mundane lifeform.
Zombies are complex creatures. They are formed from billions of micro-organic, parasitical, machine-like viral lifeforms that clump together to form larger structures, as elegant as they are disturbing. These structures can be as small as a frain of sand, or as large as a mountain, depending on it's purpose. Structures can also merge into more complex ones, such as the Sludge that is so commonly associated with the Zorathk. In massive congregations, these parasitical structures can form their own complex, macroscopic lifeforms with the unwilling assistance of a host. These structures are the aware, sapient and viciously mission-orientated Grimms.
Parasites and SludgeEdit
The Zorathk Parasite is the basic and native form of Zombies, each individual a viral cell as detailed above. They amalgamate in very large groups to form what appears to be a sticky, vomit-green sludge. In these groups, the parasites connect together to form one collective consciousness that allows the cells of the sludge structure to move in unison. The sludge then attaches itself to a host, whereupon it invades the pulmonary and nervous systems of the host in order to take control of its body.
The size of Structures vary widely, depending on how many viral cells form the Structure. This can range from only two linked cells to the common Sludge form to a gargantuan Structure formed by trillions if not quadrillions of cells all interlinked to each other, thus forming an edifice the size of a skyscraper. All individual Structures are also linked together in a supreme hive mind. This hive mind instructs all Structures to take a certain action, though each Structure's own collective consciousness decides ultimately upon how to perform that action.
Grimms are the brute force of the Zombie Contagion. They are composed of many hosts' bodies which, upon combination, are almost literally taken apart and incorporated into the Grimm's body. The groups of viral cells that had control of each individual host connect with each other, thus becoming one mind. Grimms can also disassemble themselves back into their constituent bodies when needed.