100 years in the future America succumbs to a mysterious disease. The symptoms take anywhere from a few months to years to show, and range from loss of sensation to dizziness to blackouts to blisters to death. No one knows how it spreads, or where it came from, though the theories range from a Native Curse to bioterrorism to government conspiracy to aliens. The very first cases were documented centuries ago, but were so few and far between that no one connected them to the mass hysteria that gripped the nation later. Huge numbers of people die, hospitals are overwhelmed. Efforts to contain the epidemic fail. In a desperate attempt to save the population, the government evacuates those who can afford it to satellite planets. Eventually, after a second evacuation, the death toll levels off. In the wake of the disease and the evacuations, America is left an apocalyptic wasteland. The international community is terrified of contracting the disease and foreign aid is limited, if it comes at all. Right before the disease became a national crisis, America was on the verge of the virtual century. Then all focus shifted to the disease, and technology hit a standstill (and has gone backward-- in what ways do you think it would happen?) What would you want to know about where the disease comes from, how it spreads, what the implications are-- political, technological, international, social, etc? (And what do you think some of them would be?) Right now, I'm picturing it as a cross between Ebola (global effect), cancer (as far as one's body betraying itself), leprosy (for the long latency), AIDS (for the mysterious epidemic) and herpes (common disease with massive stigma). There is still no known cure, but a whole slew of fake cures crop up, each vying for legitimacy. Any suggestions? Also, any thoughts on how the medical industry would be affected? (Genetic experiments, organ harvesting, surrogacy... etc?) What would you find believable, too far-fetched? This disease is crippling the country, and the government is willing to do anything it can to get it under control. (Violence sparks, protests about how badly things are handled, that the US haven't done enough, etc-- eventually this leads to the collapse of the government, civil war (which is more like a war on the perceived terrorist origins of the disease) and the rise of city-states in America). I'm just starting out, and want to make the situation as believable as possible. How far could you suspend your belief? What concrete facts would you need to know in order to do so? And to give you the stakes: can the band of rebels find the Cure before they fall pray to the disease themselves?!