Long-Form Outline: Red River Valley

I’ve had the idea for an apocalypse story for about two and a half years now, but I’ve been struggling to do anything with it. I know in its final form it’s going to be a storytelling video game in which every interaction you have with the other characters affects the outcome. Because it’s such a vast web of plots, characters, etc., I’ve been having a hard time even knowing where to start. Maybe if I make one plot for this class, it will be a good starting point to get the rest of it made. I swear I came up with this before COVID was a thing, but the fact that it’s similar has also aided me in putting it off.

Player Character, or PC (I told you I haven’t even really started, I’ll come up with a name at some point) is a scientist in a small, isolated town in Minnesota studying the effects of a newly-discovered disease that causes infected people to disintegrate if they touch pure silver. After one of the infected breaks out of the secure quarantine facility, the disease begins spreading like wildfire through the town. A faction of the infected believe that their enhanced strength, agility, and endurance means that they are the next step in human evolution, and they are purposely spreading the disease as much as they can. Unfortunately, even without touching silver, the disease has a ninety-five percent mortality rate, leaving very few survivors. The town goes on lockdown and is cut off from the rest of the world. Massive pylons are constructed around the edge of the town that emit particles of silver around the border, keeping everyone inside. Those that were infected but peaceful are trapped with the terrorists that want to cull the herd worldwide, and those who have not been infected are too fearful of being killed if they try to leave.

PC lives with a group of clean survivors who realize that after seven years of being separated from the rest of the world (the pylons cause interference with radio and broadcast signals), they are running out of resources. PC leads the group in a search-and-rescue effort to gather up anyone else that is not infected so that they can all leave together. There is safety in numbers, and they are going to have to sneak through the barrier because the terrorist group of infected patrol the area. As they are preparing to leave, it is revealed that one of the members of the group (that players have gotten to know quite well by this point) is infected, but survived and joined the group because she needed their resources and safety. At this point, players would have the choice to leave her and escape (sentencing her to death, she would not be able to fight off the terrorist group alone and she would be tortured or killed unless she agreed to help them with their mission), or, the more interesting version that is the plot I think I’m going to use in this class, is that PC decides to turn off the pylons so she can escape, risking the terrorist group escaping as well. The group prepares to leave while PC, the scientist, stays in the lab and turns off the pylons. However, the terrorist group gets wind of their plan and comes to the lab to try and stop PC. PC successfully turns off the pylons, and once the group is through, turns them back on and destroys the ability to turn them off. The terrorists capture and infect PC, and it fades to black unclear whether or not PC survived or escaped.


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