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The Doclopedia #1,266
The Alphabet: O is for…
Oregon Plague…is the common name for a virulent disease that first appeared in the coastal town of Newport, Oregon in the summer of 1988 and rapidly spread across first North America, then the world.
The airborne virus was believed to have been released from an undiscovered cavern when a water well drilling rig broke through. Within 12 hours, the 5 man drilling crew became ill, developing fevers and nausea. 24 hours later, all but one of them was dead and everyone they had come into contact with was sick. Given that the men had spent 2 hours at a very popular coastal bar/restaurant, it is estimated they spread the disease to 300 or more people traveling up and down the coast highway.
Spread by tourists, truckers and airline passengers & crew, within a week hundreds of thousands of people were dead. The numbers doubled every 2 days. Only 1 in 10,000 people who contracted the disease lived through the initial sickness, but they became transmitters for it and were quarantined in most countries or killed in others. The world economy began a rapid collapse.
Over the next 5 years, even people who had survived the plague the first time got sick again, with 1 in 500 surviving and no longer showing any sign of infection, though most were rendered sterile. After a few more years, the plague seemed to die out in most areas. World population was estimated at 600 million, give or take 25 million.
In the current year, 2007, the population has crept up to near 800 million. Most people live in cities and have an understandable fear of the wilderness. They also tend to love and protect children far more than people did pre-plague.
Nobody lives in Western Oregon, Western Washington or Northwestern California anymore.
The Doclopedia #1,267
The Alphabet: O is for…
Old Man Perkins…is one of those very rare people who is almost exactly the same across dozens of realities. Sadly, he is a cantankerous old son of a bitch in all of them.
Old Man Perkins (his first name, which nobody uses, varies) usually lives in a small to medium sized town in a small home. Sometimes he is married to a very nice woman whom everyone likes, while other times he is a widower. He also always seems to own a big older dog named Bob. Bob never does much besides sleep, eat and piss on things.
Old Man Perkins is always retired from some job. These include trucker, cop, king’s guard, soldier, shopkeeper, robot repairman, farmer, bus driver, carpenter, innkeeper, starship construction worker, sailor and many others. Regardless of his former job, he is an old fart now who mostly yells at people or bitches about things in general at the local drinking establishment.