Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome (MORFS)

Sounds like a nasty disease doesn’t it? Well if you think that, you would be correct but only in author Brittany McMasters MORFS universe. Unlike most postings I have made in this category this is not about a particular book/story nor about any one author, but about a concept for a Sci Fi universe that multiple authors wright in. First what is MORFS?

‘Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome’ or MORFS for short, was originally launched on the world’s population by means of a genetically engineered virus. It had been started as an attempt at a biological weapon by a group of terrorists back in the early 2000s. The virus spread unnoticed across the globe. All life forms that experience some form of puberty where affected. This virus altered the strand of DNA that is supposed to protect and regulate the integrity of an individual’s genome. The mutated portion essentially disables all or part of that activity, thus allowing many other mutations and gene swaps to appear and survive. This altered DNA was passed down to all subsequent generations and now each child is faced with the chance of undergoing life changing mutations in their teenage years.

As you can see it is set in a “parallel” universe to our own where a biological weapon doesn’t do what it was planned to do, but in some ways it did something far worse: It forces people to critically examine whether they “like” someone based on something physical or for who they are, because the physical can change drastically in just a few short days. In the MORFS Universe you have people switch genders, grow tails, wings or other animal traits. You see people go from being Ms./Mr. Good Looking to looking  literally like a horse. You also have the standby “powers’ of Science Fiction such as Telepathy, Telempathy, TK, Teleportation, Super Strength and more that people can get in various degrees and can be feared by those that don’t have nor understand it.

While some of the authors use the universe as a platform for their own political, religious and social beliefs to me that is far outweighed by the question of: “How would you think of your Girlfriend/Boyfriend (remember the characters are set at the age of puberty), Son/Daughter if they suddenly stopped looking like they did and now look like a cross between a human and a cat (or dog, bear, pig, squirrel, horse….) or they switched from Male to Female or vice versa”.

Another aspect is how would you handle such a thing? one day you are Tommy the Running Back in high school and 4 days later your Tammy with the reproductive equipment to go along with that name.

if you want to explore stories like that go to Brittany McMasters MORFS site and give it try:

http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/

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