Universe rules

Welcome to the Universe Rules page. Hopefully this page will clarify any
questions that future MORFS authors have. So lets start with a short
description of the events that caused 'Massive Ontogenetic Regulation
Failure Syndrome' to become such a widespread and common medical condition
within the first few decades of the 21st century.

MORFS 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.

MORFS can be broken down into three distinct stages.

MORFS Stage 1: This is the stage most are in when diagnosed with MORFS. This
is the infection stage. One must catch a virus similar to the original
engineered virus in order for the mutated DNA strand to become active. The
effects of the virus caught by the individual is often multiplied by MORFS
and the individual will experience one or more of the following symptoms; vomiting,
nausea, diarrhea, cramping, stiffness of muscles, headaches, insomnia,
constipation and severe coughing. MORFS can be diagnosed properly only by a
physician through a proper blood test, although there are many home testing
products available.

MORFS Stage 2: Stage two is the MORFing stage. During this stage patients
are normally sedated and given what's known as an 'energy pack', which is
simply a mixture of the essential nutrients needed to pass through stage two
as quickly as possible. Energy packs can be administered in many ways, but
are most commonly taken through ingestion or an arm mounted IV. The duration
of stage 2 depends upon the severity of the changes, but on average lasts
3-4 days. Very rarely does it last less than 3 days although there have been
cases of it lasting less than a day, even with considerable changes. Without
the aid of energy packs, the changes would slowly take place from over a
number of months to more than a year.

MORFS Stage 3: Stage three is the recovery stage. This stage normally lasts
for one or two months after stage two. The recently MORFed individual still
carries the original virus in their system for this amount of time but is
not contagious. Often many changes many in stage two do not become fully
active until the end of stage three, once the body has recovered properly.
During this stage the immune system is much stronger than usual and many
patients have been cured of terminal illnesses during this stage. The immune
system returns to normal after the body has been fully healed and this
signals the end of stage three.

Additional Story Creation Rules.

1. MORFS can cause nearly ANY change to the physical body, so be creative,
don't limit yourself. Also, people can go through MORFS more than once or
experience more than one change (ex. A physical change of appearance and a
special ability)

2. Your story can take place any time from the first outbreak of MORFS,
which happened in the early hours of Dec. 25th 2008, or any time after that.
So again, be creative. Feel free to take it so as futuristic a time as you
want.

3. MORFS has been known to happen to a person as young as 9 years old to
those in their late 20's, although the average age of morfing is between the
ages of 13-16.

4. Look at the big picture. MORFS has affected the whole world in numerous
ways. New Animal species have been created. New races have been established.

So think of the effects this would have on the world and on the society your
characters are in..

5. Physical characteristics and special abilities acquired by MORFS have a
25% chance of being past down to a person's children. If both parents have
similar attributes, the chance of passing down those down to their offspring
is 80%. Children who have inherited these attributes are still just as prone
to go through MORFS themselves. They are not immune.

6. People who experience MORFS early during puberty can experience it again,
although the chances are much lower than the initial infection. 1 in every
352 children will catch MORFS more than once.

Rules For Story Submissions.

Due to the increase of authors writing in the MORFS Universe, I've felt that it is necessary to add this section to the Universe Rules.

Rule #1 - Grammar & Structure. Stories submitted for posting must have proper sentence structure and grammar. The story doesn't need to be perfect if it hasn't yet been proofed, but the proofreaders should not have to re-format the entire structure of a story before it is legible. The following are thing to watch for when writing a story.

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Avoid run-on sentences and paragraphs. During dialog, there should be a new paragraph for each different character. This helps the reader follow who is speaking.
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Use the proper punctuation. "… " are used for dialog. I will accept *… * or italics for telepathic dialog or thoughts, although I do prefer italics be used for thoughts and the asterisks be used for telepathy.
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Use proper dialog techniques. New paragraph for each speaker. Identify the speakers by using phrases such as …," said John. or …," cried Jane. This is an
easy way to identify the speaker and to add the correct emotion to what they've just said. NEVER use script format dialog such as:

John: Hi Jane, how are you?

Jane: I'm having a great day. Thanks for asking.

If I receive a story written with script format, I will not read/edit/post it. Use contractions. If you listen to how people talk, they rarely say phrases like do not, would not or they are. They say don't wouldn't and they're. Stories that don't use contractions during dialog have characters that sound flat and untrue. If you want character that feel real, then use slang and contractions. With a good author, you can tell who is speaking from the various speech patterns the individual characters have.

Rule #2 - Format. All stories should be sent to morfs@nowhere2go.org in either a txt, rtf or html file. rtf is the preferred format out of those three. When you e-mail it, let me know whether it is finished or needs proofing. I would ask that all authors wait at least one week after the story has been posted here before posting it at other sites.

Rule #3 - Extras. I would ask that authors send me a database entry for each main Morfed character in their story, following the examples listed on the database page. A picture is nice, but not required. Also, I would ask that anything you feel should be added to the MORFS Encyclopedia be sent to me along with your story.

Thank you for taking the time to read through these rules.