By Joseph Wakeling

NanoViruses are among the nastiest things to be made using nanotechnology.

NanoViruses are among the nastiest things to be made using nanotechnology. Although called viruses, they work in a different way: they consist of (usually microscopic) "nanobots" which are placed inside the body somehow (injection or ingestion being the favoured methods) and then proceed to attack the body. Just how effective they are depends on both their longevity (some nanobots last only minutes inside the body, others can remain active for months) and their method of attacking the body. Methods of attack include,

Molecular NanoViruses

Cause molecular destruction - attacking the molecular structure of the body, which can include splicing DNA, attempting to destroy cell membranes, killing white blood cells and antibodies and rendering the body vulnerable to diseases, and worse. The worst of these are those "viruses" made of self-replicating nanobots which take atoms from the body and rearrange them to create new versions of themselves. The effects that Molecular NanoViruses can have range from causing cancer, to symptoms similar to AIDS, to turning the victim into a horrific mutant, to ...

Note that many "ordinary" nanotech mixtures intended to beneficially change the genetic structure might well work as Molecular NanoViruses unless the user knows what he/she is doing...

**MacroViruses** As opposed to Molecular NanoViruses, which consist of thousands of microscopic nanobots, MacroViruses consist of a few (usually no more than a dozen) large nanobots ("large" basically means anything that is clearly visible to the human eye; as a rule of thumb, the total volume of a MacroVirus' nanobots rarely exceeds that of a couple of peas. Surprisingly, given some of the possible effects, it is actually preferable to have this type of NanoVirus over many other types, as the nanobots are far more easily located and dealt with.

Different types of MacroVirus include,

(a) "burrowers" which simply tunnel through the body, causing destruction on their way - bursting veins and arteries, damaging or destroying vital organs, cutting off nerve fibres... these tend to be the larger nanobots.

(b) "blockers". Some work by expanding to block off arteries or veins - the nastiest are "intelligent" enough to seek out those arteries most likely to cause a heart attack or starve the brain of oxygen. Others work by molecular manipulation, sewing together and creating new areas of flesh to block up parts of the body - perhaps to block off the stomach from the intestines, the lungs from the windpipe (nasty!) or (satanically inspired!) to give the unfortunate victim an undesired vasectomy.

(c) "poisoners". Usually one or two single large nanobots, these lodge themselves somewhere in the body (major blood vessels, the stomach or the intestines are favoured) and sit their "gathering" toxins. Anything nasty that comes by, the nanobot will grab it and hold it fast, until the area of the body surrounding it is just filled with unpleasant substances. The worst types of these use molecular manipulation to *create* terrible toxins.

NanoVirus Bullets

NanoVirus Bullets are bullets with a capsule containing one or more nanoviruses stored inside it. About two minutes after impact, the capsule breaks open, releasing the NanoVirus(es) into the body. Better be quick with those tweezers.


Mechviruses are NanoViruses designed to affect machines rather than humans (although they often affect humans just as badly, if not worse). They are typically "administered" by mixing with fuel (sort of a hi-tech equivalent of putting sugar in the gas tank), or spreading over a surface; sometimes "MechVirus Bullets", similar to the NanoVirus Bullets described in the previous post, are used. They come in a number of varieties generally similar to MacroViruses: "burrowers" which eat their way through whatever they come across (wires, armour, CPU chips...), "blockers" which block up tubes (usually carrying fuel - think what could happen if someone used MechVirus Blockers to infect the Avestites' Flamegun manufacturing plants...), and "poisoners" which alter the nature of chemicals used by the machine so that they (probably) won't work.

Other varieties include "Rusters" which, spread over a metal surface, speed up oxidisation, grabbing molecules of oxygen from the air and combining them with metal atoms; "Capacitors", which latch onto power sources, fill themselves up with electrical energy (possibly in the process denying it to areas of the machine), and then release all the energy in one large burst, hopefully damaging delicate electronic components; "Shorters", which cause short-circuits; and "Dictators", nanobots which latch onto computers' CPUs and override the chip - and note that this type will work just as well (in some cases, *best*) on an internal think machine.