The Chosen do not know that they exist in large amounts.
The Affected came into being 20 years ago, when the Meta Virus first broke out. When, out of fear, the Chosen began casting the sick out into the Outlands, those effected by the virus discovered that, though the conditions were harsh in the wastelands, there were certain minerals in the air (which had previously been toxic to their lungs) that actually aided their survival.
They kept the name Affected, as they were called in Cainan, and when their numbers began to grow, they created settlements for themselves, spaced out over the wastelands. They hid from the Marked, who were ordered to shoot on spot any Affected who had not yet died in the wastelands, so as not to risk infection of themselves or any other Chosen.
Now, the Affected live in secrecy.
Like the Chosen, the Affected have select physical abilities exceeding the norm of the human race prior to this time period. Here are the most common:
- Elongated lifespan - Though not immune to physical attacks or disease, the Affected can accumulate many years in their lifetimes. However, their aging process is normal.
- Camouflage - The Affected are skilled in the art of stealth, so much so that they can become one with the scenery.
- Night vision - A rare ability only found in those who were affected by the first strain of the Meta Virus (typically, those who carry this ability are of the eldest Affected), night vision is prized amongst the Affected.
- Exceptional speed - Once spotted, an Affected can be very difficult to catch, even for a Marked.
The Affected settlements (all thus far unknown to the Chosen) are set up like tribes, each with its own council, comprised of the eldest Affecteds living there.
The Elders (council) of each tribe have a Head Elder who speaks for that settlement when contacting another settlement. This group defines the laws of each settlement and for all settlements. The Head Elder has the final say in any matter brought before the Elders.
Any Affected can bring an issue before the Elders to be judged.
They are far behind Cainan, as far as computers and such go, but the Affected are excellent problem solvers. Each settlement has one hacker or computer-savvy person (sometimes two) who maintains the security system for the settlement, studies and unlocks any technology they might find. These are called the Solvers.
Working closely with the Solvers are the Engineers, the mechanics and go-to guys of the settlement. They fix anything that needs fixing and build anything that needs to be built.