Ruthlessly vicious and fiercely intelligent, the victims of infection now prowl the remains of the city and threaten the survivors at every turn. With heightened predatory senses and sophisticated pack behavior, the infected show no understanding of who they used to be and are driven by an insatiable need to attack any living thing.Their unchecked aggression, inexhaustable energy, and violent imbalance cause them to constantly scratch at themselves, leading survivors to nickname them scratchers.

Accounts vary as to the rate infection takes hold, and anecdotal evidence suggests alcohol can mitigate or even counteract the virus, but there are no hard rules and some take no chances. At the first wound or the first sign of unprompted aggression from another person, only the softest of survivors hesitates to protect themselves from a potential soon-to-be-scratcher.