Shelton's disease is an ailment that affects travelers though an Einstein-Rosen bridge. It is named after Rudyard Shelton, one of its victims.


Anyone who travels through an Einstein-Rosen bridge contracts it, even if the attempted jump was a failure (as in Card of Ten). There are no known individuals who proved immune to the disease.

In addition, any offspring of afflicted individuals have a 100% chance of contracting the disease.


Shelton's disease has no symptoms whatsoever, until the moment of death which is always a freak brain hemorrhage with no warning. Notably, those known to be afflicted can calculate the year of their death. The projected year of death is dependent on the traveler's species and age; Shelton, a 40-year old human, lived for another 20 years, while Werner Donitz, a 19-year old human, lived for another 25. Anti-matter duplicates were treated as their biological rather than their chronological age; Oscar Shelton was technically only 13 when he died at the same time as Rudyard Shelton.

Other VersionsEdit

Time PlagueEdit

The Time Plague is a strain of Shelton's disease that Roy Hawkeye (anti-matter), Neku and Snow brought to the Anti-matter universe when they escaped alternate Pelvanida. Unlike the original Shelton's disease, the Time Plague was transmittable through proximity, and killed its victims exactly 25 years after contracting it. It ravaged the Earth's population, and the traveller jumped through the Einstein-Rosen Bridge in a last-ditch attempt to find the cure from the originating universe. (Find the Cure!)

Gate PlagueEdit

Anti-matter Hans, Anti-matter Werner, and Seska came down with what they called the 'Gate Plague' while living with the settlers of Gaman's moon. This version of the disease had enough symptoms that they were able to recognize it before succumbing. It also had different symptoms: those infected with the gate plague would slip into a coma, where they couldn't eat and would slowly starve to death.

Sophie Donitz was also infected with the gate plague, but unbeknownst to her was avoiding its fatal symptoms by her excessive smoking of sallowroot, which contained fentacyamine. After she visited Earth, Oscar Shelton, Steven Johnson and Carol Smithson discovered fentacyamine's ability to prevent the symptoms of the gate plague. Micah Landon synthesized four doses of the cure, one for every infected individual, though they'd need to regularly consume or smoke sallowroot to stay alive. (Ask the Characters, Next of Kin)

Known contractorsEdit

The following individuals died due to contracting Shelton's disease:

The following individuals contracted Shelton's disease, but died of unrelated circumstances before it could run its course:

The following individuals contracted Shelton's disease, and whether they died to it is unknown:

Note that the last two individuals on this list wound up in places where it would be impossible for the cure to inoculate them.

The following individuals contracted Shelton's disease but lived long enough to witness the cure being found:


  • In "Pilot", Alexandra Kerzach tells Malte that his father never traveled through the bridge, and Malte states later that this means he never contracted the disease. However, Kerzach did travel through the bridge in Pavlov's Checkmate, meaning that both of them were afflicted. Both live long enough to witness the cure.
  • The titular Shelton may be Oscar Shelton, as he died of the disease before Rudyard did.
  • The name of f-22 "raptor" ace's short story the Disease is alluding to Shelton's disease.
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