the Disease is a short story by F-22 "raptor" ace, published on the Gang of Five starting July 1st 2017 and readable here. It covers Hans Donitz' death from Shelton's disease and the effect his death has on others living in the desert settlement.
Ten years after the end of Disruptive Selection, Hans and his son Werner have moved into the desert settlement that initially sent the terrorists that invaded Pelvanida. Werner is serving as their leader now that Hans has grown too old, and has also started a relationship with Pomson, the daughter of the former leader. Werner shows Pomson a newspaper detailing Shelton's recent unexpected death. Pomson is uninterested in anything to do with Werner's former friends, so the two visit the dining hall and wait for the chef to finish tonight's dinner. After some time, they're urgently summoned by the doctor's assistant because Hans has fallen unconscious. The doctor somberly informs them that Hans has died, just as suddenly as Shelton, and Pomson comforts Werner.
A few days later, Werner contacts James Zanasiu because he suspects that the Einstein-Rosen Bridge had something to do with Hans', Rudyard's, and Oscar's deaths. James agrees that he and Yuri Kerzach will meet with Werner to discuss his trepidation. Werner brings Pomson to the meeting, which occurs in Los Angeles. At the airport lounge, they briefly meet Joey, who is now a bartender. James arrives, and after some strained smalltalk, during which James mentions that Kerzach will arrive late tonight, the three agree to relocate to a hotel and save the serious conversation for after everyone's rested.
At the hotel, Werner goes to bed early and awakens to find James and Pomson maintaining a pleasant conversation, which relieves him since they'd been at each other's throats before. Pomson affirms that she's cooperating for Werner's sake, and privately confesses she's been waiting for him to propose to her. Werner promises to do so once he's purchased a ring. When James rejoins the conversation, the three talk about their family histories; Werner mentions his grandfather and three grand-uncles fought for the Nazis in WWII. James mentions his grandfather worked on the atom bomb, and Pomson recalls that her father knew nothing about his parents. After James gets a call that Kerzach is on his way, Agent Whittaker knocks on the door and introduces himself.
- Werner Donitz
- Hans Donitz
- doctor's assistant
- James Zanasiu
- Halsey (mentioned only)
- Rudyard Shelton (mentioned only)
- Oscar Shelton (mentioned only)
- Yuri Kerzach (mentioned only)
- Erik Varma-Zanasiu (mentioned only)
- Rudolf Donitz (mentioned only)
- Walter Donitz (mentioned only)
- Friedrich Donitz (mentioned only)
- Joachim Donitz (mentioned only)
- James Zanasiu's grandfather (mentioned only)
- Shakespeare clone (mentioned only)
- This is the first new Darwin's Soldiers story posted in over three years, since the publication of Byte Me in May 2014. This is also the first story written by f-22 "raptor" ace.
- With this story's publication, Mirumoto_Kenjiro and Lbt/cty lover become the only two authors from the original role-play who haven't written a story.
- This is the only story whose title has the first word uncapitalized.
- This story is Joey's first appearance in over 9 years, his only previous appearance being in the first roleplay. This is the second-longest real-world gap between character appearances, behind only the Shakespeare clone.