Tomekeepers is a project that’s been kicking around the back of my head for a long time now – over a quarter of my life. I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and look to crowd-source funding for a low-budget (but professional) web-series which will hopefully kick towards the middle of this year.
The premise for the series is a zombie-free post-apocalytpic near future in which Earth’s major population centres have been ravaged by factor 46 – a highly contagious nanovirus deployed as a bio-weapon by Gaia-Dire – a radical environmental group. Factor 46 was originally developed as a toolset for activating normally dormant human DNA for the treatment of genetic diseases. However, the ecoterrorists introduced unstable RNA compounds as the genetic payload so now instead of healing humans, it causes random and usually fatal mutations. A number of small populations survived in large and highly travelled cities via innoculations with a factor 46 variant with a DNA stabilizing payload, but not before millions died. Those treated with the antidote have occasionally started to manifest unusual abilities.
Remnants of western civilization remain, mainly in geographically isolated cities that were able to establish quarantine protocols before factor 46 was unleashed on an unsuspecting population. Most of those populations are in remote areas such as Adelaide and Perth in Australia, the Scottish Isles, South-Western Africa, rarely visited islands in the Indonesian archipelago and places such as Austin, Texas, Phoenix Arizona and parts of Scandinavia and Russia that were far enough away from infected sites to be able to establish protocols to keep others out.
The narrative follows the paths of two young women who take very different paths through a world in which knowledge is the difference between death and survival. Ally is an athletic, mentally agile girl who joins the recently established Tomekeeper Corps after graduating from high school. She is emotionally resilient, strong-willed, protective of her friends and a highly resourceful individual. However, she has a blind-spot for deception and is led into dangerous situations by opponents who take advantage of her gullibility. Ally’s best friend Mary is a somewhat more bookish individual who outscores Ally in most academic pursuits, but lacks her friend’s athleticism and is prone to self-doubt and poor self-esteem. These qualities result in her rejection from the Tomekeeper Corps, and leave her adrift while Ally heads to the TK Academy. The paths of the girls will cross at times – and these will be opportunities to underscore the changes that each of them is undergoing as they journey towards adulthood. The series will culminate in a crisis in which both will be forced to recognize a devastating truth which will change their relationship for the worse, and have lasting consequences for those around them.
As a reference point – think of Fringe, Alias and BtVS mashed up in a post-apocalyptic milieu where information is currency, and knowledge is power.