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The Change is upon us!
~ Frequent Lost proclamation.

The Lost are one of the staples of the M.M.O. City of Heroes. They appear in low-income areas as impoverished homeless people at-first but any citizen who approaches will not be seen again - for the terrible truth is once The Lost get their hands on someone, they too shall become "Lost"!

Origins

The Lost started popping up after 2007 when the Rikti invaded. All of a sudden the city's homeless population took a huge spike, presumed from the mass amount of people displaced after the war. But these were no simple destitute citizens, those without homes had begun to mutate. Why was left unexplained for a long time and either way the P.P.D.  (Paragon Police Department) had to scramble to combat them, for these homeless were far more than just ill-tempered, they were outright homicidal mad. Many had descended to grunting and roaring, the ones that did talk spoke only declarations of violence as they attacked - it was clear whatever mutated them had affected their minds. Many family members tried to reach-out to their mutated fathers, sons, brothers and so-forth to try to give them homes and show they were still cared for, but the mutated were too far gone to even be reasoned with by those they once called kin, and those individuals were said to be truly Lost. The name stuck and the mutated homeless were deemed "The Lost" as it was sadly safe to assume anyone who went legally missing likely had ended up the victims of the mutation.

The central parks of Perez Park and Eastgate (now called The Hollows) were thought to be sources of the mutagen. The Hollows had become a hive of drug activity - with the super-power drug Dyne hawked by the gang of drug-dealing nihilists - The Skulls. Though most druggies ended up as the more well known Trolls, The Lost were thought to be a possible off-shoot from a different type of drug effect; The Skulls neither cared nor commented on the possibility. In Perez Park the water had been tainted by mysterious sludge monsters called Hydra. The Hydra seemed to be golem like manifestation of pollution that had begun to walk out of the sludge dumped their by Crey Industries. Naturally Paragon City barricaded the park and forbade anyone drinking from or swimming in the water in the park, but of-course the homeless would heed no such warning. The towns of Kings' Row, Overbrook (now called Faultline) and Skyway, were hit the hardest by The Lost population explosion. Though city officials did not know their precise cause, they certainly saw their effect, and meta-human force was approved to combat them.

Behavior

Regardless of origin The Lost still were a major threat. They attacked citizens, and those they caught they exposed to their mutagens. The Lost are not a simple sample of change but rather exist on a scale. Most look still human, albeit dirty, ragged and dazed from their life on the street - though a close look will expose red or vacant eyes, aggressive boils, or warped facial features. However the longer a Lost remains... Lost, the more they mutate, getting bigger and having their mouths and hands fuse, at this stage they are referred to as "Mutates". These Mutates have mysteriously acquired laser riffles and energy sabres - kept concealed beneath their rags until it is too late for their prey to react properly. Mutates dot their mobs of lesser Lost, governed by the same frenzied behavior, but a  slightly hardier physical threat. The more advanced and least human (literally and metaphorically) are the Anathemas. Anathemas have been completely warped, they grow fangs, under-bites, fused fingers, massive muscles and psychic brains. Anathemas convert civilians first mutated. The mutagen promotes physical change and eventually brain chemistry change, but the Anathemas use their psychic powers to make the victims accepting of it, and even look forward to it. By the time the chemicals have permanently changed them, The Lost are given new identities programed into them by the Anathemas - and believe they are part of a great evolutionary change, their time as humans, by then seen as a pupa stage to their new lives. Lastly there are the Pariah Prelate - less bulky than their Anathema recruiters, but more powerful psychics. Where an Anathema does conversions, a Pariah Prelate organizes attacks and telepathic pilgrimages when The Lost need to gather on one point for meetings and mass raids. Pariah Prelate are the last stage of The Change before The Lost hit an entirely new level that can no longer be qualified as even Lost, with the Pariahs and Anathemas keeping all recruits desperate to experience it themselves. The Lost reject human society and blindly follow their Pariah Prelate elders as one part pseudo zombies, and one part cult.

Many early contacts try to find the true origins of The Lost, but mostly this gets side-tracked for clearing infected areas to prevent more people from becoming Lost. The contact Montague is a modern-day magician who aims to beat the Lost problem with one part science and one part magic. Montague's investigations will allow players to actually cures The Lost - by using science to identify the mutation and using alchemy to craft an enchantment that reverses the mutation completely. Montague's "Lost Cure Wand" only has 50 charges but he aims to pass them out to help any Lost captured by the police get some measure of a life back. In the Rogue Isles one man, Timothy Raymond, escaped Lost enthrallment. Timothy had been born with a psychically active brain (though he did not know it until after his mutation) for when further mutated by The Lost's mutagen, Timothy was able to use his psychic powers to break free of normal conditioning techniques and fled. When encountered by Villains, Timothy is out for both revenge and a chance to regain details of his former human identity back.

True Origins

The real origin of The Lost is exposed in the later half of the game. The Lost's mutagen "Shift" was spread to them by The Rikti. The Rikti spread a biological weapon that converted humans into Rikti, The Lost believers turned out to be horrifyingly correct, they were succumbing to an evolution - The Great Change, was in-fact gestation into Rikti. The Rikti had invaded the planet, but were stopped in 2007 when the hero Statesman knocked down their mother-ship, and the hero, Hero 1, had lead a task-force to destroy the Rikti portals to their home-world. Though the Rikti had fortified themselves in their ship they were still stuck and with finite troops. They sent many cases of Shift to a Mysterious Benefactor, who claimed they wanted to help the Rikti - as the chaos in Paragon CIty helped the Benefactor continue to hold sway in Paragon. Though the Rikti did not trust their Benefactor completely, they were still useful in various endeavors, one being spreading Shift to low-income areas to start turning the dregs of society into converts to the Rikti's goals for world conquest. Eventually converts became conscripts once they had time to fully mutate. The terrible truth as discovered by the Vanguard - anti-alien coalition of military-forces, and arm of the U.N., is that Hero 1, the man who vanished into a Rikti portal on a presumed suicide mission to cut off the Rikti from their home-world had survived, but was the first Earthling exposed to Shift. Now the former hero is a mutated shadow of his former self as The Lost Arch-Villain Honoree, pawn of The Rikti, enslaved to their will, barely able to think. If Honoree fights long enough he eventually begins to think again, but his only thoughts are to ask to be killed rather than continue to harm his home-planet as a Rikti pawn.

Trivia

  • Any mission that has Lost as default, as the player levels up in the mid 20s to low 30s, various mobs on the mission maps will be changed from The Lost to Rikti, signifying the change.
  • According to Timothy Raymond, he considers murdering The Lost to be a mercy, stating he would rather have been dead than in his zombie-like state and slaying every last Lost is an act of infinite kindness to the hellish mental state they exist in.

Gallery

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