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Welcome to Better Worlds, The Verge's new series of short fiction, audio, and animation that explores how technology can shape our society and environment in better, more equitable ways. "The Burn" is part three of five audio adaptations of Better Worlds that will appear in Verge Extras.

In Peter Tieryas' story, “The Burn,” people around the world fall victim to a mysterious illness called the Burn. Eventually, AR researchers begin to suspect a pattern.

For more videos, audio adaptations, and written stories from Better Worlds, go to theverge.com.

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