Black queen is the slang term for death caused by the wild card virus. It's by far the most common occurrence when a person is infected by the alien virus; 90% of the infected die in horrible ways. Like all other manifestations of the virus, no two black queens are exactly alike. Some people burst into flame, others are turned to stone, some simply bleed from all orifices. The symptoms vary wildly from person to person. In any case, their bodies are unable to accommodate the radical changes caused by the virus, and they pass away.Some terminal victims of the virus don't die right away. An example would be the man whose body cavities were gradually closing, ultimately making it so his heart had no way to beat. Fortunato's father had wounds opening and closing all over his body, until one of them opened all the way to his heart.
There is no technical difference between black queens, jokers, and aces, as they are really a spectrum (with "joker-aces" in between jokers and aces). The mutation caused by the wild card virus is unpredictable, and 90% simply happen to be so extreme that they are not biologically sustainable and prove to be fatal shortly after infection. A few newly-turned jokers have unstable mutations but they might take some time to die from them: these are rare and it isn't certain if they would be considered a joker or a black queen.
In the first days of the wild card, when the virus was released over the skies of New York City in September 15 of 1946, there were ten thousand black queens. Many more would follow after each outbreak of wild card in the US or abroad. September 16, the day following the release of the virus, is known as Black Queen Day, to commemorate the passing of all the fatal victims of the wild card.
Far up the street, a man raced from a doorway screaming. He seemed to grow larger and his movements more erratic as he moved to the center of the street. Then he exploded.