Chapter 1: Prelude (antiquity - 1945)
Since ancient times, certain humans have been immortal. In later centuries, they would learn the reason: an infection by a strain of the "Progenitor virus". Aside from longevity, the virus conveys a healing factor, immense physical health, and silvery eyes. The virus conveys immunity to many diseases - it will immediately infect and neutralize microbes, for example - but does significant damage to the gut flora, leading to significant chronic pain.
Many immortals are angry at their condition: they will live forever, and suffer forever. Some manage to kill themselves, despite their resilience. Others form cults, or are overthrown by fearful mobs. Eventually, several immortals banded together to investigate their condition, and if possible cure it - if that meant death, at least they would know peace. They submitted themselves to investigation by Faraj ben Sālim, the Sicilian-Jewish physician and translator. In 1281, thanks to the ability to dissect and analyze a human body while it still lived and spoke, the group made a breakthrough. Though they do not speak of it, the group found a way to cure their endless pain and live normal lives. They banded together, taking the name Da'ath, or "knowledge" in Hebrew, swearing to become masters of the living world.
In 1718, a member of Da'ath manages to experiment with the Progenitor virus. He infects medicinal leeches with his own blood, which when applied to a human corpse could give it a temporary un-life. His story later forms the basis for Mary Shelley's story "Frankenstein".
In 1858, Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace introduce the theory of evolution: genetic descent with modification due to natural selection. Virchow, Schleiden, and Schwann develop the components of cell theory around the same time. The Victorian zeitgeist takes such discoveries in strange and unexpected directions. "Social darwinism", a term invented in the 1880s, claims that "survival of the fittest" is a suitable template for society, not merely a description of natural selection. The Contagious Diseases Act is passed in 1864 and confines women accused of venereal disease to "lock hospitals", disproportionately affecting the female working class of Britain. This conflation of morality and biology continues as a theme throughout the Victorian era.
This mixing of science and sociology comes to a head in 1893, when Professor Emmanuel Hildern elaborates his theory of evil as a transmissible plague and proposed, effectively, a vaccination against it. He bases his theory on the discovery of a humanoid but non-human skeleton, which develops tissue when exposed to water. Hildern is eventually locked away in an asylum run by his brother, and no further sign of the skeleton is found after a heavy rainstorm.
According to Darwin's theory, biological mutations can arise by chance, then spread broadly throughout a population. A radical change to the environment can be sparked by a single surprising event. History sometimes works in a similar fashion, and one particular spark came about because of a king and a writer.
In 1862, King Otto of Greece is forced to abdicate the crown. It is offered to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician. Bulwer-Lytton is a noted Hellenophile and his books have been well received by the public for years. Along with the offer, Bulwer-Lytton receives a startling secret. Shaken by what he is told, he declines the honor and returns to his work. Four years later, he is elevated to Baron.
In 1871, Bulwer-Lytton writes a fictionalized version of the secret he was told, called "The Coming Race". This novel features an unnamed narrator who discovers a way into a subterranean world. This inner Earth is populated by a people called the "Vril-ya" with telepathic and parapsychological abilities. Their civilization and powers are attributed to mastery of a mystical substance called "vril", analogous to electricity in its variety of applications.
The concept of "vril" is seized upon by a number of occult thinkers, including Rudolf Steiner, the literary critic, esoteric writer, and founder of Anthroposophy. Steiner's thinking separates him from his original comrades in the Theosophical movement, as he is more interested in developing a philosophy that incorporates natural science than following Theosophy's mystical mindset.
The Wahrheits Gesellschaft, or "Society for Truth", emerges as an inner circle of the Thule Society in 1911. The Society for Truth's members have read "The Coming Race" and other sources, and conclude that it is based on a true story. They begin searching for tangible evidence of vril, driven by Steiner's naturalistic approach.
In 1927, Robert Olmstead visits the New England town of Innsmouth, as part of a search for details of his own family line. He speaks with town drunk Zadok Allen, and learns the secret history of the town. An intelligent non-human species, the "Deep Ones", live under the sea, and periodically come to shore to breed with human beings. Almost everyone in Innsmouth is now a human-Deep One hybrid. Alarmed by this discovery, Olmstead approaches the Federal authorities with convincing evidence, causing them to send submarines and soldiers to Innsmouth. A general cleanup of the town occurs, driving the Deep Ones further under the sea. Olmstead himself commits suicide shortly thereafter, puzzling most members of his family.
Officials who obtain the corpses of Deep Ones compare them to the 1893 writings of Professor Hildern, and conclude that his "mysterious evil skeleton" was in fact a Deep One. The alarming conclusion is that the creatures must have existed for at least 80,000 years.
Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor, joins the Nazi Party in 1937, and the Schutzstaffel (SS) a year later. Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, was a noted esoteric and member of the Thule Society. Himmler's mystical leanings aren't of interest to Mengele, but some of the hints uncovered by the Society for Truth and spoken of by the SS high command - such as unusual human genetic potentials - fascinate him. He begins a series of monstrous experiments on prisoners during the war, unhindered by any sort of ethics or morality. He is assisted by other geneticists and scientists, among them Brigid Tenenbaum and Henry Jelliff.
Mengele and Jelliff escape the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 and move to Paraguay. They continue their research into human cloning. The Battle of Berlin ends May 2, 1945. Only July 9, the day a partial solar eclipse occurs in Berlin, Brigid Tenenbaum finally uncovers evidence of vril in a secret laboratory.
Chapter 2: Prophase (1946 - 1961)
Andrew Ryan flees Russia in 1919 as a child. His experiences under the Soviet dominion of his homeland sour him on any sort of socialist or collectivist system. He feels a similar disgust at America's "New Deal" social programs. As a successful industrialist and capitalist, he envisions a place where his ideals could be fully realized. He plans to create his own city, untouchable by "parasites".
Following the bombing of Hiroshima, an event that Ryan sees as a perversion of science, he creates blueprints for an underwater city called "Rapture" that will serve as a home for the elite. Construction commences in 1945. On November 5, 1946, Rapture is ready enough to welcome its first citizens. Only the best and brightest receive invitations, regardless of their origin or past history.
Operation Paperclip is started in 1945 by the OSS (the precursors to the CIA), as an effort to acquire Nazi scientific expertise, or at least deprive the Russians of it. Andrew Ryan's well-known hatred for the Soviet Union, his fluency in Russian, and his ties to the military-industrial complex allow him to be an integral part of Operation Paperclip. This in turn gives him access to the personnel records of many of Germany's top thinkers. He offers to smuggle them to safety in the United States, but channels several of them not to American shores, but to Rapture.
Brigid Tenenbaum is one such recruit. She spends the next four years researching vril and its applications in Rapture's laboratories, as well as performing other scientific research. She discovers a gene transfer mechanism in sea slugs that allow them to acquire traits from algae they consume. Using this ability, she creates "ADAM", a viral precursor to the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing process, that allows human beings to be genetically engineered to manipulate vril.
In her diaries, Tenenbaum records secret meetings between strange humanoids and members of Rapture's leadership. She hints that this contact may have been tied to the discovery of ADAM, and that these beings - the Deep Ones - may enjoy their immortality and ability to reproduce with humans thanks to their use of the proto-ADAM found in the sea slugs. Electron micrographs of viral bacteriophages have been available since 1940, and her diaries include similar micrographs showing samples taken from Deep Ones.
From 1946 to 1952, construction continues on Rapture. In 1951, Ryan's only law is passed: contact with the surface is forbidden. This law creates a thriving black market under the direction of Frank Fontaine, as the rich and influential citizens of Ryan's city are accustomed to getting what they want. Fontaine works with his existing contacts on the surface to create an "umbrella corporation" which will act as a front for his smuggling operation.
Tenenbaum's research requires materials that only Fontaine's black market pipeline can supply, and the two develop a working relationship. Once ADAM is ready, Tenenbaum uses Fontaine's influence in the city to manufacture and distribute it.
Tenenbaum lacks the technology to extract and work with DNA directly, making the Elysia chlorotica slugs a vital resource in producing ADAM. By implanting these slugs into a human host, ADAM synthesis can happen fast enough to meet Rapture's growing demand for designer genetic engineering. The implantation process requires immunosuppressive drugs which only function in conjunction with XX chromosomes in a pre-pubescent individual. The Little Sister's Orphanage, founded by Fontaine as a place for poor families to send their children, becomes the breeding ground for ADAM production, and the "Little Sisters" themselves are fuel for Rapture's new habit.
Ryan, realizing the psychological pressures facing the citizens of Rapture (lack of sunlight, close confinement, and so forth), brings in Dr. Sofia Lamb, a brilliant psychologist. However, Dr. Lamb's altruistic ideals contrast sharply with Ryan's "parasite" rhetoric, and she begins to persuade the poorer segments of the population to abandon Ryan's vision of Rapture.
In 1953, Professor Tom Nesbitt is involved in an atomic test in the Arctic. The blast thaws out a cryogenically frozen Rhedosaurus dinosaur, which follows the oceanic current from Baffin Bay to New York City. The beast is killed with a radioactive isotope shot into its neck. Before it dies, much of its blood is shed by attacking soldiers. This blood contains ancient diseases to which modern humans have no resistance.
Tenenbaum sends samples of the brain chemicals produced in the Little Sisters to the surface for analysis in 1955. Dr. Paul Ruth performs the analysis and concludes that the chemicals have great potential. He synthesizes and distributes a drug called Ephemerol based on his findings, marketing it as a safe tranquilizer for pregnant women. Many women begin using it, including Ruth's own wife, who gives birth in 1956 and 1960.
By 1958, "Plasmids" - the fully realized fruit of Tenenbaum's integration of vril and human genetics - become commercially available in Rapture. These genetic weapons allowed people to start fires or create lightning, freeze a target, or even move things telekinetically. By 1959, the city has fallen into a civil war, stoked by the competing visions of Andrew Ryan's twisted idealism, Frank Fontaine's anything-goes capitalism, and Sofia Lamb's altruistic excess, and empowered by ADAM and Plasmids.
Andrew Ryan's mistress Jasmine Jolene becomes pregnant. Since much of Rapture's critical technology was locked to Ryan's genetic code, his biological child would have similar levels of access. Realizing the possibilities, Fontaine purchases the embryo from Jolene in 1956. Dr. Yi Suchong and Fontaine accelerate the development of this embryo to maturity, using a biochemical treatment called "Lot 111". Dr. Suchong implants mental conditioning into this individual, named "Jack".
In 1959, Joyce Webster finds her husband Paul at a secret science lab in the Louisiana bayou. The facility, funded by Fontaine's smuggling corporation and doing experiments for Dr. J.S. Steinman, is experimenting with limb regeneration. As a side effect, the test subjects are mutating into alligator-human hybrids. The lab is destroyed in an explosion.
Jack is brought back to Rapture in 1960. Manipulated by Fontaine under the guise of populist hero "Atlas", Jack kills Andrew Ryan. Dr. Tenenbaum assists Jack in overcoming his mental conditioning, and together the two rescue the remaining Little Sisters in Rapture. Jack confronts and kills Frank Fontaine. Jack, Dr. Tenenbaum, and several of the restored Little Sisters escape from Rapture in a bathysphere.
One of these Little Sisters is adopted by the Trevor family, George and Jessica. They name their child "Lisa".
Chapter 3: Metaphase (1961 - 1975)
Rapture couldn't keep its secrets forever. The First Biological Warfare Command, alias "Blackwatch", is established in 1962 by DARPA and the Department of the Army. The program's mandate is to secure America against biological attack, but its leadership goes further: they want to create new viral agents as weapons of war.
Dr. Tenenbaum was one of Andrew Ryan's Operation Paperclip recruits, under the alias "Anna Zimmerman". Blackwatch's agents track her down after her escape from Rapture, and manage to wrest some of the secrets of ADAM from her. She refuses to work with them, and is killed by government assassins. Blackwatch begins tracking down Jack and the escaped Little Sisters, whose bodies have been significantly altered by their exposure to ADAM.
In 1963, Blackwatch begins "Carnival I": the introduction of a new "Redlight" virus into chimpanzees. Redlight is derived from the "Lot 111" treatment obtained from Tenenbaum, adapted into viral form. The effects are immediate and positive: enhanced intelligence, strength, and other physical features.
By 1964, Blackwatch is ready to test the effects of the Redlight virus on humans. The create an artificial town in Idaho, called "Hope", and round up a genetically diverse population to inhabit the place. The official story is that Hope is meant to test self-sufficient towns in the event of a nuclear war. On June 11, 461 subjects are infected with Redlight, told only that they are receiving routine immunization shots. Unlike chimpanzee subjects, no immediate mutations or physical changes were observed. 27 children, dubbed "Hope Children", were born to the infectees in 1965. Their life expectancy was typically 3 years or less.
Blackwatch also sponsors the creation of a facility for studying Redlight. This facility is buried underground near Flatrock, NV, and dubbed "Wildfire". A series of protocols are put in place to keep Wildfire safe, and if necessary to sterilize it with an atomic bomb. The laboratory is equipped with every conceivable scientific tool for studying microbial and viral lifeforms.
Frank Fontaine's investment in ADAM was richly rewarded. His Umbrella Corporation has become independently wealthy thanks to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, bioweapons, and genetic engineering. Lord Oswald E. Spencer, one of the virologists and independently wealthy to begin with, publicly becomes president of Umbrella. In 1966, he, Dr. James Marcus, and Brandon Bailey make a breakthrough in unlocking the double-stranded RNA virus they called "Progenitor".
Lord Spencer has a mansion in the Arklay Mountains designed and built in 1967 as a place where research can take place away from official scrutiny and Blackwatch's prying eyes. Spencer also leads an expedition to the city of Ndipaya people, during which his colleague Sir Edward Ashford dies due to viral exposure. To cover their tracks in Africa, the Umbrella team releases an artificial and rapidly-spreading virus into the ancient Ndipaya ruins. Blackwatch officers General Ford and Major General McClintock use a fuel bomb to destroy the infected area, assigning the name "Motaba" to the viral agent they found.
Spencer's real reason for creating the mansion is to get access to George Trevor's daughter Lisa, and her unique "Little Sister" physiology. Spencer does away with George, then forcibly administers the Progenitor virus to Lisa and her mother Jessica on November 10, 1967. When Jessica shows no interesting effects, Umbrella kills her. Lisa, however, survives the process and is horribly altered. Umbrella extracts a modified virus, the "G-virus", from Lisa's body.
In 1968, Dr. Marcus are officially brought on board by Umbrella to push Progenitor research forward. Spencer hope to use Progenitor's unique infective and mutative properties as a substitute for ADAM, and as a tool to achieve godhood.
By 1968, almost all the "Hope Children" were dead. The exception was a child of a former Little Sister, now going by the name Elizabeth Greene. Redlight turned Greene's body into a virus factory, and their infections turned the other residents of Hope into a hive mind with one purpose: defend and obey Greene.
Alexander Ashford, son of deceased Lord Edward, begins construction of a secret base in Antarctica to perform further viral research. This work is completed in 1968.
In 1969, Blackwatch initiates "Operation Altruistic": the forced purification of the Carnival II experiment site in Hope, ID. They capture or destroy all of the infected citizens, take possession of the bodies of the Hope Children, and recover Elizabeth Greene and her child (dubbed "Pariah").
The Hope infectees controlled by Greene come in several varieties. One, of a highly mobile and intelligent type dubbed a "Runner" by Blackwatch, escapes the Hope military cordon. It flees, crossing 1400 miles to reach Piedmont, AZ (mistakenly labeled "Two Bluff" in Blackwatch records). Robert Cross, then a captain in Blackwatch, tracks the creature there, thankfully with minimal casualties along the way. He is able to destroy it, but not able to prevent the resulting infection of Piedmont's residents. Everyone except two people - the town drunk and an infant child - subsequently dies. Blackwatch sterilizes the town with a thermobaric weapon.
Blackwatch takes its Carnival II samples and dispatches government scientists to Wildfire to study mutated microbes that survived the Hope experiment, under the code name "Andromeda". After several tense days, including the near obliteration of the facility by its inbuilt nuclear weapon, the researchers discover that Andromeda itself has mutated into a benign form. To maintain operational security, none of the researchers are told the true origin of the microbe: instead, they are informed that it came down as part of a crashed military satellite.
In 1970, Anna Hart is born. In reality, she is a clone of Brigid Tenenbaum, alias "Anna Zimmerman". Blackwatch has produced several other clones, and fostered them into families identical to Tenenbaum's. Over the next several years, the clones receive trace amounts of ADAM harvested from Tenenbaum herself. Blackwatch hopes that ADAM's memory-transferring properties will awaken Tenenbaum's memories and genius in the clones.
Blackwatch creates a front company, the Rossum Corporation, to invest in medical technologies and research that will validate the presence of emergent memories in their Anna clones. To that end, Rossum purchases the rights to magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, after it's invented by Paul C. Lauterbur in September 1971. The corporation gradually dissociates itself from Blackwatch to pursue the ambitions of one of its executives, Clyde Randolph.
In 1970, Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson meet in college. The next year, the two are married and expecting their first child, Charlene. They met as test subjects for a hallucinogen called "Lot 6". Like Ephemerol, Lot 6 is derived from Rapture "Plasmid" biotechnology and the mutated Little Sister physiology, but processed and concentrated. The drug in their systems endows both of them with psychic abilities, and finds its way into the brain of their unborn child Charlie. Charlie herself is born in 1973.
The National Institute of Mental Health receives samples of Redlight for further experimentation. They apply the virus to a collection of rats and mice. Unbeknownst to the researchers, the rodents acquire enhanced intelligence (and perhaps other special abilities), and engineer their own escape from the NIMH facility in 1971.
Blackwatch manages to extract a sample of the viral infection Elizabeth Greene used to control her fellow citizens in Hope. Although the infection doesn't create a hive mind, it does induce gradual insanity. This virus, code named "Trixie", is transported by airplane in 1973. The plane crashes near Evans City, PA, and pollutes the local water supply. The townsfolk are quickly driven insane by the infection, while Blackwatch soldiers under the command of Colonel Peckem move in to clean up, contain, or sterilize the city.
Chapter 4: Anaphase (1975 - 2009)
Biology itself is now officially a threat to mankind. High-ranking government officials, senior corporate officers, and experienced biologists all consider the problem in their own way, and with their own people. Their conclusions fall into two camps. Either humans need to be improved, or people need to escape being human.
John Hammond founds International Genetics Incorporated, or "InGen", in 1975. Born in 1913, he has a string of successes already behind him, but he is unable to conquer his real enemy: aging and death.
In 1975, rebel scientist Eddie Jessup experiments with a South American hallucinogen which, in combination with sensory deprivation, causes him to physically revert to a pre-human state. The hallucinogen is derived from a plant called the Sonnentreppe , or "Stairway to the Sun", and also grows in West Africa. The plant is a natural producer of the Progenitor virus, and Jessup's physical transfiguration is linked to his deeply repressed religious mania.
Dr. Raymond F. McMullen founds GenTek on November 1, 1976. He receives funding from the government's Blackwatch organization. The company's purpose is to experiment on the Redlight virus, and to study the research subject Elizabeth Greene.
Also in 1976, aging Nazi hunter Ezra Liebermann receives information that Nazi scientist Josef Mengele has cloned Adolf Hitler 94 times. He is attempting to recreate the Fuhrer's mental state in the clones by carefully shaping their upbringing, culminating in the killing of their adoptive fathers. Rather than using Jelliff's more careful approach, Mengele is determined to achieve quick results before he himself dies. Liebermann is able to track and confront Mengele, and in cooperation with another Nazi hunter, David Bennett, uncovers and dismantles the cloning operation.
Dr. James Marcus, working under Lord Spencer and the Umbrella Corporation, successfully engineers the Progenitor virus into the "t-virus" on September 19, 1977, using Eddie Jessup's research as a basis for understanding its transformative properties. Marcus further experiments with infecting leeches in 1978, but later concludes that humans would be better guinea pigs. The t-virus is a multi-use biological weapon: it can kill and transform a population into ravenous zombie-like creatures, while one in ten million people have the correct genetic potential to mutate into monstrous living weapons called "tyrants". A t-virus victim's mental state influences the mutation, and only humans have sufficiently controllable mental states.
The Umbrella research team responsible for the t-virus work to understand how the anomalous development of extra mass occurs in the bodies of infectees. They conclude that the mysterious "vril" is responsible for the observed effects, and dub the products of the t-virus (and similar life forms) as "VRIL" - Viral/Retroviral Intron Lifeforms. The first VRIL creations - the zombie and a creature dubbed the "Hunter" - show promise as a subset of VRILs called BOWs - Bio Organic Weapons.
Blackwatch's Department of Scientific Intelligence, also known as "The Shop", kills Vicky Tomlinson in 1980. They pursue her family, Andy McGee and his daughter Charlie, who has developed powerful pyrokinetic powers. The pair are captured and separated, with members of the Shop unsuccessfully attempting to gain Charlie's trust. The Shop's senior man and much of the upper echelon is killed by Charlie herself, who also blows up several of its buildings in the process.
In 1979, Dr. Hal Raglan's Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics demonstrates a revolutionary method of treating patients with psychological issues. Dr. Raglan's method depends on an infusion of modified ADAM, which doesn't require infusions of EVE but can have unintended side effects. His star patient, Nola Carveth, begins spontaneously manifesting her frustrations as deformed dwarfish apparitions who kill the objects her frustrations. Eventually Nola's husband convinces Dr. Raglan of the danger of his approach, and the institute is closed. Dr. Raglan and Nola die, but her daughter Candice (now showing signs of the psychoplasmic condition) escapes.
In 1981, members of Mengele's cloning project join InGen as research scientists. Hammond is interested in their human cloning work, but they inform him that tremendous amounts of capital will be required to create a clone that will retain his personality, not merely resemble him. Hammond begins work on a radical idea: cloning dinosaurs and stocking a park with them as live exhibits. He believes that this will raise enough capital to fund his immortality research. InGen is able to successfully clone a dinosaur by 1984, and a velociraptor in 1986.
The children born after exposure to Ephemerol steadily reach adulthood. All of them exhibit telepathic powers, but also suffer from sensory overload, mental noise, and other side effects of uncontrolled mind-reading. Dr. Ruth dubs them "Scanners", since they are able to scan or make mental contact with other minds, even with computers. Dr. Ruth's employer ConSec is interested in the security applications of the Scanner power. When telepathic terrorist Darryl Revok disrupts a 1981 ConSec Scanner demonstration by killing the presenter, Dr. Ruth recruits Cameron Vale, another Scanner with powerful latent abilities, to track down and terminate Revok. In their final conflict, Revok kills Vale's body, but Vale transmits his mind into Revok, overwriting his personality.
Anna Hart, one of the clones of Brigid Tenenbaum, learns of her existence as a clone in 1982 with the aid of Michaela Dupont, who is secretly also a clone. They confront Henry Jelliff, using Michaela's knowledge of the cloning process in trade for the safety of the Anna clones.
Cloning the body is not enough to ensure immortality. One's consciousness must also find its way into a new host. In 1984, the Rossum Corporation uses their existing position as number one seller of MRI machines to acquire mental maps of people around the world. They have a number of Scanners on the payroll, including Cameron Vale (now in the body of Darryl Revok), and offer psycho-suppressive drug treatments to keep them docile and sane. The Scanners, in turn, aid Rossum's engineers in understanding how to imprint a human mind onto a brain. Rossum develops a combination of magnetic and chemical processes that lead to the first "Active": a human body whose brain is a blank slate, ready to be programmed with a stored mind.
A chemical leak from Umbrella's New York City laboratory occurs in 1984. Some of their mutagenic viral samples infect a small group of turtles in the city sewers, causing significant physiological and mental changes. They encounter a similarly mutated rat, a survivor of the NIMH experiments, who has gained intelligence and martial arts skills over the last decade. The new humanoid-hybrid animals are sought after by Umbrella for their potential as weapons. They are hunted by Umbrella foot soldiers, or "the Foot" - half-alive humans infected by a variant t-virus, good for fighting but not much else.
Over the next several years, Rossum employs down-on-their-luck individuals to function as Actives. The Actives are assigned to "Dollhouses", scattered around the world in highly secretive locations, and deployed on engagements for high-paying clients. They receive synthetic personalities and skills to match the engagement's requirements. Rossum's eventual goal is the development of personal immortality through mind imprinting, and the Dollhouse is a way of building up a base of well-heeled clients and researching the necessary science.
Clyde Randolph is betrayed by one of his business partners at Rossum, and killed, in 1992. His conscious mind is transferred into "the Attic", a virtual reality simulation hosted by the Rossum mainframe.
In the early 90s, Anna Hart is visited by a mysterious man who only calls himself "Jack". He tells her the story of Brigid Tenenbaum, the woman from whom she was cloned. He leaves a package of information for her to read, and a word of advice: "don't just obey. Choose for yourself." Now an adult, Anna has her legal name changed to Anna Zimmerman, and begins the search for the Little Sisters of Rapture. Her search quickly leads her to Blackwatch itself, the sponsors of the cloning program which produced her. With the aid of Professor Bruckner, an expert in cloning who was also aware of Mengele's attempt to reproduce Adolf Hitler via cloning, Anna resolves to rescue the surviving Little Sisters. Her records show that many of them have fallen into Blackwatch's hands and are being used as experimental subjects.
InGen demonstrates Jurassic Park to a private team of scientists and investors in 1993. Due to sabotage of the park by InGen head programmer Dennis Nedry, several dinosaurs escape their enclosures and run rampant across the park. Nedry has been hired by InGen's rival to deliver dinosaur DNA specimens, but he is killed by the very dinosaurs he released before he can leave the island. Despite these serious problems, John Hammond remains determined to make the park a reality. Seeing the pleasure that dinosaurs gave to visitors, including his own grandchildren, he loses interest in immortality research and plans to focus entirely on the Park.
By 1995, Lisa Trevor has been exhausted of her potential to spawn bio-weapons. Umbrella, having lost several personnel to her grief-driven berserk rages, orders her termination. The effects of Umbrella's treatment on her have reawakened and enhanced her Little Sister durability, making her immune to almost any sort of attack. She is left for dead, but is in reality in a sort of suspended animation.
The Motaba virus reappears in Zaire in 1995, motivating USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases) virologists, other scientists, and members of the military to deal with it. Colonel Sam Daniels and others manage to avert the destruction of Cedar Creek, CA. In the process, Col. Daniels' analysis of Motaba reveals its ties to the Umbrella Corporation, prompting him to look further into the company's history. He confronts Brigadier General Billy Ford, who investigated the original outbreak and helped cover up Umbrella's involvement.
In 1998, both Raccoon City and the Umbrella base in the Antarctic both suffer t-virus outbreaks. The Raccoon City incident is investigated by members of STARS - a program sponsored by Blackwatch to train law enforcement personnel in detecting and combating "bio-crimes" - who discover the Arklay Mountains mansion of Lord Spencer, and are set upon by bio-organic weapons created by the t-virus. Raccoon City and the Antarctic base are both eventually destroyed by nuclear devices to contain the outbreak, and some of the STARS personnel do survive.
During the Raccoon City incident, Anna Zimmerman - who has joined STARS under an assumed identity - finds and rescues Lisa Trevor in the Spencer mansion. While Lisa is horrifically mutated and has been driven to near total madness by her experiences, Anna's resemblance to her long-lost "mother" Brigid Tenenbaum transfers Lisa's yearning for her mother into loyalty to Anna. The two escape Raccoon City's destruction together.
In the mid-90's, the ancient conspiracy Da'ath sponsors Operation Manticore, a program to genetically engineer controllable super-soldiers. They obtain DNA samples from the New York turtle hybrids' blood, which Umbrella managed to secure during its battles with them. With this as a foundation, Manticore begins work on human-animal hybrids for use as soldiers.
In 1999, in an attempt to treat Alzheimer's disease, sharks are genetically engineered to serve as donors for a vital protein. As a result, the animals become super-intelligent. They escape their underwater cages and kill several members of the science team, but are killed themselves. Unbeknownst to the team, the program is a cover for Manticore. From their perspective, they've gained valuable data on human intelligence in a non-human body.
Manticore succeeds in creating the first of their "X5" series human-animal chimeras in 2000.
Type S influenza, also known as the "Reaper virus", breaks out in Scotland in 2008. After a fruitless search for the cure, the entire country is quarantined.
On March 11, 2008, a weaponized form of rabies is released in an apartment building. The CDC establishes a quarantine. Reporter Angela Videl's footage is recovered from the scene, but there are no survivors and the entire building is isolated and purged. Unknown to the public at large, the virus was engineered by Da'ath. Dr. Peter Farragut of the CDC is instrumental in preventing the spread of the disease and performing an analysis of the virus itself.
Chapter 5: Telophase (2009 - 2038)
Geneticists Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast work on a series of transgenic human-animal hybrids in 2009. Their work is sponsored by a company called NERD (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development), a front for the secretive Operation Manticore. Their most successful creation is a being called Dren, who is intelligent but inhuman in its behavior. A series of tragedies and deaths close the program, but Manticore privately considers the work a success.
In 2009, Alex J. Mercer wakes up in a Gentek morgue in Manhattan, as the Blacklight virus overwhelms the city. With assistance from his sister Dana, he opposes Blackwatch and the USMC to find pathologist Dr. Bradley Ragland (half-brother to Dr. Hal Ragland). Ragland assists Alex in confronting Elizabeth Greene. In the process, Alex comes to understand that the real Mercer is now dead, having spitefully released Blacklight into the population upon his death, and that "Alex" is a sentient entity constructed by the Blacklight virus itself.
Blackwatch's General Randall is prepared to execute the Wildfire protocol, obliterating Manhattan with a nuclear weapon to contain the virus. Realizing that an electromagnetic pulse is enough to defeat the virus in its current form, Alex takes off with the weapon aboard a helicopter. The bomb itself doesn't physically damage Manhattan, but the EMP successfully purges the infection.
The cost is staggering. The EMP pulse has wiped out the major data centers of the East Coast, and the resulting power surge across a faulty and antiquated electrical grid does tremendous damage to the North American electronic infrastructure. This outcome, called "the Pulse", is attributed by the military to terrorist action.
Among other effects, the Pulse also wipes out the delicate imprinting tech being used by Rossum and its Dollhouses - perhaps for the best.
The Pulse paves the way for the Balkanization and fragmentation of the United States as a single political entity. Autonomous regions, indepence-minded microstates, corporate franchises, and even organized crime groups eclipse the previous Federal government in power.
In 2009, several X5 super-soldiers escape a Manticore facility located in Guilette, WY. They disappear into the offline darkness of America.
In 2010, United Nations negotiator Edward Douglas crash-lands near an island in the Java sea. He discovers the island is inhabited by a former neurosurgeon named Montgomery, a geneticist named Dr. Moreau, and Moreau's daughter Aissa. Douglas gradually discovers that Moreau was responsible for experiments in animal-human hybridization on the Manticore project. He now rules as a mad god-king over the hybrids of the island, including Aissa herself. Douglas's arrival unbalances the fragile tension of the island, leading to a general uprising and the deaths of Moreau, Montgomery, Aissa, and several of the hybrids. Douglas himself is able to escape and report his story.
Over the next several years, corporations rise in power and influence, without the restraint of government regulation. Although the largest and oldest corporations have been ruined by the Pulse, their human resources retain their skills. Meanwhile, the government consolidates and privatizes.
In 2013, con artist Sarah Manning observes the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her. Taking advantage of the situation to steal the woman's identity, Sarah eventually discovers she is one of several clones and that Neolution, a secret corporate conspiracy headed by Aldous Leekie, has an interest in her and her fellow clones.
In 2014, Dr. Alan Farragut and his team of CDC researchers fly to the Arctic BioSystems research facility. Their goal is to contain and study the Narvik virus, which has similarities to rabies, and was worked on by Alan's brother Peter. Peter came to ABS's attention after his work with the engineered rabies outbreak in 2008. The ABS facility is quickly overrun by zombie-like "vectors", who are infected with the virus and compelled to spread it to the uninfected. ABS's parent company, the Ilaria Corporation sends senior executive Constance Sutton to contain the situation.
In reality, Ilaria is a front for the ancient conspiracy of immortals called Da'ath, with the virus a key element in their plans. Narvik infectees will not attack Da'ath immortals, but will actively try to infect other people, making it an imperfect but viable tool for world conquest. The crisis ends with several members of Da'ath "killed" - unable to move, but still somehow alive - and the ABS lab destroyed, along with all samples of Narvik.
By 2015, the changing geopolitical climate makes big-budget funding from defense departments unlikely. Many companies, such as InGen and Gentek, leverage their in-house expertise in cloning and biotech in more public ways. Companies like RePet offer a cloned copy of family pets, and human organ cloning is a commercial business. Human clones are still technically illegal, under "Sixth Day" laws, and corporations (publicly) honor this restriction. Behind the scenes, Neolution continues to both promote and hinder human cloning research to further their agenda of reinventing human evolution.
Helicopter pilot Adam Gibson encounters billionaire Michael Drucker of Replacement Technologies, whose company employs former Rossum employees and Neolution members. Drucker intends to create a cabal of immortals, whose minds can be copied from body to body. Gibson finds himself cloned, and works with his clone to take down Drucker and reveal the plot.
In 2016, freelance journalist/intel-operative Hiro Protagonist encounters Snow Crash, a virus/drug/religion being promulgated by industrialist L. Bob Rife. Rife's purely fiber-optic communication network survived the Pulse, and as a result he now controls American Internet traffic. Rife has acquired a "metavirus", able to affect the human mind, and has repackaged it under the name "Snow Crash". Hiro, his skateboard courier partner Y.T., and their allies stop Rife from distributing Snow Crash widely and manage to shut down the distribution network.
By 2017, the leadership of Blackwatch and the Umbrella Corporation are systematically eliminated, or simply disappear. Careful observers attribute this to a team of highly skilled and uniquely powered individuals: a stern old man who mixes heavy firearms and elemental powers, a STARS-trained genius gunslinger/geneticist, a humanoid virus who can consume and assimilate memories, a multi-ethnic hacker/swordsman, an aggressive pyrokinetic, and a woman who can summon negative emotions into an ectoplasmic reality or shape it into humanoid minions. They uncover the machinations of the Wahrheits Gesellschaft, or "Society for Truth", still operating behind the scenes and guiding vril-empowered virus research, and manage to overthrow the Society's key members.
In 2019, X5 super-soldier "Max" works for a bicycle courier service in Seattle, called Jam Pony. She comes to learn more about the Manticore program, and works to rescue other X5s from Manticore's custody.
While Replacement Technologies was exposed by Adam Gibson, other companies quietly acquire its assets and human resources. Merrick Biotech establishes several facilities where clones of famous or wealthy individuals are force-grown and prepared as physical or mental backups should their originals become sick or die. The clones themselves are told that the outside world is intensely contaminated, but that there is a lottery system allowing a few of them to visit a safe haven. While they are mental duplicates of their originals thanks to Dollhouse technology, they are also engineered to be more docile and controllable. Clones Richard, Lena, Lincoln Six Echo, and Jordan Two Delta overcome their programming through curiosity, escape from the confinement zones in 2019, and learn the truth about their situation.
By 2020, several prominent individuals have passed away or disappeared. Jack has passed away from old age, accompanied at his last moments by nearly every surviving Little Sister. Most of them have thankfully lived ordinary lives, and the last thing Jack sees is their grateful smiles. Alex Mercer encounters his genetic complement, Elizabeth Greene's psychopathic child Pariah, and both perish. As a result, the last samples of the Blacklight virus are now eradicated.
In 2022, a meteorite strikes Tokyo, Japan. The Da'ath conspiracy discovers it, and uncovers an extraterrestrial viral element. Through analysis, they discover that the Progenitor virus and the alien sample show distinct signs of common ancestry. The history of super-viruses on Earth may in fact start in outer space. Da'ath begins work on this new sample.
On December 24, 2029, the meteorite is discovered by a trio of children. One of the children, Mana, is found by the secret Da'ath lab stationed nearby. Finding that the child is already ill with an untreatable form of cancer, she is injected with a modified version of their current viral agent as a test - their reasoning is that her life is over anyway. She escapes, becoming Patient Zero of what will later be called the "Apocalypse Virus".
Apocalypse is the second attempt by Da'ath to engineer a worldwide system of control through a viral mechanism. It incorporates the "hive mind" element of Redlight - Mana is able to control the actions of infectees - and provides both a ready supply of vril and a means to manipulate it. The subjects retain their intelligence, but can still be kept docile and controllable.
Apocalypse spreads wildly throughout Japan, in an event that will be called "Lost Christmas". The rest of the world hurriedly works to isolate Japan. What's left of the United Nations organizes GHQ - Genomic Headquarters - to deal with the outbreak, find a cure, and contain the spread of the virus at all costs.
In 2035, the Reaper virus is confirmed in London. A military team is sent to Scotland by GHQ to recover data on a possible cure, after satellite imagery discovers signs of survivors. The team, led by Major Eden Sinclair, finds only survivors with a natural immunity, who have regressed into cannibalistic barbarity, adopting medieval weapons and customs.
Chapter 6: Division (2039 - forward)
By 2039, blood and DNA tests had become mandatory for several of the "doomsday" viruses or genetic abnormalities that had threatened mankind. When a broad-spectrum immunity factor was discovered in human DNA, the law went one step further. Babies would be engineered with the immunity factor, no exceptions. Automated testing would become routine.
Many - later, most - families opted to go further. If a child could be made resistant to disease, could the genetic engineers go further, making those children smarter, stronger, or better as well? The mechanics of genetics were well understood. Germline engineering became the new normal. A generation of "designer babies" came to dominate the world. George Glenn, astronaut and later the man who will be known as the first "Coordinator", is born in 2039.
In 2039, Shu Ouma is an ordinary high school student in Japan. GHQ has locked the country down. Patrols are everywhere, ready to drag away any Apocalypse infectees. The infection is easy to spot: the virus literally transforms parts of the body into a strange crystal, in reality solidified vril. Shu encounters Inori Yuzuriha, who introduces him to the anti-GHQ resistance cell "Funeral Parlor" and its leader, Gai Tsutsugami.
Through a series of events, Shu obtains the Void Genome - a modification of the Apocalypse Virus capable of extracting solidified vril from a person and transforming it into a tool or weapon appropriate to the donor's personality. These creations of vril are called "Voids". The Void Genome creates a specialized gland in the right arm of the user, and loss of the arm means the user is unable to conjure Voids. In addition, the destruction of a person's Void leads to a fatal and near-instantaneous transfiguration into solidified vril.
With Funeral Parlor's help, Shu fights back against GHQ. The organization responds with even more force, finally partitioning Tokyo completely and isolating all residents. After much struggle, betrayal, and heartache, Shu and his friends manage to purge the Apocalypse Virus itself from Japan. GHQ eventually relents and releases Japan from their control. Shu and his allies retreat into obscurity, but not before confronting Da'ath and their "envoy" Yuu, who have attempted to use the Void Genome to take over the world.
In the next 20 to 30 years, disease is all but eradicated. Society is a fearsome police state, closely scrutinizing people and their health. Any corporation dealing with genetic engineering is strictly monitored, to prevent another apocalyptic virus or biological monstrosity. The high level of tension leads to several wars: the Pan-Asian war, the Third Gulf war, and others. While traditional bioweapons are considered verboten, genetically engineered super-soldiers are created and deployed in these conflicts. During peacetime, society struggles to re-integrate its living weapons.
By 2053, animal-human hybrids and genetically engineered humans are a fact of life. Edward Douglas's report on Dr. Moreau's activities has led to a long-standing fear and mistrust of any such creatures, and half-human "Moreaus" and engineered "frankensteins" are second-class citizens at best. Private detective and tiger-human hybrid Nohar Rajasthan is hired to investigate the death of a conservative anti-moreau politician, which leads him to uncovering evidence of Da'ath. Nohar only learns hints: Da'ath seems interested in pushing humanity away from a mechanistic technology and toward a biotech-driven future, one that they can control with their mastery of biology.
Humanity turns to space to satisfy its need for natural resources, as the exhausted Earth has suffered. Nation struggles against nation, even as the "Cosmic Calendar" is inaugurated in 2055 in an attempt to bring a fragmented world back together. Many older Moreaus are re-activated as soldiers, and second-generation Moreaus are offered full citizenship in exchange for military service in the new conflict.
Artificially created Frankensteins, such as the Nexus-6 Replicants created by the Tyrell Corporation, are extensively used in space, both as workers and soldiers in the ongoing conflicts. Some escape to Earth, only to be hunted by specially trained police units called "Blade Runners". One such group manages to get to Earth, then kill the head of the Tyrell corporation, noted geneticist Eldon Tyrell. Meanwhile, the Rossum Corporation continues to use its "Active" technology in the creation of cloned humanoid automatons called "Universal Robots", who can be mentally programmed for highly skilled and specialized tasks.
Nuclear weapons are deployed on the front lines of central Asia, in the Kashmir region, in 2056. The wholesale destruction of Kashmir's industrial facilities reduces much of the fighting to hand-to-hand or close-quarters combat, where the Moreaus' natural talents give them a decisive edge.
Biological weapons are unleashed around the world as well, killing even civilian populations or threatening them with organ failure. Companies like GeneCo emerge, providing synthetic organs to the sick for a profit. Organ "repo men" exist, who will reclaim such organs - and coincidentally harvest the other organs of a defaulting client who dies during "reclamation" - if the client doesn't keep up their payments.
The formal end of the "Reconstruction War" is in 2064, or C.E. 9 in the new calendar. The construction of the Lunar city, Copernicus, begins the next year, and is completed in 2067 (C.E. 11).
Unlike earlier wars in the century, the Reconstruction War is generally seen as ending well for all involved. The public has been familiar with Moreaus for a generation, and their heroic feats and victories in battle shift attitudes positively toward genetic engineering.
By 2070, designer babies are the default condition for the developed world. The population is divided into "valids" (those with engineered DNA and no handicaps) and "invalids" (those born naturally). The Gattaca Aerospace Corporation begins planning a mission to the Jovian moon of Titan. Vincent Freeman, an "in-valid", has dreamed of space flight since he was a child. He obtains the aid of Jerome Morrow, a "valid" with excellent genetics who was crippled in an accident, to pass himself off as a genetically acceptable "valid".
Vincent is successful in getting aboard the Titan mission, and serves under senior astronaut George Glenn. Scientists studying L. Bob Rife's "metavirus", and the Apocalypse Virus meteor responsible for Lost Christmas, have traced both to the Jovian system. The Gattaca vessel, named "Tsiolkovsky" after the Soviet rocket scientist, will spend seven years exploring Jupiter. Their hope is to establish whether or not extraterrestrial life - even a virus - really exists.
Before leaving, Glenn makes an impassioned speech to the world's population, asking that genetically engineered people become "Coordinators" rather than controllers, guiding mankind rather than ruling it, and urging a more egalitarian society. Unfortunately, his message is not received as intended, and societal friction arises between the "valid" and "in-valid" factions. "In-valids" claim a new name for themselves: "Naturals". In 2072, the bioterrorist group Blue Cosmos launches attacks against hospitals performing genetic enhancement on unborn children.
In 2084, the Tsiolkovsky returns from Jupiter with "Evidence 01", the first known extraterrestrial fossil.
The first permanent L5 space colonies, called PLANTs and shaped like extended hourglasses, become ready for population. Due to the demands of living in space full-time, only Coordinators - now the accepted term for all genetically-engineered humans - are accepted aboard. The PLANTs become a nexus for scientific progress and artistic accomplishment due to the presence of so many "improved" humans. The next year, anti-Coordinator terrorism is aimed at PLANT inhabitants who come to Earth, driving a wedge between the space-dwelling Coordinators and the planet-bound Naturals.
On February 5 of C.E. 70 (2125 AD), a joint peace conference being held at the lunar city Copernicus is struck by a terrorist attack, wiping out the entire United Nations's leadership. War breaks out between Earth and the Plants on February 11.
The Treaty of Junius in C.E. 73 marks the end of hostilities, but fails all of its major political objectives. A second war soon breaks out, which includes nuclear strikes and other weapons from both sides. After much heartbreak and sacrifice, including the deaths of senior leaders on both sides, a ceasefire is announced in C.E. 74.
Blue Cosmos releases a final apocalyptic bioweapon attack that spreads across the world, but ironically fails to contaminate the PLANT population. Earth's remaining human population is nearly obliterated as a result. Lacus Clyne, then leader of the PLANTs, announces that a plan to reboot the devastated Earth's biosphere. Corrupted soil must be purified; radiation must be purged. The effort will take centuries. In the meantime, many Coordinators leave Earth orbit, in an effort to colonize the Jovian system.
The PLANT repopulation plan involved the creation of a vast forest (to leech poison from the soil) and the engineering of giant insect guardians (to reboot the animal-plant biosphere). The Alliance-PLANT wars are remembered a millennium later as "the Seven Days of Fire" by human survivors on Earth, and the forest becomes known as the "Sea of Corruption" for the poisonous miasma found there. The human population has formed kingdoms such as Torumekia and the Dorok Empire, echoing the return to Medieval form once seen in Scotland during the Reaper outbreak. Such kingdoms live in uneasy alliances with each other, as well as struggling to survive the spreading Sea of Corruption itself.
During this time, Nausicaa, princess of the Valley of Wind and daughter of its king Jhil, forms a strange bond with the insect life. She functions as both scientist and mediator, studying the forest and searching for ways for humans and the forest to co-exist. During this time, she encounters Princess Kushana of Torumekia, Asbel of Pejite, and other national leaders, and tries to convince them - with varying levels of success - that cooperation is better than war for ensuring human survival. She penetrates to the heart of the forest, learning of the ancient humans' plan to reboot the Earth at the cost of the lives of those now on the planet.
Faced with the choice of allowing ancient humanity to return to the planet of their birth, or saving the lives of those now living there, Nausicaa disables the computer which manages the reclamation program and would have otherwise sent a signal into space when the plan was complete. The Sea of Corruption will continue to spread, eventually unifying into a single functional entity.
Human beings are now forced to live within the forest, adapting to it and adapting it in turn to their own needs. In effect, humanity is now a virus with the world as its host. Only time will tell if its presence is beneficial or not.