The t-Virus (Tyrant Virus) is the general term for all successful variant Progenitor strains developed for the purpose of producing biological weapons outlawed by international treaty. To date, many t-Virus’ exist and all strains are highly infectious and unstable, with leakages of even small amounts being enough to cause a catastrophe. The virus causes a drastic increase in vitality and significant changes in the host’s appearance, whilst intelligence levels and sense are almost lost. James Marcus created the first successful t-Virus in September 1977 by combing Leech DNA with the Progenitor Virus.
Selective breeding showed the virus reacted favourably with single-minded organisms and kept the specimens alive in a clinically dead state whilst mutating and becoming violent and aggressive. He then conducted further research on insects, amphibians and mammalians and evaluated the various differing effects on each species classification, eventually determining that mammals reacted the most favourably because of their naturally higher intelligence and notable increased muscle growth.
He soon concluded that the virus could never be properly developed without using humans as the base organism. This led to Marcus experimenting on company trainees as test subjects, a move that ultimately cost him his job and saw him removed from power. The prototype t-Virus strain was eventually stolen and exploited by Albert Wesker and William Birkin under the orders of Oswell Spencer. Using Marcus’ work as a template, Birkin engineered numerous other strains of t-Virus that eventually led to the creation of the Tyrant; the ultimate human biological weapon.
The t-Virus is an RNA virus that takes the genetic code modifying properties of the Progenitor Virus base and improves upon it, resulting in the potential to create devastating new B.O.W.s. But to reach that point, countless experiments were conducted on various living organisms and there were many failures along the way. When an organism is initially infected, the virus rewrites the DNA, mutating the host into a creature with differing abilities and properties that cannot be found in the natural world. It has a capacity for adapting to its environment and every living thing serves as a vector for the infection.
After exposure, the virus will spread around the subject’s body, inserting its own genetic coding into the cells of the host, absorbing the viral genome in its own genetic make-up, which then takes over the cell’s functions. The cell begins to produce offspring of the original virus, self-propagating by using the synthesis properties and energy of proteins. In other words, the protein and nucleicacid synthesis program of cells that have been infected with the t-Virus is rewritten based on the nucleus of the virus, resulting in growing numbers of new t-Virus nuclei. The most significant attribute of the t-Virus is in how the infected cells themselves are subjected to mutated evolution. Once this process is complete, the new viruses are released from the host cell and infected the neighbouring cells, starting the process all over again.
After infection, the t-Virus spreads throughout the victim’s body and affects its systems, starting with internal secretory systems, then spreading to nearly all organs making up the body, such as the skin, muscles, nerves, circulatory, respiratory, digestive and skeletal systems. One major transformation is an unusual increase in growth hormone and the tendency for the host body to increase in size as a result. This trait is particularly common in insects, reptiles and arthropods. The effect of the virus on the muscular system – to multiply the strength of the host organism – is particularly surprising. For the nervous system, the virus dulls sensations of pain and fear, while at the same time significantly increasing aggression. Further benefits include heightened durability and offensive capability.
These are the important elements which make the resulting organism practical as a weapon. As a side effect, metabolism is slowed down significantly and some B.O.W.s species undergo tissue decay, making them not particularly pleasant to look at. Additionally almost all infected specimens display signs of eroded intelligence, making certain infectants extremely difficult to train as weapons. The t-Virus fundamentally functions as an intermediately of genetic combination between different species that would normally be unstable, and it appears to make it relatively easy to perform complex genetic manipulations together with the virus. William Birkin used this to great effect throughout the 1980’s creating organisms such as the Hunter prototype and Chimera.
The t-Virus also has differing effects on differing organism classifications. For example in arthropoda hosts, the virus typically exhibits an extreme increase in size and interestingly the least amount of visible necrosis. Their breeding capacity also increases and organisms with natural poisonous defence systems will see these traits enhanced with further toxicity. Reptiles are similar, although their growth increase is not as consistent. Breaking it down further, hosts that are mammal based undergo the most interesting mutations such as muscular growth yet also suffer the most external necrosis. By contrast insects attain minimal enhancements and this is thought to be because they are already halfway to an evolutionary dead end having been around since ancient times.
When a human is infected with the t-Virus, the cerebral neo-cortex necrotises, inhibiting memory and language function. Slowly they begin to develop a ravenous appetite with physical symptoms of skin necrosis and blood congestion. The longer an infectant survives, loss of reason and a clouding of consciousness increases. The subject soon has the appearance of death, with pale skin and in some cases, exposed bone. Motor functions are still active but the senses are dulled, allowing for a high tolerance to pain. An intense hunger drives the subject towards living flesh. This is referred to as the ‘zombie’ state. It should be noted that the t-Virus does not revive the dead, it simply incapacitates the host into an almost coma-like state and rewrites the DNA.
Once this process is complete, the host will ‘reanimate’. This was the case until fall 1998, when a new t-Virus variant was developed with further added influence from the Progenitor Virus which for the first time enabled the t-Virus to infect an uncontaminated dead body. Although viruses need live cells to propagate, Progenitor is able to bypass this process thanks to it being the fundamental building construct of all life on the planet and could therefore bring completely proliferated cells back to life.
When an infectant suffers a sustained period of incapacitation, the t-Virus survives by entering a dormant phase then undergoes regenerative transformation, stimulating the cells and reconstructing the body tissue. This process was first recorded in the 1980s when researchers noted that within certain environments, the activation of the virus within a living bio-weapon could cause fresh alterations to the organism’s genetic structure. But in order for this to occur, an external trigger was required and the structural alterations were usually minor and predictable. However ten years later a trait vastly exaggerating this process was discovered following an irregular mutation in a single zombie subject and was later classified as ‘V-ACT’ for ‘virus
activation.’ Because the accelerated V-ACT process made mutations more extreme and unpredictable than before, this saw an increase in so-called irregular mutants whereupon a single specimen would suffer unique changes dependant on their individual genetics. Examples of such include the Suspended and Al Lester.
Many t-Virus variants have different transmission vectors, but the most common are airborne which later adapts to transdermal. The t-Virus contains a
unique property to evolve with the passage of time and the external environment, gradually stabilising over time from its initial release. This means that
the t-Virus gradually becomes less infectious over time. Other infection routes include contaminated food and water, direct skin contact, injury, blood
ingestion and the virus is often carried by rodents or insects.
The incubation period can vary depending on any number of external factors, but the most significant improvement made to the t-Virus over time was accelerating the infection process. Documented accounts vary from just over one week to full transformation within the same day. These individual differences before reaching a zombie after being infected were down to minor genetic differences in each individual subject. It took several years to devise a method to rectify this state and when the perfected strain of the virus was created in the early 21st century, initial exposure could transform a human to a zombie in a matter of minutes after successful virus transmission.
As well as developing biological weapons, the t-Virus also harboured medicinal qualities and has been shown to destroy cancer cells. In clinical trials, the virus has been modified on several occasions for oncolytic treatments and research proved that if the virus was administered in small amounts together with its antibodies, it was possible to cure different fatal diseases like terminal cancer or congenital immunodeficiency. However, these effects don’t last long and larger doses were necessary over time. With this ongoing treatment, the body started to change its form and the brain showed signs of an abnormal development.
The t-Virus is extremely infectious and the risk of secondary infection was high thanks to its incredible ability to adapt to almost any host. Many natural viruses are limited in their infection radius because some are not cross-species and others will not affect every species within a given category. For example, some viruses that affect ducks or chickens are incapable of infecting other birds. The t-Virus has no such issue and is capable of infecting nearly every class of organism. Anyone or anything exposed will be malformed under the influence of the still active virus. This only highlighted the extreme danger the t-Virus posed. Even something as small as an insect was biologically capable of starting an outbreak on a huge scale. Even immobile organisms such as plants posed a danger. Something that could not move should limit any further transmission, yet their spores released into the air would also carry the virus. This ensured any outbreak would spread very quickly out of control unless contained in an isolated environment.
Oswell Spencer oversaw supervision of t-Virus development over two decades and desired a weapon capable of infecting 100% of its intended target rate in humans, however the best they could ever manage was a 90% success rate. This was down to the human genome differing very subtly from person to person and therefore 10% were always going to have a natural immunity to the virus. No amount of genetic research would change this fact. A viral weapon with a 90% success rate should have been enough for biological weapons development, but for Spencer, it was not enough, and this only further demonstrated his ruthless ambition.
PROTOTYPE – Developed by Dr. James Marcus in 1978 through combining the original Progenitor virus with Leech DNA.
ALPHA (α) – Extracted from an early B.O.W. known as the Web Spinner. Was tested on a great white to create the FI-03 Neptune.
BETA (βi) – A more stabilised version developed by Birkin in 1981 using elements from the Ebola Virus. Most notably responsible for the Zombie. It carries a 90% infection rate that cannot be improved upon. Also used to create the Cerberus B.O.W.
BETA2 (βii) – More refined version of the beta strain. Developed by Birkin in 1981 and helped create combat B.O.W.s like the Hunter. Also became the standard strain for creating zombies during Stage 2 of the project.
UNCLASSIFIED (GAMMA? γ) – Developed by William Birkin in 1988 to supress virus influence on the brain to an absolute minimum.
TJCCC203 – Neutered medicinal strain used to treat cancer patients. Used at the old hospital in 1993. The same strain was believed to have been used two years earlier by Javier Hidalgo to treat his ill wife. This variant kills cancer cells but prolonged injection results in abnormal brain activity and physical changes within the host.
DELTA (δ) – No data available. Theorised to have been developed by researchers working under John Clemens who replaced William Birkin as chief researcher at Arklay Labs.
EPSILON (ε) – Developed by William Birkin in 1998 as a refined version of the original gamma strain using Sergei Vladimir’s compatible clones to create a more adaptive-friendly strain for Tyrant production. Responsible for creation of T-001, 002 and successor models.
V-ACT STRAIN – A mutation derived from the ε-strain variant that exacerbates the already natural trait of the t-Virus being capable of activating within a host resulting in fresh alterations to the organism’s genetic structure if triggered by an external catalyst. The V-ACT strain was discovered in 1998 and is capable of turning a zombie into a more deadly Crimson Head.
MASS PRODUCED STRAIN – Refined using the data from the mansion incident. Can turn secondarily infected zombie into a Lickervia improved V-ACT process.
ROCKFORT STRAIN – An experimental strain that could be transferred via the air. Added influence from the Progenitor Virus ensured this was the first t-Virus variant capable of reviving the dead by infecting already dead, uncontaminated bodies. All t-Virus variants following this one retained this trait.
PERFECT STRAIN – Developed by Sergei Vladimir’s research team in Russia. Capable of transforming a majority of infected humans into a zombie within minutes. This strain was released by Albert Wesker onto the black market in 2003, sparking the bioterrorism era.
HOWARD STRAIN – Unofficial project developed by Ryan Howard using DNA from an ancient fossilised humanoid.
There are several treatments available for t-Virus infectants.
UNNAMED REAGENT – Developed by staff at Raccoon City hospital based on reference material left behind by Douglas Lauper; head of Umbrella Medical Equipment. However, subsequent research suggests this treatment simply makes t-Virus cells in the body become dormant, leaving the possibility of further infection entirely possible.
DAYLIGHT – Created by scientist Peter Jenkins in conjunction with Umbrella researcher Greg Muller. Constructed using V-poison, Progenitor-Base and T-Blood. It was designed to halt the spread of the virus in the body.
AT5121 – Umbrella’s official vaccine that was in the early stages of development during the Raccoon City disaster. Designed to halt the spread of the virus in the body but was only effective on recent infectants yet to show any physical symptoms. Lab tests on mice confirmed a 99.91% success rate.
T-VACCINE – Created by WilPharma Corporation thanks to funding provided by the U.S. Government. Since 2005 it has been mass produced and distributed around the world, nullifying the t-Virus as an effective weapon for major terrorist incidents.
In addition, various anti-bodies were created in pill form and distributed to employees such as U.B.C.S. soldiers whilst in infection zones. They come in varying doses with higher strength pills reserved for important individuals. The effectiveness rate of these anti-bodies is believed to be minimal due to the adaptive nature of the virus