Umbrella was a major pharmaceutical corporation based in Europe. It had branches in countries all over the world, and was a ubiquitous supplier of a variety of household medications and chemicals. From pharmacies to convenience stores, their distribution routes were wide-ranging and Umbrella was a household name, rising its status to become the world’s largest and most profitable pharmaceutical enterprise by the late 20th Century. But as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and healthcare, Umbrella also clandestinely specialised in genetic engineering and biological weaponry. This secret side of the corporation included affiliates and a customer base from many governments around the world, providing millions of dollars in profits and powerful political influence. The company also had an executive seat on the Global Pharmaceutical Consortium and portrayed a positive corporate image of ‘Preserving the Health of the People’ and a business pledge of ‘Nothing is Impossible.’ At the height of their power, Umbrella was one of the most influential and profitable organisations in the world. Such was their presence in many major locations that even media and central governments would have found it difficult to stand in opposition to the corporate giant.
The genesis of Umbrella harkens back to the 1960’s and the friendships and professional rivalries of three men; Oswell E. Spencer, Edward Ashford and Dr. James Marcus. Spencer and Ashford were two respected peers of Western nobility and had been friends for a number of years. Ashford had recently begun to search for an unknown virus he believed could promote accelerated evolution in a living organism. Spencer already had his theories on the existence of such a virus thanks to the documented accounts of African folklore from the Natural History Conspectus written by Henry Travis over a century earlier. Eventually the two were joined by Dr. James Marcus, a prominent virology expert who had first met Spencer when they were at school. Marcus had since spent many years at a prestigious Swiss university studying paleobiology and the origins of life on earth. Together, these three titans of the scientific community, backed with almost limitless resources and finance, followed a trial of breadcrumbs leading them to Western Africa in 1966.
Using Henry Travis’ encyclopaedias as a guide, they travelled on an expedition to the region of Kijuju and discovered a hidden underground city that was once home to the famed Ndipaya tribe many thousands of years ago. Henry’s books contained details of an ancient ceremony concerning the tribe worshipping a very special plant that bestowed select Individuals with extraordinary abilities if they were able to survive its natural toxins. Spencer believed the plant was infected with the very virus they were searching for and after three months of excavating, the research team finally located the ancient Sun Garden where the flowers grew. After taking samples and doing initial tests, they confirmed the plants to be infected with a unique virus that they believed had the ability to recombine DNA. On December 4th 1966, they christened this virus, Progenitor, and gathered many samples to take back with them for study.
Throughout early 1967, James Marcus and his protégé, Brandon Bailey, attempted to culture the virus by mass-producing the Progenitor flower. But despite replicating the exact flowering conditions, the new plants contained no trace of the virus, confirming their worst fears that it would not grow outside of its
natural habitat. Worse still was that although they confirmed Progenitor was capable of rapidly rewriting the DNA of a host, millions of years of evolution had made the virus lethal to all humans, with those exposed unable to survive excessive mutation and rapid transformation of the body. It was around this time that Spencer proposed the idea of forming their own pharmaceutical company to camouflage their research and fix this adaptability problem. Despite early setbacks, Spencer, Marcus and Ashford were delighted at the properties of the Progenitor Virus and saw it as the hand of god or divine medication to lead Homo sapiens to the next level of evolution. They would create Umbrella solely to modify Progenitor to complete the ultimate virus and turn the world into their own Shangri-La. This was the basis behind the t-Virus project and developing and selling biological weapons on the black market would fund this endeavour, all whilst hidden behind the curtain of a world-class pharmaceutical corporation.
The creators envisioned themselves as gods striving towards immortality but it would not take long for mutual mistrust to set in between them all. Initially Marcus wasn’t interested in creating a company and Ashford was busy researching Progenitor with his son, Alexander, so it was left to Spencer to do the work in getting the business set up. Whilst Ashford wisely kept quiet over the matter, Marcus was opposed to the idea because he believed there was no point in establishing a business empire if they could not solve the Progenitor cultivation problem. But despite his attitude, Spencer pushed on regardless, investing a large sum of his own private fortune to ensure Umbrella became a reality. His vision for the company was to exploit Progenitor to unlock the secrets behind immortality and create a race of meta-humans comprised of individuals with superior genetics. In its current guise, the virus had lost adaptability to humans and the goal behind Umbrella was to create a neutered variant many thousands of times weaker and capable of adapting to modern man.
By now, the Arklay Mansion was completed in Raccoon Forest and Spencer moved relocated his research there. The teams working under him developed two Progenitor variants, designated Type A and Type B, that were designed to at least keep the hosts alive following exposure, or at least to survive long enough for useful data to be gathered. These experiments were carried out on the Trevor family, whom Spencer planned to get rid of to preserve the secrecy behind the true nature of his new mansion. Jessica Trevor was injected with Type A, but did not survive. Her daughter, Lisa, was given Type B and lived, albeit with severe physical deformities and eroded intelligence. George Trevor was later allowed to escape his captivity but it was all a lure for the security of the mansion to be tested. Trevor failed to escape and his body was discovered on November 30th, 1967.
By April 1968, ‘Umbrella Pharmaceuticals’ was created and shortly afterwards the t-Virus project was launched to help monopolise the military market. This was a top-secret program to develop weaponised strains of Progenitor using the original virus as a base template. The t-Virus project would create all-new strains and B.O.W.s to generate funding for the ultimate goal of developing a neutered Progenitor strain so more hosts could survive infection and gain superhuman abilities. Umbrella was formed in Raccoon City although plans were quickly put in place for rapid expansion and the main parent company headquarters was quickly established in Berlin, Germany. A training facility was also constructed in Raccoon Forest with the purpose of grooming future executives for the company. For the three founders, Progenitor research was the main goal but due to the cultivation problem, they first needed to return to Africa to gather more samples in its pure form. Marcus and Bailey made arrangements to go and decided to set up a permanent Umbrella outpost there. A team of soldiers were sent on ahead to cleanse the areas around the sun garden of Ndipaya guards and prepare everything for their arrival later down the line.
Meanwhile, Oswell Spencer was already seeing the potential of Umbrella despite its infancy and was determined to stay ahead of the other two in holding onto the reins of power. Only three months after the company was founded, he secretly arranged for a laboratory experiment to be sabotaged resulting in an ‘accident’ which saw Edward Ashford exposed to the Progenitor Virus and killed. Marcus was so engrossed in his research that he barely noticed Spencer move quickly to acquire Ashford’s share in the company. Spencer also knew that Ashford’s son, Alexander, was not skilled enough to be of any significant threat and paid no need when he announced he was moving all Ashford research to a new facility in the South Pole. Alexander did not possess the same abilities as his father and so nothing ground breaking was expected from his research. Because of his shortcomings, the Ashford family fell into decline and soon became no match for Spencer. With his father dead, Alexander quickly fell behind in t-Virus research and instead focused on a new project he believed would restore his family’s honour and at the same time, prevent Spencer from assuming total control of Umbrella as such an outcome would have made the late Edward Ashford turn in his grave. Alexander’s plan was project Code: Veronica and the creation of a genetic clone based off the family’s great ancestor who could lead the Ashford’s to glory once again. He quickly isolated himself and worked in total secrecy.
Spencer’s next move was to put the block onto Marcus’s trip to Africa. He wanted to keep Marcus close at hand to prevent him gaining too much influence within Umbrella and having him in charge of the Progenitor Virus source so far away was too risky. As an enticement, he offered Marcus the position of Director at the newly opened Executive Management Training Facility in Raccoon Forest. Marcus initially wasn’t interested, but the lure of having his own private research facility to conduct his Progenitor research was enough for him to eventually accept. He needed a place to work without Spencer looking over his shoulder all the time and so Brandon Bailey went on to Africa alone to supervise the construction of Umbrella Africa, not knowing he would remain there for over 30 years. Splitting apart the effective partnership of Marcus and Bailey was an essential part of Spencer’s plan and he and Marcus would continue to bicker and argue over the direction of Progenitor research and their tensions quickly brewed a power struggle that would last for the next two decades.
In February 1969, Alexander Ashford began the first stage of Code: Veronica by constructing an Umbrella facility at the Ashford owned Transport Terminal located in the wastelands of the Antarctic. Once ready, he could begin his work. But he needed to hurry, as the other members of the Ashford family believed he was to blame for Edward’s death and had disgraced the family name. The Ashford’s were important to Umbrella and he could not allow that to fade.
On June 15th 1969, Umbrella Africa was completed and constructed around the sun garden where the Progenitor flower grew. Bailey was appointed Director but was still dissatisfied with the facilities on offer and made a request to Spencer to have the laboratory greatly expanded. To his surprise, Spencer agreed and released funds to get the African labs made substantially larger. In November that year, the Antarctic labs were completed and Alexander could finally begin his work. The goal of the Code: Veronica project was to create an individual of such genius that they could return the Ashford’s to their rightful place at the head of Umbrella, just as his late father would have wanted. The following year he took DNA from the mummified corpse of Veronica Ashford and implanted it into an egg of a surrogate mother with the goal of birthing a perfect clone, also possessing her unmatched beauty and genius. But nine months later the result was unexpected and twins were born; a boy and a girl. The boy possessed a higher than average IQ, although nothing overly significant. But the girl was everything Alexander could have ever hoped for. He named the boy Alfred and the girl Alexia and was confident Alexia would recapture everything the Ashford family had lost and reclaim their rightful place in the Umbrella hierarchy.
Simultaneously, Spencer expedited his own agenda. He collaborated with a researcher named Wesker to come up with a plan of gathering selected gifted children born to parents of superior intellect from across the world. They were all given the surname Wesker and placed in private education under the watchful eye of Umbrella. This was phase one of Spencer’s ultimate goal. He believed he could use the Progenitor Virus to create an advanced race of human beings, and place himself at the forefront of this new generation as their ‘God’. This plan was classified top secret and only a handful of privileged people were aware of its existence.
By now, Umbrella was now truly multi-national, with branches in multiple countries, including key facilities across Europe. They adopted a German business model and Umbrella Pharmaceuticals was later rebranded as a ‘concern’ when all independent branches were merged into a single economic entity under unified management. This unified banner was called the ‘Umbrella Corporation’ and Spencer became Chief Executive Officer. The official corporate logo adopted the red and white colours from the Spencer family coat of arms, and the name was based on the principle of protection from evil depicted as a hypothetical poisonous rain pouring down upon the world. People needed a shield to survive, and those standing under the umbrella would be protected. As standing under the umbrella was necessary to survive this poison, the real meaning behind the name was a metaphor for control.
Spencer devoted all of his energy into managing the company, and his growing influence was a source of great displeasure to Marcus, whose distractions working on Progenitor had allowed his rival to gain a significant advantage on the corporate ladder. This only made him research the virus harder, determined to regain the respect he deserved as one of Umbrella’s founding members. But what Marcus didn’t know was that this was Spencer’s plan all along. Whilst Spencer had taken steps to keep himself ahead in the corporate side of the business, passing off a feigned reputation of caring only about potential profit, he had simultaneously manipulated Marcus’ desire to prove himself with his research, exploited his bond with Bailey, and waited patiently for his machinations to bear fruit in the form of a successful t-Virus.
Umbrella portrayed a clean image with a positive market share, and quickly became an industry leader for recruiting management, production control, and delivery personnel. Despite rapidly becoming a large business, it remained open-ended and was an equal-opportunity employer that did not discriminate based on religion, sex, or race. Throughout the 1970s, Spencer used his influence and contacts to persuade many noble families to invest in the corporation in exchange for executive status and this resulted in further swift growth. Once such family was the noble Henri family, who in return for their significant financial contributions, received working control over the French branch and later Umbrella Europe itself. At the same time, Umbrella’s illegal research continued as they acquired medicines and techniques developed by other companies and employed them in their own bioweapons research. They commissioned each of the respective companies to only partially develop certain medications so that they could not be traced to what was ultimately being developed. The responsible companies thus unwittingly contributed to the development of bioweapons and Umbrella used its position as an executive board member on the Global Pharmaceutical Consortium to exploit this.
The next few years passed by with little incident as Umbrella continued to create a name for itself in the world. Marcus and Spencer became further isolated, each believing the other was trying to oust his opponent and take total control of the company. Marcus performed numerous Progenitor experiments on various mammals, amphibians and insects with little success and was quickly becoming frustrated at his lack of progress, again arguing the case for human testing to begin as soon as possible. By 1977 Marcus was still based at the training facility and by now had begun using leeches as the focal point of his experiments. Two promising students were also enrolled at the facility; Albert Wesker and William Birkin, with the former being subject no. 13 of the classified ‘Wesker Children’ plan. Both showed great promise and seemed destined for great things within Umbrella. Even Marcus was impressed, marking the first time in his nine years as Director that he had ever shown interest in any of the students. At the same time, he finally made the breakthrough he had been waiting for with his own research. Mixing the Progenitor Virus with leech DNA resulted in the creation of the first successful t-Virus prototype.
In January 1978 the virus was perfected yet he chose to keep it a secret from Spencer and his followers, intending to use it as his trump card to seize control of the corporation. He confided only in Bailey who was still thousands of miles away in Africa. However, Marcus soon became paranoid about information leaks and began to shut himself away in his lab. He also set up traps around the entrance to see if people were spying on him. As he strived to push his research forward he began using human trainees as test subjects without authorisation. Due to his erratic behaviour, Spencer secretly ordered Birkin and Wesker to spy on Marcus and uncover the secrets he was hiding. They soon uncovered evidence of illegal human trials and Marcus’s successful development of the t-Virus. One night, they broke into his lab and stole a sample they secretly sent across to Spencer’s team at Arklay Labs.
Eventually, Marcus decided to formally announce creation of the t-Virus at the next director’s meeting but he never got the chance as the corporate board instead presented damning evidence he had been using company trainees as test subjects and withheld ground breaking new research. This was enough for Spencer to be able to forcibly remove him from power, exactly as he had planned. On July 29th 1978, the executive training school was closed down and as a reward for their loyalty, Wesker and Birkin were transferred to the Arklay Labs as Chief Researchers now working directly under Spencer. Birkin was also officially credited with the creation of the t-Virus and Marcus was left to work in exile at his lab in the now abandoned training school. But without his new virus, no resources and his reputation now in tatters, his chances of running the very top of Umbrella were all but gone. But Spencer decided to let him live because he was still a brilliant scientist and could still be of some use to him whilst the t-Virus project was in its infancy. William Birkin abandoned Marcus’ research on leeches and instead switched focus to use the t-Virus to create a viable human biological weapon. His inspiration for this was taken from the Ebola Virus recently discovered in Africa. His curiosity was further piqued when they were introduced to Lisa Trevor; one of the very first human Progenitor test subjects.
In 1980, Alexia Ashford was placed in charge of Umbrella’s German branch at the age of just 9 years old. She demonstrated unparalleled potential and her youth and intelligence made her overthrow William Birkin as Umbrella’s youngest and brightest prospect. From this standpoint, Alexander Ashford’s Code: Veronica project was a success and the Ashford’s were relevant once again. Alexander expected Alexia to create the perfect t-Virus within the next few years and this would allow his family to reclaim their rightful place back at the top of Umbrella Corporation. Just a year later, Alexia graduated from a prestigious university and became head researcher at the South Pole facility, formally taking over the Ashford’s t-Virus research. She concentrated on using Progenitor and the genes of a queen ant containing the remnants of an ancient unclassified retrovirus. Her work caused quite a stir and stories of her success only further embittered William Birkin at Arklay whose work began to suffer.
That same year also saw Birkin create a new t-Virus variant which improved on Marcus’s original strain. This allowed them to weaponize the zombie and create a successful concept for reptilian B.O.W.s known as Hunters. However, the infection rate in humans was only 90% and there was a 10% natural immunity factor that no amount of genetic tampering could change. Spencer was not satisfied with these results and demanded a virus capable of infecting the entire population. This insistence served to confuse Wesker who began to question their master’s ultimate motivations. 1982 saw Alexia announce her own successful t-Virus, more specifically known as t-Veronica having fused the queen ant virus with Progenitor and plant DNA. Early research results suggested the t-Veronica virus could be Umbrella’s greatest creation yet.
However, 1983 saw major setbacks for the Ashford clan when first Alexander and then Alexia herself died in mysterious circumstances. The t-Veronica virus was in its infancy at the time and without Alexia’s genius there was no one capable of taking the research forward meaning the virus was shelved indefinitely. The Ashford’s were now left in the care of Alfred, yet no one at Umbrella expected anything from him. Following Alexia’s death, William Birkin slowly recaptured his old vigour now that his biggest threat had been removed. However, nobody outside Alfred was aware that Alexia had actually injected herself with t-Veronica and placed her own body into suspended animation to allow her immune system to adapt and co-exist with the virus, a process that was projected to take 15 years.
In 1984, Umbrella continued its global expansion with the opening of Umbrella Japan co. Ltd. Initially this Asian branch concentrated solely on the import and exportation of chemicals that were developed in the United States but by 1987 a large scale research facility had been constructed and they were able to function independently, focusing on the utilisation of bio-technology, original research, and further development of already established products.
1988 saw Umbrella Europe begin work on the Nemesis Project which attempted to achieve more control over t-Virus based weaponry through the use of organic parasites. It was also the same year primary research on the t-Virus was completed and the end result was a new variant that had the ability to create a Tyrant; a highly sophisticated human biological weapon. However, the human adaption rate to this new virus was extremely poor, with only a 1-10,000,000 compatibility rate. This meant it was almost impossible for them to find a matching subject, bringing research to a complete standstill almost immediately. Despite this problem, the new variant was still a remarkable achievement ten years in the making. But all these achievements were overshadowed by the later discovery of the G-Virus. This came about when Wesker and Birkin obtained a sample of the Nemesis parasite for study. They implanted it into Lisa Trevor and she absorbed the parasite and a new virus was born inside of her. Only Birkin had the genius to see what was happening and this new discovery would completely shape Birkin’s research over the next ten years. In the aftermath of these triumphs, Spencer assumed total control of Umbrella and to make sure all loose ends were tied, he had Wesker and Birkin assassinate James Marcus. Marcus remained the only potential obstacle to his continued plans and with the t-Virus project now at Level 3, Marcus’ research was obsolete and Spencer had no further use for him. Following Marcus’ death, Spencer restricted all research on the Progenitor Virus to its cultivation grounds in Africa, tightly regulating all information about it. Only a handful of executives with Level 10 access even knew the location of the research centre and all employees transferred were kept under strict supervision. Cultured samples of Progenitor were shipped out to Umbrella labs across the world as required, but the source point remained classified. This same year also marked the first time Umbrella were able to cultivate Progenitor for themselves in laboratory conditions.
Also in the late 1980’s one of Umbrella’s many subsidiary companies, a shipping front called Paraguas Line, purchased three luxury cruise ships named Queen Zenobia, Queen Semeramis and Queen Dido. All three ships were re-fitted and installed with secret laboratory facilities for clandestine off-shore experiments and B.O.W. transportation. The corporation acquired many front companies and dummy organisations to generate further profit and to maximise Umbrella’s sway in less legitimate business practices such as weapons development and arms transactions, acquiring influence with military nations. By now it also possessed its own private paramilitary unit known as the Umbrella Special Service (U.S.S.) who had a remit to safeguard company facilities and counter corporate terrorism and VIP abduction.
In the early 1990s, Spencer approved Birkin’s G-Virus project and work began on construction of a state of the art laboratory situated beneath Raccoon City itself. Once completed, it would connect to all other Umbrella buildings within the town via the expansive sewer network and further tighten the company’s grip in the region. By now, 3 out of every 10 citizens were employed by Umbrella in Raccoon City and 9 out of every 10 homes contained its products worldwide. The company were also marketing its biological weapons and counted the U.S. Government as one of its biggest customers. Another was notorious South American drug lord Javier Hidalgo and head of crime syndicate Sacred Snakes. Through a contact in the Ashford family, Javier purchased a neutered oncolytic t-Virus strain to treat his ailing wife’s cancer. He would remain allied to Umbrella for the next decade, signing multiple contracts to sign low-cost B.O.W.s to act as propagators of war in his business dealings with rival competitors to his terror regime.
In late 1991 there was finally a breakthrough in Umbrella’s Tyrant program when they acquired the services of a former Soviet Colonel by the name of Sergei Vladimir. He had approached Umbrella looking for work after the collapse of the Soviet Union and had passed the compatibility test for becoming a Tyrant. His rare genetic make-up made him one of only 50 or so suitable hosts in the entirety of the United States. Sergei was granted an executive position within Umbrella in exchange for ten clones of himself created as part of a classified military program from his army days. With these ten clones, Birkin was able to eventually engineer an improved Tyrant Virus strain which allowed for almost anybody to become a Tyrant under the right conditions. Thanks to Sergei, the Tyrant Program’s research advanced by decades in the space of several years. A fierce patriot and engineered from a young age to become the perfect slave, Sergei swore total allegiance to Spencer and Umbrella. Over the next few years he founded the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service (U.B.C.S.); to conduct clean-up jobs in incidents caused by Umbrella’s illegal products, and also the ‘Monitors’; a secret surveillance unit for execs to monitor suspicious company employees. Because Umbrella specialised in selling biological and chemical weapons to any nation in the world that can afford it, accidents inevitably occurred on occasion due to their volatile and unstable nature. Because of the clandestine business practices surrounding them, it was difficult for the purchasing nation to utilize its own military to intervene. This is where the U.B.C.S. become involved. They are responsible for neutralising products that have gone out of control, decontaminating the affected areas and rescuing civilians in danger.
By 1993 the underground lab beneath Raccoon City was completed and William Birkin transferred across from Arklay as Umbrella took a controlling stake in the surrounding sewer network. That same year they began bribing the Chief of Police Brian Irons and also conducted illegal tests at an isolated hospital in Raccoon Forest, using one of their many front companies to supply an oncolytic t-Virus strain to be tested on cancer patients. As well as Irons, Umbrella worked hard to get Michael Warren on side to further gain political influence and enhance their corporate image within Raccoon City by sponsoring Warren’s ‘A Bright 21st Century for Raccoon City’ plan. This included financial donations to public and welfare services, including the remodelling of City Hall, the construction of a new state of the art hospital and later the formation of the S.T.A.R.S. Special Forces unit. They also contributed to the refurbishment and expansion of Raccoon University in 1994. That same year also saw John Clemens transfer across from the Chicago branch to take over from William Birkin as chief researcher at Arklay. The last remaining Ashford, Alfred, had also graduated from university and took over operations on Rockfort Island and the South Pole facility, yet none of the executives expected anything from him and he was viewed as nothing more than an irritation by Umbrella’s hierarchy, given the position out of respect of his grandfather rather than any contributions he had made himself.
By the mid-1990’s, Umbrella had firmly established themselves as the world’s premier pharmaceutical enterprise. Medical products such as Safsprin, Aqua Cure and Adravil earned the company huge profits and they had divisions all across the world from Europe, North and South America, Africa, Antarctica and Japan specialising in cosmetics, medicines, nutritional supplements and health foods. They possessed paramilitary divisions and even their own weapons manufacturing division ‘Umbrella Industries.’ The Umbrella Magnum Revolver, Linear Launcher and Spark Shot were several such products created through this enterprise. The U.S.S. trained on Rockfort Island and were made up of elite trained soldiers and used primarily for clean-up operations and small incursion missions. One example of their work was cleaning up the aftermath of an accident that occurred at Umbrella Plant 57 in Africa, the incident that killed the parents of Sheva Alomar. They also took part in assassination missions and had been directly responsible for the death of James Marcus. In contrast, the U.B.C.S. were hired mercenaries, usually made up of disgraced former military personnel and criminals on death row. They were considered expendable for the most part.
In 1996 Umbrella provided 50% of the funding for the new S.T.A.R.S. unit in the Raccoon Police Department and this pledge allowed them the influence to install their own operative as team leader with Albert Wesker. Top secret projects also commenced at off shore facilities such as the Pluto experiment at the Waste Disposal Facility at Benthic Laboratories in the North Atlantic. All of Umbrella’s global branches were highly competitive and these professional rivalries to bring about the best products, profits and commercialisation only benefitted the parent company. Umbrella was always seeking to commercialise stronger and more efficient B.O.W.s for their clientele amongst the militaries of the world. The corporation placed a heavy emphasis on results and the division that contributed the most gained the largest voice within the company. This was the source of an intense rivalry between Umbrella USA and Umbrella Europe in particular.
It was around this time Umbrella began developing the U.M.F. mainframe which was a central data hub for all their archives and development history. The 13th supercomputer was housed in Raccoon City and linked up to all branches across the globe. A sophisticated artificial intelligence known as the Red Queen was developed to interface with the mainframe and protect it. The unit was manufactured by an Umbrella’ subsidiary ‘Parasol’, which was a German electronics specialist. Parasol created other electronic and technological products for Umbrella such as the Magneto-Optical (M.O.) discs for data storage and the S.T.U.N. Walker batteries for the self-defence weapon. White Queen also existed, presumably as an emergency back-up.
Umbrella suffered its first major setback in 1998 when a t-Virus leak was reported at the Arklay Labs. This triggered a series of bizarre murders and disappearances in the surrounding mountain and forest areas, attracting the attention of local media and law enforcement. Whilst planning contingencies for the biohazard at the mansion, an investigation was launched to assess the viability of reopening the abandoned training facility as a potential replacement for the contaminated Arklay estate. It was during this investigation that Albert Wesker and William Birkin discovered an individual claiming to be the late Dr. Marcus was behind the outbreak. But this was actually a copy generated by the Queen Leech which had nested inside the remains of Marcus for a decade and inherited his memories. In transpiring events, Birkin put an end to the Queen’s threats by detonating the training facility and surrounding Water Treatment Plant. Umbrella also arranged for Wesker to lead the S.T.A.R.S. members to the mansion in order to collect combat data on the B.O.W.s roaming free. On July 25th the estate was successfully destroyed and all evidence of the t-Virus and the illicit research being performed was wiped out. The damage to the company was minimal and Sergei Vladimir had successfully extracted the precious T-A.L.O.S. prototype Tyrant only hours before the detonation. In the following weeks, Umbrella’s clean up teams confirmed that no traces of the virus were present at ground zero and that police chief Brian Irons was successful in blocking any formal police investigation into the company. Although nobody knew at the time, Wesker secretly defected to the ‘rival company’ following the mansion incident, and supplied this opposing corporation with recovered battle data and a sample of the t-Virus to work from. This mysterious organisation was Umbrella’s main competitor and the data Wesker provided enabled them to spearhead their own biological weapons program. In Spencer’s eyes, Wesker’s ‘death’ also reduced the overall success rate of Project Wesker down to 18%. Umbrella also closed down Benthic Laboratories and fired Morpheus D. Duvall having fingered him as a scapegoat for the original outbreak at Arklay Labs.
At this time, Umbrella Europe attempted to capitalise on the misfortunes of Umbrella U.S.A. by developing the Nemesis T-Type and improved Hunter types. Alarmed by this threat from their rivals, the Chicago office began putting William Birkin under increasing pressure to complete the G-Virus, resulting in conflict and animosity between the pair. Less than two months later, Umbrella suffered a fatal blow with an incident too public and too large to recover from. As Birkin neared completion of the G-virus, intelligence filtered through to the company hierarchy that he was planning to betray them and was looking to defect across to the U.S. Government. Umbrella deployed a U.S.S. team to secure the new virus but the operation was botched after Birkin was fatally wounded and injected himself with his own creation. This later resulted in the t-Virus being leaked in the sewers and spread by rats, contaminating the entire city. Umbrella began a process of damage limitation, sending in the U.B.C.S. to ‘rescue the civilians’ and deploying several new B.O.W.s such as the Nemesis T-Type and Hunter Beta for battle testing. But ultimately their political manoeuvring in the senate could only delay the inevitable and on October 1st 1998, the US Government sterilised Raccoon City, completely wiping it off the map.
The incident was too big to cover up and an international investigation was launched into Umbrella. The Global Pharmaceutical Consortium was placed under huge pressure to come down hard on the corporation. The Rockfort Island incident in December 1998 saw the last of the Ashford family wiped out and the destruction of the South Pole base, marking the end of Umbrella’s Antarctic division. The rival company, thanks largely to the defection of Wesker, were proving to be a dangerous adversary and deployed the ‘Hunter II’; a superior prototype designed exclusively to sabotage production of Umbrella’s flagship B.O.W. They also secured the only remaining sample of the t-Veronica Virus. In 1999, the U.S. Government hit Umbrella with an indefinite business suspension order which saw Umbrella U.S.A. closed down. In response, Oswell Spencer hired the best lawyers money could buy and prepared false witnesses to try and generate the feeling of a conspiracy to turn public opinion away from Umbrella. The resulting court battle became known as the ‘Raccoon Trials’ and dragged on for over four years, eventually resulting in stalemate, with no final conclusion being determined. The business suspension decree saw stock prices crash. With Umbrella U.S.A. shut down, all B.O.W. research was placed under the control of Sergei Vladimir and Umbrella Europe now based at a new facility in Russia. A secret facility also opened in Sonido de Tortuga Island in the Caribbean.
By the early 21st Century, Umbrella was surviving by the skin of its teeth. All resources had been cut back and restricted with most clandestine practices now taking place offshore and locations well outside public interest. Only the continued development and sales of their bio-weapons on the black market kept them afloat. The U.S. Government was actively hunting down the remnants of the corporation and Adam Benford’s Anti-Umbrella Pursuit and Investigation Team were very active during this period. In 2000, Alex Wesker, the only surviving Wesker Child alongside Albert, had made ties with the locals of Sushestvovanie Island in the Baltic Sea and used funds secretly siphoned from Umbrella to facilitate construction of a large scale research facility beneath the mines. She won them over by promising to revitalise the island’s economy through the study and development of new pharmaceutical products, but in reality the facilities would be used for the purpose of biological weapons development. Once the facilities were ready, Alex planned on abandoning Spencer and Umbrella. In 2001 a sting operation in Africa saw the successful apprehension of a top Umbrella official and a year later a former Umbrella researcher was eliminated by Javier Hidalgo, the same researcher who originally sold him the t-Virus 11 years earlier. By now Umbrella was banking on the success of the t+G-Virus prototype; a fusion of both strains that generated electrical properties. They also developed new Hunter and Tyrant models and the Spencer Rain cruise liner was used as a mobile auction house to sell these weapons to an exclusive clientele. But these plans were scuppered thanks to the terrorist actions of Morpheus D. Duvall who wanted revenge for his dismissal four years earlier.
By this point the Umbrella trials had taken a turn for the worse for the Global Pharmaceutical Consortium when prosecutors presented evidence that incriminated many other pharmaceutical companies. Prosecutors showed that Umbrella acquired medicines and techniques developed by other companies and employed them in their own bioweapons research. They commissioned each of the respective companies to only partially develop certain medications so that they could not be traced to what was ultimately being developed. The responsible companies thus unwittingly contributed to the development of bioweapons. Until this development in the case, the consortium looked at the lawsuits as Umbrella’s problem. Now the problem was thrust into their laps as well. The companies that were linked to Umbrella faced the possibility of sharing blame for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and if Umbrella lost the lawsuits, they would face bankruptcy as well. Even if Umbrella was found not guilty of any wrongdoing, the negative publicity would not only be disastrous for sales, but the governments of the world would revoke the companies’ permits to sell their products. Not having permission to distribute their products worldwide would effectively dismantle their businesses. The pharmaceutical companies realized they had no choice but to take drastic measures to counter their dismal prospects. The consortium decided to strike a deal with the prosecutors. They would put all their efforts into assisting with the case against Umbrella, even to the point of turning over any internal company documentation. The prosecutors in the case, being obsessed with seeing Umbrella fall, agreed to accept the help of the consortium’s companies, and in return they would not pursue legal action against them.
In 2003, Spencer wrote a letter to shareholders thanking them for their continued support and shared his personal belief the company was well on their way to recovery. But this illusion was shattered only weeks later when Albert Wesker discovered the location of Umbrella’s last primary base in Russia and raided it, killing Umbrella’s unofficial head, Sergei Vladimir and stealing all of Umbrella’s archival data from the UMF-013 in the process. All of Umbrella’s databases were wiped clean, and Wesker struck a deal with the U.S. Government to testify anonymously in court, providing damning evidence that both Umbrella and Spencer were responsible for the Raccoon City disaster.
The parent company was hit with more business suspension decrees and closed down immediately. The F.B.I. and Russian Interior Ministry launched a worldwide manhunt for Spencer who was forced to go into hiding. As Umbrella ceased trading and collapsed, the final subsidiary; Umbrella Japan, closed down a year later in 2004 after failing to attract any potential investors. Final liquidation of company assets began in March that year. Despite their collapse, Umbrella’s legacy lived on as many of their former employees found work with other underground organisations, passing on virus samples and data on to undisclosed clandestine organisations and thus contributing to a dark era of bioterrorism. Albert Wesker also sparked this flame by leaking Umbrella’s perfected t-Virus onto the black market.
In 2007, Umbrella was rehabilitated as a Private Military Company under new management via application of the Chapter 11 reorganisation, but the new management were charged with responsibility for redeeming its dark legacy. The bulk of its staff were former Umbrella employees who had been unaware of the original corporation’s dark side and wanted to atone for their mess. This was why the controversial Umbrella name was kept although a new shield logo was designed and the flagship red and white colour scheme was changed to blue and white to symbolise reformation and to distinguish from the old organisation. Blue Umbrella PMC were placed under heavy sanction by the United Nations and the media and general public were very untrustworthy of their intentions. The PMC used anti-B.O.W. research secretly conducted by Wesker which was discovered after his assets were seized following his death in 2009. Using this research, they were able to develop numerous anti-B.O.W. weapons and countermeasures. This equipment was then passed onto anti-biohazard organisations such as the B.S.A.A. for testing. Umbrella’s actions in this regard helped stem the flow of global bioterrorism and did much to redeem the old Umbrella’s legacy. As of present day, Blue Umbrella work in direct partnership with the B.S.A.A. although it is believed they have a hidden dark side that has yet to emerge.
Corporate branches and subsidaries
UMBRELLA PHARMACEUTICALS: The original corporation created in 1968 and the parent company has its main offices in Berlin in Germany. The executive board meet here and purchase new subsidiaries to expand the business. Oswell Spencer is installed as CEO. The five global branches of Umbrella USA, Europe, Asia, Japan and South Pole operate under the parent company. Umbrella Pharmaceuticals was dissolved in 2004.
UMBRELLA EUROPE: – Under control of Christine Henri and her family with headquarters situated in Paris. Its territory also included off-shore facilities such as Sheena Island and Benthic Island. Key facilities include the European 6th Laboratory where the Nemesis Project was conducted and the Paris branch. The German branch was also influential and Alexia Ashford had a spell in charge here. The Russian Branch was hidden under the guise of an old Soviet Chemical Plant in the Russian Caucasus and became the main centre of operations for the company following the Raccoon City disaster. The T-A.L.O.S. project was overseen here under the supervision of Sergei Vladimir. Umbrella Europe was closed down in 2003.
UMBRELLA USA: – The second main branch of Umbrella run through the Chicago office which counted itself one as one the most powerful branches in the whole company. Umbrella USA made significant contributions to the bio-weapons program and were responsible for the creation of the original t-Virus. It was also responsible for a number of successful products and was due to be in control of all G-Virus research once William Birkin had completed the virus in 1998. Also of note to Umbrella USA is the Raccoon City branch were the origins of the t-Virus and Tyrant projects can be traced. The infrastructure and local government were all under control of the corporation and became known as the ‘Home of Umbrella.’ Umbrella USA closed down in 1999 following the initial business suspension order.
UMBRELLA ANTARCTICA: – Established in 1969 by Alexander Ashford by converting an old abandoned mine and transport terminal belonging to the family. This lab’s main achievement was Alexia Ashford and the creation of the t-Veronica virus. Umbrella Antarctica closed down in 1999 following the destruction of its major operating facility and the death of Alfred Ashford.
UMBRELLA AFRICA: – Located hidden beneath the mountains of Kijuju, this secret laboratory contained the source of the original Progenitor Virus. Cultivation took place here and shipments of the virus were sent to Umbrella labs all across the world. Umbrella Africa Also included production factories such as Umbrella Plant 57 where new B.O.W.s were tested. Umbrella Africa was closed down on the order of Oswell Spencer in November 1998. Because it housed the Progenitor source, all records are redacted and it was not archived on UMF-013.
UMBRELLA ASIA: – No data available.
UMBRELLA JAPAN: – Umbrella Japan Co. Ltd was established in 1984 for the import and export of chemicals and had a head office in Tokyo. In 1987 operations were expanded with the opening of a large scale research laboratory. Umbrella Japan was the last operating branch and closed down in 2004 after failing to attract another parent company to transfer its assets.
UMBRELLA INDUSTRIES: – Weapons development and manufacture. Anti-B.O.W. weapons research.
UMBRELLA MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: – Medical research.
PARAGUAS LINES: – Shipping and transport.
PARASOL: – Electronics and hardware.
METAL INDUSTRIES: – Special alloy development.