Wesker’s Report II
Wesker’s Report II was the follow up to the very popular “Wesker’s Report” that came bundled with Resident Evil Code: Veronica X as a pre-order bonus. Similar to the first report, Wesker’s Report II is written from the perspective of series antagnosit, Albert Wesker as he charts his career through Umbrella and the insidious activites occurring in Spencer Mansion.
The below translation is taken from the booklet packaged with ‘Biohazard Collector’s Box’ (Japan Only) and reproduced in Resident Evil Archives Volume II.
Albert Wesker, the Captain of S.T.A.R.S., was the man pulling the strings behind the ‘Mansion Incident’, the recent tragedy in the Arklay Mountains. Before the incident was uncovered, he kept five separate files of records relating to himself and events over the past 20 years. The records were addressed to “Ada Wong”, but the details of this person are not known. The following is the full transcription of the complete record.
JULY 31, 1978 (MONDAY)
“A FEMALE TEST SUBJECT”
My first visit to that place was the summer I turned eighteen, twenty years ago. I still remember the foul odour kicked up as the helicopter stirred the grass as it neared the ground. From the air, the mansion seemed unremarkable, but from the ground level, it was clear that something was off. Birkin, who was two years younger than I, was of course too interested in his research files to notice…
We had been assigned there two days prior, the same day that our previous place of employment, the Management Training Facility, was closed. Whether it had been planned this way from the beginning, or whether it was merely a coincidence, I suspect only Spencer knows for sure.
That place, the Arklay Research Facility, was the American center of Spencer’s T-Virus research at the time.
We got off the helicopter and approached the elevator. The facility’s director was there, waiting for us.
I remember nothing about him now, not even his name. Regardless of what was said officially, from that day on, the Arklay Research Facility belonged to Birkin and I. As its chief researchers, we had free rein over the direction of the institute. This was just as Spencer willed it, of course. He had chosen us for this purpose.
Neither of us gave the director a second glance as we boarded the elevator. I had memorized the layout of the structure the day before, and Birkin was off in his own little world. One would have expected the director to reproach me for this, but in fact, he showed no reaction at all.
I was an arrogant young man back then and didn’t give a second thought to the director’s actions. Thinking back, though, I imagine it was because he knew Spencer’s mind in the matter far better than I. He knew that I was no more than a puppet.
The three of us rode the elevator down to the basement, and Birkin didn’t once take his eyes off the documents in his hands. They detailed a new strain of filovirus known as Ebola. The disease had surfaced two years previous in Africa, and people all around the world continue to study it to this day.
Even now, those who study it do so for one of two reasons: to save people, or to kill.
As we know, the mortality rate of one infected with Ebola is 90%. An incredibly fast-acting virus, it can demolish the body’s internal structure within ten days, and even now there is no definite cure. If one could harness its power as a weapon, it would truly be something to fear.
Of course, the recently-passed Biological Weapons Convention made it illegal to research a virus for weaponisation purposes. There could be no guarantee, of course, that someone out there wasn’t doing it anyway, and it was perfectly legal to do research in preparation of such an eventuality. That was our loophole.
You see, when researching ways to protect yourself from a weapon, you must first postulate how such a weapon might work. In point of fact, there is no difference at all between researching a weapon and researching its cure. Therefore, it is entirely possible for one to research the former, while pretending one is working on the latter.
Birkin, however, was studying Ebola not out of any particular interest in developing a cure, nor in its weaponization possibilities. As a weapon, it had far too many shortcomings.
First, Ebola dies quickly outside of a living host. It also dies instantly upon exposure to ultraviolet radiation, which is present in common sunlight.
Second, Ebola kills its human host so quickly that there is very little time for it to infect others.
Third, transmission of Ebola requires physical contact between hosts. This makes it easy to guard against.
Now, consider this hypothetical situation.
What if an Ebola carrier were capable of walking around and transmitting the virus to others? What if they did it in in such a state of disorientation, that they would willingly come in contact with uninfected humans?
What if the RNA in Ebola’s genetic code were capable of influencing a human’s own? What if this change bestowed inhuman endurance upon its carrier, making them incapable of being stopped through normal means?
Would this not result in a ‘living bio-weapon’ — dead from a human perspective, but capable of becoming a walking carrier of the virus?
Indeed, we were grateful that Ebola had none of those properties. It meant that we were still the only ones in possession of such a virus.
For in truth, the Umbrella corporation that Spencer founded had harnessed a virus with just those capabilities. To the world, Umbrella was a pharmaceutical company attempting to cure disease, but underneath, it was a factory for the creation of these bio-weapons. They told me it started with the discovery of the “Progenitor Virus,” a virus that recombined the genes of living organisms.
In order to create a living bio-weapon using the Progenitor Virus, we were to induce mutations in the virus to encourage the ties in question. This was the ongoing “T-Virus Project.”
As an RNA Virus, the Progenitor had a high rate of mutation, which allowed us to enhance its desired properties very quickly. In fact, the reason Birkin was interested in Ebola was to potentially enhance these properties by selective splicing with Progenitor. Our facility had, at that time, already received a sample of Ebola.
It took us several changes of elevators before we arrived at the structure’s lowest floor. Once there, even Birkin was compelled to look up from his notes. That was our first encounter with “her.”
We had been told nothing about her in advance. She was the institute’s best-kept secret; not a single piece of data about her filtered to the outside. Records indicated that she had been there since the time of the institute’s founding.
She was 25 years old when I first met her. Even now, I have no idea what her name was, or how she came to be there. I knew only that she was a test subject for the development of the T-Virus.
That development had begun on November 10th, 1967.
In the eleven years since that day, she had remained, injected over and over with a wide variety of experimental viruses.
Birkin gazed upon her in awe and whispered something below his breath. I don’t know if they were words of damnation or of praise, but in that moment, we both knew that we had come to the point of no return. We could guide the research to success, or rot away in obscurity like ‘her.’
It was obvious which one we were going to choose. The sight of the woman laying on that metal-frame bed had stirred that instinct inside both of us. Had Spencer planned for this, too?
(The next record picks up three years later.)
JULY 27TH, 1981 (MONDAY)
(Three years after previous record)
On this day, a ten-year-old girl was assigned as head researcher at Umbrella’s Antarctic Research Facility. Her name was Alexia Ashford.
I was twenty-one at the time; Birkin was nineteen.
I’ll admit it was annoying. Even at our own Arklay Research Facility, the researchers could talk of nothing but this “Alexia.” The Ashford family name was still legendary, particularly among the older researchers who had been with Umbrella since the beginning.
The old fools had long had a mantra which they invoked whenever our research did not go as planned: “If only Dr. Edward were here…”
It is true that Edward Ashford was one of the discoverers of the Progenitor Virus which had formed the basis for our T-Virus Project. He may have been a brilliant scientist. But he had also died very soon after Umbrella was established, and it had been thirteen years since his passing. What good was there in clinging to a dead man’s name?
The reality was that in the thirteen years since Edward’s death, the Antarctic facility founded by his son had produced not a single result. It was obvious that this granddaughter, “Alexia,” would amount to little more. Nevertheless, on that day, those rotting old dotards under us took up a new mantra:
“If only Lady Alexia were here…”
I feared for the future of our research, with fools working beneath us. To be incapable of judging a man outside of his family name! No matter what age they reached, such sycophants would never be capable of acting without another man’s say-so.
Nevertheless, I remained calm. I knew that as the Arklay Institute’s head researcher, losing my temper would merely stall development of the T-Virus. Success could only be achieved through clear-headed judgment. And so, I had the following thought:
The success of my research depended on making the best use out of those decrepit old dignitaries, and men already so close to death would be the most suitable to the dangerous experiments. After all, what good is a leader if he does not make the most efficient use of his human resources?
The only problem was Birkin. His reaction to the ‘Alexia’ rumours was truly unfortunate.
He had never spoken of it, but it was clear that he took great pride age. in being made head researcher at such a young That pride had been shattered to pieces by a ten-year- old girl. Perhaps it was the first time the young genius had ever tasted defeat.
The existence of Alexia-female, younger, and from a famous family – was anathema to him.
It was unthinkable to me that he could be so bothered by some girl in a foreign land with not a single accomplishment to her name. But in the end, I suppose he too was still a child. Regardless of his immaturity, though, I needed Birkin back on his feet. In these last three years, our research had already entered the second stage.
At that point in time, we had created a strain of T-Virus that would reliably result in a living bio-weapon which we codenamed “Zombie.” The virus’s influence on the human genome, however, was not a 100% guarantee. Since genes vary subtly from person to person, it followed that some humans were simply not compatible.
Even a direct transmission from a Zombie only guaranteed a 90% chance of infection. No matter how much genetic research we did, this fact was unchangeable.
One would expect a 90% transmission rate to be sufficient for a biological weapon, but Spencer disagreed. He wanted a free-standing weapon that could, by itself, annihilate 100% of its targets. Why, you ask? That, I cannot say.
Initially, I was under the impression that we were researching to find a way to produce biological weapons en masse. But the “living bio-weapons” begun we were now developing had to prove costly. If it were simply a matter of money, then, Spencer would never have chosen this path.
A profit could have been made on the fruits of our research by supplementing it with standard weapons technology. But this “free-standing weapon of destruction” he described was incredibly cost inefficient. What reason could he have for continuing such research, even after it proved unprofitable?
One could speculate that he wished to change the definition of war, and thus, monopolize the munitions industry…but even now, I don’t know if that was his true aim or not.
Speculations about Spencer’s real intentions aside, Birkin began working on a living bio-weapon specialized for combat. He created it by splicing the genes of other organisms into the human genetic code as altered by the T-Virus.
This combat-specialised bio-weapon, which we named “Hunter,” was designed to eliminate armed enemies or any humans not affected by the standard virus. We were briefly forced to suspend that line of experimentation, however – to protect the test subjects from Birkin.
His futile jealousy towards Alexia had caused him to stray from established methodology. He remained in his laboratory twenty-four hours a day, driven by whim to experiment after experiment. The other researchers and I worked to extract as many samples as we could before the experiments died, but we simply couldn’t keep up.
The director continued to supply him with fresh test subjects as if nothing was wrong, and he ran through them like tissue paper. It was a living hell-but through it all, one person survived: the “female test subject.”
She was twenty-eight years old at the time and had been in the laboratory for fourteen years. I believed she had lost her human reason fourteen years earlier when she was first injected with the Progenitor Virus. If she still had her human soul, I am sure that “death” is what she would have longed for.
Nevertheless, she lived on.
What was it that kept her going? None of the data we retrieved from her differed from the other test subjects. We would eventually unravel that mystery, but it would take several years.
(The next record picks up two years later)
DECEMBER 31ST, 1983 (SATURDAY)
(Two years after previous record)
It was winter, six years since I had begun working at the Arklay Research Facility. The last two years had been stagnant, with no significant progress made. At last, however, there was a development.
It began with a communication we received that morning: Alexia had died. The cause of death was an accidental outbreak of the T-Veronica Virus which Alexia herself had been developing. She was twelve years old at the time; too young, it seemed, for such dangerous research.
There was a rumour that Alexia had injected herself with T-Veronica, as per her plan all along. This struck me as extremely unlikely, however. More conceivable was that she had made a fatal mistake out of grief over her father’s disappearance a year before.
Subsequently, the last remaining Ashford heir took over the Antarctic Research Facility. Despite being Alexia’s twin brother, though, no one expected much from him. In the end, it seemed only natural that the famous Ashford Family should come to ruin with nothing to show for it. As I predicted, the “legend” was merely that.
After Alexia’s death, Birkin changed – or perhaps I should say, he returned to normal.
The returned recognition of his subordinates is what had the greatest impact. He was once again at the top of his world.
Even then, however, it was forbidden to speak of Alexia in front of him, and he vehemently opposed my proposal to acquire a sample of T-Veronica. I realized I would have to take the long way around if I wanted to get to the truth behind her research.
In the end, things had turned in our favour, if not due to any personal growth on Birkin’s part. Still, I had weightier matters on my mind.
The Arklay Research Facility deep in the middle of a forest; I had strolled through it often and never encountered a soul. This was only natural, as the only way in and out was by helicopter.
Such an uninhabited area was the logical choice for such an institute, to minimize damage in the off chance of a viral outbreak.
In the case of a virus that created living weapons, though, it was not so simple. After all, humans were not the only ones that could contract this virus.
Very few viruses find potential hosts in only one species. The Influenza Virus, for instance, has been confirmed in such non-human creatures as birds, pigs, horses, and even seals.
One complication to this is that a given virus will not necessarily affect every species within a given category. For instance, some viruses that affect ducks and chickens will not spread to other birds.
Accounting for individual strains of a virus complicates the potential host selection further. Even when looking at a single virus, there is no way of knowing exactly how many organisms might be potential hosts.
The problem posed by the T-Virus was its incredible ability to adapt to almost any type of host.
I had first begun investigating the T-Virus’s cross-species transmissibility during Birkin’s useless period. My research showed me that there were potential hosts for the T-Virus among nearly every class of organism. Not just mammals, but plants, bugs, fish…members of nearly all species were capable of contracting the T-Virus.
When I left the research facility to take my strolls around the forest, one question was always foremost on my mind: Why did Spencer choose this location?
The forest had a diverse ecosystem. If there were a viral outbreak, what would happen if it found a compatible host in the area? If an insect caught the infection, one might think the threat would be relatively minor due to its miniscule size. But insects are biologically capable of starting outbreaks on a massive scale.
How far would the virus spread, in such a case? If it infected a plant, which cannot move on its own, one would expect contamination to be limited. But then, what of the pollen released by the plant?
The place was practically a powder keg. It occurred to me that the Ashfords had been wise to choose the Antarctic to conduct their research. The only conclusion, when coming from that perspective, was that the institute was located here for the purpose of causing an outbreak.
Could such a thing be possible? What was Spencer trying to make us do?
The problem was too big to discuss with the other researchers. The only person I might speak to about it was Birkin, but it was clear that even with the two of us, there was nothing we could do. I needed more information.
I realized, however, that there were limits to what I could learn as a simple researcher. If I wanted to know Spencer’s true intentions, I couldn’t continue living in a bubble. I had no qualms about throwing away my position if it meant coming closer to that goal…but I couldn’t move too quickly. If Spencer realized what I was doing, all would be lost.
To throw off suspicion, I re-devoted myself to my work with Birkin. The “female test subject” was again forgotten in a corner. We had begun to call her the “living failure,” due to our inability to glean useful data from her.
That was, until five years later…
(The next record picks up five years later)
JULY 1ST, 1988
(Five years after previous record)
Summer was in its early stages, and we were coming upon our eleventh year at the Arklay Research Facility. At that time, I was twenty-eight years old, and Birkin had become the father of a two-year-old daughter. His wife was a fellow researcher at Arklay.
It might seem unthinkable for a person to fall in love, get married, and have a child in such a place. But Arklay was a haven for eccentrics. In order to thrive there, you were required to be slightly mad. Meanwhile, after ten years of research, our experiments had finally entered the third stage.
It was an elite combat-specialized bio-weapon: intelligent, and capable of following orders as a soldier. We code-named the monster “Tyrant,” but there was a major obstacle holding back the project from the beginning: the obtaining of organisms which could serve as the basis for the Tyrant. The sheer lack of genetically compatible humans was a seemingly insurmountable problem.
The problem had to do with the nature of the T-Virus.
The strain of T-Virus used to make Zombies and Hunters was compatible with most humans, at the cost of degrading the host’s neural structure. A certain degree of intelligence was required to become a Tyrant, and so to circumvent this problem, Birkin extracted a new stain that would have minimal effect on the subject’s mental facilities if the subject were compatible. Unfortunately, there were very few subjects with such a compatible genetic code.
In genetic analysis group simulations, only one in a million infected subjects manifested as Tyrants; the others became mere Zombies.
I believed that if we could only continue our research, we might develop an advanced form of T-Virus that would cause a greater ratio of people to manifest as Tyrants. But for this research to proceed, we would still need humans compatible with the current strain.
If we searched all of America, we might only find a few dozen such humans, and the likelihood that these people would end up in our testing sample was infinitesimal. Even with the forced compliance of other institutes, we were only able to assemble a handful of subjects who came close to matching. Our research was run aground before it even begun.
It happened that at the same time, rumours surfaced that a certain facility in Europe had completed a 3rd stage living bio-weapon, coming at it from a completely different angle. It was called the Nemesis Project.
With our own research stalled, I began working to obtain a sample of that research. Birkin was naturally against it, but I managed to convince him. Even he had to admit that our own research could not continue without proper test subjects in hand.
The package from Europe had to pass through numerous transit points, and it was several days before it arrived. It came late one night, a small box delivered at the heliport that bore the label, “Nemesis Prototype.”
Getting our hands on the sample still in development required quite a bit of strong-arming. It was only through Spencer’s backing that we received it.
Birkin never showed any interest in the sample, but nevertheless acknowledged the importance of the experiment. The sample was a radically new concept in our field: a parasite constructed entirely through gene manipulation.
An organism specialized for intelligence could do nothing on its own, but as a parasite, such a creature might be capable of functioning as a “brain” for a more combat-capable one. One could then design the brain and body separately and combine the two into a single living bio-weapon. Such technology would allow one to focus on the organ- ism’s combat capabilities, without the need to consider its intelligence. The only problem was that they had not yet succeeded in creating a stable parasitic “brain.”
The papers that came with the sample were nothing so much as a long list of failures. The hosts inevitably died within five minutes of the Nemesis parasite establishing control.
Nevertheless, even this flawed prototype brimmed with potential. If we could only extend the parasite’s life, we would take the initiative on the Nemesis Project. That was my goal, and I intended to use the “female test subject” to reach it.
I speculated that her abnormal vitality might allow her to harbour even the Nemesis Prototype for a significant time. In the event that I was wrong, and the experiment failed, it would be no loss on our end, either.
The experiment was definitely successful, but not in the way I had intended. The Nemesis we inserted into her brain vanished. At first, I had no idea what happened. I thought that perhaps the parasite had overwhelmed and consumed her…
That was the beginning.
For years, she had done nothing but live on uselessly. Now something was awakening inside of her. We decided to investigate her once more from scratch.
Over the last ten years we had exhausted every possible line of inquiry regarding her. We now threw all that data out. There was something inside her; something that had gone unnoticed in the entire twenty-one years she had been there.
After many long hours of study, it was Birkin who found it. Something did exist inside of her, wholly different from the T-Virus Project we had expended so much time on.
This revelation took our research in a whole new direction; one that would shape all our destinies. It was the beginning of the “G-Virus Project.”
(The next record picks up seven years later)
JULY 31ST, 1995 (MONDAY)
(Seven years after previous record)
When I descended upon that place once more, it was summer, the same day I had arrived seventeen long years ago. Any time I came there, I smelled the same odour. The surrounding scenery and structures, too, were the same as they ever were.
Birkin was there with me on the heliport, just as he had been then. It had been a long time since I had seen him, for I had left the Arklay Research Facility over four years prior.
That was the time when Spencer approved Birkin’s pro- posed G-Virus Project and accepted my transfer request to the Intelligence Bureau. From the outside, my request would have looked like a natural evolution, that I had abandoned the road of the scientist to try a change of fortunes.
To tell the truth, the “G” concept had gone to a level far beyond my understanding. Although my real aim was to find more about the reason behind Spencer’s actions, but at the same time, I really had met my limits as a researcher. The helicopter kicked up a wind as it lifted off. Birkin was, as always, to consumed by his documents to notice.
He made periodic visits to Arklay in those days, but he was no longer associated with it. Some time ago, he had been transferred to a new, massive underground facility in nearby Raccoon City. That was where he would develop the G-Virus.
In all honesty, I had not expected Spencer to authorize “G” those four years prior. After all, it was a completely unproven idea, even more divorced from the concept of making a weapon than our previous research.
The major distinction between “G” and the T-Virus was the rapid mutations that G enacted on the body of its host. Any RNA-based virus was of course likely to mutate, but that applied only to the virus’s own genetic code. The genes of an organism were a different matter.
Even if a virus enacted structural changes on an organism, it was extremely rare for the genes of the host organism themselves to mutate, outside of certain exceptions such as radiation exposure,
By contrast, an organism infected with G would continue to undergo rapid structural mutations for as long as it lived, free of any such external influence.
The T-Virus has a feature not entirely dissimilar to this. We had confirmed that within certain environments, the activation of the virus within a living bio-weapon could cause fresh alterations to the organism’s genetic structure.
In order for that to happen, however, an external source was required as a catalyst, and the structural alterations were always more or less predictable. G-Creatures had no such restrictions. No one could predict the course of their changes. No matter what countermeasures one envisioned, it could always mutate to nullify them.
Seven years before, Birkin had caught his first glimpse of this in the ‘female test subject.’ Even when nothing changed about her on the surface, on a deeper level, she was constantly changing. Each experimental virus we injected into her was quickly assimilated as she lived on.
Those twenty-one years of internal mutation had rendered her capable of assimilating even the Nemesis parasite. The purpose of the G-Virus Project was to see how far those capabilities could go.
The question remained. Would the final result of these experiments be an idealized life form… or a being mutated into uselessness? Either way, could it really be called a weapon?
What was Spencer thinking when he approved this? Even after four years in the Intelligence Bureau, I still had no idea of what he was thinking. In those days though, one rarely saw Spencer at all, not even at Arklay. It was almost as if he was preparing for something…
Spencer had become like a mirage, growing ever more distant, but I knew that a chance would come eventually. I would just have to live long enough to meet it.
With Birkin and I inside, the elevator took us to the lowest level of the facility, the place we had first encountered ‘her. The facility’s new head researcher was there: Birkin’s successor, a man by the name of John.’ He had transferred from the Chicago facility, and s said to be a superior researcher. For this kind of work, though, wax he seemed a bit too morally upright.
It seemed John objected to some of the facility’s more barbaric practices and sent proposals to rectify this to the upper management. At least, that was the rumour in the Intelligence Bureau. General consensus on the matter was that if we ever want information to leak to the outside, we should start with John.
For the moment, though, Birkin and I ignored him. Our business was with “her.”
We were there to kill her.
Absorbing ‘Nemesis’ had restored some of her intelligence, but the actions she took since then had been wholly bizarre. Her behavior had escalated, and at last culminated in tearing off the faces of other women and wearing them for herself. According to the records, she had tried to do the same thing when she was first injected with the Progenitor Virus.
None of us knew the meaning behind her actions, but after three researchers lost their lives at her hands, it became clear that she could not be allowed to live. Now that the G research was on track, there was no longer any value in keeping “her” around.
We remained there for three days to confirm that her life signs had stopped completely. Then, the director ordered her body taken away. I never learned who she was, or why she had been brought there. Of course, in that regard she was no different from any other test subject; but to her in particular, we owed the existence of the G Project.
Had it not been for her, my life and Birkin’s would have gone very differently.
As I left the Arklay Research Facility behind, though, I couldn’t help but wonder: How far ahead had Spencer planned this?
(The incident begins three years later)