Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Survivors: Mission briefing

[Resident Evil, the game series, gives me Ideas.]
[The name "The Survivors" comes from the idea that almost all stories in the setting are about the people who made it out of zombie+monster afflicted city alive.  Note that the person giving the briefing and the ones getting it aren't part of the city's population, so they aren't counted when figuring out the percentage that died vs. the percentage that lived.]

A three dimensional map of a city appeared on the monitor.

“This is Marmot City. Some people have described it as a wholly owned subsidiary of U-E, and they're not wrong. Unisol Pharmaceuticals, before they merged with Excom, decided to make this their R&D center, which transformed a mostly abandoned mining town into a modern city that, just barely, has a population of over one hundred thousand, most of them on U-E's payroll.

“Any building larger than a gas station was probably designed and built by Trenton and Associates, a firm which shares Unisol co-founder Steward's love of puzzles, secret passages, and the occasional death trap. If you thought the 'Path to Illumination' architecture back home was weird, Trenton and Associates' work would probably make your head explode.

“Fortunately, we probably won't have to deal with it. We're concerned with this:” the map of the city's skyline faded into simplistic wire-frame models, and a new map came into existence beneath it.

“So many underground labs, training areas, testing sites, and storage facilities that it's a wonder all of Marmot doesn't just collapse in on itself and form a giant sinkhole.

“This lab,” one of the underground structures on the map lit up, “belongs to Doctor Wilhelmina Yorke, and she's recently made a breakthrough on something called the Theta-virus.

“The Executive Committee has determined that Dr. Yorke in particular and the Unisol divisions in general can no longer be trusted with sole ownership of the Theta-virus so we're going to take it.

“Don't let the name fool you, it is not one of the alpha-beta viruses. No one knows why she named it 'Theta' and until a more convincing theory is put forward my theory is that she did it to be annoying. Regardless, Yorke discovered the virus some ten years ago and has been refining it ever since. It bears some passing similarity to the alpha-virus, but in truth it's an entirely different beast. Baring outside intervention it has no visible effects, but the host's body is in a constant state of flux at the cellular level.

“Yorke's aim was to develop this property to its maximum extent, thus making it impossible to develop a strategy against a combatant treated with the virus because the combatant would be forever changing in ways that were both unpredictable and invisible.

“I have no idea if she succeeded and I don't care. Do not let the virus get out. We do not need to repeat the incident with the Delta-virus and the rats.

“The good news for us is that there was a containment failure at the primary off-site lab associated with Marmot.” Another of the underground structures on the map lit up. “About two months ago this facility was compromised. While the lab was destroyed and sterilized, the resulting Zeta-virus outbreak in the surrounding forest is still being mopped up by Unisol forces in the area.

“That means that Unisol defensive forces should be distracted, understaffed, or entirely absent. It also means that all of the local Unisol facilities are likely focused on shoring up their own defenses since their usual protectors are committed elsewhere, there is—however minor—a Zeta-virus outbreak, and members of Unisol's R&D staff are notoriously paranoid. The result of that is that Dr. Yorke is unlikely to be getting help from any of the facilities outside her own lab.

“We should be able to slip in without being noticed or disrupted by Unisol combat forces and we should end up facing security that amounts to nothing more than what single scientist and her underlings, with no combat training, put together as a contingency against mere Zeta-infectees.

“If everything goes to plan we'll be in and out without anyone noticing we're there.

“If things do not go to plan, specifically if Dr. Yorke attempts to prevent us from obtaining a sample of the Theta-virus, our orders are to terminate the good doctor.”


  1. Oh, god. This is the platonic ideal of the kind of disastrous idiocy that the entire Resident Evil franchise is based on. Full marks. </sincerity>

  2. "Why Marmot? Did the founder have a thing for sciuridae? Oh. Sorry, sir."

    That's not the same unisol that... nah, couldn't be.

    Could it?

    1. Universal Solider didn't even cross my mind. It should have because, even though the creators didn't view it that way, it's essentially zombies done right, and for military purposes no less.

      After being unable to come up with something that referenced "Umbrella" without being too obvious as, "This is Umbrella with the serial numbers gently scratched," I tried to think of something that sounded generically pharmaceutical but not so pharmaceutical that it couldn't become be big overarching "We make everything" faceless corporation I wanted it to be.

      "Unisol" did that for me. Whether or not it does that for others doesn't really matter, it's just a name, after all.


      All of that said, I'm now thinking of how to incorporate the idea if the universal soldier into the emerging mythos of The Survivors. The company wouldn't like them because they're too willful. Both the good and the evil one in the original movie weren't the best at following orders, as I recall, and so would consider the experiment a failure.

      Other people, on the other hand, like say ones who had lost loved ones, would presumably see the benefit of the process.