[p]airing: LeonxNPCs, LeonxOCs, LeonxAshley (twisted)
[s]ummary: Ever since Spain, Leon's life has gone down the tubes. It seems that no matter what he does, everything he touches crumbles. Even his relationships. ESPECIALLY his relationships. Even worse, he's constantly hungry. But for what, he isn't certain.
[n]otes: FREAKING WEIRD. Artistic license with psychology and pseudo-science abound.
"The Life-Cycle of RS42-268-G127-M, Specimen of a Parasitic Spore found in South-Western Spain"
Margin Note: Use smaller words next time— GKC)
As a spore, RS42-268-G127-M does not register sensation. RS42 is not capable of registering sensation, even as a life form with a skeleton and muscles. It is simply incapable of registering sensation without a host. It consists almost entirely of nerves and nerve tendrils, evolved for burrowing into the spinal column and taking mental and physical control of the host. If RS42 were able to register sensation, it would register a feeling of being scooped up. It would feel jostled, carted around, and eventually it would hear a slight squish, and feel itself being pushed down. Pushed down into a body that it does not know is warm, does not truly know is alive.
However, in the technical and non-speculative terms, when specimen RS42-268-G127-M makes contact with red blood cells, RS42's automatic responses kick in. It is currently uncertain whether these responses are defensive in nature, or if these are the reactions of a predator.
Next, it burrows its way through the host's body until it reaches the spinal column. Exactly how it differentiates the spinal column from other bone structures and organs is uncertain. The current hypothesis is that the parasite feeds on spinal cells, and is thusly able to recognize the spine. The parasite travels along the spinal column. Eventually, it attaches itself and begins to grow. In doing this, it lodges itself in that space between the lungs and the spinal cord.
Every RS42 specimen to date has lodged itself between the lungs and spinal cord. They must possess some sort of genetic coding that demands they achieve this. They may not have evolved specifically to feed on humans, if indeed they feed on humans. In non-human mammals, the parasite makes its way to a similar location (cf. Sera).
As the parasite matures, it begins to assume control over the host. It starts small: sending synapses along the spine, randomly speeding or slowing heart rate, causing hormone changes, etc., etc., etc (cf. Sera). These hormone changes make it easier for the parasite to control the host. Most human hosts have tested as having large amounts of endorphins in their systems— at least in Phase One.
Margin Note: No idea— CSL)
Eventually, after enough hormonal changes, the host falls completely under the control of the parasite. During these acclimations, the parasite forms a symbiotic relationship with the host. Should the parasite be removed from the host, both host and parasite will die.
Some hosts have tested as having large quantities of as-yet unidentified hormones. Most of these hosts were test subjects for the anti-parasitic drugs. These drugs were unable to kill the parasites. Because the parasites eventually become symbiotes, hoping for such would be unethical.
III. Hormonal changes brought about in the host.
To date, Salazar Labs have recorded a series of six hormonal changes in the host. The entire process takes between twelve and twenty-four hours, with an eighteen hour mode. At about sixteen hours, in an eighteen-hour scenario, or twelve hours in the case of a fourteen-hour scenario, the parasite becomes a symbiote. The personality of the host has ceased to exist: it is nothing more than a shell.
The hormone shifts are as follows.
Phase One: The Endorphin Phase
This phase is used to pacify the host. It creates a sensation of giddiness and well-being. The levels of endorphins within the brain are extremely high. Tests performed (cf. "Pilar Montoya," Salazar) indicate that the host feels no pain, even when burned to the point of injury, struck, strangled, etc., etc., etc. Some may argue that Salazar Labs went to inhumane and unethical extremes to obtain data with the experiments on Pilar Montoya, but Salazar Labs maintains that at no point did the subject show any sort of discomfort. Examiners had no idea how far beyond ethics they had gone until they inspected the dial on the electroshock-therapy device.
Exactly how or why the parasite causes the body to produce these endorphins is currently unknown. The best hypothesis is that the RS42 automatically triggers hormone production, and that endorphins are the first hormones produced, simply by chance. This theory is somewhat unsatisfying, but the other theories are simply unworthy of presenting.
In any case, with the endorphin production increased, the host ceases to view the RS42 specimen as a parasite. 96 percent of the test subjects report a euphoric experience. 82 percent of the interviewed test subjects equated carrying the parasite with a religious experience. One subject, Guadalupe Mendez, stated, "I feel like I'm being fucked by God." Only 18 percent of the test subjects did not report a wholly positive experience in Phase One— these subjects, however, had been attacked and infected by persons not within Salazar Labs.
The euphoric sensation persisted, even under duress. Guadalupe Mendez was able to watch, smiling, as another subject snapped a kitten's neck. Other subjects were able to view intense bodily harm done to others without even a slight change in mood. Still others became only mildly irritated when receiving minor injuries. In yet other subjects, 75% did not appear to register pain at all.
In fact, specimens in Phase One were almost completely incapable of becoming agitated (cf. Guadalupe Mendez and Pilar Montoya). Those specimens that did become agitated in Phase One had either become infected against their will or were under the influence of anti-parasitic medications.
Margin Note: Could be TEP. He was on the drugs, wasn't he?— GKC
Margin Note: He SAYS he was. But remember, he isn't the most reliable witness anymore— CSL)
Phases One through Three are the only phases where specimens lose consciousness during major modifications to their brain chemistry. It especially abounds in the Phase Three, where the parasite appears to erase most of the brain's programming, for lack of a better word. Phases Four through Six utilize the specimen's natural periods of unconsciousness, such as sleep.
Specimens in Phases One and Two have also been known to complain of periods of which they have no memory. However, the specimens were conscious, though inactive, during these periods. Some specimens, usually female, undergoing these "brick-wall" periods were observed as literally stopping what they were doing and simply standing or sitting. Specimens who had, moments prior, been walking with a purpose would abruptly stop walking at all, instead standing still and staring ahead.
Other specimens, usually male, would continue with their activities, but would be incapable of conversation. If a specimen did talk, it was usually to a hallucinated person. At other times, the specimen would simply speak in gibberish.
Phase Two: Brain Stem Activity Phase
About two hours after the Endorphin Phase completes, the BSA Phase begins. Exactly which hormones are used to create this phase is currently unknown. As of yet, Salazar lab scientists have not been able to identify the substances.
Salazar Labs notes that most specimens in this stage were quick to experience sexual arousal. This arousal often occurs with few to no sexual stimuli. No other experiments were on-going at the time these cases were observed. Salazar Labs had involved all its experts deeply in this specific case, but none of the scientists or researchers involved could propose theories as to how or why RS42-268-G127-M causes this, or even if RS42 is involved at all.
Margin Note: BSA? Looks like it— GKC)
In addition, specimens in this stage become agitated more easily. They reported intense feelings of anger, and a territorial instinct was observed. This territorial instinct was not exclusive to males— female specimens were observed fighting, at first verbally but later, as Phase Two wore on, physically, over things as minor as seating (cf. The Cafeteria Incident).
Male infected were particularly susceptible to these reactions. They complained of intense irritation, experiences of sexual arousal for no reason, and feeling 'jumbled'. 'Word salad' incidents, in which they spoke real words without regard to their meanings, increased rapidly. The specimens taking anti-parasitic medications reported feelings of being 'hunted' or 'different'.
Margin Note: LSK, May 8th, 2005. To Ashley Graham: "I'm just trying to keep you safe. They came after me, they'll want you next." —CSL
Margin Note: I think he's cracked it— GKC
Margin Note: Lucidity does seem to elude him, doesn't it?— CSL
Margin Note: SMALLER. WORDS. PLEASE— GKC)
Date: 07:18, 05-9-2005
Subj: DID YOU CONTACT HIM?!?!?!
TELL ME YOU DID NOT CONTACT LSK. TELL ME YOU DIDN'T BECAUSE I JUST GOT A CALL FROM THE POOH-BEAR AND SHE SAYS HE'S TURNED UP AT HER DORM.
IF YOU CONTACTED LSK DIRECTLY, I AM GOING TO HAVE TO SHOOT YOU!!!!!!!
Date: 07:33, 05-9-2005
Subj: RE: DID YOU CONTACT HIM?!?!?!
I approached Kennedy on the 7th, with full permission from Bart. Ha-ha, no shooting for you.
He freaked out. Thought I was after him? Kept saying that he didn't have time, he had to find "Aida, Clair, and Sherrie" before Umbrella got to them. He said he had to get Umbrella.
Was Kennedy involved in the Raccoon incident?
Date: 07:47, 05-9-2005
Sub: RE: DID YOU CONTACT HIM?!?!?!
Yes, he was one of the Raccoon City survivors. He's probably talking about Claire Redfield and Sherry Berkin (sp?). But as for Aida? I have no idea. Could be a hallucination?
Date: 18:29, 05-9-2005
Subj: KENNEDY AND POOH-BEAR?
He's made contact with Pooh-Bear. Apparently, she trusts him? More than she trusts us?
What the hell is going on here? Yes, I approached him on the seventh, but I never said anything about us being hunting him or watching him or anything. He told her that 'they' were after him and were going to after her next.
Bastard's got her running scared.
By the way, do we know for sure which phase he's stuck in?
Date: 18:44, 05-9-2005
Subj: RE: KENNEDY AND POOH-BEAR?
You're a goddamn idiot. That just made our job about ten times harder. Of COURSE she trusts him and not us, he GOT HER OUT OF SPAIN.
Take a look at Salazar's report. The goddamn thing is probably plagiarized from a bunch of dead scientists, but it's the best info we're going to get. I forwarded it to you last week. Hell, I even highlighted the important bits for you!
But since you're so lazy, it looks like he was in the later parts of Phase 2. We're seeing BSA behaviour, I think. Conspiracy theories ('feeling hunted'), possessiveness, blackouts, 'brick wall' periods, all of that looks like it comes from brain stem activity. Of course, it could just be the PTSD from Raccoon. Something like this, I don't want to say anything is concrete. We're still pretty much in the prelim investigation, right now.
Date: 19:02, 05-9-2005
Subj: RE: KENNEDY AND POOH-BEAR?
But it's LOOOOOOONG. It's like 1000000000 pages!
Anyway, if it's BSA shit, what do we DO? And why the hell are you talking to me like I'm a rookie?
Oh, btw, January 23 interview? The Congressional/NSA hearing? He somebody named Luis Sera. Is that the same Sera guy Salazar's report keeps referencing?
And who the hell is Aida?
Date: 19:23, 05-9-2005
Subj: RE: KENNEDY AND POOH-BEAR?
I have no idea on the Aida thing. I've been looking at the Congressional investigations into the Racoon City incident, but I apparently don't have clearance. A quick guess would be Aida is a fellow RC survivor.
As for Sera, I just took a look at what he said about him. A Madrid cop who'd seen virus that got out in RC in some lab in Madrid? I'm not buying what he told us of Sera's story. Either Sera was just pretending he'd seen it, or he saw it somewhere else. That kind of thing just isn't going to turn up in a Spanish CSI lab.
Thinking about it, though, Sera could BE the guy Salazar keeps referencing. Goddamnit, if only we had more. If only that fucking castle hadn't blown up. I wish I had those reports on the "Cafeteria Incident" and Pilar Montoya and Guadalupe Mendez. I wish I had Sera's stuff.
If this RS42 report Sera and LSK's Sera are the same person, then if we had his reports, we might be able to figure out how to back LSK out of the BSA phase. It'd take him straight back into TEP, but we could probably handle that with drugs, right?
I'm thinking incarcerating and medicating him is the way to go. But you know that isn't MY call. Talk to Bart.
TBC April 23, 2006