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Country: U.S.A - Mid - West
On the outskirts of Raccoon City lies the rural region known as the Arklay Mountains. Mile upon mile of beautiful, craggy countryside blanketed by the rich tapestry of Raccoon Forest. This locale was very popular with hikers, ramblers and joggers and was responsible for a significant slice of Raccoon City's tourism trade.
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History and Overview
As well as the forest, Arklay also contained a dam and reservoir for the town's water supply as well as several lakes and rivers, some of which ran directly through or underneath the city. The green, blue and red herbs were native to the region and whilst Albert Wesker was stationed at the Spencer Estate, he used to take long walks into the woods to ponder various developments at Umbrella and give further thought to his own personal plans for the future. He used to wonder if Ozwell E. Spencer had purposefully had the mansion built in the depths of the Arklay Mountains as it was the perfect thriving environment for the t-virus should it ever become exposed to the outside. The rich haven of local plant and wildlife living in the area were all susceptible to infection, making the Arklay Mountains a dangerous location to house primary viral research.
The Spencer Estate itself was located deep into the forest, well away from the city as Spencer at least realised that distance from the local populace was important. The woods were vast, there were no houses in the area and despite the numerous paths, tracks and trails spider-webbing across the region, the only viable way in and out of the very deepest recesses was via helicopter.
Roughly three miles away from the mansion was Umbrella's Management Training Facility which was run by Dr. James Marcus from 1968-1978. To transport key personnel between these facilities was a set of privately owned rail tracks by Umbrella. Their special transport train, the Ecliptic Express, made daily trips throughout Raccoon Forest and beyond. There were also public rail roads which led to Raccoon's neighbouring town's of Stoneville and Arklay City.
The Old Hospital Incident
As well as these two facilities, Umbrella also had dealings with a little-known hospital that was also situated within the forest. Unlike the Raccoon General Hospital which was built in down town Raccoon City in 1992, this small practice was decades old and was original place of treatment for Raccoon's citizens. However, when the city's major hospital was constructed as part of Mayor Michael Warren's 'Bright 21st Century Raccoon' plan, the old Arklay hospital fell into decline, with most patients choosing to be treated in a brand new state-of-the-art hospital in the centre of town rather than having to travel outside of the city and into the forest. This was when Umbrella stepped in and in 1993 were responsible for illegal medical experiments performed on many of the patients still residing there. they operated under the alias of 'Drugs Inc.' and passed themselves off as a small and insignificant medical firm. Only the hospital's Chief Administrator, Albert Lester, and a few others were aware that Umbrella were involved. Albert was easily manipulated by the corporation as his wife was suffering from cancer at the time and the illegal products Umbrella were offering, including experimental strains of the t-virus, promised to aid her recovery.
Initially the tests went well and several patients, including Al's wife, Dorothy, responded well to the treatment. But eventually the virus took its toll on the patients and soon all human comprehension was lost.
The experiments were covered up and friends and relatives were told that the patients had died either through illness or surgery. But after too many patients had been lost, the citizens began to suspect something was amiss. Eventually the local media became involved and the Daily Raccoon sent Kurt, a friend and colleague of freelance staff writer Alyssa Ashcroft, to investigate. However Kurt was denied access to the hospital and no staff members were willing to comment or give interviews. His background checks failed to turn up anything significant about 'Drugs Inc.' or any of its products. Simultaneously, the R.P.D. had also begun a discreet investigation into the importing of drugs into the hospital but police chief Brian Irons, whom Umbrella had very recently acquired onto their payroll, ensured that there was no way to trace anything back to the corporation.
Following weeks of frustration, Kurt travelled up to the hospital in the middle of the night in an attempt to break inside and obtain evidence of any wrongdoings. However, soon after getting inside he was attacked and killed by the zombified form of Al Lester's infected wife, Dorothy. Kurt's death forced the R.P.D. investigation team into action once more but again Brian Irons was able to stall them long enough for Umbrella to withdraw themselves from the entire episode. He even made sure that Kurt's death and the illegal drug imports were quietly forgotten and eventually the investigation was suspended due to lack of evidence. Realising they had a lucky escape, Umbrella quickly ensured the hospital was closed down indefinitely and all staff were either paid off or transferred away from Raccoon City.
In the following years reports of missing persons and accidents in the Arklay Mountains region began to increase. High altitude fog was often a problem and resulted in in the closure of many of the paths and hiking trails during the winter season. On Halloween night in 1996 a gruesome discovery was made when a decomposed corpse of a man was found washed up on the shores of the Aimes River. Powerful steroids and other drugs were found inside the body but the police were not surprised as the river had long been used as a dumping ground by local pharmaceutical companies.
In 1998 Albert Lester returned to Raccoon City after a five year absence. He visited the site of the old hospital and found a curious plant growing in the basement. The plant had become infected with the t-virus following the remnants of the 1993 experiments. Al became fascinated by the plant and saw it as a reincarnation of his dear Dorothy. He would go hunting in the woods and and bring back birds, dogs, and other local animals to feed her. As he became more and more delusional, he started donning a mask and began murdering human passers-by as a food source for 'Dorothy'. Rumours soon began to circulate in the local press that a ghost was haunting the mountains.
The biggest incident to occur in the Arklay Mountains was of course the infamous Mansion Incident which began with the t-virus leak in the Arklay Labs on May 11th 1998. In the following weeks reports began coming in depicting strange dog-like creatures roaming the woods and that more and more people venturing into the woods for a walk or a run were not coming back. But the media circus only attracted more people to the region eager to see for themselves what all the fuss was about. On May 20th a man walking the banks of the Marble River found the mutilated remains of a female hiker on the shores. This was the first of several serious incidents which eventually resulted in the mountain road leading to the foothills being blocked off by police.
On July 9th the S.T.A.R.S. Special Forces teams began their investigation into the incidents but they expected great difficulty due to the vast size of the Arklay Mountains and primeval forest area.
Following the aftermath of the mansion incident, Umbrella conducted a very discreet investigation into the remnants of the mansion wreckage and surrounding forest area. One of the lead supervisors in the investigation was U.B.C.S. Supervisor and company Monitor Nicholai Zinoviev and in the week and a half following the explosion Umbrella's forensic teams and viral specialists combed over every small area of the vast forest region around the mansion. By August 5th, the investigation concluded that there were no signs of viral leakage in the surrounding area, though the forest continued to be monitored closely with extreme caution. The body of their secret operative, Albert Wesker, was also not recovered. Despite the S.T.A.R.S. survivors writing in their official reports that they had witnessed Wesker perish at the hands of the Tyrant-002 in the lab, no trace of any remains had been located. This was the first subtle clue to those high up in Umbrella that Wesker could actually still be alive. The fact he had not reported in suggested he was now in cahoots with one of their rivals.
As the Summer months rolled on strange creatures were again sighted in the woods as the t-virus slowly seeped into the city following leaks at the Dead Factory on the outskirts of town.
In early September the hooded figure of Albert Lester was witnessed by local hikers and it was reported in the local press that a ghost was haunting the woods, with residents believing it was the spirit of a patient from the old hospital. A week later campers reported sightings of a large insect-like creature residing in the forest and these reports generated great interest among the professors at Raccoon University who proclaimed that no such creature could possibly exist.
During the t-virus disaster at Raccoon City a group of survivors made it out into the woods where they met Albert Lester who was living in a small cabin near the old hospital. He led them down to the building remains and stalked them with his axe, hoping to feed them to the Dorothy plant. Soon afterwards, the hospital collapsed on itself and both Al and his 'wife' were killed.
On October 1st 1998, the Arklay Mountains were desecrated following the tactical nuclear strike upon the city.
Provided the water supply to Raccoon City and is located near to the old Water Treatment Facility situated on the very outskirts of Raccoon City near to the deserted factory and underground laboratory. The dam connects to both Victory Lake and the Circular River.
Circular River is the main water flow and ran right through the heart of Raccoon City covering both the Northern and Southern regions. To the north the river branched off towards the Lynn Valley.
Was a very popular tourist hotspot for nature lovers. During the t-virus outbreak in the Summer of 1998, two corpses were discovered on the lake shoreline, mauled to death by Cerberus dogs.
Management Training Facility
Opened by Umbrella in 1968 and ran for ten years under Dr. Marcus until it closed abruptly in 1978. It has been abandoned since then.
Flowed from the Western Arklay Mountains region, connecting to the outskirts of Raccoon City via its shipping docks. Not long before the outbreak, a 39 year-old man was found dead on the banks of the Mendez, having been attacked and severely mutilated not long before his discovery. An unidentified man was found wandering close to the vicinity close to the body, covered in blood and unresponsive.
Constructed by George Trevor in 1962 and completed in 1967. It was the home of Ozwell E. Spencer for a time and the birthplace of many of Umbrella's horrors over the years.
Was loacted near to several hiking and camping paths surrounding the Arklay Mountains. Various small streams broke away from the Aimes, leading those planning on staying in close proximity to its banks sometimes getting lost much deeper within the forest. Because the Aimes River was so difficult to supervise, it had long been the favoured dumping ground for local drug and medical firms. On October 31st, 1996, the body of a man was discovered floating in the Aimes River by campers. The cornoner determined the man had been dead for at least six months prior to his discovery and that he was so badly decayed indentification was impossible.
A private hospital deep in the mountains. Closed down in 1993.
Flowed from the Arklay forest region and ran through Raccoon City's Cedar District. In May 1998 a deceased woman in her early twenties was discovered close to the Marble River. It is believed she was the first victim to spark the public's concern regarding a vicious cult operating in the Arklay Mountains and ensuring investigation by the S.T.A.R.S. unit.