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Group: Group VI (Reverse Transcribing)
The God virus was a reassortant t-virus strain discovered and developed by William Birkin to promote human evolution. It didn't merely induce random mutations like the t-virus but evolved the host into a new species capable of breeding. Although initially an enhanced t-virus strain, its properties greatly differed. It was in the possession of several organizations after being stolen from Raccoon City. 1
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In 1998, William Birkin and Albert Wesker discovered the origin of the G-virus while chief scientists of the Arklay Laboratory, a top-secret biological weapons development laboratory of the Umbrella Corporation. The cause of the discovery was the prototype of the NE-α Type parasite central to the European branch's Nemesis Project. When the parasite was transplanted into the t-virus test subject Lisa Trevor, it vanished upon reaching her brain.
Intrigued by the parasite's sudden disappearance, the two disregarded all past data and re-examined Trevor from scratch. Only Birkin noticed something and deduced that her body absorbed the parasite, subsequently discovering modified genes containing a new t-virus strain, newly awakened in her body through repeated mutation ever since she was first injected with the TYPE-B variant strain of the Progenitor virus. 2
Over the next three years, Birkin studied the new strain and discovered that its properties and potential deviated greatly from the t-Virus Project. 3
G-Virus Project (1991-1998)
In 1991, Birkin drafted the G-Virus Project consisting of an unknown concept deviating from the general idea of a weapon and presented it to Umbrella Headquarters. CEO Oswell E. Spencer saw the virus' prospect for his own goal to create a superhuman species to rule over with himself as god of a utopian world. The project was approved with Spencer's backing and Birkin was appointed development director.
Construction began on a secret underground research facility beneath Raccoon City to serve as the base of G-virus research due to the insufficient scale of the Arklay Laboratory to accommodate simultaneous t-virus and G-virus research. In the meantime, Birkin and wife Annette Birkin transferred to Château Henry, the castle of France branch executive Christine Henry in Southwest France. The castle housed a secret underground laboratory used as the basis for the design of the underground facility in Raccoon City.
In 1993, construction of the research facility beneath Raccoon City was completed. Over the next few years, Birkin was placed under enormous pressure from the Chicago branch demanding progress reports on the virus' development. He began to disagree with executives over the research's direction causing him to harbor increased antipathy and doubt toward the company. He was devoted to the research and feared an information leak, becoming increasingly estranged from the Chicago branch. As a result, they became displeased that he was continuing development selfishly and plotted an assassination to get rid of him.
In June 1998, Birkin assumed he would be held responsible for the biohazard outbreak in the Arklay Laboratory that resulted in the leak of sensitive research data. Two months later, he suspected that Umbrella would send an elite team of agents into Raccoon City under the guise of hunting down S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service) survivors with an ulterior motive to kill him and steal the G-virus. The female spy Ada Wong learned that a scientist was monopolizing the G-virus while she was planted in Umbrella HQ and reported the situation to Umbrella’s rival company.
Albert Wesker, also a member of the rival company, knew Birkin was the scientist mentioned in Wong’s report. He felt indebted to him for his assistance in the Mansion Incident and schemed to employ Wong to save him in order to present the virus as a gift to the rival company and enable Birkin to join. 4 On August 15, Chris Redfield recovered a virus research paper entitled "G" during his investigation into Umbrella. That night, he reported it to Jill Valentine. 5
Seizure (September 1998)
On September 15, Birkin negotiated with U.S. military authorities for protection and access to a government research facility in exchange for defecting with the G-virus and research data. Lieutenant General Derek C. Simmons, leader of "The Family", desired to acquire Birkin and the virus in order to end the government's collusion with Umbrella and begin independent B.O.W. development. He sent a Delta Force rescue team to extradite Birkin, but the plan was intercepted by Umbrella spies in the government. Umbrella spread misinformation within the government concerning the access routes to Birkin's laboratory.
Spencer ordered the recovery of the G-virus. The G-Virus Seizure Operation was initiated by Christine Henry. A squad of the U.S.S. (Umbrella Security Service) led by special agent HUNK infiltrated Raccoon City to penetrate the underground laboratory, kill or capture Birkin and seize the G-virus, or destroy to prevent its capture by a third party. Upon recovery the squad would transport it to Loire Village, France. To avoid interference from the French military during transport, Henry negotiated a secret deal for preferential treatment with future B.O.W. models if they kept quiet regarding transport of the virus into France. 6
On September 23, Birkin was fatally wounded by the U.S.S. He injected himself with the G-virus hoping it would save his life with superhuman abilities, but it failed to stabilize in his body and he transformed into a mutant known simply as "G" and infected his daughter Sherry Birkin after implanting her with a virus embryo. Through the efforts of Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy, she was saved with the use of the DEVIL vaccine. However, traces of the virus remained alongside a new G-antibody. As the only person in the world with a resistance to the G-virus, she became an important military and political asset and was taken into protective custody by the U.S. Army as a research subject. The virus and antibody were extracted from her body and came into the possession of the U.S. government and The Family.
During the incident, the virus was stolen from the underground laboratory by rogue Umbrella scientist Frederic Downing. A second U.S.S. squad attempted to recover the virus but was unsuccessful. Ada Wong successfully recovered a sample of the virus hidden within Sherry Birkin's pendant. However, her feelings for Leon Kennedy led her to sacrifice herself in an effort to save him. He took the sample from her and later threw it away out of anger. Surviving U.S.S. agent HUNK recovered the sample thrown away by Kennedy and was successfully airlifted out of the city by helicopter and delivered the virus to the France branch.
Wong later recovered a tissue fragment containing the virus from G-Birkin's body and brought it to the rival company. Wesker's subordinate agents within the U.S. government department responsible for monitoring Sherry Birkin also recovered the G-antibody, giving the rival company an edge against Umbrella, but not The Family. The three organizations immediately used the virus for B.O.W. manufacture, but due to being incomplete, its instability and unpredictable mutations did not give hosts the stable performance demanded from a weapon. With its creator dead, B.O.W. research involving the virus was frozen. The virus also failed to meet Spencer's goal due to its incomplete and unstable status.
In order to make use of the virus for B.O.W. manufacture, Umbrella began a project to fuse the G-virus and t-virus at a molecular level in an effort to stabilize the faults of both. The result was the t+G-virus. However, in 2002, the new virus was lost.
Harvardville Incident (2005)
In 2005, the G-virus stolen by Frederic Downing resurfaced in the American Midwestern town of Harvardville. Downing intended to sell the virus to , leader of the Republic of Bajirib. In order to demonstrate its capabilities, he convinced Curtis Miller to inject himself with it under the illusion that it would expose the government's former collusion with Umbrella. G-Curtis was destroyed, but a fragment of his body containing the virus was recovered by TRICELL.
In the event of a confirmed bioterrorism incident involving the G-virus, the precaution level at the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) would be increased to "10", including all branches outside the outbreak area. As no predictions could be made about the extraordinary irregularity of evolution caused by the virus, reproductive speed was also unforeseeable. Hence, the moment a bioterrorism incident using the G-virus was confirmed, the reproduction progress of a G-Creature was an unknown. If the reproduction remained in the first generation only, measures from just the branch in the area concerned were possible, but should the situation progress to a third generation reproduction or more, military operations exceeding those of just one branch were necessary.
The primary characteristic of the G-virus was its ability to cause mutations that allow modified hosts to breed and self-evolve. This set it apart from the t-virus which causes only single-generation mutations and leaves a host sterile. A creature infected with the G-virus can breed with another infected creature of the same species and opposite gender, but cannot breed with an uninfected creature of the same species.
When the G-virus suddenly and rapidly rewrites human DNA without sufficient time for the host's cells to adapt, faults occur. The G-cells erode and replace the host's somatic cells and rearrange the host's entire anatomy, causing the host to lose its self-consciousness and intelligence and mutate into a new life-form. These G-Creatures are commonly referred to simply as "G."
The new "G" was driven by an instinct to breed and could implant embryos created in its body into other creatures. "G" would primarily search for hereditary close relatives, as a perfect G-Creature was more likely to be born when the host's DNA was close to the target creature. Upon further evolution beyond the initial stage, "G" would no longer seek to breed and instead operate solely on wild instinct. A "G" mutation has no determined form and the nature of each individual's mutation is impossible to predict.
If the virus is able to spend sufficient time within a host body and achieve successful fusion, it would bestow superhuman abilities such as superior vitality and regenerative ability while not affecting the host's appearance, self-consciousness and intelligence. The ultimate goal of William Birkin was the creation of a superhuman species of "G-Humans." No true G-Humans were documented, but in the case of Sherry Birkin, she gained G-Human traits after traces of the virus adapted to her body over a long period of time due to the DEVIL vaccine acting as a stabilizing agent.
The development of a G-vaccine was conducted by Annette Birkin parallel to her husband's development of the virus.
If DEVIL was administered to a host early in the cellular fusion process with the virus, it would halt the process. The vaccine also acted as a stabilizing agent for controlling the host's sudden mutation. An infected host that received DEVIL would ostensibly seem to be cured, but in reality they would actually have become a G-Creature, to varying extents. In the case of Sherry Birkin, she gained certain superhuman qualities since DEVIL was introduced after cellular fusion began, but prior to mutation.
DEVIL was synthesized via a special method using the active processing machine "VAM" as a prerequisite. First of all, a cartridge for storing the vaccine base was placed in the VAM. After preparation of the vaccine base was complete, the white vaccine base was placed into the specialized vaccine generation machine in the P-4 Level laboratory. Generation processing began automatically by starting the generating program. Processing was completed in about 10 seconds and the vaccine was created. However, since the completed DEVIL deteriorates due to shocks and temperature changes, careful caution was required for handling. 7
An antibody was left behind in the blood of Sherry Birkin after DEVIL administration and extracted by the American government. Unlike the DEVIL vaccine, the antibody did not act as a stabilizing agent for infection and could only be used as an inoculation against the virus. However, in order to keep the existence of the virus a secret from the public, the antibody was not put to practical use and was stored for use only in the event of an emergency.