|“||STOP LOOKING AT ME.||”|
—Patients afflicted by the Phobos Virus, ILLUMINAE: The ILLUMINAE Files_01
Phobos Virus is a class Alpha Zero pathogen that was designed to be used as a bioweapon by BeiTech Industries. One of its prototypes was used in the attack on Kerenza IV, near the hermium refinery, infecting the refugees coming from that area, which were taken on board of the Copernicus.
Symptoms and Disease ProcessEdit
After an incubation period of 24 hours, the Phobos Virus starts attacking the fear center of the afflicted patient's brain. Afflicted start showing signs similar to those of PTSD. This includes anxiety, nausea, tachycardia, and headaches that are often so severe as to induce tremors, seizures and catatonia or paralysis. The effects last 24 hours to 3-4 days, with the span growing longer as the virus mutates. Since it is a mutagenic virus, it is possible to get reinfected. As it is an airborne virus, there is a high risk of infection.
The damage caused by the virus is permanent.
8 to 24 hours after being infected, the infection begins targeting the amygdala and either the thalamus or sensory cortex. Symptoms like increased adrenaline levels, heart palpations, hyperventilation, tremors, and general unease/nameless dread start to manifest. The patient starts seeking out physical comfort, spreading the virus. In fear of punishment, persecution or quarantine, the afflicted patient actively avoids informing the medical staff or convinces themselves that they are not afflicted, again with the goal to avoid treatment.
22 hours after the infection, the afflicted enters a state of full catatonia, symptoms including muscle rictus, lowered heart rate and core temperature, and limited pupillary response. Six hours later, the patient is beginning to show signs of minor muscle movement. The heart rate increases as the body's immune system starts taking action against the virus.
Final Form of the Phobos VirusEdit
|“||I hear. I see. Oh god.||”|
—Tobias Salinger, Medical on the Copernicus
Unlike the other types of the virus, this type doesn't induce any physical symptoms. Instead, it seems to slowly enhance the afflicted's senses, causing a sensory overload. As a result, the afflicted becomes insane and develops paranoia. They start having ill thoughts towards the people around them, constantly feeling like they are being watched. As the disease reaches its peak, the afflicted begins repeating the phrase "Stop looking at me" over and over again. They act violent towards others, hurting or even murdering them. Afflicted tend to remove their victim's eyes or cut off their heads.
The Alpha stage of the Virus was created and released by the BeITech Industries during their assault upon Kerenza IV. Survivors of the attack described witnessing a black fog descending upon the Hermium Refining Plant. At first not realising what it was, the crew of the vessel Copernicus ferried many of those infected with the Virus onto their ship.
Only after a few months into the retreat from Kerenza, BeITech Vessel Lincoln in hot pursuit, did the Copernicus begin to realise the gravity of the situation they were now in. Rather than use this information with the Alexander and Hypatia, Copernicus instead attempted to contain the Afflicted on their own, although it was later shown that the Higher Up's of Alexander did know.
Their efforts failed, and with due time all of Copernicus was infected, among them Tobias Salinger, who's steady decent into madness was recorded in his own medical reports, which took an increasingly paranoid tone after he makes mention of a lab assistant dropping a container of Phobos Infected blood. The last report, splattered with blood, consisted of nothing but the repeat of the words "STOP LOOKING AT ME" Over and Over.
The few hundred that still retained their sanity then fled from Copernicus, blowing open the hanger doors as Alexander A.I AIDAN destroyed Copernicus. The shuttles were quarantined to Hanger Bay 4, where they were to remain until a means to treat the Afflicted could be found. In due time the Afflicted began to riot, all order gone as they began to slaughter each other, wiping out well over half of a U.T Marine Sigma Squad sent in later to try and quell the violence.
Later on, AIDAN released the Afflicted from the Hanger, using them as a means to kill Captain David Torrence and all his officers. This in turn released Phobos directly into the rest of Alexander, infecting well over ninety percent of the crew, the few who could find Hazmat suits hiding in small pockets throughout.
Now with free reign, the Afflicted rampaged across Alexander, butchering all they came across. The Afflicted at last came to an end when in the final battle against Lincoln, the vessel launched all of its nuclear arsenal at Alexander, destroying all onboard