Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
THE AMARANTHUS SERUM
The Amaranthus Serum is currently the only known vaccine capable of neutralizing the effects of the Insania Virus. It is named after the amaranthus blitum also known as the purple amaranth flower commonly seen in the Mediterranean. In the language of flowers, the name Amaranthus means “love lies bleeding”. To the ancient Greeks, the flower also means “unfading” and also denotes everlasting life. The latter description is not considered an exaggerated myth since one of the benefits of the serum is to bring a limited form of immortality to those infected who have not succumbed to both Death and the more advanced mutations of the Insania Virus.
There are two known effective versions of the serum. The first known sample of the cure was administered to a young Marzanna Kriegvogel by a mortally wounded Shroud during their purge of the Hamelin Miasma. The original formula, as well as the circumstances as to how and when Shroud obtained the serum, remains a mystery and all efforts to duplicate its effectiveness have ended in failure.
The second and currently existing formula was acquired from the first Revenant herself, the Deadly Nightshade. Being the first one to be injected with the original serum, Kimberly Anne Foxglove created a new version by extracting Nightshade’s blood. It was from this same sample that Foxglove found a purse strain of Starspawn blood, and to her disbelief, traces of a rare breed of Amaranthus plant
-— hence the name of the serum. Further experimentation allowed Foxglove to successfully cultivate these discoveries into a vaccine as proof against the Insania Virus.
This new version was integrated into SHADOW Company’s Kill Team program after previous attempts to increase the combat effectiveness of soldiers using the Insania Virus and other non-conventional means yielded nothing but horrific deaths to the experimental subjects. At present, only twelve “pure” samples were successfully produced with seven already used to create and then assemble the current Kill Team Edelweiss. The remaining five unused serums have been placed in the Hive’s vault which may only be accessed by Foxglove herself.
An unknown subject going on a rampage after a failed testing of the Amaranthus serum. The said subject was put down by Disinfestors but not after killing at least a dozen laboratory staff and security personnel.
Application & Effects
For the serum to work, the subject must meet three requirements. First of all, one must already been affected by random Warp energies that have more or less given her special abilities. Second, she must be afflicted with a strain of the Insania Virus, must not have succumbed to its terrible effects both physically and mentally and must be on the verge of death. Third and lastly (and the most obvious of all), the serum only works on females.
Once in effect, the serum holds the mutations of the Insania Virus at bay and provides a significant increase in the prowess of the subject including enhanced strength and a regenerative healing factor. All those who managed to survive the stages of metamorphosis with their bodies whole and their sanities (more or less) intact become known as Revenants
-- literally those brought back from a state of death.
However, the downside is that the new abilities are mostly volatile. Unless treated regularly with specially-made chemical inhibitors, the Revenants suffer from various ill effects which could potentially interfere with their mission performance.