Cry Wolf: a HERO Television Special
The experimental subjects of S.H.A.D.O.W. where the lucky ones die quickly.
“The monster never dies.”
-- Stephen King, “Cujo”
The Revenants are the Warp-enhanced and virally-altered super-soldiers in the service of SHADOW Company. They are part of the original Kill Team project designed to field an elite task force of mercenaries that are mainly immune to the Insania Virus and whose combat effectiveness could match those of Starspawn, mutants or other similar empowered threats. Only the infusion of the Amaranthus serum has kept the infected members from succumbing to the full effects of the virus and become abominations themselves.
All Revenants by far have been females due to the fact that the serum was derived from a woman’s genetic structure, namely that of the mysterious alien hunter Shroud.
Violeta Fantomas (Lavender) undergoing a painful transformation.
The term Revenant originally refers to a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to have been brought back from the grave. Initially derived from the Latin word reveniens meaning “returning”, these mythical creatures became part of folklore throughout the centuries. The stories depict them as coming back to fulfill a specific task such as to seek revenge for any wrongdoing or simply to terrorize the living. Revenants are sometimes compared to vampires and zombies due to their similar traits.
According to Marzanna Kriegvogel, she first heard the term from Shroud after the alien hunter had injected her with what would be later revealed as the Amaranthus serum, which effectively suppressed the Insania Virus within her and also brought her back from the jaws of Death.
Not Dead, but Not Truly Alive
Ever since SHADOW Company’s conception, they have conducted innumerable biochemical and genetic experiments conducted in order to create perfect soldiers using Starspawn remnants. All attempts have been costly failures with the project being left in shambles and almost scrapped until the Deadly Nightshade shared the secret of the Amaranthus serum with Kimberly Anne Foxglove.
Starting with Foxglove herself, other victims of the Insania Virus were carefully sought out and picked by Nightshade. These chosen few displayed signs of augmentation by Warp energies as evidenced by the powers they displayed. Upon their infection by the alien virus, they underwent various stages of metamorphosis even as they resisted the degenerative effects. As they reached the point of corruption and oblivion, the Amaranthus serum was administered, preventing them from regressing into semi-bestial states and enabling them to maintain their humanity in both body and mind.
Like Nightshade before them, the new recruits were snatched away from Death and gifted with preternatural abilities such as abnormal senses, strength, dexterity, stamina and a regenerative Healing Factor in addition to their already compelling Warp powers. Their extremely high tolerance of discomfort and pain gives credence to the allegory of remnants being nothing more than zombies that retained their intelligence, bringing much fear, disdain, and anxiety to those familiar with their background.
Along with the abilities granted to them by the mysterious Warp, and when coupled with their intensive military training and state of the art weaponry, these Revenant soldiers have become a force multiplier in conflicts that are auspicious to SHADOW’s interests.
Edelweiss members battling an abomination in the sewers.
“Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?!”
-- Mary Shelly, “Frankenstein”
Being part human and part alien, and technically undead, Revenants exist on borrowed time. Being part of the dreaded Kill Team Edelweiss, they are specifically tasked with the most dangerous missions particularly those involving Starspawn. However, they are not expendable, as they are considered to be very expensive high maintenance assets and have proven themselves in battle time and time again. Their success rate is such that SHADOW’s military analysts have deducted that each highly-trained and well-equipped Kill Team Revenant is equivalent to a full company of “normal” Real World special forces operatives and just about the same number of the DAU’s mercenaries.
Their kill record is also commendable, having been responsible for the purge of at least a dozen major Starspawn, scores of lesser abominations and perhaps a few thousand minions. This tally does not include the casualties inflicted against non-extraterrestrial foes, Nightshade’s detonation of a nuclear device on the island of Banoi that killed over fifty thousand people, as well as other missions not related to extra-terrestrials.
Despite their supposed immunization to the Insania Virus, Foxglove has ordered the whole team of Revenants (including herself) to be placed under observation since she (correctly) suspects that the Amaranthus serum did not eradicate the Insania Virus, but merely suppressed its more terrible effects.
These series of regular examinations and treatments include specially prepared aerosol inhalers called Inhibitor Packs also called I-Packs for short. These inhalers are either built into the respirator units of the Edelweiss Combat Shrouds or kept in separate kits for quick use on the field. The inhibitors must be taken by the Revenants on a daily basis as various forms of difficulties are known to arise. Although a rare occurrence, ailments such as chills, malaise, high fever, and muscle cramps, seizures, coughing and vomiting of blood resulting from the lack of treatment may plague even the tenacious Revenants as the Insania Virus seeks to overwhelm their hardiness.
Besides the fear of further viral mutation of their physical forms, the Revenants are also checked by prudently selected psychologists to ensure that they maintain their mental stability. Notwithstanding the stress resulting from their continual training, security and combat operations and their isolation from society in general, the sway of the Insania Virus extends to one’s very psyche oftentimes driving the infected to high levels of aggression and uncontrollable rage.
While the present Edelweiss unit has not succumbed to any of the more detrimental effects of the virus, the fate of the previous luckless Kill Teams serves as a reminder of caution. Three teams required termination due to their modifications going wrong, while a fourth went rogue and had to be destroyed as well. Because of this, Foxglove and SHADOW’s board of directors chose not to take any chances by putting the current Edelweiss squad under perpetual surveillance.
Undead versus undead! The Edelweiss member Rosemary stands alone against a group of zombies.