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Project Quicksilver is the name of the highly-classified project in the context of the 2000-2002 science fiction television series The Invisible Man. The remainder of this article is the information that has been presented about this project in the context of the television show.

The Quicksilver GlandEdit

Function OverviewEdit

The Quicksilver is a biosynthetic gland based on genetic material obtained from (classified). The gland secretes a synthetically engineered human hormone that has been code-named QUICKSILVER. The active chemical in Quicksilver is (classified) bonded with (classified) as a stabilizing agent and (classified) as an immunosuppressant to prevent the subject's body from rejecting the gland and hormone as foreign tissue.

The Quicksilver Gland collects molecules of (classified) from the subject's bloodstream, and recombines them into three elements: (classified), an alpha reagent that is stored in gland itself; (classified), a reactant disseminated into the subject's sweat gland; and (classified), a beta reagent that acts to catalyze the autoxidation of the Quicksilver compound. A transgenic neural alignment path between the Quicksilver Gland and the subject's brain stem allows the subject to control the conscious release of the alpha and beta reagents, which respectively initiate and terminate the Quicksilver Process.

As the catalyst agent is released into the bloodstream, it interacts with the reactant compound stored in the body's sweat glands, producing the Quicksilver compound. The compound is secreted through the pores of the skin and the tear ducts; after secretion it continues to undergo a change in its molecular meta-state. It quickly solidifies into a flexible sheath over the area affected by the subject.

The affected area is normally limited to the subject, his clothing, and any small articles in his possession. However, with the secretion of a sufficient volume of Quicksilver, it is possible for the subject to render invisible another individual or even a larger object, such as a heavy door or a small motorcycle.

Research & DevelopmentEdit

Project Quicksilver, initially proposed by Dr. Peter Donovan in April 1976, was approved in September 1990 by Dr. Augustin Gaither and financed by the SWRB (Special Weapons Research Bureau) during its 8-year theoretical development by Dr. Kevin Fawkes. After a number of failed "alternative technologies," in May 1998 Kevin Fawkes announced that Project Quicksilver was ready to begin testing a prototype Quicksilver Gland. Early tests with prototype glands were conducted first on white lab rats.

The original Project Quicksilver gland (reference code QS-9000) was tissue-typed for genetic compatibility with a limited cross-section of the available test subject lab rats, which were genetically engineered not to reject the Quicksilver Gland or compound. Further physiological modifications to the QS-9000 rat specimens included reinforced vertebrae to protect the central nervous system, and the inclusion of signature DNA.

All four rat test subjects responded to basic fear stimuli by instinctively releasing adrenaline and initiating the Quicksilver Process, resulting in total invisibility.

Some of the primary flaws detected in the QS-9000 trials were that certain subjects, once rendered invisible by Quicksilver, were unable to reverse the process because the QS-9000 gland prototype produced (classified), a beta reagent with an extra acid branch on its primary receptor molecule; this property prevented its beta reagent from being stored in the test subject's sweat glands. The beta reagent instead built up to dangerous levels in the subjects' bloodstreams, eventually causing synaptic failure in all four subjects with 73 hours after implantation.

The QS-9100 gland prototypes were modified to correct faulty acid branch molecules in the beta reagents. As in the original experiment, all four subjects in the QS-9100 Series trial were successfully rendered invisible through the application of basic fear stimuli. However, because the (classified) beta reagent employed (classified) as a catalyst, the inhibitor reaction was unable to be contained. Consequently, invisibility could not be contained for more than a few seconds.

Further tests during the QS-9200 phase indicated that replacing the beta reagent's faulty catalytic molecule with (classified) resulted in a suitably stable compound that could be triggered through changes in the subject's autonomic response. The modified beta reagent proved easier to control while still being successful at triggering a rapid response dissociation of the Quicksilver polymer's valence electrons, causing it to crystallize and become inert. Overall results of the QS-9200 tests were deemed successful enough to initiate human trials.

Approximately nine months after the first QS-9000, the first human trial was conducted under the QS-9300 Series Protocols, with test subject Simon Cole (reference code SC-96). Cole, a CIA operative, was selected through a rigorous screening process that culled candidates from the top echelons of the country's major intelligence organizations. Cole reported for preliminary physical examination on July 15, 1999 at 0800 hours.

The QS-9300 Gland (which was genetically modified from previous prototypes to be compatible with human DNA and serotypes) was successfully implanted into subject Simon Cole, code classified IM-01, at 1933 hours Pacific Daylight Time on July 24, 1999. Initial fear-response test successfully triggered an adrenaline response, activating the Quicksilver Process.

Because of unforeseen incompatibilities between the newly stabilized beta reagent and a recessive genetic marker in Cole's mitochondrial DNA, Cole's body was unable to trigger the inhibitor catalyst to terminate the Quicksilver Process. Repeated attempts to reverse the process met with failure. After nearly nine weeks, subject Cole became violent and irrational, and attacked Agency personnel. Agency official (classified) was forced to use deadly force to defend himself from Cole.

The QS-9300 Gland was harvested from Cole's brain post-mortem and returned to Dr. Fawkes for further testing. Additional research specialists were attached to Project Quicksilver at this time, including Dr. Aaron Abramowitz, endocrinology; Dr. Terry Ramsey, optical physics; and Dr. Arnaud De Thiel, biochemistry.

Genetic modifications were made to the gland's inhibitor reagent through the use of retroviral DNA splicing. A new stabilizing compound, (classified), was selected by Dr. De Thiel for its immunosuppressant qualities.

ADDENDUM: It was later learned by Agency Personnel that during this re-engineering phase Dr. De Thiel made unknown and unauthorized modifications to the QS-9300 Gland.

On August 3, 2000, the genetic upgrades for the QS-9300 were declared complete by Drs. Fawkes and De Thiel, who announced they were ready to proceed with Solution Beta, a second human trial. On August 8, 2000, subject Darien Fawkes (code reference DF-37), brother of project leader Dr. Kevin Fawkes, was selected to serve as the next recipient of the QS-9300. The QS-9300 was implanted into subject Fawkes at 0614 hours Pacific Daylight Time on August 10, 2000.

Subject Fawkes responded appropriately to fear stimuli, and quickly exhibited an ability to consciously trigger and neutralize the Quicksilver Process. After a brief period of training involving biofeedback techniques and positive reinforcements, subject Fawkes exerted an unexpected level of specific control over the application of the Quicksilver Process, demonstrating his ability to render invisible only certain portions of his body, such as a single hand, limb or other appendage. During subject Fawkes' training exercises, it also was discovered that he had the ability to apply the Quicksilver Process to other objects for longer periods of time than were noted during earlier prototype trials.

Despite the occurrence of some serious side effects, subject Fawkes has demonstrated the feasibility of a long-term QS-9300 implantation. (Subject Fawkes currently is designated an Agency operative on active status, and his status has been classified under reference code IM-1607.)

Implantation ProtocolsEdit

The implantation of a Quicksilver Gland into a human subject's brain tissue is a highly complex neurosurgical procedure that must be performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. Before the procedure begins, the following requirement units are essential:

  • (40) Blood, cross-typed and matched
  • (30) Platelets
  • (20) Cryoprecipitate
  • (25) Fresh-frozen plasma

A large opening is made in the back of the occipital bone, and the tissue of the occipital lobe is gently separated along the midsagittal plane to reveal the medulla oblongata and hypothalamus.

The Quicksilver Gland is inserted just below the posterior of the corpus callosum, behind the tissue of the occipital lobe. The gland's secondary macroganglia are laser-sutured to adjacent blood vessels. Its primary macroganglia is grafted to the brain stem, which governs autonomic responses and functions. The connection between the QS-9300 and the brain stem is facilitated by its synthetically engineered transgenic neuro-alignment pathway.

After surgery, the patient needs to be kept under general sedation for a period of approximately two weeks, during which time the Quicksilver macroganglia and the subject's central nervous system become intertwined.

Once the QS-9300 has successfully grafted to the subject's central nervous system, there is no known way to remove the gland without severe risk to the patient. Theoretical models indicate that extraction of the gland currently poses a 94 percent likelihood of death for the subject, a 5.8 percent chance of his survival in a vegetative state, and 0.2 percent chance of his conscious survival with limited cognitive ability and total paralysis below the third vertebrae.

Tissue RejectionEdit

Early prototypes encountered serious immune-response complications. Most were related to the same tissue-rejection factors involved in most transplant procedures. Retroviral gene splicing was used to place serotype marker RNA on the surface of the Quicksilver Gland, and incorporated into the alpha and beta reagents of Quicksilver. The main reactant compound has been designed to be hypoallergenic. No tissue-rejection issues have been reported since the first working QS-9000 prototype.

Because all the Quicksilver Gland prototypes were based on the same original organic sample, they all possess an "XX" chromosome structure; i.e., the Quicksilver Gland is chromosomally female.

Interaction with Pineal GlandEdit

Approximately three months after subject Fawkes was implanted with the QS-9300 Gland, he exhibited unusual and violent behavior that appeared to be connected to the actions of the previous implantee, Simon Cole. At around this time subject Fawkes began reporting that he had started to dream in Quicksilver Vision.

Gas chromatograph analysis of crystallized Quicksilver flakes found at crime scenes where Quicksilver had been used revealed that the flakes all contained trace amino acids. It was subsequently determined that the acids were the product of Simon Cole's memory RNA, which had become imprinted into the Quicksilver Gland's alpha reagent matrix.

Subject Darien Fawkes began to experience vivid hallucinations that convinced him he was "seeing" another invisible man, but it was later determined that the hallucinations were the result of a parasitic connection that had formed between the Quicksilver Gland and his pineal gland.

The pineal gland, located in the corpus callosum, is believed to be involved in the production of melatonin, the regulation of sleep cycles, and to have some ancillary role in the formation of dream imagery in the frontal cortex. Because the pineal gland possesses a direct neural link to the optic nerve, hallucinations produced by the pineal gland are extremely realistic and, for victim, nearly impossible to distinguish from reality.

Because the pineal gland gradually increased the amount of melatonin in the subject, it placed Fawkes in a hypnagogic state that permitted subject Cole's memory RNA to exert a powerful influence over Fawkes' actions. During these periods of pineal influence, Fawkes was unaware of his actions, and he retained no memory of events that transpired while he was so affected.

Interaction with Adrenal GlandEdit

The relationship between the adrenal gland and the Quicksilver Gland is a crucial one. Immediately after a Quicksilver Gland is implanted into a new subject, the first activation of the gland is accomplished through the application of fear stimuli. Gradually, subject Fawkes became able to exert conscious control over the Quicksilver Process, overriding the instructions of the adrenal gland.

However, during a mission in which Fawkes was assaulted with a blinding laser, the pain caused his fear response to kick in as part of a primitive survival instinct. Fawkes, who leapt for cover, immediately turned himself invisible. As an unconscious self-defense mechanism, the Quicksilver Gland could prove very useful in protecting subject Fawkes during extreme crisis scenarios.

QuicksilverEdit

BiodegradabilityEdit

In its invisible state, Quicksilver is a semi-solid, flexible sheath, and if it is in contact with subject Fawkes (or another individual with a Quicksilver Gland) it will persist until it is acted upon by the beta reagent inhibitor. When separated from the subject - i.e., if applied to a separate object that is left unattended - the Quicksilver compound will eventually autoxidate and change states to its solid, crystalline form.

After autoxidation, or after being acted upon by the beta reagent inhibitor, Quicksilver converts to a dry crystalline form that is extremely brittle and is repelled by natural oils in human skin and hair.

Once converted to this form, crystalline Quicksilver degrades rapidly into powder, and then into its constituent amino base pairs, within approximately 72 hours.

Quicksilver MadnessEdit

Earlier Quicksilve Gland prototypes (the QS-9000, QS-9100 and QS-9200) all presented side effects directly related to either the failure to maintain invisibility, or an inability to terminate invisibility. The latter of these issues persisted into the first human trial of the QS-9300 with subject Cole.

Following the second human trial with subject Fawkes, a new side effect was discovered. A new stabilizing compound (formulation (classified)) used in the alpha reagent acted upon the brain as behavioral disinhibitor, displaying certain chemical similarities to Schedule I narcotics. An excess of Quicksilver in brain tissue spikes the subject's epinephrine/norepinephrine levels, promoting violent behavior and causing higher cortical functions to degrade, impairing judgment and suppressing the superego. This buildup begins after approximately 30 minutes of Quicksilver use, or six days of passive glandular secretion. Shorter periods of Quicksilver usage reduce the length of the buildup cycle.

It was learned shortly after the onset of symptoms that Dr. Arnaud De Thiel was actually a terrorist named Arnaud de Fehrn. De Thiel deliberately created the side effect, which has been dubbed "Quicksilver Madness," as a means of controlling individuals who are given the Quicksilver Gland. He planned to maintain control over the subjects by rationing the supply of a counteragent drug that negates the effects of Quicksilver Madness.

Subject Fawkes' serum level of Quicksilver Toxin is now monitored daily through the use of a circular tattoo in the shape of a snake devouring itself, divided into segments. Each segment of the tattoo contains a subcutaneous sensor that changes color from green to red when serum levels of the toxin reach predetermined volumes of parts per million. Each successive segment is keyed to respond to a higher level of toxin than the previous segment. Regular injections of Quicksilver Counteragent are administered when the tattoo reaches 70 percent red.

Stage one Quicksilver Madness is marked by an increase in body temperature and general irritability.

As body temperature increases to 100.1 degrees Fahrenheit, stage two Quicksilver Madness occurs. During stage two, the body's autonomic response will be to cause vasodilatation in an effort to cool itself. Other symptoms of stage two include sharp pain similar to migraine headaches, and petit mal convulsions, both of which are likely the result of synaptic disruption in the frontal lobe caused by the (classified) in the alpha reagent. The effects of the vasodilatation are most visible in the ocular capillaries. (In layman's terms, the subject's eyes become bloodshot.)

Stage three Quicksilver Madness is typified by violent paranoia and delusions of persecution. During stage four Quicksilver Madness the subject loses all inhibitions against moral behavior, and exhibits self-destructive tendencies.

During stage five Quicksilver Madness (the final stage) the subject's eyes turn from bloodshot to solid silver as Quicksilver compound is involuntarily excreted from the tear ducts. The subject becomes megalomaniacal, convinced of his own invulnerability and infallibility. Theoretical models indicate that if stage five Quicksilver Madness is not reversed within approximately 12 hours, it will become irreversible. The approved protocols for such a scenario is the immediate termination and retrieval of the subject, followed by the harvesting of the QS-9300.

Counteragent EfficacyEdit

A standard dosage of (classified) c.c.s. of Quicksilver Counteragent (an organically based compound containing 57 active ingredients whose full chemical structure have not yet been fully decoded) is effective at suppressing the effects of Quicksilver Madness for up to six days, provided the subject's usage of Quicksilver is minimal. An increase in the use of Quicksilver by the subject dramatically increases the risk of a rapid onset of Quicksilver Madness, and requires the subject to receive more frequent applications of counteragent formula.

The approved dosage of counteragent is intended to remain fixed, in order to reduce the risk of the subject building up a physiological resistance.

Counteragent ResistanceEdit

Early tests of the new alpha reagent formula and its counteragent on lab rats indicate that overuse of Quicksilver Counteragent can cause the subject to buildup resistance, thereby increasing minimum effective dosage to negate effects of Quicksilver Madness. If minimum dosage exceeds (classified) c.c.s., the subject will effectively become immune to counteragent. At that time, the onset of end stage Quicksilver Madness will be inevitable, and the recommended course of action is immediate termination of the subject.

InvisibilityEdit

Principles and MechanicsEdit

Normal human sight is based on the perception of a limited spectrum of light wavelengths. Human perception of chrominance (color), luminosity (brightness) and texture are determined by the manner in which photons (particles of light) are reflected off physical surfaces, detected by the retina, and interpreted by the brain's visual cortex.

Quicksilver renders objects invisible not by allowing light to pass through them, but by bending light around them. This is accomplished through its complex semifluid polymer surface layer, which possesses a refractive metallic matrix composed of (classified) and (classified). Because of the unusually strong covalent bonds in the Quicksilver semifluid matrix, light that strikes it is bent and refracted over its surface until it refocuses and continues in its original direction. The result is invisibility from the visible spectrum.

It is important to note that Quicksilver does not impede ultraviolet or infrared light wavelengths. Objects concealed by Quicksilver can be detected by thermal imaging sensors or ultraviolet refraction lenses.

Quicksilver SightEdit

An issue of concern at the outset of the QS-9300 human trial was the fact that, because Quicksilver bends light around the object, the subject might be rendered blind while invisible. However, during the first test with Simon Cole, it was determined that subjects concealed by Quicksilver are able to see in a monochromatic, metallic-blue hue. Although the subject is not able to distinguish colors while Quicksilvered, depth perception and surface detail are clearly rendered.

Subsequent tests indicated that subjects concealed by Quicksilver are able to see in higher spectrums of light, particularly the ultraviolet spectrum. Consequently, it is possible for a Quicksilvered individual to see at night and in other low-visibility scenarios such as heavy fog or thick smoke by selectively applying Quicksilver only to his eyes. Quicksilver Vision also is capable of detecting many standard-issue security systems' laser beams.

Thermal EffectsEdit

Quicksilver's property of bending light without absorbing it, combined with the semifluid metallic polymers used in its active compound, cause it to maintain an outer surface temperature of approximately -4 degrees Fahrenheit. An intermediate layer of insulating polymer maintains thermal equilibrium between the Quicksilver's outer layer and inner layer, which retains a temperature of approximately 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

This thermal effect makes a Quicksilvered individual highly vulnerable to detection by thermal sensors in regions of normal temperature. However, in very cold environments, it is believed that the insulating layer of the Quicksilver polymer might enable an invisible subject to withstand subfreezing temperatures for prolonged durations without serious risk of exposure.

Risks of Prolonged InvisibilityEdit

Although no long-term research is currently available on the subject, preliminary evidence from subject Simon Cole suggests that subjects rendered permanently invisible become anxious very quickly, and rapidly develop dissociative personality disorders. A sense of disconnection from the physical world sets in and appears to contribute to a state of heightened paranoia and rage.

Curious PhenomenaEdit

The CatevariEdit

Charles Fogerty, a.k.a. "The Catevari," was an operative of The Agency during the 1960s. Fogerty, an Agency assassin with an impeccable service record, was developed into a human chemical weapon as a volunteer in The Catevari Program.

A series of poisons engineered by project leader Dr. Philip Eick were gradually introduced into Fogerty's system, where they slowly accumulated to deadly levels while Fogerty himself was able to develop an immunity. In time, Fogerty's immunity extended to a variety of substances, including tranquilizers, narcotics and ethanol.

The lethal poisons were designed to build up in Fogerty's fingernails, skin secretions and bodily fluids. Most victims of "The Catevari" were found with their lips turned a hypoxic shade of blue, indicative of their having suffocated from a combination of neurotoxin and cyanotic compounds.

One of the toxins developed for Fogerty's biochemical matrix was (classified), a neurotoxic cerebral disrupter that produces effects similar to those of Quicksilver Madness. (It was later speculated that Arnaud De Thiel copied elements of this toxin when he sabotaged the QS-9300 alpha reagent compound.) A miscalculation caused the toxin to be administered too quickly to Fogerty, who was left in an apparent catatonic state for nearly 30 years. Unbeknownst to his medical care providers or The Agency, Fogerty was fully aware during this period of convalescence; his total paralysis was the product of a synaptic overload in the regions of the brain that govern voluntary muscle control.

When Fogerty awakened spontaneously in mid-2000, his personality had shifted to that of a violent, sociopathic predator. His objective was to seek revenge on the administrators and technicians of The Catevari Project. Fogerty was subsequently neutralized by agents Hobbes and Fawkes of Project Quicksilver.

Werner's SyndromeEdit

Gloria Howard, an intelligence specialist and trained combat operative, was the victim of a genetic experiment gone awry. Through the introduction of a retrovirus, she became afflicted by Werner Syndrome, which is a disorder of the morphology gene sequence and cell replication RNA. It usually occurs in children during the first six to ten years of life. The disorder causes premature aging through errors in cell replication.

What distinguishes Gloria Howard's condition was its communicability as an airborne and fluid-borne retrovirus. In order to prolong agent Howard's life and protect the public, she was placed under quarantined care by The Agency.

During her tenth year treatment, she escaped due to a mishap. During the subsequent investigation and retrieval effort, it was determined that Joseph Callum, a laboratory technician assigned to agent Howard's medical support team, was an operative from the Department of Defense who was acting on orders from General Nathan Hammond.

Hammond order Callum to ensure that agent Howard did not receive an antidote to her retrovirus that had been secretly developed, because Hammond considered it imperative to keep agent Howard sequestered to prevent discovery of the failure of his research project, which caused her condition.

Project Quicksilver operative Hobbes and Fawkes succeeded in exposing General Hammond's deception and facilitated acquisition of the antidote. Agent Gloria Howard was cured of Werner Syndrome, debriefed, then honorably discharged back to civilian life.

Psychic PredictionEdit

In September of 2000, agents Fawkes and Hobbes of Project Quicksilver investigated the apparent suicide of Rebecca Anwick, a police officer in Martins Grove, California. Their investigation led them to suspect the involvement of a local man named Benjamin Scarborough, a blind soothsayer who billed himself as a "spiritual consultant."

Scarborough purported to be able to prognosticate the future and claimed he possessed supernatural insight into the inner lives of others. Fawkes and Hobbes concluded, after interviewing Scarborough and some of his past clients, that Scarborough had used Svengali-like talent for manipulation and suggestion to convince Officer Anwick that her only means of protecting her family from harm was for her to commit suicide.

Further research by Agency specialist Eberts revealed that the municipality of Martins Grove, California, had experienced a rash of 21 suicides in the past five years, when the average for a town of its size and demographic profile is five. After Scarborough was detained for questioning, his daughter, Debra, was apprehended after murdering past clients of Scarborough whose fates had not yet been fulfilled as he prophesied. She was arrested and charged as an accomplice.

Despite several unexplained coincidences between statements attributed to Scarborough by agent Fawkes, and certain events that transpired during the investigation, this office has yet to obtain any conclusive evidence of any true prognosticative ability in Benjamin Scarborough. The official conclusion is that his "prophecies" were the result of manipulation, suggestion, self-fulfilling delusion by his clients, and acts of criminal collusion by his daughter, who sought to protect his reputation.

AllianoraEdit

Allianora was an operative of a foreign intelligence service known only as The Organization, a.k.a. Chrysalis. She was of Hispanic ancestry, though her precise national origin remains unknown. She was selected by The Organization during her youth because her lungs had been compromised by epidermoid carcinoma, and only The Organization could offer her the hope of a cure.

In return for saving her life, The Organization recruited her into a secret weapons program and genetically and biosynthetically altered her to imbue her with a "kiss of death": she regurgitated large volumes of water while kissing her victims, forcing water into their lungs and drowning them.

The genetic engineering aspect of her creation involved dramatically increasing her blood's maximum oxygen saturation capacity, thereby enabling her to carry a sizable volume of water in her lungs and still retain enough secondary lung capacity to speak and maintain minimal respiratory function. The biosynthetic implants required to create her kiss of death included artificially expanded lung volume to hold the fluid; additional synthetic musculature to give her control over its intake and expulsion; and a re-engineering of her larynx to permit her to control its back flow.

During a subsequent mission it was learned that Allianora - and possibly other Chrysalis agents, as well - was "infected" with a type of nano-bug "virus" transmits everything the victim sees and hears, on a high-frequency channel that can be adjusted remotely from a central Chrysalis command center.

During an encounter of a questionable nature with agent Fawkes of Project Quicksilver, she passed the nano-bugs to Fawkes as a means of infiltrating Agency security. The nano-bugs were discovered to be a crucial element of Chrysalis' "Education Program," which had as its goal the implantation of the nano-bugs into young children of "elite" members of American society by packaging it as a standard-issue flu vaccine. Because there was no way to surgically extract the nano-bug from agent Fawkes' visual cortex without risking serious brain damage, another means of securing a working sample was required.

During the mission to stop the nano-bugs from being injected into unsuspecting children, Allianora turning against Chrysalis in order to save agent Fawkes; for her betrayal she was slain by Chrysalis director Stark. The Keeper, using nano-bugs harvested from Allianora, managed to developed a nano-antibiotic to neutralize the nano-bugs, effectively terminating Chrysalis' "Education Program."

Quicksilver FluEdit

A designer flu vierus created by Arnaud de Fehrn was used to infect agent Fawkes during a field mission. The virus, originally intended only to make Fawkes ill enough to seek medical attention, produced highly irregular complications in the Quicksilver Gland, which it infected directly.

Symptoms of this specialized influenza vector included a buildup of Quicksilver compound inside Fawkes' body, particularly in his mucus membrane, stomach and bronchial passages. The chemical formulation of the Quicksilver compound also was adversely affected, emerging as a discolored and foul-smelling semifluid that immediately crystallized and hardened into an extremely rigid cast. Agent Fawkes temporarily lost conscious control over the generation and termination of the Quicksilver Process, sneezed and vomited Quicksilver, and at one point had to be manually cut free from a contaminated Quicksilver sheath. During this initial phase of infection, it was unclear what effect the counteragent formula would have on the virus, or, consequently, on Fawkes.

Investigative work by The Keeper led to the revelation that the counteragent would not be adversely affected by the virus, or vice-versa; in fact, the counteragent was found to be an effective delivery vehicle for the vaccine, which was developed once the Keeper acquired a copy of the original virus and compared it to known influenza proteins to determine which vaccine best mimicked the tailored virus' synthetic peptides.

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