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Old 07-28-2020, 12:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE sidebar: Omnigenine...


The United States Army was not trying to create a psi-drug when they researched the drug that would eventually carry the code-name 'omnigenine'. The research project began in 1959, and was intended to be slightly 'blue sky' project to create a drug that would produce a broad-spectrum immunity to several of the known biowarfare agents at once. Led by Dr. Adam Westfallis, the research team were pursuing a somewhat unorthodox hypothesis about immune response that suggested such as 'induced immunity' might be possible, but which was definitely acknowledged as a long shot even by most members of the research team.

The project was deemed worthy of pursuit even given the low perceived chance of success because of the advantages that would accrue to success. It was not widely known that bioagents had in fact been used against American forces in the Korean War, and with some effect. A generalized immunity would be highly desirable if it could be achieved.

The project continued from 1959 to 1965, and produced a drug that was actually tested on volunteers in 1966. [1]

The tests produced results, but not precisely the results the researchers hoped to achieve. On the other hand, the results they obtained were not unpleasant.

The hoped-for broad-spectrum immunities did not emerge, but something else did. Two of the volunteers were suffering from cancer, and it promptly went into remission. One volunteer was freed from thyroid cancer. More significantly, the other cancer-case was metastatic lung cancer, and it too went into apparent total remission within weeks of administration of the omnigenine.

Other test subjects also experienced various improvements in their overall health over the course of weeks or months after the test. None were as spectacular as the sudden cancer remissions, but several were significant and noticeable. The results were surprising enough, and notable enough, that the emphasis of the project changed.

Between 1966 and 1971, tests with omnigenine proved to be remarkably effective at treating cancer of several different sorts, as well as several other medical conditions. Somehow, the drug appeared to stimulate the body to greater efforts to resist these conditions, and to heal the damage left behind.
No major side effects appeared to be associated with the drug other than a slightly tendency toward increased sleep.

Hopes rose quickly that the project might have a near-miracle drug on their hands. So effective was the drug, especially with cancer, that it began to appear that they might actually have a broad-spectrum cure for cancer. The researchers still had no idea how the drug was doing what it did, but talk was emerging of declassifying the work and revealing the drug by 1972.

In 1972, however, problems began to emerge.

One of the original test subjects, the man who was unexpectedly freed of lung cancer, suddenly went on an a rampage at a research facility, shooting several men and then keeling over dead for no obvious reason before the guards could do anything against him. Less than a month later, another test subject from the first human tests in 1966 suddenly went mad and tried to strangle a coworker at USAMRIID. He nearly succeeded in murdering the female researcher, before being pulled off by their associates. The man had to be confined under sedation, so violent and incoherent did he become.

Over the course of a year or so, of the twenty original test subjects, five became violently insane, three went catatonic, and one, it was learned later, became a serial killer. Of the remaining eleven subjects, four simply died of no apparent cause between 1972 and late 1974. Of those four, three were not yet fifty years old.

Of twenty original subjects, only seven were apparently normally functional, physically and mentally. Later test subjects began to show the same sorts of problems, in each case the critical time apparently being about five years after being dosed with omnigenine.

Human testing was stopped in 1974, and the entire project wrapped in deeper layers of security classification. Research on animals and theoretical work continued, however, because the natural of the problem was not known, and the obvious potential benefits of omnigenine remained visible.

Unfortunately, the continuing research project throughout the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s produced little useful information. Animal testing was never very useful with omnigenine because the results produced never matched well with human results. In testing on most mammals, omnigenine seemed to produce a faint version of the original goal, stimulating a limited immunity to several pathogens, and nothing else, and no effect at all on such disorders as cancer.

In humans, omnigenine produced near-miraculous results with almost all forms of cancer, excellent results against several other medical issues, and after five years or so, seemed to bring on massive mental disorders and sometimes sudden inexplicable deaths. Even testing on chimpanzees, when finally authorized, produced results more along the lines of other mammals. Something about humans interacted uniquely with omnigenine to produce outlier results.

Analysis of the direct effects of omnigenine on the human body were little more revealing. It appeared to affect certain brain centers, and to stimulate activity of some sort in other parts of the body, but not usually in the immune system tissues themselves. In autopsies of the dead test subjects, there was no identifiable presence of omnigenine in the tested tissues, it appeared to have long since been gone from the body by the time the negative effects befell.

Eventually, Dr. Westfallis concluded that the risks of the drug, and their lack of progress on understanding either its function or the source of the negative side effects, was simply not worth the continued effort. Dr. Westfallis retired from the project, which was terminated in 1984. The research materials remained deeply classified.

So matters remained until 1991, when persons unknown penetrated security and stole the records and research materials associated with the project.

To be continued...

[1] They actually were volunteers, for the record.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:10 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE sidebar: Omnigenine...

OMNIGENINE continued...

What the researchers at USAMRIID did not understand, and lacked the necessary information and frame of reference to understand, was that the drug they had developed was acting as a activator for latent psionic abilities.

Specifically, the drug had three broad effects in humans. It weakened what is usually the strongest human psi-ability, Antipsi, often to the point of nearly total suppression. It boosted the Biopsi Power, making it more active, and the absence of the self-focused Antipsi effect that is the human default permitted that Biopsi Power to manifest. In some people, there was sufficient instinctive grasp of Healing skill to subconsciously use this Power to deal with medical issues. Cancer, because cancer cells were no longer genetically 'synched' with the healthy body, was especially susceptible to this effect. This much was to the good for the test subjects.

The third effect, though, was far nastier, the more so because it involved phenomena of which the research teams were blessedly ignorant. The drug weakened the natural Telepathic mind shield that most humans possess, and it also made the mind more 'receptive' to Telepathy. This in itself would not have been so bad, but the context made it catastrophic.

Without the Antipsi and mind shield, the subjects were exposed to a background roar of thought from other people, albeit at an entirely subconscious level. Without the necessary knowledge and training to screen it out, this began to have subtle effects on the subjects. Over the short term the effects were minor, but over years they began to accumulate.

One clue the researchers missed in looking at the test subjects was that those who showed no negative effects, or at least no major ones over many years, mostly lived in very rural areas, away from large concentrations of people. This was beneficial because it reduced the 'background noise' that was causing problems in some of their fellow test subjects.

This was not the worst problem, however.

Far more serious was that without the protective effect of their native Antipsi, and with their compromised mind shields and enhanced Telepathic receptivity, certain people found themselves 'attuned to that dark entity known in later centuries as the Malignium. [1]

It is difficult to exaggerate the malevolence of that entity. Those individuals who found themselves subconsciously attuned to it, and lacked the will to resist the 'leakage', tended to react by mirroring that malevolence. Thus the madmen who murdered or attempted to murder others, and the serial killer, a torture/murderer, who would not be stopped until 1988 when a U.S. Army Intelligence officer finally caught up with him.

Lacking the necessary frame of reference to even understand the situation, it was hardly surprising that the researchers failed to understand either the benefits or the deadly dangers associated with their drug.

In GURPS modified 3e terms, the effect of a dose of omnigenine is as follows:

The subject should roll vs. HT. On a critical failure, roll vs. HT again, on a second critical failure the subject is allergic to the drug and suffers a seizure. Otherwise, the drug takes effect.

If the GM has not already done so, he should determine the latent psi abilities of the subject. This can be done quickly by rolling 1d and adding 4, this gives a range of latent psionic Powers other than Antipsi from 5 to 10. For Antipsi add an extra 2 levels above whatever other Power is strongest. Or the GM can assign values as appropriate.

The drug will reduce Antipsi by 2d, to a minimum of zero. It also annuls the self-focusing tendency, so that even if there is some Antipsi Power left, it no longer suppresses the other Powers of the subject.

The drug will also cut the natural mind shield most people generate by 1/2, rounding down, and add 2 levels of the latent Telepathy Power for receptive purposes only, which will begin to subconsciously operate.

(Note that someone with the right training and knowledge could compensate for several of these effects.)

All this will have long term effects.

To be continued...

[1] See here:
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