RPC-193

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Registered Phenomena Code: 193

Object Class: Beta-Purple

Hazard Types: Bio-Hazard, Regenerative Hazard

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RPC-193 visualized through tunneled electron microscope.

Containment Protocols: Samples of RPC-193 are to be contained in a collection of hepatic cells, kept in an enriched viral culture medium in five (5) Petri dishes, at a temperature between 36°C and 36.5°. The Petri dishes containing this medium are to be kept at the Virology Lab of the Research Wing of Site-008 and are to be monitored daily to replace nutrients on the medium. Testing with RPC-193 is to be done following Level 3 Biohazard guidelines. Upon suspected exposure, subjects are to be put under quarantine and undergo the treatment detailed in Addendum 1.

Description: RPC-193 is the designation given to a virus closely associated to the Hepadnaviridae1 family and Orthohepadnavirus2 genus, however research shows the agent belongs to a species uncatalogued as of yet. RPC-193 displays a spherical symmetry with an icosahedral shape, enveloped by a proteic capsid containing a double chain DNA strand.

RPC-193 is transmitted sexually and via exposure to infectious bodily fluids. Testing with other creatures has deemed the only known reservoir for this virus is humans. Upon entering the body through any of these means, RPC-193 travels to the liver via blood circulation. Upon reaching it, the agent will infect the hepatocytes3. Then the virus will replicate rapidly within the infected cells. RPC-193 differs from the way most viruses behave, in that after virions are released from the host cell, the host cell does not die. Instead, the cell will continue to be used by the virus to spread replicating indefinitely.

Most notably, RPC-193 will induce a state of heightened reproductivity of the cells it infects, creating a cellular line similar in behavior to HeLa cells4. The modified cells will then divide rapidly and arrange themselves through complex biochemical sequences to form a very differentiated, functional neoplasm identical to the liver it originated from, with the formation of new blood vessels to supply the organ through understood and non anomalous biochemical processes.

Individuals infected by RPC-193 typically exhibit a moderate fever, associated with palpable masses located where the liver is found on their body and sometimes exhitibing mild jaundice. These symptoms develop gradually over the course of 14 days. These individuals notably exhibit a higher tolerance to noxious effects from toxins and drugs administered to them due to heightened hepatic metabolism. Testing has shown that using highly hepatotoxic drugs or surgically removing segments of the liver accelerates the cellular proliferation induced by the virus. Radical hepatectomy of the subject has proven effective at curing the host when combined with antiviral drugs. Replacement of hepatic tissue after undergoing the procedure has revealed satisfactory curation results with acceptable survival rates.

When infected individuals are left without treatment, the replication of hepatocytes will go on unchecked, reaching a point where it is not possible for the human body to sustain the neoplasms (around 20 to 28 days since initial exposure to the virus), besides the increase in fat and carbohydrate deposits leading to various diseases that lead to the subject's death. Upon death of the subject, if left without sustenance the infected cells eventually die, however if placed in an enriched, viral culture medium the cells will remain mitotically active and eventually form liver tissue until the nutrients of the medium are used up.

Discovery: RPC-193 was discovered by Authority personnel after reports of an atypical form of Hepatitis from various hospitals around [REDACTED] surfaced in 20/10/2017. Investigations found several patients afflicted by a previously uncatalogued form of hepatocellular cancer, succumbing to the heightened metabolism of their livers in less than a week. Some patients were taken into Authority medical facilities for treatment and research, with the issuing of a cover story about a fulminant strain of hepatitis B outbreak afflicting the most populated areas of [REDACTED].

A few of the patients taken in for medical care in Authority facilities were found to have serial numbers tattooed on the skin on the back of their right shoulder, below which "Lakebed Laboratory Research" could be read. Investigations as to an underwater facility located beneath North American lakes are undergoing.

Addendum 1: Note from Head Researcher Dr. Leiden

Testing with RPC-193 has yielded important however classified results, the complete sets of data are thus only available for revision to Head Researcher Dr. Leiden and Commissioned Officer Rokitansky. Due to the sensitivity of these sets of data, information about the testing logs is currently classified.

Protection Division has requested further research into this agent, due to the promising results evidenced in testing for the creation of toxin resistant operatives and the possible bioweapons that could be developed with use of RPC-193.

All employees assigned to work with RPC-193 are to maintain the secrecy of this data, with leaking of said information being punishable by demotion with a written reprimand to expedient file of the infractor.

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