It all started when President of Vemcorp, the worlds largest venom and anti-venom manufacturer, Norman Lobos issued a scout unit to investigate an unidentified object that had recently materialized near the dwarf planet, Ceres. The Scout unit known as HYDRA was chosen for mission. The plan was simple, get onto the stellar object and get samples of the soil, atmosphere and if possible, flora and fauna.
Leading the team was Vemcorps leading expert on microbiology, Avery Adler. He was one of the most renown microbiologists on Earth. Because of him, Vemcorp has gained a reputation for quality and control of toxin and parasite research. Many different products and remedies have been named in his honour.
When HYDRA’s ship, Red Neptune landed on the unidentified object, the noxious fog became apparent. The entire six man team emerged from their shuttle craft. The atmosphere of the newfound object was breathable to humans, though it reeked of ammonia. The gazed over the surface and into the distance. The soil was dyed a deep blood red. The ground constant trembled beneath their feet, almost as if the ground was breathing. Pools of red syrupy liquid plagued the craters of the planet. A grotesque network of what appeared to be veins and nerves covered the planets many fields.
“Boss, have you had any knowledge in your many years of biological research encountered any planet like this?” said one of the scouts in a raspy nervous tone. Avery paused for a second as if he was about to speak, but then he just walked forward. He seemed fascinated with the various growths and fleshy towers that stood across the field. “I can’t believe it. All my life of research and I have never even dreamed of something like this. It’s marvellous, yet at the same time perplexing..” Adler leaned over putting one hand on a nerve covered mound of flesh. “… you know I find it harder and harder to doubt God when there is many marvels like this in our uni..” Then sharp tentacle ripped out of the red soil and impaled Avery’s chest with a sharp spike on the end.
“Holy shit, what was that?” said Miles, one of the burlier scouts. “Let’s get off this freak planet.” Suddenly, the ground started to shake as growls emerged deep beneath the crust of the planet. HYDRA all began running back to their ship but the ground started to tear open leaving a large chasm between them and Red Neptune. Crackles and snaps were heard as a large spot of ground ten feet away began to rise up. An 18 foot long tentacle was trying to rip itself from the soil. Strands of sinew were snapping as the tentacle finally ripped from the ground. A shower of red liquid rained down after left it’s underground resting place. HYDRA just sat and shook in fear.
Finally, the tentacle swung down and grabbed Miles, the second officer of Hydra and flung him into the distance. Thirty feet away he landed into a pool of red liquid, where thousands of little rice-sized parasites swarmed him and entered his skin. The 4 remaining soldiers, Kurtis, Simmons and Dol began to run around the chasm hoping to get to their ship. While running, wire-like strands of flesh emerged from the ground attempting to trip the team. “Do we have any guns with us?” yelled Kurtis. “We are a research team, we don’t carry anything strong enough to kill anything!” replied Simmons. Another tentacle emerged from the chasm and grabbed onto Simmons calf and tried to pull him into the abyss. He dug his nails into the soil, hoping to out power it. He was dragged hopelessly into the deep chasm of red liquid while his nails sliced through the red soil like meat.
Only Kurtis and Dol remained. The ground continued to tremble and growl as they successfully reached Red Neptune. Injured and bruised, covered in little sticky rice-like gobs, they managed to activate the launch apparatus and escape the planet, but the madness was just beginning.
Raul Kurtis and Cynthia Dol were submitted to the Vemcorp Hospital and Medical Research lab in Flagstaff Arizona. Skin and Blood samples were taken from them and they were put in the Viral Testing Wards Research Vault. Days went by, as the two hardened ones physical structure began to change. Nails grew at a progressive rate, hair grew rapidly and their skin grew large tumour-like growths. Doctors traced the mutations do to a foreign parasitic substance affixing itself to their body. The substance, named “Vem” after it’s discovering company was a highly evolved organism with properties similar to stem cells. When they attach themselves to a host they take on the DNA of what is around them and duplicate it, causing tissue to grow outwards. Unlike stem cells, the Vem duplicate and mutant at an extremely hurried rate, often replacing damaged tissue in a matter of seconds. This is due to an extremely high metabolism, and it must require more blood to continue it’s growth.
Scientists hypothesized that at the highest levels of Vem-infection, the body would be virtually invincible to threats such as gunfire and mutilation due to the parasites incredible recovery powers. However they had not presumed the Vem’s primitive growth control issues. Many human subjects were rested with the Vem. After a week of insertion, the top scientists at Vemcorp surgically removed one of the subjects arms, in hopes of seeing how the parasites would react. The results were not as sufficient as they had hoped. Vem lack the knowledge of human anatomy to understand the structure of an arm, thus the flesh will grow and grow into a shapeless whip of flesh. Other experiments involved the Vem’s reaction to the brain. The result was just as unpleasant. As the Vem consume and expand the brain, they do not connect neural nerves and it does a lot more damage to the brain than good.
Vemcorp was still bent on using it as their next medical product, but at a cost. They lost their reputation as a trustful company, and gained the reputation of a heartless, inhumane company that tinkers with the fabric of the lives of it’s workers. Stocks began to drop, so Vemcorp, without proper sanctification, distributed Vem as cure-all medicine, capable of letting the paralyzed walk, the blind will see, all in order to gain profit and raise their stocks to avoid bankruptcy. Twenty-five cities received shipments of Vem to be retailed at pharmacies. Despite impressive sales and more household recognition, the health hazards of Vem were not ignored. Hundreds of civil lawsuits towards the company eventually brought it into bankruptcy. Norman Lobos was thrown into debt and committed suicide the night they closed Vemcorps main office. The company was finished.
The Vem were not just harming people, they were harming the planet. Animals, plants and even the soil started getting infected with Vem. The parasites mutated over the course of over a hundred years, plaguing almost all life on the planet. Nobody expected this to happen at such a rate. Areas such America, England, Mexico and China sank into decay as a cloud of disease consumed their land. Hysteria broke out as more and more countries went into decent.
The many governments of Earth chose to unite into a Global Federation. By 2195, one-hundred and ten years after the spread of Vem started, the government of Earth secretly gathered 500,000 remaining human beings to evacuate them to a orbiting space station. They chose some by job position, as the world needed doctors, police and military, and some people who were young and needed a bright future. The rest were abandoned on Earth without knowing.
The Earth was a lost cause and the people left their were doomed to rot. Once word got out that the government has completely left the planet, rioting and revolts rose across the yet to be plagued cities of the world. In areas such as Spain, people spoke out against the government, claiming them to be racially prejudice, for no people of Hispanic origin were chosen to exodus the planet. Many people formed Militias to fight for the remaining peace, but overall, the Earth was lost.