Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Aziraphale
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Aziraphale HBIC

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Arkheaus Identification Card
Bureau of Public Citizen Management

Name: Adley Underwood

Aliases: Dr Underwood

Gender: Female

Age: 25

Job Title: Research Associate in Bioengineering and Pysker studies.

  • Is anyone here a doctor?!: Due to the nature of her work Adley has an excellent understanding of human anatomy and disease. Whilst not a medical professional, she could act in the place of one.
  • Part time weapon smith: Whilst she would never claim to be any sort of expert, her time at the King Institute means Adley has a decent understanding of handling and fixing weaponry.
  • Shrewd: Adley has a discerning eye for the workings of people (ironic, considering she can scarcely behave like one herself), their wants and desires, their lies and truths.
  • Active imagination: It's important that scientists can look at things in new ways and come up with innovative solutions. Adley's vibrant imagination helps her think on her feet. This may just extend to survival situations.

  • Cowardly Lion: In a physical fight, Adley would scarcely hold her own, both too frightened and too untrained to try.
  • Overstimulated: Adley is a jittery, nervous mess. She startles easily, paces constantly and puts people on edge. She claims this is why she smokes.
  • No filter: Now, she's not deliberately rude or unkind but Adley will often simply say what is in front of her, the things that other people tiptoe around. It's gotten her into trouble more than once.
  • Wicked imagination: When you're already a highly strung individual, it's not helpful to have the world fill with colour and images you can't seem to control. Adley can become distracted, nervous, or even frightened by what her mind conjures.

  • Beekeeping: some people believe the key to eternal life is in the Royal Jelly made to create Queen bees. Adley just likes bees. Unsurprisingly, it is difficult to keep bees in a frozen wasteland but the botanists at the Queen institute allow her to keep a small hive in one of their greenhouses.
  • Smoking: Yes, she see's the irony. No, she won't stop. She believes it calms her slightly.

  • Disorder i.e. mess, crowded places, excessively colourful places, loud places
  • Big, faceless industry and the government.

Important People:
  • Mother: May Underwood (a Seeder)
  • Brother: Aldos Underwood Jr (a shard miner)
  • Dr Harold Fairfield, Adley's boss and friend.

Hidden 5 yrs ago 5 yrs ago Post by Aziraphale
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Aziraphale HBIC

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Theoretics on Shard Sickness

Name: Haematestra

Symptoms: Early symptoms include fatigue and weariness, dizziness or nausea. As the disease progresses symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, intense migraines, hematidrosis (bleeding from the pores), etc. Throughout the course of the disease shards will grow from the sufferers body, small and often unnoticeable at first (like cancerous moles), growing into obvious and irritating/painful shards.

Clinical Manifestations: Increased blood pressure, blood vessel rupture, increased cranial pressure, infarcts.

Cause of death: Cardiac or brain failure.

Life expectancy: 1-2 years. This is reduced to 6-8 months for Pyskers; the disease course progresses more aggressively as they "use" the shards in their body.

Cause: Similar to lead poising, results from a chronic exposure to shards in the air/water/food etc.

Physiological/molecular cause: The shards, once infecting the body, being to release a large molecular weight protein known as Testran which enters red blood cells and binds to hemoglobin, preventing the binding of oxygen and causing the red blood cells to become an abnormal shape (this is due to lipid reassembly in the cell membrane, the reasons this occurs are currently unknown). Oxygen has a higher affinity for hemoglobin than Testran so it is only at very high concentrations that oxygen will no longer be carried. Early in the disease course, when concentrations are lower, only slightly less oxygen is carried causing headaches and dizziness as the brain receives less oxygen. There is also a gradual increase in blood pressure as the heart becomes more active to try and meet the oxygen demand.

The abnormally shaped red blood cells will eventually lead to a vaso-occlusive crisis in which red blood cells occlude capillaries and prevent blood flow. Initially this will lead to a reduced blood flow, further preventing the delivery of oxygen to tissues - increasing migraines and blood pressure. As the disease progresses and more abnormally shaped red blood cells occur, weaker capillaries and arteries can rupture leading to the later symptoms observed (blood from the nose and ears). This can include an intracerebral hemorrhage (blood vessel rupturing within the cerebral cortex) which could cause vomiting, seizures, loss of consciousness and muscle weakness. Death will ultimately result from either a serious intracerebral hemorrhage or brain/myocardial infarction (lack of blood/oxygen reaching the tissue and causing cell death).

  • The shard itself is not actually known to seriously harm the body, it simply uses the host to grow, making use of waste products such as ammonia and CO2 in the blood. It is the shard's own waste produce, "Testran" that causes the problem. Without Testran you might just expect to see a shard infected individual to have minor kidney problems as ammonia is part of the complicated balance of ion exchange in the kidneys.
  • You can cause "acute" Hematestra by injecting molecules from shards directly into blood stream. So far only done in mice and fish. Unknown to public. Syndustries and DigiCorp see potential in this but the government (correctly, for once) has refused to allow them access.
  • Most of this information is unknown to the general public besides symptoms and cause.

The cure so far:
  • Surgical intervention: Surgical removal of shards has been shown to slow the progress of the disease in mice but the procedure is often riskier than the time afforded to the animal. Similar metastatic cancer, it is impossible to remove all of the small remaining shard fragments through surgery alone.
  • Immunotherapy: One of the major issues which face the body infected with shards is that, for unknown reasons, it does not recognise it as a foreign entity and so does not launch an immune response. Artificial immune responses launched against the shards have seen some success in breaking down the shards completely but the trials are still in early days.
  • Negating the effect of Testran: In theory, a drug that could destroy Testra or remove it from the blood would prevent the sequence of events leading to sickness. However, it would also leave the shards in the body to be used at will by the infected- i.e. a shard-soilder. The Fairfield lab is working on this, as they are contractually obliged to do, but they are also being deliberately slow in the process. As it happens, although there are several drugs which have been found to remove Testran in highthroughput screenings on zebrfish, these drugs are toxic/harmful in different ways to mammals and ultimately lead to the death of the subject anyway.

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