Smallpox Variola Chimera (commonly known as the Dollar Flu or Green Poison) is a genetically engineered super-virus based on the disease Smallpox, created with no functional vaccine or cure. This genetically augmented virus was manufactured by Dr. Gordon Amherst, a delusional, genocidal environmentalist and gifted virologist as a means of population control. 95% of the population is susceptible to the virus, but 5% are genetically immune. The disease was unleashed in New York City during a Black Friday by contaminated U.S. dollar bills with the virus being spread in several retail stores across Manhattan, most notably in Abel's Department Store.
Description of the Green Poison Virus
The DNA of Variola Chimera was digitized to be infinitely mutable; intelligence findings indicate that Dr. Gordon Amherst synthesized hundreds of variations seeking to create a strain with a 90 percent mortality rate. The virus itself can remain dormant for months in wounds on corpses or on various organic and synthetic surfaces, so contagion in an infected area can remain long after hosts have expired or been relocated.
The virus spreads in a method similar to the flu, entering the host body through the mouth, nose, ears, or eyes by droplets in the air or through manual contact with contaminated surfaces. It has a very high lethality rate and survivors are often left horribly scarred, and sometimes blind. The naturally occurring variant killed about 30 percent of those infected, although among children the rate was closer to 80 percent. The chimera variant is rumored to kill 90 percent of its victims across the board. Even if one survives the effects of the virus, many patients still fall victim to the failing infrastructure as society continues to collapse under the immense pressure of the pandemic.
Variola chimera has a seven-day incubation period during which the virus grows in the host's body, but no symptoms are visible. During this period, the infected person will usually look and feel normal and healthy, and cannot infect others (this compares to Variola Major's eleven-day incubation; if a victim receives the vaccine during Major's first three days, the disease will not fully develop). Once smallpox incubation ends, the host develops flu-like symptoms - fever, headache, overall discomfort, fatigue - and becomes highly contagious. No external signs yet indicate smallpox other than possible blisters forming in the mouth and throat.
After three days of these flu-like symptoms, rashes begin to appear over the host's body. The victim typically is bedridden at this point. Within another day or two, many of these lesions turn into small blisters full of clear fluid; eight to nine days later these turn into scabs that eventually fall off. This final phase is when most fatalities occur.
As noted by Dr. Jessica Kandel, the virus contains traces from six separate pathogens: Dengue, Ebola, H1N1, Hantavirus, Marburg and Swine Flu (itself a strain of H1N1). This made it obvious that this virus was not naturally occurring but artificially created. Also, the Green Poison is designed to survive for longer on non-organic surfaces such as the currency used to spread the disease much more effectively, as a Second Wave Division agent was able to recover still-contaminated currency from Abel's Department Store in the Garment District of Manhattan.
Due to the virus's ability to rapidly mutate, it is nearly impossible for conventional drugs or antibodies to identify and exterminate the virus, let alone for a proper vaccine to the disease to be created. It also allows the virus to adapt to a diverse population range such as New York City. There are some people who are naturally immune to catching this virus, but they are largely in the minority and, as the virus is not symptomatic at first, people who could be immune are left to survive in quarantines and later Dark Zones. Also, it is revealed in Amherst's notes that he deliberately meant for the virus to have a mortality rate of 80-90%, allowing some of the human population to survive.
When people die of this virus, it is known as "cashing out" due to it being spread by money. The virus is also referred to as Dollar Pox, Money Pox, Wages of Sin, Buck Flu, Dollar Bug, Cash Pox, Small Bill and The Legal Tender.
Later, by the time of Tom Clancy's The Division 2 it is believed that Amherst programmed the disease to "burn out" after a certain amount of time, therefore rendering contaminated areas later clear of the disease. Although there are exceptions such as former quarantined clinics and laboratories where bodies and samples have yet to be disposed of properly, making a second outbreak a huge risk.
Also, it is discovered that Emeline Shaw, the leader of the Outcasts in Washington, D.C. is an asymptomatic carrier of the disease, meaning she can infect other people in close proximity with the Dollar Flu but is not harmed or killed. It is unknown if this was intended by Amherst to happen.
Engineering the Virus
Believing in his volatile Darwinian delusions about radically reducing the human population, Dr. Gordon Amherst engineered a super virus using an industrial-grade protein printer. The Green Poison is an amalgamation of various lethal diseases. Not only are they mixed up together, Dr. Amherst even genetically modified their incubation and infection rate, accelerating the infection rate. Owning up to his delusions, Dr. Amherst later infected himself and accepted that if the virus decides to kill him, he will gladly "see everyone in Hell".
The Outbreak of the Virus
Dr. Gordon Amherst distributed the virus to the human population via infected dollar bills during the Black Friday shopping sales, ensuring a massive initial dispersion. Before people realized that it was a lethal epidemic, they believed it was just a particularly potent version of the annual flu season. When the threat of the pandemic became realized, CERA, the newly minted Joint Task Force, and the First Wave of activated Strategic Homeland Division agents were dispatched and attempted to stabilize the crisis. Unfortunately, efforts from all three organizations proved to be inadequate. The quarantine zone in Central Manhattan, where the virus and the brunt of the ensuing anarchy originated, proved too much to handle, later becoming the Dark Zone, and the worst of the virus is currently contained there.
The infection eventually spread out from the United States of America, infecting 147 countries around the world in every continent, becoming classed as a global pandemic. This was due to the quick infection rate along with New York City being one of the country's biggest tourist destinations and international travel hubs. Thus before the whole of New York City was quarantined, infected persons had already traveled across the globe and this was likely part of Amherst's plan.
Events of Tom Clancy's The Division
Unable to respond with the chaos of the outbreak, the infrastructure of New York City has completely collapsed with the JTF forced to retreat to their last stronghold of Camp Hudson. Dr. Kandel is a CERA Virologist who was deployed to the field hospital at Madison Square Garden during the initial outbreak. After being saved by the Second Wave of Division agents dispatched to the city, she takes over the Medical Wing of the Base of Operations and manages to research and write various reports on the Green Poison. After receiving viable samples of the original pathogen, she was able to conclude that it was indeed a manufactured weaponized disease created from Smallpox.
Meanwhile, Vitaly Tchernenko, a Russian virologist trapped inside the Russian Consulate in N.Y.C., decided to use the available resources to conduct extensive investigations on the Green Poison, suspecting that it was made using techniques he himself had developed, and to research all of its properties to find methods of combating the virus. This research was eventually recovered by the Second Wave Division agents when they picked up his distress signal; however, during a gun battle between the Second Wave and newly discovered rogue agents, Tchernenko was abducted by their leader Aaron Keener.
During the Second Wave's attack on the LMB's main stronghold at the United Nations Headquarters, Aaron Keener abandoned Lt. Col. Charles Bliss and the remaining rogue agents and escaped. After the LMB were destroyed and their leader killed, Agent Faye Lau of The Division started picking up a strange signal in an abandoned building near Camp Hudson.
Found there was a makeshift laboratory and the deceased body of Dr. Gordon Amherst, who was concluded to have died by deliberately infecting himself with his own virus. Also present was an ECHO created by Keener announcing to the Division that he possessed all of Amherst's equipment and research used to create Green Poison, as well as Tchernenko to show him how to use it. He then attempted to entice further agents to go rogue and join him.
Events of Tom Clancy's The Division 2
Seven months after the initial outbreak in New York City, most of the virus had burned itself out and a potential cure had been developed by virologists at the Ann Arbor Medical School using the research conducted by Dr. Kandel, and the first viable inoculations shipped to Washington, D.C. as a continuity of government measure.
In an attempt to eradicate the virus when it had spread to the nation's capital, the federal government launched a chemical called DC-62 to destroy the virus and sterilize any contaminated areas. However, it turned out DC-62 not only destroyed the virus, but was also extremely toxic to the point where even standing near to it in close proximity would cause lethal burns and even spontaneous death by breathing in the toxic fumes. DC-62 became the main reason why Washington, D.C. has Dark Zones.
Furthermore, when the initial pandemic broke out in Washington, D.C., the people who were infected by Green Poison were quarantined on Roosevelt Island by the JTF under the command of Antwon Ridgeway, a former colonel in the Army National Guard entrusted with making sure the entire quarantine ran smoothly and the infected people had medical attention. Seeing that the virus would eventually kill the infected despite all the medical care in the world, and losing faith that the federal government could resolve the situation, Colonel Ridgeway decided to take matters into his own hands.
Ridgeway's acted ruthlessly and, due to the chaotic state of the city, he was able to abuse his authority for a long time before the commander of the JTF found out and had him imprisoned. During this time, the victims of Ridgeway's mistreatment rose up against the remaining JTF maintaining the quarantine at Roosevelt Island and became a cult-like faction called the Outcasts under the leadership of Emeline Shaw. However, it did not take long until loyal members of Ridgeway's unit freed him, and the True Sons were formed with a goal to kill all of the remaining infected and anybody who challenged them.
Meanwhile, Shaw, a woman who was somehow an asymptomatic carrier of the Green Poison, desired vengeance for the horrible treatment she and her family received during the Roosevelt Island quarantine under Ridgeway's command. She riled up the remaining quarantined people, formed the Outcasts and persuaded them to use the remaining Green Poison within her own blood as a biological weapon to spread the Green Poison to the uninfected survivors in D.C. in revenge for the treatment they received during the quarantine of Roosevelt Island.
- Pirate Radio, DJ (radios can be found in safehouses like The Meat Locker).