The early concept for the Arklay Laboratory was envisioned by Oswell E. Spencer some time before the founding of Umbrella. The mansion itself resembles the Spencer Estate belonging to Spencer in Europe.
The laboratory was built shortly after the completion of the mansion façade, and would still be in construction when the mansion's designer - architect George Trevor and his family - arrived to celebrate its completion with its new owner, Oswell E. Spencer; a member of the British aristocracy.
Unknown to George early on, his wife and daughter had been abducted on Spencer's orders, and experimented on with the Progenitor virus; a recently re-discovered mutagen with beneficial non-carcinogenic effects.
In the late 1970s, researchers Albert Wesker and William Birkin would take prominent roles in the facility's management; having been students of Dr. James Marcus' research center. It would be here where Birkin would design the first prototypes of the "Hunter"-class B.O.W.; the MA-121 α.
After discovering the "G-virus" within Lisa Trevor; the child of George Trevor, who had been used as a guinea pig in many experiments for years, William would begin years of research into the "ultimate bio-weapon".[notes 1] He would later leave the facility in the late 80s, moving into a newly-built research lab located nearby.
In these two labs, the first two Tyrant prototypes were designed: the T-001 and T-002. Even though already outdated by the mass-produced of the T-103, the T-002 remained in the Laboratory, awaiting activation.
Albert Wesker; both researcher and security chief, left the facility in the mid-90s to pursue a career in local law enforcement; part of Umbrella's contingencies, should any evidence of their experiments be discovered.
The Mansion Incident
In the May of 1998, the experimental t-Virus was intentionally leaked throughout the grounds and the nearby training facility by Dr. Marcus in revenge of his apparent assassination some ten years earlier. The virus leaked into the water supply, spreading the virus to the majority of the staff.[notes 2] Over a period of a month, the remaining staff would make attempts to stop the spread of the virus and its effect on humans – zombies – and the release of experimental B.O.W.s in the panic. Anyone suspected of being a carrier would be killed by their colleagues, unaware that not only they, but everyone was already infected. Isolated survivors would commit suicide in a last-ditch attempt to avoid becoming food, along with the terrifying thought of becoming one of them.
In late July of that year, the Special Tactics and Rescue Service – a S.W.A.T.-style unit of the Raccoon City Police Department – under Wesker's lead were forced under public pressure to investigate a series of bizarre murder reports and cases of savage animal attacks. Knowing full well that these reports were related to the virus, Wesker went with his mission: destroy the mansion, and recover the data on the B.O.W.s effectiveness by allowing the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team to be butchered by them.
The S.T.A.R.S. Bravo team was sent in on July 23, and suffered engine failure; Wesker's attempt to kill them in an 'accident'.[notes 3] Surviving the crash, the team went on to investigate the mansion, where Bravo leader Enrico Marini uncovered evidence that someone on Alpha team had intentionally "set [them] up". Wesker went with Alpha team the following morning to investigate Bravo team's disappearance. An encounter with the mutated animals outside and the death of a Bravo team member allowed Wesker to slip away from his team, and begin destroying potential evidence.
Out of a department of thirteen, six S.T.A.R.S. members would survive the night: Chris Redfield; Jill Valentine; Rebecca Chambers; Barry Burton; Albert Wesker and Brad Vickers – Brad having escaped the animal attack on the chopper, stranding the rest. Wesker decided to betray Umbrella and pursue his own career, and would use a prototype virus handed to him by Birkin to allow him to "cheat death", in a literal sense. Staging his 'death' at the hands of a rogue T-002 after his mission had been discovered by the survivors, he used his spare time to escape the facility, and the persistent mutated Lisa Trevor, before its self-destruct device set off.
With the estate destroyed, and witnesses surviving, both S.T.A.R.S. and Umbrella were at a loss. Umbrella would risk a collapse in their revenue if the incident went public, while the S.T.A.R.S. survivors had no information to confirm their stories; all evidence going up in flames like the mansion.
To keep the conspiracy against Dr. Marcus a secret – the revelation of which would have disastrous implications on Umbrella's stock again –[notes 4] Umbrella researcher Morpheus D. Duvall would be held responsible for the incident and was subsequently fired. Due to his knowledge of Umbrella's true self, the company kept watch of him via a number of spies.
This is a list of employees that were stationed in the facility at the time of viral outbreak. This information comes from various documents and reports collected by Alpha team from the facility. Also, a number of lesser researchers was known to reside at the dormitory: a smaller structure adjacent to the mansion. They were known to have been conducting research on unusual organisms such as sharks and plants, leading to the creation of Neptune and the accidental creation of PLANT 42.
Staff can be separated into two categories: Research & Development and Security. R&D itself has several divisions, two of which are known as "Special Research" and "Sanitation".
|Arving, Keith||Visual Data Room manager.|
|Birkin, William||Chief Researcher (former)|
|Toleman, John||Chief Researcher|
|Robert||Unknown, possibly Security.|
|Ross, S.||Consultant Researcher.|
|Sarton, Henry||Consultant Researcher|
|Smith, E.||Consultant Researcher.|
|Wesker, Albert||Consultant Researcher.|
|"The Keeper"||Research and caretaker.|
Alex Bechet may have also been an employee, though it is left ambiguous as to if the X-ray scan was for an employee or a test-subject.
Notes and sources
- ↑ As described by chief Brian Irons
- ↑ Resident Evil 2 - the virus is established to spread uncontrollably to populations via the water supply
- ↑ Dialogue in the original Resident Evil suggest this, as Rebecca notes the unusualness of the incident, citing that she had checked the engine before the mission.
- ↑ Wesker warns Birkin in Zero that the conspiracy should not be uncovered, or it will damage Umbrella
- ↑ Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil Zero. (Capcom). File: Investigator's Report 2.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil. (Capcom). File: Suicide Note.
- ↑ Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil. (Capcom). File: Researcher's Will.
- ↑ Resident Evil, Enrico's Death (Remake)
- ↑ Capcom. Resident Evil: Dead Aim. (Capcom). File: Regular Report No. 1162.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil. (Capcom). File: Security Protocols.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Capcom Production Studio 4. Resident Evil. (Capcom). File: Keeper's Diary.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Wesker's Report II