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"I was to become a god! Creating a new world, with an advanced race of human beings...."
— Spencer to Albert Wesker, shortly before his death.

Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer (オズウェル・E・スペンサー Ozuweru Ī Supensā?) (c.1923-2006) was an aristocratic British multimillionaire, virologist and eugenicist. One of the founders of Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, Lord Spencer was CEO and President for its entire existence, which saw its expansion as the Umbrella Corporation over the 1980s as well as its bankruptcy in 2003.

A cold, ruthless, elitist and ambitious individual, Spencer mercilessly murdered his rivals and gradually increased his power within the company, which he strictly controlled behind a veil of darkness.[1][2] He also had a hobby of art collecting and hunting.[excerpt 1] Spencer had a vision to remake the world and lead it into a new era, seeing the world's current state as self-destructive. He intended to use the research data accumulated from Bio Organic Weapons to carry out his vision and mould a utopia for mankind with himself as its ruler.[3]

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Stoneandmetalobject

The Spencer coat of arms.

Spencer was born into the prestigious Spencer family, considered for generations to be among the European elite.[4] Growing up in the family castle, overlooking a cliff against a European coastline, the young heir to the Spencer fortune was given a wide-ranging education, studying the classics, Early Modern humanist treatise, and kept up to date with the 20th century eugenics movement. Among his personal interests was reading the Natural History Conspectus, a rare late Victorian encyclopaedia which comprised British explorer Henry Travis' thirty-four year trek through Africa.[5]

Reaching adulthood, Spencer entered a prestigious university where he became close friends with, among others, James Marcus and Edward Ashford, heir to the equally prestigious Ashford family.[4] The three studied the emerging field of virology, and formed a eugenics circle with at least two other ennobled virologists, Lord Beardsley and Henry, a French comte.[6][7] Marcus and Ashford would frequently join Spencer at his family castle, which he would shortly inherit.[4]

Founding of Umbrella (1966-68)Edit

Spencer Labyrinth photograph

Lord Spencer, photographed in front of a statue in the Ndipaya Labyrinth.

At the start of 1966, Spencer became engrossed once more in the Natural History Conspectus, having recalled an account about the Ndipaya, a West African tribe of skilled engineers who's rituals surrounded a magical flower which granted great power to those who could survive its poison.[8] While Spencer was initially treated with appropriate scepticism due to allegations of yellow journalism on behalf of Travis, Marcus would hypothesis that a retrovirus could be naturally produced by the flower and mutate the consumer.[9] This virus would theoretically hold great promise in eugenics, interesting the circle. In order to disprove or confirm the flower's significance, the three organized an expedition to West Africa to find it. While Spencer's involvement is uncertain, Marcus did in fact travel to West Africa on a several month search for the Ndipaya with his protege, Brandon Bailey, and returned by February 1967 with proof of the virus' existence, having isolated it within the Sonnentreppe flowers growing in the ruins of the Garden of the Sun.[9]

Soon after research began, the Swiss university Marcus worked at ostracised him following allegations of falsified data which itself led to the stopping of government grants to his projects.[10] Spencer used this to his advantage, and used his charitable Spencer Foundation as a means of funding Marcus' research on the conditions that he operate within the Spencer Estate's lab and avoid contact with scientists outside of their circle.[10] Understanding the foundation would not be able to fund the project in its entirety, in March 1967 Spencer approached the circle, offering they found a pharmaceutical company with him, which could raise the necessary funds.[9] Ashford and Marcus agreed to the project despite an overall disinterest, with Henry and Beardsley joining later.

Mansion front

A mansion mimicking his family home lay above Spencer's Arklay Laboratory.

Towards the end of the year, work concluded on a mansion built on Spencer's behalf in the Arklay Mountains, a mountain range in the American midwest. The mansion itself was built atop limestone caverns, which Spencer planned to use for the construction of an underground laboratory complex that would be hidden from the eyes of corporate spies. The biggest flaw in the construction project, however, was that he had chosen the famous New York architect George Trevor to build the mansion, being known for his surreal designs which Spencer admired. Alterations to the grounds to prepare for the laboratory were performed against his knowledge, but Spencer believed him to be too great a risk. In November 1967, Spencer invited the Trevor family - George, his wife Jessica, and their 14-year-old daughter, Lisa - to the house to celebrate the completion of the mansion, where he and his loyal servants and scientists planned to use them in Progenitor research. Due to a busy workload, George could not attend, but Jessica drove Lisa to the house with an agreement he join them at the house later. As soon as the two arrived on 10 November,[11] they were dragged away by Spencer's employees and taken into the underground caverns as human research subjects for the Progenitor Virus. Jessica died soon after infection, though Lisa survived with mutations. After George arrived at the mansion he was captured just the same but escaped from his room. He eventually fell victim to one of his traps and died.[12] Lisa was kept as a test subject, and would finally die in 1998.

At some point in the late 1960s, Spencer worked with another scientist who shared his eugenics ideals, Dr. Wesker. Believing that Progenitor would only be useful to mankind if they could be trusted with these powers, Spencer concluded that the genetically-superior humans had to share his values to become the Übermensch. Umbrella soon began a project to abduct children from around the world and raise them with access to the finest educations money could buy. Upon reaching adulthood, Umbrella would determine the cream of the crop and infect them. The highly classified project was dubbed the "Wesker Project", in name of its leader.

With Umbrella established, Spencer became increasingly paranoid his friends would threaten their own eugenics project, which he intended to steer towards making him a god in the new world order. Although already controlling in 1967 when he secured Marcus' research, during 1968 Spencer's paranoia escalated while running Umbrella Pharmaceuticals. To procure more funding for their eugenics project, Umbrella entered a secret agreement with the United States military to produce biological weaponry, and began further projects to create mutant virus strains for military use. The Umbrella founders each led research separately on what they dubbed the "t-Virus Project". Rather than perform his own research, Spencer left the Arklay Laboratory under the control of trusted executives, and further worked with Lord Beardsley and Lord Henry. Marcus and Bailey continued to work on their own, while Ashford worked alongside his son Alexander at their European home.

With Progenitor cultures becoming too limited in number for large-scale research on the t-Virus Project, it became clear Marcus and Bailey would have to travel to West Africa and secure more. Unlike the previous trek, Spencer instead hired mercenaries to force the Ndipaya off their land and secure the Garden of the Sun. When news reached them of this success, Bailey was sent alone to cultivate Progenitor samples at a lab built there, isolating him from Marcus. Marcus himself was given his own laboratory in the Arklay Mountains close to his own. The Umbrella Executive Training School served a dual role as both a laboratory for the t-Virus Project and as a boarding school for gifted children headhunted by the Spencer Foundation as promising new executive-scientists.[13][14] The first true victim of this paranoia however was Ashford himself, who would die from exposure to his primitive t-Virus strain in a staged lab accident. Alexander, while a scientist, was not trained in virology but genetics, and consequently was unable to continue his father's work. This left only Marcus as the main competitor to Spencer, and efforts were taken to steal data to benefit the Arklay Laboratory.

Securing of power (1977-98)Edit

In 1977, the Spencer Foundation headhunted Albert Wesker for a job at Umbrella after graduating at the age of just 17 as a doctor of virology. Sent to the executive training school, Spencer ensured that Wesker and a fellow student, William Birkin, be encouraged to abuse Marcus' trust in them and steal research data. At the end of the school year, Spencer ordered the school and lab be shut down, cutting Marcus off from his research staff and the children who he had begun using as test-subjects. Wesker and Birkin was immediately assigned to the Arklay Laboratory to take over as its chief researchers, and used their experiences with Marcus' research to drastically alter the Arklay Laboratory's own t-Virus research.

Despite Spencer's near-total control over Umbrella, his reign of terror continued to find new victims as Umbrella grew to possess its own paramilitary, the Umbrella Security Service. Marcus himself continued to perform his own dedicated research into the late 1980s, hoping to use this to his advantage in securing the support of the board of directors in taking over the company. With Marcus now an immediate threat, Spencer ordered a U.S.S. raid on the training school, and he was gunned down in 1988, with Birkin and Wesker on hand to steal more research data. The same year, he personally backed their proposals in acquiring a Nemesis α parasite from France's No.6 Laboratory.[15] As Umbrella entered the 1990s, Spencer continued to take a direct role in the company's affairs in spite of the failing use of his legs. Beardley and Henry would both perish over the decade, with research inherited by their respective children, Mylène and Christine, both child prodigies.

Spencer at Sonido Tortuga Island

Spencer and his associates at Sonido de Tortuga Island.

In 1991, deeply interested in the newly-discovered Golgotha Virus being studied by Birkin and Christine in France, Spencer made sure to fund the new NEST facility in the Arklay Mountains for the G-Virus Project. Interested in the virus' potential use in eugenics to create the Ubermensch, to keep this hidden it was instead funded as another bio-weapon project for the US military. In the latter half of the 1990s, an alternative eugenics project was assigned to Dr. Alex Wesker, one of the Wesker Project subjects, whom Spencer became personally close to, and rewarded her with greater executive power through the construction of a laboratory at Sonido de Tortuga.[16] He also developed a close relationship with Col. Sergei Vladimir, a Spetznaz officer who the Soviet Union used in a human cloning trial during the Afghan War. In exchange for handing over his ten clones for research on the fledgling Tyrant Project, Vladimir became a powerful asset in protecting Spencer's control over the corporation in spite of being confined to a wheelchair due to a degenerative illness.

End of Umbrella (1998-2003)Edit

In May 1998 the Arklay Laboratory was sabotaged by one of Dr. Marcus' creations, Queen Leech. Its entire staff either killed or infected, and escaped B.O.W.s drew national attention in their killings of out-of-state hikers. As part of the X-Day contingency, Albert Wesker sent out two elite law enforcement teams to the laboratory to assist in his recovery of important B.O.W. research data before destroying the lab and killing them; Spencer's right-hand man Colonel Sergei Vladimir was also sent in personally for the task of recovering an experimental Tyrant and Umbrella's U.M.F.-013 supercomputer. While Vladimir was successful, Wesker chose to fake his death and hand the data over to a rival company, and several S.T.A.R.S. members escaped intent on beginning a police investigation.

In the immediate fallout, an executive named Morpheus D. Duvall was scapegoated for the containment failure, and later began a bioterror plot to steal viral samples in vengeance. Publicly, the so-called "mansion incident" did not harm Umbrella thanks to its influence over the local Raccoon City media, police and local government. However, a combination of this incident; Wesker's departure, and Spencer's refusal to allow promotion to his tight circle of executives led to Dr. Birkin dumping the t-Virus around Raccoon City to neutralise other Umbrella facilities in preparation for handing over the G-Virus to the US military, who were intent on starting their own bioweapons project and end support for Umbrella. An ambush by the Umbrella Security Services, an organization under Spencer's command, accidentally led to the t-Virus being released into the water supply through infected rats. Over the next week the city collapsed into anarchy as thousands of infected took part in cannibalistic murders.

Aware Raccoon City was doomed and the company no longer capable of lobbying against a Senate committee influenced by Derek C. Simmons, Spencer ordered Colonel Sergei Vladimir to recover the U.M.F.-013 from Raccoon City and take it to a safe location. On October 1, 1998, Spencer awoke to news of the US President's ordering of a bombing on the city. Soon after this, the US Congress voted in an act to liquidate Umbrella USA, and the actual corporation suffered a ban of business in the country. In 1999, expecting Umbrella to fail, Spencer assembled expert lawyers; fake witnesses, and bribes during the Raccoon Trials to divert all responsibility for deaths towards the US government. Unwilling to acknowledge their breaching of international law to obtain bioweaponry or even acknowledge B.O.W.s in general, the US government remained in a stalemate with Umbrella. This stalemate ended in early 2003, when Albert Wesker leaked excerpts of the recovered U.M.F.-013 data to the court.[17] Umbrella was found liable for damages and was made bankrupt. An international arrest warrant was filed by both the United States and Russian Federation on Spencer, who quickly went into hiding and began leading a secluded life growing old in his ancestral castle, the Spencer Estate, one of many hideouts prepared all over the world.

Final Years (2003-2006)Edit

"When one buries a treasure, one should not leave behind a map..."
— Excerpt from a journal entry regarding Spencer's plan to eliminate executives.

Spencer estate painting

Spencer Estate, the spot that served as Oswell's hideout after the fall of Umbrella.

Intent on establishing a future successor to Umbrella, Spencer became obsessive in maintaining what little order he had left. Right after the Raccoon City bombing, in November 1998 he had already ordered a purge of the senior executive staff to prevent the United States from learning of Progenitor.[18] He also purchased an abandoned chemical plant in the Caucasus region of Southern Russia and commissioned construction of a secret underground laboratory became de facto base of operations of the his company until the definitive bankruptcy of Umbrella.[19][20]

For the next years he remained having little or no contact with the outside, seen only by his loyalist bodyguards and his butler, Patrick. Intent on surviving long enough to see the rebirth of his organization, Spencer ordered Alex Wesker to begin research into a mutagenic virus capable of restoring his youth supplied her with funding, equipment, research material, several hundred test subjects and the research facility on Sonido de Tortuga Island.[21][22][23] However, Alex betrayed him and disappeared after the project's success, taking the results, her researchers, subordinates, and the virus itself to Sushestovanie Island in the Baltic Sea.

DeathEdit

"I was to become a god! Creating a new world with an advanced race of human beings. However, all was lost with Raccoon City. Despite that setback... your creation still holds great significance. Now, my candle burns dimly. Ironic isn't it? For someone who has the right to be a god... to face his own mortality?"
— Spencer's final words to Wesker

By 2006, Spencer was close to death, spending most of his days sat in his study and lacking the strength to eat solid foods.[4] In a desperate last effort to survive, he enlisted Patrick to assist him in the development of a virus using test subjects confined beneath the Spencer Estate to heal his body.[24] Nevertheless, with his own experiments creating several failed mutations, Spencer realized his death was inevitable. He conceded that he would never realize his plan himself and enlisted Patrick to leak information on his location to Albert Wesker through an associate. Spencer then dismissed Patrick from his duties and was left with only his bodyguards at the estate, waiting for Wesker to find him.[25]

Spencer wesker castle

Spencer tells Wesker of his origins.

In August 2006, Wesker entered the castle and brutally murdered Spencer's guards before heading into Spencer's private office. In their meeting, Spencer detailed the information on the Wesker Project and Albert's intentional infection with a variation of the Progenitor Virus in 1998 to become one of his Übermensch, however, he lied when claimed that Albert was the sole survivor of the Wesker Project, in order to keep him focused on Spencer's goal and prevent him from pursuing Alex.

Spencer dead

Spencer's death.

Overall, although as Spencer had predicted, Wesker came to him, he made one miscalculation. Wesker was disinterested in Spencer's vision of being a god over mankind with his race of Übermensch. While not expecting Spencer to be much competition to his own goals, Wesker nevertheless decided to tie Spencer up as a loose end. To that end, he brutally killed Spencer by knife-handing him through the chest. He proclaimed that Spencer was not capable of being a god and as such did not have the right to aspire to such a goal.

LegacyEdit

Even before his death, Spencer had left a dark legacy through the viral research he conducted throughout his life that would plague the world with large-scale dissemination of bioterrorism. Due to his negligence in not being able to deal directly with the constant leaks and desertions of his dishonest employees during Umbrella's final years, this allowed them to start selling B.O.W.s to their rivals in the Bio-weapons black market since 1998, which culminated in the ploriferation of countless outbreaks around the planet during the first decade of the 21st century, causing the death of thousands of people as a result. Overall, this made Spencer directly responsible for all the viral events that affected the world, even after his death.

SourcesEdit

excerpts
  1. Excerpt from BIOHAZARD CODE: Veronica Kanzenban Kaitai Shinsho, page 222:
    "「バイオ1」の舞台となった洋館の持ち主。
    貴族仲間であるエドワード・アシュフォードらとともに始祖ウイルスを発見し、 その研究を擬装するため製薬会社アンブレラを設立した。
    世界的な富豪で、 美術品収集を趣味とする。"
references
  1. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, file: "Ozwell E. Spencer Profile"
  2. BIOHAZARD 5 Kaitai Shinsho, page 015
  3. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Albert Wesker".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Patrick's Memoirs 1".
  5. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Tricell".
  6. BIOHAZARD 2 Drama Album ~The Female Spy Ada Lives~.
  7. Asakura, BIO HAZARD The Wicked North Sea.
  8. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Ndipaya Tribe".
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 1".
  10. 10.0 10.1 Makino, UMBRELLA CHRONICLES SIDE A, Chapter 1.
  11. Resident Evil (2002), file: "Family Picture & Notes".
  12. Resident Evil (2002), file: "Trevor's diary".
  13. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 2".
  14. Resident Evil 0 (2002), file: "Marcus' Diary 1".
  15. Wesker's Report II.
  16. BIOHAZARD heavenly island, "Episode 8: Tatakai".
  17. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Umbrella Raccoon City Judgement"
  18. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Spencer's notebook".
  19. "Wesker's Extra Report"
  20. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Umbrella Russian Branch Notes"
  21. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Spencer's Memoirs 1".
  22. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Spencer's Memoirs 2"
  23. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Spencer's Memoirs 3"
  24. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Spencer's Memoirs 4"
  25. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Patrick's Memoirs 3".
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