The Hose Virus
In the Beginning
Thirty years ago a few scientists were tasked to understand the purpose of a very unusual semi-solid mass. It had been found near the impact site of a small meteor. Usually it would have been overlooked but this impact happened to occur within the confines of Area 51. A team of well trained military hazmat personnel had been dispatched to the site and secured the sample in its entirety stuck to a large rock.
The original team assigned to study the blob, as they lovingly called it had hopes that it might be an extraterrestrial life form. The initial studies noted that after a few days in the lab it was easily removed from the rock leaving no discernable trace. It was extremely difficult to separate small samples of the material for study but once they managed the samples were fairly simple proteins. No Cell structures, no life. The one striking note about the mass as a whole was its uniformity. Not just in color and appearance but on a microscopic level there were no variations in its composition. The only concrete findings early on was that it did not originate in nature nor was it manufactured using any process known to man.
After many months of fruitless study it was decided that the team would see how the material reacted to various stimuli. Temperature changes mainly affected viscosity. Even dipped in liquid nitrogen the material would not freeze solid. Heat could be used to destroy samples but required extremely high temperatures to do it. The material did not float in water nor did it dilute. It was malleable but resisted tearing, punctures and didn’t seem to hold form very well. It was however, quite elastic and would somewhat quickly return to its original shape.
The most interesting breakthrough came during an experiment in which a lab rat was exposed to a small sample. At first it appeared as if the experiment would follow the same course as most of the rest had and be relatively uneventful. The rat sniffed at the material and determining it wasn’t a suitable source of food ignored it and began surveying its surroundings for an escape route. While sniffing along the corner of the plastic box he was housed in it set one of its back paws into the sample. When he did the viscous mass stuck to it like a wad of chewed gum. No amount of shaking, biting and scratching seemed to dislodge it entirely. In fact if anything it just spread it further up his leg. Eventually the animal gave up on removing the sticky substance and continued his normal activities.
The next morning the investigative team returned to the lab to find the entire lower body of the rat covered in a thin, almost oily sheen of material. He seemed to have grown accustomed to the residue matting down his hair and when fed and watered ate quite a hearty meal. Shortly after feeding things took a dramatic turn. The rat went into a seizure rolling over onto his back and went into spasms for over 3 minutes. A large black bulge appeared to form in the area of his groin which quickly subsided and spread out across his pelvis and thighs noticeably darkening the area already covered by the protein residue. A review of film taken the previous night showed the rat having a similar reaction when the material first came into contact with his genitals. It was shortly after this point that the scientists first were able to notice both legs of the animal had become matted down.
By the next day the pattern of behavior for both the rat and the gelatinous covering were well documented. Curiously initially it appeared as if the area of coverage would extend higher up the animals torso but unexplainably after it reached his neck it retracted back to its original boundaries. Also of interest was the fact that on the second day the rat’s hair was no gone leaving no trace of where it had went inside the glass box. As the experiment entered day three the rat became more and more lethargic and seemed famished no matter how often or how much food it consumed. It was thought this might have been due to the extreme amount of energy it likely used during its seizures. It was also theorized that the animal might have become sick due to gastrointestinal problems. The animal consumed a great deal of food and water yet no urine or feces were discovered in the cage once it was removed. Fortunately for the rat day three marked the end of the experiment due to lab protocol and the animal was destroyed. The corpse of the rat was quickly incinerated as expected. The original sample however was not so easily consumed. It took a great deal more time to cremate then the animal. It also seemed to be a significantly bigger sample then was originally used.
The panel in charge of the experiments did give the go ahead to continue testing on rats but it did so with the express orders that no experiment be allowed to continue past three days and the animal testing was to be limited for the time being to just rats. Experiments were conducted on female rats who exhibited very similar behaviors as the original male did with a few exceptions. The foreign material spread higher up the animals then it did on the males covering them to he neck. The females also exhibited engorgement in their nipples that the male rats did not. Either sex seemed to progress at about the same rate as far as the darkening of the material and in regards to the rate of it’s spreading. The females seemed to develop less of a bulge in the groin area then the males though they did develop significant out pouching in the areas of their nipples. It was also determined that sexual contact between infected and uninfected animals easily transmitted the substance. It was at this point the government pulled the plug on the project and shelved it for good. Or so they thought.