THE ARKLAY MOUNTAINS

 

 

On the outskirts of Raccoon City lies the rural region known as the Arklay Mountains. Mile upon mile of beautiful craggy countryside blanketed by the rich tapestry of Raccoon Forest. This locale is very popular with hikers, ramblers and joggers, and is responsible for a significant slice of Raccoon City's tourism trade. As well as the forest, Arklay also contains a dam and reservior for the town's water supply as well as several major lakes and rivers, some of which run directly through or underneath the city. The green, blue and red herbs are native to the region and whilst Albert Wesker was stationed at the Spencer Esate, he used to take long walks in the woods to ponder developments at Umbrella and give further thought to his own plans for the future. He used to wonder if Ozwell Spencer had purposefully built the mansion in the Arklay Mountains as it was a perfect thriving ground for the T-Virus should it ever be exposed to the outside. The rich haven of local plant and wildlife living in the area were all susceptible to infection, making the Arklay Mountains a dangerous location to house primary viral research.

The Spencer Estate itself was located deep in the forest, well away from the city as Spencer at least realised that distance from the local populace was important. The woods are vast, there are no houses in the area and despite the numerous paths, tracks and trails spiderwebbing across the region, the only way in or out of the deepest recesses was via helicopter.

Roughly three miles away from the mansion was Umbrella's Executive Training Facility run by Dr. Marcus. To transport key personnel between these facilities and Raccoon City was a set of privately owned railtracks by Umbrella. Their special transport train, the Ecliptic Express, made daily trips through Raccoon Forest and beyond. In addition to these two facilities, Umbrella also had dealings with a little-known hospital that was situated in the forest. Unlike Raccoon General Hospital which was built in downtown Raccoon City in 1992, this small facility was decades old and was the original place of treatment for Raccoon citizens. However, when the city's major hospital was built as part of Mayor Michael Warren's 'Bright 21st Century Raccoon' plan, the old Arklay hospital fell into decline, with most patients choosing to be treated in a brand new state of the art hospital in the centre of town rather than having to travel outside of the city and into the forest. This was when Umbrella decided to step in and in 1993 were responsible for illegal medical experiments performed on many of the patients still admitted there. They operated under the alias 'Drugs Inc.' and passed themselves off as a small and insignificant medical firm. Only the hospital's Chief Administrator, Albert Lester, was aware that Umbrella was involved. Albert was easily manipulated as his wife was suffering from cancer at the time and illegal products Umbrella were offering, including experimental strains of the T-Virus, promised to aid her recovery.

Initally the tests went well, and several patients including Al's wife Dorothy, responded well to treatment. But eventually the virus took its toll on the patients and all human comprehension was lost.

The experiments were covered up and friends and relatives were told that the patients had died either hrough illness or surgery. But after too many patients were lost, the citizens began to suspect something was amiss and began protesting at the hospital gates. Eventually the local media got involved and the Daily Raccoon sent Kurt, a colleague of staff writer Alyssa Ashcroft, out to investigate. However, Kurt was denied access to the hospital and no staff members were willing to give comments or interviews. His background checks failed to turn up anything significant about 'Drugs Inc.' or its products. Simultaneously, the RPD had also begun a discreet investigation into the importing of drugs to the hospital but police chief Brian Irons, whom Umbrella had very recently acquired onto their payroll, ensured that there was no way to trace anything back to the corporation.

Following weeks of frustration, Kurt travelled to the hospital in the middle of the night in attempt to break inside to try and obtain proof of any wrongdoings. However, soon after infiltrating the facility, he was attacked and killed by Al Lester's infected wife, Dorothy. Kurt's death forced the RPD investigation team into action but Brian Irons was able to stall the police team long enough for Umbrella to withdraw themselves from the
entire episode. He even made sure that Kurt's death and the illegal drug imports were quietly forgotten and eventually the investigation was suspended due to lack of evidence. Realising they had had a lucky escape, Umbrella closed the hospital down and the staff members were either paid off or transferred away from Raccoon City.

In the following years, reports of missing persons and accidents in the Arklay Mountains began to increase. High altitude fog meant that many of the paths were closed during the winter season and on Halloween night 1996 a gruesome discovery was made when the decomposed corpse of a male was found washed up on the shores of the Aimes River. Powerful steroids and other drugs were found inside the body but the police were not surprised as the river had long been used as a dumping ground by local pharmaceutical companies.

In 1998, Albert Lester returned to Raccoon City five years after he had left following the death of his wife. He visited the site of the old hospital and found a curious plant growing in the basement. The plant had been infected by the T-Virus from the remains of the 1993 experiments. Al became facinated by the plant and saw it as a reincarnation of Dorothy. He would go hunting in the woods and bring back birds, dogs and other local animals to feed her. As he becomes more and more delusional, he begins to don a mask and begins murdering humans as a food source for the plant. Rumours began to circle in the local press that a ghost was haunting the mountains.

The biggest distraction however, came with the T-Virus leak at the Spencer Mansion on May 11th. In the following weeks reports began coming in depicting strange dog-like creatures roaming the woods and more andmore people venturing into the forest for a walk or a run were not coming back. But the media circus only attracted more people to the region eager to see for themselves what all the fuss was about. On May 20th a man walking the banks of the Marble River finds the mutilated remains of a female hiker on the shores. This was the first of several serious incidents which resulted in the road leading into the foothills being blocked off by police.

On July 9th the S.T.A.R.S. Special Force teams began their investigation into the incidents but they expected great difficulty due to the vast size of the Arklay Mountains and primeval forest area.

Following the aftermath of the mansion incident, Umbrella conducted a very discreet investigation into the remnants of the mansion wreckage and surrounding forest area. One of the lead supervisors in the investigation was U.B.C.S. Commander Nicholai Ginovaef and in the week and a half following the explosion, Umbrella's forensic teams and viral specialists combed every small area of the vast forest region around the mansion and by August 5th concluded that there were no signs of viral leakage in the surrounding area, though the forest must contine to be monitored closely with extreme caution. The body of their secret operative, Albert Wesker, was also not recovered. Despite the S.T.A.R.S. members writing in their reports that they had witnessed Wesker die at the hands of the Tyrant 002 in the lab, no trace of any remains have been located. This was the first subtle clue to those high up in Umbrella that Wesker could actually still be alive.

As the summer months rolled on strange creatures were again sighted in the woods as the T-virus slowly seeped into the city following leaks at the Dead Factory on the outskirts of town.

In early September the hooded figure of Albert Lester was witnessed by local hikers and was it was reported in the local press that a ghost was haunting the woods, with residents believing it was th spirit of a patient from the old hospital. A week later campers reported sightings of an enourmous insect-like creature residing in the forest and these reports created great debate among professors at Raccoon university who professed that no such creature could possibly exist.

During the T-Virus disaster at Raccoon City a group of survivors made it out into the woods where they met Albert Lester in his cabin. He led them down to the remains of the local hospital and then stalked them with his axe, hoping to feed them to the Dorothy plant.

The Arklay Mountains were desecrated following the tactical nuclear strike upon the city on October 1st 1998.

NOTABLE LOCATIONS:

The Raccoon Dam:
provideed the water supply to Raccoon City and is located near to the old Water Treatment Facility situated on the outskirts of Raccoon City near the Training Facility. The Damn connects to both Victory Lake and the Circular River.
Circular River is the main waterflow and flowed right through the heart of Raccoon City covering both the northern and southern regions. To the north the river branched off towards the Lynn Valley.

Victory Lake:
was a popular tourist hotspot for nature lovers. During the T-Virus outbreak of summer 1998, two corpses were discovered on the lake shoreline, mauled to death by Cerberus dogs.

The Management Training Facility:
Opened by Umbrella in the late sixties and ran for ten years under Dr. James Marcus until it closed abruptly in 1978. It has been abandoned since then.

The Medez River:
Flowed from the Western Arklay Mountains region, connecting to the outskirts of Raccoon City via its shipping docks. Not long before the outbreak, a 39-year old man was found dead on the banks of the Mendez, having been attacked and severely mutilated not long before his discovery. An unidentified man was found wandering the vicinity close to the body, covered in blood and unresponsive. The R.P.D. arrested the man and transferred him back to the Precinct for questioning.

The Spencer Estate:
Was constructed in 1962 and completed in 1967. It was the home of Ozwell E. Spencer and was the birthplace for many of Umbrella's horrors over the years.

The Aimes River:
Was located near several major hiking and campting paths surrounding the Arklay Mountains. Various small streams break away from the Aimes, leading those planning on staying in close proximity to its banks sometimes lost much deeper within Raccoon Forest. Many of the distress calls made by hikers and campers new to the Arklay region are as a result of the Aimes River's complex structure.

Because the Aimes River was so difficult to supervise, it had long been the favoured dumping ground for illegal chemical and drug companies operating within its vicinity. On October 31st 1996, the body of a man was discovered floating in the Aimes River by campers. The coroner determined that the man had been dead for at least six months prior to his discovery and was so badly decayed that identification was impossible. A high level of various illegal and unidentified drugs were found on the man's body, leading the RPD to suspect the man had been drugged and murdered, but with no apparant motive. The subsequent police investigation that followed was later dropped after it failed to yield any results.

The Abandoned Hospital:
Fell into decline after the construction of Raccoon General Hospital in 1992. It was used for undercover experiments by Umbrella and eventually closed down in 1993.

The Marble River:
Flowed from the Arklay Forest region and ran through Raccoon City's Cedar District. In May 1998,a deceased woman in her early 20's was discovered close to the Marble River. It is believed that this was the first victim to to spark the public's concern regarding a vicious cult operating in the Arklay Mountains and ensuring investigation by the S.T.A.R.S. unit.