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|“||When we hunt, we kill!
No one is safe!
Nothing is sacred!
We are Blackwatch!
We are the last line of defense!
We will burn our own to hold the red line; it is the last line to ever hold!
|~ The Blackwatch creed.|
Blackwatch is a military force and the main antagonistic faction in the Prototype videogame series. The organisation was established in 1962 by DARPA and the Department of the Army to research and develop biological weaponry for use against foreign powers. Following operation ALTRUISTIC, Blackwatch’s goal was changed. It is now: detect, conceal, and prevent out breaks of unknown viruses - both man-modified and natural - on American soil.
Officially, Blackwatch does not exist - it is a black operations unit that is given free reign when it comes to containing viral outbreaks. The organization has access to vast stockpiles of military arsenal and experimental technologies, in addition to controlling the most refined information control technologies, vital to preserving the ignorance of the American public. However, following the initial Manhattan outbreak, they became publicly known, though the extent of their atrocities remains a well-kept secret.
Furthermore, they have full authority over American military forces and local police when it comes to biological warfare - they can request any information and any amount of military forces to serve under their command, as exemplified by their use of United States Marine Corps on Manhattan Island.
Each member of the organization is single-mindedly dedicated to its goal and fully believes that it justifies the means, no matter how distasteful they are. As such, Blackwatch soldiers will execute infected humans without hesitation, use area of effect weapons in urban areas and deploy heavy armor and gunships in crowded areas just to destroy a single Runner.
They will also not hesitate to firebomb city blocks just to suppress the infection, regardless of other military and civilian presence. Some members have even been noted as possessing a cruel and sadistic glee while doing so. This approach earns them the ire of any jointly deployed military forces, who usually consider them gung-ho, tyrants and bloodthirsty psychopaths.
In the year following the initial outbreak in Manhattan and during the second outbreak, Blackwatch has descended into even further amoral actions and methods, performing such atrocities as kidnapping innocent civilians for Gentek's experiments, many of which consisted of simply locking them in rooms with particularly vicious forms of Infected and watching them get torn apart. Additionally, Blackwatch showed clear disregard for the lives of regular military personnel once more, frequently sending United States Marines on downright suicidal missions in the form of pointless patrols.
The Blackboxes Heller found throughout New York Zero included recordings of even further unethical activities, including a Blackwatch soldier shooting an autistic boy, simply because he would not speak when asked to in order to prove that he was not infected. Another recorded a Blackwatch soldier shooting a woman immediately after warning her he was authorized to use lethal force if she did not step back and being unhelpful despite the woman stating she was merely looking for her boyfriend, while yet another recorded Colonel Rooks threatening to discipline a soldier over saving a woman from being raped, regarding his actions as merely the equivalent of saving a cow or lab rat. A recording of Colonel Rooks had him explicitly stating that it was not their responsibility to police the refugees, even when they started killing each other, while another had him rather indifferent to the existence of a brothel established to serve the Blackwatch troopers. There was also a recording of an officer berating a subordinate for accidentally shooting an entire family, not on moral or ethical grounds, but because he was wasting ammo by doing so.
In 1962, Project Blackwatch was established to develop biological weaponry for use against foreign powers and specific ethnicities. In 1963, they discovered an ancient chimeric virus that radically changed the genetic code of those infected with it. This started the Carnival I project which involved experimenting with animals using the virus to see if it was suitable for human experimentation. The virus was eventually named REDLIGHT, and the results were remarkable, as all animals infected (which included mainly chimpanzees and mice) had some radical beneficial development such as increased strength or intelligence without any harmful side effects.
After the success of Carnival I, Blackwatch opted to test out the Blacklight virus on humans. For this purpose, they created an artificial town in Idaho filled with a cross-section of ethnicities and backgrounds. The cover story was that it was a military experiment to test self-sufficient towns in case of a nuclear war. The virus was disguised as a "harmless" solution simulating fallout and the townsfolk eagerly participated in the tests, literally "rolling up their sleeves" for the researchers to inject them with the substance.
Formally, Carnival II began on June 11, 1964. As part of it, 461 subjects were infected with a variant of Redlight. Initially, the results were nonexistent - unlike Carnival I chimps, humans did not exhibit any immediate changes or alterations. It was not until 1965 and the birth of the first of the so-called "Hope Children" that the effect of the virus manifested, and half of the people infected died from the virus. The experiment continued, even though most of the town was infected. It was not until the untimely death of the last of the Hope Children that the situation became critical, after 998 days without an outbreak and the infected townspeople became hostile, controlled by the only perfect genetic match for the virus: Elizabeth Greene.
Approximately 7 years later in 1969, in response to the outbreak Operation ALTRUISTIC began. Blackwatch fought the Infected, liquidated everyone and tracked the Walkers (the official designated name for infected people) in a hospital where they were protecting Elizabeth as she was giving birth to her son. Blackwatch broke in, killed the Walkers and took Greene and her son (codenamed: PARIAH) as military assets. The town was then shelled and subsequently nuked to prevent the infection from spreading and to preserve the secret of the existence of the Redlight virus and Blackwatch. ALTRUISTIC also recovered the bodies of the Hope Children, but it is unknown if anything else was salvaged.
This series of events prompted the start of Project BLACKLIGHT, which centred around the study of the Redlight virus with the goal of finding out how the Redlight Virus worked and even possibly modifying it to make it deadlier. Greene was the primary test subject, unlike the other Infected, which were rendered insane and only responded to basic instincts, she was able to withstand the virus and produce a new strain (one of 14 discovered) that, among other things, made her an immortal factory of lethal viruses. She was transferred to a top-secret facility in New York City where she was studied for 40 years in an attempt to unlock the secrets of the Redlight virus.
39 years later in 2008, Alex Mercer, a disgruntled high-level geneticist and researcher working for Gentek committed the ultimate act of terrorism and released the Blacklight virus in New York City. Due to an investigation of the activities of Blackwatch by Mercer, Blackwatch decided to purge Gentek of all scientists associated with the Blacklight virus. When Mercer learnt of this he tried to escape New York by train but was cornered by Blackwatch field agents but unknown to them he brought "insurance" and unleashed a Blacklight sample into Penn Station before he was gunned down. The virus rapidly spread to nearly everyone in the train station and within hours everyone infected died from the effects of the virus, except Alex Mercer. As he was being transported in a body bag the virus was reconstructing his body, cell by cell; his biological matter feeding the virus as it replicated the still-living matter it had infected.
Mercer woke up and escaped wreaking mayhem as he went trying to find his lost memories. The virus also gave him superhuman abilities and the power to shapeshift into whoever he desired, including people he had recently consumed along with retrieving valuable information from the minds consumed people, which allowed him find Greene's location and for whatever reason, he decided to release her from her containment cell. Upon release she began infecting New York with a new strain of the Redlight virus, so powerful it made the Carnival II strain look like the common cold.
14 months after the first outbreak in New York, another outbreak had surfaced when Alex Mercer returned to Manhattan and purposely released his own strains of the virus again. Where Blackwatch once again had been deployed back into New York and had claimed "Martial Law", causing separation between three main sectors from them and the now known "Mercer Virus"; this only caused the virus to quickly spread, with the last outbreak making New York Alex Mercer's playground.