Before the Events of The Division
Amherst had a reputation as being a controversial and dangerous individual even before the outbreak of the Dollar Flu, causing riots at lectures he would hold and being considered an unpopular figure by virologists Dr. Jessica Kendel and Dr. Vitaly Tchernenko.
Believing that mankind is the greatest threat to the survival of the planet, Amherst "realizes" that the cause behind mankind's destruction of the planet is their own greed. Convincing himself that action must be taken, Amherst acquires samples of several viruses and sets to work on creating his own "super-bug". He combines the smallpox virus with other dangerous viral diseases like
- Swine flu.
He even modified the genetic traits that controlled the incubation and communicability of the disease, Amherst's final step was to use a protein printer to create the final form of his virus just in time for Black Friday; the biggest commercial shopping "holiday" in the United States.
Amherst's first and primary target was the New York department store Abel's, which on Black Friday was filled with customers. ECHO recordings show Amherst stopping at several stores passing along infected $20 bills to the cashiers in crowded shops. Without realizing it, these men and women were undoubtedly the first victims of the Dollar Flu in New York City. Over the course of the day, these bills were transferred to other New York residents as change, from there spreading the Dollar Flu to the rest of Manhattan, and from there the Five Boroughs. Due to the highly infectious nature of the Dollar Flu, it was more than likely that it was only hours later that the first airplanes bearing Dollar Flu-infected passengers lifted off from La Guardia airport.
The Events of The Division
From this point, Amherst disappeared. Any trace of his existence after the initial outbreak vanished, with the Second Wave of the Division desperately trying to find him before any more damage could be done and to have the "good" doctor to explain what he did, and a way to stop the disease; due to its genetic makeup, Dollar Flu was highly mutative, and therefore resistant to treatment. From across New York finding Amherst, as well as any information on the Dollar Flu, was priority one. Even after the largest criminal groups across Manhattan were defeated, the JTF was still fearful of the infectious power of the Dollar Flu.
Eventually, Amherst's eventual fate is found. Only a short time into the Outbreak, Amherst succumbs to his own creation. His body is found in an apartment building only a few hundred yards from the CERA outpost on the Hudson River, where the first Second Wave agents first arrive at Manhattan. Despite finally finding Amherst however, the entire search was a failure when the ECHO log inside the building revealed that rogue agent Aaron Keener had not only secured Amherst's research notes, but his functioning protein printer as well.
Events of The Division 2
By the events of Division 2, the Dollar Flu was either mostly vaccinated against or had mostly burned itself out after spreading across the world. However, the U.S. government funded a chemical treatment meant to burn out the virus called DC-62. An unforeseen side effect was that when the DC-62 combined with the leftover virus samples and created an extremely toxic chemical substance which then inhaled can cause severe burns and is extremely lethal to even be in proximity to due to its high toxicity.
The new toxin was heavily weaponized into chemical weapons by the True Sons, a jingoist paramilitary group trying to establish a fascist rule across Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the leader of the Outcasts, Emmeline Shaw was an asymptomatic carrier of the Dollar Flu. She used this to gain vengeance on the uninfected by making her followers use her blood to try to infect the uninfected and "punish them".
In creating the Dollar Flu, Amherst believed he was acting in the best interests of the planet, and in fact mankind. Believing in a Darwinist outcome of his virus being released, Amherst was willing and unconcerned with his own death when it came to finding his body. Instead, Amherst accepted that his death may come from his own creation.
From what can be pieced together, Amherst was a calm, collected man who knew exactly what he was doing. He realized that the Dollar Flu would kill millions, and that he would deserve his death if he did fall to it. His final words in the game are, "I'll see you in Hell."
Equipment and Abilities
- Genius-level Intellect: Dr. Gordon Amherst was a brilliant virologist and an expert genetic engineer. He was able to acquire digitized samples of various pathogens and viruses to create his own "Superbug". With enough research and dedication to his work, Dr. Gordon Amherst was able to genetically engineer a powerful plague called the Green Poison a.k.a the Dollar Flu.
- Dr. Amherst's Equipment: Dr. Gordon Amherst possessed many research notes on viruses, plagues and pathogens. He even possessed a self-made 3-D protein printer of his own creation. After his death at the hands of his own creation, some the later, the rogue agent Aaron Keener stole his equipment.