Lady Spring
rating: +4+x
Item: Lady Spring
Size: 16.4 m (grows at an average of 0.4 m a year)
Type: Healing Plant Life
Potential/Current Hazards High occurrence of poisonous fruit potentially outweigh advanced healing
Living: Yes
Sentient: No
Reported Anomaly: Regeneration

Usage

Rationing has been suspended. All personnel must now file a request and waiver from IRUC base Command to retrieve a sample of the Item's fruit.

Any personnel reported to attempt growing plants from the fruit's seeds will be removed from Base Six-One's detail.
strange_trees.jpg
Lady Spring, 2014

Fruits grown by Lady Spring are to be handpicked every harvest month by Sigma operatives, and sent to inspection crews, where their edibility is certified. As only a few fruits are guaranteed to be safe (around 1-2 per 100 fruits, with a 91% margin of error), consumption is at the discretion of the personnel.

In the event of a bad fruit being consumed, the affected personnel must report to IRUC authorities, where they will be euthanized at any time of their choosing. Personnel from Outpost-61A are to observe any change to Lady Spring

Report

Lady Spring is a deciduous tree that bears fruit with regenerative qualities. Certain features of the tree resemble a human female figure (see Appendix).

Fruit picked from the tree resembles pomegranate, and was proven highly nutritious when tested by the agents that first approached the Item. When consumed, human subjects exhibited above-average cellular repair of damaged tissue. Broken bones are healed within a matter of minutes, while scar tissue and skin wounds disappear almost instantaneously. Diseases are wiped out of the body in about twenty minutes. Even damage to the brain and other organs is reversed when the fruit is eaten for a period of weeks. Only terminal illnesses and injuries caused by anomalous means seem unaffected by the consumption of the Item's fruit.

However, an estimated 83.6% of subjects that consume the fruit slowly succumb to a form of gangrene accumulation in the organs after initial ingestion. This process takes at least three weeks to kill a subject, and the body rapidly disintegrates upon death. As this happens, the immediate ground surrounding Lady Spring is reported to shake lightly as the tree leaks white sap from its orifices.

Additionally, a synthetic species of parasitic plant life derives sustenance from the tree's sap and bark, invading the branches and replacing the leaves and bark around it with itself. Eventually, sites of infestation harden and break off into new areas to start anew through spores.

Lady Spring blooms irregularly while fruit is harvested biennially during March and October, with a yield of about one bushel (about 100 healthy samples) for each harvest.


Appendix (History)

The tree resembles Elise McGenalli, an operative that was involved in the capture of the Brune entity in 2007 and was terminated by the Insurgency in 2011 for insubordination. Elise McGenalli was diagnosed with a terminal illness from exposure to another anomaly in 2009, and was expected to die within twelve days when an incident occurred between her, a defector and security officers in March 2011.

The operative was a Special Asset codenamed as 'Ivy Huntress', serving as part of Teal Division from 2006 until her death. She displayed a few questionable actions during her service, most involved her pacifism and unwillingness to terminate low-threat entities with nature-based abilities. Despite this issue, she performed satisfactorily to her mission statement until the defection of one of her fellow operatives.

The defection was discovered during a theft of intelligence from Base Six-One's secure server, and was carried out by a single defector from Teal Division. Security was alerted and was dispatched after the defector. Concurrently, hostiles breached the storage wing, setting free the Brune entity. This coincided with their sabotage of the Base's biology lab, exposing the entire sector to a highly aggressive form of the Sporal Contagion.

Base Six-One's sole sterilization team was sent with the remaining security in PPE to contain the spread of the fungus, which had enveloped 10 researchers in the initial outbreak. With the base's defense spread thin between combating the hostiles, pacifying the Brune spirit and containing the contagion, the rest of Six-One's Teal unit was mobilized, tasked to hunt for the missing defector.

Operative McGenalli found the defector escorting the Brune entity from base security, already apparently exposed to the spirit's ability. This was evident when McGenalli fired at the defector, wounding him, only for his wounds to heal after a few moments. McGenalli attempted to attack again, but was intercepted by hostile forces and was forced to flee. Teal Captain 'Mussel' ordered the operative to regroup with her team, as they were taking casualties from both the enemy agents and the contagion.

Mussel and McGenalli successfully fended off the breachers enough to establish a safe area, where they tended to the wounded, which numbered to about fifty at that time. It was here that Site Command was regrouped and formulated a defense plan. Ivy Huntress, along with the remaining able Teal units, was ordered to find the defector, as sensitive site intelligence was reported stolen and had to be retrieved. Mussel theorized that the defector was a SEPIA agent, and that the most probable escape route was the east wing, where the breach started. Command ordered them to proceed there.

The team encountered infected hostiles along the way, and were forced to split up. Ivy Huntress was injured by an infectee. Ivy Huntress, Mussel and agent 'Bernstein' found the defector with the Brune entity, both already at Stage 2 of the latter's effects, granting them resistance to weapons fire. The three forwent standard arms and resorted to their abilities. Bernstein was injured and killed during the fight.

Mussel and Ivy Huntress overpowered both assailants, though Mussel was rendered incapacitated by the defector at the last moment. The remaining agent, Ivy Huntress, terminated the Brune entity, but was unable to kill the defector, who revealed his identity to McGenalli as a childhood friend. This left McGenalli deliberating, as the other team radioed in about their critical condition, already losing five of their eight agents.

Ultimately, her indecision cost McGenalli her life. The defector was shot down by agent Lindstrom, who was injured by Elise in an act of defiance. Agent Lindstrom was able to kill McGenalli, who retrieved her body after the breach, which had been successfully contained.

In a post-mortem field examination conducted by Dr. Laine, McGenalli's corpse was found to be in pristine condition, despite being wounded by agent Lindstrom's shots. This was reported to IRUC command. Dr. Laine later found out that McGenalli was infected by the sporal contagion, when he discovered that the pathogen did not act normally, but did not contact IRUC. As he found out, the fungus was interacting with foreign tissue in McGenalli's body, identical to that from the Brune entity.

He later confirmed cross-contamination between the Sporal Contagion and the Brune Entity's regenerative qualities manifesting inside the corpse of Elise McGenalli, keeping her body in a preserved state, albeit slowly. Dissatisfied with the progress, Dr. Laine was ordered by IRUC to inject a sample of Sporal Contagion into McGenalli's corpse. The result was a much faster rate of regeneration.

However, after Laine showed signs of the fungus' infection after a few days, followed by death from gangrene infection, McGenalli's body was incinerated1 and was to be buried in an isolated area near Outpost-61A. Under a proposal made by Dr. Laine before his death, the remains of the Brune Entity was to be buried with the corpse.

Shortly before the burial, however, McGenalli's corpse began sprouting plant-like growths. She was held in observation for 24 hours, where her corpse was slowly being disfigured by an unknown cause, twisting her body into resembling a young sapling. Bark grew on the corpse's skin, eventually covering it, while roots began developing on the feet. IRUC Command was notified, and ordered that this corpse was to be planted upright on the soil at the burial site.

After four months, Outpost-61A reported fruit from the growing tree where McGenalli was planted. A research team was sent, and after initial testing, the tree was classified as an Item, and was given the designation of Lady Spring.


Note:

Sap was tested by our research team last week. It is edible. Our agent reports a sense of improved well-being and vitality with matching physical results, though nothing as profound as the fruit's healing potential. We are still testing for 'bad' sap, if it shares the same risk of death as with the fruit. If drinking the sap became a safer, if not diminished, alternative of eating the fruit, we will still need personnel to die to get the sap to leak out of the tree. But at least we will get a little more sap with every death; that is better than nothing.

More recent statistics of bad fruit incidence place the percentage of dead subjects at 89.4%. Incidence rates when the fruit is consumed seem to increase every March, no matter when the fruit was harvested.

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