Runner is the classification given to a strong viral entity that has escaped Blackwatch confinement. While typically less powerful than Prototypes and Evolved, Runners still pose a serious danger to life, with a select few being nearly powerful enough to be a threat to even Prototypes. These infected individuals are capable of manipulating and spreading the virus they are infected with.
In 1969, the US Military conducted a secret biological weapons research project at the town of Hope, Idaho, using its closed-in citizens as unknowing test subjects. At first, results were going well and were under control; over time, however, the situation spiraled into disaster when the REDLIGHT Virus found its perfect host in Elizabeth Greene, who took control of the rest of the civilians that were infected and attempted to escape. Elizabeth Greene initially broke the first quarantine, becoming the first individual classified by Blackwatch as a Runner.
Ultimately, Elizabeth Greene was captured and detained by Blackwatch, and the infection was stopped.
In the town of Two Bluff, Arizona some years later, a female Runner who had escaped Blackwatch custody utilized the virus in her body to begin a two to three week catastrophe similar to the situation in Hope, Idaho. The Runner managed to infect the entire town; this time, Blackwatch used the skills of an elite soldier, then-Lieutenant Robert Cross, and a small strike team to enter the town and eliminate the Runner. They were successful, killing her and extracting as the infection slowed in effectiveness without a leader. The town was then destroyed shortly after.
During the first outbreak, Blackwatch initially classified Alex Mercer as a Runner, the first male Runner ever encountered due to his breakout of the Gentek morgue. However, they quickly learned he displayed an enormous amount of power, greater than that of any Runner. They later reclassified him as a Prototype when they came to understand the difference in his abilities from that of a Runner.
Although Runners can be classified as a variant of infected, they are wholly different from regular civilians or walkers. Similar to an Evolved, a Runner's intelligence typically remains intact, as well as their physical features.
Little is known about the full extent of their abilities and behavior. Runners possess varying degrees of control over the infection present in their bodies and the bodies of others.
While unable to access the shapeshifting powers available to Prototypes and Evolved, including the ability to use offensive and defensive shapeshifting powers, Runners still possess incredible enhancements to their baseline physical attributes, such as strength, speed, and regeneration, that places them far above humans.
Known Runners Edit
- Elizabeth Greene
- A female Runner who infected the town of Two Bluff, Arizona (Deceased)
- According to Blackwatch intelligence, all known Runners are female. Gentek research seems to conclude that due to genetic differences between genders likely impedes males from developing Runner traits and abilities, making the male gender incompatible with the Runner mutation.
- Though unknown to the public, secretive military research has yielded unsuccessful results in blending the Runner traits with male test subjects, leading Blackwatch officials to often conclude that the above theory is true.