Hermes Pharmaceuticals is an international corporation with more than a million employees, and a crucial pillar of its country, partially nationally owned and maintaining that important position despite creating a debt in billions of euros due to the Argeiphontes incident.
At some point, the company's Secret Division was involved in a project concerning Elite development, developing the human brain to surpass the Information Alliance's development of supercomputers and AIs, in response to the Information Alliance's efforts to electronically preserve all forms of culture and civilization, including their holy texts, as mere data. In the process, they reached a conclusion regarding the upper limit of human evolution, a wall which humanity would eventually run into and fail. They subsequently sought a way to break through this wall to prevent stagnation. A pessimistic Level 6 classification report was produced on the matter and a copy was kept by Veneto Dandelion in the safe on his private cruiser.
Argeiphontes (アルゲイフォンテス Arugeifontesu) is an infamous chemical weapon developed as the primary component of a riot suppression gas for Faith Organization special police. Originally intended to be non-lethal, it proved to be far more powerful than anticipated with 99.8% death rate, exceeding that of mustard gas. Breathing in even a small amount of Argeiphontes will take out the body's autonomic nervous system and cause the body's temperature to exceed 42 degrees within an hour, with stomach pumping and dialysis not working. The effects will begin almost immediately after inhalation.
With the pharmaceutical company colluding with the central ethics board, they began accepting reports from computer simulation tests while foregoing clinical trials to cut costs, which led to the lethality of Argeiphontes not being known until rioters started dropping like flies. Having developed the gas, Hermes has also developed an antidote, however as that area of research wasn't their main focus, they didn't mass produce the antidote and only had enough in stock for a few dozen people at most. The formula for the antidote held by Veneto Dandelion was stored on a card, something like 3D printer designs rather than the antidote itself.
Among the various issues after the initial development of Argeiphontes, an interesting effect was found in addition to the poison gas aspect, one which Hermes believed might hold the key to breaking through humanity's upper limit.
Two years ago, Hermes Pharmaceuticals provided the Argeiphontes to the Faith Organization special police as a riot suppression gas, having only carried out computer simulations rather than clinical trials to cut costs. When the gas was put into use, rioters began to die as a result of exposure. It took time to prove the link between the 'accidental' deaths and the gas rounds, and the response was delayed due to the collusion between the company and the central ethics board, leading to the number of deaths growing. The use of Argeiphontes resulted in over 15,000 deaths in Faith Organization safe countries around Rome and Athens, with most of the victims within the two cities.
Among the victims were a number of VIPs and wealthy individuals, including Elizabeth Schnozzle. She and several others managed to survive by secretly paying Hermes large sums of money, donating to a bank account via a complex route, in exchange for the antidote.
After observing an interest effect of the Argeiphontes, which they believed might hold the key to breaking through humanity's upper limit, Hermes sought to find a case of someone overcoming the Argeiphontes without the aid of the antidote, eventually leading to the incident at Second Venice. The Elite of the Dionysus, linked to Hermes, was denied the right to take this challenge and given the antidote.
On the fifth day of the blockade of Second Venice, Hermes Pharmaceuticals were holding a party at the nearby Olive Garden. After slipping past the blockade and extracting information from the Argeiphontes survivor Elizabeth Schnozzle, who was also at the Olive Garden's casinos, Quenser and Heivia interrupted the party and forcefully obtained the antidote from Veneto Dandelion, which Catherine Blueangel needed to survive.
On the sixth day, the Dionysus linked to Kerukeion and Hermes attacked the group in order to prevent them from bringing the antidote back to Second Venice, so that Catherine's fate could be observed in the hopes of providing the result Hermes wanted.
- Veneto Dandelion (chemical developer)
- The gas weapon Argeiphontes is named after one of Hermes's epithets. Argeiphontes, meaning 'slayer of Argus', is derived from Hermes killing the hundred-eyed giant Argus Panoptes.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 4 Part 8
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 5 Part 1
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 5 Part 8
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 6 Part 2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 6 Part 3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 5 Part 9
- ↑ Heavy Object: 0.01mm War Chapter 5 Part 4