In nature, the fungus known as Cordyceps acts as a natural pesticide. That is, in the insect world, Cordyceps can single-handedly destroy an entire ant colony by infected one victim. It works by entering the ant’s system, residing just under the exoskeleton. The first process is to infect the ant, followed by eating all the soft tissue beneath the exoskeleton, sparing the major organs. When the fungus is ready to sporulate it sends chemicals to the ant’s brain, taking the reins and controlling it. The ant climbs the highest plant it can find, clamps down on the stem and dies. The spores burst through the body, spilling down into the colony below to infect the others. The process can take as little as a few days to a couple of weeks.
Cordyceps can be used as a pesticide by farmers or as medicine for certain human ailments.
Dr. Edwin Cunningham, with support from his government, worked on a new strain of Cordyceps with viral properties, rather than fungal. The first run through only made the specimens fatally ill without any spreading through the noninfected. However, Dr. Cunningham’s motivation behind the project were personal rather than political. While the government believe his work was purely for the sake of biological warfare, Cunningham planned on working on a cure for a fatal child-illness that was slowly taking the life of his young niece.
Cordyceps Comes to Gosepl, TX
The border town of Gospel, TX resembled the perfect test subject for the project. Flexing his military muscle, Cunningham recruited local Border Patrol agents to gather illegals in order to continue the project with human specimens rather than lab rats. Each immigrant was promised shelter and amnesty for partaking the research. Sadly, however, non-survive.
What happened in that bunker beneath Gospel never made it to the outside world. The little that is known leaves much to the imagination. It is said Cunningham died testing his cure on himself, but some rumors stated that he was killed by his own staff.
The government denied any knowledge about the project or that the Pentagon was involved. One thing is for certain, however, the aftermath has scarred Gospel and its residents.