"Oh sure, they [BioLogic] hired me to make monsters... I did them one better. I created Red." -- Dr. Vladimir Johnathan Stokes
In the aftermath of the loss of the Echidna Project by BioLogic, the company was on its last legs. Appra had virtually guaranteed the demise of the project, and the only specimens and data left were unusable (defective) E-Series breeders and limited data regarding the Echidna strains themselves. Anxious to make some use - any use - of the data for the sake of the next-generation bio-weapons project being hosted by Renalia in a few short months, BioLogic threw everything it had into one of the original concepts that the Echidna project considered - developing a combat-based unit. Rather than resort to simple genetic manipulation of subjects, or the advanced genetic and cybernetic constructs that are EVOs, the R-Series was predominantly intended to be simple, if tailor-built monsters, capable of being air-dropped into a hot-zone where they would then proceed to wreak havoc.
Originally developed in prior to the Red Zone Fallout, the R-Series project began immediate development, headed by project leads Dr. Stokes and Dr. Hanos, both top of their fields in biology and bioweaponry. Development began almost immediately after the lab team arrived at their assigned lab in what is now known as the Red Zone.
The project first began following Dr. Hanos's direction; making use of the retroviruses and E-Series genetic material they acquired from a Generation 6 E-Series that they had in their possession, as well as DNA and RNA from various insects and lizards, to create a sort of transformative serum. Preliminary results with this method were... catastrophic, to say the least. Of the original 20 volunteers provided as test subjects for the serum, only 7 survived the primary transformative process, the remaining 7 whom did survive transformed into mindless beasts, the prototypical R-Series. After a full year and three different revisions of his formula, Dr. Hanos's method had only made slight steps forward, something that the investors were not proud of. Disappointed with the group's progress, BioLogic dismissed Hanos, sending him off to another lab to work before placing Dr. Stokes in charge.
Under Stokes's direction, the project took a much different turn; rather than apply the retrovirals to an already full grown specimen, his method involved introducing them at a much earlier stage in life: conception. Using an Retroviral infected E-Series ovum provided by unit 26, Stokes inseminated it before replacing it within the stasis'd E-Series. Within a few days, thanks to the rapid onset of pregnancy that is common in an E-Series, the half developed fetus was then surgically removed from 26, before being placed within a development tank where it's growth could be controlled and monitored. Within half a year, the fetus soon began to reach full development, though Stokes himself urged for a slower development cycle to better control the R-Series's growth and ensure his brain was properly developed.
Under Stokes' advisement, a battery of similar tests was also done - though on a much larger scale - with other ovums in development to determine possible development pathways. Many of these were successful in creating creatures that met with BioLogic's pre-requisites for a combat organism, including a number of creatures that were immediately put into low-level production for deployment using cranial implants. Stokes' work was primarily focused upon the R-Series embryo harvested from Unit 26.
BioLogic suffered a number of issues as the project was under research. By this point, the company was in dire straights, and only the development of the first battery of viable R-Series organisms proved to keep them in the green financially. The creatures proved extremely effective when used as terror units; initial created creatures using the R-Series template included the Scavenger (a small pack hunter developed from Rat genomes intended to work as a scout and swarm unit), and the Brute (a large creature developed from Ape genomes intended as a line-breaker). With both creatures extremely successful, Stokes earned considerable praise and wound up with significantly more funding and research. Experimentation into the applications of the retroviral injections and growth rates were improved and new creatures fitting specific templates, with additional capabilities and intelligence came faster and faster.
A problem occurred later when a new test organism, known as the Seeker (a man-sized creature intended as an extended ops unit) had a critical flaw. All of the R-Series organisms created by Stokes' lab were male to prevent them from breeding if escaping into the wild. Unfortunately, the Seeker, based on reptilian DNA, proved to be genetically unstable. Though the project was cancelled, a shipment of Seekers was nonetheless acquired by BioLogic, and in transport for disposal, the creatures escaped into the wild and began breeding at an alarming rate. The situation was eventually resolved, but not without burning down an entire hab-complex the creatures had turned into a nest.
Research into the Seeker incident yielded a surprising find: that their brain functions were much more advanced than thought. The creatures had a complex social structure - a true eusociality, not unlike mole rats, with their pack mentality simply a natural evolution of this.
To say that an R-Series is hard to kill is perhaps the understatement of the century; their high pain tolerance, coupled with their regeneration that vastly outspeeds an E-Series, a single R-Series is very likely to devestate an entire squad before being put down. That said, while an R-Series is very hard to kill, induvidually, a single organism is rather foolish, and can be baited into a trap due to it's inherent desire for bloodlust, allowing it to be shot with impunity. It is currently not known how a pack of R-Series Organisms would act, though due to Red's apparent skills in leadership, as well as following orders, it can logically be assumed that a group of R-Series would form a pack mentality with a commanding unit.
Common traits of the R-Series vary depending upon the process used to create it. Invitro R-Series commonly have rows of sharp teeth, a cross between basic human teeth and shark teeth, blood red eyes and hair, an inherent love of battle, and a hyperactive metabolism.
One of the most strangely apparent traits within an R-Series, based upon the behavior of Red, is an almost possessive, protective tendency when it comes to the nature of those that an R-Series sees as it's family. Should a family (or pack) member come under assault. This mentality is not exlusive to other R-Series organisms; Red, for instance, is known to view Monique and indeed, his squad members in the same light. This is common to other R-Series organisms the group has also encountered, such as Tabitha Grange and Davise.