|❖ Alchemy ❖|
The Cure-All Elixir (also referred to as the Finished Product) is a variant of the Grand Panacea which grants true immortality to whomever or whatever imbibes it or is otherwise injected with it. Its composition is purportedly different to that of the Grand Panacea, though the differences between the two have yet to be explained.
Of all the various 'failed' or otherwise 'unfinished' by-products of the elixir's research, the most important is one which grants incomplete (imperfect) immortality, i.e. prevention against all manner of death except that of old age. This product is often referred to as the 'failed product' or the 'failed liquor.'
Following the demon summoning on board the Advena Avis in 1711, Szilard secretly listens to Maiza Avaro tell his younger brother Gretto Avaro half of the Grand Panacea's formula. This incomplete knowledge launches the next two centuries' worth of research into the complete immortality liquor as mainly conducted by Szilard's subordinates; since the immortality liquor is only one of many lines of research Szilard pursues, he delegates much of the work involved to others while he pursues his own independent research.
As Szilard distrusts other alchemists, he specifically employs chemists with no knowledge of alchemy to compound the liquor and prevents his own descendants from directly researching the liquor as well. Once the failed liquor is created as a by-product of the elixir research, he begins using it as a alchemy component—most notably as a culture liquid for the cultivation of Homunculi. He additionally gives the flawed product to select humans over the years for various reasons: sometimes to those whom he wants to devour; sometimes to followers to increase their loyalty and/or ensure their protection.
One of these incomplete immortal followers—a congressman—introduces his realtor acquaintance Barnes to Szilard in the early twentieth century, whom Szilard later gives the failed liquor and tasks with employing and overseeing a blender responsible for creating the finished product. Meanwhile, Paula Wilmens is charged with the 'failed product' allocated to Barnes' experiments.
Barnes oversees and changes blenders at regular intervals over the course of twenty years leading up to 1930—ensuring that the blenders who outlive their usefulness meet with fatal accidents—and personally administers their concoctions to white rats. The concoctions are mixed with strong poisons so as to deter the blenders from drinking them; meanwhile, the rats have been modified through Szilard's alchemy to possess "extraordinary powers of propagation" and lifespans of just seven days.
The Prohibition Act significantly impedes the Cure-All Elixir's development in the 1920s, due to the elixir using alcohol as a catalyst; as a consequence of Prohibition, Barnes and his assistants are unable to procure raw materials in bulk or own a large factory, instead conducting their research in BARNES CO. GRANARY. Despite Prohibition's interference, Barnes' latest blender successfully creates the completed Cure-All Elixir in November 1930 or shortly before the month's beginning. Barnes confirms this by administering the product to a three-day-old rat which subsequently stops growing and lives to be more than seven days old.
Thirty-six bottles of the finished product are produced in full, and Barnes gives the blender a large monetary reward while their comrades send word to Szilard of the elixir's completion. The sum goes to the blender's head and makes him a mugging target; he is soon robbed and stabbed to death by a panhandler on the streets of New York City. The day after sees Barnes once again experimenting on the rat—now survived for fifteen days—at his granary, which catches fire accidentally at the hands of Randy and Pezzo.
Barnes manages to escape the conflagration with two of the thirty-six bottles, but Firo Prochainezo later switches out the contents of those two bottles with ordinary alcohol when he rescues Barnes from Dallas Genoard's crew. Firo shares the two bottles with the Martillo Family at his promotion party that night, where all mortals who drink the bottles' contents unwittingly become complete immortals.
At least two other bottles of the finished product survive the conflagration: one is rescued from the granary wreckage by Pietro Gonzales, who drinks its contents assuming it contains alcohol; the other is retrieved from the rubble by Victor Talbot's agents, and is dashed to pieces by Edward Noah in front of Veld and the rest of Szilard's aged followers.
The legacy of the Cure-All Elixir and its primary failed product last beyond 1930 and beyond America. In a certain European country, Szilard's descendants use the failed product as a base for a solution used in the creation of two types of imperfect hive mind homunculi—homunculi who live in the artificial village simulation during the late twentieth and very early twenty-first centuries.
In America, meanwhile, the consequences are more immediate. Paula and her son Mark Wilmens bury a bottle of the incomplete elixir at her husband's grave in November 1930; several days later, Lester—another of Szilard's subordinates—murders her over the missing bottle. Two years later in August 1932, the same bottle makes Lester an incomplete immortal.
Furthermore, at some point prior to 1933, a large amount of the failed product is stolen from Szilard's organization and stockpiled by the Nebula Corporation. Huey Laforet receives the stockpile is in Nebula's New York branch and orders his Larva to steal the product from Mist Wall in September 1933; however, by the time of Larva's raid, Nebula has already made all 1200 Mist Wall employees 'failed immortals' without their consent and Larva subsequently finds no trace of the failed product within the Mist Wall's walls. Nebula continues researching immortality in the meantime, using the failed liquor to that end.
The Gandor Brothers
The Martillo Family
- Molsa Martillo
- Kanshichirou Yaguruma
- Randy and Pezzo
- Firo Prochainezo
- Lia Lin-Shan
- The rest of the Martillo executives, and a few of their family members