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The title of this page is conjectural due to the lack of an official name, and thus is subject to change if an official name (or one that better describes it) is found.
|“|| "How do we help her?"|
"I don't know. When it's Wolfsbane poisoning, you burn it out. But I don't know anything about mercury-- especially a kind that has probably been altered by them."
Modified Mercury is a metallic silver serum created by the Dread Doctors whose main ingredient is implied to be mercury that has been modified by the Doctors in unknown ways. The Doctors used this substance to turn humans with genetic chimerism (i.e. humans with two sets of DNA as a result of an organ or tissue transplant or fetal resorption syndrome) into unnatural/pseudo-supernatural hybrid creatures known as Chimeras. The Doctors would transform these humans by giving them regular injections of the substance over time, an infusion which, on occasion, would cause the Chimera in question to develop silver nictitious membranes over their eyes (also known as a third eyelid, a trait common in reptiles) as well.
Afterward, the Dread Doctors would use their Memory Manipulation powers to erase their memories of this process and would eventually bury the Chimeras in the ground as a sort of incubation period. After the newly-turned Chimera dug themselves out of their own graves, they would receive one last injection of Modified Mercury to complete the transformation. Using their special goggles, which hone onto a unnatural or supernatural creature's unique frequency, the Doctors would then monitor the Chimera's progress, as they believed the test subjects who rejected this transformation would corrupt the experiment. The Chimeras who rejected this transformation would begin to bleed copious amounts of the Modified Mercury that was injected into their bodies from their eyes, nose, mouth, and/or any open wounds, which would ultimately end with the Dread Doctors killing them.
In addition to using this Modified Mercury to create Chimeras, the Dread Doctors also, on two occasions, injected Chimeras with an overdose of the substance in order to kill them when it became obvious that they were "failures;" this overdose killed the Werewolf-Kanima Chimera Tracy Stewart immediately, whereas the Werewolf-Werejaguar Chimera Hayden Romero survived for almost twenty-four hours before she died from it as well, indicating that perhaps a difference in the strength of their rapid healing factor played a role in how well their bodies tolerated it.
- Though numerous characters have referred to the serum as mercury, it is unknown if it actually contains mercury, or if it was just named as such as a result of its thick, liquid metallic-silver appearance. In real life, mercury is such a toxic substance that no one would be able to survive it in the dosages given to the Chimeras by the Dread Doctors. There are several possible explanations for this: one is that the serum may not actually contain mercury, and the second is that it may contain mercury, but has simply been modified so that it would not be toxic to their test subjects.
- The fact that the chelation therapy performed on Hayden Romero by Melissa McCall, a treatment that is meant to filter heavy metals from the blood, did not work seems to suggest that mercury is not actually present in the substance, but this could also be due to the modifications made to the serum by the Doctors.
- Interestingly enough, the Ouroboros, a symbol used by the Dread Doctors, represents the spirit of Mercury, an element that signifies continuous renewal, the cycle of life and death, and the harmony of opposites, suggesting that Mercury could indeed be present in this serum. The symbolism of Mercury with regards to this serum could be a nod to the fact that the Chimeras all have accelerated healing abilities that have allowed them to survive injuries and illnesses that would have killed normal humans, and could also relate to another serum created by the Dread Doctors that is capable of resurrecting the dead, even those who were killed by overdoses of the Modified Mercury such as Hayden Romero and Tracy Stewart.