In Sweet Tooth season 2, it is revealed that Gus’ mother, Birdie, was part of Project Midnight Sun, which is responsible for giving birth to Gus, the first hybrid, as well as the virus H5G9.
In the second season of Sweet Tooth, Dr. Singh interrogates Gus to search for a cure to fight the new deadly strain of the virus. Gus is different from other hybrids because he is ten years old, whereas hybrids started showing up nine years ago.
Dr. Singh intends to dig deep into Gus’ history. He convinces Gus that he is a prisoner too, and by helping him, he is helping everybody. Gus is made to stand in the middle of purple flowers that make him hallucinate.
Gus then envisions his past and sees Fort Smith, a place where scientific experiments were being carried out. Gus and Dr. Singh visit the facility and discover a videotape that details what Gus’ mother was up to.
Project Midnight Sun and its mission
The video found by Gus and Dr. Singh features a press conference for Project Midnight Sun, which was headed by Gillian Washington. Gus’ mother, Dr. Gertrude Miller, also known as Birdie, served as the lead scientist for it.
The project had taken inspiration from Dr. James Thacker, a scientist from the UK who suffered from a muscular degenerative disorder. To cure himself, he sailed for the Arctic in 1911 to explore a village where people were rumored to be free of disease and lived for longer.
Gillian’s team went to the same location and studied why these people lived a long and healthy life. Gillian aimed to make humans disease-free and increase their longevity. As explained by Birdie, Gillian’s team examined water, plant, and animal samples.
They excavated ice cores and discovered microbes that could, with the right modifications, supercharge the immune system. They applied these modifications to chickens, and it worked. Thus, they concluded that they can apply the same to humans.
In the video, Birdie also reveals that they accidentally ended up giving birth to an animal-human hybrid while doing those modifications, and this hybrid is none other than Gus, Genetic Unit Series 1.
The birth of the virus H5G9
Gus was born from one of the eggs laid by the chickens Gillian’s team worked on. It is suspected by everyone that the microbe the team worked on got out. Then it spread the H5G9 virus.
The government got in and started destroying everything. Birdie handed Gus to Richard and asked him to move far away. Birdie is later caught and brought to Gillian, who is now sick with the virus.
Gillian reveals that she is patient zero, and she injected herself, believing that they are going to revolutionize medicine. She says that their experiment would never have gotten to human trials.
Only two of the eggs that the chickens laid were able to grow a viable culture. While one gave birth to a life, as in Gus, the other became the virus that is now inside Gillian.
Gillian liked to think that Gus is the solution to the disease, and Birdie needs to bring him back to them. Birdie agrees on the condition that Gillian will tell her the truth.
This leads Gillian to disclose that James Thacker was actually her great-grandfather, who went to Alaska in search of a fountain of youth to cure his muscular degenerative disorder that cursed his lineage.
Apparently, he and his crew never returned. Through Project Midnight Sun, Gillian was looking for him. Now they have opened a pandora’s box, which they have to close, and Gus could be the key to ending this disease.
She tries to convince Birdie that he will never be able to grow up like a normal child; he will always be hunted, and Birdie will never have a life with him. Eventually, she will be the one who leads everyone to him.
Birdie promises to bring Gus to them if they keep Richard out of this. Going to Gus could have meant endangering his life. Birdie, as a mother, believed he deserved to live.
So she sacrificed the life she could have had with Gus and decided to look for a cure at the very place they started Project Midnight Sun: Alaska.