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Abstract: One of the key difficulties in understanding Tiberium comes from its seemingly schizophrenic nature. It continues to defy scientific analysis because it is an inconsistent, constantly-changing conundrum whose rules and behavior seem to alter every decade. However, in analyzing the behavior of this substance and the information we have managed to decode from the Tacitus, I have noted a disturbing trend.
In the years following the initial arrival of Tiberium in 1995, we came to know it as a plant-like lifeform, organic and spreading rapidly across the face of the globe via unclear but extremely swift means. It was initially believed that Tiberium itself was a plant-like entity, but in analyzing its nature, we have come to realize that the organic structures we encountered were not Tiberium itself, but a mutation of grassy and flowering plants used to further its spread. Much like the "blossom trees" that developed from natural trees, the plant-like lifeforms that we harvested so readily were nothing but tools used by the actual mutagenic substance to spread itself, placing roots throughout the landscape that allowed more of the crystals to form and more plants to be altered to fit the alien substance's requirements. Tiberium itself turned out to be the valuable crystals we were refining, a primitive and less-advanced form of the current type that could not spread without first converting these plants as a vector.
Up to and past the Second Tiberium War we continued seeing examples of Tiberium's insidious growth and transformation. Doctor Ignatio Mobeius was correct in his assessment that Tiberium was transforming the Earth, for we saw new lifeforms rising up to adapt to the Tiberium spread: the visceroid, the Tiberium fiends, the floaters, and most strikingly, the mutant humans known as the Forgotten. New strains of Tiberium appeared, and for the first time we saw direct transformation of material such as rock into slabs of the crystalline substance. This was but a herald of what we suspected was coming in the following years.
Now, Tiberium has changed again, evolving as it always has, this time shedding the shell of organic mutations. It now infests the ground itself, spreading outwards slowly, reaching into the mantle of our world, converting everything it touches into more of itself. It has transformed entire regions of this world into alien landscapes, cracked, broken, and hellish environments, with glaciers of pure green crystal rising up into the sky like alien monoliths - a source of unimaginable wealth if any dared to tread the Red Zones. In many ways, this new Tiberium is an even greater boon for our economy than the older forms, which were rich in base minerals. This new form, in the process of conversion, breaks down all material it absorbs, creating a gestalt, uniform crystalline structure. Once harvested, processed, and treated, it forms a base material that can be literally converted into any element, provided it is supplied to the proper nanomachine factory. This base material, once converted to a liquid form, can also be used as a fuel in next-generation reactors - or, as has been seen in several documented skirmishes against the Brotherhood of Nod, utilized as a weapon with potentially higher yields than thermonuclear warheads.
Why has Tiberium constantly changed? It has continued to alter the world, but its changes and evolutions have always driven it forward in directions that would further its growth and spread. Now it is altering our very world, creating alien realms where no natural creature can survive . . . and it is my personal and fearful suspicion that this not an accident. Tiberium's spread has been an ordered process, a constant, step-by-step growth and transformation, mutating everything it has touched in a manner that defies simple unguided and exponential growth and evolution.
There is a purpose behind this horror we look upon every day, and I shudder when I attempt to imagine what that purpose may yet be.