|“||You're my Patient Zero, Damon! I couldn't let you ride off into the sunset without running a few tests.||”|
An Augustine Vampire was initially just a term that refers to a vampire who has been captured and made a test subject to the many experiments carried out by the Augustine Society. However, more recently, the term has expanded to also refer to a vampire who has been injected by the Ripper Compound created by Dr. Wes Maxfield, which causes the vampire in question to solely crave the blood of fellow vampires rather than humans as normal vampires do. Both kinds of vampires were introduced in Season Five of The Vampire Diaries.
The first Augustine vampire to be referred to as such in the series was Lorenzo, an experimental test subject of the Augustine Society from 1943 to 2011 who was introduced in the episode Handle With Care, though he was not identified by name until The Cell. During his seventy-plus years in captivity, Lorenzo was subjected to all manner of experimentation, including having portions of his organs removed, in order to help Dr. Whitmore and the other Augustine physicians research ways human medicine could be advanced through the vampires' regenerative healing ability and their blood, which can heal any wound in a human (so long as they're still alive) and can cure many illnesses and conditions.
However, the first vampire to be turned into a cannibalistic Augustine vampire was Wes Maxfield's laboratory assistant, Jesse, who he conditioned to crave only vampire blood over the course of several weeks. Wes' intention in creating this kind of Augustine vampire was to eventually make all vampires crave the blood of their own kind, which would then make human blood no longer a satisfying food source from them and would subsequently protect all humans from becoming their food in the process. Wes' ultimate goal was for vampires to fatally feed on each other until the species killed itself entirely.
However, Jesse was killed shortly after he was remade into an Augustine vampire, and when Wes became impatient with how long it took to condition vampires to be like Jesse, (a process which took at least two weeks) he created what became known as the Ripper Compound, with the intention of using it against Elena Gilbert. When she was rescued before he could give it to her, he continued his research before eventually found a new potential Augustine vampire in Damon Salvatore. Wes injected Damon with the compound in Total Eclipse of the Heart, who then involuntarily became Wes' Patient Zero. Damon was the only living Augustine vampire until Gone Girl, when Katherine Pierce, a Passenger in Elena's body, injected herself (and, by proxy, Elena) with Wes' new version of the Ripper Compound, which had been laced with werewolf venom extracted by the recently bitten Nadia Petrova prior to her death.
When Katherine was ultimately killed by Stefan Salvatore after the Mystic Falls Gang realized she had taken control of their best friends' body, Elena was left with this new compound in her system, making Elena an Augustine vampire like Damon. In No Exit, it appeared that Damon was able to keep himself in control of his cravings for vampire blood as long as he fed on a significant amount every eight hours. If he went longer than that without feeding, he would become rabid and have no control over his urges, causing him to feed on any vampire he could find, much in the same way that many newborn vampires act before they learn control.
In While You Were Sleeping, both Elena and Damon were cured after being given antidotes to their respective Ripper Compounds with help from the Travelers. And, with the deaths of Wes and the Travelers, the formula for the compound was presumably lost.
In Enzo's case, being an Augustine vampire meant that he had been held in captivity by the Augustine Society for decades, during which time he was constantly experimented on to test the limits of the vampire healing ability on vampires and humans via their blood. However, this torture against him did give him several abilities that many other vampires do not have; namely, an increased tolerance for physical torture and to vervain, which has proven useful against vampire hunters who try to incapacitate or kill him. It is unknown just how many of these Augustine vampire test subjects the society had, but three of the subjects are known: Lorenzo, who was captured in 1943 and escaped in 2011; Damon Salvatore, who was captured in 1953 and escaped in 1958; and Joey, a Whitmore College custodian whom Wes turned and experimented for, at most, several days before Damon fed on and killed him following his transformation into a cannibalistic Augustine vampire.
For the Augustine Society to create a cannibalistic Augustine vampire, however, a regular vampire was first needed, which required a human to die with vampire blood in their system and then feed on the blood of a human to complete their transition upon awakening. In the case of Jesse, Wes discovered that Jesse had vampire blood in his system from being healed with it the night before, so he killed Jesse with a cardiac medication and fed him a blood bag to complete his transition. Once Augustine had a regular vampire, there were two ways to create an Augustine vampire.
The first method involved starving the vampire over the course of several weeks and then selectively feeding them vampire blood, which seemed to have both a psychological and physiological effect on their cravings for blood. After some time, the Augustine vampire would develop increased strength, and their vampire face became even more pronounced as the darkened veins around their eyes extended past their cheek bones. Though feeding on human blood would satiate them temporarily, all it would take was one taste of vampire blood for the Augustine vampire to become ravenous for vampire blood to the point that they could easily kill the vampire upon which they were feeding.
The second method was much faster, and was born from Wes Maxfield's desire to create more Augustine vampires without having to go through the trouble of conditioning him like they did Jesse. This method simply involved injecting the vampire with his newly-created Ripper Compound, which will quickly cause the vampire to begin craving vampire blood. In the case of Damon, Wes injected him with the compound while he was unconscious, and when he awoke, he was almost immediately triggered into a feeding frenzy when he came upon a chained up and injured vampire in the next room and smelled his blood.
Dr. Whitmore's experiments
In The Cell, Damon, who was trapped in a cell with Elena in the basement of Whitmore House after being captured by Wes, explained to her his story about being held captive by Augustine in the 1950s, where he was tortured and experimented on by Dr. Whitmore. It was during his time there that he met Lorenzo, and the two became friends who comforted each other during their captivity. They eventually came up with a plan to escape from the Augustine Society. Every year Dr. Whitmore hosted a party where the guests drank the blood of his test subject, who were kept in a cage that could potentially be broken out of by a vampire if they were at their full strength. However, for this reason, Augustine's two vampire test subjects were only given one small glass of blood a day, with just enough for them to not desiccate from starvation. To get around this restriction, Enzo agreed to give up the majority of his rations to Damon so he could be strong enough to break them out at the next New Years Eve party in 1958. The night of the party, Damon was able to overpower Dr. Whitmore when he was allowed out of his cage to give his blood and take out most of the party attendees, but in the commotion, a fire was started by a fallen candle. Enzo was still locked in the cage, which was coated in vervain to prevent anyone from breaking, out, and Damon was forced to make a choice: continue to try to break Enzo out and risk both of them dying in the flames, or leave Enzo behind despite their friendship to save himself. Damon ultimately chose the latter, and turned off his humanity switch in order to make it easier for him to leave Enzo for dead. Damon assumed that Enzo had perished in the fire, but in reality, one of the surviving Augustine members found him and saved him, which resulted in Enzo being experimented on for another fifty years.
Maxfield's experimentsIn For Whom The Bell Tolls, Jesse came to Wes Maxfield for tests to determine why he had blacked out most of the previous night's activities. Maxfield realized that Jesse had vampire blood in his system and took the opportunity to gain another vampire test subject by injecting Jesse with a drug that caused him to go into cardiac arrest and die with the vampire blood in his system.In Monster's Ball, Maxfield continued running tests and experiments on Jesse, who had completed the transition to vampire, but had otherwise not fed on human blood for three days. Jesse continuously questioned his immense hunger throughout Maxfield's observations, and Maxfield, who was dictating his notes onto an audio recorder, commented that Jesse was a "perfect candidate."
In Dead Man on Campus, Jesse was able to escape from Maxfield by using his recent feeding on vampire blood and the increased strength that it gave him to overpower him. Confused and afraid, Jesse returned to his dorm room and accidentally attacked his roommate Aaron after his bloodlust was triggered by the sound of his heartbeat. Fortunately, Aaron was merely knocked unconscious during the feeding, allowing him to call Caroline for help in understanding what had happened to him. Afterward, Caroline and Elena promised to teach him to make use of his abilities, starting with healing Aaron and compelling him to forget what had happened to him. That night, they decided to let Jesse come to the party they were throwing in their dorm room as practice for controlling his hunger. While he and Caroline were dancing, he found himself being drawn to feed on her, and when he accidentally bit her lip and tasted her blood, he became so overcome by his cravings for vampire blood that he fled the party to avoid hurting her. He then confronted Dr. Maxfield at his laboratory as to why he felt so compelled to feed on the girl that he liked. Maxfield then explained to him that he was able to "modify" Jesse's physiology so that he would seek out vampires, and not humans, to be his prey. Damon, who had been questioning Maxfield prior to Jesse's arrival, was attacked by Jesse after Maxfield stabbed him with a scalpel to draw Jesse to him, and though Damon remarked that his advanced age made him stronger than Jesse, Maxfield informed him that Augustine vampires are actually stronger, insinuating that it was because of the ingestion of vampire blood. Ultimately, Elena was forced to kill Jesse to prevent him from feeding on Damon to death.
In Total Eclipse of the Heart, Damon was incapacitated by the Travelers, who were working with Maxfield, allowing him to inject Damon with his Ripper Compound. When Damon awakened, he found another test subject of Maxfield's named Joey, who had been turned into a vampire and left injured for Damon to find. Damon was immediately overcome by bloodlust when he saw Joey to the point that his eye-veins had darkened all the way down his cheeks, and ended up feeding on Joey so intensely that he ripped his head off in a matter of seconds. When Enzo asked him what was happening to him, Damon replied that karma had happened to him.
In No Exit, Enzo was revealed to have been traveling with Damon and turning humans into vampires for Damon to feed on, as he had figured out that Damon needed to feed every eight hours before he became rabid and he didn't want to risk Damon feeding on him. He turned a farmer he had come upon into a vampire, and once he had finished his transition by feeding on a blood bag, Damon fed on him to the point of ripping his head off. Unfortunately for them, before they could leave the house, they realized that they had been magically trapped in the house with a boundary spell by the Travelers, who were still allied with Wes Maxfield. Maxfield's goal was to continue his tests on Damon, as Damon was his "Patient Zero" for his Ripper Compound and he needed to learn more about how it worked, including how long Damon could last without vampire blood while trapped in the house before he fed on his best friend Enzo.
Enzo, fearing for his life, chained Damon to a chair to ensure that he wouldn't feed on Elena or Stefan when they came to save them. However, before they got there, Wes shot Enzo with a gun, causing him to bleed enough to stir up Damon's vampire blood cravings. He became so desperate to feed that he easily broke through the chains that were restraining him and began attacking Enzo. Fortunately for Enzo, Maxfield still needed his help, so he had the Travelers cast a spell to turn Enzo's blood into acid to keep Damon from feeding on him and promised that if Enzo came with him for one last experiment, he would let Enzo free for good. Damon, not wanting to hurt Enzo any more than he already had, ordered Enzo to leave with him, which he did.
Later, Stefan and "Elena" (who was actually possessed by Katherine using a Passenger spell) arrived to save Damon, which made Damon furious, as he didn't want to hurt either of them. Unbeknownst to either brother, Katherine had a plan to try to get Stefan to kill Damon by putting herself in a position where he would have to chose between them, and so she walked into the house to try to tempt Damon into feeding on her under the guise of trying to prove to him that he wouldn't hurt her. Katherine cut her hand with a piece of broken glass, and even though Damon tried to resist as long as he could, he ultimately ended up feeding on her. While Katherine struggled, she kicked a broken piece of wood to Stefan to use to kill Damon, but Stefan instead cut himself to lure Damon to him long enough to snap his neck and take him home, where he locked Damon in the cellar of the boarding house.
In Gone Girl, knowing that the Mystic Falls Gang was going to kill her after they found out she was possessing Elena, she decided to fulfill one final act of revenge against her doppelgänger before she died as punishment for having the life that she believed she should have had. She found Wes' last syringe full of Ripper Compound, which had also been laced with werewolf venom extracted from Nadia's blood in order to make it more lethal, and injected Elena's body with it so she would have to suffer the effects after she was dead.
In While You Were Sleeping, Damon and Elena both spent the day suffering their own respective side effects of being Augustine vampires while they were each trapped in their own homes until they could figure out a cure. Fortunately, Stefan, Enzo, and Caroline were able to obtain antidotes from both of them through the Travelers, who had a specific interest in Elena's blood and needed her to be alive. The cure for Damon's version of the compound had actually been made by Maxfield, who developed it by experimenting on Enzo one last time between the events of No Exit and Gone Girl, while Elena's antidote came from Maxfield's research that had been co-opted by the Travelers. Once Elena and Damon were cured, the Augustine vampires cease to exist.
Augustine vampires possess the same physiology as regular vampires, though they have a hunger for vampire blood and appear to be even stronger than the average vampire of their age, as Jesse, a weeks-old Augustine vampire, was able to overpower the 172-year-old Damon before he himself became an Augustine vampire as well. Similarly, once Damon was turned, his strength became augmented in general and was able to be increased even further when overcome by the craving for vampire blood. This urge to feed on other vampires seemed to cause even centuries old vampires with lots of experience in resisting their urges to revert to the behavior of a newborn vampire who hasn't yet gained control over their hunger.
When an Augustine vampire smells vampire blood, especially when they had not fed in hours, they will temporarily lose their personality and feelings toward anything as their consumed by their desire to feed on vampires. This was demonstrated by Damon in No Exit when his desire for vampire blood overpowered any feelings of affection Damon had for his best friend Enzo or the love of his life, Elena. Also, when they began feeding on vampires, it was incredibly difficult to stop, which is what earned it the name "Ripper Compound"—the Augustine vampire fed so heavily that they ripped off the head off of the vampire on whom they were feeding. This violent outcome occurred after Damon fed on Joey and also the man he referred to as "Farmer John."
Unlike normal vampires, whose veins only grow around their eyes, an Augustine vampire's veins grow down past their cheeks. This is most likely due to their increased bloodlust. An Augustine vampire apparently cannot feed upon itself or on another Augustine vampire, otherwise it would have been an easy matter to satiate their bloodlust by feeding upon themselves.
Powers and Abilities
The ordinary vampire test subjects of the Augustine Society possess the standard powers of a vampire, although those who were injected with the Ripper Compound or who were conditioned to become cannibalistic Augustine vampires possessed these abilities to a heightened degree.
- Super Strength: Augustine vampires are physically much stronger than humans and most vampires and grow even stronger with time and with bloodlust. They can toss a fully-grown human across a room with great speed and force. Their strength is also more powerful then werewolves that are not in wolf form. Despite being far younger, Jesse was able to overpower Damon Salvatore as result of being genetically conditioned to crave Vampire blood by Dr. Maxfield. It seems that the source of their superior strength is that they feed on vampire blood. It is unknown how they would fare against a hybrid, a transformed werewolf, a werewolf with a moonlight ring, an evolved werewolf, or an Original vampire. Elena, a newly turned Augustine vampire, demonstrated enhanced strength even without having fed directly on a vampire. Damon's strength was enhanced as well, especially if he could smell vampire blood. Wes wounded Enzo to test Damon's strength and bloodlust; though he was unable to break out of the chains before, once he could smell Enzo's blood, he was able to muster the strength to break the chains easily and lunge for his friend to feed on him.
- Super Speed: Augustine vampires possess the same speed as average vampires, the ability to accelerate their movements to cover short distances in an instant, faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion.
- Super Agility: Augustine vampires possess superhuman agility. They have shown that they can move, jump very high, climb, and run incredibly fast without difficulty or exhaustion. Vampires can jump with their super speed too. Vampires who feed on human blood can jump much higher than vampires that feed on animal blood. These abilities increase with age.
- Super Senses: Augustine vampires have extremely keen senses of hearing, sight and smell that far exceed those of humans and werewolves.
- High Resistance: Augustine vampires can take a great amounts of physical damage without being slowed down. Even vampires who have been shot with wooden bullets have been seen to continue fighting, as long as they were not shot in the heart, or the head. As vampires get older they become more durable.
- Healing Factor: Augustine vampires heal extremely quickly, but still feel the pain of a wound before it heals. Vampires can snap their bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement. The only injury that cannot be healed on its own is a werewolf bite. Human blood (or, in the case of cannibalistic Augustine vampires, vampire blood) has also known to make the healing process faster.
- Immortality: Augustine vampires stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires then on become immune to all conventional illness, disease, virus and infection.
- Enhanced Emotions: Augustine vampires experience emotions more powerfully than humans. Emotions like love, joy, and happiness are intensified for vampires, allowing them to live life more intensely. This ability allows vampires to feel emotions at their peak regardless of their age. Original vampires have been shown experiencing emotions as powerfully today as they did 1,000 years ago. Conversely sadness, depression, guilt, fear and anger are also amplified causing most vampires to "turn off" their emotions.
- Emotional Control: Augustine Vampires have the supernatural ability to remove or dull their emotions by "turning off" or "switching off" their humanity which is directly connected to their emotions. Doing so allows them to block out their more negative emotions, such as fear and guilt, allowing them to feed and kill without remorse.
- Mind Compulsion: Augustine vampires have the ability to control minds, plague people's dreams, and peruse, alter, and erase human memories.
- Sire Bond: Although rare among them, sire bonds can be formed when a human is turned with the blood of the vampire for whom they had strong human feelings.
- Telepathy: Vampires have the ability, albeit a weak variant, to enter the minds of others as long as theirs is stronger than them. Normally, this ability works in a tactile fashion and the vampire requires physical contact in order for it to work successfully, though some older vampires with more experience are able to use this ability over distances. Like their physical attributes, their mental strength increases with age.
- Dream Manipulation: Augustine vampires can control dreams and subconscious. They can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the distortion of reality and trapping people in their dream
- Illusions: Vampires have the power to trick the minds of others into seeing/feeling things that aren't actually happening, such as when Lexi made Stefan believed he had been starved of blood for years.
- True Face: A vampire's true face is the appearance they are hiding under their normal human face. When a vampire's true face is revealed, the whites of their eyes turn blood red, dark veins appear under their eyes, and their canine teeth, and in the case of some vampires, their canine teeth plus their lateral incisors or first premolars, extend into razor-sharp fangs. In the case of Augustine vampires, their eye-veins will extend beyond their eyes down past their cheekbones. A vampire's true face can be revealed whenever they wish, but it will appear against their will whenever they are aroused by the scent of blood, or are feeling intense emotions such as anger, lust, sadness, etc. A vampire's fangs are extremely sharp which gives them the ability to tear into almost any substance (such as flesh) and tear off parts of the body, such as limbs or heads. A vampire's true face will appear for the first time soon after they complete the transition. Unlike "normal" vampires, an Augustine vampire's veins are longer, going all way down to their cheeks instead of just around the eyes.
- Animal Blood: Animal blood weakens a vampire's strength and may affect even more so, a cannibalistic Augustine Vampire.
- Broken Neck: Breaking an Augustine Vampire's neck will result in unconsciousness of said Augustine Vampire.
- The Cure: If an Augustine Vampire takes the cure, they will revert back to being mortal again. Once taken, the cure prevents them from being immortal again, causing the body to reject vampire blood.
- Decapitation: Dismembering or manually removing the head of an Augustine Vampire will result in instant and permanent death.
- Desiccation: Augustine Vampires who abstain from blood for extended amounts of time will eventually desiccate into mummification.
- Fire: Augustine Vampires are highly flammable and sensitive to fire, and will quickly burn and die from it if the flames are not extinguished in time.
- Heart Extraction: Removing the heart of an Augustine Vampire will result in permanent death.
- Invitation: Augustine Vampires cannot enter a home without an invitation by the owner.
- Magic: Augustine Vampires are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as the Gilbert Device, Papa Tunde's Blade, and Dark Objects. A Siphoner can also siphon the magic from a vampire.
- Physical Trauma: Minor physical injuries such as gunshots, stab wounds and broken bones will cause an Augustine Vampire pain and also slow them down. However, this is momentary as they will heal completely within seconds. It seems physical trauma can hurt them anywhere on the body (ex-eye gauging, drowning).
- Poison: There have recently been various poisons shown invented by people such as Dr. Wes Maxfield and Aya that are capable of incapacitate or desiccate a vampire when administered. Klaus also used a poison to kill Tim that not even vampire blood could cure. It is unknown what effect any of these poisons would do if ingested by an Augustine Vampire.
- Sunlight: Sunlight and U.V. rays burn Augustine Vampires on contact, and prolonged exposure will cause them to combust and die.
- Vampire Bloodline: If an Original vampire dies, all vampires descended from their bloodline will slowly perish.
- Vervain: Exposure to or ingestion of vervain causes an Augustine vampire to become severely feverish and weak. Also, If an Augustine vampire's skin is exposed to vervain, it can result in burning them. Augustine vampires cannot compel anyone who has ingested vervain or has it on their person.
- Werewolf Bite: The bite of a werewolf is extremely lethal to Augustine vampire. It will cause them to hallucinate, grow severely weak and go rabid until it kills them. Klaus' hybrid blood can cure the bite.
- Wood: Wounding an Augustine vampire with a wooden weapon will cause the vampire to become severely weak. Stabbing a vampire through the heart with a wooden stake will result in permanent death. Elena was able to kill Jesse by driving a sharp piece of wood into his heart.
- White Oak Ash Dagger: If a Augustine vampire daggers an Original vampire, they will die while the Original is neutralized.
- Doppelgänger Blood Magic: If blood from the last pair of doppelgängers are used in the Magic Purification Spell, all vampires' abilities will be stripped from them little by little and then they will be brought back to the last stage of their human life: Death. They will then relive the way they died when they transitioned into vampirism. Kai absorbed the magic purification spell and as such, it is no longer there.
- Cancer: Although vampires cannot catch diseases and illnesses such as cancer, if a human has active cancer and is turned into a vampire, the effects of the cancer will increase. The regenerative properties of vampire blood will speed up the replication of cancer cells of and exceed normal stages of the condition. This was first proven when Caroline fed a terminal cancer patient vampire blood to test if it could cure cancer. When Jo ran tests on the patient after he was turned into a vampire, she referred to his tumors as "stage 10".
Known Augustine Vampires
Enzo became an Augustine test subject during World War II and was experimented on from the mid-1940's to 2012. He killed Megan King while he was in captivity after she stumbled upon his cell while investigating the basement of Whitmore House. Enzo was eventually freed and is no longer an experimental Augustine vampire.
Damon is the older brother of Stefan Salvatore and the boyfriend of Elena Gilbert. He was the primary antagonist of Season One. He became an Augustine vampire in the episode Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Damon was the first vampire to be injected with the Ripper Compound.
Elena became an Augustine vampire in the episode Gone Girl after she was injected with an modified version of the Ripper Compound. Her boyfriend, Damon, was injected with the original compound. Elena was later cured of the compound with an antidote.
Joey was an Augustine vampire who was killed by Damon.
- They are the vampires to vampires.
- Augustine vampires are comparable to the Reapers depicted in Blade II. Like Reapers, Augustine vampires are a race of genetically engineered "super-vampires" that possess superior strength, increased bloodlust, and who feed on both humans and vampires.
- This new species is similar to the species in the second book from the Salvation trilogy of the books. In the second book Unspoken genetic vampires serve as the main antagonists.
- Damon was the first main character to become an Augustine vampire. This is most likely because his character suited the effects of the Ripper Compound.
- Augustine vampires are somewhat similar to one of the Original vampires, Mikael. Like Mikael, they feed on vampires. However, while Mikael did feed on vampires, he did it out hatred and preference to not prey on humanity while the Augustine vampires have an urge and hunger to feed exclusively on vampires.
- They appear to have much greater strength that average vampires, as demonstrated when Jesse, a few-week-old vampire, was able to beat Damon with ease.
- Damon was Wes's Patient Zero with regards to his Ripper Compound.
- Elena is the second main character to become an Augustine vampire.
- Elena and Damon were cured of the Ripper Compound in While You Were Sleeping and are now no longer Augustine vampires.