So, I was wondering given that the government had access to mutants and mutagens before the cataclysm. Where these ever used as weapons to fight the zombies?
More specifically, didn’t they just create a bunch of possibly post-threshold mutant and just release them on the zombie hordes.
It would also make sense to me because the government at some point even resorted to nukes to fight the undead. So, I wouldn’t put it past them to try and use the experimental mutagens and mutants as a weapon out of desperation. Only for it to potentially backfire as the mutants do kill a lot of zombies initially (do to being essentially dumped into the middle of the zombies) but later regretting it when the revived corpses of those same mutants show up to tear apart their own soldiers.
Based on the Lore, the government tried to first control the outbreak by downplaying it and cover it up.
As this didn’t work out, they nuked (some of) the labs, probably out of a mix of trying to still cover it up, destroying the largest accumulations and sources of blobs, and just plain blob induced madness.
My guess therefore would be that they never used the mutants in a fight, since in the little time they had between “keeping it covered” and “government failed” they decided nuking the created mutants would be a better option then using them in the war against the blob.
I think that it would fit very well with the government response being described as "worse than suboptimal and in most cases actively harmful” part of the lore. There is also the fact that there is a 5-day gap between the government realizing that things are going to hell and deploying the military and them finally nuking the labs.
That seems like enough time for government and army officials both desperate to contain the chaos and with many under the influence of blob psychosis to decide to deploy the experimental bio-weapons that are mutant. This could be done quickly by creating as many mutants as possible with the mutagen they got and then airlifting them into the middle of the rioter/zombie mobs. Only for this plan to backfire because of course it would.
I still think there wasn’t enough time to assemble mutant soldiers, especially since…:
“Very close” is, of course, a too broad term to actually know if it means February/March or just days before the cataclysm…
May : XEDRA (Xenophysical Energy Defense Research Agency) is formed to focus research into transdimensional phenomena. Publically they are masked as DARPA researchers, and other more mundane groups. They are given an enormous budget, considered by the US government to be equivalent to NASA in the current cold war. Certain close allies to the US join the effort, sending top minds and resources to XEDRA facilities across North America.
December 18 : Sample XE-037 is brought back to Earth from the netherum. It is about thirty grams of blob matter.
February : Energy-dense samples from the netherum are repurposed into high-density energy cells.
February : First reports of people rising from the dead, XEDRA immediately makes correct assumptions about what’s up as they’ve been experimenting on the blob and recognize its effects.
We know from the timeline that they were doing extensive and well-funded research on the blob with a disregard for safety and ethics for longer than a year. And the results show.
Not only did they manage to make high-density energy cells and laser-guns and power Armor, but they also did extensive research on the effects of the blob on lifeforms. They knew all about revivecation and mutation and where busy weaponizing these mutagenetic properties in the form of mutagens.
They were working on making bioweapons and enhancing super soldier not just through CBM’s but also through mutagens as well and they did succeed. This can be seen in the fact that the mutagens and serums you find in labs work: they do turn you into a super soldier/bioweapon and improve your abilities or give you entirely new ones. The existence of mutagens and serums in lab means that they did have the capability to create super soldiers or bioweapons. Since things like ALPA where approved they most likely where in the process of creating or might have already created a few post-threshold super soldiers/bioweapons as a proof of concept or for testing purposes.
Then there is the time that it takes to create mutant bioweapons since you don’t need mutant soldiers you just need bioweapons. You just need to pump some prisoner full with serum watch as they mutate within a hour to a monstrosity and airdrop them into the hordes and watch them go to town. They don’t need to be sane, they don’t need to be able to fallow orders and the procedure will most likely drive them feral or violently insane but that doesn’t matter since they don’t need to be a soldier. They just need to violently eviscerate anything that moves near them with their new body parts.
edit source: https://cataclysmdda.org/lore-background.html