Degrading Discourse

This page is an archive for a contest entry that was hosted at a special URL. The article has since been ported to the main site as RPC-281.

rating: +12+x

RPC-052 photographed in the Limerick, NH town hall on Veteran's Day 2016.


Registered Phenomena Code: 052

Object Class: Beta-Yellow

Hazard Types: Corrosive Hazard, Animated Hazard, Bio-Hazard, Sapient Hazard, Regenerative Hazard

Containment Protocols: The night before the bi-annual US federal Election Day (November 2-8th), Site-207 ASF will contact Maintenance Union Post #207-3 (McCollingh) and conduct a joint inspection of the hardened runoff system directly underneath RPC-052's residence. On presidential election years, personnel from MU Post #207-6 (Singh) will be kept on standby to assist containment efforts.

During the RPC-052 election night phenomena, corrosive secretions from RPC-052 are collected in runoff chambers constructed in the upper galleries of Site-207. Personnel will monitor the condition of the chambers, piping, and valves as the toxic mix is directed to collection tanks for use with other on-site RPCs.

In light of the MisCol-052 Incident, and respecting the wishes of the federal government of the United States, active surveillance of RPC-052 has ceased. Monitoring of internet traffic from RPC-052 continues under the broad responsibility of global Authority internet surveillance.

Description: RPC-052 only exhibits anomalous phenomena in private on the night of a US federal election; otherwise he is an apparently non-anomalous man in his mid-70s. Medical and dental records obtained by the Authority indicate no unusual physiology or anatomy. Records of RPC-052's youth and exact date of birth have been scrubbed by the US federal government and further Authority investigation has proven unsuccessful. Several leads around his purported service in the Vietnam War are pending at this time. Regardless, RPC-052 settled in Limerick, New Hampshire in 1979.

In large part owing to the MisCol-052 Incident, the Authority is not in direct custody of RPC-052 and cannot conduct a comprehensive physiological examination. The source and exact process of 052's anomalous phenomena will remain conjecture for the foreseeable future.

RPC-052 presents as a model small-town American citizen. He regularly participates in community activities, local government (serving on the Limerick Board of selectmen from 1984-6, 1992-2000 and 2008-2010), youth education, etc. Examples of these include "Teddy's Tracks", a day-long hike along the north shore of Lake Akonquitt to promote local conservation efforts with the story of the 26th US President, and drug education outreach to the trailer park along the Suunoc River.

Surreptitious interviews of Limerick residents portray RPC-052 as unfailingly kind, helpful, and articulate. Of particular note is RPC-052's consistent involvement with the Limerick electoral process, cheerfully serving as a volunteer at the polling station in town hall.

Anomalous federal election night phenomena begin at 7:00PM EST, when RPC-052 departs the polling station after polls close. After locking the doors of his house (the only time he locks his door annually in relatively crime-free Limerick), RPC-052 retreats to his basement where he begins using his personal computer.

Posts traced to his IP address show RPC-052 browsing and leaving comments on mainstream news sites and forums. For the first hours these are consistent with IP-traced posts from the rest of the year, demonstrating a non-partisan and inclusive political outlook. Excerpts below:

After several hours, the tone of RPC-052's discourse steadily deteriorates while RPC-052 begins secreting a highly dangerous mix of toxins and bio-hazardous chemicals. Observed chemicals include a piranha solution of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide, fluoroantimonic acid, toxic flourine gases, and a variety of industrial cleaning fluids. These secretions begin to pool in the basement, gradually destroying the furnishings.

RPC-052's previously non-partisan views will shift to the perspective of the losing side as exit poll results accumulate. RPC-052 begins to scream and wildly gesticulate, only ceasing when the secretions reduce RPC-052's vocal and motor functions to nil.

After the results of the election become apparent, RPC-052 will devolve to vicious, nearly incomprehensible language. RPC-052 continues to type as the accumulated secretions melt his flesh. Hair, clothing, and facial features slough off and are dissolved.


RPC-052 following election night.

At this stage, RPC-052 collapses to the bare exposed rock of his ruined basement. The accumulated secretions drain from the basement into the ground, where they flow into the acid-hardened runoff system of Site-207.

RPC-052's personal computer, designated RPC-052-1, lifts into the air by unknown means, striking the bare walls and RPC-052's catatonic body at random for fifteen (15) minutes. Afterwards, it settles to the floor and remains inert for the next year. The purpose of this phenomenon and the means by which RPC-052-1 sustains no damage from the events of the night is unknown.

The following morning, RPC-052 regenerates its mutilated body, returning to his form prior to election night. The process and source of this regenerative ability is unknown. RPC-052's medical records indicate three hospitalizations for non-anomalous illness and once for breaking a leg volunteering at the Lake Akonquitt Boy Scouts Camp: RPC-052 demonstrates no unusual resilience outside of election night and its aftermath.

During the period of Authority surveillance, RPC-052's vocal reaction upon regaining consciousness were recorded as such:

2006 "Oh, God. That stings. Now how am I going to get some clothes? Stairs are gone."
2008 "Don't know why I bother with those sites. Nasty people. Not the future. I hope."
2010 "Happened again. Damn. Getting too old for this."

Afterwards, RPC-052 did not acknowledge the massive damage to his basement as unusual and proceeded to reconstruct it.

Surveillance shows that RPC-052 demonstrates only a vague awareness of the anomalous phenomena that besets him on a federal election night. RPC-052 returns from the polling station apparently intending to enjoy the process of American democracy in privacy. Prior to this, RPC-052 has been observed declining invitations to election night parties with the excuse of "not feeling well" when pressed. RPC-052 also soundproofs his basement, purportedly for the local youth sports league podcast he hosts.

Discovery: The Authority was first made aware of RPC-052 the night of the US presidential election on November 2, 2004. Site-207 is a sparse facility built into the sprawling, defunct Cormick Tungsten Mine in northern New Hampshire. Maintenance Union personnel in the upper galleries, directly underneath the town of Limerick, noted structural damage and discovered the flow of toxic, extremely corrosive RPC-052 secretions. Three personnel were overcome by noxious fumes but rescued at great personal risk by ASF Sergeant Arthur Ridge and Janitor Nadira Rashid Mithila. Both were later awarded the St. Barbara's Chalice.

Site engineers traced the source of the flow to RPC-052's residence and a comprehensive investigation began. RPC-052's background was thoroughly explored, while surveillance apparatuses were placed in RPC-052's residence during the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections. The information and aftermath photo found in this article were largely collected during this period.

MisCol-052 Incident: In the aftermath of the 2010 election night Authority agents entering RPC-052's residence to retrieve surveillance apparatuses encountered agents of the United States federal government, apparently retrieving similar devices. The agents introduced themselves as members of the FBI, but circumstantial evidence identifies their ultimate authority as MisCol.

The ranking Authority operative, Agent Lawrence, was handed the personal smartphone of an FBI/MisCol agent to text an unknown overseeing entity. Agent Lawrence transcribed the following exchange from memory.

An official request for the cessation of direct RPC-052 surveillance from the United States' federal government was received at Site-313 along official channels the following day.

Due to the low threat and minimum overall priority of RPC-052, the Authority has chosen not to violate the federal government's request. Secondary investigation into RPC-052's potentially unnaturally long history continues.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License