And With It, the Memory of the Republic

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-171.

rating: +11+x

External view of RPC-563.


Registered Phenomena Code: 563

Object Class: Gamma-Orange

Hazards: Mechanical Hazard, Extreme Temperatures, Extra-dimensional Hazard, Memory Alteration Hazard

Containment Protocols: A 25km exclusion zone has been established around RPC-563. The government of the Russian Federation has been cooperative with the Authority in this matter: due to geographical proximity (and the scarcity of Authority assets in the Russian Arctic), Russian naval and air forces are responsible for enforcing the exclusion zone.

OL-Site-563-RU has been established in a small building in the new Russian military base on the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Research expeditions to RPC-563 are to be attempted at the Site commander's discretion, pursuant on weather conditions and availability of leased Russian vehicles.

Owing to the extreme cold in and around RPC-563, personnel entering RPC-563 during an expedition must wear special environmental hardsuits and maintain constant radio contact with their command vehicle.

Rising Arctic temperatures and the resultant drifting pack ice continues to change RPC-563's location; in future years, there is the threat that RPC-563 will drift towards shipping lanes or coastal population centers. As RPC-563's extreme temperature phenomena form a permanent ice pack around it, the huge mass is only influenced by the wind in summer months, making containment infeasible. Studies for altering RPC-563's direction of travel in the summer months are ongoing.

Description: RPC-563 is a heavily damaged Wind-class conventional icebreaker1 exhibiting acute anomalous phenomena, frozen into Arctic pack ice (currently 45km north of Franz Josef Land, an archipelago in the Russian Arctic.) As all baseline Wind-class vessels are accounted for, RPC-563 must be regarded as extra-dimensional in origin; this conclusion is supported by the phenomena and material evidence detailed below.

The immediate exterior of RPC-563 (approx. 200m) is extremely cold, with a consistent air temperature of -76°C (-105°F). A rough path has been hewn into the pack ice by previous Authority expeditions, leading up to the sole access point to RPC-563's interior: a hatchway on the rearward side of the superstructure. All other access points and windows are frozen in place and impassable to the limited dexterity afforded by environmental hardsuits2.


From the interior of RPC-563. Note the disruptive level of ice and decayed machinery.

The interior of RPC-563 is even harsher, with a consistent temperature of -84°C (-120°F) and dangerous material conditions. The blueprints to a baseline Wind-class icebreaker3 have been minimally helpful. Severe internal damage from liquids freezing & other unclear sources has transformed RPC-563, particularly below the waterline, into a frozen maze. Many parts of the structure are exceptionally brittle in the cold, and there have been several incidents of collapsing floors.

The vast majority of equipment, interior fittings, cargo, or personal belongings are destroyed and frozen under layers of ice & snow. Circumstantial evidence, particularly the near-total erasure4 of identifying details (personal names, country of origin, etc), suggests that the internal decay is at least partially anomalous & targeted in nature.

Addendum 563-A: Recovered Material

Authority expeditions into RPC-563 have discovered, with great difficulty, several examples of reasonably legible text. As the technological level of RPC-563 & its equipment is conventional and outdated (with the exception of an unknown, destroyed "device" that transported RPC-563 to our timeline), text is the only source of information on RPC-563's original timeline, which suggests severe deviations from the baseline. However, as noted before, most written information appears to have been expunged by an unknown force.

All materials listed below were discovered in a damaged, incomplete state, preserved by the extreme cold. However, attempting to remove objects with legible text or identifying marks from RPC-563 invariably results in severe material deterioration. All efforts to remove these objects from RPC-563 while preserving their recovered state have failed. Removal efforts have been halted, and modern Authority expeditions are solely focused on documentation; the upper galley has been transformed into a makeshift storage site, and portable objects are relocated there.

Addendum 563-B: Anomalous Phenomena

RPC-563-1 is the designation for intermittent sightings of foreign landscapes through portholes in RPC-563's hull.

RPC-563-2 is the designation for recurring incorporeal, cognito-hazard phenomena. 563-2 manifests at irregular times and locations inside RPC-563's hull, with a statistical preference (75% of recorded instances) in remote corners of the lower hull, engineering passageways, or behind the aforementioned barricaded doors5 The presence of a 563-2 manifestation is physically indicated by a spherical area of warmer air; when a human brings their head into this sphere, the anomalous cognito-hazard effect is triggered. Affected individuals report foreign memories and emotions, often in a disorienting and intrusive manner. The content of these cognito-hazard effects have been best interpreted by psychologists & Anti-memetics Department personnel: their accounts, logged below, provide clues to the lives of RPC-563's crew.


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