The Forest of Noble Truths

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-364.

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Fig. 1: RPC-365

alpha-white.png Registered Phenomena Code: 365 Level 2
Object Class: Alpha-White Restricted

Hazards: Organic Hazard, Regenerative Hazard, Meta-Physical Hazard

Containment Protocols: Due to the nature of RPC-365, containment is unnecessary. An observation tower for Authority personnel is to be constructed on the eastern border of RPC-365. Specifically, this tower is to be built on the peak of the tallest mountain on the eastern border as to allow for easy observation of the entirety of RPC-365. The tower is to be disguised as an abandoned fire tower and all non-Authority persons are to be turned away by agents disguised as park rangers. All necessary shipments to and from RPC-365 are to pass through this observation tower for checking.


Fig. 2: Waterfall at western border of RPC-365 territory

RPC-365 is to be periodically monitored via thermal scans for any possible animal activity in the demarcated 25 km2 area. The trees in RPC-365 are required to be counted by use of satellite imagery or any other available method once per month and the results are to be stored in the archive of Installation-016. Due to the nature of such trees, any wood samples are to be analyzed immediately on site. Any testing with animals is to be reported directly to the supervising Head Researcher. Personnel are responsible for securing their own test animals. The temperature of RPC-365 is to be regularly monitored and results are to be stored alongside the tree count data in Installation-016’s archive.

During the winter season, RPC-365 is to be closed off to the general public under the premise of an avalanche-prone area. Personnel are to perform all research and testing during this period. Non-essential personnel are restricted from entering RPC-365 without written consent from the supervising Head Researcher. As defense is not necessary for research teams, no weapons are to be brought into RPC-365. While non-Authority persons have not stumbled upon RPC-365 since falling under Authority control, if any people ignore or otherwise fail to observe the avalanche warnings, agents disguised as park rangers or other hikers are to turn them away.

Description: RPC-365 is a 25 km2 forested expanse located in the White Mountains.1 This plot of land is surrounded on all sides by mountains and hills that make RPC-365 a deep valley relative to its surroundings. This is despite RPC-365 sitting at an elevation of around 1,375 m above sea level. The temperature of RPC-365 during the year is typical of the surrounding area, except in the winter, when it is an average of 4 °C colder in RPC-365 than elsewhere in the mountain range.


Fig. 3: Northern border of RPC-365 territory

The geography of RPC-365 is consistent with that of the White Mountains. On the northern border of RPC-365 sits a deteriorated post and rail fence atop an elevated, rolling hill that drops off into a steep ridge. It is known among mountaineers for being one of the most difficult climbs across the entire United States. The eastern border is the western peak of Mount ████████, an area devoid of any major activity due to the high elevation gain on the eastern face of the peak, which sits on the shared border between New Hampshire and Maine. South of RPC-365 is the ████ ████ ski resort. 500 m separates the two, with this zone rising above both the resort and RPC-365 with its own trees and a similar rotted fence. As the area is known to attract dangerous mountain animals, it is closed off to the general public. RPC-365’s western border is a snowy plain that gradually rises into a sharp cliff that dumps water into RPC-365, resulting in a substantial waterfall. In the center of RPC-365 is a large, frozen lake that is estimated to reach an average depth of 3.5 m. Patches of RPC-365 are open plains while the rest of it is heavily forested. RPC-365 itself is a normal forested area in most regards.


Fig. 4: Photo of RPC-365 tree taken during the spring

Anomalous properties manifest primarily in the trees of RPC-365. The leaves of any tree rooted in RPC-365 are colored a bright crimson red year-round, despite being identifiable as common types of trees.2 These trees will shed their leaves during the winter season and regain them during the spring in a manner typical to non-anomalous trees. If any tree from RPC-365 is cut down, falls down or dies through some other method, after 24 hours, any of its material will suddenly disappear and the tree will reappear in its previous spot alive and healthy. Wood samples gathered from RPC-365 indicate nothing anomalous about the wood itself, and RPC-365 trees possess identical wood to their non-anomalous counterparts. Currently, there are 300,343 trees inside RPC-365. Records taken over its ██-year history with the Authority indicate that this number remains largely constant.


Fig. 5: Rows of trees in RPC-365

Any animal that tries to enter RPC-365 is temporarily and instantaneously phased out of existence. These animals phase back into existence at the opposite side of RPC-365, completely unchanged from when they vanished. As such, RPC-365 is completely devoid of any animal life whatsoever, however, humans have proven immune to this effect, allowing for manned research expeditions into RPC-365. Thermal scans, x-ray scans, and other forms of imaging have proven unsuccessful in identifying what happens during the infinitesimally brief period of time between the animals’ teleportation. Given the low-level anomalous nature of RPC-365, it has been classified as Alpha-White.

Discovery: RPC-365 was discovered in September, 19██ by MST Alpha-09 "Ghosts of Gaia," who were passing through the area to reach another assignment. Upon discovering the anomalous properties of the trees, Alpha-09 marked the location for retrieval and the area officially came under Authority control within the next few days. After the construction of Installation-016, testing began next December. Test logs can be found in Addenda 365.1 and 365.2, along with video recordings between personnel in Addendum 365.3.

Addendum 365.1: Summarized Test Logs with RPC-365 Wood Samples

NOTE: Below is a small summary of the ████ tests conducted on wood samples gathered from the trees of RPC-365 to better understand the anomalous properties of such. For the full test logs, please consult the Head Researcher of Installation-016.

Test # Background Results Notes from Head Researcher
1 One tree is to be chopped down and observed for 24 hours Fallen tree disappears exactly after 24 hours "To be expected."
5 Two trees are to be chopped down and stored at Installation-016 Trees disappeared overnight "Looks like it affects more than one tree at a time."
14 One tree is to be chopped down and split into firewood Firewood disappeared after 24 hours "Breaking trees into pieces does not change the effect. Noted."
56 A bonfire is to be constructed at Installation-016 using wood gathered from trees and maintained for more than 48 hours All firewood (in and out of the fire) disappeared after 24 hours, immediately extinguishing the flames "Seems that this effect extends past solid wood blocks and encompasses cinders, too. Very interesting."
237 170,000 No. 2 pencils (unpainted) are to be manufactured at Installation-016 using wood from the trees within 16 hours Pencils disappeared after 24 hours, leaving behind over 7,000 kg of graphite "Nothing really unusual here. Pencils mysteriously get lost all the time."
890 A cabin is to be constructed within RPC-365 in the span of 12 hours, with Research Team 1A staying in said cabin overnight Research Team 1A woke up the next day lying in the snow "Very funny, guys."

Addendum 365.2: Test Logs with Animals

NOTE: Below is a comprehensive list of all tests conducted on RPC-365's anomalous properties with both animals and humans. The goal of the experiments was to determine whether the subject could enter RPC-365.

Subject Test Description Conclusion
Search dog Dog given scent through object, which is then thrown into RPC-365 Failure
Bird skeleton Skeleton glued together with wood glue, then thrown into RPC-365 Failure
Wild deer Deer fatally shot by Authority agents, then corpse rolled into RPC-365 Failure
D-14564 D-14564 ordered to walk into RPC-365 Success
Human skeleton Skeleton attached to chassis, then rolled into RPC-365 Success
D-14564 Recently deceased corpse of D-14564 rolled into RPC-365 Success

Addendum 365.3: Video Log of Initial Testing on RPC-365

NOTE: The following is taken from members of Research Team 1A during Wood Sample Test #890. For the full log, please consult the Head Researcher of Installation-016.


2:49:26 - 2:50:14

Camera 1: [ Camera shows Agent Davids and Agent Nicholson constructing the frame of the cabin. Nicholson is chopping down a nearby anomalous tree to cut logs from. ]

Davids: Hurry up with that tree. We're two hours in and we don't even have floorboards.

Nicholson: I thought we agreed you'd do the chopping and I'd build the house.

[ Nicholson chops through the tree and pushes it over. He begins dividing it into shorter logs. ]

Davids: Yeah, but then I remembered how the Doctor doesn't like nails stickin' out of shit.

[ Nicholson chops out a log. He kicks it away and plants the axe into the felled tree. ]

Nicholson: The fuck's that supposed to mean?

Davids: Why are you asking me?

[ Davids chuckles. ]

Davids: You think I'm dissin' you or something?

[ Nicholson does not respond. He has a blank expression on his face and seems to be staring out into the distance. ]

Davids: Nick?

Camera 2: [ Davids looks in the direction Nicholson is looking. Nothing is there. Nicholson seems to just be staring out into space. ]

Davids: Earth to Agent Nicholson.

Camera 1: [ Nicholson blinks and turns towards Davids. ]

Nicholson: Yeah?

Davids: Classic fuckin' Nicholson.

Nicholson: Were we talkin' about something?

Davids: Yeah, dumbass, your crippling insecurities about nailing blocks of wood together!

Nicholson: Fuck you. You wish.

Davids: Oh, just get your head out of your ass and start choppin', dingus.

[ Nicholson raises his middle finger to Davids and proceeds to pick up the ax and continue working. ]

5:52:44 - 6:50:14

Camera 2: [ It is slightly darker out. Agents Davids and Nicholson are still working on the cabin, and are attaching the front door to the front of the cabin after finishing the walls and the roof. After five minutes of them hammering nails in, the door is on. Nicholson sits on a nearby RPC-365 tree stump. ]

Nicholson: That has got to be the ugliest piece of shit I've ever seen.

Davids: It doesn't have to be the fuckin' Taj Mahal, Nick.

Nicholson: There's a giant hole in the god damn wall. Don't tell me that's a window.

[ Davids grabs a spare piece of wood with a couple of nails stuck in it and shoddily hammers it over the hole. ]

Davids: There. Fixed.

Nicholson: You know, you can right up and pardon my fuckin' French, but you're a shit-eatin' retard, you know that, Dave?

Camera 1: [ Davids isn't paying attention. It appears as though he is staring out into space. Nicholson stands up and saunters over to Davids. ]

Nicholson: Point fuckin' proven.

[ Nicholson grabs Davids by the ear and shouts into it. ]


Camera 2: [ Davids flinches and bats Nicholson away. ]

Davids: JESUS FUCK! What the hell is wrong with you?

Nicholson: The fuck d'ya mean the hell's wrong with me? What's wrong with you? Do you need to start thinking about death benefits?

Davids: Whatever. Let's just phone the suits and tell them their little shindig is done.

Camera 1: [ Davids picks up his radio transponder. ]

Davids: Dr. Saicho, this is Agent Davids. Your cabin is ready. Come whenever you feel like it.

Camera 2: [ Davids puts the transponder away and he and Nicholson sit on separate tree stumps, waiting for Research Team 1A to arrive. ]

8:23:32 - 8:25:52

Camera 1: [ The scene is lit only by a floodlight hooked up to a generator. Researcher Saicho walks into frame, where Agents Davids and Nicholson are standing, waiting for him. ]

Saicho: Evening, gentlemen… what am I looking at here?

Davids: Your new home, doc.

Saicho: … Care to explain to me why there is a plank of wood with seven nails in it sticking out of the side of the house?

Nicholson: Don't worry about it. This stuff's really hard to work with. Really, really dense.

Davids: It's perfectly fine on the inside. That's what I was in charge of. Nicholson was in charge of the outside.

[ Nicholson is seen kicking Davids in the ankle. Dr. Saicho opens the door to the cabin. ]

Saicho: So… this can house ten people?

Davids: I understand it's a tight fit, sir. One of you may have to sleep on the floor.

Saicho: … Entirely manageable. We will… figure something out. Thank you.

[ The rest of Research Team 1A stumbles into frame. Two of them are shivering. ]

Saicho: Well, it just got really cold, so I guess we will turn in for the night.

Davids: Yup.

Nicholson: G'night, Doctor.

[ Research Team 1A squeezes itself into the cabin as Agents Davids and Nicholson walk off. Researcher Saicho closes the door to the cabin and the floodlight turns off. All that's left is pure darkness. ]

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