That Time Charles Darwin Turned Into A Tortoise





RPC-134-1A in civilian custody.


Registered Phenomena Code: 134

Object Class: Alpha-Yellow

Hazard Types: Organic Hazard, Sentient Hazard, Info-Hazard

Containment Protocols: Any further recovered instances of RPC-134 are to be contained within the standard tortoise enclosures of Agricultural Research Site-043, and assessed for evidence of being an instance of RPC-134-1. Instances found to be RPC-134-1 may be passed to zoological Authority front organizations at the discretion of Site-043’s Director as they require no additional containment.

RPC-134-2 is be kept within the archival library of Agricultural Research Site-043 and access is to be restricted to level level-4 personnel. Hard copies may be requested, pending approval of Site-043’s Director.

Mobile Specialized Team Tango-6 (“Cowabunga”) is tasked with monitoring the Galápagos islands for both instances of RPC-134 and indications of activity from GoI “Church of Malthus”, or any splinter sect thereof, within the region.

Description: RPC-134 (Chelonoidis abingdonii1) is a species of Galápagos tortoise endemic to Ecuador's Pinta Island. As with the closely related non-anomalous species of Galápagos tortoises, RPC-134 is visually identifiable only from minor differences in shell shape compared to its compatriot species and displays only minor behavior differences, accounted for by the marginally different conditions of their native island.

RPC-134 instances exhibit anomalous properties when exposed to a specific set of verbally spoken phrases2, wherein the speaker will have their consciousness permanently transferred into the body of the RPC-134, transforming it into an instance of RPC-134-13. RPC-134-1 instances are phenotypically and biologically identical to their RPC-134 counterpart, with the exception of no longer being affected by the verbal trigger.

Due to the significant phenotypic differences between the human brain and that of RPC-134, higher brain functions identifiable as sapience are completely ceased in RPC-134-1 instances, leading to behavior identical to that of RPC-134. Testing has confirmed that RPC-134-1 retain memories of both the speaker and the initial RPC-134 instance4 but are no longer capable of any higher thought associated with human intelligence.

RPC-134-2 refers to the collective writings of Charles Darwin between the years of 1871 and 1882. While not strictly anomalous in nature, all scientific writing on the part of Darwin during this period, and significant amounts of personal correspondence contain either overt or implied reference to RPC-134 and his research into the process of becoming an RPC-134-1 instance. While no single text contains the entire set of phrases required to activate the anomalous behavior, all phrases can be found within RPC-134-2 and each individual phrase is labeled as such. Embedded Authority agents have managed to covertly replace the entirety of RPC-134-2 with versions omitting references to RPC-134, ensuring the Authority is the sole holder of all known documentation referencing the anomalous nature of RPC-134.

Acquisition: RPC-134 first came to the Authority’s attention after the interception of several communications between members of a splinter sect of the GoI “Church of Malthus”, calling themselves "Darwin's Hand", who posed as interested associates, and Charles Darwin himself5 in which he made several references to the anomalous affects of RPC-134 and his failing health driving a desire to become an instance of RPC-134-1. Despite further Authority surveillance, embedded agents were unable to prevent Darwin’s Hand from smuggling an instance of RPC-134 into England and assisting Darwin in becoming an RPC-134-1 instance on 19 April 1882. Charles Darwin was later classified RPC-134-1A and his writings seized by the Authority.

The capture of all members of Darwin’s Hand involved in the incident elicited further investigation and subsequent interrogation6 resulted in location of the Pinta Island Church of Malthus chapter, and subsequent eradication of the entire splinter cell.

By the time of Authority arrival on the island, approximately 90% of the chapter had already become instances of RPC-134-17. Lack of understanding on the nature of RPC-134-1 instances and Authority policy on hostile GoI required termination of all members of the chapter, regardless of humanoid status. Subsequent sweeps of the island found no further instances of RPC-134.

Addendum-01: On the 24/05/2012 RPC-134-1A was found deceased within its enclosure by the assigned civilian carer. Embedded authority veterinary staff determined cause of death to be natural complications from advanced age. As the only known documentation on activating the anomalous effects of RPC-134 are in Authority custody, and no further instances of the species have been discovered in since the transfer of 2A into civilian care, reclassification to neutralized is currently pending.

Addendum-02: On the 1/06/2012 civilian scientists canvassing the local Galápagos Tortoise population of Isabela Island9 located over a dozen juvenile specimens of the native Volcán Wolf tortoise10 species hybridized with RPC-134. Subsequent Authority investigation found all to be successful instances of RPC-134-1 despite hybridization. Due to the implications of both an uncontained population of RPC-134 existing in the wild, and unauthorized individuals possessing knowledge from RPC-134-2, reclassification to Beta is pending.

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