RPC-228

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Registered Phenomena Code: 228

Object Class: Alpha-Yellow

Hazard Types: Extra-Dimensional, Sapient

Containment Protocols: RPC-228 is currently contained within a standard anomalous object containment chamber in the Alpha Sector of the Terran Containment Level of Site-002. Any items sold by RPC-228-B are contained in adjacent standard storage.

Description: RPC-228 is an anomalous decorative mirror which acts as a physical gateway to an area of extradimensional space. The object measures 95 x 60 x 12cm, is composed of non-anomalous soda-lime glass, silver, and oak wood, and shows non-anomalous construction techniques consistent with similar mirrors manufactured in the mid to late 1910s. The object's frame was originally painted with a red, lead-based paint, which has been substantially worn away.

RPC-228 acts as an audio-visual bridge to an alternate reality, designated RPC-228-A. RPC-228-A consists of a single room with three walls, a ceiling, and a floor. These appear to be made out of wood, but this is impossible to accurately determine as most physical objects cannot pass through the RPC-228 anomaly. Radar, LIDAR, and other forms of electromagnetic measuring, as well as spectral analysis of the light within RPC-228-A, have yielded inconsistent and contradictory data. RPC-228-A contains several pieces of furniture, including a bed, desk, cupboard, and numerous other miscellaneous furnishings, including a table fan and a bare filament light bulb affixed to the ceiling. Detailed visual analysis of the furnishings of RPC-228-A have shown no identifiable brand names and no correlation with any specific era or make of furniture.

The only object(s) capable of passing to and from RPC-228-A are those that RPC-228-B (see below) designates as "currency." This generally includes actual, physical forms of money, of a variety of ages, origins and denominations, but can also include a wide variety of other, more exotic substances (see Addendum I).

RPC-228-A is inhabited by an entity dubbed RPC-228-B. RPC-228-B is a Caucasian male individual, which claims to be 28 years old.

Research Division is currently attempting to find a logic to RPC-228-B's means of determining the "price" of its objects.

“Prices“ for RPC-228-B’s objects tend to involve related items, such as organic materials or writing implementations. Thus the motive for the prices may be a specific activity or goal.

RPC-228-B is assumed to ascribe to a philosophy of body positivity, as its "prices" have been shown to have commentary on historical oppressive power structures and how they demean a variety of non-centered body types, e.g. the "price" of RPC-228-1-21 being a torn bodice.1

RPC-228-B's means of determining the "price" of a given traded object may best be approached from an overlay perspective of heterocisnormative, Anglo-cultural dominance, which would cast the components of a "price" as vestiges of a now obsolete system of acquiring knowledge.

RPC-228-B's means of determining the "price" of a given traded object can be explained by filtering the etymologies and historical narratives of the items involved through a means of regressive bicolonialism.

RPC-228-B's means of determining the "price" of a given traded object can reportedly be understood using models of intersectionality between allosexuality and antiessentialism. Running numerical data through this praxis retroactively captures epistemological frameworks which have the greatest rate of success at predicting the involved components in a given "price" (~3%).

RPC-228-B's means of determining the "price" of a given traded object might be due to completely non-causal or alogical factors; however we at Research have via 2066's Executive Edict on Anti-Oppressive & Anti-Exclusionary Epistemologies (EAOAE) officially denied this possibility as being unacademic and oppressive in nature and an exclusion of the department. Thus, this necessarily remains an issue of scholarly debate, and to date no dominant theory has emerged.

- Dr. Frank Urtz



Addendum I: Abridged List of Items Sold by RPC-228-B (here designated variants of RPC-228-1-[#]) Using Unconventional Currency

# Object Price
4 A 9k yellow gold ritual knife with jewel -encrusted hilt.2 When pointed in the direction of a human, a Celtic, female voice will beg for the attacker to stop until the knife is either lowered or contacts human flesh. Further testing has been prohibited. Two Carassius auratus,3 an infant gorilla heart, and $6.50 USD.
8 An adult human stomach with a YKK brand zipper embedded along the fundal wall.4 It can be used to preserve food, seemingly indefinitely;5 the method of the preservation is not yet understood. When used to package anything not widely considered edible, the item will be forced out via the pylorus.6 Two new unsharpened No.2 pencils and a half-empty ink pen, 0.7mm tip.
11 A book with the title “Nonsense And Optical Illusions” with a cover made of human leather. The book consists of every non-anomalous major event in human history prior to the 21st century. Dr. Lane’s coin collection.7
17 Dubbed a “wabbit’s foot” by RPC-228-B; a black foot with the same superficial shape as that of Oryctolagus cuniculus.8 When held by a human they will face psychological adversity seemingly tailored to their past until they let go.9,10 Testing has not revealed what animal it belonged to. A small bag of various candies and a 7.6kg bag of loam.
32 A floppy disk which features text files filled with lines of an unknown code. When inserted into an A: drive on circa 1990s desktop computers, a program auto-runs. A dialogue box appears on the screen. Any noun typed into this box will become the object of an intense and near-always pathological paraphobia on the part of the typist. Seven silver candlesticks from 17th century New England, a framed amateur sketch of an unknown infant.11



Addendum II: Interview RPC-228 6/20/2068

Interviewer: Dr. Puer

Interviewee: RPC-228-B


Dr. Puer: Hello, RPC-228-B. My name is Dr. Puer. Mind responding to a few questions?

RPC-228-B: No, Dr. Puer, I don't mind. Just like the last guy. Just tell me whatever info you need, and I'll give you the price.

Dr. Puer: Well, I'm looking for your story. How you got here, why do you do what you do. And a few others, but let's go one by one.

RPC-228-B: Tch. My— My fucking origin story?

(RPC-228-B smirks.)

RPC-228-B: Let me answer your question with mine. Why the shit do you think this big word out here conforms to your incredibly human expectations? Causality and shit. "Backstory" and shit. It doesn't all get packaged to you with some pretty purple bow because you expect something out of a format or because your superiors expect that this information is there to be written down. There is no origin story. I always have been and probably always will be, and that's it. Get over it. Were you looking for some generic, tragic bartender story? I got many of those. I got many stories… unlucky you just happened upon one that doesn't have one. On your first question, you've asked for my least valuable possession. And I have eraser-less, broken No. 2 pencils and no sharpener.

(Pause. RPC-228-B’s expression remains neutral.)

RPC-228-B: Just… Whatever. Give me the chocolate bar in the vending machine down the hall and you'll have a story or answer or whatever you want to call it.

(Dr. Puer consults the supplemental staff to produce a candy bar. RPC-228-B accepts it, it is transported via the portal by a deposit tray. RPC-228-B carefully opens the wrapper.)

Dr. Puer: I was under the assumption you don't eat, 228-B. Why would you want a—

(RPC-228-B takes a large bite and chews loudly with his mouth open. After a few seconds, he spits the half-chewed bar onto the floor.)

RPC-228-B: Mmmm. You're right, Dr. Puer. I don't eat. Now, what you paid for.

(RPC-228-B leans back in his chair, supporting his head by placing both hands behind it.)

RPC-228-B: There's no how but there is a why. I was created to do exactly what you see now. I trade stuff, what you call anomalies, for what you think of as mundane, and vice versa for this other universe in this other mirror over here on the other wall. Guess you can't see from your vantage point.

(Another pause, extending for 10 seconds. RPC-228-B begins flossing his teeth with his fingernails.)

RPC-228-B: What? That's it. Want something else? I got uh… I got a new gun today, a revolver that, you're going to love this one—

Dr. Puer: I'm more interested in who creates these objects you trade. And why do you trade at all?

(RPC-228-B returns to upright position and smiles, then shrugs.)

RPC-228-B: Dunno. I should charge you for that, but you don't have anything as worthless as my answer to exchange for it. Consider this one on the house.

Dr. Puer: 'Dunno'?

(RPC-228-B stares down, widening his smile.)

RPC-228-B: That's the fun part. I have no clue. This is all I do, and I've been doing it for as long as I remember. There was never a start to it, never a learning curve, never a rising action or twist, or climax or victory or defeat. Just this. I never did anything but trade and chat for a bit, then go back to waiting for the next trade. Over and over and over again. I've really grown to hate it.

Dr. Puer: I'm sorry to hear that.

(RPC-228-B laughs, and stares back up.)

RPC-228-B: Oh, come on. Cut the bullshit for just one second. I know you're just looking to get something juicy to impress your peers with, or maybe you're just wanting to get this over with and collect your pay, write it all down, shove it somewhere you won't remember in a week when the next anomaly falls into your lap, go back home with your family, wasting your shitty, worthless life together. Worthless game, worthless prizes. But whatever, do you have any other questions?

Dr. Puer: (Takes a second to compose himself, looks down to his digital tablet.) How you determine the prices of the items you sell? It seems like it could be based on Mayan maths, but we can't figure it out. Is it?

RPC-228-B: (Laughs.) It's really this ingrained in you, huh? There's no meaning or pattern to my prices. Hell, I could give less of a shit about them. Of course, I do know everything there is to know about every item I possess, but that's because I need to. Not you. But truth is, I would forget all of that if I could.

Dr. Puer: Why?

RPC-228-B: The items I trade and the people I trade for; they are all greater than my purpose, made for something important, or as a result of something important. They're important, and I am not, I guess is the way I see it. I'm the middleman between them and the buyers. A necessary means for an end, but an irrelevant one nevertheless. Necessary, but irrelevant. Again, lucky you.

Dr. Puer: Do you know anything about those on the other end of these trades?

RPC-228-B: A little. A lot like you. Very scientific. Very thorough. In fact, they finished their science… you folk have a ways to go it seems. But once you finish science in one universe, what else is there to do? Maybe do science in another universe. Well what are ordinary to you but anomalies to them, these have become very valuable and a great source of intrigue. Lives of the parties. Art halls are the new science buildings there. Endless rows of anomalies, one not too different from any others, but drooled over by a depraved bunch who have retreated into it as their only joy in life; mainly because the rest is so dull now. Tired as I am, really. Desperate for change, doesn’t matter what. Hell, if an object is new to them, they'll make up a history for it to make it anomalous, whether or not it really is. So, here I am, a constant pipeline for new commodities for their endless amusement and asspats. I think they have assess…

(Pause.)

RPC-228-B: They can't believe you trade this exotic stuff for what to them is just tired junk. I never even get to use them though, except for the food. I just sell them. At the end of the day, if I managed to sell everything, I get a few moments of silence. And some flavor in my life.

(Dr. Puer opens his mouth to say something, but interrupts himself. Another pause.)

Dr. Puer: Another question: Why do you ask for food so often? You never eat it, just spit it on the floor.

RPC-228-B: There's no particular hunger pushing me, and I never feel anything in my belly for that matter. I just ask for food so I can sit for a bit and just taste it. It's the only thing I can make use of really. Not that any of my other clients ask for food; that's my cut. Thank the Lord you don't consider food to be of much value, I take it. Shit's beautiful. You people couldn't understand why I traded you that… that… uhm, that wire thing that plays the audio of your dreaming12 for all that celery… and whatever else those clients wanted. Looked at me like I was insane. “Celery?” Just some vegetable stick you throw in with other things to decorate the flavor of other dishes. Right? But all it's own… wow. It is amazing and you are oblivious to it. Let me have it, I can treat that shit right.

(RPC-228-B chuckles.)

(Dr. Puer slightly furrows his brows.)

RPC-228-B: Whoa — you finally showed some emotion! You’re scaring me. Wait are you scared? Not of me, obviously, I can't reach you from here. Right? Maybe of acting normal? Like a weak normo human? Are you robots or just encouraged to act like them?

Dr. Puer: Apologies. We're required to act professionally when—

RPC-228-B: (Laughs) Yes! Yes that's the stuff, that's rich. If that had a flavor… No, you do this because you think I'm some sort of object of study, something to be picked at and analyzed for a novel response. You can't accept that something just are the way they are, and that's the limit of your understanding. “The paralysis of analysis” the others13 know it as. I've spoken with some pretty insane doctors in your organization who are convinced they've seen some pattern or rhyme or reason to the trading. They are talented in how effortlessly they can reach up into their own assess to satisfy their itch… like there's a fungal infection in their shit. You know what's waiting at the end of objectivity? Rampant subjectivity. Rampant. And y'all are getting there. These are the signs. You people really do make me feel better about myself, and that's why I haven't reached through this portal and snapped your throat. You're all so sad, never deviating from the same activity, despite being given the world and then some. Plus I’d lose my cut; the only flavor in my life.

(Pause.)

RPC-228-B: You know, speaking of those things you can't explain or help and just have to accept; you're gonna die one day, right, Puer? Flat as that. And any legacy you leave behind will, one day far enough into the future, be twisted to support some retarded philosophy that puts you at the center and on a pedestal. Your name, your influence, your ideas whores for some cause or philosophy you’d find disgusting. You will, at best, be revered by a bunch of lunatics with nothing better to do than to give you a turn to be remembered. Sad, huh? ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ They have that saying too. There are so many fates worse than the blessing of simply being forgotten.

Dr. Puer: Well. I’m sorry but your answers here today are really not acceptable by Research, I can tell you that right now.

RPC-228-B: Does that mean we are done here?

Dr. Puer: For today. Maybe you’ll be able to give us an explanation tomorrow? If not, then certainly the day after that I’d think… no?

(RPC-228-B sighs.)

RPC-228-B: I guess I don’t have much of a choice. Nothing much better to do anyway, annoying as you are.

Dr. Puer: Think your answers over and we’ll try again.

(Recording ends.)

Closing Statement: No satisfactory explanation has been gathered at this time. Research is ongoing. After the interview RPC-228-B was offered therapy but denied this. When Authority Research asked its reasoning, RPC-228 M-B stated, “I don’t need therapy especially from a group of mechanical shit heads.”


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