Registered Phenomena Code: 288

Object Class: Omega-Orange

Hazard Types: h-psychotronic.png Psychotronic Hazard h-infohazard.png Info-Hazard h-memory-alteration.png Memory-Alteration Hazard h-sensory.png Sensory Hazard h-visual.png Visual Hazard h-emotional.png Emotional Hazardh-radiation.png Radiation Hazard

Containment Protocols: Due to the phenomenal nature of RPC-288, no effective method of containment exists. However, to best prevent manifestations of RPC-288 from reaching the public, Authority agents have been embedded in chief editorial positions in every major newspaper in the United Kingdom. These agents are to proofread and examine the daily crossword before and after publication. If an instance of RPC-288 is detected, it is to be sent to Site-112 for further testing. Despite these efforts, it is unlikely RPC-288 will manifest before distribution to the public.

A manifestation of RPC-288 will be detectable via a unique radiation signature, which the Authority can trace using specialised Geiger counters. Should an instance of RPC-288 manifest in public and be completed, Authority agents should photograph, transcribe, and then burn the completed crossword. Incomplete crosswords are to be sent to Site-112 for further testing. A civilian who has solved or has started to solve an instance of RPC-288 is to be debriefed and then administered Class A-2 amnestics.

Description: RPC-288 is a crossword puzzle that manifests as the daily crossword in any major United Kingdom-based newspaper. The crossword clues within RPC-288 will initially match the published clues but will change to suit the reader. Answers to these new questions will be personal in nature, and will sometimes be secrets known only to the reader. The source of RPC-288 is unknown; however, instances of RPC-288 bare the signature "Wordsworth", although attempts to identify this individual have proved fruitless.

As the reader solves the crossword and remembers past experiences, their desire to finish the puzzle will become obsessive. The reader will attempt to violently retrieve RPC-288 if it is removed from their possession when they are near completion. If the reader is isolated from RPC-288 for one hour, their mood will become anxious and agitated, and they will attempt to obtain RPC-288 through non-violent means. Should subsequent requests to obtain RPC-288 be denied, the reader will become catatonic and begin self-mutilating, carving words into their bodies. Cross-referencing these words with instances of RPC-288 will show that these words are in fact answers to incomplete parts of RPC-288. A reader who has reached this point will often die of exsanguination or shock.

Completion of an instance of RPC-288 will have a different effect on each reader. Most commonly, the reader will momentarily lose consciousness before reawakening with excessive feelings of peacefulness, nostalgia, shame, depression, or aggression. On occasion, readers with heightened negative feelings will resort to self-harm or attempt suicide. While it is possible to use amnestics on the reader to prevent recollection of RPC-288, the changes to their emotional state seem to be permanent. Attempts by the Authority to use RPC-288 as a therapeutic tool have proved too unpredictable for reliable use. Further requests into this matter will be denied.

Testing Logs:

Subject Name: Lewis ███████, (██)

Conditions: Subject was prevented from completing an instance of RPC-288, however they had not progressed far enough to provoke a violent response. Subject was taken to Site-112, where they were prompted to complete their instance of RPC-288.

Results: Upon completion of RPC-288, subject began mumbling about "that summer in '78" and "those old school days at Bradbury". When asked to expand upon their thoughts, Subject broke down in tears proclaiming "it never got any better." Subject was administered amnestics and released.


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