RPC-987

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Registered Phenomena Code: 987

Object Class: Alpha-Red

Hazard Types: Transmutation Hazard, Bio-Hazard, Mind-Regression Hazard

Containment Protocols: RPC-987 is to be kept in a hermetically sealed glass container at all times. Under no circumstances are personnel to remove RPC-987 from its container. Observation requests must be forwarded to a Containment Specialist for approval. Observation is limited to 1-hour intervals, with no less than 30 minutes in between sessions.

Any signs of compromised containment must immediately be reported to a Containment Specialist. Failure to report such compromises may result in penalization.

Description: RPC-987 is the designation for a single-page occultist document discovered in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1899. RPC-987 was initially discovered by a group of English occultists who traveled to Innsbruck looking for the home of a local occultist intellectual, Theodor Schwamm. It is believed that the group discovered RPC-987 in the home of Schwamm, who was later reported missing. There exists sparse documentation of their discovery, limited to a single note written by one of the members of the group, George Pierce:

The page is not written in German. It bears resemblance to German, to my naked eye, but Otto insists it is unintelligible. Regardless, the iconography is distinctly Ahmic, that much is certain. It appears to depict some sort of birth, I would suppose. The specifics of the icons are unclear, however, since they aren't documented in our codex that we procured years ago.

It carries a peculiar aura. Otto is particularly perturbed by it, perhaps owing to his inability to make sense of the written language. I think Alfred is a bit nervous about it as well, he's been constantly itching all over his body since we discovered it. I was so hoping to meet Mr. Schwamm, since he had collected many relics related to Ahmic lore. The only thing of note we found seems to be this indecipherable document.

The Authority briefly investigated the death of the leader of the group, Alfred Smithington, in 1900 due to the anomalous circumstances surrounding it. Smithington is believed to have been walking outside his home when some variety of phenomena occurred. What exactly happened is unknown, however, authorities discovered his body floating in one of the city's canals, his body notably mutilated. Protruding throughout his body were a number of mucus-secreting appendages. The appendages lacked an epidermal layer, and appeared to have violently extruded themselves through his skin. The only identifiable feature was an otherwise untouched face. The authority was called to investigate following a similar phenomenon occurring to the individuals who recovered Smithington's body. Smithington's body was initially considered for RPC designation, however this was dropped once it was determined that the body was not the primary source of the phenomenon.

New information regarding RPC-987 would stagnate until the concurrent deaths of George Piece and Otto Weissman in the winter of 1901. Both were apparently scheduled to present at an occultist convention in London; supposedly having deciphered RPC-987. It is unknown whether they in fact successfully deciphered it, as shortly after beginning their presentation, both men spontaneously immolated. The resulting fire killed the vast majority of the attendees. Two survivors, Harriet Johnson, and known anomologist and archaeologist Edward Linderbough, are believed to have recovered RPC-987.

It was following this event that the Authority formally opened a case on RPC-987.

Though Linderbough and Johnson initially claimed joint ownership, it is believed Linderbough forced Johnson to take full ownership of RPC-987, as evidenced in a short letter written by him while located abroad in Turkey:

Harriet, I will not be returning to the lab. In fact, I will not be returning anywhere that page has been. I had a dream, perhaps even a presage. That parchment is not something I want to keep as part of my collection. I hope you find something else to do with it, or burn it, I don't give a damn. You're not catching me anywhere near it. Consider this a warning.

Harriet Johnson was involuntarily admitted to Cane Hill Psychiatric Hospital in 1906, almost five years since she had procured the object. It is suspected that Johnson smuggled RPC-987 in with her upon admission due to a variety of phenomena that occurred shortly after her arrival. Most notably, numerous patients and staff within the hospital began suffering from the same phenomena that occurred with Alfred Smithington. Unique in this incident, however, were that many of the affected remained alive. Individuals not affected by the growth of appendages began to become afflicted with varying levels of psychosis. Approximately two months after Johnson's arrival at Cane Hill, the Hospital completely isolated itself from outside connections.

Approximately one year after Cane Hill quarantined itself, Authority investigators arrived at the hospital to investigate the incident. Upon arrival, personnel discovered the entirety of the hospital's population dead, of unknown cause. Further investigation revealed that the inhabitants had formed a sex cult revolving around the abnormalities present in those affected by the bodily modifications. The apparent leader of the cult was Harriet Johnson, who had fashioned herself as the priestess of the cult. Numerous writings existed in varying levels of coherency detailing her alleged pregnancy with a "Holy Child"

It is unknown whether she successfully gave birth before the inhabitants were killed. Personnel were unable to locate RPC-987 within the Hospital, nor were they able to determine where it was located. A large scale effort to cover up the events that occurred at the hospital was initiated, ending a year later, successfully.

The Cane Hill Hospital incident would remain a dead end until 1976, where RPC-987 surfaced among David Bowie's collection of occultist writings. The exact nature of how he procured the document is unknown, as the only documentation of him having owned it appears in a note he sent to an individual interested in purchasing it:

Dear Mr. Habsburg

I'm quite enthused that you are interested in buying this page from me. I, for the life of me, have been unable to find any use of it. Every since I acquired it, I have been plagued by such oddities, I swear my television has been talking to me. Either way, if you've interest, you can have it. I've included it within this letter, there is no need for compensation, please, just take it.

Regards, David.

The Mr. Habsburg mentioned is believed to be related to the mysterious organization known as either the Pythagorean Order or the Swiss Habsburgs. Due to unknown circumstances, it is believed that Habsburg never received the letter, as seven years later, RPC-987 was recovered by the Authority in a raid on a Children of Nihil compound. The nature of their possession of the document is unclear, however it is known that a number of their members had already been affected by the document.

Following acquisition of RPC-987, numerous efforts were made to determine the nature of the document. Though all attempts ended in violent incidents of varying degrees of severity, several details were determined:

  • RPC-987 is composed of human tissue, treated to be usable as parchment.
  • RPC-987 is written in a non-Indo-European language, despite sharing significant phonetic similarity to Germanic languages.
  • The tissue used to create RPC-987 was/is infected with an unidentified pathogen, believed to be responsible for the bodily mutilation the document causes.
  • RPC-987 is a cognitohazard that inflicts a variety of psychological illnesses upon those in its vicinity.
  • RPC-987's effects can be controlled by limiting its exposure to air.

Due to these factors, an effective method of containment was devised and put in place.

There have been no major incidents since containment was put in place, although migraines have been reported after viewing the document for extended periods of time.

There has been no major success in deciphering the contents of RPC-987, although it is known that the document generally pertains to childbirth.

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