Verdant Remains

Verdant Remains

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An RPC-052 fossil fragment being transported under the guise of a large piece of timber.

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Registered Phenomena Code: 052

Object Class: Beta-Yellow

Hazard Types: Ideological Hazard, Sentient Hazard

Additional Properties: Ecological, Organic, Titanic

Containment Protocols: Strange ecological occurrences on the North American continent should be monitored for indications that point to RPC-052 being the cause of such events. RPC-052 fossil remains are to be located and extracted and brought into Authority custody. Such remains are to be stored separately so as to prevent compounding effects. Plant growth and facility degradation around the fossil should be recorded daily and repairs executed when necessary. Personnel working with RPC-052 are to be subjected to psychological evaluations on a weekly basis and tested for any change in ideology or belief. Footprints and nests belonging to RPC-052 are to be hidden rather than extracted due to the possible negative effects removing them may entail.

As RPC-052 itself is extinct, no further containment procedures are required.

Description: RPC-052 is the designation afforded to an extinct species of megafauna with no known relatives. The species was endemic to the North American continent, with footprints believed to have belonged to members of the species indicating seasonal cross-continent herd migrations. The oldest fossils of RPC-052 date back to Eocene Epoch approximately 40 million years ago, with the species becoming extinct approximately 2 million years before humans arrived on the continent. Partial fossil reconstructions of the species indicate that the species had 6 limbs branching out from the torso, 2 tails approximately 70 meters in length which may have been prehensile, a long neck ending with a skull resembling a cross between a whale and a goat, and several additional structures attached to the back of the skull which resemble the creature's tails in structure though not in size. The largest members of the species are estimated to have been 35 meters tall at the shoulders and 110 meters in length. Authority paleontologists have indicated that these reconstructions are likely accurate barring a large new discovery. Aside from the species' size and apparent lack of any ancestor, it is unknown if they possessed any anomalous properties in life.

The presence of fossil remains of RPC-052 has a verifiable impact on regions above or around these fossils, which appear to increase in strength when the fossils are unearthed or otherwise discovered. The strength of these effects increases the more the fossil is related to the actual presence of former RPC-052 instances. These effects universally involve alterations to the ecosystem in the affected area. The presence of a footprint will result in the surrounding soils becoming more fertile or the reversal of desertification in the region. The presence of what is presumed to be an RPC-052 nest results in increase fertility in nearby fauna and appearance of plant and animal life that may have been absent from the region prior to the effect's activation. The strength of these effects is most apparent when RPC-052 bone fossils are located, with the bones exerting mild effects even when untampered with. The effects increase sharply when the fossils are unearthed, resulting in rapid plant growth in the surrounding region and the degradation of mediums which would prevent further growth, especially human structures. In extreme cases, extracted RPC-052 fossils have resulted in the appearance of new species (See Incident Log 052-B).

Analysis of RPC-052 bone structure has revealed cavities containing residual organic structure as opposed to the mineral cast structure of the exterior. This material is also present in residual quantities around footprints and other fossils. Despite lack of nutrients, these organic structures appear to have persisted despite the expiration of the RPC-052 species itself. However, any material removed from these structures, including DNA samples, will decay rapidly after removal, preventing in-depth analysis of the structures. However, electrical signals detected from within these organic masses appear to resemble brain activity, consistent with rapid eye movement sleep in humans. It has been hypothesized that the alterations of ecosystems around these fossils are a result of some dream occurring within a brain-like structure within the fossils. As analyzing these electrical signals would trigger RPC-052's effects, it is impossible to know if these signals are identical prior to discovery of RPC-052 fossils, but it is believed these signals would be consistent with stage-3 non-rapid eye movement sleep if the prior hypothesis is true.

Most notable to the containment of RPC-052 fossils is the effect it has on sapient beings within its vicinity. Individuals within an RPC-052 fossil's area of effect will slowly undergo a change in belief, adopting pro-nature ideologies if the individual does not already possess such beliefs. These beliefs become more radical in the presence of larger fossil samples, which can become damaging to efforts to remove RPC-052 fossils in these scenarios. Such ideologies can range from mild conservationism if such beliefs did not exist prior to extremes such as anarcho-primitivism or eco-fascism (See Incident Log 052-B).

Addendum 052-A: The following is a record of notable effects caused by different fossils of RPC-052.

4-11-1892 - Footprint imprint Most notable for being the first recorded encounter with an RPC-052 instance by the Authority, the footprint was located in the Western United States and was presumably already discovered in the past. Due to the identity and anomalous properties of RPC-052 remains being unknown at the time of discovery, the footprint was extracted for further study. The region in which the footprint was located later succumbed to desertification.
23-4-1893 - Large forelimb fossil The first bone fossil of RPC-052. It was located in a redwood forest in California, where it was first located by paleontologists not employed by the Authority and shipped to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. During transport, it was intercepted by Authority personnel, though was still brought to the exposition where it was displayed as a large piece of timber. The fossil was later identified as belonging to the species which has created the previously identified footprint. Further study of the species followed this discovery, but the anomalous effects of the fossils remained unknown at this point in time and the effects this bone had during its transport remains unknown.
12-12-1893 - Nest fossil The discovery of an RPC-052 nest occurred as a result of the research into the previously discovered fossils. It was in this discovery that the anomalous properties of RPC-052 fossils was identified, as the increased fertility in the region around this nest was observed to decline to normal levels after the egg remains were removed from the location. The effect was further investigated and identified, as well as being confirmed occurring around the previously discovered fossils. This discovery led to RPC-052's registration as an RPC.
3-16-1905 - Skull fossil Later research led to the discovery of an RPC-052 skull. The skull was discovered in the California redwoods, where it was discovered to have caused the growth of particularly large redwoods around its location as well as heavy ground cover around the location despite lack of sunlight due to the trees. The ground cover returned to normal levels after the skull was extracted, though the trees remained until they were chopped down several years later.
5-3-1906 - Backlimb fossil A complete back limb belonging to a former RPC-052 instance was discovered underwater in Lake Erie, being extracted shortly after. Though the area's exposure to RPC-052's effects was short-term, the discovery was followed by a rise in population of non-native species in the lakes, most notably the sea lamprey, which had recently migrated into the lakes through the Welland Canal.
6-19-1912 Incomplete RPC-052 body fossil The largest RPC-052 fossil discovered yet, both in size and in importance. The fossil, as well as all previous fossils were moved to a separate facility where attempts to make a reconstruction of an RPC-052 skeleton were made, though several limb substitutes had to be made. While this project was completed successfully and the reconstruction documentation survives, the project resulted in Incident-052-B.

Incident Log 052-B: On ██-██-19██, after the partial reconstruction of the RPC-052 skeleton had been completed, multiple unforeseen effects followed as a result of the high concentration of RPC-052 fossils. Quickly, large amounts of plant life were found to have grown in the immediate area around the reconstruction, though RPC-052's effects had already been documented and this basic effect was expected. However, the growth of plant life in other areas of the facility and around it accelerated soon after, which coincided with the degradation of communications systems and advanced modes of transportation. After these circumstances were discovered, many personnel opted to attempt an escape of the facility by foot. Only one of these personnel was successful in escaping the region, reporting that others had been attacked and presumably killed by hostile unidentified plant life.

Inside the facility, entrances were quickly sealed off by large trees and other plant growth occurring in newly exposed soil, while individuals still within the facility began to formulate plans for survival until a rescue attempt was made. However, these plans were greatly hindered as the as of yet unidentified ideological effects of RPC-052 took hold, with almost all members of the facility being unwilling to destroy and plant or animal life even if it meant being unable to eat or otherwise escape, according to recovered undamaged logs. In the following day, these sentiments devolved into much more primal behaviors, with multiple individuals banding together to accelerate the collapse of the facility. During this time, another group began to formulate a plan to take control of the remaining personnel in the facility and establish a crude authoritarian government which enforced attempts to damage wildlife in the facility with death. These plans would be successful.

The following day, the surviving escapee from the incident arrived at a nearby site, and explained the situation that had been occurring at the time of his escape. A rescue operation was quickly organized, and mobilized towards the facility's location. However, only 3 days after the incident had began, a large jungle-like ecosystem had formed in a half kilometer radius around the facility, which made progress towards the facility slow, with airborne transport degrading before it could reach the facility. The rescue had to be conducted on foot, which was made difficult by the presence of an unidentified aggressive canine species, which is now presumed extinct after the incident's conclusion. Upon reaching the facility, new entrances had been made by the facility's walls crumbling due to continued degradation, but those previously trapped inside had not made an escape attempt; instead, it was found they were held captive by the group who had previously taken control of the facility, where the survivors had resorted to cannibalism to survive. The personnel were hostile, though due to lacking any offensive weapons were quickly subdued with non-lethal weaponry.

After the incident, the facility continued to degrade until it had crumbled almost entirely before attempts to extract the RPC-052 fossils were successful. The large jungle region shrunk away once most of the fossils had been extracted, and withered completely once extraction was completed. The unidentified species in the region presumably went extinct with no resources to support them. Most survivors of the incident made a full ideological recovery, though some remained markedly radical in their beliefs permanently after the incident had concluded. Current containment procedures were established following this incident in the aims to prevent a similar occurrence.

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