Schimmelflocke
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Inactive colony of RPC-563.

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Registered Phenomena Code: 563

Object Class: Gamma-Purple

Hazards: Bio-Hazard; Contact Hazard

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Containment Protocols:
Samples of RPC-563 alongside instances of RPC-563-1 are to be stored in a series of secure cultivation chambers inside a sealed containment room at Bio Wing-2 of Site-██ which is accessible only via airlock. Nutrients are administered via automated robotic systems, as the cultivation chamber must remain enclosed at all times.

Hermetically sealed video surveillance cameras are to be installed within the containment room, and must be checked daily for any damages in structural integrity. Any personnel entering the containment room must wear Class-IV Hazmat equipment including rebreathers and undergo full anti-fungal disinfection alongside the administration of orally taken prophylactic anti-fungal drugs upon exiting.

Upon detection of a Schneeflocke-Event1 MST-Golf 14 (“Jatayu’s Vultures”) is to be sent to neutralize said event and provided with heavy UV light-based weaponry. Any casualties suffered, civilian or otherwise, should be properly covered up, as well as all organic residue appropriately discarded, upon contact with RPC-563. Areas affected by the concurrent influence of RPC-563 are to undergo strict fungal purging, with all traces of RPC-563’s being thoroughly erased as per standard containment protocol.

Description: RPC-563 is a fungal organism bearing an extremely pale coloration. RPC-563 bears distinct resemblance to some members of the Tremella fuciformis2 species. RPC-563 can be found in areas easily defined by an excess of yearly snowfall and extremely frequent precipitation. The average amount of precipitation needed for RPC-563 to flourish consists of approximately 410 mm of snow per year and a humidity of at least 80%. RPC-563 appears to be restricted to humans alone, as they have not been observed to affect any other living organism.

Without a host body, RPC-563 spores will most commonly be found on the top of a soil mound in a dormant state3 and will remain inactive until the presence of strong winds and cold temperatures awakens them from this state. The fruiting body is exceptionally large during the duration of its inactivity. In this state, RPC-563 ’s form consists of a viscous, mucous-like film approximately 1 meter in diameter. This growth will dissipate upon the detection of sufficient wind currents. Spores originating from RPC-563 will be caught up in said air currents and will subsequently attach to suspended snow crystals within the air through a currently unknown mechanism.

Through this process, RPC-563 can easily gain direct contact with many prospective hosts at once (hereby designated as “subjects”). Upon direct contact, RPC-563 will rapidly germinate on the surface of the subjects skin, drawing nutrients from them. The rate at which RPC-563 reproduces is nearly instantaneous, resulting with the subject being completely coated. During a blizzard this process occurs with even greater rapidity due to large numbers of RPC-563 present in falling snow.

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Active Schneeflocke-Event in now uninhabited town of ██████, Alaska. Circa 20██.

Subjects that succumb to this process undergo a rapid invasion of their bodies, with RPC-563 injecting millions of microscopic mycelial growths directly into their skin. The mycelium will continue to absorb available nutrients and biomass from the subject at an exponential rate until the subject’s subsequent expiration. Subjects that undergo this process appear to be completely oblivious of this occurrence, regardless of their current state up until their deaths. The duration of this process is on average approximately 30 seconds. All non-skeletal tissue in the corpse is broken down by RPC-563, and the resultant fungal colony, designated as RPC-563-1, takes on the same shape as the consumed host. All clothing left from the alteration will be subsequently dissolved or discarded by the RPC-563-1 instance. Instances of RPC-563-1 will animate upon the expiration of their host, and seek other potential hosts all the while constantly expelling RPC-563 spores. Instances of RPC-563-1 appear to possess some form of intelligence, as they are aware of the presence of other instances and are somewhat organized when confronted with obstacles. Consistent observation has shown that the intelligence of an RPC-563-1 instance is directly proportional to the current biomass of that singular fungal colony.

Depending on the mass and body type of the subject prior to their alteration, the effects of RPC-563 after the process can vary widely.

Should an RPC-563-1 instance lose more than approximately 24% of their current biomass, they will spontaneously burst, spreading millions of spores over an exceptionally wide area. Depending on their mass, this area can expand to as far as approximately 7 meters in diameter. Instances of RPC-563-1 are particularly vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation. However this will result in enhancing their metabolic processes, increasing their overall speed and agility until they expire and explode.

Addendum:

Foreword: The following is an excerpt from a Tinneh4 journal found within a previously undiscovered and abandoned Alaskan settlement. Note the characteristics of the events described and their similarity to a progressing Schneeflocke-Event.

For the sake of brevity, the document has been translated from Haidan to English.


XX/XX/XXXX

The winds have not ceased and the other children grow hungry. I fear for Payuk’s safety, for he has not returned from his hunt with Kaare and Kiviaq. Denali refuses to let anyone search for them. The approaching storm only gets closer as we wait. The elders refuse to acknowledge its intensity and repeatedly tell everyone in the village that everything will be okay. But, I become doubtful. The elders, especially Nanouk, have become unreliable in their predictions. Despite all the promised bounties, we now have a storm and missing villagers.

XX/XX/XXXX

Payuk still has not returned. The rest of the village has declared him dead, along with Kaare and Kiviaq. Father says the shadow-people have taken them to a better place, but I know better. The storm has taken them, much like last year’s storm. But, something about this one makes me frightened and yet I don’t know why.

XX/XX/XXXX

Somebody went looking for them despite the elders warnings, and came back with news. They say they saw a ghost in the midst of the storm that looked just like Payuk. They couldn’t get a closer look though because of the severity of the snow. Mother pleaded for more details but the man couldn’t say much more. It definitely seemed like he had seen a ghost. He appeared to be in a hurry.

XX/XX/XXXX

A walking snowman came to the village yesterday. Everyone besides me and the other children, lead by Denali, hunted it down. As soon as they stuck enough spears in it it exploded and snow got everywhere, even on one of the people there. They became a snowman, so quickly too. Denali killed them from a safer distance this time, and nobody else got hurt. I still can’t get the memory of seeing that man become a snowman out of my head at all. It was so strange.

XX/XX/XXXX

Two more of those snowmen came to our village. Sheenjek tried to fight one of them off, but the snow from the snowman got to him and changed him, much like the last time. Sheenjek then tried to touch other people, but Denali killed all three of them with some other men. The elders say this is all our fault for not praying enough. Afterwards they found one of Kiviaq’s belongings on the second snowman that came. The storm closes in, and yet we still are denied the comfort of rest. The so-called, “calm before the storm” is non-existent. Where is our supposed calm?

XX/XX/XXXX

We all came inside once the snow began to really start falling, but someone was caught outside cutting wood. Their wife kept telling them to come inside but they refused to. A moment later, the man cutting the wood got covered in snow. But not like regular snow, this was different. This was the snow like the ones from the snowmen. He attacked the lady as well as the people inside their hut. Denali brought me and the other children into the storage area and told us to stay there. He even gave some of the children spears. He told us he might not come back and to not open the door under any circumstances until the storm ends. I’m scared.


Discovery: After the disappearance of two hikers in ████, Utah, police investigation recovered no traces of their presence until two unidentified humanoid entitles bearing similar shape and size to the missing hikers attacked and killed the investigating policemen. News reports of "walking snowmen" reached a nearby embedded Authority agent and the Authority was subsequently contacted to neutralize the threat. MST Lima-19 were sent en route to the surmised location of the RPC-563-1 instances.

On arrival, RPC-563-1 instances were dispatched without difficulty. However, due to lack of proper preparation and available information regarding the anomaly, █ casualties were suffered as a result of airborne RPC-563 spores. This prompted further Authority intervention, with MST Lima-19 later undergoing recovery. After eradication of the remaining RPC-563 presence and RPC-563-1 instances, residual RPC-563 colonies were acquired for research purposes. Amnestics were later administered amongst the local populace, with the incident covered up through use of explosives to cause an avalanche as an explanation for the disappearances of the deceased hikers and policemen.

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