Registered Phenomena Code: 651

Object Class: Beta-Orange

Hazard Types:

Containment Protocols: Regular patrols by the French Gendarmie and armed forces with Authority personnel infiltrated into the ranks are to patrol the area around the Verdun battlefield on ground. Off limits areas which are known to contain RPC-651 will be marked as an area highly saturated with undetonated ordinance (UXO) from the first and second world wars. Underground sensors are in place throughout the area of the battlefield with all tourists discretely accounted for on a continuous basis. Nighttime visitation to the battlefield is prohibited and trespassing at night is deterred by a curfew enforced by criminal prosecution. The air is patrolled by high altitude drones equipped with FLIR and a modified Doppler Radar used to detect movement on the ground. Cameras are discretely placed throughout the battlefield with control maintained at RPC Central Command and the Luxembourg Field Office. A loose agreement has been made with RPC-651 that supplies it with Class-D personnel condemned to death in exchange for cooperation and voluntary containment. At periods of time where suitable Class-D personnel are unavailable, the agreement can often be maintained with a live food chosen by RPC-651 or in exchange for provisions such as wool blankets or opiate based medications. Violation of the containment agreement will result in a full closure of the Verdun battlefield for the duration, increased air and ground patrols, and the summoning of other units to assist with locating and corralling RPC-651 back into the containment area. All available weapons are to be used, high wattage ultraviolet lights are a recommended deterrent and are discretely placed throughout the area in strategic locations to assist in the containment of RPC-651. Instances of a breach are to be explained as precautions due to terrorist threats, violent gang activity, a violent prison escapee, wild animal attack, military training event, or natural disaster depending on the circumstances of the breach. Victims of RPC-651 are to be explained and officially documented as having fallen victim to UXO, trench collapse, wild animal attack, murder or their remains lost in known hazardous areas.

Description: RPC-651, referred to in local lore and legend as 'Mangeur de Vie' or 'eater of life' is a sentient and intelligent self evolving humanoid. In order to attain nourishment, the creature has to eat a living victim, from which it prolongs life and will begin to gradually take on features of its prey. The creature can alternate between cold and warm blood vascular system through its evolving features, based upon its diet. RPC-651 survives by eating animals and wayward humans caught in traps made from skeletal remains, left over barbed wire and found items from the battlefield. Eating flesh helps RPC-651 evolve, heal & mutate, taking on advantageous features. However, the life energy of its food keeps it alive for millennia. Hence it will keep its prey alive for as long as possible while it eats, even going so far as to apply some rudimentary first aid. The creature eats systematically, again so as to keep its prey alive for as long as possible while it eats. RPC-651 is best explained as the horrific embodiment of "you are what you eat".

For the past several years, RPC-651 has been described as a naked, hairless humanoid with pale mottled skin standing about 2.13m (7 feet) when upright. The head is human-like in shape, with a large mouth estimated to be about 20cm (roughly 8 inches) in width accommodating a distensible mandible (jaw). Teeth are sharp and elongated, about 5cm (2 inches), believed to have evolved from the consumption of wolves (Canis lupus). The nose is mound-like and close to the face with long, thin nostrils believed to be evolved from the consumption of common frogs (Rana temporaria). Its two eyes are bilaterally positioned, roughly 10cm (about 4 inches) diameter with a sunken appearance and no visible sclera, a black iris and pupil believed to be evolved from centuries of consuming birds. Testing has shown that RPC-651 has a visible color spectrum akin to that of a European Barn Owl (Tyto alba). Despite advanced visual acuity, RPC-651 is extremely sensitive to ultraviolet light, preferring to hunt nocturnally. Ears are large, ovular and fused into the side of its head with no visible lobe and an inner ear that resembles a rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

RPC-651 has two hands with elongated, talon like fingers, two of which are opposable thumbs located on opposite sides of each hand. The legs are formed like the hind legs of a deer with human-like feet covered in a 12.7mm (.5") thick callous. The trunk, or thoracic cavity appears to have a low body fat percentage, extremely tight compacted muscle tissue and 8 pale nipples aligned as four on each side, bilaterally positioned.

The dermal layer is so thick that it has proven to stop the penetration of subsonic projectiles. The spine is described as having a kyphosis (forward leaning curve), with the vertebrae visible through the skin. Although RPC-651 is susceptible to pain and injury, it is capable of slowly regenerating lost limbs and organs over the course of several months. It has an exceptionally high tolerance for pain and may have a nervous system that minimizes painful stimuli.

History: Despite the fame surrounding Verdun's involvement during the world wars, RPC-651 is not the product of either war but is first mentioned from when the area was explored by the Romans in 20 A.D. when it was described as a werewolf like creature. Mangeur de Vie (RPC-651) was suspected by Roman officials to be part of a guerrilla warfare campaign against the Romans by a group of talented Gauls attempting to subvert their authority. RPC-651 was regarded as a myth until the reign of Charlemagne, when it increased hunting activity against the local populace. This resulted in a centuries long curfew from dark until dawn in the surrounding villages and resulted in the disappearance of livestock and persons who did not return before nightfall. RPC-651 was described as a demon by the Catholic Church, a Dybbuk by traveling Jewish Merchants who fled the area after repeated attacks on their camps and as a vampire by Gypsies. The presence of a large Army in 855 A.D. resulted in the creature's retreat to the surrounding forests. RPC-651 slowly ventured back towards the local villages over the centuries, but never as boldly for prolonged periods as it had during previous years of activity.

Around the year 1670, at the Direction of the French King, Engineer and Marshall Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban fortified the expanding city of Verdun as a means of protection from Mangeur de Vie (RPC-651) as well as foreign invasion. The plan of defense was to use the presence of RPC-651 against enemy forces that would besiege the city during their emplacement. This tactic was never used successfully as the fortifications were not completed until after the Napoleonic Wars. The presence of Mangeur de Vie (RPC-651) was a considerable factor in the Prussian abandonment of Verdun within less than a year of occupation due to the effects on morale and troop strength. Officially, this was attributed to the losses sustained in the Battle of Valmy.

During the Napoleonic Wars, an agreement was made between the Commander of the French soldiers garrisoned at the Verdun Fortress and the Mangeur de Vie (RPC-651) allotting it the ration of either a British Prisoner of War or a condemned criminal once a month, but that it was free to consume any escaped Englishman, enemy scout or invader. This arrangement was provided in exchange that no French subject would be harmed unless sent as a ration. RPC-651 held to the bargain throughout the duration of this conflict without incident.

During the First World War, the creature flourished, having no shortage of victims and materials with which to trap them; even learning how to make sophisticated traps, use shell holes and trenches to trap prey. RPC-651 is believed to have developed an understanding of basic first aid and medicines from observing the actions of field medics during this time. Accounts of RPC-651 from soldiers were attributed to fatigue, cowardice, shell shock and psychological deterioration by their respective commands. The physical findings of attacks by RPC-651 were accounted to the increasingly cruel methods of killing that developed during the war.

RPC Authority Involvement: The creature was brought to the attention of the Authority in 1964 during a reunion of survivors from the Battle of Verdun. An interview with Retired Captain George Parneiu and Hauptmann Einrich Roche, two men who had faced each other on the battlefield revealed the story of a creature both sides referred to as Mangeur de Vie. The creature was accurately described by both men and the surviving soldiers who attended the reunion who were willing to discuss the creature in any detail. Both the French and German Officers had encountered the creature during a night time trench raid, where both had shifted their concentration from fighting each other to attempting to kill the Mangeur de Vie. Aside from the 1914 Christmas Truce, this was the only other notable instance of German and French cooperation during the Battle of Verdun. Both officers had collaborated watches and sleep shifts as well as arranging hunting parties and coordinating cover stories for their respective chains of command. The collaboration helped ensure the survival of both officers and the soldiers not killed by disease, artillery or devoured by the Mangeur de Vie through the duration of the war. Further investigation by the RPC Authority revealed the presence of this creature's existence, with further research discovering that this creature had existed since at least Roman times. The creature was found and temporarily contained until it broke free from restraints and killed all RPC personnel involved in its physical capture. It was not until 1997 that the creature was found again, contained to the battlefield and classified as RPC-651.

Intelligence: RPC-651 designs and crafts traps not to kill the victim, but to injure it and prevent escape. RPC-651 perfected its ability to trap prey using sophisticated means during the First World War fighting in the area; initially with pungie sticks and snares to engineered trench collapses, usage of small explosive ordinance based traps to cripple, and using mustard gas and fire to blind and disorient prey. RPC-651 will then eat the victim alive, going so far as to pinch off veins to prevent the victim from dying while the creature feasts. It has developed its techniques for eating living victims initially from pinching off arteries and veins to administering tourniquets, bandages and administering opiates.

Over time, RPC-651 has developed human vocal chords, allowing the creature limited speech capability. However, despite being able to understand French, Latin and some German, RPC-651 is completely unsympathetic to the plight of its victims. It has been observed listening to victims pleading for mercy, attempting to copy their speech, and then mocking the victim as it eats. It has developed the capability of lying. RPC-651 is known to offer mercy in exchange for a victim's assistance in luring comrades into traps and then reneging its promise. It has also been seen offering pain killers to victims in exchange for compliance, yet only administering opiates when doing so would prolong the life of its prey.

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