RPC-956

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RPC-956-1-77: "The whole place doesn't feel entirely… three-dimensional. It's like it's all been cobbled together out of flattened shapes that have been forced to act as if they had depth, but don't. Oh. A school of fish just swam behind that building."

Registered Phenomena Code: 956

Object Class: Gamma-Orange

Hazard Types: Grouped Hazard, Extra-Dimensional Hazard, Immeasurable Hazard, Newtonian Hazard, Info-Hazard, Emotional Hazard, Destabilization Hazard

Containment Protocols: While RPC-956 is not currently containable, given its status as an extradimensional space, access to and from RPC-956 can be monitored and restricted. As any hyperlink in use on any standard browser can provide access to RPC-956, provided that a potential RPC-956-1 is in the proper emotional state, containment currently focuses on the dissimulation of emotion-altering memetics on Authority-owned internet servers and computing systems to minimize the risk that staff members enter a state of emotional exhaustion, detachment or apathy sufficient to enter RPC-956.

In the event that an unauthorized individual experiences RPC-956 and attempts in any way to report on or otherwise share information about their experience, they are to be apprehended and amnesticized as per standard anomaly information suppression procedures. While limited public knowledge of RPC-956 is known to exist, the extremely surreal and inconsistent nature of the anomaly coupled with its relative difficulty to access has restricted this knowledge to a persistent urban legend.

Authority personnel of all clearance levels who have become RPC-956-1 are to be monitored by a personal data recorder at all times, and regularly contacted by test supervisory staff to ensure that their emotional state does not become sufficiently relaxed to permit the occurrence of RPC-956-3 (See Addendum below) during any subsequent visits to RPC-956. Low-level amnestics are to be provided on request to any and all staff members who have become RPC-956-1 instances and wish to forget or suppress the anomaly's profound emotional effects.

Description: RPC-956 is an extradimensional area of space of inconsistent volume and contents which can be accessed via the activation of standard internet hyperlinks by any human being in a specific emotional state. RPC-956 access has a baseline 65% chance of occurring whenever a conscious human being deliberately and willingly accesses a hyperlink on a computing device currently connected to the Internet while in a state of intense exhaustion, emotional detachment, or apathy.

The chances of access increase depending on the intensity or severity of these emotions, with access rates exceeding 90% when tests were performed with personnel experiencing all three simultaneously. Time of day also appears to have an effect on the rate of RPC-956 entry, with in excess of 68% of access events occurring between the hours of 11pm and 4am, local time.1 Individuals who access RPC-956 are classified as RPC-956-1.

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RPC-956-1-102: "Every time I turn the sky stays in the same place while the horizon moves. It's like I need to use the lines on the ground to figure out where I'm pointing. If I squint hard enough I can see myself reflected in the sky."

The exact nature of RPC-956 varies on a personal basis; while RPC-956-1 instances report strong thematic, visual or structural similarities between their experiences, the anomalous spatial volume always demonstrates notable variations. All instances of RPC-956 explored thus far have an ACS value of 3.

RPC-956 is normally unbounded but finite, in the sense that traversal to any one of its edges will immediately bring the RPC-956-1 instance to the opposite edge. Spatially, most RPC-956 instances do not appear to exist on the surface of a sphere, and will instead appear as toroidal2 areas or visually endless flat planes. RPC-956-1 appear as they did in baseline reality, and are capable of using any equipment brought with them as normal, though equipment depending on the receipt of an outside signal (such as GPS locators) will display inconsistent or nonsensical readings. Photography and videography of the interior of RPC-956 is feasible, though the resultant recordings are usually difficult to parse visually.

Common thematic elements noted and recorded during exploration of RPC-956 include the following:

  • Regular geometric grid patterns receding infinitely into the distance.
  • Mobile and stationary objects composed of white marble, frequently in the shape of Roman-style busts or 1990s-era computer equipment.
  • "Beach" areas, incorporating either palm trees or symbolic representations thereof.
  • Excessively large "suns" or glowing circles in the sky, usually in a constant state of “rising” or “setting”.
  • "Suburb" areas, filled with bungalow-style houses, nearly always accompanied by pools, and arranged in spatially or geometrically impossible ways.
  • Incorporeal messages or “floating text”, normally displaying vague or nonsensical phrases in the first language of the RPC-956-1 instance. These messages have always been observed to vanish when RPC-956-1 moves within an arm's length of them, with exact distances varying depending on the physical build of the individual RPC-956-1.3
  • Text in modern Japanese printed on flat surfaces. Analysis of images, and readings by Japanese-speakers, reveal text to be garbled excerpts from the operating manuals of a variety of Japanese-made personal electronics products, all developed between 1983 and 1996.
  • Continuous and slightly atonal music emanating from no specific source, which RPC-956-1 instances nearly universally described as “weird, but not unpleasant.”
  • "Cityscape" area, containing abstract structures resembling geometrically simplified urban buildings, inhabited by entities designated RPC-956-2 (See below).
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RPC-956-1-94: "From the outside this looked like the outline of an apartment building. I can see more of those people moving through and over the lines. They look comfortable. Riding on clouds. Riding on the crest of the light of the waves." Instance succumbed to RPC-956-3 11 subjective minutes later.

More than half of all RPC-956-1 individuals have reported the presence of humanoid entities within RPC-9564, designated RPC-956-2. These entities resemble abstracted or simplified human silhouettes, which faintly emanate light in a variety of bright pastel colours. RPC-956-2 are incorporeal, and vanish from sight when any RPC-956-1 makes physical contact with them. Numbers of RPC-956-2 differ between RPC-956 variations, but in all cases the numbers of RPC-956-2 have sporadically increased over time, with increases noted soon after the occurrence of RPC-956-3 (See Addendum 1 below).5

RPC-956-2 appear to pantomime or act out a variety of motions corresponding with normal human behaviour while within “Cityscape” or “Suburb” areas of RPC-956, and have never been discovered outside these areas in groups of more than 2 at a time. RPC-956-2 have been observed performing actions resembling conversations, physical disputes, consumption of food and water, and procreation.

Document: Excerpt from RPC-956-1-88 Journey Log:
This audio transcript was written from data sent6 by the personal recorder of RPC-956-1-88 (Junior Researcher Mackenzie Anders). Testing was supervised by Researcher Xaviera Flores. This instance was Anders' 3rd excursion into RPC-956, and has been selected for inclusion in this article for its relative clarity compared to other such documents and representative sampling of the emotional effects of RPC-956. Due to the inconsistent nature of the passage of time within RPC-956, standard time codes have been omitted.7 RPC-956-1-88 was operating a standard Authority workstation within a testing and observation chamber on Site-██, and wearing a standard testing jumpsuit, work boots, and personal data recorder.

RPC-956-1-88: "All right, let's get this done. I feel like shit, Xavi. I know being out of it is part of the procedure, but goddamn it's like part of me is convinced I'm not here anymore, y'know?"

Researcher Flores: "I know, Mac. Hit it whenever you're ready."
RPC-956-1-88 clicks the test hyperlink provided. All personnel in direct line of sight experience an auditory hallucination characterized by a loud noise resembling a series of slightly distorted pure tones, taking the form of a five-note musical phrase.8

RPC-956-1-88 vanishes from his seat. His clothing, boots, data recorder and the ballpoint pen in his left breast pocket dematerialize as well. At this point, transcript is taken purely from data recorder transmission.

RPC-956-1-88: "Ahh! Christ! Oh. Okay. I always hate that part. That fear, that stomach-dropping horror. It's past. Quicker than last time, I think. I'm feeling the same rising… warmth. It's always a little warm here. Warm and soft on the skin, like everything is pliable, even the air."
[…]
"I'm on the- the 'beach'. Water above me, slightly distorted sunset-orange clouds below. The sand under my feet is different than last time- darker, more granular."
Clattering, rustling sound.
"Oh, it's not sand at all. It's little capacitors- those tube-shaped things you see on circuit boards. All black plastic. And- oh. Oh, my feet aren't actually touching the ground. Somehow that doesn't seem important."
[…]
"I'm going to follow the orange lines, leading past that gigantic stone head coming out of the water up there. What's behind it? And what's that jagged, spinning thing coming out of the sky further down? And why do I want ever so much to see them? I know I don't care- that's what the sky-writing, over my right shoulder, says, 'We know we don't care', but still I want to see them. Very much."
[…]
"Data recorder says I've been walking for… six days now? I don't feel hungry or thirsty or anything. I think… I think that even if I did feel it I wouldn't care, anyways. I just- genuinely, honestly, from the seat of my being I kind of want to keep exploring. I don't think there's any great revelation out there, but I feel… no, compelled is too strong a word."

"The thing is- the thing I saw on the horizon six days ago, it's like- it's like a tree of buildings. Each branch, each leaf the outline of what might be an apartment building, if you squint." RPC-956-88-1 laughs. "I know! I know what it reminds me of! Did you ever see- that scene in Escape from New York, where they made a three-dee image of a city by putting fluorescent tape on a bunch of black wooden boxes? It's- it's not quite that, but it's close."
[…]
"I see the 956-2s. Maybe two dozen from where I'm standing? They're walking from building to building- a few of them arm in arm. They don't seem to mind that the road is just an outline of purple light, bending around the trunk of the tree. Groups of them keep coming into and out of view as the tree spins. Hold on. Something's there."

"There's a group of them, maybe seven or eight, crowded around some sky-writing. It's in the shadow of a building-branch, maybe four stories? I can't quite make it out, gotta get a better footing on this cloud."
Momentary loss of sound as RPC-956-88-1 readjusts the data recorder.
"It's- 'Can you imagine, riding on the wa-'"
RPC-956-1-88 materializes in the test chamber, in the same position as when he left. Elapsed objective time: 21.4 seconds.
Researcher Flores: "Mac! Back so soon? How was the trip?"
Several seconds of silence. RPC-956-1-88 appears to have difficulty finding his balance.
RPC-956-1-88: "There was- there was a marble block in the shape of an Apple II in the clouds. I think I- I think I tripped."

Addendum: RPC-956-3:

RPC-956-1 individuals describe persistent feelings of preternatural calm and mild detachment that persist after returning from RPC-956. If left untreated, the severity of these emotions increase with each subsequent return to RPC-956. In several cases, individuals who have entered RPC-956 while in particularly unstable emotional states have not returned, an effect designated RPC-956-3. In all RPC-956-3 cases, final messages included or alluded to the following phrase:

“Sit back and ride the crest of it forever. Ride on the wave, the forever that never was, the clouds.”

Document: From the desk of Senior Researcher Flores

If you are reading this file and noting the distinct resemblance between and the aesthetic choices of a whole range of internet subcultures, then congratulations, we don't know why that is either. Is it some expression of the human subconscious? An offshoot of the collective intelligence of the internet age? Some anomalous prankster with a love for the 80s?

Truthfully I don't think it really matters. RPC-956 is nothing if not internally inconsistent, and the best we can do to approach its surreal nature is to maintain objectivity and proper scientific detachment. We have lost too many to the wave, to the forever that never was, already. Tread carefully.

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