RPC-417
rating: 0+x
alpha

Item #: RPC-417

Object Class: Alpha

Containment Protocols: Site-93, occupying a 30km2 tract of outback near ██████████, Australia, has been established to contain RPC-417 and evaluate instances of RPC-417-1. The perimeter of the site is protected by two concentric layers of 3-meter dragon's teeth tank barriers and a 5-meter-deep anti-tank ditch. A system of backup radio beacons has been emplaced should manual detonation of the object's disabling charges fail. Site-93 security personnel are equipped with anti-tank weaponry sufficient to achieve a mobility kill on RPC-417 (or any instances of RPC-417-1) in the event that it is not disabled by the enactment of Protocol Maginot.

RPC-417 is to be accompanied at all times by Site-93 personnel to monitor the status of the attached disabling charges as well as the nature of new RPC-417-1 iterations. RPC-417's outer hatch has been fixed open to facilitate access to the vehicle's interior, and a system of wireless cameras has been emplaced within the object to supervise the creation of RPC-417-1.

In the event that RPC-417 becomes hostile to Authority personnel or creates an instance of RPC-417-1 which is capable of self-activation, Protocol Maginot is to be activated. On-site personnel will detonate RPC-417's attached charges before retreating to a safe distance from which to disable any active instance of RPC-417-1. In the event that this stage of the Protocol does not successfully disable the object, the onsite platoon of M1A2 SEP2 TUSK tanks will be utilized. Due to RPC-417's significant capacity for self-repair, personnel will prioritize accessing the vehicle's interior as quickly as possible.

With RPC-417's written approval, instances of RPC-417-1 are to be thoroughly documented and then recycled for raw materials after a period of 7 days on Site-93. Site staff and other cleared Authority personnel may request images of RPC-417-1 instances for decorative use as part of the Authority Human Resources Department Central Art Bank.

Description: RPC-417 is an anomalous, sapient armoured vehicle which functions as a mobile factory for the production of tracked armoured vehicles. The object's hull is rectangular, measuring 55m x 35m x 25m. It is powered by a pair of 2500 hp gasoline turbine engines of unknown manufacture and runs on eight sets of de Mole-type continuous tracks1. RPC-417's outer hull is unbroken with the exception of a single double-doored hatch (currently secured in the open position), a large set of bay doors located in its lower front hull, several large air intakes/exhaust outlets on the upper rear hull, and assorted exterior light fixtures. RPC-417 appears to be able to spontaneously manifest hatches and doors through any point in its hull plating, through which it can extend articulated mechanical arms, davits, winches, or, presumably, weapons systems.

The words "IMPERIUM AUSTRALIS INCOGNITA2 LANDSHIP MANUFACTORY MK. XXIV" are engraved directly into the hull plate above the bay doors. RPC-417's hull is composed of high-quality rolled-plate steel, and is subject to normal wear and tear. RPC-417 has demonstrated the ability to rapidly repair and modify its outer hull using its own reserves of materials, though it has never been seen to arm itself or otherwise assume a form designed for combat.

RPC-417's interior is an extradimensional space3 with dimensions of approximately 1km x 1km x 1km, accessible from both the main bay doors (when open) and the exterior hatch. Most of the space is dedicated to a fully-automated assembly line dedicated to the custom design and production of armoured vehicles. The assembly system is fed from a series of raw-materials hoppers which replenish their contents by unknown means; the rate of replenishment appears to be tied to the volume of air RPC-417 draws in through its air intakes, and tends to be higher during windy weather. A series of four 5000L gasoline tanks feed directly into the engines' fuel intakes, replenishing themselves in the same manner as the materials hoppers.

All of the construction systems within RPC-417 are entirely mechanically-powered, with the exception of those incorporating electrical lights or welding systems, which manifest their own individually-driven power-generation facilities. RPC-417 can rearrange the layout of its interior area at will via the construction and installation of new manufacturing systems, and can detach individual components of the assembly line which will continue to function outside of its hull. It has thus far refrained from making any significant modifications to its internal systems with Authority personnel present on or in its machinery.

A small area near the exterior hatch appears to have been set aside for use as an overseeing area, and remains stationary regardless of any shifts in the object's internal geometry. This area is equipped with a compact drafting board, a set of cabinets full of drafting equipment, and a single bookshelf, currently empty. Any piece of written material placed on this shelf will slowly disintegrate into ash over a period of 3 hours, whereupon RPC-417 will instantly gain total knowledge of its contents. This forms the primary means of communicating with RPC-417, as it does not appear to respond to human speech or acknowledge visual signals.

RPC-417 has requested access to various written materials. A sample list follows;

  • Jane's Armour and Artillery, 1950-1970 (Granted)
  • Design documents for Chobham-type tank armor (Denied)
  • The collected works of R.P. Hunnicutt (Granted)
  • Panzer Tracts, H. Doyle (Granted)
  • A selection of modern art and design magazines (Granted)
  • Installation Art: A Critical History, C. Bishop (Granted)
  • Full design blueprints for the M1A2 MBT (Denied)
  • Full design blueprints for the T-99 MBT (Denied)

RPC-417 communicates by constructing instances of RPC-417-1. Though its machinery can construct fully functional vehicles with extreme rapidity, the entity takes frequent multi-week pauses between construction. RPC-417-1 are nearly always tracked armoured vehicles built with technology available during the 1912-1970 period. Though RPC-417-1 instances frequently share design components with actual mass-produced tanks, RPC-417 appears to prefer designing original vehicles. Each instance of RPC-417-1 has a name or numerical designation printed on its turret or upper hull, and it is by this means that RPC-417 initially established contact with the Authority when it was discovered in [DATA EXPUNGED]. RPC-417 is fluent in English, French, German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, and has demonstrated familiarity with several other languages and dialects; it appears to prefer communicating in French. RPC-417 refers to RPC-417-1 as "art installations" or "works", and has consistently refused to construct vehicles designed solely for combat usage (See Addendum 2 below). All instances of RPC-417-1 have been non-anomalous, although their designs tend to be bizarre or deliberately unusual.

Addendum 1: Sample RPC-417-1 Instances

Instance # Date Created Designation Description/Notes
36 ██/██/1988 Terreur, en fer4 Resembles a British Mark IV tank circa 1917. Front of the unit is fitted with several articulated statues in the form of human-sized insects, which appear to grovel or cower as the vehicle's tracks move.
45 ██/██/1989 上海团返回基地5 Four AMX-13/75 light tanks connected end-to-end by several lengths of chain. The first vehicle in the line is wholly functional and undamaged, but the next three have been punctured and deliberately damaged to appear as if they have suffered heavy shell-fire.
99 ██/██/1993 The Perils of Central Gothian Geopolitics Fifteen Italian CV-33 tankettes stacked atop each other.
101 ██/██/1993 Diese armen Käfer6 Unarmed chassis functionally similar to a Soviet KV-1S heavy tank. Track elements are embossed to leave a tiled pattern of insect shapes in soft ground.
167 ██/██/2002 Shanghai Nights Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank7 equipped with a compact thorium-salt nuclear reactor, electric drivetrain, and high-power heating elements built into the outer hull. When activated, hull glows red-hot and engine cooling system emits a high-pitched whistle audibly similar to a sustained human scream.
205 ██/██/2007 Pourquoi nous combattons8 Functional Renault R-35 infantry tank with hull painted black. Turret ring and elevation gear modified so that main cannon could only fire when pointed directly at vehicle's own engine compartment.
492 ██/██/2017 進む9 Non-functional AMX-30 Main Battle Tank. Main cannon appears to have been violently wrenched or removed from its mounting, causing severe structural damage to vehicle's hull and turret assembly. Less than a day after construction, RPC-417 ran over the vehicle, crushing it completely.

Addendum 2: RPC-417 Construction Test Results

On ██/██/2017, Researcher H████ began a series of tests to determine if RPC-417 could be made to mass-produce combat vehicles of modern design. RPC-417 was supplied with the blueprints for a simplified version of the Swedish CV-90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, as well as a written work order instructing it to construct 3 of the vehicles to be used for live-fire tests. After an unusually protracted construction period of eight days, RPC-417 produced RPC-417-1-504, 505 and 506 (Lâche10, Mauviette11 and Récidiviste12). While these vehicles were determined to be fully functional and combat-ready, RPC-417 had redesigned their interiors with the apparent intent to make them as unergonomic as possible. Testing personnel reported severe repetitive strain injuries, bruises from collisions with inside fixtures, and headaches from faulty electrical equipment. Following a series of catastrophic electrical and mechanical failures during late-stage testing the vehicles were scrapped.

Addendum 3: Extract from Dr. ████'s Research Notes

Psychoanalysis has never been my forte, especially not the consensus of what is for all intents and purposes a deeply alien intelligence, but the general consensus amongst research staff is that 417 is using its art as some kind of coping mechanism. I cannot help but wonder whether the guilt and anger it clearly feels as a result of whatever it did and wherever it came from, will someday be directed against us. It has, after all, been remarkably obliging to us. What I am certain of is that I am very, very glad I'm not a 'Bug', whatever they are or were. I shudder to imagine what a weapon like 417 could accomplish in open warfare.

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