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An RPC-693-1 instance encountered near the Mojave Desert on ██/██/████. Neutralised

Item #: RPC-693

Object Class: Gamma

Containment Protocols: RPC-693-1 instances are as of yet uncontained, and containment is not currently possible with Authority resources. Infected individuals show no signs of anomalous properties or strange behaviors until minutes before an RPC-693-1 emergence incident occurs. Termination of individuals that have reached this state has proven ineffective at stopping transformations once they have begun to take place. Termination of RPC-693-1 instances is achieved by separation of individual bones from the main skeletal structure until the structure is no longer sustainable. Given the nature of RPC-693-1 instances, this is difficult to achieve with firearms and melee combat with RPC-693-1 instances is ill advised.

Currently, several Mobile Strike Forces specialized in dealing with RPC-693 infestations, collectively referred to as 'Bone Breakers', operate throughout the continental United States. Every effort must be made to prevent RPC-693 infection from leaving the country, in order to prevent a potential RM-Class Dominance Shift scenario.

All remains of RPC-693-1 instances are to be immediately incinerated. Skin contact is forbidden, and any violation of these protocols will result in immediate termination and incineration of the remains. All Authority personnel are instructed to submit themselves to routine scans and submit bone marrow samples on a quasi regular basis to weed out infection.

Description: RPC-693 refers to an unknown species of parasite that, once in an infected host, proceeds to systematically eat away at the subject's bones, excreting waste material that then hardens around the parasite as it begins its asexual reproductive process. Cracks will appear in the sides of the parasite's carapace and further parasite entities will emerge and repeat the process until the skeleton's entire structure has been replaced with a parasitical copy. This occurs on a microbial level and multiplies substantially as the parasites give birth to offspring. Over time the subject will repeatedly complain of stiff joints and unexplained muscle pain as the RPC-693 process progresses. Eventually the subject will grow used to the pains and complain about them less and less. No personality changes occur for the entire period of incubation, until the RPC-693 emergence event.

It is speculated that during the later stages, RPC-693 infected individuals will infect other people with instances of RPC-693, however, how this occurs is still under investigation. It is suspected the parasite excretes larval instances of itself into infected subject's sweat glands and is then transferred to other individuals through skin contact. This would help explain how RPC-693-1 instances infect entire families and how intact bones of deceased RPC-693-1 instances show the strongest concentration of parasite carapaces to be in extremities such as arms and legs with the skull rarely being home to the greatest concentration of parasitical instances.

The parasitical reproduction process also creates an enzyme that multiplies bone marrow within the subject's skeleton, altering its chemical composition into an as of yet unidentified substance that assumes the normal properties of bone marrow. This substance is regularly excreted out of completely converted bones into joints, reinforcing them and increasing strength at the cost of minor mobility loss. Once total conversion has been achieved, infected individuals will generally begin to act out of character and begin socializing more readily regardless of previous behavior. It is suspected that these personality changes are influenced by the parasitic skeleton, as it seeks out others of its kind and potentially to spread infection.

Infestations of RPC-693 appear to be very territorial, with infected individuals often moving their homes closer together or quitting jobs to maximize time spent with similar individuals. Individuals in advanced state of infection will often cease all activity altogether other than standing nearby other infected individuals, often in isolated, dark environments, with the less advanced, more active instances of the infected taking care to ensure they remain hidden and unexposed to sunlight. Infected individuals in this state will suffer malnutrition and other deleterious effects due to exposure to the elements or unhealthy environments, but will not expire.

Because of this behavior, discovery of an RPC-693 infestation can easily lead to exposure of the anomaly to the public. Infected individuals even in an advance state will not attack ordinary humans, unless the human states an awareness of RPC-693's nature, or makes line of sight contact with an exposed portion of a RPC-693-1 skeleton. Parasitic infestations react unanimously to any such exposure, infected individuals will vocalize shouts and screams and begin tearing away at their flesh to expose their skeletons, often using tools to aid in the process. Some instances of RPC-693-1 have been noted to rapidly grow protrusions of the bone marrow substance to more readily tear through the skin and to be broken off and used as weapons by RPC-693-1 instances. This is known as the RPC-693 emergence event.

Once an emergence event occurs, an infestation of RPC-693-1 instances will attack any humans or animals in line of sight and begin to hunt for more humans to attack and to kill, often ignoring serious damage in the process with little to no regard for self preservation. It is theorized this is a herd response, with the goal of spreading RPC-693 instances as far from the original infestation point as possible in order to preserve the species as a whole from predation. Escaped instances of RPC-693-1 will then seek isolated areas, preferably dark and humid and cease all activity until once again discovered by another human or animal.

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