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Excerpt from observational journal of Doctor Quinlan Hawthorn, January 25, 1938, regarding Classified/Esoteric Research Subject-623

Preface; All information in the following documentation not confirmed through direct testing comes at the subject’s own admittance and is, therefore, unsubstantiated. What remains has been pieced together from various sources and as such remains speculative. The events of its creation coincide with an unfortunate accident that occurred at the University labs which resulted in the loss of undergraduate Lindsey Parker’s life. Because of this and in light of its dangerous nature it is my personal opinion that the subject be quarantined indefinitely by whatever means possible.
+++The subject claims to be a lesser servitor but of what it won’t say, which is all the more reason to ensure it is securely contained. -Dr Q. Hawthorn
+++A humanoid containment cell (HCC) was prepared after initial discovery following general procedures as detailed in the Standard Esoteric Containment Guide (SECG). c/ERS-623 was housed in an unfurnished HCC, seven feet by eight feet and nine feet high, which has been lined with iron bands. The Sign (see N.) has been inscribed at the four cardinal points upon floor, walls and ceiling.

Real Name; Unknown

Identity; Not known to legal authorities.

Legal Status; Not a citizen of any country.

Aliases;

Marital Status; Single

Known Relatives; None

Group Affiliations; House of Suld

Base of Operations; Arkham City, Massachusetts

History; The subject is the result of an experiment meant to recreate the Philosopher’s Stone. Alleged to impart revelations of other worlds and arcane knowledge and to act as a window on all of space and time, the Stone’s creation is said in certain circles to be possible through alchemical experimentation. What resulted was appropriately dramatic, if not desired. Upon completion of the months-long processes necessary to produce the Stone, designated c/ERS-623-1, the subject then emerged unexpectedly from the basin in which had been housed the necessary mixture. The accident that created it also resulted in the death of its creator, but not before the subject was granted a name which translates from its original Hebrew roughly as “Child Dwelling in the House of God”. It appears as though Mr Parker had retained his health for an appreciable time after the subject’s initial creation, as it was found in the basement of his family home where it had been staked to a brick wall with iron nails.

Description; The subject appears much like a life-sized ball-jointed porcelain doll, an unnatural thing void of life. As a result of its incomplete nature, what would be flesh is instead a vitrified, chitinous shell somewhat akin to bone. A durable casing that serves it in lieu of skin, it hides suggestions of crooked, crawling members beneath. Belying the subject’s artificial nature, and in contrast to its unchanging outer husk, this aberrant matter is a perverse mockery of the human equivalent and can be extruded in the shape of multiple viciously clawed appendages or thick, sinewy tendrils to serve in place of otherwise inflexible limbs. One exception is the subject’s fingers, which are highly dexterous talons. Clothed in living flesh, attire is a membranous projection which appears at a glance to be a smoke-like shroud of darkness but can snap into solidity with frightening speed. Shaped and coloured at a whim but most often black, this “clothing” is reminiscent of liturgical garments beneath a voluminous hooded cloak. This substance shows a consistency somewhere between silk fabric and oily liquid and, as its appearance might suggest, leaves behind a feeling of moisture when touched athough no residue is present upon examination.
+++The subject’s features are similarly malformed, presenting a sexless visage of ethereal beauty made uncanny by their approximation of humanity. Framed by white hair, shading black toward the nape of the neck, are a pair of wide, lidless, almond-shaped eyes protected by hard ocular caps beneath which are thin lips and a small, flat nose. The eyes themselves are lacking also in pupils, presenting an inscrutable white-on-black plane consisting of faintly luminescent white irises and black sclerae. Its “skin” is marred by faint black traceries that share a striking resemblance to circuitry but remains otherwise unblemished. These cluster mostly about the eyes, giving them an exhausted cast and radiate throughout cheeks and forehead and while not prominent enough to notice at a glance become more so the longer one studies the subject’s features. Of note is a translucency of the subject’s “skin” which manifests at certain angles and reveals the structures beneath, particularly around the face. Largely inexpressive, the subject’s personality is much the same and presents a quiet, thoughtful front.

Strength Level; Unknown, estimated to be superhuman.

Abilities; The subject professes to utilise what is termed “hyper-topographical mathematics,” an incomprehensible base-twelve system, in order to achieve many of its more elaborate feats. As can be surmised from the above descriptions, concluding where technology and biology intersect is vague at best. However, it is through this apparently technological mastery that the subject displays control over elementary properties and can manipulate time, space and matter in inconceivable ways. Most notable is a penchant for instantaneous travel through time and space.
+++Beyond this, the subject is capable of subconscious interaction, hypnosis and communication during dream states. In this way, the subject can induce hysteria, delusion, confusion, fear, terror and rage on a small scale. Its very presence can incite untempered minds sensitive to such influence toward dark rituals and heinous deeds while those of genius or creative minds hearken in the form of grotesque artistry, sculpture and the written word.
+++The subject’s shell is theorised to house a sentient black hole of astronomical proportions. The various ephemeral eyes which coalesce and resolve back into this outer casement are thought to be orbiting scions and lesser beings subservient to its true nature and necessary in relegating the incredible forces involved in containing it. Small physical manifestations separated from the main body can be left to act independently as minor aspects, extrusions which are minute projections of some greater entity. These take the form of protoplasmic masses of writhing organs, flesh, appendages, mouths and eyes in a state of constant change. These exhibit astounding regenerative capabilities which are only slowed by extreme cold, which forces them into a state of suspended animation until conditions improve. All such separate instances lose cohesion in a matter of hours, dissolving into an inert genetic soup (see c/ERS-623-5 below)..

Weaknesses; Despite its destructive potential, the subject remains largely quiescent and professes to stand among the lower ranks of a wider pantheon of such entities. A marked sensitivity to silver and iron corroborates this claim as, like other such research subjects, close proximity causes agitation while direct contact burns and dissolves everything but its outer shell. It is therefore recommended that any effort to contain the subject make liberal use of these materials. Meteoric iron has a markedly greater effect than its earthbound counterpart, the subject and those like it being actively repelled by even the smallest amount lest they burst into flame at close proximity.
+++All attempts to provoke the subject, up to and including direct bodily harm, have failed and the subject is quick to recover from any injuries so afflicted. Despite any grievous injury, it has become apparent that the subject’s outer shell cannot be dispersed by blunt force, though more drastic measures beyond the willingness of the University to apply may prove otherwise. Such tests have been discontinued indefinitely due to a peculiar property of what has tentatively been designated as the subject’s “blood”. A thick, ichorous fluid, when released from the subject’s body this corrosive substance quickly coalesces into a semi-solid form. These separate instances show marked aggression but possess a weakness to fire, which can easily reduce them to char.

c/ERS-623-6 Arising from recombinant genetic material remaining from separated instances of the subject’s biological extrusions. Designated c/ERS-623-5, this substance shows properties not dissimilar to terrestrial fungi, developing fruiting bodies which release spores when a suitable host comes near. Upon inhalation, these spores overtake the respiratory system in preparation for spreading throughout the rest of a host’s body. Although the time-frame may vary significantly from one individual to another, it is during this initial phase that hosts show a marked aversion to sunlight, often exhibiting symptoms akin to hibernative burrowing. Also of note is an increase in the desire for red meat as bodily structures are broken down and re-purposed.
+++Hijacking the circulatory system, it is only a matter of hours or days before a host’s nervous system is completely overtaken. Throughout this process, a host’s biology is gradually restructured to better suit the growing symbiotic bond, with structures forming along the spinal chord. It is at this late stage that a host’s body enters a catatonic state, awakening only as the first true stages of bonding are complete. After awakening, hosts show a dramatic increase in physical acuity, possessing enhanced strength and reflexes while exhibiting a radically slowed metabolism. It is theorised that nutritional needs are provided for by the symbiotic bond but this has not been confirmed.
+++The recipient of what the subject calls this “gift of flesh” has become a wholly new being born from this union, both benefiting from the bond and exhibiting traits impossible for either alone. However, the bond is one of obligation, with fully-developed instances of c/ERS-623-6 incapable of surviving for more than a few hours apart from a host which itself shows inconsolable signs of withdrawal from the separation or death dependent on how long the bond was maintained. It appears as though the alien biology that is married to a host’s body cannot survive being apart from the larger organism which develops from the bond.
+++Perhaps the most telling attribute inherent within instances of c/ERS-623-6 is an ability to evolve, becoming physically stronger and more mentally effective over time. Testing has shown that the unique physical properties of c/ERS-623-6 make them immune to most physical weapons, resistant to heat, electricity, water, vibrations and radiation. All can extend tendril-like pseudopodia or reveal spikes and even solid appendages from their constituent matter. Proficient hosts can even shape membranous wings useful for extended gliding and limited flight. Reacting to a host’s emotions and personal desires, instances of c/ERS-623-6 can pattern themselves in response to mental commands and so mimic clothing or change a host’s physical appearance.
+++Hardier structures are also possible, such as armour plates which possess physical properties akin to the strange materials used by the subject to build or grow complex machinery. Also of note are strange lens-like organs which are theorised to gather and focus ambient electromagnetic waves to be released as devastating lances of white-hot energy. These can easily punch through layered steel, reducing most materials to slag. Finer application allows near universal control of computerised technology on an instinctive level, spurred on by inscrutable intelligence. A substance excreted by instances of c/ERS-623-6 has been found to cover a wide range of application, seeming fully capable of paralysing a victim or corroding soft tissues and bone wholesale.
+++A two-way exchange, instances of c/ERS-623-6 that have fully bonded with a host can control bodily actions to a certain extent, while both share thoughts and memories. Acting in concert, both can process and react to stimuli with increased proficiency. As well, they can sense surface-level neural activity in those around them, predicting reactions and intent. Visual acuity is enhanced along with the rest, c/ERS-623-6 allowing a host to see invisible light spectra or examine objects on a micro and macro scale. An atmosphere is processed for a host if external conditions become unfavourable. During the initial phase of bonding to a host’s nervous system, the host’s body itself is brought to a baseline level of health and physical fitness as uneccessary structures are broken down. However, while a host’s physical attributes are enhanced, their physiology is is not improved beyond baseline conditioning as it would be with regular exercise.
+++Hearkening back to the abilities of the entity which spawned them, instances of c/ERS-623-6 are capable of drawing upon its more esoteric talents, specifically that which c/ERS-623 exerts over time and dimension. When stalking potential prey the unfortunate will find that they cannot flee without finding the subject already waiting around every corner or even that an environment seems to wrap in on itself or connects with entirely different spaces and times. This ability does take its toll, however, as reality attempts to assert itself and thus is used only to guarantee a feeding or in truly dire circumstances. This same influence can be used in a lesser fashion to gain access to a victim’s personal effects such as their home or even identity, tapping into assets and accounts with all that they offer. Further, the influence of instances of c/ERS-623-6 has a minor to catastrophic effect upon any attempts to record both it and a host, ranging from mild distortion to outright irreversible corruption.
+++The longer a host remains bonded to an instance of c/ERS-623-6, the more clearly a new emergent personality develops, taking from the strongest attributes of both and whatever former hosts have left behind. Imbued with cumulative personalities, knowledge and experience of their progenitors, each host is made exceptionally brilliant. Unfortunately, each successive generation contributes to mental instability and a vicious, predatory nature. All instances of c/ERS-623-6 show the same weaknesses as the subject and are just as susceptible to iron, silver and generous application of fire.
+++Instances of c/ERS-623-6 require the chemicals adrenaline and phenethylamine for continued healthy function, taking the former from their host while the latter is sought from outside sources. Daily feedings are preferred, though up to a week or two at most can be had between at the increasing risk of the host’s body either becoming hijacked to seek out food or being drained itself. Victims show progressively worsening signs of sickness, the symptoms of which begin to manifest as nosebleeds, fever and short bouts of amnesia. These are soon joined by exhaustion, aches and pains, ocular trauma in the form of redness and burst vessels, coughing and vomiting. Further mental ataxia manifests in the form of deja vu as paranoia largely overtakes the sufferer’s personality. Swallowing becomes increasingly difficult and breathing painful as bloody discharge appears in vomit and when coughing. Convulsions and major amnesia mark the final stages, resulting in coma and eventual death. Curiously, signs of radiation sickness are prominent throughout, only serving to exacerbate other symptoms.

Paraphernalia; c/ERS-623-1 is a roughly-formed trapezohedron, the darkened surface of which is lit from within by a sickly, squeamish light. Though imperfect, it nonetheless provides its holder with access to knowledge beyond the scope of mortal capability to understand. The result is a body of knowledge encompassing the scientific and arcane more instinctive than learned. This can be made manifest in more immediate ways than as simple reference material, most tellingly by unleashing clusters of ethereal streamers which track a target and explode upon contact with the power of small stars. Whatever their core make-up, it has been determined that the blue-white light which they exude is particularly concentrated Cherenkov radiation. c/ERS-1 is kept on the subject’s person at all times, though where and how it is stored has yet to be determined. Even stripped of its “clothing” c/ERS-623-1 is not revealed unless the subject does so of its own volition. Due to c/ERS-623-1’s deleterious effects, it is not recommended that anyone handles it even if the subject freely offers.
+++A less immediate application has resulted in technological grafts, most notably a compact computer appearing much like a forearm brace. Designated c/ERS-623-2, it has been determined to monitor the subject’s biological physiology and allows direct control over its technological physiology. More mundane functions include communications and general computing achieved through neural input and output supplemented by manual controls and digital or holographic display. A smaller device, designated c/ERS-623-3, hangs around the subject’s neck, appearing for all intents and purposes to be a simple pendant. This has been determined to serve as an identifying badge and all-purpose key or password able to be slotted into larger constructs and so allowing the subject to exercise full control. It is unclear whether these are truly mechanical or merely organs innate to the subject's physiology.
+++No lack of interest must be paid to certain specialised, semi-autonomous spherical constructs around an organic core. Designated c/ERS-623-4, they are equipped with extensible tentacle-like limbs that are otherwise retracted within the main body. Instances of c/ERS-623-4 can emit debilitating bolts of non-lethal electricity but are also capable of breaking down matter on a molecular scale using sets of microscopic tools upon the tips of their limbs. Most often they are used for reconnaissance or other unobtrusive tasks but can make for effective crowd control when deployed en masse. Sizes range from a few inches in diameter and smaller, with the smallest recorded instance being unnoticeable with the unaided eye.
+++Of particular note is a mechanical apparatus, designated c/ERS-623-5 which, lacking better description, appears to be a large book. The materials of its construction share properties simultaneously suggestive of metal, wood and even some hard rubber or plastic that seem ubiquitous among such artefacts the subject produces but tests remain inconclusive as to its makeup. Further, the substance is a jetty black and confoundedly magnetic, also exhibiting strange resonant properties when struck. The substance shows paradoxical electrical non-conductivity, though this seems to change on the subject's whim. Theories suggest that a shifting of fine latticeworks composed of more familiar materials embedded throughout the substance allows for minute control over such properties.
+++The structure of c/ERS-623-5 is seamless, a complex combination puzzle with uncounted permutations. Each configuration reveals universally cryptic information presented in a flowery allegorical script. Significance can be found within these passages, and also in discovering the sequences which reveal them. Such is its mystery that one cannot say what information is meant to be found and what is revealed by mere chance. There is evidence to suggest that c/ERS-623-5 operates as a four-dimensional mechanism, containing far more information than is possible according to current scientific understanding. Deliberately cumbersome, if not lacking a penchant for mechanical finesse, this elicits an appreciation of the mechanism’s workings and showcases the unparalleled beauty of function and aesthetic properly married. c/ERS-623-5 is a full three feet in height, nearly two feet wide and ten inches thick and most often stored in what the subject refers to as a “fold” in space.

Addendum 623-A; The following are observational notes regarding the subject after initial containment.

+++Body temperature remains consistent with ambient temperature, extremes of heat or cold having no discernible effect on the subject’s health.

+++The subject's body is entirely lacking in defining features save for the hair on its head. Apparently a form of prismatic cilia, it is theorised that these are a biological extrusion similar to its "clothing" but no tests have been conducted to confirm this. What is known is that they impart senses beyond the human norm, one such being electro-reception.

+++The subject does not seem to understand how its features differ from those of a human, even when confronted with evidence directly demonstrating this. Whether this is an affectation or a true lapse in reasoning has not been determined.

+++When left alone, the subject does not exhibit a need for food, drink or sleep and remains motionless in the centre of its containment cell. Whether or not this is due to security measures is unknown.

Addendum 623-B;

Addendum 623-C;

Addendum 623-D; On the evening of August 6, 1945, the containment cell of subject c/ERS-623 was found empty by the on-duty officer in charge of securing the Esoteric Research Branch (ERB). Later that same night, Dr Hawthorn was found locked in his quarters, insensible and completely unresponsive. Despite attempts at rehabilitation, his condition did not show any signs of improvement and less than a week later he was pronounced dead of an acute coronary insufficiency due to pulmonary embolism.
+++In his last hours, the doctor was raving, speaking notably about humanity’s apparent inability to see “no matter how widely we open our eyes.”
+++A search for the missing subject is ongoing. -Prof. Broughton Pascal

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