An inverted obelisk, approximately 2.5m in height. Its surface is a cloudy, shifting white. Intermittently, words will appear upon this surface, followed by red handprints. Once one or more handprints appear, all surface features will temporarily fade back to cloudy white.
The Pact Stone appears to be symbolic of deals/agreements/contracts between individual human beings and the entity that Item 200 represents.
Whilst the words that appear upon the surface of the obelisk come in many different languages, they always share the same meaning, and there are only two variations:
Regardless of their language, these words appear to form out of the cloudy inner contents of the obelisk. Once they are fully formed, the words become embossed into the surface, as though carved in stone.
The handprints that appear on the surface belong to real people. Each represents that particular individual’s deal with the Pact Stone, typically a binding contract that they are not even aware of making.
The nature and scale of these agreements can vary wildly and unpredictably. They can be advantageous boons, or costly sacrifices. Whilst advances in technology have enabled the Ministry to identify affected individuals, there is currently no method of determining the exact details of the deal that the Pact Stone has agreed to. In the vast majority of cases, the affected individual will not even know themselves.
The 'Contract' that Item 200 creates with an individual appears to emerge through a strong personal desire for something to occur. It is hypothesised that if a person's want or need is great enough, the Pact Stone can fulfill this desire and forms a 'Contract'. It is further hypothesised that the 'Contract' is only created if they are - in that exact moment - prepared to pay a price the Pact Stone deems equivalent.
There are too many variables to confirm exact details, but in many cases there are ironic twists of fate that follow fulfilment of some desire by the affected individual. The pattern is too frequent to ignore entirely, but research staff are also unable to confirm any of the ‘contract prices’ are ever more than a simple coincidence.
During the initial relocation of the Pact Stone to Floor Fifty-Four, cases were difficult to locate and determine association. [MANAGEMENT] estimated a total of 49 UK-based incidents to have strong likelihood of being linked with the Pact Stone, though these remain unconfirmed. Following the installation of monitoring equipment, it has become possible to confirm the identity of certain affected individuals. Case numbers have risen dramatically since. Example cases follow.
A thirty-two year old man from Birmingham hated his boss and wanted promotion himself. His boss was killed in a workplace accident. The man was then promoted to fill that position. Possible price of contract - the company went bust shortly after.
A nineteen year old woman living in Aberdeen was the victim of repeated domestic violence. Her abuser got drunk and choked on his own vomit in his sleep. Possible price of contract - miscarriage of their child on the same night.
A fifty-seven year old man from Brighton owed his friend £100 and had no way to pay. He found twenty individual £5 notes down the back of his sofa. Price of contract unknown.
A ninety-eight year old woman had a long and increasingly traumatic dispute with her neighbour. Despite claiming he would rather die in his family home than leave, he sold the house and moved to another country. Possible price of contract - planning permission for a new motorway to pass directly through the housing complex was submitted the next day. All residents had to sell their properties and relocate.
A twenty-eight year old Indian man visiting London. When interviewed by field agents, he claimed he was having the greatest day of his life. Affected individual was quoted advising Agents to “live every day as if it is your last.” Possible price of contract - was hit by a double decker bus shortly after interview and passed away in hospital. Time of death was noted at 23:59pm.
Whenever a bargain is struck with the Pact Stone, a crimson handprint will appear in fine detail, as if the affected individual has dipped their hand in blood and pressed it upon the surface. It will quickly fade, absorbing into the cloudy material.
Any time this occurs, the words will also quickly disappear. The Pact Stone will lie dormant for a few seconds, and then the word ‘WANT’ will appear again. It may be written in any font and any language, but is always a similar size.
As the word lingers on the surface, sometimes a handprint may appear. But typically, nothing happens, and ‘NEED’ replaces the text, floating ethereally out of the cloudy surface. It will always be in the same language as the former, and the same font.
This time, handprints will appear much faster. Typically, more than one. As many as seven hand prints have been observed upon the surface of Item 200 at this stage. Following field investigations, it is believed that only one 'Contract' is made, despite the number of hands appearing. The first handprint to appear obtains the contract, with the others narrowly avoiding such a fate.
The words and handprints will fade away, some bargain will have been struck, and after a moment’s hesitation, the process will begin anew. Each cycle lasts an average of 8.7 seconds.
As the Pact Stone has been observed communicating in almost every language known to man, including dead tongues, it is highly probable that deals are being made all across the planet.
Improvements in scanning algorithms and worldwide data storage have allowed for quick identification of affected individuals, providing some record of their handprint exists. When a handprint appears upon the surface of Item 200, a camera will capture it and process the image. There are four camera stations in total, each positioned directly opposite one face of the obelisk.
Whilst the majority of handprints are unrecognised due to unavailable data, those with criminal records or in high-risk professions have been made available to the Ministry. Of particular concern are those in political, economic and military spheres, as well as Ministry personnel. Currently there is only one case of a member of the Ministry creating a 'Contract' with Item 200:
Bob Higgins, based on Floor Thirty was involved in a paranormal incident whilst on leave from the Ministry. Monitoring equipment in Cell 200 confirmed his hand print was involved with a Pact Stone 'Contract', and his wife became deaf immediately following this confirmation. Despite losing her hearing, she was able to understand what Bob was saying even when he was not in the same room. When interviewed by Agents, Bob explained they had been arguing, and recalled what he had screamed at her prior to his wife becoming deaf. "I just wish you'd f**cking listen to me."
Whilst the size of the obelisk does not translate meaningfully into either metric or imperial measurements, it does appear to coincide with a much older form of measurement - the Ancient Egyptian royal cubit. It stands exactly 5 royal cubits high and 2x2 royal cubits wide at its base. The top of the obelisk is very close to 3x3, but not exactly. It is exactly 1.618 times larger, which is referred to in mathematics as the ‘golden ratio’ - or in some circles the ‘divine proportion’ - often observed in nature and art.
Available data does not show any correlation between proximity to Item 200 and likelihood of a 'Contract'. However, personnel operating within sight lines of Item 200 have noted an "unsettling feeling" which is intensified during moments of direct observation. Certain personnel have also reported hearing whispers that promise their secrets desires can be granted for a price. [MANAGEMENT] has refused all requests for experimentation with Item 200 due to the inherent unpredictability of the 'Contracts' it creates.