We introduce the notion of a protocol, which consists of a space whose points are labeled by real numbers indexed by the set of cells of a fixed CW complex in prescribed degrees, where the labels are required to vary continuously. If the space is a one-dimensional manifold, then a protocol determines a continuous time Markov chain. When a homological gap condition is present, we associate to each protocol a 'characteristic' cohomology class which we call the hypercurrent. The hypercurrent comes in two flavors: one algebraic topological and the other analytical. For generic protocols we show that the analytical hypercurrent tends to the topological hypercurrent in the low temperature limit. We also exhibit examples of protocols having nontrivial hypercurrent.