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April 21, 2010Edit

Telos and Dawn receive e-mails from the Ministry of Argon, containing an application for membership.

Telos' e-mail:

Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
23rd April 2010
Dear Applicant,
Please find enclosed an invite, as requested.
Apologies for any delay.
Should, for any reason, you be unable to open the attached document, please ask someone who can.
Indeed, should you think this suitable, invite others.
Each is to prove their individual worth however. Please respect this.
Yours faithfully,
Libatrix.
QXJvdW5kIGluIGNpcmNsZXMgZG8gd2UgZmx5
Moving the Seconds for National Defence

Telos notes, "The string of Base64 was hidden, whited out. It translates to "Around in circles do we fly".

Dawn's version had a little bit more added to it:

The birth of the bard, the death of the bard.
The celebration of all that is English, soon 26 [plus a littLe extra for the queen]

There was also hidden (white) text from Shakespeare's Sonnet 76 at the bottom of her version:

Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name...
Showing their birth and where they did proceed

Attached to the e-mail was a Word document containing: one picture Jean-Pierre Weiller used on his Facebook page; the question "Why is the sky blue?[1894]"; some hidden (white) text reading, "Vanessa Atalanta says hello"; and a chart of letters.

Jpw

A copy of the Word document can be downloaded from http://rapidshare.com/files/378588618/MOA_INVITE.doc.html.

Discussion of the letter can be found at this link.


April 22, 2010Edit

Telos and JPW exchange a few e-mails, confirming that JPW's e-mail address is still active (but not the one to which we are to e-mail our applications) and so on. JPW also mentions that Vanessa has blogged recently; indeed, V sends out 1 tweet and posts 1 blog entry.

Claire's Facebook profile reactivates, but she just updates her status via Mobile Web: "is sleepy but can't sleep :(". She pokes dreamerblue (and others?). We are originally unable to write posts on her Wall or comment on items on her Wall.


April 23, 2010 - St. George's DayEdit

V posts a new blog around 7 a.m. her time. She mentions she used to wonder if she could have used the "machine" of the previous game to contact ALL her ancestors, all the way up the line (while we were to discourage her from using the machine at all).

V also mentions that she doesn't like that the Snickers bar has changed its name. This only makes sense to people in the UK and Ireland, where the bar used to marketed under the name Marathon. This turns out to link to a later mention of a marathon occurring in London on April 25.

V tweets, "Happy saint G day! If you want to be part of somethingthat helps our nation, join the ministry! ask for an invite! one week to sign up! #arg"

Claire fixes her Facebook profile to allow Wall posting and commenting. She thought she'd set it to public before, and wonders if someone has tampered with her profile.

V posts again about 2 p.m. her time. They had a late lunch at work due to all there was to do that day (St. George's Day is very important at the Ministry for some reason she can't tell us). They had a trivia game during lunch about heroes, cartoons, myths, etc. Alma is mentioned as having won a question round about marathons (named after a city in ancient Greece, & extended "all because of the royals").

V posts again a couple hours later, saying her father wanted her to show us the Ministry's new logo. (The logo for this wiki is from the image she posts.) She says, "I like it - something about the colours." Notice that red and green appear in mirrored sections of the logo--this is likely a reference to the "sinople" word that kept coming up in the previous ARG.

Around 7 p.m. her time, V tweets, "Weekend!Excellent-I don't have to work now until Sunday evening[don't ask!] The Herald's made an auto response too so newcomers welcome!#arg"

Dawn contacts V via twitter, and Vanessa tells her, "I love the ministry - ever since that creep Vladimir has gone I'm settled. Jason [Father] looks after me now, we're one happy ship!" (The "ship" reference is most definitely a reference to the Argo, on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed in Greek mythology & which was named after its builder, Argus.)

Dawn also makes contact through Facebook with Claire Hoskyns, V's former best friend. Claire is staying away from Vanessa right now, and suggests to Dawn that she and others do the same, lest the same thing that happened to her (during the last game) happen to someone else. Claire also says she started feeling a little jumpy on her own & has moved back in with her parents and isn't working at the moment; she says she is doing ok now.

April 24, 2010Edit

In the wee hours of the morning of April 24 in England (while it is still the evening of April 23 for Dreamer), Dreamer and Dawn have Facebook chats with Claire, who continues to have trouble sleeping. Dreamer's chat lasts almost an hour; most of the transcript can be seen at http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=698877#698877 .

Highlights of Dreamer's chat with Claire:

  • About Vanessa, & Claire's reaction to the events of the last game:
    • she still cares about V/hopes she doesn't get hurt, and even read V's blog recently, but doesn't want contact with her right now. She doesn't even want V to have her e-mail address (at least not yet).
    • she is feeling confusion and fear about all that happened to her during the Vanessa Atalanta ARG (i.e., her kidnapping, "John" talking to her at that bar & making her lose time, etc....but mostly the kidnapping), and wishes she had some kind of explanation (this is part of what is holding back her relationship with V); she is curious about all that's happened ("i'm human after all"), but also terrified, and not sure she wants to get involved in the whole thing again
    • Claire's mum wants her to get counselling, but she isn't sure
    • something about V's father doesn't make sense to her
    • Dreamer suggested Claire write down her feelings to get them off her chest; Claire says she has tried, but seems to have mental blocks: "Some days I feel like I can't remember back to working at BT with V."
    • the auditory and olfactory (smell) hallucinations detailed below started right after the events of the last game
  • a lot of coincidences have happened recently:
    • V and Claire both returning to online activity around the same time after a break
    • Dreamer's family and Claire's family both having steak for dinner that day
    • not only that, but both families cooked the steaks, found them too raw in the middle, & then put them in an oven to finish cooking them
  • Claire came down with some stomach bug the evening of April 22 and is still feeling its effects (so no steak for her)
  • Claire has a 6 year-old goddaughter (who was sick at school earlier in the day on April 22, then probably shared her bug with Claire)
  • if you have trouble chatting with her on Facebook, try e-mailing her; she says, "i use msn sometimes but tend to use fb more as it's easy to use on my mobile", and seems not to want too many people to contact her in any other way than through Facebook. Remember, too, that she doesn't want V to have her e-mail address yet.
  • she has been experiencing auditory and olfactory (smell) hallucinations. Excerpts from the chat:
    • "Every time I close my eyes I feel like I'm blindfolded again"
    • "and i can hear things, like the sound of kids playing but I can't remember what children they are"
    • "or indeed where they are"
    • she can't focus on the voices to see what they're saying, because "there's too many of them"
    • "it's not like 2 or three but 20 or 30"
    • "and it's not nearby, it's in the distance"
    • "the children sound happy"
    • "i think"
    • "chatty, giggly"
    • [when asked if she hears anything else] "cars i think"
    • "maybe footsteps"
    • "i'm not really sure"
    • "and the smell"
    • "like a birdcage"
    • "a very dirty one"
    • "and damp, musty, dirty"
    • "like i'm in a dirty birdcage listening to kids lol"
    • "I don't think it was a cave [Dreamer had suggested this], there wasn't any breeze, although it was cold"
    • [when asked if she'd smelled that smell during her kidnapping] "I think so but i can't be sure"
    • "everything is a blur from that [i.e., the kidnapping]. but everytime i close my eyes I feel like i can't open my eyes, and I can hear the children and smell that smell"
    • "so how do you interpret that then. Do you think that's where i was held?"

Dreamer offers to ask V about where Claire was found once the kidnapping had ended, though Claire asks her not to tell V that Claire was actually the one asking. Claire also promises to tell Dreamer if she remembers anything else later.

Dawn exchanges DMs with V on twitter, and finds out that "When people become members [of the Ministry of Argon] they can either be assigned a name or choose one-all from the list". V adds, "The list, before you ask, isn't up to the herald though. It's Carina's job [or is it Careen?] The Herald is just that, he delivers messages".

Dagada makes the connection between The Herald, Atalanta, Carina, and Jason and the Argonauts. According to Wikipedia, Carina is a constellation that "was formerly part of the larger constellation of Argo Navis (the ship Argo) until that constellation was divided in three." Carina is the keel of the ship. Jason and Atalanta were two of the crew members on the Argo. Through this discovery, distilled is able to find a list of the Argonauts and deduce that The Herald is Aethalides, solving one of our first puzzles (see Puzzles page).

distilled receives a response from Aethalides Libatrix, who apologizes that the automated response doesn't work. Aethalides explains, "the Ministry has provided me with limited technology due to recent developments needing to secure our work," and that he only knew to especially come into the office to accept distilled's application manually was because "one who is still 'accessing the old network' informed me of the contact." Aethalides asks of distilled that he "inform others, but only those who you feel are able to contribute to the Defence of our Great Nation."

Invites start going out to http://argobritain.ning.com/ to people who e-mail Aethalides. The assignment of codenames also begins; distilled is given the name Talaus (King of Argo), and Dawn is given the name Medea.

In response to Dawn, Aethalides says, "Do not worry about time committed. You will see here, at the Ministry, we have ways of fixing that :) However, the first month is probation for new recruits, so just be on good behaviour."

Claire's Facebook profile picture changes to show her wearing a mask she made that's been on her mind for some time now. She says she felt better while she was making it, but feels more confused now. It's a butterfly, but the middle is missing...the mask doesn't extend over her nose at all. She has the Roman numeral III written on the bridge of her nose. It is unknown whether this is meant to be a reference to 111 or the third Tarot trump card (The Empress--Tarot imagery was very important in one section of the previous chapter of the game).

Claire mentions seeing the London Eye during the part of her kidnapping when she was in a car (she was blindfolded, but was able to see a tiny bit of her surroundings). She wonders if the Ministry is in London & has some connection to the bell tower where she was held (and the birds kept there).

We first notice Poeas and Ancaeus on the Ning; these do not appear to be player-played agents.

April 25, 2010Edit

Telos received another email from Jason, containing a hidden message.

Zl2gp3

The added capitalized letters give:

THEIRTHREADOFLIFEISSPUN
NOT HERE

Dawn connects this to the Fates. Says Wikipedia: "The Moirae or Moerae (in Greek Μοῖραι – the 'apportioners', often called The Fates), in Greek mythology, were the white-robed personifications of destiny," and descriptions can be found there of what the traditional 3 Fates each have to do with the spinning/measuring/cutting of each person's thread of life.

Jason starts a contest until the end of the month, wherein the employee who recruits the most people receives a prize. He also mentions a party to be held on May 1 to celebrate three occasions coming up. He starts to assign tasks to Dreamer, but quickly remembers that she is a recruit. He does mention a task of making a flyer for MoA.

Vanessa tweets about having to work because of someone born on 8/8/1988. "Very tired now - so much fuss about one woman - and because what? she has lots of 8's in her birthday! sigh. She was really nice though!#arg

8/8/88 8:18 I mean, come on... any more 8' and she'd be one of those things in maths... oh, damn brain, too tired - night !!!!"

Dawn finds that Princess Beatrice was born 8/8/88. Distilled finds that "In April 2010, running to raise money for Children In Crisis, she became the first member of the royal family to complete the London Marathon." Group still doesn't understand the connection.

Claire continues to talk to Dawn and Dreamer about her dreams and the red and green flashing lights. She makes several references to the TV show "Fringe", which she says she has never watched.

We figure out that Claire's mask is supposed to be a Painted Lady butterfly, easily seen at http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=cardui . That website is inconsistent about the name...the webpage itself says it is a Cynthia cardui, but the title of the page in the web browser calls it a Vanessa cardui. Either one would be related to Vanessa Atalanta: Cynthia Phanes was the name of her grandmother, and Vanessa's mother's last name (or her grandmother's after marriage?) was Cardui.

Claire remembers that the mysterious John character who approached her when she went clubbing last year (when she thought she'd spent only a few minutes talking to him--as did other people at the club--but discovered after he left that two hours had passed during their conversation) had called her "my beauty." When Dreamer accessed the MoA Ning earlier today, an old chat between Jason and Amandel/Erginus was still displayed. After Amandel logged out, the last thing Jason said was "gone - oh well - bye my beauty". We had suspected that Jean and John were connected, despite the seeming age difference, and this confirms it.

April 26, 2010Edit

Telos uploads a coversation he had with Claire. More information about her kidnapping comes to light. Although V's last blog entry at the end of the previous chapter explained that JPW hadn't actually kidnapped Claire, but rather recruited her to act as if she were kidnapped in order to convince V to come talk to him, Claire has now remembered that she was NOT recruited...she was definitely kidnapped. She also remembers that the sequence of green/red flashes is green-green-green-red. pastebin of Telos' convo with Claire

The group decides that MoA employee, Poeas, is not a recruit and is kind of a jerk. However, Sirannon gets a message from her regarding finding out more about the "true" ministry. The message includes this line: "Masks of action, which I have brought you hidden." Sirannon discovers that this is a line from a poem about Neoptolemus convincing Philocetetes to go fight in a war that is ultimately won with the use of the Trojan Horse. There may be symbolism of Poeas being the "Trojan horse" in MoA (and is also appropriate to be sent to Sirannon, since her MoA codename is Philoctetes). Also, the equivalent of a Facebook status update on Poeas' Ning profile is, "Changing history for the better... hopefully..."

The MoA Ning site allows users to upload music for the group to listen to. Poeas "adds" music, which turned out to be a Youtube link to the Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgeUcnt0Oq8&feature=related

Aethalides Libatrix adds 3 songs:

  • A Cool Wind Is Blowing - Djivan Gasparyan
  • Variation 24 - Cécile Ousset etc
  • Westminster Bridge - Murray Gold

Aethalides Libatrix uploads an album to MoA entitled Sun Rise, Sun Set, with two photos added. http://argobritain.ning.com/photo/albums/sun-rise-sun-set

April 27, 2010Edit

Telos posts a message to the MoA Ning forum, basically asking what else we're supposed to work on apart from recruiting people.

Aethalides responds,

With the launch of any vessel, especially one so blessed as ours...

I understand the urgency for information gentle folk, but the information is not forthcoming. Yet.
If you need something to occupy the time while we wait for the 'ship to set sail' as it were, find out more about who you work for, our history and our ideals.
No, I'm not just going to email you the handbook over. You were tested on your keen intellects and your ability to work together. Now do so...
[another picture will be added for your benefit shortly...]

Jason adds,

Initiative - good on you sirs! [and ladies]
Aside from recruitment, you can make yourselves presentable, ensure all areas in your keeping are tidy and that you have enough information at your fingertips.
For that you need a destination, or at least a compass...
I am just the captain. I decide where to go, not how we get there...

We understand all this to mean that we are to focus on finding the location indicated by the pictures of a cross added earlier by Aethalides (and, presumably, the new picture he adds today).

Aethalides posts a picture of Great Britain with a yellow dot on one particular spot. The picture is called "the looked-for spot" with the tag line "The eyes pointed the way here a long time ago."


Claire sends V a text message:

Hey V long time no speak hey. The thing is I really miss you and your funny cat obsession and your typo's (joke) and I worry about you! I always did! I just wanted to let you know that no matter what happened in the past I miss you and i'm always here for you! If you need me i'm only a phonecall, email, text or facebook status update away xxx
love
Claire

She receives back from V:

I'm sorry - who are you?
Are you one of the people I met on facebook last year? Sorry but I dont know you.
Would you like to join the Ministry??
Vanessa.


Sirannon receives two messages from Poeas.

The first:

Let me ask you a question:
How does time begin?
Let me ask you another:
WHERE does time begin?
A third:
IF you had the power to manipulate it, send messages through time and affect the flow of time in some manner, how long would it be until you manipulate it for your own personal gain?
Welcome to the Ministry, started by the Royal Astronomers and finishing with them too [if I have my way].
Have you read 1984 ? George forgot our Ministry...

The second:

Email
What is yours?
Mine is similar to Libatrix's, but with one obvious difference!
I will test you and any you trust to help me. This needs to be done quickly though, before the party.
Thank you.
Hoping I'm not making a mistake,
HdR

Dawn discovers that there is a position within the royal household called "Astronomer Royal". It's somewhat of an honorary title, with the person advising the monarch of scientific and astronomical issues.

While Dreamer and Jason interact about her suggested recruitment posters and whether or not they are in line with Ministry objectives, Dreamer brings to Jason's attention the comment on Poeas' profile: "Changing history for the better... hopefully..." Jason thanks Dreamer for bringing this to his attention, and states that Poeas is now being watched. Sirannon sends Poeas a message informing her of this and urging caution.

Aethalides says to Dreamer, "Please recruit as as many as possible - we're trying to get a good turnout for the party on 1st - otherwise it'll just be a couple of old men and a 3 year old who has only one member of family left..." This statement is puzzling...

April 28, 2010Edit

Claire manages to go to a friend's house, although she has a panic attack doing so.

Her friend points out that Vanessa isn't the only one who's changed--Claire has changed, too. At her friend's urging, Claire decides to stop letting things just happen to her, and to instead take charge of her situation. They spend some time researching everything they can think of that might be of help in solving puzzles we already know about, how Claire's kidnapping went down, etc.


Aethalides requests on the Ning,

Please could all active members please ensure they have received and understood the updated file that has been sent out. I understand that not all of you have registered on this network, preferring to just 'visit' mentally [Orpheus!] but please could we get some order to our file security, especially with the next project coming up?
Thank you
On behalf of Jason and technical support
A

The "updated file" is taken to be the password reminders that were "accidentally" sent to distilled yesterday.

Aethalides posts another image (since removed) which is eventually found by Cineball to be a crop of the cover of the book Masquerade by Kit Williams. In the cropped image, only the letters QUE and a small section of the picture on the cover are visible.

When Cineball reports his discover to Aethalides, he responds,

now - what did they do? For who? Why?
How? Does this translate to our founders in any way?
Ultimately, where would we be in any reality without them?


Have you read the book? The solution? Does it help at all...???
Some concern themselves with the solution. No. It is the idea, the execution of it and the involvement of togetherness which our legacy is built on - well done Bellerophon.
Now, to work...


A

Claire starts up a rival Ning, called Friends of Vanessa Atalanta. She encourages all us friends of V to join so we can problem-solve together, because there are some things that might connect to stuff we don't know about V but she would. Also, mention of certain things may trigger a flashback of sorts for her, unlocking information currently trapped in her brain.

Dreamer and Claire have a long chat. Highlights:

  • the maypole that people dance around on May 1 has pagan roots (Dreamer discovered it's basically supposed to be a huge penis, sometimes with rings hanging around it to symbolize procreation)
  • the golden hare amulet that was the goal of the treasure hunt started by the book Masquerade has been missing since 1988 (as in someone bought it at an auction then, but since then no one has stepped forward to claim that they have it, despite public calls by the artist and others to do so). Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/mysterious-golden-hare-still-casting-its-spell-30-years-on-1750107.html . Claire suggests this may be the Ministry's golden fleece.

During this chat, Tarot imagery is also re-introduced (was a prominent part of the previous chapter of this game):

Claire tells Dreamer she had a flashback to New Year's Day, when Johan did his magic trick of turning a "stick" into a snake. She saw the snake make a figure 8 before turning back into a stick again. Dreamer mentions to her that a figure 8 could also be the symbol for infinity, and that it's called a lemniscate, and that Vladimir used to bring them up. Dreamer shows her the image of the Magician trump card, including the infinity symbol above his head. They notice that this bit about the card applies to Claire's decision to start taking charge & not be so passive: "Depending on the card's placement in relation to other cards, the message is to tap into one's full potential rather than holding back, especially when there is a need to transform something."

While looking at & reading the card, Dreamer notices that "About his waist is a serpent-cincture or girdle, the ouroboros, the serpent devouring its own tail. The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of eternity..." This symbol came up in the previous game more than once, and the image sent to active members to remind them of the Violet password was of the Rotating Snakes illusion. Perhaps the Violet password is OUROBOROS, if the MoA hasn't changed it.

Claire asks what the Magician is holding; it is a wand. She suggests that maybe the "stick" Johan held when doing his magic trick was a wand. Wikipedia says, "In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries, symbolizing divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth."

Sirannon receives more e-mails from Poeas.

The first, with the subject "Last test of loyalty":

Tell me the shape I have hidden and I will reveal everything I can.
See attached.
Do NOT google* any part for at least an hour after receiving as this will trigger a loop which will get us both into trouble.
Please, work it out for yourself - apply your brain and your Airy thoughts.
H le R**


"*or any search engine - no fishing either!
"** it is, and always is H le R not HdR - I was tired - sorry!

[note: the quote marks in front of the last 2 lines above are only to keep the wiki from turning the asterisks into bullets...I didn't like the code view, either, heh -- dreamerblue]

Attached to this was http://rapidshare.com/files/381386053/test.doc.html .

Second:

Subject: Victory said the sparrow
Right, I don't have long. I'm going to go and drop something. If I return tonight I'll post where. If not, an encrypted version will come to you.
Hope for the simple version and that I am not being watched.
H le R

Third:

Subject: Drop


It is done.
I am back, but I AM being watched. So, quoth the raven...


Apologies if you are off this fair island at current, but I do not trust those working alone -
find those who live in my areas to pick up if you cannot get close yourself.
Time, however, is of the essence. I can only delay the Ning network for so long.
Please, help me...


H. Le Rennet

Attached to this was http://rapidshare.com/files/381385894/around_in_circles.doc.html .

On the Ning, Poeas posts a link to a YouTube video of Crystalised by xx.

Also on the Ning, various messages are posted in chat about only active agents being allowed into chat at a certain time tonight, & that suspensions will result for people found to be in chat when they shouldn't be, for security reasons.

V updates her blog. She mentions Jason waking up very upset and taking off in the car, leaving her at home. She mentions that her work at the Ministry is mind-numbing and "almost switches me off," though she chalks that up to her being so new. She also mentions that she went for lunch in Greenwich earlier, and was surprised to see the church all boarded up, with "no signs or anything - just lots of scaffolding an peopel working on it."

She also posts something we should understand as relating to her hesitation re communicating with Claire: "Had lunch, back to mindnumb work and then turned phone off. some days you have to do that for people's own good you know............ hoe all my friends out there are well"

April 29, 2010Edit

Aethalides discovers that distilled has received the password reminder file, which he was not supposed to get. He sends distilled a message, asking him to contact him, but distilled doesn't get this message at first and therefore doesn't respond.

At 1:11 a.m. BST, distilled is kicked out of the Ning chat, out of the network and anything at all to do with the Ning. His computer then makes 5 beeps, as if from the internal speaker, then on the 6th just shuts down. When he reboots, he can't access the Ning, e-mail any members, or access "pretty much anything related to MoA." (While this may seem scary, he did also receive an OOG e-mail that explained what would happen.) However, his access is restored at 1:11 p.m. BST.

A new picture is posted, titled "I'll have to hurry you." The caption reads, "Calling a spade a spade, he and Mr Fourniment translated an idea into reality..." distilled discovers that the image is the cover of Quest for the Golden Hare by Bamber Gascoigne (1983), which describes the saga surrounding Masquerade.

Vanessa puzzles over what to get her father for his birthday. She also laments that she will be 30.

Interesting quote from her blog, given later events:

So - 2day - TWO DAYS to go - omg - I'm gonna be 30...
er... :)
just a number just a number....
but today, now I'm Father's girl [which makes me feel like a princess - or captain's daughter - fdo they get titles, captain relatives? mate, 2nd in charge?? dunno, but scared that, in one bizarre way, it'd be my head wearing the captain's hat if anything happened to father...

Vanessa posts messages via Twitter and her blog that are encoded. She says that she's not safe, she needs help, and there is not a safe way to contact her. She is also in need of an ally at the office--someone she can trust.

April 30, 2010Edit

This post of V's doesn't seem to be online anymore (if I am just missing it, someone tell me how I can see it, heh--Dreamer):

[Writing this from a net cafe, early in the morning]
While this is online still, I just hope Father, or anyone else from the ministry doesn't find it.
I'm being watched. VERY closely.
Everything I do at the Ministry is noted down by someone - I have more offers for cups of coffee than anyone else and, frankly, its unnerving.
Perhaps I'm just being paranoid but with what happened to a good friend of mine recently...
She'll never forgive me but the best I can do is keep her away from all of this now.
I miss my mother - she'd know what to do - but I dare not use the machine again - I saw what it can do - that man who died to help me, if there was only a way of contacting him again. He was kind.
Ok going to have to go. I'll shield this with a basic message. Unfortunately, this mirror is only one way at the moment. I'll find some way soon - pleae find someone at the ministry you can trust and get them on side as it were - please... and soon - I fear for tomorrow...
V

Poeas sends the above-posted "Drop" e-mail to celendis, too (as well as the "Around in circles" document), but also includes this text:

apologies for the encryption but those with intellect and a keen eye will find it.
Hoping your beautiful view can collide with our capital
H le R

In chat with celendis, she stresses the urgency of figuring out this puzzle, and collecting the dropped item:

Poeas: good morning
Poeas: are you still here - private chat is better than public - less observed
Me: Oh, I was wondering what that sound was.
Poeas: Can I trust you?
Me: I was looking at my iPhone and pondering an email someone sent.
Me: You have nothing to fear from me, that is for sure.
Poeas: I have little time, VERY little time - do you know anyone in the UK, ideally London?
Me: No, all my contacts are in Toronto or here in Seattle.
Poeas: What's your email
Poeas: No other recruit or people you chat to online?
Me: I will find them.
Me: solicarySPLATgmail.com
Poeas: you have email
Poeas: if you do, and the attachment, please let me know
Me: I am waiting for its arrival.
Poeas: make this, and only this, your priority please
Poeas: you and anyone else you trust
Me: You have my word. ... once it arrives
Poeas: it's not just the newest recruits whoa re at danger from tomorrows festivities
Poeas: there is - no, i can't even state it here - oo many trigger words
Poeas: too*
Me: I believe that there are more things at stake than I ever would imagine.
Poeas: yes.
Poeas: The ministry dont pay out for scaffolding of a hwole building on a whim...
Poeas: whole*
Me: Maybe they want the siding REALLY REALLY clean?
Poeas: I wish I had your levity - but when a church, A CHURCH can potentially fall apart - I shudder....
Poeas: Anyone who goes against their country for the greater good gets my trust a litle straight away 'gasses'...
Poeas: have you ahd the email yet?
Poeas: please - keep checking

Dagada gets a tweet from V asking him to pick up a present for her father; he agrees, but hears nothing back.

Aethalides posts a note asking all MoA agents (recruits and active agents alike) to send him their contact info. He posts a form stating all the information he is looking for.

With some further help from Poeas, we are able to decode the "Around in circles" document and direct Claire to the appropriate drop point, laptop in hand. (See the appropriate section of the Puzzles page for details of how the drop point puzzle was solved.)

Vladimir Sirin's Facebook profile activates briefly; it is later discovered that this was due to his granddaughter, Poeas, accessing it to communicate with us.

Claire gets the sense that she is being followed while she looks for the dropped item, but does manage to retrieve it. It is a USB stick.

A message appears on the MoA Ning, from Jason: "Authorisation granted to all Indigo members. Prevent retrieval of stolen information. ANY means necessary, leaving target 78 alive."

Claire discovers her car to be gone and a man in a suit to be running after her. While running, she uses her laptop to upload to us the files from the USB stick.

Since distilled is (briefly) in London for other reasons, he gets a telling-off from Jason, wondering how he knows who Target 78 is and why he is in London; distilled pleads innocence, telling Jason he was in London for unrelated reasons, and that when he saw Ministry agents after Claire, his misdirected them.

Once the files are successfully uploaded to us, Claire's Facebook page disappears.

A message from Aethalides appears on the MoA Ning:

Now security is under control, the release of information is here: http://www.nmm.ac.uk/visit/events/celebrating-the-golden-age-of-toy-boats Could all Ministry members please confirm their attendance to me, recruits welcome to. Mos of the office are on task Tiphys, understanding, but for those able to come, please do. Thank you. A

The uploaded files seem to be:

  • all the pictures from the previous game (the contents of Johan's desk, as well as a bunch of book pages Vladimir had scanned to us)
  • a file about Vanessa, including the instruction to "Use friend [Claire Hoskyns] as collateral"
  • a "quick note" from Poeas
  • a map Poeas found on Jason's desk & scanned quickly, adding a note to it
  • a password-protected document named "Target 628.doc".

V tweets, "Father Especially Horrible, Understandable re security but *still* haven't got him a present - been really hard to think of something..."

"Claire" later posts a new discussion to her Ning which simply says "III". (We later discover that this was actually posted by Poeas, who asked Claire to log in for her.)

Claire's Facebook profile also reactivates.

Dreamer and Dawn both receive a piece of fake spam. The sender is listed as "Clear Bright Francais" (which relates to a translation of Claire's name from French into English), the e-mail address is target78SPLAThotmail.co.uk (remember, we also found out Claire is Target 78), and the subject line is "GIANT SALE EVERYTHING £1.11!!!!!!!"

Body:

WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL JEWELLERY FOR SALE!!!


COME AND SEE


WE CAN help YOU FIND THE PERFECT GIFT FOR YOURSELF OR A LOVED ONE!!!!


www.beadwerkz.bigcartel.com
Get a free e-mail account with Hotmail. Sign-up now.

Going to that website brings up several items, but only 1 of them has a price of £1.11...the "HandmadE Lifelike Painted lady butterfly earrings" (note that the capital letters spell HELP).

Clicking on that item brings up this description:

these Silver plAted Fine Earring wires Feature One goRgeous paiNted lady Ornate Wing for each ear. moulded WITH polymEr moulDing clay by our GreAt aRtisans. each one is a PRecIse Copy of thE Obviously Naturally Beautiful wings Of the painTed lady butterfly. botH earrings are One off stUnneRs and are Hand paintEd And varnisheD to preServe their fluttering beauty.


Won't be here for long.


Sold Out

Reading only the capital letters produces the message "SAFE FOR NOW WITH EDGAR PRICE ON BOTH OUR HEADS". "EDGAR" should be taken to mean Poeas.

Note: the Beadwerkz store has been confirmed by the PM to be the real, working store of his real-life friend whose name really is Claire, but he would be upset if we thought he was using the ARG to promote her business...it was just a good way to get a secret message out. Buy the items if you wish, but please don't be offended by the use of the site...and please don't e-mail the Beadwerkz e-mail address with ARG-related inquiries.

May 1, 2010Edit

Vanessa's 30th birthday.

JPW's birthday.

The day of a party thrown by the MoA to celebrate 3 occasions...what is the third?

Seen by Amandel in chat by Aethalides on April 30:

a perfect semi circle is formed by the exhibiion


Right - enough chatter - back to paperwork [look for exhibitions... i'm not paid enough to keep quiet!]

Amandel figured this out on May 30:

"Aethalides is referring to the 1 May to 15 October 1851 "The Great Exhibition" and specifically to the Crystal Palace. The Astronomer Royal was a very influential counselor in 1851. Source"
Quote:

The grandiose display of Victorian technological prowess at the Great International Exhibition of 1851 included a Dent turret clock....Dent’s longstanding service to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the admiration it inspired in the Royal Astronomer, Sir George Airy, is well documented...for the prestigious (Big Ben clock) construction Sir George Airy awarded the contract to Dent in 1852

Remember something else Aethalides had said earlier about the party: "Please recruit as as many as possible - we're trying to get a good turnout for the party on 1st - otherwise it'll just be a couple of old men and a 3 year old who has only one member of family left..." This statement is puzzling.


Now for the actual events of the day:

Aethalides updates the note on the MoA Ning that gives the details of the party:

Update - as I have received information from a few, but didn't realise how many were elsewhere involved, we will be attending the boats for a few hours this afternoon and then returning back to the offices later on.
Hopefully this will appease everyone who can appreciate the time that is required for such a gathering that things may not be 'scheduled' but will happen when they may.
I for one intend on getting quite merry and thus apologise i advance if it is not until very late that I post, or indeed tomorrow.
Vane Atalanta will most likely be in her cups too... [note: "Vane" was struck out]
30, such a good age...

JPW's Facebook profile reactivates. All of his updates have to do with accepting friend requests (perhaps even some left over from the previous game).

V posts a new blog entry. Especially of interest to later events is this section:

URUZ only old as you feelz!


Well - these last 30 years have seen some pretty big changes. 10 years ago my mother died, and this left a huge hole in my life. I spoke to my uncle and became close to him. He passed last winter.
Now, now I have the Ministry as my family. I feel welcome by them but well, apart from Father there is no blood left you know?
Still - I'm good, I will always have memories and today, of all todays, I WILL party!

Dawn and Dreamer receive a Microsoft Publisher file from Beadwerkz by e-mail.

Body of the message:

Thank you for your enquiry. These are the flavours that are available this week at the Beadwerkz bakery. Prices start at £1.11 per cupcake.


I hope that this is to your satisfaction.


Fondest Regards,


Beadwerkz Bakery

The attached file is http://rapidshare.com/files/382273422/cupcakes.pub.html .

A later e-mail states,

Apologies, we almost forgot, yes we do deliver to most capitals.


We look forwards to hearing from you as soon as possible.


Fondest regards,


Beadwerkz Bakery

Reading the capital letters in the Publisher file yields the message, "Hand (N) asleep...any luck with password"

Poeas is now listed as A[S] on the MOA Crew names list. S for surveillance on her?

Things then take a very dark turn.

Vanessa tweets, "THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN. #ARG"

She also updates her blog:

87 I 104 A 101 M 110 T 32 H 116 E 104 D 101 A 32 U 98 G 108 H 97 T 122 E 105 R 110 O 103 F 32 A 115 N 117 110 N 32 A 105 B 115 E 32 L 103 L 111 C 110 A 101 R 44 D 13 U 10 I 87 A 104 N 101 D 110 I 32 S 104 E 101 R 32 V 110 E 111 N 116 O 104 O 105 N 110 E 103 32 115 104 105 110 101 115 32 117 112 111 110 46 46 46

The letters spell:

I A M T H E D A U G H T E R O F A N N A B E L L C A R D U I A N D I S E R V E N O O O E

The numeric code translates to:

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon...

This is the first part of the second verse of Twinkle, Twinkle, which, in the words of amandel, "V began singing last time before she went ballistic." Telos adds, "Considering she started 'pulsing' pretty well, and got to the point where she didn't make any mistakes, yet when she first started, and when she went apeshit insane, she started mixing code in with plain text, I think she may be getting to that point again."

Claire sends another e-mail:

Haven't time to code this, H has left me I guess on the run, which is what I think I have to do now. H said they had no reason to keep either of us alive now. I have managed to get Nat safe and now I need to go. Will try and get in touch soon. I think the only way I can save my and possibly H's life is to unlock that file!! I have more to tell but no time now. H is VS grand daughter. We need to try and save her too.

Aethalides comes into the Ning chat and makes it official:

I have been asked to inform any employee that is not aware that, as of 1.11 this afternoon, GMT, Vanessa Atalanta is now the head f the Ministry of ARgon.


This si due to


due to..


the death of


Jason also known as Jean Pierre Weiller.


His daughter has legal and familial succession.


I. I have to go.

This seems to indicate that, while Jason's priority was to ensure Claire remained alive, this is no longer something the Ministry cares about now that he has passed...or that Poeas wants Claire to believe that this is the case.

Vanessa's Facebook profile reactivates.

Vanessa adds a new album to the Ning, titled "'LOL' :)".

The caption for the album is, "I warned people, they never listen, they never do."

The location is given as "Angulus Ridet Grenwich".

Items added to it:

  • A picture of a monarch butterfly, titled "800px-Monarch_In_May" with the caption "Happy birthday to me..."
  • The XXth card of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, titled "RWS_Tarot_20_Judgement" with the caption "Does what it says on the tin."
  • Cropped-in pic of the poison apple from Snow White being held by the witch as she offers it to Snow White (you can only see the apples and their hands), titled "Be careful what you eat..." with the caption "No-one questioned Alan's suicide. They just accepted it. Like my mothers. I now better now..." In the previous chapter of the game, we learned that V's mother's apparent suicide was actually murder, but we never learned for sure whether it had been at the hands of Johan, Vladimir or JPW. Players of the previous game also know that Alan Turing was a Ministry agent.
  • The Queen of Swords card from the Rider-Waite deck, titled "Queen" with the caption "You play with the cards you get dealt."
  • The picture IASON & THE DRAKON, with the title "Jason is no more." and the caption "Happily ever after..."
  • An inverted (negative) picture of a church with scaffolding and men working on it, titled "Negative?" with the caption "No - just seeing the bright side of the closure..." Once we've identified the church, our Erginus posts as a comment, "Your parish church, St Alfege Church, is impressive even under the scaffolding. How fine for you to have arrived at the MOA on his Saint's day (April 19th)."

Sirannon notes, "Fitting this happens, not only on her birthday, but on a day that was seen as the start of summer in some mythologies/cultures."

V messages Dagada on Twitter, saying she gave her father death and revenge for his birthday after Vlad told her what had happened, and said the Ministry is now ours.

On a later date, Sirannon noted this about Aethalides' statement that "Atalanta will most likely be in her cups too...":

I don't know why, but the phrasing struck me as odd, and made me think of the Tarot suite of Cups. They're supposed to represent heart, emotion, and psyche, I think, and if inverted, they can mean the manipulation of those for vengeance, greed, and so forth. Cups can also mean "a storehouse of symbolic direction", and that kinda sounds familiar.

May 2, 2010Edit

Claire posts an image, labled Prison, on Facebook. It is St George's Church on Wells Way.

Asked about it, she says,

It's where I was held. My prison. When Nat was driving to London, as we crossed over the Thames Nat said I almost went trance like and told her to go right and left etc and then next thing I knew we were outside that church. Then when i picked up the memory stick from under the boat when i looked up I saw that church in the distance. I could see it was by a school. I'm also guessing that was the park I saw in my dream from the window too. Has anyone heard from Vanessa today? James mentioned the tradition of killing the May Queen and am worried that's what they're doing!!

She talks about what Poeas told her about the Ministry's intentions for V, and describes Poeas:

think it might have been H on vs log on's. She said something about holding the moa off for as long as she could and that her grandpa had taught her well or something like that. As for how the machine works or indeed how v was to kill this guy i've no idea! I only know what i was told. Which i'm not entirely sure i believe!
H was late 20's black shoulder length hair that was dead straight, even after her sleep. When she went to sleep i couldn't wake her by shouting at her. She remained asleep until she sat bolt upright and said 'it's started.' She has piercing green eyes that are intense. At first she reminded me of a crow who wanted to peck my eyes out. When i got into the taxi with nat i hadn't noticed but she was in there. She grabbed my laptop and closed her eyes and a little smoke came out. Then she said 'my name is henriette and we have a lot to talk about and then she shook my hand. The next thing i knew i was back at nat's. She told me that jpw kidnapped me but that she was the one in the tower, the one that told me to forget and the one that guarded me.

Responding to amandel's note of condolence, Aethalides responds,

Thank you - things are very bad at the moment I can never deal with change and this change, well I'm unsure whether or not the change is for the better.
I'm wodnering whether or not I have done the right thing. brinigng you al into this mess -but I was following orders, like I am now - I should never question orders, but Vanessa, well I should say Atalanta, is making us change all of our procedures - to make it more... hierarchical...
I'm scared frankly.
Poeas, I knew about - she was always a loose canon, sorry cannon, but the circle musn't be broken - ever, despite who is in charge. Otherwise churches and nations will fall...
[and i'll be out of a job! :)]
Not many people liked Jason - JPW whatever, but me, well, let's just say I understood where the birds flew...


Your friend.
A

Note that Amandel had not mentioned Poeas to him.

Vanessa posts a new blog entry, basically saying she's given everyone the day off to grieve but that everyone is expected back in the office on Monday. She refers to herself as a purge, a cleansing fire, and as having removed the thorn from the side of the Ministry. This imagery is all consistent with the third rune.

V tweets, "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass... All about the Numbers now... #arg"

One of the images in the Nestor documents is a scan of some of the book of Numbers (pages 110 and 111 in a particular Bible). Note that the translation seems to be the one in Gideon Bibles (the ones found in hotels and such).

The verse quoted is Numbers 33:55, and the remainder of the verse states, in this translation, "that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell." So more thorn imagery.

In response to Dreamer's reminder that in some traditions, it is thought that the May Queen is killed at the end of the day, V comments,

The May Queen is elected, chosen by the people.
I am chosen by a higher power, by my Father's blood and my mother's wisdom.
I am Vanessa Atalanta and I will not be removed.

Claire sends Telos a message, trying to figure out some of the Tarot imagery.

I really don't know what is related or not, but had a look at V's Twitter and Blog. She mentioned Numbers, and quoted some. Then I remembered that Numbers was one of the pages in the file. It mentioned Moses and the Ark of the Covenant. It reminded me of when I was looking through the Tarot cards after Blue brought up the Magician card. When I looked at the High Priestess which wiki states has pillars that represent the temple of Solomon, which was the eventual resting place of the originally portable Ark of the covenant. I really don't know whether it has anything to do with anything. Not much sleep and worry has got me seeing connections in everything. Was just thinking what if the magician card was day 1, may first?


Wiki says:
The card can mean that a manipulator is floating around, usually if it's reversed. He may be a beneficent guide, but he does not necessarily have our best interests in mind. He may also represent the querent’s ego or self awareness. He can also represent the intoxication of power, both good and bad.


Then for the high priestess it can mean other wordliness, introspection and mystical vision and serenity. Maybe why she told everyone not to work?


As I said I really don't know and this is total guesswork

While chatting with Dreamer about the Violet password, they together wonder if the tongues on the snakes in the Rotating Snakes illusion could be like the hands on a clock, and if they're supposed to read the numbers off.

Claire's reading of the 8 tongues:

on the clock i got 7, 11, 1, 5,
and then on the bottom line 11, 8, 4, 1

However, these do not work as a list of numbers to open the file. Dreamer tries using them to pick out letters of our alphabet or the letters those runes represent, with no luck. They also have much difficulty trying to use those numbers in some way with the Numbers passage that is in the Nestor Documents.

When asked, Claire also gives Dreamer some of the words she has tried as passwords:

111, crystal, cobourg, shakespeare, gasses, laguioli, tiphys, safety, ultra, maritime, numbers, solomon, tabernacle, covenant

However, at the end of the day, we are all still stumped.

Excerpts of Claire describing meeting Poeas:

When I got nat and i into the taxi she took my laptop (this is nat's) closed her eyes and smoke came out
then she said "hello my name is henriette and we have a lot to talk about, shook my hand and then I passed out
when i came around we were at nat's house. Nat was lying on her one couch with her leg bandaged,I was on the other couch and H was there
Then she made me a cup of tea which i didn't drink and she let me ask questions
no I didn't get the laptop back, but there was one on the desk surrounded by 13 candles
she said it was protected and told me to log into my ning. when i did she typed 111 and then went to make the tea
yeah 13 and they burned for ages nearly 24 hrs i guess, if that's relevant
does 13 candles mean something to you?
[after Dreamer described Vlad's use of 13 special candles from some church Annabell had visited to perhaps block the MoA]
that was what she implied
and she kept saying her grandpa taught her well
She asked me not to send anymore than the 111 but i couldn't not tell my friends that i was safe
I know how worried i'd be if it were one of you
So I used my friend's jewellery site, as I had her log ins (i helped set it up) I had no idea how else to send you a message
i figured it would just look like spam, and i deleted the entry before H woke up
she may well have still known but I had to tell you all
I only saw her sleep that once
after we talked friday night she said she was very tired and lay on the sofa and slept instantly
i couldn't wake her until she woke up yesterday evening saying "it's started"
[of the time she lost in the taxi between meeting Poeas and waking at Nat's]
she said she was protecting me
She also said she was the one in the bell tower with me
[asked if the voice sounded the same]
i think so, but can't be sure
when i got into the taxi i felt like i knew her though
well had a sense of recognition

Perhaps this came out to other people earlier, but in chat with Dreamer, Claire says what Poeas says the Ministry had wanted to use Vanessa for:

she said that the ministry "want to change history, or rather let it happen"
H said that the ministry wanted v to kill a man on a boat in 1939
and that if he wasn't killed the ministry may not be here
I was to be used to force her to do it
possibly
the guy they wanted her to kill was H's other grandfather

And Poeas' departure:

after H and I talked she handed me another memory stick and paper files
she also left me the laptop with her logged into the ning
I had a lovely email from Amandel telling me to look after myself and that poeas was logged on this morning but that may have been me
I can't understand why H would help me this much if she was lying
but i'm hoping if we can crack this file it might tell us
she didn't say anything about the password
just that we needed to crack it
so either she didn't know or she's keeping me busy whilst something big kicks off
[asked if Poeas were coming back]
no
she just told me to get going
I asked if I had time to sort nat out and she said it was up to me but i need to go
so i've kept moving
stay in public places in the day

Other highlights from Dreamer's chat with Dreamer:

  • she met her parents at a restaurant and told them to go somewhere safe; they will stay with friends, but Claire doesn't know where, so the Ministry won't be able to try to get that out of her brain somehow
  • she can tell that the V who is blogging now is not our V
  • she notes, "i can't understand how she was talking about enjoying her birthday and the ministry being her family, and her dad being the only blood she has left and then killing him just hours later ... unless she found out something major like he wasn't really her father or he killed her mum". When Dreamer explains that V already knew JPW might have killed her mum, Claire says, "confirmation then maybe. i don't know i can't explain it". Claire likewise posts a discussion to her Ning wondering if Vanessa could really have been the one who killed JPW, given all she was saying about her last remaining family and so on.
  • she connects the Magician card again with the first of May and the idea that there is a manipulator around, ego or self-awareness, and an intoxication with power (good or bad)
  • she talks about the second card (high priestess) having to do with "mystical visions and serenity ... and she is seated among pillars that are about the temple of solomon, which is the permanent ark of the covenant that was described in numbers"...so bringing up again imagery she'd brought up to Telos

May 3, 2010Edit

Telos receives a coded Beadwerkz e-mail from Claire, from which he extracts this message:

IF WE can help you FIND the PASS WORD LET ME KNOW ON HERE. IT MAY BUY US SOME TJME. ANY CLUES

He points out that "the "I" in "TIME" isn't typo'd. It was TJME in the original."

Work on breaking the password for Target 628.doc continues.

May 4, 2010Edit

Claire reports (in a message to Dreamer),

Vanessa texted me again,
"hi claire. Sorry not been in touch. Had some family stuff to sort out. Meet for coffee next week? V

Her response to Dreamer saying this was likely a trap:

Well i texted her back basically saying i was sorry to hear about her father and asked why she was asking for coffee now when last week she couldn't remember who i was. Was also pissed about the kidnap thing. She texted back saying she couldn't discuss it electronically and that things were as safe as they could be for the moment. Will copy the texts out properly to send you tomorrow but they're on my phone and i'm using my phone to write this. Also i'm really really tired. Barely slept the past few days and didn't sleep at all last night and i've fallen over today probably because of being jittery and more clumsy than usual with the tiredness. Will hopefully be back to full speed tomorrow! Had a few tries with the password but no joy. Thought maybe we're thinking too much about what it could it could mean and not concentrating on what it is! The other indigo one has clues but this one is just the picture! Tried a few variants of the name of the work and artist but no avail. Will try again tomorrow.
Xxx
C

Work continues on trying to figure out the password for Target 628.doc.

May 5, 2010Edit

Aethalides responds to Amandel and includes a password hint:

Thanks.
Just had lots of paperwork and keeping heads down. V is working out who's loyal to her and who wants out. Not pretty.
Have to get back to sorting everything out by surname - sigh. Still, glad everyone in the ministry ahs a unique surname - we used to use them alone for passwords in JPW's day, including our researchers...
Laters.
A

Claire reports the whole text message conversation she had with V yesterday:

"hi claire. Sorry not been in touch. Had some family stuff to sort out. Meet for coffee next week? V"
me: " Hey I heard about your dad. I'm sorry. Can I ask why you said you couldn't remember me when I last texted? And why a load of Ministry guys tried to kidnap me AGAIN!!"
V: "Over coffee, nothing electronic. Right now as safe as can be. Soon, won't be. Will text friday. V"

She turned off her phone and laptop(s?) after receiving these messages and found another hotel.

She continues to feel as if she is being tracked:

Was in a busy service station for breakfast but had to leave. too many people with suits on. Probably just popping in for a coffee before work, but am understandably paranoid.

Aethalides continues to interact with Amandel:

Red tape just making me head spin - you know how it is I can imagine.
Still - at least I just do typing and filing, reading the reports on some of our researchers - shudder - poor monkeys!
Right - no more email for a whole day now - V has put a lock down on all ministry service and is using Orpheus to check on all of us, in an attempt to find out who is loyal and not, so will be radio silence as it were for next 24 hours.
Hope all the recruits are ok.
A

It starts coming up that Claire seems to have two different sets of memories.

Amandel's message reminding Claire of some things that came up last game:

Best morning wishes Claire,
I suspect that the MOA has messed with your memories on a deeper level than you realize. Now that you're considering meeting Vanessa again after such a hiatus I feel obliged to mention this and am sorry if it upsets you. Last year you told us you attended when: "Vanessa's family used to have a magic show on New Year's every year, and Vanessa's mom would give out presents.".
Hon, Vanessa's mother died 10 years ago which means you have known her longer than the 6 years you recently mentioned. Sorry. You may also not remember this from when you were a "young girl" at V's uncle's house: "(Johan) said we shouldn't go up there (the attic). heck - we weren't gonna - we were young girls and spiders lived up there!".
I have a bit of an elephant's memory especially where the welfare of my friends is concerned. Am not sure that meeting V is definitely a bad idea yet I suspect a cabal within MOA have clouded her mind and yours should be crystal clear at any meeting.
Since emphirical facts are scarce atm please listen to your instincts and know that your are major in my thoughts....Am

Claire's response:

Oh my God I remember that! We were best friends when we were little. I remember being scared of johan's attic as well because we were sure it would be full of spiders! The weird thing is I also remember her first day at BT. I remember her coming in the office 6 years ago and being so shy and worried poor thing. She knew nothing about computers and as i tried to teach her the software we became best friends. How can i remember both? It's like two lives! Something happened like this before. It was before I was kidnapped and v wanted me to scan those documents. I remembered she sent them but I didn't receive them and then i was kidnapped I thought that they had been intercepted in the mail. Then talking to someone on facebook they told me that I had received the documents but every time I had gone to scan them something happened and so I was going to send them to friends from fb! The thing is I remember both of those things happening. I presumed that the Ministry had meddled with my memories somehow but now this too! That's a lot of time to change! I'm so confused!

We finally crack open Target 628.doc. Dreamer and Claire look at it together, and a lengthy chat session of theories results. (Note: part of that chat revolved an idea that the man to be killed in Project Tiphys was Alan Turing, but this turned out to be incorrect--Turing was gay and chemically castrated and so couldn't have kids and therefore couldn't be Poeas' grandfather--so ignore that section of the chat.)

One idea raised in this chat is the idea of the red and green symbolizing two parallel realities--one in which you make one choice from a decision you have to make, and another reality in which you make the other choice. She wonders if somehow she has two sets of memories because she is "remembering" things from both realities. Perhaps the red and green flashing lights make one more sensitive to "the other side," so to speak, and that is why V and Claire are now experiencing some dual personality/memory issues. Because of the extreme differences between "our" V and the one who seems scary, Claire suggests, "maybe in her alternate reality something happened that messed her up big time". She also notes that V put on her blog that she was vanessa Cardui rather than Vanessa Atalanta.

Claire also notes:

in the safethy concerns bit it says
Use relative to influence Tiphys to end own life
but they want vanessa to convice atalanta1
so it sounds like either H was lying about him being her grandad or they're related

May 7, 2010Edit

Aethalides posts a picture (now removed) to the Ministry of Argon Ning under the title "Party photo". This picture is an illustration from Poe's short story William Wilson. The missing letters from the caption spell out "william".

Aethalides also posts a message on the Ning forum, asking Indigo members, "All physical items pertaining to Tiphys to be brought to head office a.s.a.p." and asking us to find and post all information we can about Tiphys (both the codename and real name). However, he warns us not to use real names (not even Tiphys') lest we end up suspended for the rest of the project.

V sends Dagada a message, asking to meet.

When Dreamer logs into the MoA Ning chat, Aethalides has some lines of chat still displayed, but they scroll out of the window while she and V chat. She says, "There were 4 lines...I think one of them was some kind of good evening greeting, one of them was something like, "Guess which herald pulled the short stick re staying late in the office on a Friday night", the third was "Not here" (familiar from a letter sent to James...by JPW, if I recall correctly), and the 4th started off something like, "well, then" and I can't remember the rest :(."

Dreamer and V chat on the Ning. Highlights:

  • V reports that Orpheus has scanned all our computers for keywords and that all of us have been approved
  • When asked if she thinks she knows enough about the Ministry to run it, she says, "vla ...

no. never mind"

  • the other agents are scared that V will "remove" them as well (she put it in quotes, too)
  • "yeah - now I'm in charge, what I say goes - though now all of you are under the same rules... anyone steps out of line, or betrays the ministry and off with your head!!!! LOL - joke!!!"
  • "with al the changes in government here at moment, our funding is being held until the end of the month - so no-one's going to get paid until next month - so if you talk to any of the others, tell them that Vela will get wages out to everyone as soon as possible
  • "re: tasks and such, theres a mega project happening at the moment but its still in planning stages so reruits and new members are having o wait sorry!"
  • when asked if the other agents were going to get around to registering on the Ning anytime soon, so we could interact with them: "They're currently on another assignment linked to Tiphys. they are out there in the field though, just very busy - they don't have time to chat like me!"
  • when Dreamer mentioned that she'd heard that she was going to get out socializing sometime soon (referring to her asking Dagada about meeting up), she seemed not to know what Dreamer was talking about: "who did you ehar that from?"
  • re Dreamer not being able to come across the pond and meet up: "Our Oregon branch is currently in development again but theres too much pain for me to help out there ... Eventually though. [...] With my family, as I'm finding out, there was NOTHING non-ministry... stil - that's how it goes you play with what you get huh?"

Poeas sends Sirannon two additional e-mails, including an additional Word attachment, prodding us to work further on this puzzle.

May 8, 2010Edit

Aethalides posts a message to the MoA Ning forum indicating that Project Tiphys is starting up in a larger way:

All agents have been cleared for Project Tiphys.
All recruits are now accepted into the Ministry, following approval from the Manager herself.
No-one is to interact with the rogue agent Poeas - punishment: full removal.
The machine will be assembled on the day required, not before, to prevent potential sabotage/misuse.
Thanking you as always,
The Ministry.

Vanessa tells Dagada when and where they will meet: "Perthro. Outside the entrance of where Rev RW Hardy saw more than just flowers. The day writes the words right across the sky. V."

Dagada figures out part of what this indicates: "the place is Queen's House, where at the Tulip Staircase the rev photographed a ghost. The time is Sunset, as per the Kate Bush lyrics." He also confirms through further interaction with V that the day will be Thurs., May 13, 2010.

When Telos asks for more info about Project Tiphys, Aethalides sends him a private message with the subject line "Don't ask":

If you gert the info, you'll be forced to act on it - I've tried to keep recruits away from the hell going on here - please, quietly, slowly leave.
Otherwise, you'll all be making decision that wi
Got to go.
A

Poeas sends another e-mail prodding us to solve her puzzles.

May 9, 2010Edit

Ancaeus posts three pictures of women to the MoA Ning, with the caption, "Ladies that served us at the party - I know we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the building, but they didn't mind coming outside, under the night sky."

He also posts a picture (curtains.jpg) that just shows one corner of some curtains from some illustration, with the caption "mistake picture - was testing the camera. just ignore nothing to Worry about!"

Aethalides posts to the Ning more instructions regarding Tiphys, under the subject "Tiphys: Need - level INDIGO and GREEN":

Indigo: Acquisitions required: All physical items pertaining to Tiphys to be brought to head office a.s.a.p.
All new members:
Due to you being fresh of mind, please could you gather al information regarding Tiphys, both code name and real and present here.
DO NOT, under any circumstances, use their real name in any contact or communication with anyone, including here on the network. Each time real names are used, potential flux is caused and this is highly delicate at best.
"* Anyone found using any real names from this point will be suspended until end of project. You have been warned.
Please post any information relating to the matter here as this network is now secure.
Thank you.
On behalf of The Ministry.

May 10, 2010Edit

Poeas sends yet another e-mail aimed at helping us to solve her puzzles.

Claire seems to send us some messages on Facebook, but we receive them only through Facebook notifications...when we log into Facebook, the messages cannot be found!

The e-mail notifications we receive tell us the text is as follows:

I have no idea if t.his i.s being watched so i'm going to watch what i'm saying as i've been a bit susp.icious about a few people in some of th.e hotels i've stay.ed in! I can't wait until it's. s.afe to go h.o.me! You. woul.d.n't b.elie.ve how much I mis.s my brot.her and fo.lks! P.oor me lol! I miss my p.uppy Ambe.r d.re.adfully! V.e.r.y. bo.rin.g is be.ing on the run! W.e.ll I hope V is alright. i still haven't hear.d from her and I ju.s.t. h.ope the ministry ha.ven't s.uddenly turned http://www.facebook.com/l/564db;ag.ai.nst her! I'v.e. Still got this rotten. cold and it su.cks! Can't wait to p.ass. o.ut as soon as i find a m.otel that doesn't requ.ire a c.redit card as a security ch.eck! Not. many do. though! Am s.eeing a lot. o.f p.laces i.ve never been http://www.facebook.com/l/564db;t.o though which is cool!
Hope you are all ok! Please all of you take care
Claire xxx

Putting together the letters in front of each period yields the message "tiphys should be stopped. every one we trust has given up so much to stop it".

The Facebook URLs given to Dreamer and Dawn were different, but didn't seem to work, even when variations thereof were tried.

V sends Amandel a DM: "tricks - that was my uncle's job, when he ran the Ministry - but there we go - family business you could say eh? Numbers? Confused.."

V also tweets publicly: "Ice cold this morning - something in the weather? Waiting for people to help me and the Ministry - its frustrating, just waiting...Still..."

V also makes a new blog entry, which includes several mnemonics people use to remember things, like NESW is "naughty elephants squirt water." This turns out to be relevant to our test.doc puzzle.

Claire changes her Facebook status: "Claire Hoskyns is PISSED off with facebook! Saying it's sent messages when it hasn't, telling me I have a friend to add when I haven't! Seriously doing my head in! Oh and did I mention telling me I have comments on my status when I don't. God it's frustrating." In other words, she doesn't recall sending us the messages we received-but-didn't-receive.

May 11, 2010Edit

V tweets, "I WAS wondering about the last fewdays - my memory isgetting hazier +its like something out of fight club or memento - all fuzzy and such!"

May 12, 2010Edit

Poeas and Amandel exchange e-mails about the puzzles she has set us; she confirms that the hidden shape was a circle, but gives us another poem to try to work out the location she wants us to find. Dagada and jessie1326 are able to work out the location using the further clues provided.

Claire tells us she's had a message from V.

Claire tells Dagada how to recognize V, and some things he can ask about to figure out if he's talking to the "real" V. However, while they are talking, "111" randomly appears in the conversation. Claire's chats seem to be being monitored by the Ministry.

Claire says her Facebook profile keeps saying she has 1 message, 1 friend request and 1 update (111 again!), but when she clicks on the appropriate icons/etc. to try to check them, those things aren't really there.

V tweets, "uncertain about later but heck, put the dice in a cup and lets hope for the best. I am the boss, not them..."

May 13, 2010Edit

Dagada meets up with V. His report:

Ok. So, those following me on facebook might have noticed a few odd things going on today. Basically, after uploading some of the Greenwich images I received a phonecall warning me I was being watched and telling me to be careful. Not wanting to compromise the meeting place, I lay down a false trail hinting I was meeting at Canary Wharf, then using a couple of images of places to give them something to search for over there. Thing is, both photos are of places in Edinburgh so they'd be searching for a while!!

I was supposed to meet V at the Queen's House, but due to certain naughty security guards locking the gates the meeting was relocated at the last minute to the base of Observatory Hill.

There sat V, a pretty young lady, clearly anxious. Before her was a butterfly made of a double Peorth rune, one green one red. Beside her was her masked guard, Orpheus.

I was told to sit, and V confirmed who I was. She said she needed someone to trust and that she had information she needed to pass on. While she searched in her bag for the info, Orpheus was passed an item to hold - a copy of The Prophet, before she found the CD she was looking for. After some thought she gave this to me. I asked her if she remembered Claire, to which the reply was no - but this was delivered more in a "I can't talk about this" manner. Both if them were concerned about being watched and said there were at least one or two of "them" in the area. V started to get upset and ran away.

Orpheus said he was"not as trusting as some in the ministry" and made me look into two rows of flashing red and green lights. I passed out - I'm not sure how long for, but I still had the cd when I awoke.

When I started to leave the park, checking for anyone following me, I spotted V and O arguing. O was saying he couldn't keep protecting V. V was saying she hadn't asked for any of this. They spotted me and moved on.

They kept arguing, loudly, but it wasn't easy to hear everything said due to helpful barking dogs, screaming kids and police sirens. I did pick up comments about "we've only got until the 23rd", "will it work?" "it has to."

as I left the park, O intercepted me and asked what I heard. I said not too much. "good" he said, angrily, and walked off.

Then I died. (only joking!)

I have the CD. It's labled as V's music mix volume 1. I'll upload contents and photos of all writing / the CD tomorrow, and update [the unfiction post containing this report] if I remember anything.

[update]

I've uploaded photos of the CD and the writing on the cover to my facebook page - if anyone wants to download and post elsewhere feel free.
For those who can't wait, the writing says:
F+TM!
Classical
CCrows
Sting?
Mix!
On the CD is written:
Canessa's Music C.D.1
Beneath this are three musical notes, almost looking like reversed 1s.
The CD itself when viewed on the computer is titled "tickticktick".
There are a number of files on there, which I've uploaded to the following location: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=38032783e8c32cf82fb2ca15d7ea42d911a04fe0bdfadf2ca7b01fe6e4055ae3 Anyone want to move it somewhere more secure, etc, feel free. Some notes - The MUM picture, the church in the background is in Greenwhich. There's an awful lot of references to Windmills going on here - including references to Don Quixote, and we all know what happened to him.

Dreamer and Claire have another chat. Highlights, according to Dreamer:

  • She said, "I was also thinking that Poeas seemed quite sensitive when I asked her why her grandpa Vlad was so desperate to save Vanessa from being tainted by the ministry, but he hadn't extended her the same courtesy. Perhaps she is really out to get V. Or maybe Vlad is V's real father?"
  • I mentioned to her that it's odd that V's family tree doesn't show her dad as being a JPW, though his first name IS a form of Jason; she doesn't believe JPW is his real name, "but i also think that he's too vain and conceited to stray too far from his real name"
  • of V, she says, "mom and dad only remember her as the weird girl i brought home from bt and dragged out with me"
  • while we were chatting, there was a knock at her B&B room door..."was the old lady checking i like the movie and bringing me some hot chocolate ... she's so sweet ... seriously, if I didn't HAVE to move I could stay here for ages". *We talked a bit about how this B&B and the woman and her having every movie Claire wanted to see seemed, in Claire's words, "like a modern day cinematic gingerbread house," but she also said, "believe me if it comes to it she is going in the oven". She is not the naive person V used to be...she does like that we express concern for her and so on, but she does think about whether certain things are traps and so on. She is definitely moving tomorrow.
  • Shortly after the woman came by, Claire and I resumed chatting, and then "111" appeared in our chat out of the blue. Claire was mystified by this, saying that wasn't her. She doesn't know where or what is safe, but knows the only ways we have of communicating with her are electronic and she is terrified by the idea of having to cut off electronic communication and work through this on her own. I told her we wouldn't let the bastards get us down :) (popped into my head from A Handmaid's Tale). She disconnected from the B&B lady's wireless and booted up her netbook to keep talking to me, though she'll have to pay a fee for going over her data usage. She had already taken her sleeper & therefore couldn't drive, so she is staying at the B&B again tonight but will leave first thing tomorrow...sooner if the woman brings her hot chocolate while wearing a suit!
  • She is still on the sleepers. She tried to go off them the first night on the run, but started shaking & itching. She is going to try to get a dr's appointment to come off them safely. She still has those smells & images affect her when she is trying to go to sleep, too, and still dreams about butterflies in glass cases. She only sleeps about 2 hours each night, even with the sleepers.
  • She asked if Telos is OK, since she hasn't talked to him for a while & he wasn't feeling so great the last time they spoke. I told her he was having internet issues & very busy on top of that.
  • she mentioned Poeas' e-mails that she thinks we've all received ("spring is for healing" etc.)
  • she thinks the Ministry's request that we research Dyson is weird: "aren't you guys going to know the same things that she would if she used wiki ... i mean it's not like you have his private diaries". I told her the Ministry feels we are "fresh of mind" and that's why they want us to do it...but she has a good point.
  • fizzy drinks like Diet Coke are her only vice...at least, she said that until I reminded her about chocolate :)...but I think this part of the conversation was just her being social. Apparently we are both chocoholics, and had a good discussion about how much cocoa we can stand in our dark chocolate (we agree that 70% is good, but 80% is too bitter...oh, and that chocolate is a food group, heh) and who makes the best. She especially likes Green and Blacks, an organic line of chocolate--especially their Mayan Gold variety and a kind that has dried cherries in it. Not that that has anything to do with the game :).

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