The Guide v.X: LockJaw
by Steve Peters
Feb. 7th-March 18th
After March 18th
Horoscopes Week 6
After April 5th
Thomas' and Wolfe's Passwords
After April 28th
Horoscopes Week 12
The Lockjaw Guide -
This is a complete linear walkthrough for the Internet game code-named Lockjaw. It’s full of spoilers, is written sequentially, and assumes no background knowledge to the game. You'll be able to find out about the latest updates of The Guide from the Jawbreakers mailing list. If you've got a point to make about this guide, post it to the Jawbreakers list and put in the subject line 'GUIDE:'
most helpful resource in compiling this has been The Lockjaw Trail, written and
maintained by SpaceBass. The Trail is a regularly updated guide to all the
websites, emails, phone calls, etc. within the game, and I obtained much
material from there. I also used many messages posted on the Jawbreakers list
which provided vital insights and information about the game. Plus, I got tons
of help from folks on the IRC channel #jawbreakers. I can’t list everyone here, but you
know who you are! Also, The Lockjaw Guide is dedicated to
Finally, the nature of this game is dynamic.
The websites are changing constantly. Some
of the earlier parts of this guide might
not make sense since the websites might have
changed since they were written.
Most notably, game site pages have had a tendancy to move around a little bit, as in-game 'security' is breached. If you come across a broken link here, it's probably because it has been moved as part of the game. Please report it to me, and I'll fix it by the next update. We are making every effort to keep the links unbroken, but as time goes on, the game sites will eventually be taken offline. The plan is to archive everything and update all the hyperlinks accordingly.
The newest version of The Guide is always at http://www.vpmusic.com/jawbreakers/guide.htm.
In September of 2001, a Wired article outlined the creation of a new interactive online mystery game, code-named Lockjaw, created by members of the Cloudmakers, an online community that grew around last summer's online promotional web-game for the movie A.I. The article really only gave one solid clue about the game, mentioning a fictional biotech company named Ganmed, so we waited and watched for something related to Ganmed to show up on the web.
At the beginning of February 2002, www. ganmed.com went live, so that was our cue that the new game was beginning. The Cloudmakers created themselves a new group dedicated to this new game, calling themselves the JawBreakers. The Jawbreakers Group on Yahoo (along with the IRC channel #jawbreakers) is sort of mission control for the players of the game, where new discoveries are reported, and ideas are bounced back and forth. It is also where you can find links to the other main resources to get started and play the game, namely, the Quickstart Instructions, the Lockjaw Trail and the Lockjaw Events Timeline. You will refer to these documents often during the course of the game.
As the JawBreakers looked around and discovered sites, we may not have come across things in any logical order. For clarity, I will try to present them here in a path that makes sense, even though the Jawbreakers may have discovered things in a slightly different sequence.
There are two main starting points to the game, as detailed in The Trail, and of them I've chosen the Grrl-E-Grrl.com site, since it was the site with the first known puzzle. That's where The Guide begins.
First site, first puzzle. This is a fun-looking zine, with various articles and horoscopes. After being directed to the Cloudmakers article, we notice what looks like our first puzzle at the very bottom of the page. Looks like a bunch of numbers and letters. These are pretty obviously coordinates, pointing us to 12 capital cities around the world: Toronto, Helsinki, Edmonton, Panama City, Yellowknife, Tallahassee, Havana, Indianapolis, Ad Dawhah, Napoli, El Paso, and Taipei. Looking at the first letters of each word, we get thepythianet, which leads us to our first new site, thepythia.net.
Of the various articles and features, the Horoscope pages seem particularly interesting. Starting with just one page, these horoscopes have been updated almost weekly. There have been many speculations as to the meanings of these horoscopes, but most of us seem to think each sign represents a particular in-game website or character.
Also of interest at Grrl-E-Grrl, the editor, Brooke Hunter (remember that name for later) has a seemingly odd obsession with fonts, and a link to a company called Net:Sight Solutions from their home page. Also of note, a link to an online store was added a few days after this site went live. Looks like we now how we can support this game financially, should we choose to (which I highly recommend!).
ominous graphic of a snake eating its own tail is the portal into The Pythia. When first discovered, clicking on the snake
took you to a page called 713oe.
This page shows a
Within days, of its initial discovery, 703oe suddenly linked to an additional page, then another and another. Within a week or so, we had the following trail of additional pages:
A map of the
A map of the
· 211cw: A close-up of the hands of God and Adam from the Sistine Chapel, superimposed with lightning.
· 158sc: A red-washed image of people riding the subway, photo apparently taken from the Toronto Transit Commission.
An image of a bike tunnel in
An image of the Odenplan rail stop in
A picture with various kinds of keys: computer keys, piano keys,
· Fin: A map of the Washington D.C. Metro system, superimposed over a photo of a D.C. Metro station, possibly Dupont Circle, all washed in green with the text "fin" (French for "end" or "finish") written at the top. Again, the source code reveals a message: “Our tour ends here. Perhaps you should slow down and get to know your friends. You have the key. You'll just have to use it differently this time,” in the source code.
Now, those page names sure look suspicious, don't they? Jawbreakers kind of backed into the solution to this puzzle, but we'll look at it freshly here. It seems these seemingly random letters and numbers mean something after all. There are a total of 18 letters, and if recombined in an order based on the numbers they’re paired with, you get a new website address. If you start with the first page name, 713oe, and plug the o into the 7th slot and the e into the 13th slot, and so on through 51018tag, you get this:
Okay, another website address to check out: www.dcmetrocrawlers.org. Hmm, going there gives us an error message, an Error 403 – Forbidden message. Something seems to be there, just we’re not allowed to access it. We’ll set this site aside for now. NOTE: Jawbreakers apparently found a reference to this site before we were supposed to. There was an unfinished webpage at Grrl-E-Grrl that had dcmetrocrawlers as its title, but it was removed as soon as it was discovered. Hmm, somebody watching us?
In addition, another link suddenly showed up on the home page on 2/12/02. It was a picture of an apple with the zodiac sign for Scorpio. This link takes us to a page called S E C U R I T Y. There we find some encoded text. This is ROT-13 encoded, so running it through the translator gives us this message:
For being experts, they certainly are sloppy.
I've managed to gather a few things to share, and I've added my own special touch. Seems that the only requirement for one of these is respiration.
Who is “they?” A little side-trip takes us to www.cafepress.com/pythia, where we can buy some game-related stuff. Hmm, Ganmed Security. Seems this is our first in-game reference to them, and it looks like the message is referring to the so-called Security Experts at Ganmed. Also, on the back of one of the t-shirts, we see what looks to be another coded message made up of a strange half-heart symbol and a broken sequence of numbers. If you substitute letters for the digits, with a=1, b=2, etc., and sometimes having to guess which pairs of digits go together, you get
? enoyna snaidni elttil net
Or, reversed, "ten little indians, anyone?"
A valid email address was also stumbled upon: firstname.lastname@example.org. Emailing the serpent gets you this prompt response (that will hopefully get you on some sort of mailing list subscription):
You've found me.
I admire the resourceful. Such detective work shouldn't go unrewarded.
Now what might one consider a fitting reward?
Perhaps some additional information...
Perhaps. No promises, though.
So thanks to the Pythia/Serpent, whoever he/she is, we now have a promise of some additional information, and hints to a couple other sites: Ganmed (from the cafepress store) and DCMetrocrawlers. Before we head there, let's check out the one other link from Grrl-E-Grrl…….
Following the link on the Grrl-E-Grrl home page takes us to Net:Sight Solutions. This site belongs to an Oxford-based company that produces a web-browser/mail/web-editor/web-server suite of software. The first preview beta of version 3.0 of the browser was released on 11/19/01. Preview beta 2 was released on 2/23/02.
The Net:Sight Browser includes an as yet mostly inactive AI named Mephista. Mephista is your friend and everything she says could possibly be a clue. However, please do not post your conversations to the mailing list unless you are certain they lead to something substantial. She will give you “hints” if you ask, and will respond to some questions about Kevin Spacey in an interesting way. Mephista's stock responses seem to have been added to in the beta 2 release, although there does not appear to be much new functionality. Also added was the option to turn her on and off, which may or may not do anything. Please note that installing beta 2 over the original version does not appear to install the new features. However, uninstalling the first version and then installing beta 2 does.
An interesting bit here seems to be that imbedded in Mephista’s source code are plaintext references to many of her quotes. Also embedded are HTML resource files, which can be accessed only if you have the browser installed. The welcome and help files are used by the browser. It's not clear why the others are embedded in the source, since they were not found "in game." Each file besides welcome and help contains an encrypted passage. The names of those files appear to be taken from members of the "Hellfire Club" in the X-Men comic book series. These quotes are detailed here on the Trail. We don’t as yet know the significance of these quotes.
Profiles page was added on
We don't know yet what significance the browser will play in the game, or whether it’s actually necessary at all. It doesn't appear to be, yet.
Of note is the fact that Eric Wyngarde has responded personally to emails sent to email@example.com from various Jawbreakers. His return address is listed as Eric.Wyngarde@netsightsolutions.net. Various replies can be found on the Trail.
Also, the phone number listed in Net:Sight’s Domain Registration info (found via WHOIS) appears to be live. One conversation is detailed here on the Trail. The number listed is 01473220805. Any Jawbreakers in England are welcome to give this number a call, since not many are willing to call from the U.S.
Okay, so let’s go back and pick up the other two sites we’ve found…..
the lead from the Pythia online store, we find the site for Ganmed, a biotech company in
· You thought we couldn’t see your crimes-
· you thought we would stay away but you’re-
· wrong we saw it all
· and now you’re gonna pay.
Within hours of its firsts posting, a new image (archived link) with the same name replaced the first one. On the second dash.jpg image, there are now white vertical bars in the background, and the pattern of dots, dashes and hands is now different. What these new clues mean is not yet solved, but current spec revolves around a combination of morse code and making some sort of cutout from the 2nd picture to overlay the first.
NOTE: Very briefly after the GanMed site went live, the home page was hacked and in its place was a simple math problem.: 200^2 + (69|2 + 6^3 + 4^2 + (2^3 - 1)) + 30^2 + (2^3 + 2) + 2. Shortly thereafter, the site was restored and a news update was posted. Viewable in the source was a smirking message and references to the solution from the hacked page: 45912! This solution led us to a post on the Cloudmakers mailing list, which in turn led us back to Grrl-E-Grrl. It’s apparent that this was another “entry point” into the game from a different angle.
Now, finally on to the other site we’ve uncovered…….
Remember the phantom website we got from combining all the page names at the Pythia? The clues there led us to dcmetrocrawlers.org, but there’s nothing there but an error page.
is there? On
Entering the various page names from thepythia.net returns a wealth of information in the form of various new pages. These pages introduce us to the DCMetrocrawlers, and provide a startling discovery. Somebody is dead! The pages found, in order, are:
· 713oe: An obituary for Mercedes Villanueva.
· 144re: A short story or article by Barbie Mills called First Crawl or Beneath the Street: Confessions of a UE Newbie. Barbie Mills is a contributing writer for Grrl-E-Grrl.
· 158sc: An email from Holly (Credibility) to Class Three, date unknown.
So, Mercedes Villanueva and her fellow DCMetrocrawlers stumbled upon a cache of body-bags (presumably with bodies in them) during a crawl through the DC Metro Subway system. This understandably freaks everyone out, especially Mercedes. So she calls the police, who send someone out to file a report. Unfortunately, this policeman (James Arney) seems to be on the Ganmed payroll (see Ganmed Employee Directory), and apparently in communication with Chet Doan, according to the crime report. He says he’ll take care of everything, and a few days later, Mercedes turns up dead, and Paul (and perhaps others) is missing.
There are some hidden letters on this page. Ctrl-A reveals the characters g a o c r n r o . s hidden within the phone numbers. Unscrambling them by putting their corresponding nicknames in alphabetical order leads us to a NEW site: nocars.org!!.........NOTE: The following nocars links may point at archived pages. The actual pages may have been moved or deleted during the course of the game.
Nocars.org is the website for Alternative Transportation Advocates, a group dedicated to reducing dependence on automobiles. The webmaster for this site appears to be none other than DCMetroCrawler Cave_Bear. Their logo (and front page navigation) is based on the D.C. Metro system map.
There are five links from the front page to various spots within the site, including a page where you can join the ATA! This is most definitely a contact point with the game, so be sure to fill everything out. Also, note the obligatory link to Net:Sight.
Digging into the front page a little further, we discover a hidden riddle (Ctrl-A again). At the bottom of this page is white-on-white text that reads:
is to banana as engine is to car.
Feline is to kitten as starlight is to star.
Second is to minute as bit is to while.
Heaven is to pearly gates as station is to...
Hmm. After much consternation, the consensus is that the answer is either stile or turnstile. But what to do with the answer? Suddenly, folks started getting emails from Eric (a.k.a. Cave Bear). These emails are detailed here, and eventually led to a solution, through Cave Bear's use of terms like buried and giving us hints using /slashes/. We found a new page at http://www.nocars.org/turnstile.asp. A nice, simple, bland page with a text box and a submit button. After some trial and error, it was discovered that the password is 3214, the same password as was used in Barbie’s First Crawl article.
Entering 3214 leads to http://www.nocars.org/station/platform.asp, where we find an image of a speeding subway train flanked by six icons taken from bits of the big picture. The bottom of the page has input boxes labeled "Handle" and "Password," along with a "log in" button.
This is obviously the portal to the DCMC mirror site, mentioned on the DCMC Message Board. Repeated attempts to gain entry have failed, as have attempts to contact Cave Bear again.
was also noticed that besides the transfer (bulls eye) stations, the stations in
the map not linked to anything were:
We know that Mercedes Villanueva (a.k.a. Popper) is dead due to “heart failure,” after she and her group of urban explorers stumbled upon a room filled with body bags in the DC Metro subway system. Another crawler, Paul, is missing. The whereabouts of many of the rest of the DCMC group is unknown at this point.
Ganmed is somehow involved in all this, but we don’t quite know how, yet. The only circumstantial link between Ganmed and DCMC is the crime report filled out by James Arney.
Somebody calling themselves the Oracle is making information public, and is probably responsible for the hacking of the Ganmed site as well.
The DCMetrocrawlers site has been removed, with only pieces of it remaining, but there seems to be a mirror site hidden within the ATA site. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to access it, yet.
Sites we haven't visited:
Things that are unsolved:
Okay, we left off at the Ganmed dash puzzle. This puzzle consists of a hacked message at the Ganmed site. While working on this, the image was updated on 3/5 to link to a new page, clarity (no longer there). Looking quite a bit different, this page includes a message from our mysterious friend Serpent, saying, "- color me surprised. I can't believe these idiots made it this far - if only they could make a proper (and correct!) calling card." Below the message is hidden a binary code. Ctrl-A reveals: 1101-1111-10010-10011-101---11-1111-100-101, which when translated into numbers (1-26) with each number representing a letter of the alphabet (1=A, 2=B, etc.) says "morse code."
Well, we're certainly being hit over the head! This message seems to tell us that Serpent is not the one hacking into Ganmed, and that he in fact considers the hackers to be idiots. In addition, he "corrected" their "calling card." It's clear that he's not talking about a phone card, but the kind of card a burglar leaves at the scene of a crime, ala the Jackal.
It's abundantly clear that we're supposed to use morse code in solving this, but how?? The binary hint seems to lead us to maybe convert the haxor speak into morse code somehow, and then into binary code. So here are the strange and amazing steps that were taken to finally solve this:
First the haxor was converted into morse code, by making the uppercase letters into dots, and lowercase and numbers into dashes (Uth0t=.----, etc.). These were then converted into binary form (ex: first line .---- ----- .---- ----- .---- = 10101), then converted into base-10 (10101=21, etc.). Then, each number was converted into its alphabetical equivalent (21=u, etc.).
The bottom line was done a little differently, merely converting straight from morse to alphabet, giving us "org." The result to all this is urf.org. Nothing. Then u-r-f.org was tried, since there are dashes in the message. Still nothing. Then, the solution was found! Keep the name in binary form! Solution: 10101-10010-110.org! This leads us to a NEW SITE!.........
NOTE: The following uRf links may point at archived
pages. The actual pages may have been moved
or deleted during the course of the game.
We're greeted by the cartoon rat (from the Ganmed hack) at the entry page to the URF. Clicking enter takes us to the main site, with many articles and links to various interesting sites. Of note is a short article about a hacker being arrested. Scolling down and clicking the discontinuity link takes us to a story about the arrest of the webmaster or URF. At first it was thought that Hermes was the one arrested, but it was later determined that this article was written by Hermes about the previous URF webmaster, and that Hermes took the reigns after that. Hmm, isn't Hermes the Greek equivalent of Mercury (the Roman god), and doesn't Mercury (the planet) rule the sign of Gemini? Perhaps this site has been represented in the Horscopes by Gemini: "Seems like you're all ready for guests, but they haven't turned up. Maybe they need directions? In any case, be prepared for them." Well, we're here now!
Digging a little deeper, our first discovery is a little hidden text underneath the Net:Sight logo (there it is again!) on the main menu. Ctrl-A gives us:
Are you a god?" they asked the Buddha.
"No," he replied.
"Are you an angel, then?" "No."
"A saint?" "No."
"Then what are you?"
Replied the Buddha, "I am awake."
Then you notice the Net:Sight eye blink at you. Creepy.
Digging into the source code now, we discover that every frame has a two-letter name: oe, in, rv, ou, and lt, which when combined forms an anagram for "revolution." Interesting. That might come in handy later.
A little more exploring rewards us with a hidden link! The bar-code in the title image was decoded to be "LEFTEYE." Clicking on the rat's left eye takes us to......
A page entitled understanding, consisting of a bigger pic of the rat eyeing us, along with an empty text box/"go" button. Hmm, let's try entering "password." Nope, but the kickout page, thermopylae, has an interesting warning in the source code!
Let's pull out that new word we discovered, and try it. "Revolution" is indeed the word we're looking for, and it takes us to...
The forum login page. Here, we're presented with three logins: Admin, Downtime, and Events. THREE logins, and we haven't even solved the one on DCMC yet! In the source code are two hints: "/where the grass is greener" related to the Downtime box, and "when he exclaims "run," everyone goes in fear,” related to the Events box. Note that the grass is greener hint has a slash at the beginning, indicating perhaps another directory as part of the answer.
Admin-Trying http://www.10101-10010-110.org/admin.html (in the browser, NOT the text field) briefly took us to an Admin page, but it got taken down (spies again!). Then, a few days later, it came back as it was: The URF Administration In-Box with a message saying, “this inbox is closed for mail serv maintenance.”
Events- Next, trying http://www.10101-10010-110.org/events.html worked, taking us to the Protest and Action Calendar. Lots of events and interesting links here, but none in-game that were found, yet. At the bottom is a link back to the discontinuity page about Hermes' arrest, and an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Emailing that address hasn't yielded any responses yet.
Downtime - Following the source code "/grass is greener" hint, we try "the other side" as the obvious answer, which takes us to http://www.10101-10010-110.org/otherside.html, an untitled page with a picture of an atom bomb explosion with a grid of letters in front of it. Zig-zagging up and down from left to right, then around, gives us: "Clear codes. David hacks from home his target is Professor Falken's Joshua. He thinks it is a game but Joshua can play with nuclear codes." Hmm, does the phrase "Shall we play a game?" come to mind? Sure it does, so off we go to http://www.10101-10010-110.org/wargames.html
This untitled page gives us a fading sequence of characters: "cpe1704tks." Turns out this sequence is the missile launch code from the movie WarGames. Now, if we type cpe1704tks into the Downtime box (seems the hint in the code was a hint to a hint), we gain entry to.....
Downtime Forum-This is the actual forums page, and there is a lot of info here. You can read posts by all the hackers, and learn about their little projects. Most interesting is the thread entitled a little something. Here we discover that Hermes is planning (planned) to hack the Ganmed site, and that his main contact providing information is a woman. Barbie? Brooke? Popper? Apparently, Ganmed is involved in something rather sinister, according to Hermes' mystery source.
Of note, looking at the WHOIS registration on this site, it's discovered that the owner's email is the same alias (email@example.com) used by Brooke Hunter, our Grrl-E-Grrl girl! Speculation is that she runs both sites. Hmmm.
|Subsequently, the initial source code hint
relating to the Events box was solved. Taking the first letters of the hint (when
he exclaims "run," everyone goes
in fear) results in wheregif, which leads
us to www.10101-10010-110.org/where.gif.
This is a reversed picture of the square root of 64 in a circle.
Speculation so far has revolved around Circle 8
or 8-Ball, but as of yet has not led us anywhere.
A few days later, some additional hidden text was found in the source code of various pages around URF:
<!-- begin slice of a slice of have a slice of -->
<!-- stop being lazy -->
<!-- sit on your ass much? -->
<!-- 100,417,153,* -->
[This hidden text was originally on this page. Currently there is
no hidden text on this page.]
The map at Nocars changed on March 8th, to include many different stations than it did before. Following the same method as we previously had to find VAD (anagramming the unlinked stations-see this map), unfortunately yielded nothing this time around. There was also major speculation as to whether the pattern of the stations on the map matched the pattern of stars in the constellation Sagittarius.
Then, the next morning,
the map changed again, this time including a detail at the right side of the
Blue Line, indicating track under construction.
This made us realize that we had gotten one of the stations wrong the
previous day. Seems like someone had
been watching us again. This time,
anagramming the unlinked stations resulted
in BARBARA, so it was apparent that
VAD was not just a coincidence.
So, is Barabara in fact Barbie? Gotta be. We had tried tons of combinations of station names, constellations, etc. with VAD as the handle, in addition to trying VAD/BARBARA etc. etc. etc. etc. After almost two weeks of frustration, the clues on the map leading us to the passwords were finally found!
The linked stations on the 2nd nocars map are: Virginia Square, Foggy Bottom-GWU, Georgia Ave.-Petworth, Prince George's Plaza, and Congress Heights. The GWU stands for George Washington University. There are three Georges, one Congress, and one Virginia. If you check the Congress page on NoCars and take a look at the people from Virginia, you'll find one George Allen. This led us to our first handle/password solution:
Entering this password/handle into the Platform login page takes us to a page entitled ARABRAB (mirror of BARBARA). This is Barbies page of personal emails, links and files. The messages here clarify a whole lot:
A message from Cave Bear explains why this alternate DCMC site was created. Basically, he wanted a safe, albeit not too secure, place to communicate with other DCMC members, "In light of everything that has been happening in the past month/month and a half." From the date of the email, it looks like this site was created back in October of 2001.
There's a period of time with no communication, but then Cave Bear writes again on February 27th. Here's where things get interesting. Apparently, our emails to him have really been "freaking him out!" He then forwards emails from our very own DonkeyOatey, WhiteNight5000, a rather threatening letter from Mos, a truthful letter offering JB help from Mos Eisley Bartender, and somebody impersonating Cave Bear's missing brother Paul.
Bear's next message is about 150,000 attempts to access the "underground" trying various passwords. 150,000??!! This explains why the site was taken down for a while. Looks like someone was in fact trying to brute-force a password solution here (Note: As a result of discussions on the board and in #JB concerning this, it was decided that using automated scripts to try to hack a password was to be "out-of-bounds" play during this game). I had to laugh at Bear's asking about someone named Chan. Our first homage to the Beast (the A.I. game).
The next message is simply lyrics to a song. Turns out the lyrics are from a Grateful Dead song entitled Casey Jones. We'll make note of that for later use.
Following that is a message regarding a survey that one of the JawBreakers ingeniously sent Cave Bear using a Yahoo email account (notadoll70b) set up to look like Barbie's email account (notadoll70). Cave Bear had responded to this survey, giving us a few more personal details about himself, and then kicked himself for being fooled!
Finally, there's an email from Creeper about Billy's eulogy. Wow, looks like Billy died in a car accident 6 months ago. Another crawler to add to the deceased column.
Now, looking at Barbie's links, looks like stuff we would expect from her, including links to her favorite team, the Orioles, and other links a writer would have. Of note is a link to an online Eucre game, an urban exploration site, and most notably, another link back to Platform login page. But that doesn't make much sense, having a link back to the entry page that got us here in the first place. Or is it? Looking more closely, we notice that the URL is a little different than before, and also there is some hidden text again. Ctrl-A shows us the word "trouble" beside both the handle and password entry boxes. Otherwise, it looks the same as the other Platform login page. Entering Barbara/Allen in here doesn't work. Let's get back to this later.
Back on the Barbara page, we also find the following files:
Beneath the Street-Barbie's article about her first crawl.
Cloudmakers Article-Barbie's article about the Cloudmakers for Grrl-E-Grrl.
Dream (crush.jpg) and Wonder (boy.jpg)-Pictures of someone special, at this point presumably Bruce Hollman (VAD).
Okay, speaking of VAD, let's try to get into his page.....
Looking for clues on the nocars map, we discover
that the linked stations contain direction
references, mostly "East." Entering
VAD/ORIENT into the Platform Login takes
us to DAV. Looks real similar to Barbie's page, with
email messages, links and files.
Looking at the files section first, we see some more photos: I Wish (wow.jpg) and Remember (her.jpg). Like I said, we're presuming that this is Barbie for now, but we're not quite sure, yet.
Looking at the links, we see typical programmer type links, but also find the same Yahoo Eucre link (could Barbie and Bruce be online Eucre partners?). We also find another link to that odd Platform Login page, which we'll refer to as Platform 2.
Now for the emails. Many are the same as were found on Barbie's page, but there are some additional messages of interest. Looking at good luck tomorrow, Re: I'm Back, Re: Here and Re: A thought, it's apparent that Vad got a job in West Virginia which he started around the 1st of March. This job revolves around a special community being developed there headed up by someone named Jo Burgess. There is tight security around this project, and we know it has something to do with terraforming.
It's also pretty obvious from the emails between Vad and Barbie that they have a thing for each other, but don't know yet that the feeling between them is mutual.
Now it's time to check out that link to the Platform 2 Login....
Our only real clue on this second Platform page is the word "trouble" hidden next to each text box. Looking back at Cave Bears email entitled trouble, the lyrics from the song include the phrase trouble ahead and trouble behind. We enter ahead/behind as the handle/password......
We get another Platform page. This time, there are links from 3 of the little picture icons in the corners.
The first icon links to the Beneath the Street article again.
The second icon links to Billy's eulogy, dated September 12th, 2001. From it, we learn that Billy's name was Holly Principe, (we can surmise that Billy was short for Credibility). We also learn that her husband (Class Three) was named Aaron, and that he died in the same accident. Pretty sad stuff, this.
The third icon links to the RebaR Timeline. From the timeline, it appears the he (Paul) disappeared on the afternoon of September 21st. He was headed out on a date, for which he never showed up. The first line indicates he was very upset about the death of Holly and Aaron. Importantly, it was our old friend officer Arney who took the missing persons report. Things aren't looking good for Paul.
So, summarizing who's confirmed alive/deceased at this point:
Living: Cave Bear (Eric), Newbie (Barbie), Vad (Bruce), Creeper (Maddie).
Dead: Popper (Mercedes), Credibility (Holly), Class Three (Aaron).
Missing: RebaR (Paul)
On March 10th, the URF site was updated:
The Admin page was changed to read "maintenance has ended; please log in properly." So, I guess we need to start looking for a proper password now.
The "revolution" password on the understanding page no longer works. Seems someone noticed our being there.
|The where.gif image had also changed to include
a white dot in the lower left corner of the circle,
at around 225 degrees.
|Subsequently, the image was changed again to include some morse code, which translates to "synonyms."|
|A few days later, there was another update
to the image to include letters encircling
Starting at the space and going clockwise, it reads:
Several people in #jawbreakers pointed out the high occurance of T's F's S's E's and N's, all of which are the begining letter of One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine and Ten. We still had to figure out what "Z" stood for. That's easy (since zillion isn't likely) ... Zero. So the P was the only thing left. P for POINT. Three Point One Four One Five Nine.....in otherwords - another representation for PI.
|On March 16th, the where.gif image was updated
again. A circle of 8's was added, plus
the circle was noticibly faded. Also, the square root symbol has been removed. There is some
speculation that these where.gif images are really a progression of images depicting some sort of
attack or mutation of a cell, combined with mathmatical hints to the number 8 and the shape
of a circle.
Some new threads in the downtime forum:
-pain: an interesting discussion about the "painstation" game console.
-hooray for capitalism: giving us a link to some nice URF goodies. It was noticed that the prices on this page seemed a little odd: $18.39, $16.79, $20.49, etc., compared with nice round numbers in the other game-site stores. Smacks of a puzzle, but nobody's gotten anywhere with it.
-the thing we didn't do, *wink*: some hacked files from Ganmed (we'll get to those in a second).
-b&e: guess we caused the password change ourselves. Note to self: be more careful about which in-game characters you email.
The source code on the URF main page also gives us new clues, presumably for the new password on the understanding page. Looking at the source code to the top frame, we find !-- -- in the source code; the right frame (named rightside.html) gave us !-- to move from place to place -- in the source code; this right frame was later replaced with right-side.html, which showed a larger exclamation point graphic and revealed no clue in the source code. The name of the file for the first, smaller exlamation point was mrgt-03.gif, while the new, bigger one is mrgt-03b.gif. No meaning has been found for the use of these rather unique filenames.
The forum login page was also updated, giving us an additional little clue in the source code relating to where.gif. It now reads, "!-- when he exclaims "run," everyone goes in fear, perhaps in error --". Hmm, perhaps we're heading down the wrong path with our current spec about the meaning of the where.gif picture. Or, pehaps it has something to do with pie.
Also, it was noticed that the URF main page title had changed from URF- to URF--. This may be another morse code clue in progress (sigh!).
In the thing we didn't do, *wink*, hermes gives us a couple of memos hacked off the Ganmed site:
Ganmed one give us our first glimpse into what Ganmed may be up to. An experimantal gene therapy seemingly succesful in halting the aging process caused by Werner's Syndrome.
Ganmed two needs a little more decoding before we can read it. Turning to our ROT13 decoders again gives us what appears to be Navajo language code, similar to that used during WWII. The first few lines appear as:
After a team effort decoding the Navajo, we get:
MONDAY 4 JUNE 2001
MISSION TEAM UPDATE:
I HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY T.S. THAT THE MISSION IS ON SCHEDULE.
IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE FINAL DETAIL WORK WILL BE FINAL EARLY MARCH 2002. PLACEMENT WAS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN ONCE THE MISSION WAS FINAL; BUT, DUE TO CLIENT REQUEST, WE WILL BE PLACING CLIENTS EARLIER, AS EARLY AS THIS NOVEMBER.
CLIENTS WERE ADVISED THAT EARLY PLACEMENT WOULD RESULT IN A PLAIN AREA AND ADVISED THAT CONDITIONS WOULD BE LESS THAN OPTIMAL; THOSE THAT WERE COMMITED HAVE BEEN GIVEN ADVANCED PLACEMENT. IT WILL BE A FAR CRY FROM "ROUGHING IT", THE EARLY PLACEMENT CLIENTS WILL HAVE LIMITED SUPPORT.
SUPPORT IS AN IMMEDIATE, MAJOR PROBLEM. AS I SEE IT, THE SCREENING AND HIRING PROGRESS MUST BE CONTROLED AND OVERSEEN WITH GREAT CARE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL. ANY PROBLEM WE FORGOT --- OR ANY THING WE INVESTIGATED AND FAILED TO HEED --- COULD RESULT IN THIS TURNING INTO A MODERN - DAY FRANKENSTEIN TALE. WE'VE ALL INVESTED TOO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY IN THIS TO LET A MINOR SLIP GROW INTO A MAJOR DISASTER.
I HAVE SCHEDULED A CONFERENCE THIS FRIDAY AT 9 TO CONSOLIDATE OPTIONS RE STAFF, PRIMARY:
PROFESSIONAL LICENSING: WE PAY TOTAL FEES, AS IS DONE FOR COMPANY EMPLOYEES.
MY OBJECTIVE IS THAT EVEN A TRAFFIC TICKET BE A NEGATIVE POINT. DOCUMENT TRAILS ARE TO BE AVOIDED.
SCREEN PERSONNEL: THAT WILL BE DIFFICULT. I WILL NEED YOUR IDEAS ON FRIDAY. SINCE TERMINATION WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE, THE CALIBER OF PERSONNEL WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEIR NUMBERS.
THE CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD, AND YES, TONY, WE WILL HAVE DONUTS.
JIM, CAN YOU USE YOUR CONTACT TO COORDINATE PERSONNEL INVESTIGATIONS?
DONNA AND DAN: CONTINUE ROUTINE MONITORING. WE CAN NOT AFFORD ANY MISTAKE AT THIS POINT.
CHRIS: HAVE YOU REVIEWED THE DOCUMENT AND CONTRACTS?
ARMANDO: THERE IS NO MISSION.
JIM: YOU HAVE MY AUTHORIZATION, PROTECT THE SECURITY OF THE MISSION AT ANY COST.
IF THEIR ARE BIG OTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE ADD THEM TO THE SCHEDULE.
Okay, so Ganmed is involved in a secret project somewhere, and folks are being recruited to be a part, probably unknowingly. Final detail work is scheduled for March 2002, coincidentally around the same time Vad has taken a job at some mystery community in West Virginia.
Hmm, looks like Barbie's boyfriend may have gotten himself caught up in something he may regret.
Lastly, who is T.S.?
The Underground Recovery Front is a group
of hackers who have targeted Ganmed because
of something that Ganmed is dabbling in.
They've gotten ahold of some internal memos
that seem to outline a huge project of some
kind shrouded in secrecy.
The DCMetrocrawlers, meanwhile, have set up a phantom site buried at nocars.org. This is a place where all the DCMC members can communicate safely. Unfortunately, our emails have scared some of the DCMC members, so they're a little paranoid right now. Three crawlers have died under mysterious cicumstances, and we know of four that are for sure still alive, with one still missing.
One of the crawlers, Vad, has just taken a job at a huge high-security project somewhere in West Virginia. Vad and Barbie may end up together, but will have to work at a long-distance relationship for now.
Sites we've visited: URF, Hidden DCMC Underground at ATA
Sites we haven't visited: The site related to Jo Burgess's project in West Virginia (if it exists).
Things that are unsolved:
Bruce (Vad) is now working at Moreland, WV, the ultimate in planned communities (think
Disney's Celebration Community meets Michael
Chrichton). Bruce and Barbie seem to be developing
feelings for each other, and Barbie is in
fact planning a trip to see Bruce. However,
it's still not clear as to exactly how Bruce
got this job. Whether he sought it himself,
or whether somebody from Moreland "approached"
him first, remains unclear, but could be
important. The horoscopes page may indicate
that someone heard about him, and so he was
in fact approached by someone (see Pisces
Assisting in the Moreland project is Terrashape, a company that provides "living space design, modification and construction." Terrashape gives us our Ganmed connection from the T.S. reference in one of the hacked Ganmed memos, courtesy of URF. Ganmed is involved in what's going on at Moreland, and we suspect it has something to do with some sort of gene therapy/fountain of youth, because of the references to Iduna.
Back at DC Metrocrawlers, we've verified that Creeper is alive and known as Maddie. We're still working on her password in order to access her DCMC page, which presumably has some interesting files associated with their 2nd recon. The latest map clues at nocars.org have proven to be pretty difficult to interpret.
Eric at DCMetrocrawlers has started filtering his email so as not to have to read all the scary emails from us. Nice going, us. Vad seems to be the most level headed of the group, and may be our best bet at an ally in all of this, both from his location, and according to a message from serpent presumably telling us that "The holy man (Hollman) is our friend."
Speaking of Serpent, seems he/she has hired Hermes and his hackers at URF to help him in his attack of Ganmed, but has not been really happy with the limited results. What Serpent's connection is to Ganmed remains unclear, but Serpent may in fact be the "she" that Hermes referred to as his connection to Ganmed.
The correlations between the horoscopes at Grrl-E-Grrl are becoming clearer, though not quite definitive, yet. As things get clearer, we can get additional insights and perhaps warnings about in-game characters and/or websites.
The where.gif puzzle continues to give us fits. It may be that it's a progression of images that hasn't concluded yet, so we're therefore not supposed to be able to solve it yet.
New Sites we've visited: Moreland, TerraShape.
Sites we haven't visited:
Things that are unsolved:
v.X (7/12/02)-Basically added everything from Doan's Death to the end of The Guide.
5.0 (5/6/02)-Revised URF-Underground Recovery Front. Corrected dates and resulting broken links in Kevin Asgort Amino Acids Puzzle. Edited Jo Burgess Emails April 10th. Updated Net:Sight Solutions link to hidden .html files. Added: Horoscopes Week 12, Gen-Tel Lite Side, Missoli ODES, Alvaro ODES, Breadcrumbs 15 & 16, Gen-Tel Dark Side, Rev. Lee and Genes, Underground Emails 4/29, Arney Meeting Request, Cesyeuxmehantent Puzzle, URF Registration Change, Underground Emails 5/1, Euchre Chat 7, Hoyle Puzzle, Rev. Lee Redecorates, Iduna 4th Edition, Despercebido Puzzle, Light/Dark Side Updates, More ODES Updates, PATTS2 Puzzle/Solution, 3rd Hermes Email, EPITAPH.
4.2 (4/29/02)-Fixed some minor typos.
4.1 (4/28/02)-Fixed links to hacked URF site to redirect to to archived files. Fixed broken links in New Platform and Files. Edited Calimacus Solution, The Beaten Track Solution.
4.0 (4/28/02)-Added Underground Emails April 17th, The Beaten Track, Euchre Chat 5 , Iduna 3rd Edition , Breadcrumbs 13 & 14 , Moreland Stats Update , Rev. Lee Responds to Grief , Calimacus Hint Emails , Calimacus Solution , PATTS Puzzle ,
Underground Update April 20/21 , PATTS Solution , EUCHARIST , Rouen/Paris Solution , Horoscopes Week 11 , G-E-G: Sheri Tepper , Nocars Revoked , ODES Update , Net:Sight Party Invitation , Euchre Chat 6 , Notadoll Profile Puzzle , URF Resurrected ,
Beaten Track 3 , Ninjababe , Pythia Scolding , The Beaten Track Solution , Net:Sight Products Update , Message from Paul,
Grasshopper/Octopus, HISTORIC , Gossip Queen
3.92 (4/27/02)-Added explanations to links pointing at archived pages.
3.91 (4/26/02)-Fixed broken links, mostly relating to URF and Nocars. Edited "Before you Begin" to include explanation of broken links and reporting link.
3.9 (4/20/02)-Revised Ganmed Breadcrumbs, Updated all URF links to point to archived files. Fixed link to Stonecutters solution ganmed.jpg.
3.5 (4/16/02)-Revised Kevin Asgort Amino Acids Puzzle; Added Nocars DCMC Update April 13th, New Platform and Files,
Hermes' Email to Ane, Pythia Hacked!, Whispers Webmaster, 3rd Set of Breadcrumbs, IRC Contact!, Horoscopes Week 10,
Rev. Lee in Paris, Brainstorm, It Sucks to Be Me
3.0 (4/12/02)-Added Thomas' and Wolfe's Passwords, More re:48 Messages, Emails from Hermes/Spiral.jpg,
Last re:48Messages/I-Ching, Another Automobile Accident, ODES/Emails from Lauren Woods, Kevin Asgort Amino Acids Puzzle, Horoscopes Week 9, Devi, Ganmed Breadcrumbs, EASTERN/PATH, DCMC Emails Update, Euchre Chat 4/Puzzle, More Breadcrumbs Jo Burgess Emails April 10th, Kathy Jarrett's Password, Word From Rev. Lee, Calimacus
2.5 (4/05/02)-Added Net:Sight April 1st Update, Grrl-E-Grrl April 1st Update, Pythia Update-ECCLESIASTIC, Ganmed Employee Login, Grrl-E-Grrl Week 8, WiredSouls, Ganmed Email Accounts, Serpent Messages re:48, ODES Activated, DCMC Easter Emails, Euchre Chat 3/Cards Puzzle, Woe Update, Whispers Messages, URF Cafepress Store Update, Cave Bear's Password, TRUTH. Added autoresponse to Gen-Tel. Updated URF Site Hacked, Where.gif Solution.
2.01 (3/28/02)-Revised Nocars Map 4 and Emails
2.0 (3/28/02)-Added Horoscopes Week 6, URF Forums Update, Barbie/Vad Emails, Iduna Update, Euchre, Barbie/Creeper Emails, Pieces.jpg, Jo Burgess's Password/Email, Where.gif Solution, Admin Inbox, Gen-Tel, Email to Moot, Horoscopes Week 7, Creeper's Password, 2nd Recon and Lab Photo, Nocars Map 4 and Emails, Iduna 2nd Edition, Euchre Chat 2, URF Site Hacked, Moreland Hidden Text, and Memo.jpg
1.6 (3/18/02)-Revised Horoscope Connection; Revised where.gif updates and exclamation point filenames at URF update; Added: Ganmed t-shirt puzzle 2; Nocars update; DCMetrocralwers update, Serpent and Hermes communication
1.5 (3/15/02)-Added: another where.gif update, bar-code solution, additional URF hidden text, URF cafepress prices, Terrashape site, Horoscope Connection.
1.4 (3/12/02)-Added: Moreland, Horoscopes Week 5, corrections to Ganmed memos, another where.gif update.
1.3 (3/11/02)-Added: station VAD anagram to nocars; added where.gif; added Platform Login solution, Barbara, Vad, Platform 2, URF update, Ganmed memos.
1.2 (3/6/02) -Due to the Yahoo problems, added dash.jpg solution and URF site discovery.
1.1 (3/5/02)-Added more details to the Pythia pages; Added 2nd dash.jpg explanation to Ganmed; general formatting fixes.