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After I had spent some time fleshing out 991’s history, structure, inner workings, I crafted a 4-stage puzzle that I hoped would start very easy for all players and then ramp up to severely challenge even the puzzliest of MxO’s playerbase. Rarebit posted it as my first Unidentified Broadcast.  You can follow the link to the MxO forums to read players’ responses while the MxO forums still exist.  Unfortunately, the 01mainframe does not exist anymore so you won’t be able to follow that link, but I will post all the relevant text below.


We received this message as an unidentified transmission over our internal channels. The individual named has not yet been identified, and it is not clear how they gained access to our secure frequencies. Although the message appears to be benign, the person or persons behind the broadcast are a potential security risk, and any information pertaining to their identity should be communicated to your superior officer immediately.

Zion Command


I just realized that the world’s gone to hell. So it doesn’t really matter who I tell about Doc Raj, may he rest in peace or Nirvana or whatever. And it doesn’t matter if the old man cares about what I done, or if he tracks me down, or even if I die. The truth will be told. This isn’t my world, not anymore.

I’ve spent my whole life carrying these guns for Zion. I’ve held the line against the damned sentinels, I’ve had my crews–my only family I’ve ever had–picked off by Agents, I fought through lupine death squads collecting data to send to the Doc. But things have changed. Now it’s all politics. I’m a gunrunner, not a diplomat. Zion’s thrown in with the damned Mechs and now even the Merv. Far too much blood on their hands for my taste.  I preferred when black was black and white was white and there was no dancing around the truth. Back in the days I worked with Doc.

Coffin Nail was a tough, old bastard, but I managed to keep him from finding the Doc’s notes all the same. He always had something against Doc, he probably would have destroyed all his research after the lupines killed him if a few of us hadn’t managed to salvage it. Salvaged it and accidentally kept it from being lost when Zion’s “last battle” came rolling around. Doesn’t hold much meaning to me, I’m a gunner, not a computer junkie, but I figure out of all these new ops, somebody can maybe gain something from it. Although seems to me it’s mostly nonsense about his life as a bluepill, not notes about his work studying programs. Not the sort of thing you can turn a profit on. Anyways, I leave all that decoding, decryption business to you.

Oh, and don’t worry about Nails holding a grudge, his ship disappeared off into the wastelands long before the truce and maybe Zion’s finally rid of his curse and all the death he caused. now a dead link)

## End transmission


The contents of :


I must be saying that obsession is a terrible thing. I am not a stranger to obsession; it has been a silent friend all my life. All during the time of my schooling I was driven to cast aside the expectations of my failure. It was that same obsession that fueled the development of Metacortex Green. By no means was it a perfect creation, but it was fulfilling to design in knowing that it was a tool of no small use that would be fueling the workings of society. While I may not have used it myself in the future (tools designed for the use of the public are not always the best tools for private use), I had the pleasure of seeing that familiar logo (the one that was on the wall of every cubicle) in stores, lobbies, cafes, offices, and in several of my friends’ homes. Is it not worthwhile to devote oneself to laborious and intensive work if it will extend itself to many, many others and provide them with joy? I am of the opinion that Green was a worthy venture, worthy of my time, worthy of my obsession, capable of inspiring me to new ends. But that will be forgotten soon enough, as Blue spreads itself throughout the city. Truth be told that I have nearly forgotten it myself. Obsession tends to wash away the past, leaving… I am supposing it is a kind of madness.  As a fire rages through the jungle like an angry beast, so does obsession consume the vegetation of the mind, converting it to a charred and ashy determination.  It is often being that the fire will cleanse the doubts and fears that threaten to choke new life, but there are also the times in which it reigns unchecked.  If someone is reading this, then I am most likely missing or dead, or even worse, unable to protect my research from the ones who would be abusing it.  My life has been growing further into peril of recent. It is for that reason that I feel to write down what the past has given me so that others may cultivate its seed and blossom it into the future. If I am dead, he very well may become no longer known in existence to the world. As will I, for I am now without a people to call my own, lost to all but the many arms of Shiva as I serve as tool to my prison mates and my robber barons. When I am dead, I cannot help but wonder how long my body will remain preserved in its pod after my jiva-atman has left it for another form. I presume that one day; some simplistic, yet necessary, function of programming will discover and correct the glitch and my physical self will be fed back into the endless circle of life, their imitation of samsara. If I am dead, then I will have also failed to finish what was started in Naraka.  I have not yet achieved my Brahman, I have not unmasked the Shiva, be he false or true.  But there is no power dwelling with oneself in the future, I must continue to work, adding to this text as I may.  The answers never lie in the future, but in the past.  In my time, I was what would be called a successful man.  An acknowledged member of society for the work that I have done.  Respectably wealthy; yes, it was so.  As well, I was in much comfortable living.  Working was my life and my joy. Not just the work I did for the Metacortex but several of the privately funded projects on which I did work and one drab government security project. I wasn’t entirely consumed by my work at that time; I still maintained several relationships with people whom I called friends. But when I was working, I was happy. But then there was the business of where my working took me one day.  The day while hard at work that I found the Emily Phillips Osmond, if you can read between the lines.

(since the line spacing on this blog is not conducive to my goals, I’ll just have to explain that the second tier which will be posted below was originally hidden in between the lines of the above message with a font color the same as the background. It was as easy as highlighting the text and “reading between the lines” to find the second message.)

I must apologize for the secrecy of my actions, but I have walked a treacherous path that has taught me many things I would rather unlearn. These façades are a necessary thing to hide my quatrain, but I maintain faith that the ones whom I can be trusting with my research will be able to see past this surface. I found the Emily Phillips Osmond completely by an accident. Of course, assuming that it was not the one who found me.  It was a thing of wonder, a thing of beauty, a thing of truth.  Merely observing it served to teach to me how little talent I had achieved in my career.  And with studying, I was able to adapt it to my usings.  Or maybe I adapted my usings to it.  With it, I was able to amass a great deal of information, a great deal of which I could not be comprehending.  I was overeager with misplaced zeal and I suppose what happened to me was lucky.  If I had not been stopped then, I would have continued my searching and the Agents would surely have noticed my actions and terminated my doings.  But I must not get ahead of the tale, rushing down the path as in the days of my youth, fueling anava. I foolishly spent the long nights after work looking where looking was not wanted. Then, I would sleep a few hours before leaving for work again, or sometimes not sleep at all.  That was why it was not so much surprise to me when I woke not in my bed.  Not in my bed, not in my apartment.  I woke only to a darkness so black that I could see it and feel it.  The initial dismissal of the realness of that reality did not wear off quickly, but if you are spending enough time waiting for the dream to end, you begin to question yourself. The thing which had awoken me was the sounding of a clock, a giant clock, perhaps a watchtower, most assuredly not my cheap alarm. My actions to follow are not entirely present in my mind; as I said it is difficult to distinguish dream and reality upon waking, especially so when reality is also a dream. I vaguely recollect wandering through a flowerbed that would be a forest. That is to be saying it was a grossly disproportioned garden if it ever was. Some amorphous time after that, I met the others. We were in a room, I do not recall how that came to be. There were maybe six of us there, Rick was one, another was the name of Jennifer. I do believe one was a writer, or an actor, or perhaps they were two. I do not remember them so well, they were confused and dazed. The two that I remember quite well were the ones called Case and Anima. They were different from the others. Perhaps more angry and confused, but they lacked the same delirious listlessness. None of us had knowledge of how we had come to this place; we were alike in our cases of awakening to nothingness. However, these two quickly took charge, organizing the stragglers into a group and coaxing their stories out from them. That was when the orchestra began. A loud sweeping composition that echoed to us from all sides.  Having the last straw, the men and women scattered, as do bugs when the light is switched. I now am supposing it was an attempt to keep us from hearing the stories of the others, perhaps to prevent us from learning what connection bound us all together in the madness of that place? When the group scattered, I opted to follow the two who did not fit in. I suppose I found their confidence reassuring.  After that, it was much time running down unending corridors and stairways. It was as if being inside that drawing I saw on the wall of a cubicle once. It intrigued me much then with its upside down and sideway stairs that defy all architects. But, as I watched a man running up a stair as a young girl “ascends” the opposing side of that very same stair, I am not so enthusiastic. Soon enough, though, things were to become much simpler… and much more complicated. It was then that we found the first of the paired doors. It began with Love and Hate. A choice forced upon us quite hastily by the threat that came along behind. Without thought, we chose Love. Later, I began thinking it maybe a mistake. A lesson within; love is forever a complicated twisted thing. Hate is simple and direct. If Love opened on a maze of thorned rose bushes, then I imagine Hate would have opened upon an elevator or moving walkway of mechanical coldness. I still have the scars upon my arms as they hoisted me up the wall of thorns, blindly to escape from the unseen creature that was at the time pursuing us, as well as the memories of my surprise as the woman, Anima, healed the hand she had lost to it with the will of her mind, leaving me holding my belt, which I had intended to offer as tourniquet, in awe. Above the maze we found doors again, paired Doubt and Guilt. Case suggested we open both and choose the better of the two paths, but I already had begun to glimpse the underlying structure of the place that imprisoned us. I was reminded of the story of Hanuman who changed his size again after again to overcome his enemies. I was beginning to explain to them my imagined danger of cheating the system when a fiery blaze began to sweep itself across the bushes of the maze surrounding us. Case threw open the door of Doubt and we tumbled through into a place of mirrors, confronting us with endless reflections of ourselves. We wandered aimlessly until Case began to grow angry. He began to smash the mirrors with his fists, cutting himself badly. But the glass fell away, and a way did appear. Before us, the passage split into two, a bright white hallway and a dark, unlit cave. I tried to persuade them to join me into the darkened path, but I do believe they were weary of the burden that I had presented onto them, and so they wished me luck as they ran along the smooth white tile. Most people possess an inner fear of the darkness. They pave the streets in light and drown their lives in the luminous. My childhood was spent without comfort of electricity; to me, the dark is home. So it was that I wandered through the obstacles I could feel and hear, but not see, until I came to Where It Is Written. A rounded room of walls covered by writing, endless overlapping spiraling. He appeared to me as Shiva. I still cannot classify it a mockery, respect, or a test. At the time, I did take it as another inexplicable occurrence that did not merit contemplation. He greeted me and I him. He said to me that I had done well and had proven a very profound law. I still have not quite grasped the meaning behind that comment. It was he that explained to me that some things were not the way they were seeming. He then told me that he was going to offer me the opportunity to fulfill my potential and achieve enlightenment. Then he showed me what lies behind.

(once again, at this point players would consult the source code to find the link to Tier3.html, which many players will remember with a vengeance)

Atthay which compte como chave binnen жизнь sono die praeclarus.

Ik svegliato binnen letto os tunc mañana. Le scars ereway het only thing aan prevenir je de puto it all for a nightmare. Heytay were healed остатки of wounds; sim, it was so, but heytay waren not oldway, vertraut scars. Iway called in icksay otay trabajo, quel exsisto nicht entirely dans lie como je threw up plusieurs times upon wakend. The mémoires of mei somnium did otnay veio easily uponway my return to zoet “realidad.” Je spent a большой amount ofway tempo puto sopra whether it был el début della esquizofrenia, el brisant of ymay mente cum rappresentante manifestations of die psyche oughtbray on al mon tendency otay werk myself, or als it was in fact away profund spiritus esperienza of enlightenment. оно seemed ikelay a modern extensionway ofway los histories of old, в a way. Although, despues je came to думать of itway quão a trial of Naraka: a keuring of ymay clarity de pensée and magnitude de faith. Now Iway think it isway pour be away little of each, quão well as em little ofway a few omethingssay elseway, esta est the way van life. With some foco et relaxo, io was able aan pelear prêt много schwall de memorie that eatenedthray zu drown ateverwhay remained de meu cordura et rückruf que Anima adhay dito me aboutway the hombre elle war appelait her aptaincay. With the resources I teve recolhido para moi-même, it was not such a ifficultday thing orfay me por soyez finding ethay terrorista hacker atthay was llamada un menace in fabula newspapers andway Caixão Nail inway het shadows beyond het straat lamps. After trouvant him, itway was a more difícil thing to zijn convincente son traba che I was neen un partie von некоторый genus della trap. Ouyay must understand that Caixão Nail adhay a estarrecer reputação entre le alius; che is, the eoplepay of ionzay. Iway comenzó pour learn this рассказ much aterlay, embora I eelfay it es appropriez to be telling it now. Você must alsoway bevatten that ethay conocimiento I eakspay circulerend Zion and ethay traba era also omethingsay das podría non come otay yo insquequo molto later, was também quispiam das vae prese a eatgray cantidad of effortway for yo pour agnosco, praecipue as one who could otnay sehen these uthstray für myself. Utbay that exsisto unus part of мо story which must be saved e mim воля hacer également jetzt. Os Coffin Ailnay teve a airlyfay docile past jusqu’à a único événement quae apparentemente set him em a athpay of autodestrucción. Dans the past, ehay was the operator of a корабль; pero, pour skill, not конструкция. What I significo by that è that ehay hatte the capacités to entrar le simulation, but его innate alenttay de sight orfay the código gardé him without. Cependant, from atthay point on, the ponto of the tragisch event which I had mentioned, he asway unus differente man, asway ich am oldtay. Hij was the первый volunteer orfay ieder mission andway the front line binnen cada attaque. He was also the olesay survivant de beaucoup an encounter. И, in hatthay, mim am eaningmay that esta était more than dans simple matter de skill, or chance, or evenway sorte. Per il danger ehay incuriosus lanzó lui-même into, he ben always found живой; not unscathed sempre, but always recuperato. Primoris iocus of his опекун angel gave strada to dark boatos. I asway told that he confronteerde más que a ewfay acusados of etrayingbay his grupos à sulum morte in exchange voor his survival. Voor the othersway, zijnd assigned otay sulum crew ofway het Coffin Ailnay, für procul questi time he был a aptaincay, was a errifyingtay ingthay. Em quemquer cadencia, je compello diese whisperings of nozione from his экипаж durante heure through onglay automobil rides and long nights atway mi apartment ilewhay wij tractus enim cualquier nouveau data they nécessitâmes to compile. Em this point, I vindico tu might indfay it odd that ik maintain residence binnen the imulationsay. Another scar from dat pesadilla, je suppose. Omfray meu later esearchray (discussion nosotros serons be eachingray cedo satis), io learned that het Agentes trouvé a alfhay ozenday of ymay fellow game players restlich in Arakanay. I know otnay ob there were more of which je had otnay seen who ademay atthay número ou if another pobre creature asway condemned to die dans my place. Tudo I oday know is that terwilj all ethay technical expertise of ethay men and женщины of Ionzay, hen cannot be acingtray the inklay de mi moi-même in this место to ymay mesmo in ethay other, yendo je to wonder se what ethay say existo verus or if I have never wirklich left ishay game behind. It parece to ebay just as ausibleplay otay yo quel ego commoror trapped in his realm ofway insanityway as itway is quem я estoy emprisonné binnen il simulatie dalla quem ego puedo non released. The obsessie with ichwhay I have eenbay marked is omplimentedcay solus by oppressive paranoia que feuilles me onderingway ifway malice playful seu lies ehindbay het smile of die mailman orway if he is auntingtay yo chez an encrypted epistula delivered untoway mij through the чирикать of otway pássaros afuera mon window. Such вещи make emay curioso if Iway might no avons exsisto multus with ackinglay die gnaritas sopra the many vermommingen he has gedragen, the inenay hondred and inety-firstnay événement that ashay geteisterd ego multum, quae ha ascended to где he andsstay op the backs of the nine undredhay y quatre-vingt-dix who came before. Yet ethay hantise, este commandes me still в continue ackingtray aqueles informations aboutway 991 y son dealings. I supposez I am amusant notions quel being potens procul understand atwhay torcido machinations drive 991 will inallyfay geben me rest. I hear cuentos and rumeurs of un Exil by the calling of Ollectorcay. Sur un niveau, I uspectsay ele is him, raccolto up ethay mica cum esso did of eforebay. I understand deel de hein ordena lela, unus coscienza overpowering derived ofway the oneway alledcay Valle, dans behavioral analysisway function. In quel egardray, he isway nog fulfilling ishay funktion, by udyingstay and classifying the gedrag de os humanos dedans unus simuliert, although the using of that информация now atthay ele está place adrift omfray het Source is away cosa inconnu to me. Возможно he aintainsmay alguém ulterior agendaway which otros non can be ontcijferen, not meme myself. Or could het be that для a ogrampray, there is onay effugio el dessin genero esso initial purpose? Iway know atwhay ehay diría dirait to that. I once met uno hacker who востребовано a иметь pristino parlé с negenhonderd-negenennegentig. He ouldway nicht tell me hoe he came to seja concedido tal une audience; oweverhay ele did elltay me que le first ingthay dat he did vraag fue le inherent urposepay ofway his ogrammingpray. I am told die being laughed and replied “Free как the indway blows, I edshay atthay pelo manteau long ago.” Я do believe it es le reference to те uncomfortable armentsgay vestido as enancepay by medieval clergé prolix multi ago. Either that or ehay ist executing away spassvogel concerning ethay primate origo obtineo the human был. But erehay mij have tracked myself aside; Dale asway el matière of conversation. A program conduit fuera son bounds to то madness atthay existe beyond. Ale’sday doel could not ebay changed otay ajuste another mould en este débordé the edges, гореть the andshay isso potior esso. However, while Dmitri fue le rabid dog, novem-novem-unum is a rationalizing, thoughtful being. Io cannot aysay für certain ifway atthay marca lela an even greater threat or не so. Iway sou know atthay “the machines” have teve the motivation ut be orkingway met him in het past otay disable unos péril to ethay estabilidad of their simulation. Este est not information то is easy to obtener. Je suppose even facticius animus può resent reliance op another to разрешите its oblemspray. Humans certamente seres menudo assez. Praecedo mio searching, Iway haben been determining то it asway alguém problem of their own creation, il security otocolpray que worked away pouco más bon and expandedway seu parameters ofway zijn own accord. Mij tengo fait a eatgray ealday of esearchray on various ogramspray, particulier the onesway zij call lupines, orfay the ewscray van Zion. The структура of ethay systeem of self-aware programs is very uchmay objeto orienté. Most programs I’ve analyzed areway non asignado ‘connaissance’ beyond os limite of their singuli munus. Della a very menselijk standpoint, this воля seem away negative thing. Mim weise mi succès cum il programmer to très not programmer expériences that Iway have potior negli the past em my life. Hoewel en le other shoe, я remember watching a macabro filmographie genero wissenschaft fiction afterway work muy longtemps quoque sein disgusted by os absurdity of robot proeliator programmato with ethay apacitycay to akemay corny jokes as os heroe tué them. However, шутки aside, Iway sou multus disturbato in the udyingstay de quel little information я have eenbay dado about ethay Agents cuáles les crews I orkway with are fearing very much. Eles appear ingle-mindedsay fabrica, cogo da strict adherenceway zu comandos quel affero transporto to them by some superseding unctionfay that I kennen not. Iway find that to ebay a terrifying ding, the inability a reason. Especially wanneer examinado в cuenta les stukken io heb sentito sobre fabrica que coupure improbus e take their funktions too far. I am otay veronderstellen sentience ouldshay otnay be quite noodzakelijk para chaque function, utbay entiencesay without easonray and judgment isway die dangerous, errifyingtay thing. Which leads мы back otay negen-negen-men, Shiva, or any of the anymay de noms quoque formen he a taken. Absolutamente le opposite, he существует a astvay coluna of owledgeknay, coupled con le shrewd intelligenceway. Ego teneo io have aidsay anders in the astpay many times, мо iudicium sopra him oreverfay oscilleert from fascination andway awe otay haat and disgust. Iway am upposingsay el peor partie is the knowledge that Iway suis no seulement erga mio experiencia avec him. I avehay found ecordsray that others have опытно the same cum myself. I wonder how many outros there areway esistere fuera vie now with knowledge of ishay faits y événements. The crew l’intérieur the Pegasus recentemente told me of another rewcay quién told of os fabrica che would ivegay gens information they nodig si ils would present он images akentay sobre locus che satisfied certain условия. Ellos joué its amegay, pour the information was reliable. I gasto a eatgray vis of time proberen a déterminez quamobrem lui, pour je puto certus it was him, would esireday sachen be osay. Ich have eenbay researching multus erga psychology since мо first eetingmay met him. So много so atthay I estoy croyance ego mereo have received a degree by ownay. In order aan persequor quod one owhay sporen us, you must understand how e follow it rug to the ourcesay. After uchmay deliberation, I have overtuigd myself that het es le reverse of то Rorschach esttay. Em test of qual the mind visually matches to il ambiguous onceptcay, y not atwhay vago conceptos le mind matches к visual imulistay. Embora, from ymay studying, yo aussi learned that deze things are mai measure ofway ut qualidad e composition of a mind. Inway après, la esprit has eenbay vergeleken to a компьютер, but it ben nada ainsi simple. Ethay mening is a eviceday of omputingcay owerpay, but itsway berekeningen are biased durch hopes, reamsday, wensen. Not otay entionmay, jealously, hatred, depressione, voro. Niente so implesay wie un rangée erga forsit quoque allora. Although I ayez erga incontrato multi die few ogramspray dat more anthay handhaben to asspay zoals humans. The искусственно intelligence atthay gecreeerd them ustmay be a wondrous ding. Ele модели yo stupéfiant das humano programmers everway alcançado the ointpay where they could ontwikkel such exceptionallyway intricate sistemas employer logic. And cela pains me isso the machines and humans ouldcay nunca be reconciling seu diversus; tuttavia perhaps itway exsisto the similarities welke causó les difficilis fra them. History atrás, I avehay been tomado pour study several gevangene exile programs possesso amazingly unique personnalité disorders and manières. Zion ommissionscay ich to udystay their interaction ithway quae virtual environmentway that surrounds them. Eyondbay that, I Я receiving ethay opportunity to earnlay ywhay este est quae sie are comporter the manera ils are. Ancay away fabrica allineare develop a застенчиво animus attraverso este… je would say owthgray, but I do not inkthay atthay is ethay appropriate word. So dan son programmes created with infractus psyches orway podem they enerategay zulke sui? Cum misdirection? Away fumo para distrayez others from zien their true логика? While I find this to seja a istinctday possibility, el cours erga mein research has mai lead emay zu reach away conclusione on the kwestie. Personalidad est not an easy matter orfay pour localice ou decode. Iway suponha my istinctionday eerder made holds aan estar le truth inway el finis; emozioni and code они not econciledray com ease. Utbay it causes me a consider ethay same for Ivashay ine-nine-onenay. Los histoires that Iway avehay lego e connected to он teneo presentato em обширно espectro contener mentalità. Después, yo suis asking yselfmay, é quae il insanity developed von the owslay addition de le partis von others’ oughtsthay or is itway another smokescreen, another icktray? Yo fois communicated with unus program called Erd. He did não know atthay lui was eakingspay met a human, eway had ackedhay el transmisión fréquence after a рейд on one of el Exil’s labs. After одно discussion of alguns tenerum di adsuetudo inter the ocialsay hierarchy de les Exiles, one то I ademay muito care otay tiptoe through ithoutway intentio, el dit of a fabula of away programma he had использовано. This articularpay programa el dit к exsisto a omanway. infit referred otay haar as “away tier pretending a be a carneiros в wolf’s clothing.” Concordar a mot of Erd, она agreed to eradico his ivalray voor the exchange ofway an extensive inzameling compreendido сохранено archivos sujet mezzi per the before andway during ofway the tiempo de the imulationsay. Nove-nove-um has away betovering of umanhay andway program ediamay; oviesmay, books; oriesstay designed by the inhabitantsway de le simulation andway die who came eforebay. Yo supposez it is утешать that allway maneira of eaturecray finds consuelo dans unus freuden of away story, yet Iway encuentro it oddway dat a program ouldway be fascinated osay with ethay verbeelding of the umanhay mind. Itway quizas tenha sido el de that Erd spoke, but I eesay him urkinglay in cada histoire and umorray. E, unfortunately, umorray ben all Iway ancay ever obtainway. Ethay mask aysstay on, the confusion urroundssay, y je cannot ebay weten if it asway el ou another of подобно nature. Ircumstancecay tem forced emay to mudar pour a ewnay apartment today. One ithway considerably augmentedway ecuritysay como установлено por mon perso benefactores. While driving возвращение a le small enclave ego am… asway noemen home, ourway Träger was ambushedway durch unos de the lupine программы traba abbia set emay a studying. Ilewhay we podríamos évasion denique, dieses crew’s captain deemed it too много of away risco para congé me making резиденция in the same localización. Ils cannot know como vulnerable Iway feel, exsisto. Alius can come and go as sie please, utbay I must remain aqui, límite par austerus regole of a ystemsay I suis told límites je, yet Iway annotcay animadverto. Tali easily is оно quae mio residência способно estar tracé und ego can be found without any trucchi adentro mon sleeve, anyway tutamen mechanisms, any fiducia on myself. Ik am left вполне dependiente de these distraught e frayed men andway women owhay avehay taken otay my care and meu employment. Yet, minachting their capable руки, ego tatto fear. The endway could omecay atway cualesquiera temps. E yo no suis yet ecomebay pronto to asspay op to ethay extnay. Yo j’ai not yet завершито the ourneyjay isso has egunbay in this ormfay. Multus investigando je have done tijdens this past… in hecho, je do not know how long itway has eenbay dem I ayez been encontrado. Sans multus distrazioni de mon old “alsefay” negotium, the ubtlesay berichten of the elevisiontay, or ymay aya-blindedmay colegas, les trappings of unus simulated orldway, daar is no behoefte to acetray the paso de time. Erethay are only the ingsthay that you are knowing and il things atthay usted are illstay aprendizagem. Si il is the секрет underground some call el “Tour” where I comprato virtual beverages voor shady ealersday of información qui would pass к me away dizer of anway unusual program andway novus acontecimiento ou alius fabula of a world you were mai born intoway. Ich have oundfay anymay cuentos quel may orway aymay not be connected a le one classified zoals 991; I have não были poder a decide ofway mais than a несколько which I’m уверенно are him. De wat Ich sou sicuro é che he is unus not seeking potens destroy the ratio. Os леопард não wünschen destrua vita jungle atthay abdo panthera da its eypray. En its predators. Esidebay so, ehay apparaît to seem os numerus chi would opycay sese into ethay blasted fora мир, latus fabrica warzone as it has eenbay exsequor para io. Ego Muß be brief, yo apenas accipio het appel dat isthay location is non ainda sicuro, ich nécessité exuro mio papers. Iway никогда cast asideway mein fear ofway houden mei nota saved onway computadores, embora io suppose these papiers evenio sia just asway facilis hacked andway stolen as ethay maschine inter mio laboratório innerhalb this orldway. Vezes misdirection and дым are ethay solus assurance ofway sicherheit.

The English translation reads:

That Which Counts As Key In Life Is The Best

I awoke in bed the next morning. The scars were the only thing to keep me from dismissing it all for a nightmare. They were healed remains of wounds; yes, it was so, but they were not old, familiar scars. I called in sick to work, which was not entirely a lie as I threw up several times upon waking. The memories of the dream did not come easily upon my return to “reality.” I spent a great deal of time deliberating on whether it was the onset of schizophrenia, the breaking of my mind into representative manifestations of the psyche brought on by my tendency to overwork myself, or if it was in fact a profound religious experience of enlightenment. It seemed like a modern extension of the stories of old, in a way. Although, later I came to think of it as a trial of Naraka: a test of my clarity of thought and magnitude of faith. Now I think it is to be a little of each, as well as a little of a few somethings else, that is the way of life. With some focus and relaxation, I was able to fight through the barrage of memories that threatened to drown whatever remained of my sanity and recall what Anima had told me about the one she was calling her captain. With the resources I had gathered for myself, it was not such a difficult thing for me to be finding the criminal hacker that was called a menace in the papers and Coffin Nail in the shadows beyond the street lamps. After finding him, it was a more difficult thing to be convincing his crew that I was not a part in some sort of trap. You must understand that Coffin Nail had a fearsome reputation among the others; that is, the people of Zion. I came to learn this story much later, but I feel it is appropriate to be telling it now. You must also understand that the knowledge I speak of Zion and the crews was also something that did not come to me until much later, and was also something that it took a great deal of effort for me to understand, especially as one who could not see these truths for myself. But that is a part of the story which must be saved and I will do so now. The Coffin Nail had a fairly docile past until a singular incident that seemingly set him on a path of self-destruction. In the past, he was the operator of a ship; however, by skill, not design. What I mean by that, is that he had the means to enter the simulation, but his innate talent of sight for the code kept him without. However, from that point on, the point of the tragic event which I had mentioned, he was a different man, as I am told. He was the first volunteer for every mission and the front line of every attack. He was also the sole survivor of many an encounter. And, in that, I am meaning that it was more than a simple matter of skill, or chance, or even luck. Despite the danger he recklessly threw himself into, he was always found alive; not always unscathed, but always recovered. Initial jokes of his guardian angel gave way to dark rumors. I was told that he faced more than a few allegations of betraying his people to their deaths in exchange for his survival. For the others, being assigned to the crew of the Coffin Nail, for at this time he was a captain, was a terrifying thing. At any rate, I accumulated these whisperings of knowledge from his crew over time through long car rides and long nights at my apartment while we waited for whatever new data they needed to compile. At this point, I suppose you might find it odd that I maintain residence within the simulation. Another scar from that nightmare, I suppose. From my later research (discussion we shall be reaching soon enough), I learned that the Agents found a half dozen of my fellow game players left in Naraka. I know not whether there were more of which I had not seen who made that number or if another poor creature was condemned to die in my place. All I do know is that for all the technical expertise of the men and women of Zion, they cannot be tracing the link from my self in this place to my self in the other, leaving me to wonder if what they say is true or if I have never truly left his game behind. It seems to be just as plausible to me that I remain trapped in his realm of insanity as it is that I am trapped in a simulation from which I cannot being released. The obsession with which I have been marked is complimented only by oppressive paranoia that leaves me wondering if his playful malice lies behind the smile of the mail delivery man or if he is taunting me with an encrypted message delivered unto me through the chirpings of two birds outdoors my window. Such things make me wonder if I might not have been better with lacking the knowledge of the many guises he has borne, the nine hundred and ninety-first incidence that has plagued me so, that has ascended to where he stands on the backs of the nine hundred and ninety who came before. Yet the obsession, it drives me still to continue tracking those informations about 991 and his dealings. I suppose I am entertaining notions that being able to understand what machinations drive 991 will finally give me some rest. I hear stories and rumors of an Exile by the calling of Collector. On a level, I suspect it is him, picking up the pieces as he did of before. I understand part of what drives him, the overpowering consciousness derived of the one called Dale, a behavioral analysis function. In that regard, he is still fulfilling his function, by studying and classifying the behaviors of the humans inside the simulation, although the using of that information now that he is set adrift from the Source is a thing unknown to me. Perhaps he maintains an ulterior agenda which no other can be deciphering, not even myself. Or could it be that for a program, there is no escaping the designs of its initial purpose? I know what he would say to that. I met a hacker once who claimed to have once spoken with 991. He would not tell me how he came to be granted such an audience; however he did tell me that the first thing that he did ask was the inherent purpose of his programming. I am told the being laughed and replied “Free as the wind blows, I shed that hair coat long ago.” I do believe it is a reference to the uncomfortable garments worn as penance by medieval clergy of many ago. Either that or he is executing a joke concerning the primate origins of the human being. But here I have tracked myself aside; Dale was the topic of conversation. A program driven outside its bounds to the madness that lies beyond. Dale’s purpose could not be changed to fit another mould and it overflowed the edges, burning the hands that held it. However, while Dale was a rabid dog, 991 is a rationalizing, thoughtful being. I cannot say for certain if that makes him an even greater threat or not so. I do know that “the machines” have had the motivation to be working with him in the past to disable some threat to the stability of their simulation. It is not information that is easy to acquire. I suppose even artificial intelligence can resent reliance on another to solve its problems. Humans certainly do often enough. From my searching, I have been determining that it was a problem of their own creation, a security protocol that worked a little too well and expanded its parameters of its own accord. I have done a great deal of research on various programs, particularly the ones they call lupines, for the crews of Zion. The structure of the system of self-aware programs is very much object oriented. Most programs I’ve analyzed are not assigned ‘knowledge’ beyond the extent of their single function. From a very human standpoint, this is seeming a negative thing. I attribute my successes as a programmer to very not programmer experiences that I have had in the past of my life. Although on the other shoe, I remember watching a poor movie of science fiction after work far ago and being disgusted by the absurdity of soldier robots programmed with the capacity to make corny jokes as the hero killed them. However, jokes aside, I am very disturbed in the studying of what little information I have been given about the Agents which the crews I work with are fearing very much. They appear single-minded entities, driven by strict adherence to commands that are passed to them by some superseding function that I know not. I find that to be a terrifying thing, the inability to reason. Especially when taken into account the glimmers I have seen of programs that take their functions too far. I am supposing sentience should not be necessary for every function, but sentience without reason and judgment is a dangerous, terrifying thing. Which leads us back to Shiva, 991, or any of the many of names and forms he has taken. Quite the opposite, he is a vast pillar of knowledge, coupled with a shrewd intelligence. I know I have said otherwise in the past many times, my opinion of him forever oscillates from fascination and awe to hatred and disgust. I am supposing the worst part is the knowledge that I am not alone in my experience with him. I have found records that others have experienced the same as myself. I wonder how many others there are existing out there now with knowledge of his doings and happenings. The crew of the Pegasus recently told me of another crew who told of a program that would give them information they needed if they would present it images taken of locations that satisfied certain conditions. They played its game, for the information was reliable. I spent a great quantity of time attempting to determine why he, for I am certain it was him, would require such a thing. I have been researching much of psychology since my first meeting with him. So much so that I do believe I would have received a degree by now. In order to track the one who tracks us, you must understand how and follow it back to the source. After much deliberation, I have convinced myself that it is a reverse of a Rorschach test. A test of what the mind visually matches to an ambiguous concept, rather than what ambiguous concepts the mind matches to visual stimuli. Although, from my studying, I’ve also learned that these things are no measure of the quality and composition of a mind. In the past, the mind has been likened to a computer, but it is nothing so simple. The mind is a device of computing power, but its computations are biased by hopes, dreams, wants, desires. Not to mention, jealously, hatred, depression, obsession. Not so simple as a collection of ifs and thens, not by far. Although I have also encountered quite a few programs who more than manage to pass as humans. The artificial intelligence that spawned them must be a truly wondrous thing. It makes me amazed that human programmers ever reached the point where they could develop such exceptionally intricate systems of logic. And it pains me that the machines and humans could not be reconciling their differences; or perhaps it was the similarities which caused the difficulties between them. History aside, I have been taken to study several captive exile programs with amazingly unique personality disorders and mannerisms. Zion commissions me to study their interaction with the virtual environment that surrounds them. Beyond that, I am receiving the opportunity to learn why it is that they are acting the way they are. Can a program truly develop a shy personality through its… I would say growth, but I do not think that is the appropriate word. So then are programs created with imperfect psyches or do they generate such themselves? As misdirection? A smokescreen to distract others from seeing their true logic? While I find this to be a distinct possibility, the course of my research has not lead me to reach a conclusion on the matter. Personality is not an easy matter to locate or decode. I suppose my distinction previously made holds to be a truth in the end; emotions and code are not reconciled with ease. But it causes me to consider the same for Shiva 991. The stories that I have collected and connected to him have presented a broad spectrum of mentalities. So I am asking myself, is it an insanity developed from the slow addition of the fragments of others’ thoughts or is it another smokescreen, another trick? I once communicated with a program called Erd. He did not know that he was speaking with a human, we had hacked the transmission frequency after a raid on one of the Exile’s labs. After a discussion of some intricacy of protocol within the social hierarchy of the Exiles, one that I made much care to tiptoe through without notice, he made tell of a story of a program he had employed. This particular program he said to be a woman. He referred to her as “a wolf pretending to be a sheep in wolf’s clothing.” According to the word of Erd, she agreed to eliminate his rivals for the exchange of an extensive collection of archived files of media from the before and during the time of the simulation. 991 has a fascination of human and program media; movies, books; stories designed by the inhabitants of the simulation and those who came before. I suppose it is comforting that all manner of creature finds solace in the joys of a story, yet I find it odd that a program would be fascinated so with the imagination of the human mind. It may have been him of that Erd spoke, but I see him lurking in every story and rumor. And, unfortunately, rumor is all I can ever obtain. The mask stays on, the confusion surrounds, and I cannot be knowing if it was him or another of similar nature. Circumstance has forced me to move to a new apartment today. One with considerably augmented security as installed by my Zion benefactors. While driving back to the small enclave I am… was calling home, our car was ambushed by some of the lupine programs they have set me to studying. While we did escape them, this crew’s captain deemed it too much of a risk to leave me making residence in the same location. They cannot know how vulnerable I feel, am. They can come and go as they please, but I must remain here, bound by the rules of a system I am told confines me, yet I cannot see. How easily it is that my home can be traced and I can be found without any tricks up my sleeve, any defensive mechanisms, any reliance on myself. I am left completely dependent on these distraught and frayed men and women who have taken to my care and my employment. Yet, despite their capable hands, I feel fear. The end could come at any time. And I am not yet become ready to pass on to the next. I have not yet completed the journey that has begun in this form. The researching I have done during this past… in fact, I do not know how long it has been since I have been found. Without the distraction of my old “false” job, the subtle messages of the television, or my maya-blinded colleagues, the trappings of the simulated world, there is no need to trace the passage of time. There are only the things that you are knowing and the things that you are still learning. Whether it is the secret underground some call the “Tower” where I purchased virtual beverages for shady dealers of information who would pass to me a telling of an unusual program and anomalous happening or the history of a world you were never born into. I have found many stories that may or may not be connected to the one classified as 991; I have not been able to decide of more than a few that I am confident are him. Of what I am certain is that he is not one seeking to destroy the system. The leopard does not destroy the jungle that masks it from its prey. And predators. Beside so, he does not seem the type who would copy himself into the outside world, the machine warzone as it has been described to me. I must be brief, I’ve just had a call that this location is no longer safe, I must burn my papers. I never cast off my fear of keeping my research saved on computers, although I suppose these papers are just as easily hacked and stolen as the computer in my lab in a virtual world. Sometimes misdirection and smokescreens are the only assurance of security.

If you give up trying to solve tier4 from tier3, the solution can be found in the next post: Rajlich’s Research: The Puzzles Continue


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