# In the Cover of Darkness

I awoke in a mysterious desert wasteland that I didn't recognize. I looked around and saw nothing as far as I could see, except for the oddly rhythmic storm in the distance. Reaching for my phone, I only found this note I didn't understand:

Try, try, try...
Robert Frost lost everything and everyone I know will die
My second song of letters was a song for myself

~Nineteen

I turned around and noticed a silver pod casting long shadows on the ground with "NV" (Nevada?) printed on the side. That wasn't there before! Entering, I noticed a cassette player, surrounded by boxes of tapes with titles like "Flight" and "Pilot", "Toast" and "Cookies". Some are more ominous like "Eternal Scouts" and "Things Fall Apart". There is also a keyboard and a big screen with a dialogue box and a message:

Call them.

It seems that I can enter the name of a person (or group?) to get a hold of "them", but I don't even remember my own name! Who should I try to contact?

Hint:

The storm is getting louder, and its rhythm keeps changing.

Hint 2:

I've been listening to the radio as well, but the only station I get out here is WZZZ.

Hint 3:

I don't know who the genius "Nineteen" is, but taking my phone was really out of line.

Hint 4 (bigger):

Listening to the current weather, there was one line that stuck out to me, but I'm not sure why yet. Maybe I should try and cross-check it against one of these cassettes?

• Disclaimer: rot13(abg fher vs "pvcure" vf gur evtug gnt (sbetbg gb nqq vg jura V svefg cbfgrq), ohg V pna'g ernyyl nfx jvgubhg fcbvyvat gur chmmyr) Jan 18 at 18:28

This puzzle is filled with references to

Welcome to Night Vale, a podcast

Here are some of them:

"NV" is Night Vale. "Eternal Scouts" are a kind of scout in the podcast. You even hint that it's a podcast when you write "a silver POD CASTing long shadows." "Toast" and "Cookies" and "Flight" and "Pilot" are the names of episodes as well.

So, how to actually answer the question of who I should try to contact?

"My second song of letters was a song for myself" - it could be a reference to the Weather (the portion of the podcast that's a song) for the "Toast" episode which is called "Second Song"

So my guess is:

Based on the idea that "Second Song" was written by the creator of the podcast for the podcast itself, I think that the answer is that you're supposed to call Night Vale Community Radio (to talk to Cecil, the host).

• You're definitely on the right track, although there's more to uncover in the note. Jan 12 at 20:06

Not sure about this. My answer feels so right but also feels wrong (or at the very least incomplete) at the same time

I think you should call

The man who is not tall and the man who is not short

As kristinalustig has figured out,

The puzzle is filled with references to Night Vale

Regarding the letter

The first three lines consist of song titles that were played during the "Weather" segment in an episode. For example, "Robert Frost" is featured in the 108th episode, Cal. A full list can be found here.

If we do that for all songs (Try try try, Robert Frost, Lost Everything, Everyone I know will die, Second song, Letters, Song for myself) and take the corresponding episode number, we get 112 108 117 110 100 101 114.

These are decimal ASCII values for plunder. "Plunder" is the song featured in episode #89, "Who's a Good Boy? Part 1". I'm going to be bold and assume that all hint #2 was telling us is that numbers are important in this puzzle, since the radio station WZZZ only transmits random numbers.

Furthermore

Episode #89 mentions "the man who is not tall" and "the man who is not short", who are literally called "Them", which "Call them" in the puzzle alludes to. Also, according to this page, "One of them is not short, and the other is not tall. There is a cycle that is suggested by Cecil, that everyone in Night Vale is eventually taken to this place in the desert where they replace one of the men." So it makes sense that you awoke in a "mysterious desert wasteland"

What makes me unsure is

1) The only way I can make sense of "~Nineteen" is that it is supposed to hint towards using numbers, as hint #2 does. I found no connection between "Them" and "Nineteen".
2) Episode #89 only serves as a help for us to find a connection to "them", which seems completely fine to me but still makes me feel like I missed something.
3) Hint #3 could just allude to to stealing, which "They" are also known for. Not sure :)

• rot13(V'yy fnir lbh fbzr gvzr urer; guvf chmmyr vf ragveryl fbyinoyr jvgubhg ernqvat genafpevcgf.) Jan 25 at 16:41
• Not sure if you saw it, but I added a hint to the question. This might be too much info for you, but some feedback on your current progress: rot13(Gur fgbez vf whfg zrnag gb pyhr "jrngure", naq gur "Fnaqfgbez" rcvfbqr frrzf gb or na havagragvbany erq ureevat.) Jan 27 at 19:55
• As far as numbers go, rot13(avargrra vf vzcbegnag naq rvtugl-avar vfa'g, ohg abg va gur jnl lbh'er guvaxvat). Jan 27 at 22:14
• I gave you the bounty because you got most of the note, but you're still not quite at the answer! Jan 30 at 16:04