6
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The following document was enclosed in a tattered box, on the shores of Lake Laberge.

To: Mission control

Subject: Zo'Ardi investigation

Much progress has been made in the investigation. The divers have found the cell, and many clues to the mysteries that surround the case. Perhaps with further study, they will lead us to the truth. Attached are all documents found so far, with information about each included. We believe the Zo'Ardi were attempting to create some type of new technology, as evidence by the strange equipment in the lab. Regardless, a new update will be sent as soon as we have more information.

Document 1: Photograph

This photograph was discovered in an envelope in the cell, along with documents 2, 6, 7, and 8. The photograph is clearly encoding some sort of information, and we believe the vague face shape is some sort of key, but we are unable to determine how to decipher it. It seems likely that a majority of the information is in the upper portion of the photograph, where the lines of pixels form rows of varying length.

Document 2: Warning

Do not look for us. Do not determine the key. What he is is not the key.

This document was found stapled to the photograph. Finger prints on this document, and the photograph, indicated they were owned by a "Clarissa Watson." We don't really no anything about Ms. Watson, unfortunately very little information seems to be in the system. Anyway, this document seems to be a warning, possibly by the Zo'Ardi to Ms. Watson, or maybe the other way round. As to how Ms. Watson and the Zo'Ardi are connected, we have no idea.

Document 3: Encoded Message 1

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

Encoded in base64, decoding yields encrypted bytes. Unknown cipher.

Document 4: Encoded Message 2

IR1bTiYSAQcTAH9TVVJBIxQBBlITCwUcBwYSTgEbEFISGxcZEBEVThwAVRUTAQIaGxVBHBAAAR4EHQZdfyUEThQBEFIUAAYGBxdBBhoEVQYOTgUBGhEECxFIVQUETh0SAxdBHBAQEBsXCxFTFBYFBwEaGhwAAlUXFAYAZBwdERsCDwEaGxVBGh0WVRcZHhABHB8EAAFTHAFBCBQaGRsPCVtTIRoEThMSHhdBGRoBGRZBBxtTAhoIDR15AhdBBhQFEFIRAhQQEBZBGh0WVQEUDB8WFgZBBwZTFxcGBxsdHBwGTgEcVRETGxgRGRdaTgIWVRAEAhwWAxdrBwFTHRMSTgYcGBcJAQJTFB4TCxQXDFIEFgUcBhcFTgAAWVIDGwFTAhdBDwcWVQcPHQABEFIJAQJdfyIEHBgaBgEIARtTAR1BDBAUHBxBHQESEhdBXEp5IAEETgEbEFJYGh1TEx0TTgUBGgYEDQEaGhxP

Encoded in base64, decoding yields encrypted bytes. Unknown cipher.

Document 5: Encoded Message 3

JANPVCIRHgZYTyYJGwEcekxVVE8yCRIdAVAfARUIFUxHWk8iCQUbHQRMFxUMG0wCHAoeTBYbAgAAEAAKXmYgBwpQGB0RT0AYHVQJHx5VBB0fGBAXGxkDG1o=

Encoded in base64, decoding yields encrypted bytes. Unknown cipher.

Document 6: Encoded Message 4

JxpUUyYPBwAcHX9OU1VONxAPAVUtHxQcGgYdEllkJB0LARBOEgcLUwwBBkpOOxQYFlUXHABOHRoaUwcLEBAHBRAKUxgXUxgLAAYPFBBAeTxOHRALF1UXHAAcUx0LHwVAUzxJHlUAHAFOGhtOBx0LUxYLHxlOEhsXHhocFltAXX8nUxEBHVIaUx4AHAJOBB0PB1UGEgUeFhsLF1lOGxoZUzxOFBoaUxobB1lkEQAaUzxOGBsBBFUnUxsLFhFOChobXVU+HxAPABBOARAdAxoAF1tOOxACA1s=

Encoded in base64, decoding yields encrypted bytes. Unknown cipher. Found in envelope with document 1.

Document 7: Letter

Dear Timothy,

I'm coming... wait or me. I wish I knew more of wh t was happening. I ove you. One day oon I will d feat the zo'ardi, but for now I wil r m in happy that I have found you. I o hope you'll stay put.

Fingerprints match Clarissa Watson. Found in envelope with document 1.

Document 8: Letter 2

Dear Timothy,

I know where you are. You have made your way to 64.893786, -154.835982. I'll find you.

Fingerprints match Clarissa Watson. Found in envelope with document 1. Numerical coordinates lead to "the middle of nowhere." Unknown significance.

Document 9: Scribbles

[organization]_[location]

Found scribbled on cell well. Unknown significance.

Document 10: Recent Encrypted Message

LgAdQSEFHSoLG2E8G0IYDBURSFopTg8TCEkNHAUEHRoqUklWRSYTAkgVGh1Ffw0dDk8dVRADEwYGVk9PAAFEDCwaFBsKCgAbHQVFFBsEQkEFCxszHVthBhoAHAZWCR0UCEITUgYMMxAQHQodABsdVgwBWgdSDBMKRX8AEB9PB1RSGxMRExMBVEEaEQQ+F1gHBgVFeAAYERcWA04GFwoKOldVIk8ZUhsdE0UGEgZUQRMXSTYNVRgbD0wZGlYRGh9PTwAeCBp/HxoZTwNFXGMhAFIJB0gUHgBJMRYBSwcPVhdJFQQACAZCBVILHCtZAQMKTkUKGRMXGxcKSRVSSUkrERBLCwtBFgUPbxEWBkQKXwcFPhoeSwAIABoGGRMXCU9OElIHATYVGQIBCQAGBlYRGh9PRQ4cAUd/MAFLCxxBBRpWCxcbHUITXG4oOBwbH085QQYaGQtSEg5UQRMIGzoYERJPDEUXB1YRFwgCTg8TEAw7WRcSTxpIF0kFEBAQCkQVXkQIMR1/Ik8IRRMbVixSGwIHDxccHXFZPAUGGkkTHRNFBhIKBxIXCA9/HRAYGxxVER1WFhcLGkIPEQFHfz8ZBAAKKgYBE0UoFUhmExYNST0YBg5BTmwXHVYRGh9PfhQZCwd/FRoEHAsO

Encoded in base64, decoding yields encrypted bytes. Unknown cipher. Most recent message found.


We hope that the team at mission control will be able to make sense of the information we have gathered.

Letter Terminated


Without being too specific, and giving away the puzzle, the information you must gather to solve this puzzle is:

  • Information encoded in each of the above documents, and the key/method used to obtain that information
  • Zo'Ardi location
  • Rough description of Zo'Ardi developmental technology
  • Description of the creator of the photograph

Hint 1 (Document 1):

255 values for R, 255 for G, 255 for B, 255 for ASCII

Hint 2 (Document 2):

It lies

Hint 3 (Documents 3-6, 10)

Java (the programming language) has the "%" and "^" operators


This is my first puzzle! Hope you like it :)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not sure why you wanna make this open-ended. $\endgroup$ – greenturtle3141 Nov 16 '16 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ @greenturtle3141 because answers can match criteria and still be slightly vague... If a better answer comes around I'd like to accept that one instead... If you think it really truly shouldn't be open-ended, I'll remove it :) $\endgroup$ – Socratic Phoenix Nov 16 '16 at 4:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SocraticPhoenix: "Open-ended" implies that there is no one solution. Instead, it is more of a code-golf style competition, usually involving wordplay. Of course, answers can always improve on other answers. But that's not what's meant by the open-ended tag. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Nov 16 '16 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi okay, I'll remove it $\endgroup$ – Socratic Phoenix Nov 16 '16 at 4:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Oh, I've found a false lead. :) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Nov 16 '16 at 6:33
2
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This is the community evidence locker.

Building on Lukas's answer: The RGB values can be decoded and yield the following grid:

Dear Clarissa,
I hope it is you reading this,
and not one of those overbearing fools.vI'm lost, sad, I don't where I am.
I hope you can help save me, wherever I am.
It's somewhere cold, that much is sure.
I hope these four clues can help you find me; I'll start with the first:
look vertically.

2. The guards come every day, t
ced a strange leather contrapth
as are wooden, yet I cannot bie
lr rof
po { } ene
so | aue
ad \_____________/ kpd
he fom
eh rne
nt eemn
odna sllems llec ehT .4 kcab yo
emos won eciwT .3 yah tub gniht

There is another message in the face ...

... that can be found by reading in a clockwise, inward spiralling fashion:

2. The guards come every day, the(y) feed me nothing but hay. 3. Twice now someone has placed a strange leather contraption upon my back. 4. The cell smells and the doors are wooden, yet I cannot break free.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So whoever is in the cell is a horse, of course? $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Nov 16 '16 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64 to spur solving a bit, yes you are exactly right (hint 2 would probably be useful now) $\endgroup$ – Socratic Phoenix Nov 21 '16 at 21:04
2
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Partial Answer (primarily here to help others | to be continued)


Document 1

The upper part (rows of colors) reads

Dear Clarissa,
I hope it is you reading this,and not one of those overbearing fools.
I'm lost, sad, I don't where I am.I hope you can help save me, wherever I am.
It's somewhere cold, that much is sure.
I hope these four clues can help you find me; I'll start with the first: look vertically.

The face reads

2. The guards come every day, t
ced a strange leather contrapth
as are wooden, yet I cannot bie
lr rof
po { } ene
so | aue
ad \_____________/ kpd
he fom
eh rne
nt eemn
odna sllems llec ehT .4 kcab yo
emos won eciwT .3 yah tub gniht

I did all this by

Converting each pixel to RGB and then to decimal ASCII. Note that I ignored every value that is not in the range [32...126]. I also didn't do this by hand, but by a program which outputs the whole message, so I hope we can assume the text I posted is errorless.

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  • $\begingroup$ Errorless, yes, but you're missing some line breaks. $\endgroup$ – Socratic Phoenix Nov 16 '16 at 11:11
0
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Partial Answer

Letter 7:

There are characters missing in the letter. They spell a possible red herring: falselead

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