You are a renowned paleobiologist who travels the world and evaluates recent discoveries. You recently were contracted to fly to Jakarta University and check in with one of their researchers. You eventually meet with the man, Sukarno, who claims to be on the verge of an incredible discovery. You ask him for details, but he tells you he believes that he is being watched and that someone is trying to steal and publish his findings before he does. Sukarno insists that all discussion about the case be done in code, lest his work for the past 47 years be robbed or trashed. With some consternation, you acquiesce to his demand, primarily because your trip to this island is all expenses paid.
Sukarno guides you into a closed office with a desk and two chairs. On the desk are a pair of computers. Once you have both taken a seat, he hands you a sequence of six pictures with numbers scrawled in marker on them.
On the monitor, a shared document has been left open. It reads:
%9:D :D 9@H H6 H:== E2=< E@ 6249 @E96C H96?6G6C H6 2C6 5:D4FDD:?8 E96 42D6] p== @7 E96 ?F>36CD 2E E96 3@EE@> @7 6249 A:4EFC6 8@ E@86E96C] tG6CJE9:?8 @? E96 A:4EFC6D :D 6?4@565] x ?665 J@F E@ 7:8FC6 @FE H92E ?F>36CWDX 36=@?8 2E E96 3@EE@> @7 E96 D:IE9 A:4EFC6 2?5 E@ :56?E:7J E96 A2EE6C? xVG6 7@F?5]
You're pretty sure by this point that Sukarno is crazy and has not made a meaningful discovery. However, you are paid handsomely by the hour and are a bit of a cryptography enthusiast. As such, you're willing to take the time needed to solve this puzzle.
Thankful that you have unrestricted internet access and that Sukarno can only see what you are doing on the shared document page, you begin your task.
You start to ask him a question aloud before he scowls and shushes you. He quickly types: Do you want to risk Ruining Or Tarnishing 47 years of labor? Please stick to this code when communicating with me!
You sigh with exasperation and type loudly,
E96 4@56 @? E96 A:4EFC6D :D?VE E96 @?6 J@F 28C665 FA@?]Sukarno apologizes before responding,
:E :D ;FDE Q=@42= 92?5HC:E:?8Q]
In your frustration, you type in English:
Your precautions have gotten ridiculous, I'm not even sure what these numbers are supposed to be!Sukarno points at the first pair of digits in the top left of each picture. He then types,
u:CDE =6EE6C @7 E96 2?:>2=VD ?2>6] tG6CJE9:?8 27E6C E92E 2E E96 E@A @7 E96 A:4EFC6 :D 9@H >2?J =6EE6CD 2C6 :? E96 ?2>6] }@ DJ>3@=D @C DA246D]
Sukarno seems unwilling to disclose any additional clues, so you open a notepad document and carefully type out what it is you need to do.
1. Identify the cipher he insisted that I use, "Cipher A"
2. Use "Cipher A" to decode the message in the shared document.
3. Identify the cipher used on the pictures. What island were we on again and what was that about handwriting? Whatever it is, it is "Cipher B".
4. Use "Cipher B" to decode the numbers on the pictures. It looks like I get a letter and some numbers at the top. At the bottom, I usually get a three digit number except for the fifth one. I do not know how many digits the final picture requires.
5. Identify the animals in the pictures. It looks like all of these were ripped from Wikipedia pages of extinct animals.
6. Figure out what the pattern is between the decoded numbers at the bottom of each picture.
7. Identify what the last number I need is.
8. Encrypt that number using "Cipher B".
9. Finally, since I can only talk to Sukarno on this shared doc, I need to encrypt both the *rule of the pattern (or even just identify what the number corresponds to)* and the *"Cipher B"-encrypted answer* using "Cipher A".