Puzzle (Language Labs)
Around Midnight on the 16th, Tachyon began emailing back from the Language Lessons account.
Formula for Solving
For the play along instructions to solving please go here: Language Lessons (A How To)
Getting at the Clue
Tachyon's Profile read:
Step AA: A small taste. (see below)
NDkyZjQ5NDkyMDViMzQ1ZDIwMmEyZj MwMGQwYTU4M2EyMDQ1MzE0NjM2NDYz ODM5NDU0NDMxNDQ0NjBkMGE1OTNhMj A1NzY4NjE3NDIwNjU3NjY1NzI3OTZm NmU2NTIwNzM2ODZmNzU2YzY0MjA2NT YxNzQyMDZmNmUyMDc0Njg2NTY5NzIy MDYyNjk3Mjc0Njg2NDYxNzkyZTBkMG E=
Which translated from Base64 to:
49 2f 49 49 20 5b 34 5d 20 2a 2f 30 0d 0a 58 3a 20 45 31 46 36 46 38 39 45 44 31 44 46 0d 0a 59 3a 20 57 68 61 74 20
65 76 65 72 79 6f 6e 65 20 73 68 6f 75 6c 64 20 65 61 74 20 6f 6e 20 74 68 65 69 72 20 62 69 72 74 68 64 61 79 2e
Which translated from Hex to:
I/II  */0 X: E1F6F89ED1DF Y: What everyone should eat on their birthday.
Making Sense of the Clue
With 4 held constant on the outside ring and the input set as E1F6F89ED1DF it was time to find out what Y was.
Tachyon updated her profile with the clue:
[ A small hint: To find the answer, all you need is 'love.' Hopefully that will 'convert' you. ]
On an episode of Lovelines, Adam Corolla says all real men should eat pie on their birthdays.
Pie can't be the key becuase not all the letters appear on the cipher ring. However, 504945, hex for pie, does appear.
With new key, E1F6F89ED1DF decodes as "Aww..." which opens the rar file
from Gemma <email@example.com> to Sebastian <firstname.lastname@example.org> date February 15, 2006 10:16 PM subject Sincerest apologies
I want to apologize for my inappropriate remark after class today. It’s just that after spending so much time
together, I am finding it quite difficult to suppress these feelings I seem to be developing for you. Based on your
reaction, however, it appears you do not feel the same way towards me (please do let me know if I am mistaken).
I feel more than a tad embarrassed for putting my foot in it and creating such an awkward tension between us. I’ll
understand if you do not wish to continue our professional relationship as a result, but I hope that won’t be the
Regardless, your friendship has meant so much to me these past few weeks and I am truly sorry for doing anything to
jeopardize that. I am more than willing to do anything within my power to put this uncomfortable moment behind us.
Getting at the Clue
Step BB: A small victory? (see below)
NDkyZjQ5NDkyMDViNDIyZDMxNWQyMD MwMmYzMDBkMGEwZDBhNTgzYTIwMzYz ODQzNDM0NTM2MzEzMzMyMzYzMzMzMz gzNTMyNDU0MzM5MGQwYTU5M2EyMDQ5 NjYyMDQ5Mjc2ZDIwNjY2Yzc1NmU2Yj Y5NmU2NzIwNDU2ZTY3NmM2OTczNjgy YzIwNzc2NTZjNmMyMDc0Njg2NTZlMj A2MzZjNjU2MTcyNmM3OTJjMjA0OTI3 NmQyMDY0NzI2Zjc3NmU2OTZlNjcyZT BkMGEwZDBh
Base64 to Text:
49 2f 49 49 20 5b 42 2d 31 5d 20 30 2f 30 0d 0a 0d 0a 58 3a 20 36 38 43 43 45 36 31 33 32 36 33 33 38 35 32 45 43 39 0d 0a 59 3a 20 49 66 20 49 27 6d 20 66 6c 75 6e 6b 69 6e 67 20 45 6e 67 6c 69 73 68 2c 20 77 65 6c 6c 20 74 68 65 6e 20 63 6c 65 61 72 6c 79 2c 20 49 27 6d 20 64 72 6f 77 6e 69 6e 67 2e 0d 0a 0d 0a
Hex to Text:
I/II [B-1] 0/0
X: 68CCE6132633852EC9 Y: If I'm flunking English, well then clearly, I'm drowning.
Making Sense of the Clue
Seems to be a reference to A Sure Thing
"We determined that Y: was a reference to the movie “The Sure Thing” (1985), which had been part of the Step 2: Movie Puzzle, but were unable to determine the keyword from looking at the script. Communications via email with Tachyon told us that we actually needed to watch the movie for the clue. We were still lost. Another round of emails directed us toward the depth of the pool in the relevant scene, and we were able to find the password: 3ft. (with period at the end). This led us to the .rar password L-I-V-I-N," - Tilt
Imagine my surprise when I saw the email address from your last assignment turn up in a few of the emails I’ve decrypted so far! And here I had been under the impression that there was more than one girl named Gemma in all of England!
I honestly think that reading all of them will bring you more pain than closure on the subject. But needless to say, you were right in your original assumption that you were set up by Gemma. In fact, the truth is just as bad as you'd feared it would be: Op sent Gemma in to sniff out “Sebastian.” And despite your initial resistance, you ultimately let her get close enough to you that it compromised the security of the mission.
It’s no coincidence either that she disappeared after spending time in your flat, right before those months of hard work establishing your cover as "Sebastian" started to come undone.
And you can also thank her for leading War Pylol to the front door of our safe house in the area. Until I hear otherwise, I will assume that you were followed there, and that you didn’t foolishly try to make contact with Gemma after your cover was blown.
In hindsight, it’s a miracle we spotted that "location verified, D in APHID" video in time to arrange for your safe passage to a secure location. Even though there were no casualties when the bomb detonated (sans the corpse we planted to fake your demise), it still doesn’t change the fact that it was meant to DESTROY you.
As we’ve both now learned, life as a suppressive person of sorts isn’t all that much fun when you’re on The Order's radar. I assume that your self-imposed house arrest, growing the beard, and living like a shut-in have all been attempts to keep them from making the connection that "Sebastian" is still alive (in some form)? I agree it's far better for them to merely think they are keeping an eye on my "clueless partner."
If you escaped your babysitter the same way I escaped mine, I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to know what you have to do next.
But first, perhaps we should make a little time to see to it that Ms. Pouty Lips does not escape the reward of her action?
PS. Be aware, this might mean we have to cross paths with Greg Tolan (and I wish I were only referring to William Zabka).