A Buddhist cries
RK was true to his word that he would be contacting us soon. He sent out a mass email to all of those who had given him a correct answer to the phone puzzle. §

If only we knew what it meant. RK must know that we're having trouble with his latest message, because he put up a new picture on Flickr. It's of Dr. Gough looking like he's ready to go diving. It actually appears to be a copy of the picture that you can see as Nate goes through Dr. Gough's office. Does RK have his own copy of the picture? Or does he have much better access to Dr. Gough's office than Nate does? And what does the caption of "Stabbed, in the back" mean? Did AJ stab Dr. Gough after the accident to put him out of his misery? Or was the accident actually sabotage in order to get Dr. Gough out of the way of someone else? And how exactly does this picture help us with "A Buddihist cries"?
Another Long Day
While we ponder that, might as well go check out Nate's latest update. He has video taped another conversation with Eliza. You can see her oh so subtly closing a laptop on her desk as Nate comes in. Not that he seems to notice as he's going on about margaritas. What does Eliza not want him to see? Information about the death of Dr. Gough? Evidence of her affair with Chairman Eric? The fact that she's an alien lizard sent down to Earth to gain control of the planet's water supply and to make humans a food source for her dying planet? §

Alert! Alert! This just in! Nate had a fight with Eliza. Can we all say 'awwwwwww' and throw him a pity party now? I wonder how he's gonna take it when he finds out she's been 'working' with Chairman Eric. Probably about as well as if he saw her eating rats for lunch. You just wait. One day she's gonna peel off her face and be all lizardlike and then you'll be all 'Arrgh! She's an alien lizard!' and you'll never look at her the same way again.

Wow. Nate is just the update machine today. He's also becoming more and more emo as the day progresses. I swear, if he becomes any more emo, I'm gonna have to start calling him Howard. And we all know how I handled Howard. §

Sadly, we can't just ignore Nate or shoot him to put him out of his misery. We need him because we figured out what the "Stabbed, in the back" message from RK meant: that we need to look at the back of the photo in Dr. Gough's office. And since Nate is our only contact at Holomove, he's the only one we can get to play spy.

Stabbed, in the back
Luckily, Nate better at spy missions than he is at life in general. He was able to get into the office and check out the back of the picture. Someone decided to write a cipher on the back of it. §

Overall, the message on the back of the picture gives us a a telephone number plus an extension: (641) 715-3900 x64676. Dialing it, you get a very crappy recording of Dr. Gough talking. It sounds like when he was talking during his interview, however this new clip is much longer. §

But what the hell is the point of any of this? Was the email just to give us the keyword for the back of the picture? But then why wait two days to put up the Stabbed picture if that was the key to the whole thing to begin with? And if Dr. Gough's ramblings are so important, why couldn't RK provide a clean copy? Come to think of it, if RK can write on the back of Dr. Gough's picture and slip puzzles onto Nate's desk, why not just give him a copy of the recording flat out? Why the hell do we need to keep jumping through hoops to prove ourselves? If I have to keep putting up with much more of this crap, I think I'm just gonna have to start talking to the managment of Holomove and tell them they have a mole in the company who is trying to undermine them.

Eliza Marks née Gough
So Emo Howard, I mean Emo Nate (can I call him Emo Nateard?), has posted more about his breakup with Eliza. Long story short, in the midst of drunken dialing/texting, he found out that Eliza is actually the estranged daughter of Dr. Gough, she owns 19% of Holomove, and she only slept with Emo Nateard to get him to work better. §

I'm beginning to think that there is no one at Holomove with any corporate sense. I have no idea why Eliza really dumped him since their overall stupidity makes them perfect for each other. Maybe Chairman Erik (note to self, it's Erik with K not with a C. I swear I had checked before I started typing his name out five million times, but nope) got sick of her sexing up the hired help and threatened her and that's why she dumped her boy-toy. Maybe Chairman Erik just got jealous. Maybe she loves Emo Nate too much and can't bare to hurt him when she kills his entire family as she takes over the world. Who knows? Who even cares at this point? If I really wanted this much drama, I'd go watch one of those cheesy teenage soap operas on the CW or whatever channels they are on.

Real Life Fun!
OMG! I feel just like Nate! Today, someone left me a puzzle on my desk. It's gotta be a clue about some nefarious plan within my office, because I really can't imagine why someone would leave this for me otherwise (or more like I don't want to imagine why). And because it never hurts to let more people in on mass conspiracies, I've recreated the puzzle for you. It probably has more than one typo in it, so I'll try to fix them as I find them. §

Update: It turns out that one of my coworkers handed this puzzle out to everyone in the office. I no longer feel special or that this was a game launch. *sigh*

Memorial Day Relaxation
Ahh, three day holidays. Lots of lazing about the house doing nothing except laundry. The only problem is that come Tuesday there seems to be an awful lot of catching up to do on games and crap. But you're still in the lazy holiday mode and you don't want to do it. Especially when you've already had a crap morning because your cgi:irc has gone down for the count and you had to find a new one. And then you see some utterly verbose twit going off in other threads about how all their ideas are correct and the rest of us are just wankers and you want to respond saying how they've misintrepreted everything you said, but you know it'll just be a waste of time because they haven't understood you at all so far, so you play a few games of solitare when you'd rather be blowing up stuff to let off steam, but you don't have any of those types of games on your work computer.

So yeah, I'm grumpy. There had better be some really awesome updates to this game otherwise this whole guide is going to get really cranky and will probably end up in the 'I don't care if I never finish it' pile.
Random Googling strikes again, this time in the form of a potentially new site: ASQA.com. They have an article up about how they have received a $500k grant from Holomove. Nothing of corroboration from Holomove or Freyja, but the site does pre-date our discoveries, so who knows. Other than the news blurb though, there's nothing really of interest on the site. There's a place where you can sign up for a login to view additional content - but even after logging in, you still get messages saying you can't view the protected pages.

So is it in-game? A hoax site? Someone trying to capitalize off of the Holomove buzz and steal emails and passwords? Who knows at this point. Probably can't hurt to keep an eye out on the website, but you might want to hold off registering until we get more of a confirmation.
Fringe Material
Ever since this game started, people have been wondering just what it is promoting. Personally, I didn't really care, although I was hoping that it was going to be for something I already liked. Sadly, it seems to not be the case.

A post appeared on the Future on Fox blog talking about our civilians died numbers. Although the post has several different tags, everyone has decided that the Fringe tag is the most important one, and that we are playing a Fringe ARG. And now I want to go kill a puppy.

Seriously, if there was one promotion that I didn't want this to be for, it would be Fringe. I had absolutely no desire to see this show. I've stuck JJ Abrams in the same category as I've stuck George Lucas. The 'used to be brilliant but now so strung out on Nazi crack that they have no idea what they are saying anymore' category. I know there are a ton of people out there who will shout from the rooftops about their brilliance, but I'm not one of them anymore - so please don't write me telling me how wrong I am. You won't convince me. I was hoping my paying to see Indy 4 would be my last relapse into the drug induced crap visions (oh Steven - why did you give into the peer pressure?) but if this game really is for Fringe, I'm afraid I'll fall back again. And then I'll be a sad drugged out bunny.

But then again, maybe I won't fall under the thrall if they keep pissing me off by jerking us around with the stupid fraking puzzle solves.
Not So Garbled
Remember that phone number we got with garbled message? Turns out that is yet another hoop, I mean puzzle, that we have to solve for no apparent reason other than the fact that we're lemmings. Luckily, this went down during the weekend, so that I didn't have to put up with it at all. Normally I hate missing solves, but in this game I'm beginning not to care. §

The answer that we get then is: Hafnia Is The Key

Hafnia is the Latin name for Copenhagen and where the element hafnium gets its name from. The really bad thing about this solution is that once again, we get absolutely nothing out of it, except another piece of yet another fraking puzzle. Exactly how many steps have we had so far? At this rate, RK had better give us the reason why Dr. Gough death was covered up, the truth behind the Roswell UFO and who really killed JFK. Seriously, why do we need to keep jumping through hoops?! Enough is enough!

Same Old Nate
So what the hell has Nate been up to as we've been jerked around by RK? Probably whining about how much his life sucks since he is an emo crybaby who cannot understand women. Let's see. In otherwords, not much has changed with Nate. § Maybe when he attempts to break into the router, he'll get caught and fired and then we can play 'bail the emo out of jail' game. That'll be fun. Better than solving pointless puzzles for faceless individuals.
Holomove Application
Oh, almost forgot. Holomove now has an application that you can take online. Maybe there were too many people failing the original puzzle. Maybe they hated going through all of our fake CVs. Who knows, but you're now basically required to take the stupid quiz if you want a job. After you submit your answers, you'll get a password that cannot be used at this time. But I'm sure we'll get a chance to use it (although I'm betting not before we get another step in the 'Puzzle That Will Not End' from RK).
Hackers Unite!
Nate seems to be good for something after all. He decided to work on Memorial Day, and he was able to snoop around some more. He found that there was a large amount of traffic coming from and now needs our help because it's password protected. He's guessing that the username is "eandersen" but the passwords that he tried didn't amount to much. I'm rather surprised he didn't try 'nateisanemowanker' just on the off chance that it worked.
Camouflage! When You Need to Hide the Important Stuff! Or You Know... Not
I swear, I'm gonna lose it. First we get a ROT puzzle. Then we had some stupid, pointless, long-ass puzzle trail. And now a fucking camouflaged picture. Three things that drive me absolutely bonkers in ARGs. Can I just say how utterly rubbish Camouflage is for hiding information in pictures? Not only can you see that a picture has been camouflaged simply by opening it up in a text editor, you don't even really need to know the stupid password beforehand. That's because it's so stupidly easy to crack. But you know what the worst thing about this has been? That stupid, long-ass puzzle trail we had to keep slogging through just gave us the camouflage password. A password I could have gotten in about 30 fucking seconds! Arrgghhh!

If it wasn't for the fact that I know people are reading this guide, I'd go shove it up Nate's ass and be done with it all.

So, where the hell was I? Oh yeah, RK the Moron (not to be confused with my buddy RK the Goat God because he's just awesome). He (RK the Moron) sent out an email § that also included a camouflaged version of the Copenhagen airport photo. Using the password hafnia that we worked so bloody hard to get, we were 'rewarded' with three files: an article about Gough's accident, a blurb about the dive boat captain getting fired, and a note from Dr. Gough that was to be delivered in the event of his death. §

Remember when I said that we had better get something big out of that stupid puzzle trail? Yeah, this didn't even come close. Dr. Gough is right about one thing, however. I am beginning to question Holomove and its leadership, although not quite in the way that he wants me to.

Erik's Equity
So while we've been trying to crack the password, Nate's been all manic depressive again. First he's Mr. Emo whining about how hard he's being worked. Then he's all bunnies and buttercups when he solves the coding problem. But he didn't really give us much insight into Erik's password other than telling us it was probably a 'weak password' due to Erik's 'weak leadership' and hinting that we could go ahead and just start hacking away at the system. §

So that's what we did. Or at least some of us. Nicole/jabroni used a program named Brutus and a dictionary wordlist and started checking. Eventually the program stopped and she discovered the login to Erik's site.

username: eandersen
password: equity

I do suppose it would have been possible to guess equity as the password. It does show up on the Freyja Capital site under one of the headlines (07 Holomove, Inc. Receives Millions in Equity Funding), but I think it would have taken a while to get there.

So what is in the Offsite DVR? Lots and lots of videos - 46 when we first discovered it (although a couple were duplicates). Nate wasn't kidding when he said the entire office was under surveillance. We have videos from 15 different cameras, and I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't more. §

A lot of the videos are duplicate angles of the same scenes, and if you've seen all of Nate's video blogs, you've 'seen' half of these videos then. There are a few interesting bits - mostly the dynamic between Eliza, Erik, and George, and the fact that they are going to be taking the company public in 30 days. That'll be interesting. §

Press Conference

Everyone who was subscribed to the RSS feed got an update that Holomove planned to hold a press conference on May 30th. We were all hoping we would be able to watch it live, but alas, they didn't broadcast it. Nate was around though and was able to tell us that the Erik sorta glossed over the whole hideous death of Dr. Gough bit. Probably not a bad mood if you are trying to promote the company. Although maybe not so smart if you're trying to launch your IPO in 30 days and don't have all the kinks worked out yet.

Holomove did put up the video of the conference the next day, so we can see just how bad it is. And it is pretty bad considering just how much information they leave out. While they show significant bits of the Nobelium video, because they claim it was recorded three days ago, you never see Dr. Gough. And of course they cut the video right before the screaming death scene. But it's nice to see our old friend the reporter back and asking softball questions to Erik. Too bad Erik didn't threaten all the reporters, because he didn't look too happy when the bald guy asked a question towards George. §

Beware of Empty Offers
RK updated his blog again, this time telling us to "Beware of Empty Offers but build your army. Here is something to add to your arsenal" and includes a screenshot of a CodeMetrics result. The only thing you have to know about CodeMetrics to understand this image is that the Maintainability Index cannot go above 100. So you know that three out of the four red marked numbers are fake and were put in there for a purpose. If you string all the numbers together, you get an IP address: which just so happens to be the IP address of the Securities and Exchange Commission. RK obviously knows about the upcoming IPO. Maybe he wants us to alert the SEC of the shady practices of Holomove. I can't imagine they'd take too kindly to the Chairman making up a fake death for the founder of the company.
Team NateJay

It's been sorta quiet on the Nate front. He's been a little confused about what to do about the videos on Erik's DVR. So he decided that he needed to confide in someone else at Holomove, and so he chooses Jay. Probably not a bad move considering Jay doesn't have any evil videos on the offsite dvr. Once recruited, Jay even comes and posts on Nathan's blog giving us a little more background on AJ. All he can tell us is that AJ was a quiet guy before the Doctor's death, and now he's even more so. And while he tried to continue the work that they started, he hasn't been very successful on his own. Poor guy.

The First Cut

After a very quiet couple of days, everyone who emailed RK was sent a small image file with the email subject of "The first cut is the deepest". It didn't take too long to see that the images were all different (more or less) and that they each had different names. It was also discovered fairly quickly that these small files were part of a larger image and so we set about placing them in their correct spots, both with and without the letters from the file name superimposed. Obviously the letters are some sort of cipher, but the question is what kind and what does the picture have to do with it? §

Once again, we do a puzzle for RK and get practically nothing in return. His message certainly wasn't mindblowingly important.

you may be asked soon to sit at the table to carve up the world so be ready nathan
Was there really a reason that had to be spread across so many different people to keep safe? Couldn't he just have called Nate and left a morse code message on his phonemail? I'm rather sick of RK and his puzzles now. I'm not going to solve them anymore. Someone else can go be his pet monkey.

Brand & Market Interview
Erik really wants to get the word out that Holomove is going public soon and had Brand & Market conduct an interview with him. It's amazing how utterly arrogant he is in the interview considering they haven't progressed the prototype any further since Dr. Gough died. They're taking a huge risk that they'll get the bugs ironed out before their new investors start pounding on the door. §
Run Forrest, Run!

The channel was in a bit of the doldrums since we hadn't gotten any updates in two whole days. Then someone checked the DVR site. New videos! §

Such an exciting day! George is on the run. Nathan is on the run. Or else they're both at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Even Jay has no idea what's going on.
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