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Operation Swamp 0000
During the Brixton shows, a bunch of yellow AIR flyers § were posted around the venue. Besides providing a number (24.20.4) like in the previous ART flyer, we also got an address: EC1 Kingsland Road and Old Street: Under the Bridge. Several ETS members went over to the location and found a giant AIR billboard named 'Operation Swamp 0000'. There is a ton of imagry in this billboard, from the falling angels and the Jesus like death figure to the pig cops and the robot with the molotov cocktails (which contains the number 24.20.3). Most importantly, it tells us what our next website is:

Opearation Swamp 0000 is a do-it-yourself website to remove a nerochip - a small tracking device inserted under the skin on your wrist. This site isn't for the squeamish. Even just reading about what you have to do to remove the chip gives me the shivers. Yuck. England is a little better off than the United States, but not by much it seems. This nerochip implant might have been what John of Boston was referring to when he took Dr. Gantry's wrist. I wonder if the US is importing this technology from the UK, or if its the other way around. §

Like the yellow AIR flyer that led us here, we get both a new number and a new website. The new number is 24.20.1. The new website is
Operation Chip Sweep
Seriously, how screwed up is the US? We can't even look at sites from other countries without getting yelled at for possibly breaking the law since it's not a licensed feed. Makes you wonder where the hosting companies are located that they can keep all these sites up. But I did get my question answered about the nerochips.

Operation Chip Sweep was an attempt by police to raid the Brixton area of London looking for 'chip-pullers' - those nasty criminals who removed their implanted nerochips. Since Brixton was a bit of a safe haven for the chip-pullers, it goes without saying that Operation Chip Sweep did not go as planned. In fact, after the police bungled a domestic violence call and two people were killed, Brixton erupted into a riot. The article doesn't say how the riot ended or what the police did about Brixton, so I can only guess that perhaps denziens of Brixton prevailed. §

No new websites can be gleaned from this. But the number is 24.20.2
Survivalism in Garage Band
On the main Year Zero page, a zip of a multitrack file of 'Survivalism' for Garageband was put up so that we could play around and remix the song. However, there were two extra files that weren't a part of the original song: Our End Trip and Radio Noise.

It was noticed that 'Our End Trip' could be anagramed into 'Put In Order' and a couple of people on the ETS board started playing around with the file. After managing to repiece the right channel to produce a continuous rising tone, the left channel had a voice saying "Case Number 6455da04" (if you can understand all the letters in the middle). There is no such case number at US Wiretap, so we go over to Judson Ogram and find a new inmate file.

Moira (aka Inmate #6455DA04) is an Opal addict who claims that The Presence gave her the ability to feel the entire planet. She can feel everything that is being done to the planet, from the tides flowing, to the mountains shifting, and the air blowing. She can even feel all the buildings and roads like a rash that making her sick. She then tells Dr. Gantry that the Presence is not God, but some entity from another place sent here to clean up the mess that we have made. §
The Mailstrom
NIN decided to throw a bunch of listening parties around the country/world to promote Year Zero. If you preordered the cd at the listening party, you got a free, limited edition lithograph to take home with you. It's a little hard to see, but in the top lefthand corner, it has the words 'The Mailstrom' written. This takes us to a new site:

The first thing that greets us at this site is a login box with 'Wreckage / Shard' instead of a normal 'User / Pass'. Checking the source nets a new number (24.1.1) as well as pointing out that clicking on the logo takes us to a new page:

The info page tells us what The Mailstrom is all about. The US controls all of the data information that the American public receives. The encryption that they use on the Consolidated stream is functionally unbreakable. In an attempt to truly find out just what is being sent through the stream, the Mailstrom was set up. Unlike traditional hacking attempts where you try to find a decryption key for one specific piece of data, the Mailstrom created a number of random keys and filters all of the data it gets through these keys. Almost all of data passes through without being decrypted, but because of the sheer amount of data, every once in a while there is a hit and "the Mailstrom stores the 'wreckage' of that collision and the 'shards' can be extracted through the interface" §

It's a bit like neutrino detection. 50 trillion solar electron neutrinos pass through the human body every second, yet because neutrinos rarely interact with ordinary matter, then can be extremely difficult to detect. Special neutrino detectors are set up far underground and filled with water surrounded by photomulitpler tubes. As the trillions upon trillions of neturinos pass through the detector, one neutrino will eventually interact with a water molecule, producing Cherenkov radiation (an optical equivalent of a sonic boom) and the event will be captured by the photomultipler tubes.

The info page gives us one of the first results of the Mailstrom experiment. It shows how easily someone from the resistance can be turned into the authorities. All it takes is one person wanting some money to get out of a shelter and to feed their two children. §

So now we just have to keep a lookout for more Wreckage/shard combos. Luckily for us, there have been a bunch of buttons being passed out at the listening parties. On the edges of these buttons, there is some writing giving us either a Wreckage or a Shard. Then it's just a matter of pairing up the correct buttons to find a working login to the Mailstrom. Because of the number of pairs we have, I'm putting the contents of the Mailstrom shards on this page and just listing what they are here.
  • gasoline / UUu891 - A mother tries to get permission to see her daughter, despite her 'childrearing score' being too low.

  • tumbrel / ad44us - Spam promising to help you become more patriotic (or enable you to become more elusive).

  • wretched / Ypq2QQ - 'Confession' from a soldier who killed a young boy in Post Iran. This email is notable for several reasons. One: he seems to have taken some of the same pills as Angry Sniper. Two: these pills were probably manufactured by Cedocore (difficulty in swallowing is a side effect of Ampropax). Three: Besides LA and Anaheim, Detroit, New Orleans and St. Louis have all been abandoned (although we don't know why).

  • fratricide / 774HZx - A setup of what appears to be a Resistance meeting.

  • wetwork / c276e4 - Tips on how to avoid Parepin in the water.

  • bitter / BGtg57 - Spam to join the hunt to kill the last Black Bear. The lynx, snow leopoard and orangutan have already been hunted into extinction.

  • atropine / gH319x - Spam to have Spring Break in Green Bay (since Miami is flooded and everything down south is too hot).

  • corrida / MKs742 - Non-Christian religious interpration of the coming of The Presence.

  • slander / Yr4893 - 8th grade Social Studies homework assignment to discuss a Chinese boy who died after playing an MMORPG for five days straight.

  • flense / E5PPvv - A girl feels guilty about turning an ex-boyfriend in as an anarchist and tries to commit suicide.

  • pliers / Ji3p09 - A Presa Canario mauls a young girl to death. The Humane Society wants people to know it's because the Government handlers abuse the dogs.

  • venom / D3i8Na - A rather cryptic email that may or may not be talking about human organ smuggling. Or just human smuggling. It's hard to tell.

  • sickle / Nnqa49 - Male enhancement spam. If you respond back saying you're interested, you'll get a response saying that the company has been shutdown due to litgation. There is a hidden message in the spam regarding nerochips, and if you email the company asking about that, you get a message from Willie's wife telling you that Willie's in prison and that she is left with nothing.

  • widow / vC99iT - A message from a potential suicide bomber to a Vox News employee.

  • needle / jP411R - Spam advertising Belize citizenship for only $50,000.

  • infarction / 6k961g - Book order for Healthy Sexuality and Birth Control Methods. You can order similar books if you produce proof of marriage before ordering.

There are still several unpaired Wreckages and Shards left even though all of the official Listening Parities have finished. Hopefully we'll get the missing information sometime in the future.
  • cleansing
  • regret
  • spore
  • blE34c or b1E34c or biE34c
  • I682fg or L682fg or 1682fg
  • tP366K
  • 3Mz3tU
A Brief History
A PDF of the Survivalism single insert was uploaded onto the Yero Zero page. It contains some shots from the video as well as the lyrics. In the second chorus, it was noted that the word 'revisionism' was a hotlink back to However, there was nothing updated at the page when you clicked the link. It was then discovered that there was a new page revisionism.htm that showed a timeline to Year Zero from the government's perspective.

But that's not all. Over on the left side of the page, there was a screen of sorts that you could drag over to the right. It's an overlay that seems to be a Resistance viewpoint of Year Zero, but since every other line is missing, it's really hard to read. When you drag it all the way over to the right though, the top portion turns pink, indicating another screen becomes available. Pulling this screen down will allow you to match up the two screens so the alternate viewpoint becomes readable.

Naturally the two depecict the events in constrasting ways. The Government version is all sunshine and lollipops while the Resistance version is doom and gloom. Reading between the lines, it's certainly not what I would call a lovely place to live. Between this and all the Mailstrom shards we've uncovered, I really want to take that spam offer up and move to Belize. §
We're All Un-American
It seems that the Government doesn't like you emailing subversive people. Everyone who emailed (and possibly others) got an email from The Bureau of Morality. §

Well, I do appreciate their concern for my moral well being. I even appreciate more the fact that they have given me a new website to go look at. Not to mention the lovely number (24.5.3) that's in the body of the email.

You can protest the accusations of being a traitor, but it doesn't do any good. Just by viewing the sites you are deemed a threat to the entire nation. Might as well keep looking then. §
The Price of Treason
I think all the government websites scare me more than the bleak pictures the Resistance sites try to conjure. I think it's the justifications they come up with for why things have to be this way. The examples they give as treasonous here are awful. Pretty much at any time, any citizen could be arrested as a traitor for the smallest of reasons. No wonder people are so afraid of their government that they start blowing up baseball games. §

By the way, there is (in my mind at least) contradictory evidence about newspapers in Year Zero. During the Slanksi interview, Detective Slanksi makes the comment "They used to print the Star out of there, back when there were newspapers." And the Price of Treason also says "a reporter for the now-defunct Washington Post", but it's unclear if the newspaper just folded or if it was shut down by the government (ala Abraham Lincoln). However, in the police report for John of Boston's arrest it specifically says "Television and newspapers were present." Are there government run newspapers? Are there still freely run newspapers that defy governmental shut down? Do magazines fall under this category? Is there any sort of explanation that will make sense to me?

Moving on, this site gives us a new number (but then, don't all of them?): 24.5.1 and a new website:
Open Source Resistance
This is a very different site than what we are used to. Sure it has a number (24.5.2), but it doesn't have any weird background, no doubled text, and if you read carefully - it appears to be based in our current timeline. Very, very strange. Maybe this is how we can influence the future - by getting the word out through Open Source Resistance so that all the nightmare scenarios don't come to pass. §
Opal and the Government
In the German version of the Survivalism single, there were several letters highlighted: R S W T B. On the spine of the cd cover was a sort of barcode. If you count the numbers of bars in each group, you get 3 5 4 15 3 15 18 5. Translating these into letters, you get C E D O C O R E. Taking the highlighted letters as a page name, we find

This new page confirms a rumor that we've been hearing since almost the beginning: that the Government is behind Opal. It's manufactured by Cedocore (big surprise) and there is a whole justification as to why Opal should be considered an illegal drug vs an OTC drug, mostly dealing with money. The more we find out about the Government of 0000, the more frightening it becomes. §
Spore, Belladonna, Necrotic, Cleaver and Parasite
We now have all of the shards paired since the guys over at ETS decided to do a dictionary attack on the Mailstrom servers. I wonder just how badly they got pounded. I don't care how much you think you need a particular piece of information - automated attacks on game servers are not the way to go. It runs up bandwidth and totally skews server logs, possibly creating all sorts of problems down the road. If the rumors are to be believed, this is going to go on for another 18 months. Is it really inconceivable that we wouldn't get the hints we needed to find the missing wreckages in all this time? Have any of the uncovered emails we've found actually done anything other than provide just background info? I'm thinking "no" to both.

Sadly, there are still two wreckages left (cleansing and regret) but I do not know if the ETS people are going to continue their attack on the server for these two pieces or not. Hopefully if they are, the PMs can find a way to leak us the missing shards so that people can go back to not brute forcing stuff.
  • spore / pQw2pP - Health insurance company will not cover medical conditions caused by environmental toxicity because it is 'an act of God'.

  • belladonna / 3Mz3tU - Email exchange between a father and daughter after school. Things start to go wrong when two unknown people show up at the door.
  • necrotic / blE34c - A guy dumps his girlfriend to protect her from anything stupid he might be about to do.
  • cleaver / I682fg - The Presence shows up at the Daytona 500 and causes a pileup (which in turns causes a fan to be decapitated by a flying tire).
  • parasite / tP366k - A girl gets a henna tattoo before her prom. Her father, thinking it's an 'A-rab' symbol, makes her remove it. Her life is therefore ruined.
Listen to Year Zero
Instead of just leaking tracks one at a time, the entire album is now available to listen to via streaming audio on the Year Zero site. So far, there has been nothing of ARG value found in the flash player, but it has convinced me to go and buy the CD when it comes out.
Be An Informer!
Well, it seems that someone at least has a copy of Year Zero. According to the posts at ETS, there was an auction (that has since been closed) for a copy of Year Zero. The pictures provided show a different cover than the one we've been told about. On the back of the cd though is a sticker from the US Bureau of Morality. §

Of course, if you see a phone number in an ARG, you just have to call it. When it was first discovered, there was no outgoing message (although you could leave one). This was updated fairly quickly to a message from the United States Bureau of Morality. §

I love how becoming an informer turns you into a subversive. They don't even pretend like you are helping in the voice mail message. The only thing I can't figure out - they said that they would activate the tracking system embedded in our personal media. Do they mean the cd or the cd player? Because if it's the cd, it's like Opal all over again: creating illegal items for the public for the sole purpose making money and weeding out subversive individuals. Although, if everyone is a subversive and is dealt with, I don't know how they will generate any more money.
Grace the Teacher
In the streaming Year Zero album, someone noticed that in the middle of 'Another Version of the Truth' there was some morse code (from 3:33 to 3:55). After mashing together a couple partial decodes, we found a new website:

Grace the Teacher is a journal by who is forced to live in the country with his Grandfather after his father loses his leg in an accident and his mother gets laid off. The only payment the Grandfather wants in return is for his grandson to write in his journal once every three days. He was hoping his grandson would learn something. He did - just not enough to want to stay in his new found life. §
Exterminal & Free Rebel Art
Just when everyone was bitching that the game had stalled because we hadn't gotten any more wreckages/shards (and thus had to go and brute force them) all of a sudden we get a windfall of sites - sorta. We might have jumped the gun a bit.

Memorathoner, the guy that found the advance copy of Year Zero on an auction, actually won the auction and received the cd in the mail. He took a series of photographs, showing the real back cover, the inside flaps and the cd. Note the color of the CD.

When memorathoner ejected the cd from his player, the black color faded away, leaving some binary writing on the cd itself. § Running it through a binary translator, we get Sadly, at the moment, the site isn't live. It just says "Pilgrim Stream: 24.7 Data in transit". We probably weren't supposed to find the site yet and this is just a stopgap measure. I wonder how long it takes to send information back from the future.

On the booklet for Year Zero, there was another website listed: Like Exterminal, this is also an in transit site. So now I guess we wait until the album is released (unless someone can find something else in the stream or Garageband files).
Red Horse Vector
I really am surprised the amount of hidden clues in the Year Zero album. I'm just not surprised that the people at ETS are trying to squeeze them out even before the album has officially been released.

In 'The Great Destroyer,' someone noticed that there was a distorted voice around 2:24 that was coming out of the center channel. After isolating and filtering it a bit, we eventually got this. A million listens later, and it is eventually discovered that this says 'Red Horse Vector' leading to

This site gives us a Top Secret memo about the Red Horse virus - the virus that killed the diplomat Jed Mather and the cause of the Star Chamber incident. It's an ebola type virus, but it can withstand climate changes better, making it more dangerous. Infected persons also develop a homicidal psychosis becoming extremely violent before dying (usually within 45 minutes). §

So, now we know partially what happened at the Star Chamber - it was contaminated by the Red Horse virus. But was it a terrorist attack? Or was it a US Government test case? Seems like terrorists would strike a bigger target than an underground rave in Cleveland. As for the Agent with the coppery tears - we still don't know for sure if she was contaminated by the Red Horse, or if she was innoculated against it. The memo talks about a vaccine for the virus, but it has "several symptoms that be countered without diminishing the efficacy of the vaccine" which could mean one of the side effects is crying orange tears.

It's interesting to note the conclusion the memo has. For one, it wants to keep the public dark about the Red Horse virus. The current vaccines are only going to be available to the highest people in the government, corporate and religious sectors. I'm guessing this means that Parepin isn't magic bulletproof vest it's claimed to be if they need an additional vaccine on top of it.
Stab! Stab! Stab! As I'm sitting here getting up the energy to write up last week's updates, I see this in one of the chat channels: "Is this <insert game name here> thing new enough that I can get in on it?" No, I'm sorry, if you didn't get a personal invitiation in the form of a package in the mail on the day that everyone else got one, you aren't invited to play. Nevermind the fact that only 6 people by this definition are allowed to play, or that this very fraking guide proves that you can jump in seriously late to a game and still enjoy it - coming in late and uninvited to a game is a serious faux pas! Seriously, this whole thing about expecting personal invitations and the idea that you must play a game from the beginning has seriously gotten on my nerves.

So, the updates. If you signed up to the OSR Mailing List, you got a nice little email telling you about the latest submissions and an alert that they will be holding an event of sorts in LA. § Several people went out to Melrose and Ogden to check out what was there. What they found was a new mural. Along with slogans like '54 40 or Fight' (referring to expansionists wanting to take the Oregon Territory by force from the UK if necessary) and 'DFNDNG AMRKA' (not sure what the artist has against Es and Is), there is also the phrase 'One Country at a Time', which leads to a new website:

Before we get to that though, let's talk about the meet on Friday. I was lucky enough to hook up and exchange phone calls with astralpunch, who was going to the event with her boyfriend. Between 50-100 people showed up at Melrose and Ogden where they were given different colored buttons (grey and yellow) by none other than Steve Peters. Then they were directed across the street to where the van was waiting for them. After forming an orderly queue, they received an ammo box that contained 10 Flyers, 10 Buttons, 1 Marker, 1 Hat, 1 Bandana, 1 Patch, 4 Stickers, and 1 Stencil. Pretty nifty, huh?

As it turns out, some of the boxes were even niftier. If you had a yellow button, you got a different box that had a red cell phone and a set of instructions in it. § Lucky bastards. The next day, calls started going out to verify the people that had the phones understood the instructions and that they and anyone they were going to bring to the event was over 18. Now we just have to wait until Wednesday to find out what is going to happen.
One Country at a Time
One Country at a Time, the site from the LA mural, is a combination of a diary and a comic book. The diary is from a resistance artist living in Texas. He tells about how he received an email from a soldier in Syria - a soldier who has connections to his father who is currently serving in the military. The whole thing is really quite sad and it sheds a rather unpleasant light on those who serve in the military and how they tend to cope with things. §
Regret and Hubris
With all the buttons being handed out at the LA event, we some new wreckage/shard combos. See - no need to be brute forcing if you just have a little fraking patience!
  • regret / Ad54S7 - An often forwarded email from an Lebanese farmer who just wants to sell olive oil.
  • hubris / 39tpLe - A Marine tries to explain his reasons for fighting to his girlfriend.
So today is the day! Year Zero has been released in stores in the US and so now we can 'officially' find the new sites. In case you have forgotten, Exterminal was found from decoding the binary after the Year Zero cd was heated up to reveal hidden letters.

This site contains files from the Extrajudiciary Federal Detainment Camp on Guam. It's where they send dissidients, subversives, and terrorists so that the general public will be safe. It's bascially a Concentration Camp. You may check in, but you won't check out. After all, US taxpayers have better things to spend their money on than keeping you alive. §
As you went through all the files on Exterminal, you will have noticed that the Classified Inmate Exhibit A was actually a copy of 'Capital G' and that the Exterminal people believe that there is a hidden message inside of it. Hmm, sounds interesting. So our first order of business is to compare Exhibit A and Capital G to what sort of differences there are. At first glance, they look very similiar. But if you really zoom in on the wave form, you can see that Exhibit A is actually an inverse of Capital G. If we were able to perfectly line then up, they should cancel out each other perfectly - that is unless there was a hidden message in Exhibit A somehow.

The tricky part to this is to make sure that the wavs are lined up absolutely correctly. If they are off by the tiniest amount, you'll get some sound. Here are the steps you need to take:
  1. Open up Exhibit A in Audacity.
  2. On the menubar, go to Tracks > Add New > Stereo Track. This will bring up an empty stereo track file below Exhibit A.
  3. Open up your Capital G wav ripped from your Year Zero cd.
  4. Do a Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C to copy the entire Capital G track.
  5. Go back over to your Exhibit A window and do a Ctrl-V to paste the Capital G track into that blank stereo track you opened previously.
  6. Now, if the ferret gods are smiling down upon you, when you hit the Play button, you will hear nothing but absolute silence. But chances are, you'll hear a sort of tinny version of Capital G coming through your speakers. Now things get a bit tricky.
  7. You need to zoom in on one section of the tracks to make sure they are absolutely lined up. It doesn't really matter where, just as long as it's before the 50 second mark. I chose to zoom in on the very beginning of the file. You're going to have to zoom in a long ways to finally see that the files are not lined up correctly.
  8. If necessary, temporarily invert one track or the other to better visualize where the two tracks line up. Just don't forget to reverse it after you're lined up.
  9. Trim the excess space. If you push play and you hear nothing, you've done it correctly. Otherwise reverify how the tracks lineup and retrim.
  10. Alternatively, you can just use these two tracks (aclip & gclip), load them into Audacity and play them together.
The end result, if everything is done correctly, is Trent's voice saying "Wreckage is Pain" around the 53 second mark. I guess that's meant for the Mailstrom, but we don't have a shard. Maybe we don't need one. What happens when we just put 'Pain' in without a shard? Alas, no new file, but we do get an error message "tHere is no daTa associateD with thaT wreckage/shard combiNation. please try agAin." Very strange capitalization, a kloo? Could 'HTDTNA' be the shard? Yep!
  • pain / HTDTNA - An email conversation between a BOM employee and the owner of Another Version of the Truth. It seems that the AVOOT webmaster was scheduled to go to Exterminal, but if he spreads some information gathered by the now ex-BOM guy, the BOM guy will erase the crimes against AVOOT. That's pretty nice.
Year Zero Shards
While we're on the subject, let's discuss the wreckage/shard combinations that were found in the Year Zero booklet and case.

The Red Letters
The first puzzle is the red letter puzzle. If you look very, very carefully at the lyrics, you can see that certain letters are written in red. It might help to have a good light source and a magnifying glass to see these letters, since sometimes the red coloring is very subtle. The puzzle requires us to find all of these stupid little red letters. If you don't want to strain your eyes, you can view a text version of the booklet that I have gone through and highlighted all the stupid letters.

After you find all the letters, you'll notice that most of the time they spell out two letters. A couple of times you'll get a number/letter combo and there are some numerals thrown in just to keep things interesting. § The pairs form a hex string, and if you run it through a hex decoder, you get a wreckage/shard combo: W:usurp S:397W4P

The Numbers
Hidden in the static on most of the pages are white numbers. This forms a telephone pad code. For each number, trace the pattern out on a standard telephone pad. § All together it gives a new wreckage/shard: W:flood S:LHL7P3

The Gun
Not really a puzzle per se, but it does require some close looking (again, get a magnifying glass). If you turn the packaging upside down and look along the barrel of the gun, you can see some very small white lettering: W:scorpion S:4rTL21
So the email from AVOTT to the BOM employee has a link:

This is the start of a puzzle trail made by Bianca (our friendly neighborhood BOM employee) and it contains some startling revelations about what kind of things she does for her job. Well, maybe not so startling if you are a conspiracy theorist. §

Wow. This is why you shouldn't try to kill your employees. Eventually one of them is going to burn you. The Star Chamber incident is coming frightenly into focus. Bianca is the Agent that ordered the lockdown and who Slanksi saw. She is the one that officially told the police to lock down the Star Chamber so that no one could escape. But, she quickly figures out that she wasn't the first one to give that order. By the time she analyized the first phone call, logic (and real life) dictates that someone would have left the club, either to get away from the madman or to get away from the authorities that you know will show up at any second. But since the outbreak doesn't spread, it means that no one infected got out of the building. No one infected could get out of the building. And since it only takes a few seconds for patrons of an underground club to bolt, you would have to make sure they were secured before released a contaminated homicidal maniac.

Of course, this brings up that question again - why would terrorists target an underground rave? The answer is they wouldn't. It was a US Government target from the very beginning. And that of course has its own implications. If the government can kill its own citizens using such horrific means, what else are they capable of? Are they capable of even worse atrocities to further their own agendas?

Unfortunately for Bianca, even thinking such things is against the rules and trying to discover information that would confirm such ideas is fatal. One too many questions, one too many snooping expeditions and Bianca finds there is a termination order with her name on it - signed by the friendly office janitor, Dwayne. Dwayne who really works for Internal Affairs and who uses a 20 sided die to keep his actions random so that people can't use his habits against him. I'm also sure that Dwyane is the type of guy who loves puzzle trails. The kind of guy who would sit down at the desk of a MIA coworker, find the start of something and follow the path until the end. Even if it killed him.

So now Bianca is on the run with a three month supply of Copper to keep her alive. I wonder if they were telling the truth about withdrawl being fatal or if it was a scare tactic to keep operatives in line. I wonder if Bianca will last long enough to find out since you know they are going to be gunning for her. Not only has she blown up their IA officer, but she's also released her knowledge of the Star Chamber incident to the world. Someone is bound to be upset by that.

The one thing I'm not entirely clear on are her questions about Gus and the discovery of the bleach smelling gloves. Gus states that he no longer works for The Office, but wanted her to do a job a day before the Star Chamber. Is he a freelancer now or is he working for a different branch? Was the job he wanted her to do the release of Red Horse into the Star Chamber? If he is a freelancer, what is he doing about the Copper withdrawl? Could coming off the Copper make you transmit Red Horse? Could Dwayne have taken Gus to the Star Chamber and let him loose just as he became contagious? Were the bleached latex gloves used to protect against accidental skin-contact with a Red Horse agent? Or could Gus have been killed in the dungeon, the area cleaned up with bleach and his mutated Copper/Red Horse contaiminated blood used to infect some poor sap who was then thrust into the Star Chamber?
I'm in such a mood tonight. First some software that I bought earlier this month (that relies on an online database) has suddenly gone dark due to a legal dispute. Then when I decided to relax online, I see a newcomer come into chat talking about how they were turned off from Year Zero because someone on Something Awful posted a 'walkthrough' of the game and that the walkthrough ruined the game for them. ?!?!?! What the blue bloody fuck? Ruined the game for you?

First of all, no one is forcing you to read a walkthrough post. It's not like the information is compressed into 2 sentences where if you read it, you find out that Rosebud is a sled, Darth Vader is Luke's father and that Dumbledore and Wash both die all at once. If you are the type of person who would rather spend weeks reading through every single post on all 17 pages of Echoing the Sound fourm, no one is stopping you. I'm not even that crazy and I'm writing this guide and thus I'm supposed to know what's going on - but seeing as there are almost 8500 posts in just the initial thread on EtS, I'd be crazy to think I could get through them all. A girl can only take so much trout before she goes insane.

Second, it's hardly a 'walkthrough' post. More like an outline. Yes, it lists all the websites that have been found, but then again, if they weren't all fucking listed, the person who detests ARG walkthroughs wouldn't have found half of them to begin with anyway. Just the Mailstrom pieces alone require outside assistance to get.

I'm beginning to think that these people don't understand that the core idea of ARGs is not the game or proving how smart you are. It's the community. You can't do these things without relying on the community. You just can't. You could be Einstein, daVinci and Hawking all rolled into one and you still couldn't get to half of the stuff in this ARG simply because of the way the clues are spread out. What happens to No Walkthough Person when they fall behind a day or two on the ARG they do decide to play? Will they be offended that people continued posting about game dates without them and that the game wasn't put on pause?

This whole 'I'm not playing a game unless it's right at the beginning' is becoming an epidemic. I'd write a post about it on UF, but considering how well my last post on this sort of subject has been read (that is, not at all) I don't think I'll bother. Of course, just with the nature of how these people operate, it's not like I'll see that much of anyone one person commenting about how they wish they could start a game from the beginning. If they were actually around they'd see games starting all the time. It just sucks that with Year Zero and BAST getting so much press (both in and out of the community) that there is a huge influx of people who keep spouting the same lines. With any luck, it will quiet down in the next few months.

And now luckily my torrent of 'Daleks in Manhatten' is done so I can watch that and cheer myself up. I so adore Dr. Who. *sigh* Not the best episode I've seen. In fact, I put it right above 'Fear Her'. Just as it was getting good, it ended. Maybe next weeks will be better, although I am going to miss Dalek Sek. I'm also going to have to rewatch 'Doomsday' because right now I can only remember Sek escaping. On the bright side, I did get my money refunded for the program I bought this month. Huzzah on that.
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