Mine Manhunt

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PERPLEX CITY, SEASON ONE
The search for the Receda Cube on Earth


General

  • The following depicts the event that took place on 5/21/2006. The event revolved around Kurt attempting to follow and corner Miranda within the Silburn-Griggs Mines. Hence the name "Mine Manhunt".
  • On 21-MAY-06 Kurt gave a call out for volunteers to assist him while he was in the Silburn-Griggs Mines. link
  • Selected volunteers were to become moderators in a specialized chat created by Kurt for the purpose of advising him through the mines.
  • Kurt had set up his key to transcribe what he said into a specialized chatroom that everyone could observe.
  • The moderators would be the only ones able to speak to Kurt. Participants could speak and offer suggestions in a different channel and the moderators would filter and relay the advice to Kurt.
  • The selected moderators were: LHall, Duckiemonster, Juxta, Cassandra, Ollie, Six, Zaiel, and Mima.
  • At 3:09 PM BST, Cube Hunters received the following text message on their mobiles:
"Miranda is ahead of me, about to enter the Silburn-Griggs mine. I will be there in around an hour - and will need your help then. Check out www.tpolt.com"
  • At 4:01 PM BST, Kurt placed a link to a "Key Communication Access" site that allowed users to access the channels #kurtmod and #kurtchat. A short time after, Ollie opened up #kurtsuggest for those who were fed up with spamming within #kurtchat. However, the moderators were unable to watch four channels at once and eventually focused solely on #kurtchat and #kurtmod.
  • Kurt would enter the mine several minutes later in an attempt to find Miranda

The Puzzles

The inside of the mine contained many puzzles, placed by apparently bored miners. Furthermore, rockfalls and other hazards made the mine extremely dangerous.

The Lift Puzzle

  • Kurt entered the very dark mine. The front was boarded up but provided little obstacle for Kurt to break down. He mentioned to us that he had his key had a light but it is not very good. He was able to locate a power switch which turned on the lights. An empty lift was located however none of the buttons worked.
  • This moment marked the first puzzle found in the mine. The power button for the lift only activated when its corresponding power button was pressed on an opposing wall.
  • The Cube Hunters advised using his foot or a board to press both buttons at the same time. The attempt with the foot was rubbish and so Kurt retrieved a board.
  • At this point, it should be noted that Kurt's key started having connection problems. He reset the system. Upon reconnect, there was a great deal of confusion among the chat as the voice protocols and been disabled and the first person to enter had been given control of the room. Eventually, order was restored and Kurt had returned with the board.
  • The board was placed on one button while Kurt pressed the other, thus simulating that there were 2 people pressing the lift buttons. Success!
Picture of the Lift Panel uploaded by Kurt
  • At this point, Kurt uploaded a picture of the lift panel for us to see. Those who were using the java client automatically had it displayed. Those who were not, had to resort to viewing an additional window (created especially for those with their own irc clients) to view the uploaded pictures.
  • Random pressing of the lift panel buttons just led to "metallic clunkings" (Kurt).
  • Cube Hunters were quick to relate the initials of the lower half of the buttons with the names given in the poem. Thus, the correct order to press the buttons was "MS CG CD BG JH". With the lift elevator moving, Kurt moved down to level 1.
  • However, each level was blocked off with a blast door. Having no other place to go, the Cube Hunters directed Kurt back to level 1. They instructed him to crawl out of the lift elevator into a service duct which would drop him outside of the lift onto level 1. Despite some grumbling, Kurt followed these directions and ended up on level 1.

The Donkey Puzzle

Picture of the Shaft Floorplan uploaded by Kurt
  • Once on level 1, Cube Hunters directed Kurt to a mysteriouos D/S that had been the center of many a speculation. It turned out that D/S stood for D/5 and that the room was an empty cross-corridor that had been stripped of equipment. Hitting a dead end, Kurt turned back. At this point, Kurt uploaded a picture of the floorplan that he had seen in the mine.
  • However, upon heading back to the lift shaft, Kurt found an electronic switch box that opened all the blast doors. Now Kurt could travel unrestricted between levels.
  • Cube Hunters directed Kurt to find a Control type room that was mentioned on the website. Suggestions included CR on level 1 (Control Room?), CC on level 2 (Control Center?), and OP (Operations Post) on level 3. CR turned out to stand for Common Room. However, CC yielded the Control Center. The room was locked with an electronic alphanumeric numberpad lock. This lock was too old for Kurt's key to open it.
Picture of the Donkey Puzzle uploaded by Kurt
  • Nearby, Kurt found a picture on the wall of a badly drawn yellow donkey, which was uploaded to the Cube Hunters.
  • While people printed the picture to try and rearrange it, others offered suggestions of passwords that referenced Mythology and the Golden Hinde. Other suggested passwords included the l33t sp34k version of donkey (d0nk3y). Eventually, the user Cabbage "found a puzzle - a little white horse hidden inside an ass". link
  • After some explanation, fellow participants (and Kurt) realized that moving the pieces of the donkey around created a picture of a white horse.
  • Horse ended up being the code that opened the Control Center.
  • The Control Center was empty and filled with dust. Booting up an active console, Kurt gained access to the mine systems. The electrical output showed a significant amount of electrical activity in the southmost portion of level 1. Kurt chose to head there.
  • Unfortunately, levels 1 through 3 had been blocked by (what seemed to be recent) rockslide.
  • Kurt headed to level 4, which seemed "rougher ... newer" than the other levels. At this point, the lights decided to turn off, plunging Kurt into darkness.

The Morse Code Puzzle

  • At this point, Kurt heard an alarm type sound coming from "a direction", which he uploaded for us. The sound seemed to be a series of alternating beeps, similar to Morse Code.
  • Upon examination, Kurt said that it came from two directions.
  • Cube Hunters quickly separated the sounds into two morse audio clips. One direction said "POWER", the other said "DEADEND". Kurt chose to follow in the direction of POWER.
  • Participants speculated as to whether the alarm was automated or set off by Miranda. Kurt speculated it to be automated due to power failure.
  • Walking down the route towards POWER, Kurt found a junction box.

The Junction Box Puzzle

Picture of the Junction Box Puzzle uploaded by Kurt
  • The Junction Box appeared to be a series of labeled levers with some corresponding lights.
  • Flipping Lever D resulted in the big light flickering green and then the lever and the light returning to their original positions.
  • As participants speculated to what the symbols around Lever A corresponded to (levels, Vents, Service, water with B, C, and D referring to locations?) Kurt stated that he was beginning to feel the air becoming stuffy. His key did not show an increase in gas levels and so he speculated that the vents had been shut off.
  • Moving Lever A to the V position results in no change and then the lever flipping back to its original position.
  • Moving Lever D slowly resulted in the corresponding big light turning orange halfway around the corner.
  • Moving Lever D to the orange position and then toggling Lever C (now identified by Kurt as a circuitbreaker) resulted in Lever D remaining flipped and the big light turned on.
  • Kurt speculated that Lever A was for specific systems (Vents, Lights, and Water. Everyone was still unsure of what S stood for).
  • Flipping Lever A to a position while Lever B was flipped resulted in a system being turned on. Thus, Kurt systematically turned on the vents, lights, and water systems. The "S" system seemed busted. Kurt and the participants speculated that it represented a busted security system (there were security cameras around).
  • Continuing down the leve, Kurt discovered another rockfall but was able to squeeze through.
  • Heeding warnings of a mysterious CH area ahead that was depicted on the map (speculated to be Chemical Hazards), Kurt found a locker room. Unfortunately it was locked. Rats.

The Plaque Puzzle

Picture of the Plaque Puzzle uploaded by Kurt
  • The locker room was locked by a similar numeric pad as to the Control Center.
  • However, there was a warning that a failed password would lock down the system for an hour, which was time that Kurt could not waste.
  • Looking around, Kurt found a plaque which he uploaded.
  • Kurt mentioned that the plaque seemd to be something he had recently seen before, except more complex.
  • Cube Hunters attempted to correlate the image to previously seen maps, mainly the above-ground and the under-ground railways.
  • The user Cassandra discovered that the plaque relatively corresponded to the Perplex City Rail System. The dots with circles around them corresponded to the towns Wooster, Elmness, Stone Mills, and Treachery. The intials spelled out "WEST".
  • Kurt agrees that the plaque looks similar to the railway, albeit with more dots. He speculates that those locations had been closed down.
  • The password WEST opens up the locker room.

The Protective Suit Puzzle

Picture of the Suits uploaded by Kurt
  • Inside the locker room were suits and other safety equipment.
  • Kurt uploaded a picture of the suits which were colored red, blue, green, and yellow.
  • Remembering the song, Cube Hunters recommended wearing the yellow outfit.
  • The reasoning was that in the song, those who wore other colors died due to various causes. Yellow seemed to be the suit that protected the wearer from the most dangers.
  • On the safety doors, Kurt found dials stating O2: 12.9 %, CO2: 9.1%, and R: 7 mR/hr.
  • O2 represented Oxygen, CO2 represented Carbon Dioxide, and R represnted millirads per hour (radiation).
  • The radiation level corresponded to the level of a chest x-ray.
  • After putting on the yellow suit and corresponding equipment, Kurt took a spanner stepped through the airlock. His key registered high CO2 levels but he was protected by the suit.

The Dead-End Shaft

  • At this point, Kurt was inside the second shaft in a high CO2 area.
  • A drop depicted in the map was covered by a grating. There seemed to be water at the bottom. A stone tossed down the grate showed that the drop was pretty long.
  • There is no lift, nor signs of a lift. There isn't a ladder either, however there are markers that possibly signified a ladder that had been removed.
  • The walls were too smooth to climb upwards.
  • Eventually, the Cube Hunters decide the only direction to go is up and the only way to travel was by flooding the shaft. After a lot of discussion (and stalling) by everyone as to how to go about taking such actions, Kurt opened a valve for some water pipes that led into the grate.
  • The water level rose and Kurt was carried up, only to discover that the level 3 exit had been fused shut.
  • All of the other levels were also found to be fused shut as the (now exceedingly cold) Kurt floated higher and higher.
  • An interesting sidenote would be that there were calls for Kurt to get naked. Kurt's response was "Shut the hell up. That's not very funny".
  • The South entrance at level 1 had a grate but Kurt couldn't budge it in time before he was carried upwards. At this point, many wondered how this could have happened. It was speculated that the water would flow through the gate into the third shaft which would reduce the rate at which the water flowed up (at least until the third shaft was filled). Thus Kurt would have a lot more time than he described to remove the grate.
  • At the top of the shaft, Kurt found a door to the south. This door sealed the next room from the water in the shaft.
  • The room contained a heater and seemed to be a service shaft. It also contained tools. Noting the map, the chat suggested that Kurt drill his way into the room below. After a quick rest, Kurt proceeded to do so.
  • Kurt dropped through the hole into the next room.

The Encounter with Miranda

  • The walls of the room seemed to be metallic which also affected Kurt's transmission. Some words appeared as <????> as it seemed that Kurt's key was unable to translate or transmit the word due to intereference from the walls.
(19:01:29) Kurt: Walls are metal <????> transmission might be <????> so good

(19:01:47) Six: you're braking up a bit it seems Kurt

(19:01:58) Six: we're loosing words

(19:02:11) Kurt: I'm <????> key is doing transcription but might <????> interrupted

(19:02:23) Kurt: Going further in

(19:02:44) Kurt: Another door

  • At this point, communication began to break down between the moderators and Kurt. He was mostly distracted by other things going on and the need to be silent and thus there wasn't much dialogue besides Kurt's narration. Eventually, the moderators choose to just watch.
(19:02:57) Kurt: <????> some activity

(19:03:04) duckiemonster: ? some activity

(19:03:09) Ollie: Repeat, please

(19:03:20) Kurt: Can hear something

(19:03:29) duckiemonster: Voices?

(19:03:31) Kurt: Someone has <????> cam

(19:03:48) duckiemonster: Say again, Kurt.

(19:03:49) Kurt: Moving further in, another door

(19:04:06) Kurt: Going in... <????> someone there

  • About now, Kurt begins uploading pictures. The chat speculates that these images are coming from a security camera within the room that Kurt is approaching. The pictures are thermal images. The first one shows a picture of a what seems to be a person bending over something.
(19:06:30) Kurt: Miranda<????>

(19:06:41) Mima: Could be

(19:06:42) Ollie: She stood up

(19:06:52) Mima: There is a second person

(19:07:04) Mima: To the left of the room

  • The chat assumes (correctly) that this person is Kurt.
(19:07:09) duckiemonster: Careful, Kurt.

(19:07:15) Kurt: <SECOND VOICE ACTIVE...CALIBRATING>

  • Right here, it seems as if Kurt's key recognized a second voice and calibrated itself to display text. hereafter, the 1 represents Kurt while the 2 represents Miranda.

Miranda Appears

(19:07:15) Kurt: 2 You're looking well. Shame. I liked the stick.

(19:07:29) Kurt: 1 You must be tired/tyred<????>.

(19:07:45) Kurt: 2 Not too bad. I've just taken my tablets. Sharp as a knife now.

  • The chat guesses that the tablets are Oxxypro tablets. Some speculate that perhaps they are Ceretin based upon the "Sharp as a knife" comment. Note that Kurt's key is still having trouble making out words.
(19:08:02) Kurt: 1 It's a long way to come for a place<????> like this.

(19:08:18) Kurt: 2 It's quiet/quite<????>... secluded... You didn't have to come.

(19:08:30) Kurt: 1 You knew/new<????> I would.

(19:08:39) Kurt: 2 I told you not to/too<????>.

(19:08:52) Kurt: 1 I tend not to do what I'm told. I had to see you/CU<????>... I had to find out why you/YU<????> - why you/YU<????> would kill. Symbol is tea<????5%>. Or me.

  • Symbol is tea probably means Cymbalisty. Thus, Kurt seems to be saying "I had to find out why you would kill Cymbalisty. Or me."
(19:09:08) Kurt: 2 I never tried to hurt you. They wanted me to, but I wouldn't. Your key warned you about the gas, right? And in the pharmacy?<????> I could have taken you out if I'd wanted.

(19:09:20) Kurt: 1 So what stopped you?

(19:09:29) Kurt: 2 What stopped you turning me in?

(19:09:42) Kurt: 1 ...Well, the police... leap to conclusions<????>. If you tell me why you did this I can help make your case. I have friends there.

(19:09:55) Kurt: 2 Kurt/curt<????> ... noble Kurt... there are other ways round this. We don't need the police in the middle, coming between us... This assignment/sign meant<????> ... it wasn't regulation for me, you know. With you... I had fun. More than I deserved. You're smart. And cute - even without the stick. I didn't have to fake things.

(19:10:09) Kurt: 1 How am I supposed to believe that? I can't believe a word you -<inc????>

(19:10:17) Kurt: 2 Kurt -<inc????>

(19:10:25) Kurt: 1 No, I'm not falling for any of -<inc????>

(19:10:38) Kurt: 2 It's not too late. We can still help each other.

(19:10:46) Kurt: 1 I don't need your help!

  • During this dialogue, Kurt and Miranda have been circling each other (according to the thermal images).

Minor Anagnorisis

(19:10:59) Kurt: 2 No, Kurt, listen to me. Listen. We need each other. Do you think we're alone up here? I've called in my position. There are agents on their way to pick me up, right now. If I explain... you could find them very welcoming.

(19:11:05) Kurt: 1 I don't think so.

(19:11:19) Kurt: 2 How long are you going to keep this up? You're a sharp guy. You know the odds are against you. It's time to cut your losses. Cut the baggage<????> loose.

(19:11:28) Kurt: 1 No. None of this was her fault.

(19:11:48) Kurt: 2 Who's was it? Who got you into this mess? What's your excuse? At least I know why I'm doing all this.

(19:11:48) Kurt: 2 Who's was it? Who got you into this mess? What's your excuse? At least I know why I'm doing all this.

(19:11:48) Kurt: 2 Who's was it? Who got you into this mess? What's your excuse? At least I know why I'm doing all this.

(19:12:04) Kurt: 1 So explain it. What's so important you'll kill for it? The grey<????7%> diary?

(19:12:17) Kurt: 2 We had to get it back. It was about the experiments... the early Cube tests. We couldn't let Violet tell Earth what Granier discovered - the kind of damage the Cube could do.

  • The repetition seems to be an error through the chat. It is doubtful Miranda would repeat the same thing three times. Also, Miranda speaks of agents on their way to pick her up. Thus, one can speculate that she is either part of an organization or is at least currently affiliated with one.
  • "Grey diary" is most likely the Granier diary.
  • Also, the according to Miranda the Cube seems to be dangerous. Exactly what is it that we are searching for??? Furthermore, there were originally tests done with regards to the Cube that resulted in damage. These tests probably are the ones mentioned in the Granier diary.
(19:12:26) Kurt: 1 Is that why you tried to steal it? To use it as a weapon?

(19:12:38) Kurt: 2 We're just trying to take back what's rightfully ours. The Academy have fumbled<????> around with it for centuries... they're children. Look where it is now, thanks to kite way. Imagine if someone from Earth finds the Cube and keeps it for themselves. With their record, it could be the end of both worlds.

(19:13:04) Kurt: 1 You really believe that, don't you?

(19:13:18) Kurt: 2 Of course. It's the greater good, the lesser evil... and it's worth a few sacrifices... Give her up, Kurt. I can get you a deal if you let me explain and you hand over violet<????>.

  • We realize that it this point Miranda has been implying Kurt sacrifice Violet.
  • Also, it seems that there might be another faction. One could speculate that there are two scenarios. Miranda could be a member of 3P and some other group (or someone else) brought the Cube to Earth. Thus Miranda is trying to retrieve the Cube from Earth. Or, Miranda could be part of that other group and 3P stole the Cube.
  • Note that it is still unclear whether Miranda is on the "good"-side or the "bad"-side.

Appeal

(19:13:31) Kurt: 1 Why...?

(19:13:43) Kurt: 2 There has to be<????unkn>. Someone has to take the fall. We're pretty good at<????> any picture we like for the police. Leave violet<????> behind and the two of us can be in the clear. We can start again somewhere... a little cottage in harbin<????>... a villa in al err done<????>... together.

(19:13:56) Kurt: 1 Why her?

(19:14:06) Kurt: 2 I want to be with you, Kurt. And I want you to be committed to me. I love you. Show me you feel the same way.

(19:14:13) Kurt: 1 I don't even know your name.

(19:14:25) Kurt: 2 You know me.

(19:14:30) duckiemonster: Kurt, don't step backwards.

  • The chat had noticed what could have been a hot spot in the thermal imaging and thus attempted to warn Kurt not to move near it.
(19:14:32) Kurt: 1 Tell me the truth.<????> Just once.

(19:14:43) Kurt: 2 Caroline.<????>

  • Thus, we now have a new name to call Miranda. However the last name has met with interference and thus no one can be sure of what it was. For that mattter, no one can know whether Miranda is telling the truth, especially after the next events.

Silence

  • At this point, dialogue ceases in the chat. The thermal images seem to show them close together, almost as if they are embracing. Eventually, it becomes clear that they are fighting. The images are sporadic and eventually shows Kurt kneeled over Miranda who is now lying down on the floor. Kurt stands up, pauses with his hand to his mouth (it is unsure whether he his biting his nails or simply covering his mouth) and then walks off.
  • The thermal images are available here.
  • After Kurt leaves the camera's view, the thermal images stop updating. "Key Connection Disrupted" is displayed. Kurt also logs out of the channel.
  • There is no response from Kurt nor any sign that Violet has made it to the mines. Connection with Kurt's key is never re-established and the server eventually shuts down later that day.
  • We find out later from Violet that Miranda is dead and that Kurt killed her.

Conclusion

  • This event is the second time Kurt has been in a dangerous situation with Miranda, the first being when she tried to blow him up. Including the events at Gillit Road, this event is the third time Kurt has been placed in a dangerous situation since the Earth has been introduced to Perplex City.
  • Miranda (Caroline) has given a lot of additional information to speculate upon involving organizations, the Cube, Sente Kiteway, and the Academy. However, given her propensity for lying, all of the data must be verified before trusted.
  • These speculations were made after the events in the Silburn-Griggs Mine. Thus they are subject to change as soon as more information comes in.
  • An entry made by Violet shows that Miranda did indeed have compatriots who were coming to get her.
  • Violet and Kurt retrieved Miranda's satchel. It contained the true last page of the Granier Diary.

References

  • The Path of Least Time, Kurt's blog
    • entry, 19-MAY-06 "Silburn-Griggs" link
    • entry, 20-MAY-06 "Unknown" link
    • entry, 20-MAY-06 "Everything closing in" link
    • entry, 20-MAY-06 "Entering Silburn-Griggs" link
    • entry, 09-JUN-06 "Cirrus" link
  • Quirky Acuity Violet's blog
    • entry, 22-May-06 "Safe" {{WaybackS1|www.quirkyacuity.com/archives/2006/05/safe.html] link)