Operation Bayonet Transcript

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The search for the Receda Cube on Earth

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains detailed information about a puzzle or trail, and may include puzzle solutions.

Operation Bayonet was a "dark" operation by special operatives of the PXC Police Force, headed by Helena Frye. The operation was launched when the Third Power kidnapped Scarlett Kiteway. Police investigations, with the help of the people of Earth, led to the discovery that the Third Power had a base inside of Ascendancy Point. The goals of the operation was to infilitrate this base, rescue any civilians being held as hostage, and hopefully retrieve any information related to the whereabouts of the Receda Cube.

Cubehunters were able to communicate with the operation via a web-based interface. This interface allowed text, audio, and video data to be transferred, and could also connect to other systems. What follows is a transcript of events as seen by the Cubehunters via this interface on the night of 30-JAN-07.


[19:15] K (Kurt): Are the mics live? Is this picking up?
[19:25] V (Violet): I'm reading you.
[19:26] K: To everyone on Earth, this is a one-way link only.
[19:26] K: I can read all of you fine.
[19:26] K: I'm using the same voice recognition system I've used in the past. That'll let me communicate with you guys in real time. The PCI - the Police Communications Interface - also lets me send audio and video to you. We're trying to keep those transmissions down to a minimum so they aren't picked up by the Third
[19:27] K: the Third Power, but it should be OK to use it on occasion. You can also send text to me using the PCI.
[19:28] K: The other cool thing about the PCI - even though it's a bloated, kludgy piece of police software - is that it can interface you directly with other systems. So if I come across some system or lock that I need you guys to help solve, you can do it directly from here.
[19:28] K: Okay. We're under the Point - with an extra passenger, for reasons too odd to go into right now.
[19:28] K: Caine's tagging along.
[19:28] V: He hasn't got a mic though - his key's not secure so it's been confiscated.
[19:29] V: I think, 'confiscated' with extreme prejudice. He's not too happy.
[19:29] K: We're going to need you to be alert and quick. Time is going to be tight. So is security round here.
[19:29] K: Nice outfit.
[19:30] V: What, this retina-reader-proof-mask? Just some old thing I threw on this morning.
[19:30] V: It's too late to go to the bathroom now, isn't it?
[19:30] K: Caine - shut up.
[19:30] V: Yes, please do.
[19:31] K: Ok, first mission is to get into Ascendancy Point. We're currently at the subway station service areas.
[19:31] K: Now read carefully, because this is important. If you miss anything, you can read back in the history.
[19:32] K: We have to clear the subway platform of passengers, so we can get into the service areas easily.
[19:32] K: The problem is that we can't just clear it the easy way, by saying this is a police operation - the Third Power would hear about it, plus this is a dark project - we're doing it unofficially.
[19:32] K: So we're going to be a bit clever about it. See, the system that runs this subway station will automatically shut down the ticket turnstiles if it thinks the platform is too crowded.
[19:33] K: The way it decides this is based on the number of people who pass through the turnstiles in a certain amount of time.
[19:33] K: So we're going to be a bit clever about it. See, the system that runs this subway station will automatically shut down the ticket turnstiles if it thinks the platform is too crowded. (Note: not a typo - this line repeated)
[19:34] K: The way it decides this is based on the number of people who pass through the turnstiles in a certain amount of time. (Note: not a typo - this line repeated)
[19:34] K: What we're going to do is fool the turnstiles into thinking a lot of people have passed through. Fooling the sensors is not that difficult, but the problem is we have to do it several hundred times in a very short period of time.
[19:34] K: To trip a sensor, you have to correctly 'guess' a six digit code. Each digit goes from 1 to 4.
[19:35] K: I've done the hard part and put the sensors into debug mode, so it'll tell you how many digits you have in the correct position (green), and how many digits you have in the incorrect position (orange).
[19:35] K: [betterwatchit] Why not have everyone in the raid go through a different turnstile? - because that's a stupid idea
[19:36] K: You get twelve guesses - if you take any more, it'll reset and you'll have to try again with a new code. Think fast! We're in position. You're up.
[19:37] K: You have to click the flashing button on the map to the right to gain access to the subway turnstiles system
[19:38] K: Guys, when you get the code, you have to type it into the grey box that pops up, not this window.
[19:39] K: Okay, we have 3 minutes to do this in. So far, only 12 correct attemps have been made. Let's move!
[19:41] K: Doing well, guys.


[19:42] K: 3 minutes are up


[19:42] K: Relaying audio


[19:43] K: We got enough passengers registered, the platform's shutting down


[19:44] K: Nice work. We're in.
[19:44] K: We're going to split up.
[19:44] K: I'm going with Fitch to access the security hardware. Fitch wants to keep an eye on Caine, so he's coming with us.
[19:44] V: ANd I'm going with Frye to the basement level - just above where we are now. We're going to lay charges to destroy the electrical station.
[19:44] V: If everything goes according to plan, we'll meet up when we've both completed our tasks.
[19:44] K: See you at the lifts.
[19:44] By the way guys, that's not what I sound like. That's mostly Fitch coming from the audio.
[19:45] V: Good luck.

Image 2: tunnel

[19:47] V: We're just at the electrical station now.


[19:48] K: I'll hook up Harrison's CCTV feed now.


[19:49] V: Take a look at the videos to see if you can figure out how regular the patrols are, and what the pin number is. You're seeing from *two* different cameras here.
[19:51] V: Hurry up, we haven't got a lot of time. It's an eight digit string, we think.
[19:53] V: Any news on the patrol pattern? When's the guard away from the door?
[19:55] V: The video shows the pin code being typed in twice - I think the second time is clearer.
[19:56] V: Got it. Thanks, Cassandra - it's 74293816. Helena agrees. We need the walk sequence now.
[19:56] V: Compre the two videos - when is the door unguarded?
[19:57] K: I know there are problems with the video guys, sorry. There's a lot of load on this connection and I don't have good bandwidth here.
[19:58] V: [Chamelaeon] The guard enters the camera and leaves 15s later... then he re-enters roughly 30s after that
[19:58] V: Good work - we're heading in quickly.


[20:00] V: We're starting work here now. I'm going to go quiet while you talk to Kurt.


[20:00] V: And there will be no nekkidness.
[20:01] K: Group A here. That's me, Fitch (the military guy) and Caine. We're getting near to the network room. Here's how it's going to work - the room has a guard that patrols around outside it. We can sneak past him easily, but it's also got an iris scanner that's only coded to him.


[20:02] K: Fitch will get the guard's details, and you'll have to look them up and get his iris. Then we can get inside, I'll put the bug in the network, and we can get out before anyone comes along and looks inside. Fitch is telling me it'll be easy. Right.


[20:02] K: We've just reached the network service room. Fitch is going head to take a look at the security guard on patrol.
[20:02] K: Right, we need to find this guard in the police database. Then you need to let me know what iris he has so we can enter it to the scanner.
[20:04] K: To access the police database, click on the new flashing button on the map.
[20:05] K: A lot of people have come through with Damon Booth - that's Jetamo, Katie Piatt, Pineapple, Tornan
[20:05] K: Stop pasting lots of text in here by the way, it's pretty annoying


[20:06] K: Yep, I get it, it's Damon Booth. We're going in.


[20:06] K: We're inside! That wasn't too bad. Okay, I need to get my bearings for a few seconds, figure out where everything is.

image - tunnels 2

[20:07] K: Something else for you to be getting on with: we're going to need the lift system to be rebooted.

[20:07] K: The lifts are managed off-site by a company called EKOS Elevators.

[20:08] K: We can't just tell them that we're the police - I've no idea who these EKOS people are. So we'll have to rely on good old social engineering.
[20:08] K: I can divert calls from Earth to the EKOS office key. We need to persuade the manager that there's a malfunction and he'll have to reboot. Be persuasive!
[20:08] K: You can dial either of these numbers from where you are. US: (201) 399-2294 or UK: 020 7870 1174.
[20:11] K: There's only one operator, I think, so don't be worried if you can't get through.
[20:11] K: Don't annoy him too much - I know what you guys are like with Perplex City phones.
[20:12] K: [cmlobue] Am I the only one who thinks that dozens of calls to reboot at the same time (from Earth, if they can tell that) is a little suspicious? - it is, but they can't tell, thankfully.
[20:12] K: Found the access panel. Ah...
[20:12] K: I need a hand again. My bug works by tapping into the fibre optic loops that these networks use. I need to locate the longest loop in the admin panel - that's the one that normally carries the debus information.
[20:12] K: The problem is that the messiest tech in the world has wired this thing, and I can't tell one loop from the next. I'm uploading a schematic of the panel to you now. You guys need to tell me which fibre optic loop is the longest. Quickly.
[20:13] K: Click on the new flashing box on the map. Just type in the answer here.
[20:13] K: [chippy] well, if its a genuine fault, then wouldnt loads of residents ring in to complain at the same time? eh? - damn right you are.
[20:16] K: [Ollie] Kurt: right hand edge, 4th up - Ollie and everyone seem to think this is right.
[20:17] K: Okay, it's configuring. We'll know whether we got it wrong in a few seconds, when all the alarms start going off.


[20:18] K: No alarms. Silence is a wonderful thing. Well done everyone.
[20:18] K: Time to get out of here and over to the lift.
[20:18] K: According to the schematic, there are a few puzzle doors ahead of us. Might need you to help us through those quickly.


[20:20] K: [DrinkMonsters] when are we gonna hear your beautiful voice kurty? - not today
[20:20] K: [chimera245] Of course the alarms would be silent...-don't say things like that
[20:20] K: How are you doing with the lift manager?
[20:21] K: I can only take control of a lift shaft during the reboot process - then, it's ours. I need you to tell me when it's rebooting. You can do it any time, but I just need to know exactly when.
[20:22] K: Right. First puzzle door. There are a series of concentric circles... I think they might create a message. I've seen this kind of thing before. Simple enough - if I had time to figure it out.
[20:23] K: Get to work. The answer is probably a word or a code.
[20:23] K: Check the flashing button.
[20:23] K: Gyvann knows who made this puzzle, it's crazy.
[20:24] K: [hopkapi] how can we get to work when we can't see it? - click on the new flashing button on the map
[20:27] V: So we laid all the charges.
[20:27] V: We're going to blow them in the next couple of minutes - if we've done it right none of the building systems should pick it up.
[20:27] K: I think the puzzle door needs you to rotate the circles to form letters.
[20:28] V: We'll head out of here as quickly as we can.
[20:28] V: The building has an emergency backup system. When we blow the charges, the power will remain on for 10 minutes, and then go out for one minute.
[20:29] V: That's when our attack's going to happen.
[20:29] V: All the lights in the building are going to go out. If scarlett sees, maybe she'll know we're coming for her. Unfortunately, so will everyone else. But we have something that'll keep the Third Power occupied before the power goes...
[20:29] K: [mooyah] The code is 'Point Zenith' - good work. Very quick. I'm impressed.
[20:30] K: We're through. Heading further down. Caine's looking a bit bored.
[20:34] K: Another puzzle lock. It's a set of transparencies... they're covered in letters.
[20:34] K: I think you need to find the letters that are omitted.
[20:34] K: I can't tell if it's one or more.
[20:35] K: I've seen puzzles like this before, in the Academy archives
[20:35] K: You have to click the same fourth box again to see this new puzzle lock.
[20:36] K: [ThusQED] is it possible for you to manufacture some sort of blip that will register on the elevator system? it would make lying easier. - I'll see what I can do
[20:37] K: OK, I'm going to do a small power surge in the elevator system now. It won't make it malfunction, but the operator should see it.
[20:38] K: [aliendial] HR - got it, thanks everyone
[20:38] K: We're through.
[20:38] K: I can't tell you that, Caine.</br> [20:38] K: I've been involved for a while. Vi and I have been working together on it.
[20:39] K: No, obviously I didn't mention it in the office.
[20:39] K: That's not funny, Caine.
[20:39] K: Will you try to be serious?
[20:39] V: Kurt, is Caine annoying you? I'll come up there and slap him for you if you like.
[20:40] K: I don't think Caine likes that suggestion.
[20:40] K: Just focus now. We're nearly there.
[20:40] V: We're getting close to the lifts now as well. Have you done your thing, K-man?
[20:41] K: Enough of that name, thank you. It's Kurt, not K-man, K-bird or K-dude.
[20:41] K: According to the plans, this is the last puzzle door. We need to get a move on.
[20:41] K: Looks like a maze... but not a normal maze. There's some text underneath.
[20:42] K: "Sometimes it is better to explore every path... not just the start to finish"
[20:42] K: Ah - I've seen this before. It's a path accumulation puzzle. Trace out all the correct paths and see if there's a pattern.
[20:42] K: Click on the fourth flashing button again in the map again to see this one.
[20:44] K: [mikej] LOCKED - and pretty much everyone else. Thanks all. We're through now.


[20:45] K: Uh oh. There's another iris scanner door up ahead. That's wasn't on the plans. Must've been added in the last few days.
[20:45] K: Fitch can't get a good look at the guard... this corridor is too exposed. I think I've got an idea though.
[20:45] K: Shut up Caine, I'm trying to work here. Right. Got it. I just patched into the CCTV camera here, using my bug in the network service room. Searching through the feed to see if I can find a shot of the guard. Come on... There it is. Uploading now.


[20:45] K: You know the drill. I need the iris of this guard - he'll be in the police database. Let's see how fast you can move.
[20:47] K: To check the police database again, click on the fifth flashing box.
[20:47] K: [Shinju16] How tall are those cubicle walls he's walking by? - about 8ft


[20:50] K: [] Jasper Cohen - looks right to me. We'll give it a try.
[20:50] K: It worked.
[20:50] K: Okay, I'm hijacking one of the lifts using the network.
[20:51] K: Done - I've got the lift. Apparently that operator was terrible.
[20:51] K: We're not all like that!
[20:51] K: [duckie] Boo! Namecheck Jo! - alright, there, I did it.
[20:52] K: Should be at the lift in two minutes
[20:53] K: Damn damn damn. Two guards up ahead at the last door. It isn't supposed to be manned! We don't have any time left though, we need to get past them. We're having a look to see if there's any way around.


[20:53] K: No other routes nearby. Fitch isn't sure whether he can take both the guards without them raising the alarm. Time's running out.
[20:53] K: What the...?


[20:53] K: This is insane. Caine just walked up to the guards and picked a fight with them. And lost. They're taking him away now... he's pretending to be a drunk.


[20:54] K: They've gone now. Caine took quite a beating... okay, I think we can do through. Huh. I've got to admit, that was a pretty brave thing to do. Or stupid.


[20:55] V: Kurt, good to see you. What's happened to Caine?
[20:55] K: Picked a fight with a guard to distract him.
[20:56] V: Was he OK?
[20:56] K: Looked like they beat him up pretty badly.
[20:56] V: Bloody idiot. He could have jeopardised the whole plan is someone started asking why a Scribe was hanging around in Ascendancy Point.
[20:56] K: At least he's not our responsibility anymore. They'll have thrown him out of the building. And he did get us past the guards.
[20:57] V: I suppose it was brave of him. Any other casualties?
[20:57] K: No. But we're not finished yet.
[20:58] K: [FairmontKing] get on with it - we're in the lift, you jokes - we can't go any faster!
[21:00] K: This is a service and storage level. There tend not to be too many people round here. Harrison is using an audio device to listen out for activity. Sounds like there's movement in Bay 17.
[21:00] K: Yep, looks like the place. The lock on the door is ridiculously high spec - definitely not a normal storage area.
[21:00] K: We're trying to access Bay 16. Shouldn't take long.


[21:02] K: Okay, we're in Bay 16 now. Here's the deal. We want to access the service ducts so we can plant some incapacitating gas in the vents. When the power goes out ten minutes are we blow the charges, they'll all be out cold. But we have temperature sensors that can tell if someone's inside the vents.
[21:03] K: To get someone in there, we need to raise the temperature inside the ducts to body temp.
[21:03] K: I've hacked into the environmental controls. I need you to raise the temperature and keep it constant, so it recallibrates. 30 seconds should do it.
[21:03] K: click on the flashing button at the top of the building.

image - ducts 1

[21:10] K: We're at body temperature.

image - ducts 2

[21:10] V: Harrison is getting up into the ducts now. He's going to plant the gas cannisters by the vents.
[21:11] K: Harrison's done half the canisters.
[21:12] K: Harrison's planted all the canisters.
[21:12] K: We're ready to go. They're going to detonate the charges. Then we'll release the gas and open the vents so the gas can get inside the apartment. There's ten minutes in between detonating the charges and the power going out. That should be long enough for the gas to take effect.
[21:12] V: We'll have a one-minute window in which there's no power in the apartment; that's when we'll go in.


[21:12] V: Frye's getting her men in position now.
[21:13] K: We're all getting ready.


[21:15] K: Damn damn damn


[21:15] K: I'm hooking up the PCI to the vent locks. There are 11. You need to open as many as you can, quickly!
[21:15] K: These are tough, and we don't have much time.
[21:15] K: It's too late to abort!
[21:16] V: The more of these we get open, the more likely we are to have knocked out the Third Power guys inside. Otherwise, we might have a bloodbath on our hands.
[21:18] K: 4 out of 11 done. We need to move faster!
[21:19] K: 8 out of 11. Almost there.
[21:20] K: Less than three minutes left, and we only have 9 out of 11!


[21:21] K: 10 out of 11 done.


[21:22] V: The power's going in 30 seconds time.

[21:22] V: 10, 9, 8...


[21:23] K: Power's going out now. Lights going down.
[21:25] K: She's OK. She's OK. She's breathing.
[21:26] V: She's not OK. That's not OK. Lettie, can you hear me, Lettie?
[21:26] K: Caine's here too, in cuffs. We'll get those off you.
[21:26] V: Lettie, what have they done to you? What have they... oh Gyvann. Your hands.
[21:26] V: Caine, what happened here?
[21:26] K: He's pretty beaten up, Violet.
[21:26] V: Maybe he was trying to... Lettie, sweetheart, get up, OK?
[21:27] K: She's woozy. They're bringing a stretcher. Stay there, Lettie... rest a while.
[21:27] V: Oh Kurt, what have they done to her hands?
[21:27] K: It'll be OK.
[21:28] V: It's going to be OK, Lettie. I'm here now. Everything's going to be OK.
[21:28] K: What a mess...
[21:28] K: Harrison... I think it's Harrison. Gyv...
[21:28] V: Caine, what did happen here?
[21:28] V: I suppose it doesn't matter - you're OK?
[21:29] K: It's time to go, Violet.
[21:29] V: They captured you and then what? I don't quite understand.
[21:29] V: We're going to the hospital, they're taking Lettie.
[21:29] V: And Caine, he'll need to be checked out.
[21:29] K: Helena Frye's seriously injured - she's being taken to the hospital too.
[21:29] K: And two other people have been killed.
[21:31] K: She'll be OK.
[21:31] V: But Lettie's OK, right? She's going to be OK. She must be.
[21:32] ?* Form the layer. Find the era. Follow the Way. Find the Cube.