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The Chromatic Witch, Ep 1: The Gate of Blue Heaven

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Outside the Box Studios Presents...

A Y-san Puzzleduction...

(Based on the short story The Chromatic Witch that Y-san's real life alter ego was too lazy to actually write...)

The Chromatic Witch

To WoS/WoD for introducing the puzzle/adventure game format, many thanks. Xie xie

:D

To all the shows/animes I've watched, books I've read, games I've played that inspired my subconscious to have the dream this is based on, arigatou.

To my laziness for not writing that dream turned story idea into a short story for over a year, so that it was readily available for transcribing into this format...;P

And to all who will follow this series and give it life, thank you :).

The room was almost completely dark. Around the periphery of the room, the girl could barely make out the outlines of pieces of equipment, stands where pieces of equipment should have been, lab benches with varying degrees of dust cover, drawers brimming with supplies, and cabinets littered with specimen jars that were labeled in a weary hand.

“Are you ready?” asked a voice, muffled by the presence of a light turquoise surgical mask. The man it belonged to, donning the matching attire, adjusted the fluorescent stand light next to him. Then he turned and selected a scalpel and surgical drill from the trolley of tools sitting next to him.

It could have been his imagination, but he thought that, for just a brief moment, he caught a slight wince in the corner of the girl’s eye when her gaze fell upon the drill. But he blinked, and it was gone.

Reclining back onto the vinyl back of the surgical chair, the girl closed her eyes.

“Do it.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Welcome to Sector Lambda

Our world is in grave peril. The most nefarious, most maleficent, most devious Chromatic Witch seeks to destroy it through her malevolent tricks and heinous devices.

The Chromatic Witch draws her vile power from her seven Gateways. Each Gateway has the property of being a different color, and each color grants the Chromatic Witch different powers.

Hence, we have gathered you, the best and the brightest agents, here, under the skillful supervision of the most capable and fair Father to form an elite team in the world’s defense.

You and your fellow agents will have to venture into the territory of these Gateways and destroy them, one-by-one, to remove her hold on this world and vanquish her.

There are a few things you must know, though, before you can attend the task at hand.

1. Do not question the word of Father. He is here for your guidance and protection. Father knows best, and has your best interests at heart. Normal human beings such as you and I cannot hope to understand the depth of Father’s knowledge and comprehension.

2. Do not question the above, ever.

3. Some of the challenges the Chromatic Witch will pose will require special knowledge, which should be readily available through the neuro-link to the vast information network implanted into your minds. If your neuro-link is malfunctioning, please contact the BioIT department at SectorLambdaBioIT@gmail.com for help.

4. Some of the challenges the Chromatic Witch will pose may have more than one possible solution. If you discover multiple solutions, then take pride in your savvy as an agent. However, you will have to face the Chromatic Witch in her own domain, and to defeat her power over the domain, you must find the solution to what she has set as the key to her devices and abilities.

5. Some agents will be more readily adapted to certain tasks or easily identify the knowledge needed for certain challenges than others. After all, no man may have complete knowledge, no man except Father, that is, but he is no mere man. Therefore, to be the most effective, you must function as a team and build on each others' strengths. Remember, this is not about you as an individual, this is about protecting our world.

6. Do not question any of the above. It just may cost you or your team their lives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Led by a tall, gangly man with scraggly dark hair and close-knit brows, who had introduced himself as “Agent Wraith”, the new agents entered the main operations room of Sector Lambda, burdened by a combination of excitement, anticipation, and anxiousness.

“And this is the main control unit,” Agent Wraith explained, waving his arm towards the an expansive sloped panel covered with back-lit buttons of various shapes and sizes, from which a number of holo-screens protruded. “We use it to coordinate all of our operations in the field. It sends real-time feedback from our agents’ neuro-links, so we can monitor their vitals and receive any information they attain, allowing us to guide them as effectively as possible.” He demonstrated by dragging out a sample schematic on the nearest holo-screen, featuring a rotating representation of a head on one half, which zoomed out and displayed the agent’s infrared signature, and with several panels of scrolling data on the other half.

Most of the group emitted the appropriate oohing and aahing sounds. Wraith nodded acceptingly, ignoring the few holding back. Then he turned and went to stand by a panel with four 12 columns of lights, every other column of which was blinking, and contained 1, 4, 3, 2, 5, and 2 lights, respectively. The non-blinking columns contained 5, 6, 4, 7, 7, and 6 lights.

“That ends the orientation. But before you can start your duties, there is a little test we administer to new Agents to make sure they’re up for the trials ahead.” He swept out his arm at a group of Agents sitting nearby.

“Hi, I’m Janine,” said a pretty, freckled girl with short reddish brown hair and glasses. She gave them a warm smile.

“And I’m Orin,” followed a somewhat tall, muscular blonde with clear blue eyes, a strong jaw ,and prominent cheekbones. He gave them a welcoming nod.

“And that is Umi,” Wraith finished, gesturing towards a small, thin, silver-haired girl with pale skin and sharp eyes. “She doesn’t talk much, but she’s a wiz with computational stuff.” The girl blinked at them and then turned back to her work. “One of the agents here is the squad captain. Did you get the memo? Good. Your test, new agents, is to figure out which one. And no random guessing.” He wagged a finger. “Only answers with appropriate reasoning will be accepted. You must demonstrate your prowess before gaining the right to wear a Sector Lambda uniform.”

Edited by Yoruichi-san
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Posted · Report post

I'm assuming "appropriate reasoning" can be somewhat circumstancial and psychological.

Wraith

:D

Since he seems to be the boss around there.

If that's outside the rules, I would think Janine since generally the squad leader would speak first.

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Sorry, Aaryan, but circumstantial will not work on the Chromatic Witch...and you don't need it ;).

But I appreciate the show of interest, and encourage posting of working thoughts, etc. There will be a 'boss battle' at the end that will be interactive, so it's good to have a gauge on how many people will probably participate so I can work out the boss stats ^_^ .

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Four things that I am thinking of but not sure what they mean, if anything.

the columns of light

Agent Wraith's reference to the memo

The colour of the peoples hair

and the name Sector Lambda

Does anyone have any thoughts on these?

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the columns of light <I think this is the key>

Agent Wraith's reference to the memo <perhaps a clue>

The colour of the peoples hair <I think this is just characterization>

and the name Sector Lambda <no idea>

Y-san: I don't understand your phrasing. Can you help?

"a panel with four 12 columns of lights"

And I'm not clear which column is first, a blinking or non-blinking one?

Thanks.

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Oops, sorry...I honestly have no idea how the 'four' got there...and somehow my brain totally missed it when I was proof-reading :blush: . It's just 12 columns...this is one of those moments where I wish I could edit...*sigh*... I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of those before this series is over :/.

The columns are alternating non-blinking/blinking.

Edited by Yoruichi-san
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Hmm.

I suspect that the columns represent some kind of cipher. Some notes:

* No column contains more than 7 lights. We should not eliminate an octal counting system as a possibility.

* There are a total of 17 blinking lights and 35 non-blinking lights, making 52 lights total. If this had been a multiple of eight, I would be confident that it represented an ASCII code in binary, but I don't think it's that simple. That said, here are two possible binary readings if we assume that the lights encode runs of ones and zeroes:

1111101111110000111100011111110011111110000011111100

0000010000001111000011100000001100000001111100000011

* The non-blinking columns all contain numbers between 4 and 7 - a range of about 20 - 30. This increases the chance that they represent the tens place in some number that directly translates to ASCII letters. If we assume that, we get:

51 64 43 72 75 62

* Finally, we can't assume that we're dealing with English. It might be worth considering the possibility of Unicode encoding or something.

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'blonde' refers to a woman. A man is blond

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/new recruit says, "Hey, which one of you in this joint is the captain?"

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One of the agents here is the squad captain. Did you get the memo? Good. Your test, new agents, is to figure out which one.

Is Agent Wraith talking to the the recruits the whole time here? Or is the middle part of the quote--Did you get the memo? Good.--directed to the other three?

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One of the agents here is the squad captain. Did you get the memo? Good. Your test, new agents, is to figure out which one.

Is Agent Wraith talking to the the recruits the whole time here? Or is the middle part of the quote--Did you get the memo? Good.--directed to the other three?

Yes, he's talking to the recruits.

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I'm guessing that the "Welcome to Sector Lambda" is the memo to which he refers. I wonder if the numbers index into the memo in some way to spell a six letter word?

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I think I have it.

Agent Wraith

If we take the 12 columns of lights in pair: 51 64 43 72 75 62

Then from each point in the memo we get a letter:

So for point 1, we look at the fifth word and first letter: word

For the next point, look at the sixth word and forth letter: ever.

Carry on though all the points and it spells Wraith.

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That's.... interesting. I swear I did exactly that and got a string of random letters. Maybe I forgot how to count?

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Janine grinned, dimpling prettily. "Good job!"

Wraith shrugged. "Eh, not bad...for rookies." He paused, as if listening to a private line on his neuro-link. After a moment: "Father says that is acceptable. Your uniforms will be waiting for you in your rooms. Now, go suit up. The real battle will begin soon."

Orin nodded. Umi only stared.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well done! Next segment will be up shortly. Puzzle-wise, it's pretty simple, but it's more of a set-up for the next stage. And as for the stage itself...well...you'll see :D

'Blonde' is 6 letters, so is 'silver', 'wraith', and 'janine'. I figured the six-letter connection would be figured pretty quickly so I wanted to make sure they all had a 6 letter word easily associated with them

;).
Edited by Yoruichi-san
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EPISODE 1:

The Gate of Blue Heaven

“They talked wildly of the death of the blue heaven and the setting up of the golden one; they said a new cycle was beginning and would bring universal good fortune to all members; and they persuaded people to chalk the symbols for the first year of the new cycle on the main door of their dwellings.”

-from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, chapter 1.

A procession of sleek black vehicles, their windows tinted and no doubt bulletproof, drove into the dock, pulling up right next to the lapping waters. Less than a second before they had come to a stop, their doors swung ajar and out lept the agents, fresh and ready for action, as they donned crisp new uniforms, black with the symbol lambda meticulously embossed on the breast in silver thread trimmed with gold.

The eager new agents searched around. “Where’s the Gateway?” one queried at Captain Wraith, who wore a black shirt under a black leather jacket with the lambda symbol scrawled over the back. Besides him stood Orin, also in a black shirt, with black gloves on the back of which the lambda symbol was engraved.

“We’ll have to go a little farther to get to it,” the leader replied, winking. “It's surrounded by blue...”

Peering across the waters, the agent frowned. “I don’t see a boat...”

Suddenly, the agents noticed a humming sound approaching from behind them. As they turned, Wraith grinned and raised his voice, “That’s because we’re not going by boat.” He waved a lean hand at the pair of approaching helicopters. “A boat wouldn’t take us where we need to go...”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over the glistening waves the choppers glided, their buzzing mirrored by the buzzing of anticipation inside the new agents. Despite the admonitions of the pilots, they were leaning out of their seats, straining to catch a glimpse of their destination.

“No matter how hard you try, you won’t find it that way,” the Captain remarked with a bemused smile. And he was right. All the agents could make out in the blue sky were clouds and, well, more blue sky.

A few minutes later, the pilot shouted back at them, “We’re here, buckle in.”

Here? Where? There was nothing but clouds around them and a particularly large cloud above them. They looked at each other with confusion but did as they were told.

Abruptly, the chopper began moving upwards. Up, up...the cloud was coming closer, nearly touching them.

“Is this safe?” One of the agents asked. Wraith only smiled.

The new agents held their breaths as the chopper’s blades permeated the cloud, but there was no sudden jerk, no stalling of the motor that most of them feared. They continued to move upwards...into the cloud...through the cloud...and...

They emerged in a large alcove, a room really, of immense proportions, with midnight blue walls, and a platform along one side with a long staircase leading to a small, greyish door.

The choppers pulled over to the platform and landed, and the agents, most in a state somewhere between shock and awe, piled out slowly.

Giving a not-too-gentle nudge to the agent in front of him, Orin frowned. “No time to waste. The Witch has been alerted to our presence by now. We need to get moving.”

He stamped up the staircase and the agents followed. As they approached the door, they realized that it was made of a sturdy, metallic material that was not truly grey, but a silvery blue . There was no handle, but a keypad with letter and numbers.

Orin’s frown deepened. “We can’t break this door down. We need the code.”

Wraith grinned knowingly. “It’s easy enough to see...”

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Is it ok if a new agent drops in now and again?

346291 That's the numeric code for the silvery blue (at least that's the color=value when I looked at the post).

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Is it ok if a new agent drops in now and again?

346291 That's the numeric code for the silvery blue (at least that's the color=value when I looked at the post).

Yes, yes, new agents are welcome...as long as they've read the memo ;)

...and, oh yes, you'll need to catch your own ride ;P

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The agent in front entered the code and the group heard a satisfactory click. A moment later, the door swung open.

“Well, that was easy,” one of the new agents commented.

“Yes, too easy,” Wraith replied, stroking his stubbly chin with a thoughtful expression. “The Witch is toying with us. She wanted us to get in..."

Orin shrugged. “We have a mission to attend, we can worry about that when we come to it.” With that, he stormed ahead.

The agents entered into a long corridor, with walls of navy. As they moved down it, they noted a series of paintings on the walls. Underneath each painting was a bluish plaque, on which was engraved an enigmatic number.

124]

turkey1.jpg

227]

18352_511072679126_1532302_n.jpg

117]

static-electricity-ball-flickr-adamentmeat.jpg

113]

Anointing+of+Napoleon+I+and+the+coronation+of+Empress+Josephine-1024x768-5834.jpg

209]

Yum-3-chocolate-25844756-800-600.jpg

184]

blue+rose.jpg

At the end of a hallway was another door, of the same color. Orin shrugged and keyed in the same code as the door before. But this time, the lock remained recalcitrantly silent.

A voice came over their neuro-link. It was deep, strong, and composed. “Blue,” Father said, “to the Witch, is the color of cold clarity and pristine purity. She will not use things she sees as subjective, such as words or even letters here, but that does not mean you will not need to.”

“Here the real challenge begins,” the captain remarked, grinning. "I hope all your neuro-links are in correct working order..."

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Just throwing some ideas around here.

So something in the pictures must tie up to the numbers underneath. I think either the object in the picture or the main colour.

Of cause we must remember the title The Gates of Blue Heaven.

For the 227 it could be something to do with Blue Mountains.

A voice came over their neuro-link. It was deep, strong, and composed. “Blue,” Father said, “to the Witch, is the color of cold clarity and pristine purity. She will not use things she sees as subjective, such as words or even letters here, but that does not mean you will not need to.”

ASCII character 124 is 'T' and the picture is (maybe) a turkey. But the others don't seem to work to well using this method.

And finally I am thinking that we are looking for a six digit number again, but maybe it something else we need.

Edited by MikeD
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I can explain why yet, but i think "metallic material" is the key here.

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Zinc

Turkey is high in protein Blue MT. high in zinc plasma globe you use your fingers Maybe? Zinc Finger Proteins ZNF

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The agents pondered over the puzzling pictures. One took note of what Father had said. "Perhaps we have to find the words that are associated with these pictures?"

"That seems like a sound plan," Father's voice in their heads intoned. "Also, be aware that the questions will never have letters or words, but the answers might."

Another stroked his chin pensively. "Perhaps something to do with the metal of the door and the way the color blue is associated with these things?"

"Perhaps...but the Gateway is not as much about the color itself as what the color represents. Not all the objects inside the blue Gateway will be related to blue."

Wraith nodded, an idea coming to him. "Well, blue is objective, right? Maybe the Chromatic Witch is using a tool here, to express some element of these pictures. Something that does not change when one changes borders..."

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For 124 turkey so maybe: cold turkey (cold seems to go with blue)?

For 227 I see a mountain or a river both linked with the colour blue

For 117 plasma globe. Maybe its globe + blue = earth

For 113 King, royal, I thinking maybe Blue blood.

For 209 Brandy/Rum/Chocolate balls, I see no connection with the colour blue.

For 184 rose or flower. A blue rose in literature is a symbol of love and prosperity.

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the painting is called Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804. by Jacques-Louis David

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