The Queen Mary, a formerly majestic ship turned into a hotel, was the setting for the investor meeting in the Royal Salon and King’s View Room.
The room opened at 9:30AM, at which time players started to arrive. They signed waivers of liability, received name tags, and entered the banquet room. The formal meeting didn’t start until 10:30, so players had time to relax (yeah right), eat, mingle, and explore the ship. ISETV was represented by the following individuals:
During the introductory speech, each team received a glossy ‘investor packet’ containing the following documents. The packet also contained a small silver key, used at the last last clue location of the game.
On each of twelve tables in the banquet room was a centerpiece with an empty envelope in each team’s color. A buffet was set up with juice and muffins, and a podium with microphone was stationed in the front of the room. On a large table near the podium were records of historical UFO sightings, including newspaper clippings and photos of crop circles, provided as red herrings and for atmosphere.
The introductory speech set the stage for the event and provided the key objective of the mission - to find, assemble, and activate an extraterrestrial transmitter. During the mission, players would find two clues at each location. The first clue or locator clue would tell them how to find the next location. The second clue would take the form of a log or journal entry. ISETV knew these log entries to be important, but not necessary for finding the next clue location. The speech ended abruptly with Trelix collapsing and scattering small scraps of paper on the ground, the first locator clue.
At approximately 10:30, Theo enters and goes to the podium with Trelix and five staffers sitting at his side. Theo asks everyone to sit at their designated tables, and then he speaks.
Good morning. I am Theo Tutsiboruf, the Director of the Los Angeles office of the Institute for the Study of Extra-Terrestrial Visitations. and I want to thank you all for coming here. I appreciate your dedication to our cause.
First I would like to apologize on behalf of Dr. Horof. Obviously he had hoped to be with you today, but as you all know the FBI raided our New York headquarters two weeks ago, and no ISETV personnel from that office have been seen since that time. We are obviously all hopeful that he will arrive in time for tomorrow’s visitation, but we are also confident that he would have wanted us to carry on in his absence.
Behind me are a few of our ISETV volunteers. I believe you know some of them. Also behind me is Ms. Trelix R. Saratreet, the chief psychic of our Los Angeles office.
Over the past few months, we have had two chat sessions and a website contest. The teams that showed the most merit in those activities are to receive tools that will place them out of the more basic exercises that you will have to perform. When I call out your team name, please send a representative from your team up to collect your envelope. We would strongly suggest that you not open up these envelopes in the presence of other investment teams. [Winners are read out].
We also have specially designed investor packets for each team. These packets contain more information which should be valuable to you. We will pass these out to each team at the end of my speech.
[very apologetic] I realize that many of you have traveled a long distance, and have expended a lot of time and energy to be here today. Your eagerness and commitment only make this announcement that much more difficult.
As it turns out, we here at ISETV have been unable to pinpoint the exact location of the landing site for the visitation tomorrow. In fact, we cannot say with certainty that the landing will even be in the Los Angeles region. We had hoped that with our full time staff and the extra funding that you all provided, we would have been able to contact the approaching aliens, whether through psychic or conventional means, and convince them to land near us. But all of our best efforts have failed, and…
[At this point TRELIX moves forward and whispers something in Theo’s ear. Theo nods solemnly and TRELIX walks slowly, unsteadily, out of the room. Theo waits until she is gone, and then continues:]
I apologize on behalf of Trelix, she is very sick, she—well, in fact she is dying. She shouldn’t even be out here today, it’s so bright, but she refused to stay away. [Theo looks over to where Trelix left, and pauses as though he is making an important decision that he knows might get him in trouble.]
I suppose you should all know the full truth, since you are now all full-fledged investors in ISETV. In truth, our organization knows much more about the visitations than we post on our public website. We know, for example, where the extraterrestrials come from, why they visit Earth, and why they do so on such regular intervals.
The extraterrestrials come from a double star system in the constellation of Cygnus. This system is approximately one thousand nine hundred and twelve light years away, and it is too faint to be detected by even our most powerful telescopes. The system consists of a small white dwarf orbiting a large, massive star. The period of rotation is approximately 897 Earth days. The Cygnans live on a planet that circles the small white dwarf.
Our Cygnan friends have developed the ability of faster-than-light travel, although we cannot guess at their mechanism. We know that the travel is nearly instantaneous, but that it is quite sensitive to gravitational fields. Herein lies the problem for the Cygnans. The massive star in their system creates an immense gravitational well, and therefore they can only leave their planet when their white dwarf is at the aphelion of its orbit. Thus, they can send ships out into the galaxy once every 897 Earth days—which is one of their years—but the ship must return within approximately two Earth hours, or else their home planet will move back into the gravitational well and it would be impossible to return safely.
The Cygnans sent a scientist here in a ship over forty years ago. The scientist carried a map of Earth which detailed over a hundred sites that the scientist intended to study. The details of this mission are in your investor packets, but suffice it to say that this ship crashed on Earth, somewhere in the Los Angeles region. The United States government recovered the remains of the crash, and they brought the wreckage here to Long Beach, where they studied it under the large white dome off the stern of the boat. In almost no time they determined that the ship had been occupied, and that the occupant had probably survived. They of course wasted no time in trying to track down the survivor, so that they could capture it and study it.
Ever since the crash, the Cygnans have been sending a rescue ship to try and recover their lost scientist. Unfortunately, they have no idea where on the planet the crash occurred—all they have is a copy of the map that the scientist took on the mission. They know that the scientist must have crashed while studying one of the sites on the map, but they have no idea which one. And so every aphelion they send their rescue ship to a different location designated on the map. They stay at that location for as long as they can, emitting conventional and psychic broadcasts, searching for their scientist. Of course, the odds are incredibly small for any single visitation that the Cygnans have picked the correct spot on the map where the original ship crashed, but still they keep coming, every 897 days, to continue the search.
Five of these visitations have been discovered and confirmed by Dr. Horof and his staff here at ISETV. And the seventeenth visitation is going to occur in just under twenty-four hours.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the scientist was stranded, injured, hunted, far from home, and knew almost nothing of our culture. Nonetheless, the scientist was able to survive by assuming a human form and learning our language. Every time the rescue ship approached, the scientist would receive strong psychic impressions from the Cygnans on board, and through these psychic impressions, the scientist would even be able to see the location on Earth where the rescue ship was waiting—but to no avail. The rescue ship always picked the wrong spot, and there was no way that the scientist, especially in a weakened condition, could travel to the rescue ship in the short hour or two that the rescue ship stayed. And so the scientist has remained here, wandering through the Los Angeles area for nearly 42 years. She has been constantly hiding and moving, having been pursued by government agents for most of her time here. Every aphelion she gets a vision of her fellow Cygnans searching for her, but they are too far away, and then they are gone, leaving her once again stranded and alone.
But she is no longer completely alone. About three years ago, her psychic powers and her knowledge of the 897-day cycle brought her to the attention of Dr. Horof, who learned her secret and vowed to determine the site of the next visitation so that she could finally be saved. Because, as you have seen for yourselves, Trelix’s time is running out. She has contracted a fatal disease which is common among Cygnans who spend too long away from her home planet and the unique circadian rhythms of her double-star system. No Earthly medicine can save her—we must return her to her home.
And this was the real reason that ISETV has poured all of its limited resources, including your own investments, into determining the exact site of the upcoming visitation. We had hoped to meet with the Cygnans and direct them to a secluded location near Los Angeles, where they could rescue Trelix. But despite working around the clock for months, we have been unable to complete our task. Now there is no time left; the ship will be here in just under twenty-four hours.
There is still one chance, however. It is still possible to contact the approaching alien ship and tell them to come to our location. Trelix has informed us that she salvaged a transmitter from the crash, and that if the transmitter is activated, it should be able to communicate with the ship as it approaches.
There are two problems, however. The first is that we do not in fact know where the transmitter is. Trelix has told us that she dropped pieces of it at different times during her travels, and that an essential piece of the transmitter still lies at the site of the crash itself, where she left it nearly forty-two years ago. Unfortunately, Trelix has been through so much trauma that she can tell us almost nothing about the route that she followed over the past forty-two years. She cannot even tell us the location of the crash itself. All that she knows is that it was a journey of many hundreds of miles, and that she faced incredible hardships along the way. The second problem is that in order to operate the transmitter, we must have the proper code. In her weakened state, Trelix cannot remember any part of the code, and so we must discover it for ourselves.
And so our only hope is to somehow retrace Trelix’s path, retrieve the pieces of the transmitter, reconstruct it, and then deduce the code so that the transmitter can be activated. And this must all be done within twenty-four hours, or all is lost.
At first it might seem like a hopeless task. And yet there is some hope. At every aphelion, when Trelix had her vision of the rescue ship, she experienced a brief period of clarity in which she could remember where she had been hiding during the last aphelion. Thus, at every aphelion she would leave directions which described how to reach the location where she experienced the prior aphelion. She calls these directions “locator clues,” and she meant for each one to direct her to the location where the previous locator clue was placed, in the hope that she would someday regain her strength enough to retrace her path. Thus, these locator clues can direct you backward along her path, from location to location, back to the crash site. Of course she didn’t want these directions to be followed by just anyone. So she encoded each one in a different way, making it as difficult as possible for anyone else to use them to learn her route. She cannot remember any of the specific codes that she used, but she knows that some are incredibly difficult, and she doubts that anyone from our planet could solve them all.
There is one other piece of information which you might find useful. At each aphelion, as I have said, Trelix encoded a locator clue which can direct you to her location on the previous aphelion. However, she also kept a detailed log during her travels, and at each location you will find not just a locator clue but also a log entry. The log entry is a completely separate document and will be designated as such at every location. Trelix assures us that all the information that you need to get to the next location is contained in the locator clue, and so the log entry is not essential to figure out where you are going next. And yet Trelix insists that the log entries are critical—she doesn’t remember why, but she knows that you cannot possibly succeed without understanding them. I leave it to all of you to understand this mystery.
Are there any questions? No questions? We’ll start passing out the investor packets now. [Staffers begin passing out the packets, one to each team. THEO continues speaking as they are passed out.]
With the aphelion now approaching, Trelix can remember her location at the time of the last aphelion. She has encoded instructions to that location and hidden the instructions somewhere on this ship. However, because she finds it difficult to trust anyone except Dr. Horof, she has so far refused to divulge to anyone where these instructions are located. [THEO looks out the door that TRELIX exited, then looks all around for TRELIX]. She promised that she would tell all of us the hiding place by the time I had finished my speech, but then she had to go lie down; I don’t know where…
[At this point, THEO falls silent as TRELIX re-enters, obviously dying. She stumbles slowly through the silent room. Suddenly, in the middle of the room, she collapses, but just before she collapses, she unobtrusively drops her bag, causing numerous items to fall out. Among these items are thirty or so small scraps of paper. THEO and the ISETV staffers try frantically to revive her (and several players trampled her), then carry her out of the room, as THEO begs the players to find the transmitter and contact the incoming ship within 24 hours—or it will be too late. The players frantically scramble to collect their clues and begin.]
Copyright © 1998-2001 by ISETV. All rights reserved.