Zariman ARG

Angels of the Zariman promo image

On Monday, 18 April 2022, 9 days before Angels of the Zariman was released, an ARG (alternate reality game) began, promoting the upcoming expansion with lore and entertaining puzzles. The previous ARG that heralded the Fortuna expansion was run mostly on Discord, but the Zariman ARG took place across multiple platforms. Initial clues took the form of normal promotional posts on standard Warframe communications channels that appeared to be interrupted or hijacked by a mysterious individual, but later clues dropped this pretence entirely or utilised wholly new platforms (such as TikTok) or accounts (such as the unidentifiedsignal Twitch account). Below are described the events of the ARG. All timestamps are in UTC.


18 April, Monday

[14.10, Facebook]
An image was posted to the Warframe Facebook page, with the caption "Catch up on all the exciting anno01110100 01100101 01110011 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01100101 01110011 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01111001 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01100111 01100101 01110100 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00111111".

The image from the Facebook post

The binary text that interrupted the post, when converted to hexadecimal notation and then to ASCII encoding, spelled out "testing testing is anyone getting this?" The image itself depicted the symbol of the Zariman ship, embossed on a floor medallion. The Orokin text above the Zariman logo reads "Zariman mission", as it does in all other instances of the logo.


19 April, Tuesday

At 14.12, in the official Warframe Discord server, a new channel called #unidentified-signal was created under the category "706C656173652068656C70". All posts in this channel were made by a Discord user named UnidentifiedSignal1. Another channel called #open-comms was created at the same time in the same category; this channel was open for all members of the Discord server to comment in and was used for collaborative solving of the ARG. The category name (706C656173652068656C70) spelled out "please help" in hexadecimal notation.

[14.12, #unidentified-signal]
[dGltZSBpcyBydW5uaW5nIG91dA.mp3]

The sound file posted in the channel was a 2:20-long recording of radio emissions from Saturn (as released by NASA in 2005), with additional audio chirps. When the spectrogram of the file was visualised, the sentence "Seems like something is getting through but the void radiation is screwing with it" could be seen. The file name (dGltZSBpcyBydW5uaW5nIG91dA) translates from base64 as "time is running out".

Spectrogram of the mp3 file, as provided by Discord user Fiendir#6503

[21.04,  #unidentified-signal]
[cGxlYXNlcGxlYXNlcGxlYXNl.wav]

This sound file contained a text file hidden within the audio using steganography (possibly using a program called DeepSound, which was used by the community to extract the hidden text). This text file was encrypted using the key "Saturn", following the clue that the sounds from the first audio file were from Saturn (in addition to Saturn being a notable location in the Zariman story). Upon decryption, the text file contained the following: "picking up some strange feedback [/] a response maybe [/] hello is anyone getting this [/] hello if you can hear this [/] im trying to push through the albrecht membrane [/] but i need more time please dont leave me" (possible line breaks inserted for clarity). The file name (cGxlYXNlcGxlYXNlcGxlYXNl) translates from base64 as "pleasepleaseplease".


20 April, Wednesday

[04.58, #open-comms]
Warframe content creator TheRagingTerror posted in the Discord channel about some items he had received from Digital Extremes. DE had sent him and other content creators packages containing cardboard cutouts representing in-game items and decorations from the upcoming Angels of the Zariman update. TheRagingTerror posted a picture of an Albrecht Entrati portrait, which would end up being a Dormizone decoration. However, the cardboard cutout of the portrait that TheRagingTerror received had the designation "M77" written on the mask just under Albrecht's hand. Comparison to the portrait in-game (which appears in some sequences during The New War quest and so could be examined prior to the Angels of the Zariman update) revealed that the code had been deliberately inserted into the cardboard cutout.

Picture of the cardboard cutout of the Albrecht Entrati portrait, as provided by Ragingterror#8972 to the #open-comms Discord channel

The designation "M77" refers to Messier object 77, a galaxy in the constellation Cetus. This clue would not be used until the very end of the ARG, on 26 April.

[14.52, Instagram]
A video was posted to the Warframe Instagram page that showed a bulkhead within the Zariman, with the video occasionally glitching and flashing white. Within the white flashes could be seen a string of bytes (shown below) translating to "jacked the signal up to try and punch through it but cant even be sure these broadcasts are reaching the right ears let alone the right dimension" in hexadecimal notation.

The hexadecimal bytes shown in the middle of the Instagram video

21 April, Thursday

[14.51, Warframe Forum]
A post was made on the Warframe Forum by a new user named UnidentifiedSignal with the post title "01101001 01101101 00100000 01110011 01101111 00100000 01100011 01101100 01101111 01110011 01100101" and post body "W IEAFSD ITU O  BEJ RTFUYDE AIB  IHCDRATAMNT HTI NTA FTYN OPNHTRUHTEMMRN  UTMRO H RQEC N E FICNPGYAKOFO TTI OL OKI UW IEORG CHGHEAISIREENASI  GCFF SUW". The title, when converted to hexadecimal notation and then to ASCII encoding, spelled out "im so close", while the post itself was encoded with a rail fence cipher with 3 rails (the cipher key is 3). When decrypted, the message read "WAIT A MINUTE WHAT IF INSTEAD OF TRYING TO PUNCH THROUGH THE MEMBRANE I JUST MIRROR THE FREQUENCY AND SEE IF I CAN PIGGYBACK OFF OF IT THIS COULD WORK".


22 April, Friday

[00.03, Twitch/YouTube]
At the very end of Prime Time #305 (which had begun roughly 2 hours prior, at 18.00 EDT), a video broadcast interrupted the stream, cutting off [DE]Marcus mid-sentence. The video showed a Zariman logo painted on a wall, with a Zariman-styled interface playing a transmission of a female voice. The transmission suffered from frequent static distortions and glitches.

Screenshot of the video transmission. The Orokin text to the right of the waveform display reads "Zariman".

[Kira]: "Can anyone hear this? I'm not sure if this transmission is getting through. [shouts] Damn Void radiation! If you can hear this, I need to talk. The Zariman data archives – they're on the verge of corruption. Gah! This isn't working! Stay tuned. I'll contact you on another channel as soon as I—"

The identity of the female voice was not given, and never would be throughout the events of the ARG. It is only with the quest Angels of the Zariman, released after the conclusion of the ARG, that context clues can be put together with information revealed much later during the ARG to presume the speaker's identity. However, for the sake of clarity, Kira's voice is identified as such throughout this writeup.

[00.19, #unidentified-signal]
0011011100110011001000000011011001000110001000000011011001000100001000000011011000110101001000000011011100110100001000000011011000111000001000000011011000111001001000000011011001000101001000000011011000110111001000000011011100110011001000000011001000110000001000000011011000110011001000000011011001000110001000000011011001000100001000000011011000110101001000000011001000110000001000000011011100110101001000000011011100110000001000000011001000110000001000000011011000110100001000000011011001000110001000000011011001000101001000000011011100110100001000000011001000110000001000000011011100110111001000000011011000110001001000000011011000111001001000000011011100110100001000000011001000110000001000000011011100110101001000000011011100110000001000000011001000110000001000000011011000110110001000000011011001000110001000000011011100110010001000000011001000110000001000000011011001000100001000000011011000110101
[BR_Z10_0-1_E-110KV.mp4]

The string of binary (translated as before) read "somethings come up dont wait up for me". The mp4 file was the interrupting video from the end of Prime Time.

[14.26, Twitter]
The official Warframe Twitter account posted a tweet that was interrupted (much like the Facebook post from Monday). The tweet read "Heads up, Tenno! We'reb2theSBJIHRoaW5rIEkgZ290IHRoZSBoYW5nIG9mIHRoaXMgbGV0cyB0cnkgc29tZXRoaW5nIHdpdGggYSBsaXR0bGUgbW9yZSBicmVhdGhpbmcgcm9vbSA=" and also had the following image:

The image from the tweet

The string of text that interrupted the tweet translated from base64 as "okay I think I got the hang of this lets try something with a little more breathing room". The image showed one of the statues within the Zariman colony ship, but with a QR code split into four parts and scattered to the corners of the image. The QR code, once reconstructed, was a link to the official Warframe TikTok account, which had a single video uploaded. The video showed a Zariman interface (different from the previous video, but a similar UI) with the same female voice talking over it. The screen said "File: Encrypted", "Voice authentication required", and "Enter password", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "001 – audio broadcasting …"

[Kira]: "…just have to adjust the attenuation, and… [short static] Is it working? It's working! Hello? Hello! I'm praying to whatever gods are listening that you can hear this message. I can't explain everything right now, but I need your help cracking through this Zariman voice authentication protocol. Find the password and record yourself saying it to this broadcast, so I can feed it to the computer. Good luck."

[17.12, Twitch]
A Twitch.tv channel called unidentifiedsignal had previously been identified and was being monitored by the community. The channel was at least a week old but had posted no videos. Around or prior to 17.12, the channel description was updated to say "aHR0cHM6Ly9pLmliYi5jby9iRnFycUttL3RoM3lzMW5nMXMxbmd3MzRsbHMxbmd0MGczdGgzci5qcGc=", which translated from base64 into the url https://i.ibb.co/bFqrqKm/th3ys1ng1s1ngw34lls1ngt0g3th3r.jpg.

th3ys1ng1s1ngw34lls1ngt0g3th3r.jpg

The image name (th3ys1ng1s1ngw34lls1ngt0g3th3r) translates to "They sing / I sing / We all sing together" in Leet. The image is the same from the tweet, showing the statue from the Zariman, along with the same QR code in the corner pointing to the TikTok page. However, there was additional information embedded in the metadata and in the image itself. Many of the metadata fields (title, subject, author, copyright, etc) were populated by the string "aHR0cHM6Ly9pbWd1ci5jb20vYS9XTnRna1JZ", which translates in base64 to the URL https://imgur.com/a/WNtgkRY. This imgur album is titled "theysingisingweallsingtogether" and contains a single image – the one from the tweet (not the one from the Twitch channel with the additional metadata).

In addition to the metadata, the image from the Twitch channel also contained ASCII art when viewed with a text editor. This art took the form of a Zariman logo, with "Z10" in the centre of the image and a line of binary beneath it. There were four such logos, each with a different binary string. The image had four lines running across it, which may have been due to this inserted information.

Example of one of the four ASCII arts found within the image

The four binary lines were:

00001101 01010100 00010000 00101001 01011001 01010001 00110110 01011101
00110100 01011110 01000100 01111010 01010111 01010101 00111011 01000011
00101110 01011110 00010000 00101110 01010000 01011011 00111111
00101110 01011001 01010101 01111010 01011101 01010101 00111011 01000001

These binary lines were encrypted with a XOR cipher using the key "Z10" (seen in the centre of the logo). When decrypted (each line decrypted separately), they read out "We shall / not fear / to take / the leap".

[18.47, TikTok]
A member of the community recorded a video saying the password "We shall not fear to take the leap" and posted it as a video reply to the video on the Warframe TikTok account. Shortly afterward, a new TikTok was posted, demonstrating that the password was correct. This video showed the same Zariman interface with Kira's voice. The screen said "File: Log_Z10_1_S-624ST", "Voice authentication accepted", and "We shall not fear to take the leap – Password correct", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "002 – audio broadcasting …"

Screenshot of the TikTok video. Aside from the text information, all the TikTok videos in the ARG were identical in appearance.

[Kira]: "I'll be honest. I wanted to believe you could do it, but I was sceptical. You have no idea what this means to me. This is a second chance! The Orokin left these archives to rot, and now we might lose it all to the Void. I'll share this decrypted file with you on another channel. Uh, just need to check something. Hold tight."

[18.57, TikTok]
Another TikTok video was uploaded. This time the Zariman UI had no text except "003 – audio broadcasting …" At the start, a male voice could be heard in the background on some kind of recording, but it was quickly spoken over by Kira.

[unidentified male voice]: "Hey, uh, it's me…" [unintelligible once Kira begins speaking]

[Kira]: "I can't believe it's still intact. Thank you. [static increases, Kira makes exasperated sound] This Void contamination sure is wild, huh? Never seen anything like it. Seems like it's amplifying the signal somehow. Wait, is this feedback from a different— sorry, not important. What is important is the Zariman. Remember that? I'm sure you wish you didn't. Well, too bad. I need you to remember. What happened here, it's… incomprehensible. But we can't let it be forgotten. I found a cache of encrypted data. Personnel files, message logs, and much more. Most of it is already gone, corrupted. We have to save what little is left. Please, I'm begging you. Help me back it up so it's safe. [static] Still with me? Ah, the signal is fading…. I'll broadcast the one file you just cracked through a different channel. Stay tuned. [static increases] Damn! I'm losing the signal! I'll contact you again."

[19.10, YouTube]
A video was uploaded to the Warframe YouTube page, titled "Recovered Zariman Log 1: LOG_Z10_1_S-624ST". It showed various views of the Zariman ship interior, including the colonist habs and the arboretum, overgrown and abandoned. A Zariman audio interface at the bottom said "Log 001 – audio broadcasting …" while the male voice heard in the background of the most recent TikTok video left a recorded message.

Screenshot of the YouTube video

[unidentified male voice]: "Hey, uh, it's me. If you're listening to this, I guess you found the datapad I left sitting on your bedside table. Subtle, I know. I wish I could say this in person, but… ever since Cavalero's little show of force, we're on double shifts. I've been thinking about what you said, though. [sigh] Alright, look: you've always been the smart one in this relationship, and I know how much you look up to Archimedian Yonta. What I'm trying to say is: I'm sorry. I'm sorry I said that Yonta and your team were going to get us all killed. [sigh] It's just that things have been intense lately, and I'm still not convinced that Yonta isn't insane. But you are and always will be the most important thing to me. And if you really do believe the jump will be safe… I'll trust you. Anyway, I'll shut up now. These last few weeks have been rough, but… we just need to hold out a little longer. One jump and we'll be in paradise, right? Okay! I'll be home late. Love you, my angel."

The video description said: "I need your help. This will explain more: http://wrfr.me/sos". The link went to a page on the Warframe website, https://www.warframe.com/news/i-need-your-help. This page had the title "I̷̠̩͑̊ ̸͚͎͉̻͋̀͐̚Ṇ̵̢̪͍̄͛̎E̷̼̝͗̒E̷͙̖̗͆̒D̵̨̛̝̙̲͑ ̶͇̩͔̆Ỵ̷͔̪͑̃̀̾O̷̱͖̣͌Ù̶͈͉̾̈́̍Ṛ̴̎̕ ̵̰͎̪̊̈Ȟ̶̞͖͂͂̚E̸̜̣͛̐̒̇L̵̗͖̾͊͜P̷̥̪̋̓" and the subtitle "ṭ̶̃̅͝h̶̰̤̾̒͗͒̕i̶͚͚̓s̴͍̳̕ ̶͉̞̆̑̓̔͗i̸̺̩̼̽s̸̳͉̣̱̙̓͗̇ ̷̧͚̖̯͇͌̋w̷̪̌̕͝h̷̭̣̎́͝e̶̠̗̱͈͂ͅr̶͓̲͉͖̔ȅ̶̞̥ ̴̥̜̤̇̉̕ȉ̶̘͍̻͙͊͛̌̋t̸̼͈͇̻̗̓̅́ ̶̢̂̋̃̂͜a̵̳͒͆̔̆͘l̸̠͖͐l̴̨̗͙̳̫̒͆̕ ̸͖͔̹̦̯̽b̵̬̈́͛̕e̵͍̯̐͋̓̚̕͜g̵̨̈́̌͐̆i̶̛̯͉̫͈̾̍͆n̴̹̩̟̓͜ͅs̸̢̯̬̏̎͝", with the following text:

====================================================
|==::ZARIMAN EMERGENCY BROADCAST PROTOCOL v2.33::==|
|==::    Initiating emergency override…     ::==|
|==::     Override complete…             ::==|
|==::      Connection established…            ::==|
====================================================

22.04.2022.16.56: Sorry I've been so hard to reach. I'll explain more later, I promise. This channel seems stable for now, so I'm going to use it to store any of the files you've recovered. If you're lost and need to catch up, start by reviewing those. I'll message you soon.

These people are friends, they can help you:

https://discord.gg/playwarframe

Go to #open-comms channel to find allies.

====================================================
|==::      ZARIMAN DATA FILE REPOSITORY       ::==|
====================================================

Broadcasts:
BR_Z10_0-1_E-110KV [link to a Twitch clip of the broadcast interrupting Prime Time]
BR_Z10_1-1_E-110KV [link to the first TikTok video]
BR_Z10_1-2_E-110KV [link to the second TikTok video]
BR_Z10_1-3_E-110KV [link to the third TikTok video]

Logs:
LOG_Z10_1_S-624ST [link to the first YouTube video]

Data Files:


23 April, Saturday

[16.00, Twitch]
The unidentifiedsignal Twitch channel started streaming, showing only a countdown over the Zariman logo. The countdown started at 1:23:00:00 and was set to end on Monday, 25 April, at 15.00.

Screenshot of the countdown livestream

[16.07, Facebook]
An image was posted to the Warframe Facebook page, with the caption "Angels of the Zarima56275686779727566756028636271656370276E69667F6D602075656B602F64702566716860256D60276E69646E6966602D656864702B63796270247E61636".

The image from the Facebook post

The text interrupting the caption, when reversed, translated from hexadecimal as "cant risk them finding me have to keep moving search everywhere". The image depicted the Khra glyph. Adjusting the colour levels revealed the phrase "WE END AS WE BEGAN" repeated over and over in the background of the image. This phrase is the second half of the Khra verse of the Requiem poem.

Khra image modified to reveal hidden text, from Discord user Rytikula#8719

[19.28, Twitch]
The unidentifiedsignal countdown on Twitch began playing whale sounds in the broadcast, and the "About" section of the channel was changed to "aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuaWF1Lm9yZy9zdGF0aWMvcHVibGljL2NvbnN0ZWxsYXRpb25zL3BkZi9DRVQucGRm", which translates from base64 into the URL https://www.iau.org/static/public/constellations/pdf/CET.pdf. This PDF was a constellation map showing the constellation of Cetus. This, combined with the whale noises (the constellation Cetus is also known as "the whale"), prompted players to go to Cetus, on Earth.

[19.52, Cetus, Earth]
A player named Unidentified-Signal said "d2VlbmRhc3dlYmVnYW4uY29t" into the Cetus Relay chat. This translates from base64 to "weendaswebegan.com".

This website was a facsimile of the Warframe website as it appeared in April 2013 (compare to archived version of the actual website), complete with the news posts that were posted at that time. There were many clues hidden within the website, both visible and not.

There were 7 navigable web pages on the site, in addition to the home page:

There was also an embedded video that was an unlisted video on the Warframe YouTube channel. This video was titled "nosleepforthedead" and had no description.

News posts 2 – 5 were copies of actual blog posts from that time period. News post 1 was titled "W̴̢͔͚͙͐͛̇̔̋̑̀̏̿̄́̉̈̀̄́̆̒͛̔̀́̈̀͑̒̐͛͝͝E̴̢̧̧̨̨̨̛̞͉̙̺̺̜̣̱͕̯͔̥̥̜̥̘̭͈̜̝͈͕̹̲̜̘͎̬̿̆́͒͑͐͐̊̔̈́̒̍̈̋͐̎̉̊̓̕͘̕͜͠͠͠E̵̢͖͕̙̠͙̹̫͎̺̳͓̦̮͈͚͖̲͎̬͉͓͉̻̔̅̀͘͜ͅṆ̷̨̨̼̲̭̯͓͉̮̓̀̒͂̕͘ͅĎ̸̛͍͓͔̦̔͗̃̎̅̾̾͂̄̈́̈́̃̆͛ͅA̷̛͇̳̖͚̿͌́S̵̫̈́̈́̔̿͒̇̀̂̀͗̋̋̌̎̎̑͋̇̅̒̓̈͌̏̽͘̕͝͝͝W̴̨̢̳̰͇͚̖̙̖̦̺̖̖̩̤̺̩̖̆̒̋̂̋̂̋̑͑͜E̵̡̛̙̳̫͇̦̱͕͚̳͖̠̥̣̝̬̗͈͔̗̳̟̰͖͈̬̻̿̍͐͆́̈́̊͛̈́͊̐̇̔͌͌̓͋͗͛́̊͊̿̍͗͘͝͠ͅͅB̷̡͎̮̙͖̯̰̠̭̥͍͖̪̹̙̟̼͖̜̮̪̜̘̳̦̱̄̿̍͒̓̈́̆̆́̋̽̌͋͑̀̾̏̄̓̃͜Ȩ̷̧̯̮̀̍̔͂G̷̡͚̖͔̩͍̠͓̭͖̪̹̝̩̳̥̰͇̰̱̱̗͔̮̺̫͙͌͜ͅÄ̴̢͙̻̫̣̞̲͔̞͖͍̰̩̲̪̺̪͔̮̹̩͓̥̪͎̜͓̹́̅͑̾͐̀̋̽̽̀͋͊̽̔͆̈́̐̓̾̃̈́̓̀͘͜͝ͅŅ̸̨̯͖̺̰̭͇͚͓̱̠͑͐̂̓̑̄̀̉̓̒͂̈̆̌̈́̚͠Ẃ̵̛̪͖̫̯̾̿̇̿̈́̾̽́̋͐̒̍̿̆̋̅̓͌̄̈͛͋͋̋̾̎̾͠͠Ȇ̷̛͚̲̆̊͊͂̓̔̿̓̂͐̓́̆̉̿̕͘̚̚͠͠Ẻ̷̹̼̰̝̤͎̲̖͍̯̩͍̭̻́͌̓͐̆̅̾̀͆̂̍̉͆͒̌̉̋͊͒̃̅͊͗̅̆͆̀͐̿̍͘͜͝N̵̢̛̏̾̈́͐̓̋̄͑̈̾͂̀̑͋͋̔̀̌͌̊͑̅͘D̸̨̟̞͕̥̞̗̹̟̮̗̳͓̟̜̦̗͑̓̈́̀̋̊̑̋̈́ͅͅÀ̶̢̨̡̢̛̜̱̱̹̩̠̹̠̙̭̮͌̾͐̌̊̃͊̿̂͐͗̄̌̔̓͋́̀̓̃̌́̿̕͜S̵̢̛̱̮̭͈̳͙̯̰̠̩͎̫̫̪̒͐̇́͑͋̄̌͆̂͋̈̋͌̍͑̕͘͘͝Ẅ̸̧̛̛̛̦͕͉̯͉͚̙̦̼̖͖̪́͑̒̂̀̐̾̄̏̀̾͌̒̈́̌̃̃́̽́̾̈͝Ę̷̨̧̨̭͙̝̣̲̤̥̫̮̟͍̫̹͖̝̰͚̝͚̮͊́̎̐̃͒̋͂̍̄̆̈́́̓͗͑̉̈́̀̈́̋́̉̒̚̕̚̕͝͝͝B̴̨͈͔̠͉͆̀͌̂̿̇̋̽̇͛̎̈́̕͘͠͠ͅȨ̶̨̛̩͖̻͙̭̰͇̰̬̙̺̺͚͎̲̺̳̘̯̫̘̫͔̜̱̍͑̈́͒̄̇͐̆͒́̍̆̾͐̈́́̽̈́̇̈̓̚ͅͅĜ̶̱͎͖̥͓̇̆͛͋͆͊̉̇̇̌̓͊̽̋͋̀̈́̅̂͊̀͛̅͒̚͝͝͠͝͝Ă̶̢̮̠̞͍̗̠͓̜̰̘̥͉̻̳͓͖͈͈͎͈̤͖̩̭̘̩̦͕̺̜̊N̵̢̡͙̮̙͇̼͍̤̲̬͈͕̞̮̲͖̳̻̰͎̳̙̪̮̗̞͚̟͊͒̂̀̊̑̈̊̆̊͝ͅ" ("WEENDASWEBEGAN" repeated once, with Zalgo text corruption). This page had a long story, written backwards (with the lines of text going from bottom to top and from right to left), presented in stages, with the story advancing by clicking on the highlighted word or words in the current stage. If News post 1 was clicked on while the PS4 tab was selected, it instead opened a page that was identical, but with un-mirrored text that was easily human-readable. The PS4 tab had no other effect on any other web pages or features of the site (aside from turning some of the text orange to indicate the change in platform). The WEENDASWEBEGAN story is reproduced below. Clicking on the bolded words advanced the story to the next stage2.


In a land to the West, beyond the great Azure Sea, there lived a beautiful Princess. Her black hair shimmered like starlight over a winter lake, and she passed the hours of each day by admiring it from the countless reflections that surrounded her.

For this Princess lived in a palace of mirrors.


Upon every wall, adorning every pillar, and even set into the crown that rested upon her head, were countless mirrors.

But not every mirror was the same.

Glimpse into one mirror, ɐup ʎon ɯᴉƃɥʇ sǝǝ ʎonɹ ɹǝɟlǝɔʇᴉou ndsᴉpǝ poʍu.

Another mirror might look like a perfect relfection, sed loquendo verba tua sonuerunt aliena tibi3.


One mirror showed a reflection of the past.4

While another showed her what had yet to pass.5

One mirror magnified her appearance.

While another ever so slightly diminished it.

And so the princess whiled each day mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of reflections that unfolded before her. In one mirror she was old, another she was young. In one she was skinny, another rotund. With so many mirrors to examine, you might think she favored some.

But all of her mirrors were precious to her.

All but one.6


Deep in the palace's dungeon, beneath its mirrored halls and crystal courtyards, was one mirror in which the princess dared not to look.

She kept it hidden and secret, a single shard of polished silver pressed between the pages of a very old book.


One day, while she was combing her hair before a mirror that made it look as if she had no hair at all, the Princess received a guest.

Because the Princess lived alone, she did not realize he had entered the palace until he stumbled upon her. Clad in a tattered black cloak, the Princess feared the Man was one of the Azure Sea raiders who would frequently shore their boats and roam inland looking for food and treasure.

But upon seeing him, the Man prostrated himself and kissed the ground before her. "So the legends are true," he whispered.

"What legends?" asked the Princess, her curiosity piqued.


"When I was a boy, my mother told me stories of the Mirror Princess who lived in a palace on the other side of the Azure Sea," the Man explained. "She told me of her mirrors, and the magic that compelled them to show not a reflection in plain, but a reflection of every possibility conceivable by mortal minds--and even some that are not."

The Princess saw now that the Man was not a dangerous rogue, but a feeble gaffer. His skin was wrinkled and weathered. It hung from his face, making him look gaunt and dreadful. And in her heart, the Princess pitied him.


"I suppose you have chased this rumor across the sea hoping to glimpse a reflection of you when you were still young, old man?" the Princess said.

Pushing himself up onto his knees, the old Man bellowed. "No! No! That's not it at all!"

The Princess squinted her eyes in suspicion.

"You see," the old Man continued. "I have come because I have no reflection at all."


The Princess gasped and, taking the mirror in her hand, positioned it in front of the Man's face at such an angle that she would see him in it.

But, alas, no reflection could she find.

"See?" the Man whispered, his voice trembling. "It was taken from me."

"How?" asked the Princess.


The old Man sat back and drew his hands to his chest.

"Years ago, when I was a young, I was strong and courageous and exceptional with a blade. I fought in wars old and new, explored many lands, and loved as men are wont to do," he said. "But none of those loves compared to her."

"Who?"

"The Moon."


The old Man looked at the Princess and the intensity of his gaze made her uneasy.

"She was my constant companion, a light that illuminated even the darkest trails. She'd leave me, oh yes, but always to return. Her pale skin glittered on the black waves around my boat as I sailed to lands unknown," the Man continued. "She was my one true love. And she betrayed me."

The Princess wrinkled her nose in confusion. She had never heard of this Moon before. "How did she betray you?"

The old Man looked up, his eyes filled with tears that refused to spill.

"She disappeared, and she took my reflection with her."


The Princess felt the immensity of the Man's heartbreak and it softened her suspicions. "So why have you come?" she asked.

"For countless years I have wandered the earth, looking for any sign of my reflection. But after finding nothing, I one day remembered the stories my mother used to tell. Of a Princess who lived beyond the sea, in a palace of mirrors. Surely, I thought, my reflection could be found in one of them."

The Princess considered it a moment and said, "Your story pains me. I know not of this Moon of which you speak, but my palace and its mirrors are yours. May you find your reflection in one."


The old Man's eyes widened in disbelief and he fell on his face before her and for many long minutes babbled praises to the young Princess.

At last, he looked up to discover that she had gone. Drying his eyes, he turned his mind to the search ahead.


The old Man searched. He searched and he searched and he searched. Days turned into months, which turned into years as he scoured the countless rooms of the palace, stopping to gaze into each of their countless mirrors hoping to see himself.

As thanks to his gracious host, the old Man would sometimes venture out into the forest that surrounded the palace to hunt. He'd return at dusk, and on mirror plates he and the Princess would enjoy a meal together. He regaled her with stories of his life, and she listened with rapt attention for the Princess had never ventured beyond the walls of the palace.

And when the meal was done and the Princess retired, the old Man would search for his reflection in curve of her silver spoons.


One day, the Princess realized she had not seen the old Man in some time. She feared for him. In the years they had lived together, he had become her close companion. But she could not ignore how time's incessant march bent him. She feared he might pass without ever recovering his reflection.

"Friend, where are thou?" she called as she wandered the halls, but there was no sign of him.

Days passed. So terrified was she of losing him, she began to leave messages etched into precious mirrors. Hoping that they were simply like ships passing unawares in the night.

But no sign of him could she find.


Then one day, the Princess's wanderings brought her to the mouth of the dungeon.

She was about to pass by when something caught her eye. Stopping, feeling a cold panic crawl over her, she turned to notice the door was slightly ajar.

"No," she whispered. "Please no!"


The Princess flung wide the door and raced down the steps. Her heart was hammering in her chest as she plunged into the darkness beneath the palace.

Her foot slipped on a step and she tumbled forward, falling down several flights. A wash of warm, sticky blood trickled down her face. But still she thundered on.

Down.

Down.

Down.

Down.

Down.

Down.

Down.


Finally she came to an old wooden door where, upon its facade, where etched old runes that she did not understand. Pushing it open, she stepped into an ancient library, where dusty books crowded every shelf. And in the center of this room, the old Man sat with his back to her. A queer silver corona of light emanated from something he held in his ancient, withered hands.

The Princess called softly to him but he did not respond. A knot of fear twisted her stomach, making it hard to breathe.

"Old friend," she whispered. "You should not be here."


Cautiously she circled the old Man until at last she could see his face. Illuminated by a pale glow, his mouth was slack, absent of any expression. His breathing was shallow and rapid. His eyes two perfectly white pearls.

The Princess fell to her knees and, stifling a sob, continued to crawl toward her one and only companion. Clasped in his hands was a book so old that its pages crumbled to dust where his fingers clutched them. And resting between its pages, pale white light spilled out of a shard of mirrorglass as if it were a window.


Fighting the urge to scream, the Princess wrapped her fingers around the unmoving hands of the old Man and began to close the book.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered between a silent sob.

The Man did not respond.

But as the book closed, the Princess—unable to fight her curiosity—chanced a glimpse. In the shard of mirror, she saw not the reflection of her friend, but her own.

And as the pages closed together and she was left in complete and all-encompassing blackness, the Princess could not get the image out of her mind.


Her reflection,
smiling, as it reached
for her, fingers piercing
the threshold between them.

11111
00011
00011
00011
11111
00011
11111
11111
11111
3


The 404 page had no features or links, just the following text:

TEMPORAL ANOMALY DETECTED
Spacetime paradox imminent. Collapsing tunnel to prevent simultaneity oveŗ̶͔̘̇̂load.
11111
11111
00011
11111
11111
00000
00000
00000
00000
11


The "nosleepforthedead" embedded video was a 26-second-long view of a node of Void corruption, swirling with energy, while music played in the background. The video glitched once in the middle and once at the end.


There were two major puzzles within the website, with multiple pieces hidden within each page. The first was the ASCII art. Each page of the site had an ASCII art hidden in the HTML code, in the shape of the Zariman logo. On the 5 news posts, each ASCII art had two lines of binary above or below the logo and a line from the Zariman pledge (previously heard during The New War quest) in the centre. On the first page (containing the mirrored story) the Zariman pledge text was written in reverse.

Example of one of the ASCII arts found in the HTML code of the website

The lines of binary found on all the ASCII arts were as follows:

"neveS eht fo modsiw dna yrolg eht yB"
10011010 01110000 10100010 10100010 01001010 11010000 11011010 00111010 00111010 11000010 01011000 00000010 11001000 00001010 01001010 00110000 11111010 10100110

"I give my life to carry"
01100011 00010101 01011110 01010001 00010011 01001010 00000000 01010010 00001110 01000001 01100110 00010011 00011000 00000000 01001010 00010100 00011101 01011010

"the sacred light of our dominion"
01111111 00001100 00001100 01000000 01111101 00011011 00011010 00010110 00000100 00000100 00101000 00010110 00010011 00000011 00000100 00010101 01011001 00010101

"into the deepest dark."
00011111 00001011 00011010 00001111 01011110 00010111 01101110 01111010 00100111 01101000 00011111 00011001 01100000 00000100 00011001 00010110 00001110 00011011

"In this... we are one."
01011001 01110100 01010110 00010111 00001101 00010010 01000110 01010010 01000110 01001000 01011010

The other three pages of the site had no binary, but did have Zariman logos with text in the centre. The home page said "ORXVKL", News post 1-1 (the un-mirrored version of the mirror story) said "TURNBACKSHALLOWGRAVESHIDEDEEPHORRORS", and the error page said ".5Y:.77777!!!!!!7!!!!!!!!:".

The lines of binary were not readable until decrypted with an XOR cipher twice: each line had to be decrypted using the corresponding Zariman pledge line found on the same page, and then decrypted again using the master key "ORXVKL"7 found on the home page (or vice versa; XOR ciphers are additive and so the operation can be performed in any order). Before decrypting, the line of binary from the first page had to be reversed, following the clue that the Zariman pledge line (as well as the mirror story from the web page itself) was written in reverse. The clue to use a double XOR cipher was provided by the unidentifiedsignal Twitch channel itself, which at some point before 03.46 on Sunday updated the "About" section of the channel to read "aHR0cHM6Ly9mb3J1bXMubmkuY29tL3Q1L0xhYlZJRVcvRG91YmxlLVhPUi1DaXBoZXItV2lsbC1pdC1pbmNyZWFzZS1zYWZldHkvdGQtcC80MTg2NjA2", which translates from base64 into the URL https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/Double-XOR-Cipher-Will-it-increase-safety/td-p/4186606. This link goes to a forum thread on a coding website asking about double XOR ciphers. This clue prompted the community to try using the double XOR cipher on the binary lines. Within half an hour of being discovered, the channel description reverted to the previous string encoding the URL to the Cetus constellation map.

The lines of binary, once double-decrypted, were:

01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 01110011 00111010 00101111 00101111 01110111 01100101 01100101 01101110 01100100 01100001 01110011 01110111 01100101 01100010

01100101 01100111 01100001 01101110 00101110 01100011 01101111 01101101 00101111 00110111 01000001 00110110 00110001 00110111 00110010 00110110 00111001 00110110

01000100 00110110 00110001 00110110 01000101 00110110 00110110 00110110 00111001 00110110 01000011 00110110 00110101 00110110 00110100 00110111 00110010 00110110

00111001 00110111 00110110 00110110 00110101 00101111 01001001 01001101 01011111 01011010 00110001 00110000 01011111 00110011 00110010 00110100 01100101 00110011

01011111 01001000 00101110 00110101 00101110 00110111 01111010 00101110 00110000 00110000 00110001

When the binary was then converted to hexadecimal notation and thence to ASCII encoding, each line translated to a portion of a long URL:

https://weendasweb
egan.com/7A6172696
D616E66696C6564726
97665/IM_Z10_324e3
_H.5.7z.001

The completed URL (https://weendaswebegan.com/7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665/IM_Z10_324e3_H.5.7z.001) led to a partial 7zip archive. This 7z.001 file could not be opened without its 7z.002 counterpart. The folder name within the URL (7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665) translates from hexadecimal as "zarimanfiledrive". This folder would be a component of several URLs given throughout the ARG.


The second major puzzle from the website was the binary-Grineer string. There were 10 binary sections hidden throughout the site.

One was found in a comment in the HTML code of the home page:
11111
11111
11111
11111
11111
11111
11111
00011
00011
    1

One was found in the HTML code of News post 3:
11111
11111
11111
11111
00011
11111
11111
00000
00000
    2

One was found at the very end of the story in News post 1-1, as noted previously8:
11111
00011
00011
00011
11111
00011
11111
11111
11111
    3

One was found in the background image of the home page, covered up by the page's content until inspected separately:
11111
11111
11111
11111
00011
11111
11111
00000
00000
    4

One was found in the header image of News post 5, faintly visible on the left side of the image:
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100
00100

One was found in the HTML code of News post 1:
11111
11111
11111
00011
00011
00011
11111
11111
11111
    6

One was found in the HTML code of News post 2:
11111
11111
00011
11111
11111
11111
00011
00011
00011
    8

One was found in the HTML code of News post 5:
11111 11111 00011 11111 00011 00011 00011 11111 11111 10

One was found in the main body of the error page, as noted previously:
11111
11111
00011
11111
11111
00000
00000
00000
00000
11

The last was found at the very bottom of News post 4, in the same font colour as the background (so it must be highlighted to be seen):
00011 00011 11111 11111 11111 00000 00000 00000 00000 12

Each of these binary strings was designated by a non-binary number at the end/bottom (except for the code found in the image in News post 5, which is assigned the number 5 by process of elimination). The missing numbers, 7 and 9, were not assigned to binary strings, but to Grineer letters. The Excalibur warframe in the image above the "Play Free" button on the home page had a faint Grineer letter E on his chest, with the number 7 written below. The embedded nosleepforthedead YouTube video showed a Grineer letter C in the bottom left corner of the video for a single frame around the 0.13 mark, with the number 9 written below.

When the binary strings were assembled in vertical rectangles (as most of them already were), they resembled letters in the Grineer alphabet (following the hint that 2 of these clues were already Grineer letters). When put in order from 1-12, they spelled out "wrfr.meyclnv", which could be interpreted as the shortened URL wrfr.me/yclnv.

representation of the binary art to Grineer to English translation

This URL redirected to https://weendaswebegan.com/7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665/1/IM_Z10_324 e3_H.5.7z.002, which was the other half of the 7zip archive. When both files were present in the same directory/folder, opening the 7z.001 file using the 7zip client would allow access to the combined file. Opening the 7z.002 file produced an error, as did opening the 7z.001 file when the other was not present.

The combined 7zip archive was encrypted. The password to decrypt the file was "LXJVRFNK", which is the first letter of each Requiem mod in the order they appear in Albrecht Entrati's Requiem poem. Inside the compressed file were three PDF files:

IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-113

Subject: Please respond…
Sender: Axia H.5
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-113

Hombask,

Where are you? Your assistant says you've been out sick, but I'm not buying it. I'm really worried about you.

I know you're fuming about that last broadcast from Tuvul. We all are. I just want to make sure you don't do anything stupid. Last we spoke, you said some pretty scary stuff. I'm sure you were just blowing off steam but I never know with you.

Can you send me a message to let me know that you're at least okay? Bonus points if you can also assure me you're not doing something absolutely reckless.

Thanks.

Oh, also: Black on D3. I win again!

IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-114

Subject: Where the hell are you
Sender: Axia H.5
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-114

Hombask,

Tell me you had nothing to do with what happened in the biomes. Seriously. Do not screw with me here. I don't give a shit who might be reading these messages. Did you even consider who you'd be hurting? Families, Hombask. MY family. Chera calls you auntie! Did you even think about her?

There's so many things I could say right now. So many things I could do. But please, just tell me you had nothing to do with it. Please.

IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-115

Subject: Where the hell are you
Sender: Axia H.5
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_324E3_H.5-115

I will never forgive you.


24 April, Sunday

[13.49, Twitch]
The unidentifiedsignal stream on Twitch, which was still counting down and was now at the 1.01.10.13 mark, emitted a vocalisation which would later be understood to be an Angel scream.

[13.54, TikTok]
A new video was posted to TikTok. Much like the first TikTok video, it showed a Zariman interface that read "File: Encrypted", "Voice authentication required", and "Enter password", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "004 – audio broadcasting …"

[Kira]: "(mild static) [humming Smiles from Juran] [sharp fizzle] [gasp] Connection established! [static clears] I've managed to isolate another encrypted file for you to crack. I think the password might have something to do with this other document I found. I've already beamed it over to the same channel we were using yesterday… wait. What was that? [Void Angel screech in background] Oh, for Void's sake! Not now! I have to go. Remember, find the password and broadcast yourself saying it out loud so I can feed it into the console."

[13.55, warframe.com]
The "I need your help" file repository page on the warframe.com website was updated with another post:

24.04.2022.9.55: Sorry to disappear like that. Found this in the same directory as our encrypted file; thought you might want to see. I've updated the repository with all the files you've found too.

In addition to the new message, the most recent TikTok was added to the links under "Broadcasts" and the three PDFs from the 7zip archive were added under a previously empty heading, "Data Files". Two more files were added under "Data Files", labelled "IM_Z10_443D2_S.2-494" and "IM_Z10_923A4_S.5-059". These links both led to a 7zip archive (the same file for both links), which was corrupted and could not be opened. There was also a link within the message (the words "Found this"), which led to the same corrupted archive.

[14.05, warframe.com]
The file repository page was once again updated with a new message, and the two new files (with the link to the corrupted archive) were removed.

24.04.2022.10.05: Hold on. Something isn't right. Looks like Void Contamination is corrupting the file. I'm pulling the files until I can sort this out. Sit tight.

[14.20, warframe.com]
The web page was updated with a new message.

24.04.2022.10.30: Okay I did some investigating. It looks like the tunnel I'm using to transmit these files to you is decaying – but it's happening on your end, not mine. I triple checked.

I don't know if I can explain this in layperson's terms, but this bridge I've created mirrors the frequencies found in some of this Void Contamination. There's plenty on my end. Too much, if I'm being honest. But we need more on your end to stabilise the connection or we risk losing contact. We can't let that happen.

Listen carefully: We need to ramp up the Void Contamination on your end. By a lot. If my calculations are correct, we'd need somewhere around 10.000.000 Void traces to do that. I know that seems like an impossible number, but I believe in you. You've been unstoppable so far.

Get the word out. Gather allies, and get as many Void traces as you can. Once you have them, I need you to all gather in one place. I'll let you decide where that is. That should create enough concentrated Void Contamination to stabilise the bridge.

Get working and I'll update you on your progress when I can.

Following this message, the community went to gather the required 10 million Void traces in-game. The decision was made by the community to gather in Fortuna once each player had collected the individual maximum amount of Void traces.

[18.20, Twitter]
A tweet was posted to the Warframe Twitter account:

==ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION RECEIVED==
We've collected over half of the Void traces we need to stabilise the broadcast frequency. But we still need some9 more or I won't be able to send you more files. Keep going! http://wrfr.me/sos
==ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION END==

The file repository on warframe.com was updated with a similar message within a minute:

24.04.2022.14.16: You're doing it! The bridge is stabilising! We've collected just over half of the Void traces we need, according to my calculations. Keep going. Spread the word! Gather all the allies you can. We're so close.

[20.02, Twitter]
Another tweet announced the completion of the goal:

===ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION RECEIVED===
I've redone my calculations and I think we have all the Void traces we need. Work with your allies to find a place you can all gather and wait for my update. Hopefully this works.
===ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION END===

The file repository was updated within a couple minutes:

23.04.2022:16.01: I've redone my calculations and I think we have all the Void traces we need. Work with your allies to find a place you can all gather and wait for my update. Hopefully this works.

[20.16, Twitter]
A tweet was posted with a link to the repository:

===ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION RECEIVED===
It worked! The files should be in the repository located here: http://wrfr.me/sos
Remember, we still need that password! When you find it, recite it to me here: https://wrfr.me/z10
===ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION END===

The file repository was updated with a new message:

23.04.2022.16.50: I can't believe it worked! I've transmitted the files! Don't celebrate yet, though. We still need that password for the audio log. Remember, find it and then recite it to this broadcast so I can take your audio and feed it into the computer.

The page was also updated with two more links to PDF files representing the non-corrupted data logs, IM_Z10_443D2_S.2-494 and IM_Z10_923A4_S.5-059.

Around this time, the "About" section of the unidentifiedsignal Twitch channel was changed from the encrypted Cetus constellation map to read, in standard English: "The Zariman data archives are on the verge of corruption. This is our last chance. These people are friends, they can help you: https://discord.gg/playwarframe Go to #open-comms channel." It would not change again for the duration of the ARG.

IM_Z10_443D2_S.2-494

Subject: Orokin weapon storage
Sender: Cavalero
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_443D2_S.2-494

This cycle I personally confirmed that the ceremonial weapons have been stored – properly, this time. If this Orokin finery is the only real arms we have aside from a handful of deployable ordnance, you'd have to be stupider than I think you are to tolerate any more needless risks. Tensions are already high and I'm hearing word of organised protests. If the worst happens, I don't think glorified confetti cannons are going to help us much.

Also, on the matter of displaying them, I don't care how "lovely" Hombask says the progenitor wood grain is – we shouldn't leave them out so any grubber or slack-jawed Grineer can reach them.

—Cavalero

IM_Z10_923A4_S.5-059

Subject: Assignment J72X-1: Classroom door won't lock
Sender: Automated security ticket
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_923A4_S.5-059

ISSUER: Reena Z.8
ASSIGNED TO: PENDING
PRIORITY: LOW
STATUS: PENDING

DESCRIPTION:
To Whom it may concern: The door to my Classroom 3-A has been malfunctioning since pretty much right after launch. I'm NOT a tattle, but I think I saw Jacari smearing some of his nutrient block into some of the cracks. It opens and closes just fine but it won't lock no matter what I try.

I would never do something like this obviously but I fear that some of our more intricate solar system models might fall victim to my classmate's sticky fingers looking to decorate their Dormizone.

Thank you for your prompt response.

—Reena, Class President

SECURITY ADDENDUM: Don't waste my time. We've got more important issues aboard to worry about than keeping the whelps in – or out of – their pens. For now, let them enjoy the pleasure cruise; we'll worry about locked doors when we reach Tau.


Faintly hidden in the centre of the Zariman logos (in both documents, but partially obscured in the first by the image of the Laetum) is the line "across the gulf to fare". A member of the community spoke the phrase in a video response to the most recent TikTok video around 20.20 UTC.

[20.21, Twitch]
Within a minute of receiving the correct passphrase on TikTok, the stream at twitch.tv/unidentifiedsignal (which previously had still been streaming the countdown) went black. After about another minute, it played a video:

[A large concourse area within the Zariman is shown. The Zariman UI marks the video as "Log 002 – audio broadcasting …"]

Zariman captain: "[intercom chime] Pardon the interruption. This is Zariman Actual. All decks, all stations, stand by for Reliquary field drill."

[Sounds of machinery rumbling are heard and a distant, rising scream, as loud static begins to obscure the audio and video, increasing in intensity until the view goes black. The video then cuts to a series of views throughout the classrooms of the Zariman, with blood and Void corruption on the walls and floor. The male voice heard in the previous video log plays on another recording. Sounds of rioting and commotion can be heard faintly in the background.]

[unidentified male voice] "[banging on door] Angel? My star? I need you to open this door. I know you're listening to these messages."

Female intercom voice (in background): "Please return to your rooms and await further instructions."

[unidentified male voice]: "Please, I just— I'm scared. Things are getting really bad out there. I went to look for supplies, and… my God… the bodies… I think some of them were children. I should barricade this apartment…. [sounds of furniture being moved] Look, you can't stay locked in there forever. I don't care about the jump. I don't care what went wrong. I just care about you. Just come out. Please."

After the video played, the stream returned to the countdown. The video was shortly thereafter released on YouTube, with the title "Recoverd Zariman Log 2: LOG_Z10_2_S-624ST". The video description said "Time is running out and there are so many files left to recover. I need your help: http://wrfr.me/sos".

[20.22, TikTok]
Another video was posted to TikTok. The screen said "File: Log_Z10_2_S-624ST", "Voice authentication accepted", and "Across the gulf to fare – Password correct", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "005 – audio broadcasting …"

[unidentified male voice]: "Angel? My star? I need you to open this door." [unintelligible once Kira begins speaking]

[Kira] "Another file decrypted. You're doing so great, and I just wanted to say… [Angel vocalisations in background] I have to keep moving. Keep an eye on that other channel. I'll be in touch."

The TikTok was later linked on the file repository under "Broadcasts" with the title "BR_Z10_3-2_E-110KV".


25 April, Monday

[05.35, warframe.com]
Around 05.35, the file repository page was updated with a series of messages. No new files were added.

24.04.2022.23.05: So many gaps. I see these flashes. Screaming, violence, the sound of my name echoing through the halls. Moments that feel so familiar and yet are impossible. They have to be. And here it is, happening again. I'm trying to fight it, but these old wounds, it's hard not to let it get to you, y'know? What am I saying? Of course you do….

24.04.2022.23.06: Sorry for my last message. And for burdening you like this. What I'm doing is so selfish. I hope you'll forgive me.

24.04.2022.23.09: Also sorry that I say sorry so much.

[14.55, Twitch]
The unidentifiedsignal stream, when the countdown was at exactly 5.00, started playing another voice broadcast from Kira. The label in the video said "006 – audio broadcasting …"

[Kira]: "Just gotta recalibrate the signal intensity, and… [static clears] there! I think this frequency is stable for now. Sorry I've been so hard to reach, but I'm not the only one who woke to his words. I call them Angels. Just my way of reminding myself what they used to be. [eerie noises begin in background, growing in volume] I have another batch of files that I need you to find the password for. Figure it out and send me a broadcast of you saying it so I can strip the audio— [Angel scream in background] No, nonononononono! They're calling to me! I must—" [Kira screams, like an Angel]

After the video ended, the countdown resumed. The broadcast was shortly afterwards uploaded to TikTok.

[14.56, Twitter]
A tweet was posted by the official Warframe Twitter account that read: "Roiling, moaning this realm of ours in madness, lost shall die." The text is a line from the Requiem mod Fass. The Tweet was accompanied by four images, showing komi games in various stages of completion.

The four komi boards from the tweet

[14.56, warframe.com]
The file repository was updated with another post, containing only a link to a new file:

25.04.2022.10.55: 70696563657366616C6C696E67696E746F706C616365.7z

The file name translates from hexadecimal to "piecesfallingintoplace". The file is a 7zip archive encrypted with the password "Komi". Inside the archive are four more images of komi games, plus a "legend" assigning different letters in the Orokin script to specific coordinates on the komi board.

The four komi boards from the encrypted file. The legend image, also included in the file, is shown further below with the solution.

[14.56, Instagram]
The Warframe Instagram account posted four more komi games, also with the caption "Roiling, m̷o̸a̷n̸i̴n̵g̸ ẗ̶̹́͠h̶̨͓͎͌͊i̵̡̗̓s̴̳̐͘ r̶͙͙͌e̵̛͉̾̂͋͆́̆å̷̢̢̹̙̎̂̈́̚̚͝l̴̟̩͑̽̚͝m̵̯͔̼͔̎͐ͅ ̶̡̫͚͖̗̦̇͝o̵̥͎̪͊̑̆f̷͔̈̽̋̈́̓̚ ̶͔̑̒͂͘͠o̵̦̼̫͑̈́̋͝u̷̧͈͇̮̫̟̠͐̇̊̓ŗ̸̬̫̯̞̃s̴̹͎̞̻̫̃̿͛̃ͅͅ ̶͔̏̀̏̊į̴̥̥̞̭̺̩̰͕͙͚̰̿̂̊̏̊̄̀̀͊ǹ̶̨̨̛͎͓͉̥̳̳̫̫͕̳̬̭̗̺̈͒̓͒̅͊̈́̍̑̔͑̈̚ ̸̛̬̮̣̈́͋̀̚m̴̢͉̣̗̪̈́̋͌̎̐̾̒̈́͊̿ả̷̬̰͓̞̺̱̜̮̬̱̣͚͈̦͊̇̂̀̐̌̈̀ͅd̸̨̛̦͚̯̰̝͕̝͍̲̱̤̝͚̬̽̾͊̂̋̂͑͐̂͊̎̓̕̚͜n̶̨̜̠̲͎̖̜̻͉̯̺͕̆̃͂̏̋̍̐̇̽͜ͅê̴͚̼̦̞̖͔̼̈́͛͋̔̃͗̑̂̓̓̿͘͝ş̴͓̠̤̮͉̩̪̮̩̭͚̹͛͒́̊̂̍̎̇̀̏̎͑̐͝ͅş̸̬̻͍͕͚͋̆̈́̉͋̍͘̚͠,̸̺̬̦̱̮̺̓̇̎̏͘̕̕ ̵̧͔̞̦̲̰̻͔̗̝͇͚̑̅̉́̈̇̕͜l̴̡̢̧̲͕̥͙̱͖̺̻̺̫̗̱̜̖̣̘͉̫̇̅̂̀̋̔̿̎͒̉͑̎̓̐̒̓̍̀̔̃̏̎̆̄͂̕̕͝͝͝ͅo̵̞̤͈̫͍̯̞͔͓̩̬̹̥͓͍̟̗̲̘̹̖̭̠̯͕̊̀̀̂̃̈́̈͌̆̇̕̕͝ͅͅs̴̛̫̗̞̙̤͚̲̀̇͊͌̓͒͆̀̋̈́̐̏͗̅̍͌͗͋̋͑̄͆̈͘͠͝ţ̴̢͍̠̱̜͙̻̳̜̳̗̩̳͚̗̥͔̺͇́̀̈́͊͑͂̽́̓̎͆͒̅̑̈́̿͛́͜͜ͅͅͅ ̶̢̢̛̩̝͔͍͇͈̹̦̤̳̠̲̙̲̣̘̙̥̙̳̹͓̗̻́͌͒̓̍͐̿̂̂̌̍̉̓̌͊͊͌̋͛͘͘̚͜͜͜͝͠s̷̨̧̤̬͓̘̭͙̯̱̩͙̙͎̬̝̫̩̭̩̦̻͇͇̺̯͎̳̈́̎̓̆̿̍̽̾̇͑̿͂̃̇̈́͐̅͛͊͆́̿͗̓̓͌̏̓͑̚̚ĥ̷̡̲̫͇̱̹̀̽͂͊̑́̈́̾͆́̿̂͐̂͑̎͗̕̚͠a̶̢̧̢̧̧̛̛̛̖̞͙̟͚̙͈͙̬̤͈̪͎̞̳̖̜̘̫͓̟̼͋̄̿̍̀̈͊͋͌́̐̽̈̔̆̈͌̀̓̽̑͗͌͘͘̚̕͜͝͝l̶̡͔̝̼̣̉͛͂͋̿͒̈̄̅̓̇̃̅̓̈̿̍̔̒̎́̈́̓̈̌̅͐̔͆̏͌̋̊ͅl̵̡̢͓͕͖̺̦͈͇̬̯̙͉͗͐̈́̾͑̈́͒̾̉͊͐̍̔̓̌̀̈́͘͘̕͝͠ ̵̨̨̘͙͇͙̝̳͎̖̫̮̞͚͎̞̭͇̝̯͉̩̬͇̪̤̮̜̲̙͇̳͒͌̔̈́̑̔̽́̈́͒̉̌͗̒̎̇͂͛̈́́͆̓̅͗̓̋̾͛̈́̕͘͝͝͝d̸̙̯̗̬͙̿̀̒͑̈̓̾̆́̓̎̎̉̈̒͋̀̕͘͠i̷̧̹̼̮͍͚͎̭̠̫̻̠̾̑̑̊͐͘͜ë̵̡̢̮̭͔̯͈̰̫̟̜̻̘́̓̇̊́̏̄͊̽͑̃͐̃̽́̐̌̍̓̓͝.̶̨̛̲͙͍͕͇̝͖͈̭̺͎̍̏́̅͒̔̃͛̊͋̍̿̈̐̇̔́̅̚͜͠" (with copious Zalgo corruption).

The four komi boards from the Instagram post

[15.00, Twitch]
When the countdown on the unidentifiedsignal Twitch stream reached 0.00.00.00, the screen changed to say "Password required".

Screenshot of the livestream

[15.16, Facebook]
The Warframe Facebook page posted four more komi games, also with the caption "Roiling, moaning this realm of ours in madness, lost shall die."

The four komi boards from the Facebook post

[16.39, Twitch]
The unidentifiedsignal stream, which still showed the words "Password required", began emitting intermittent audio tones. They played out the following message in Morse code: LOST THE PATH FORWARD [/] DROWNING IN YOUR SIN [/] THE ANSWER CAN BE FOUND [/] WHERE BLACK IS POISED TO WIN (line breaks inserted for clarity).

There were 16 komi boards given across four different platforms. Each of them showed a game in progress. The legend that was included in the 7zip archive showed a list of grid coordinates, assigning an Orokin letter to each coordinate pair. At the bottom of the legend was a 4 by 4 grid of numbers. The 16 komi boards had to be arranged in a similar grid, with numbers from the grid corresponding to the number of black stones on each board. There were several possible solutions for this grid, since some of the komi boards had the same number of stones (for example, there were 3 komi boards that each had 4 black stones), and the correct grid could only be determined by process of elimination in the context of the complete puzzle. Once the komi boards were arranged in a 4 by 4 grid, the next step was to identify the moves that would allow black to capture a number of white stones, following the Morse code clue "THE ANSWER CAN BE FOUND WHERE BLACK IS POISED TO WIN".

The completed puzzle, with the legend to the right. The winning moves for black, representing the correct letters on the coordinate list, are marked in red.

There were several moves that would allow black to capture a single white stone, but there were exactly 5 moves that would allow black to capture multiple white stones (3 stones specifically, in each case). These 5 points within the larger komi board grid could be assigned coordinates, starting from the bottom left of the grid at (1,1) and ending at the top right at (20,20). The coordinates of the 5 winning moves were (8,20), (12,6), (17,5), (15,13), and (6,8). When compared to the coordinate list in the legend, the corresponding letters were J, U, R, A, and N10. The order of the letters had to be determined by common sense and process of elimination, but the solution to the puzzle was "Juran". In retrospect, this was hinted at by Kira humming the song Smiles from Juran at the start of her broadcast the previous day.

[17.27, Twitch]
Within a minute of a community member guessing "Juran" in the #open-comms Discord channel, the unidentifiedsignal stream changed to show a habitation bedroom within the Zariman, with the lights flickering on and off at seemingly random intervals. The pattern of the lights flickering spelled out another message in Morse code: BEYOND THE MOON YOU WILL FIND ME.

Screenshot of the livestream, showing the lights on

Sometimes a person could be seen standing in the room by the side of the bed for a few frames, disappearing when the lights flickered again. The appearance of the person indicated the start/end of the looping Morse code message.

Screenshot of the livestream, showing the mysterious figure

[18.17, Twitch]
At some point at or before 18.17, the pattern of the flashing lights on the unidentifiedsignal Twitch stream changed to say "THOUGH ALL BETWIXT IS DARK AND DEEP" in Morse code. It took some time for the change to be noticed, and even longer to be decoded. This was the passphrase for the TikTok video.

[19.05, Twitch]
In response to a member of the community posting a video response with the correct passphrase to the previous TikTok video, the unidentifiedsignal Twitch stream changed to a simple black screen that said "Password accepted: Though all betwixt is dark and deep".

Screenshot of the livestream after the password was given

After about a minute, the stream started playing a new video of a Zariman log, but it was choppy and stuttery, and looped the same few seconds over and over. The video soon stopped playing and the stream returned to black.

[19.08, Twitter]
A tweet from the Warframe Twitter account contained the whole video of the new Zariman log, with the caption: 

=== ZARIMAN TRANSMISSION RECEIVED: LOG_Z10_3_S-624ST ===
Digging up the past was a bad idea: http://wrfr.me/sos

The video showed hallways and corridors of the derelict Zariman ship, with furniture moved aside into barricades and graffiti on the walls. It ends by focusing on one of the large, humanoid figures shaped out of the Void corruption – an Angel. The label on the UI says "Log 003 – audio broadcasting …"

[unidentified male voice] (tearful and angry): "I begged for you to open this door. I reasoned. I cried. I screamed. But then, tonight, I wake to the sound of you howling like some kind of animal. Find you in the hallway, your hands choking the life out of that child. He was just a kid! You were so thin, like a corpse. And the way you looked at me as I shouted, it was like… like you didn't know who I was. All I wanted was for you to open that damn door! And now I have to carry the guilt of knowing you're dead because of me! Because the moment you turned to the sound of my voice… was all that child needed to prove… the Void doesn't just take. It also gives."

The video was also shortly uploaded to YouTube, with the title "Recovered Zariman Log 3: LOG_Z10_3_S-624ST", and the description "Digging up the past was a bad idea: http://wrfr.me/sos".

After the tweet, the full video, without glitches or stuttering, was played on the Twitch stream, after which the stream ended.

[20.58, warframe.com]
The "I need your help" file repository on the warframe.com website was updated, adding an additional line under "Data Files" that read "S̸͈̤͇̲̙̦̎́̊̋͌̃̊͒̀́̋̏͑͊̔͊̒̐̏̈́̀H̴̡̢̢̡̰̟͇̜̝̞̥̤͎̹̜̠͍͓̞̯̗̰̠̀̇̌̄͌͘͜͜͜͠Ä̸̛̟͐̄̄̔͋̔͒̐͛̎͆̑́̇̍͝L̴̢̡̨̢̛͖̖̘̬̘͎̯̜͔̲̫̥̍́͛̐͐͑̌̃̒̈́͗͛̾̅̅̐̓̈̇̚͜͜ͅL̶̨̢̨͓͎͉͍̞̠̯̳̬̺͚̺̻̝̮͍͈͋́̓̏̒̊̚͜ͅǪ̴̲̖̥̙͖̼̙̙̲̭͙̲͍̩̉͗̓̍͜ͅẈ̴̢̰̮͎̜̗̩̗̪͓͑́͌̃͊̊͊̊̃̉̿̀̈̊̊̌̌̾͐̍̅̎͑͜͝ͅ ̶̨͙̜̭̳̮̦͚̙̗͙̰̦͛͊̈́͌̏̉̍̊̃̉͌̈̍ͅǦ̸̢̗̤̿̇̌̿́̄͗̐͋̍̋̓̅̑̍̚̕͘͘͝͠Ŗ̸̨͓̦̙͕̬̰̪̱͔̣̖̎̔̈́͗̓͆͋̏̓̈́͒̇̒͆̋̃̈̿͝͝Ą̷̨̺̦̗͍̜̹̘̯̥̭̹̻̤̙̼̱̭̝̥̳͖̀̉͗͆̾̅̽̀̋́̽͆͠͝V̶̨̨̡̧̘͙̝̩͖̰̝̻̭̞͉̹͍̹͕̓̓̒̄͜E̶̛̻̩̺̦̻̝̱͆̑̏̔͆̅̿̽̌̅̚̚͜͝S̶̡̢̢̲̰̖̗̮̺̠̣̳̮̺̯̝͈̦̝̫̉̔́̒̓͂̑́̃̏̇̿͌͐͗̉̾͑̏̂̓͜ͅ". Underneath that was a link titled "Į̷̫̈́ň̸̖͎̾̕ ̶̖̩͑̄͒t̷̼̝͎̅͗̐h̸͔̬̬̔̾ė̸͉̃ ̴̙̜͈̂d̵̼̰̉̈́́a̴̦͚͠r̸͇͓̝̒̔͝k̸̛̰̣n̷̦̭͙̋e̶̠̓̆s̸̙͗̂͝s̷̙̪͒̕ ̵̯̣͝d̵͎̻̏̄͗e̸͚̙͍͛e̶̻͎̩̊͆p̶͈̓ ̷́́̋ͅa̴͉͆̐͝n̴̜̑d̷̰͈̀ ̴͔̬͊͂ṽ̵̘͖̤͝a̶̙̞̽s̸̯͙̀̒ẗ̴͖́̚,̵̧̗̲̿̑͛" that linked to https://weendaswebegan.com/7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665/SHALLOWGRAVES.txt, a text file that contained an ASCII art of the Man in the Wall. Underneath the art was the caption "Abyssus accipit et abyssus dat"11.

SHALLOWGRAVES.txt

[23.42, warframe.com]

The file repository was updated with another file under the "SHALLOW GRAVES" section. The link was titled Ẁ̶̱̝̦̤ȩ̸͈͎̘̞̹̤̋̈͊̆ͅͅ ̴̦̪͙̥̳̲̄́̅͛̑̈́̕͘͠s̶̤͉̲͈̞͎͊͑̑ĩ̴͖͙̼̖͛̑͒͌̎̌͗͛n̴̦͇̝̲̼͇̳̪̾͋̄͌̏̑̆̈̀͝g̴͕̱͕͖̜̙͚̺̀̕͝͝ ̵̢̖̄͐̐͑̈͆̔̆̚͝a̷̻̱̤̺͛ͅ ̷̧̫͓̣̑l̷̛͙̩̠͒͊͗̾͒̓̏̋ȉ̵͇̬̥̟̩̖͍̈́̀̄̈́͌̀̄̽̀t̸͖͉͉̪͔̲͠t̷̘̠͒̑͐̈̓͂̎̑̕̕l̸͙̝̪͖̙̖̐͊̌͋̐̓̾̚e̶̘̖̮̣̹̱̟̓͜ ̷̼̩͓͚̭̘̲̋̊̏̓̈́͜s̵̨̺̖̲͖͕̖̋̿͐̃̉ȍ̷͉̹̽̀̉̉̀̏͝͠n̶̰̱̠̺͕̠̐̑g̵̛͙̳͇̯͖̈́̍͌́̔̈̕͜ͅ and led to https://weendaswebegan.com/7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665/IM_Z10_442M5_S.5-994.pdf.

IM_Z10_442M5_S.5-994

Subject: Incident report: V64K-5
Sender: Automated security ticket
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_442M5_S.5-994

ISSUER: <REDACTED>
ASSIGNED TO: PENDING
PRIORITY: HIGH
STATUS: PENDING

DESCRIPTION:
Yesterday I was dispatched to Dormizone Ward C in response to a domestic disturbance between two occupants. Upon arrival at the Ward, I encountered Dybar H.4, victim 1, who had sustained critical lacerations to his face, hands, and chest. Victim 1 was found lying in the hallway unconscious. It was then that I called for backup.

Upon entering the Dormizone, I found Victim 1's partner, Hania X.6, in a state of aggravated distress. Hania stated that Dybar "had been replaced" and needed "to be purged". Hania X.6 then brandished a kitchen utensil and attempted to assault me. I was successful in disarming her and rendering her unconscious.

When backup arrived, Hania X.6 was placed in custody and taken to the medical bay for examination. By the time the medical drones arrived, Dybar H.4 had died. His body was also taken to the medical bay for examination.

Their two children, Olrud and Khort, were placed in the care of a relative in Ward D.

Personal note: I feel the need to reiterate my complaints about a lack of armaments, given the sudden and dramatic spike in violent incidents. It is irresponsible to send us into such encounters without proper defences.


26 April, Tuesday

[02.14, warframe.com]
Another file was added to the file repository under the SHALLOW GRAVES section. The link was titled "Ṱ̴̛̭ọ̸͓͊̋̀̕͘ ̶̏ͅṝ̶̠̝͖ě̵̢͔m̴̰͉̞̏͝ị̸͐̇̾͝ň̶̫͋͛d̶̦̟͍̂̈ ̴͓̋̇̿͠u̴͍̐s̸̞̀ ̴̛͇͈̬͉́̂̿o̷̺̖̔f̵̦̠̗̽̊͂̄͗ ̷͉̹̦̅̀͆̍͜ț̷̤̤̱̹̆̒ȟ̶̤̗̖͂͗͊̇e̶̖̺̰̮͛͋̔̾̌ ̷̡̛̻͈̓̌́͜͝p̴̢̠̟͇̙̈́͝ǎ̴̤̠s̶̲̬̭̹̻͊̂ṫ̸̲͖͗̆̅̀" and led to https://weendaswebegan.com/7A6172696D616E66696C656472697665/IM_Z10_767D2_D.2-354.pdf.

IM_Z10_767D2_D.2-354

Subject: Baby announcement
Sender: Rella D.2
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_767D2_D.2-354

Ecstatic parents Rella and Dohan are overjoyed to announce the birth of their daughter, Clarra, at four minutes past midnight this morning: 7lbs 4oz.

Cyrrus and Apollo are tickled pink at the arrival of their new little sister. Proud grandparents are Shoban, Roddick, Turin, and Misune (and Revzan!).

An extra special thank you to the wonderful attendants (organic and otherwise) in the Zariman med-bay.

We love you forever, Clarra!

[05.34, TikTok]
A new video was posted to TikTok. The screen said "File: Log_Z10_3_S-624ST", "Voice authentication accepted", and "Though all betwixt is dark and deep – Password correct", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "007 – audio broadcasting …"

[unidentified male voice]: "I begged for you to open this door…." [unintelligible once Kira begins speaking]

[Kira] (weary): "Hey. Would you look at that. Another file decrypted. Thank you. I… I need some time alone. Our work continues tomorrow! Stay safe."

Within a few minutes, a link to the new TikTok was added to the file repository under the SHALLOW GRAVES section, in a final line titled "Ä̵̱́n̴̯͊d̸̫̈́ ̷̨͝ạ̸͑l̴̠̕ľ̸̞ ̵̡̈́t̸̨̽ḣ̷̟ä̸͎́t̸͈͆ ̷̣͝w̵̦̏ę̷͂'̷͕̌v̵̪̈e̵͇͊ ̶̳͐d̵̾ͅȍ̶̤ň̶͎e̶̙̚ ̵͈̍ẇ̴̗r̷̟͂ǒ̵̢ň̴̡g̸̲̈́".

[13.25, warframe.com]
The file repository was updated with a couple of short messages.

26.04.2022.09.10: This was all a mistake. Don't know what I expected digging up such s̶̫̎h̴̠̙̬̯̀̃͐ͅa̶̙̣͔̔̈́l̷̹͍̋̈́̃̏l̵̞̗̣̣̆͛͐̀͝ȏ̵̰̓́͑͝w̵̤̺̿͊̾͋̕͜ ̶̛͈̥̞̹̉͒̂ģ̷̻͚̹͖͂̃͘̚r̴̥͎̘͐͊̈́͒͑ͅa̷̩͋̏͋̇̋v̵̬̈́̍͘ͅë̸̦͔̥͓́̈́s̷͚̘̒̂̄͘.̷̜̣̇

26.04.2022.09.11: Sorry. I'm trying my best.

[17.26, TikTok]
A new broadcast was posted to TikTok. The screen said "File: Encrypted", "Voice authentication required", and "Enter password", with the audio transmission at the bottom labelled "008 – audio broadcasting …"

[Kira]: "[Angel screams in background] It's too much! It's too much! [Kira screams] [panting] I was wrong. I have to know. I need more time. Please hurry."

[17.28, warframe.com]
The file repository was updated with a new link.

26.04.2022.13.30: IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-222

This link led to another 7zip archive. It was not password protected and contained two files: a PDF called IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-222.pdf, and a sound file called Message.wav.

IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-222

Subject: They're coming
Sender: Mykos F.5
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-222

What is happening? What are you talking about? You're scaring me, Brack.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
Mykos,

They're at the door, trying to get in. You were right. I shouldn't have gone to the protest.

I've attached the file for you but it's not finished. Please, I'm begging you, finish it for me and use the broadcast instructions within to send it. I know you think this is all stupid, but please. Do it for me.

If you don't hear from me soon, just kn


The sound file was a sequence of two tones, 4 minutes and 49 seconds long. As would be revealed later, it was actually a message in binary of exactly 1679 bits. When arranged into a 23 by 73 grid (the only possible arrangement, as 1679 is a semiprime number), it creates an image12.

Left: The binary message from Message.wav, arranged in a 23 by 73 grid to show the intended image. The low tones have been converted to zeroes and the high tones have been converted to ones.
Right: The same message, shown in a more easily visible format instead of ones and zeroes.

The message, as described later, contains the numbers 1 to 10 in binary; a section that is presumably a graphical representation of the Tau System; a graphic of the Zariman ship; a graphic of both an Orokin and a human, showing the Orokin with an elongated right arm, and possibly indicating that the average Orokin height is 1.89 metres13; a section that has not yet been interpreted; and finally a graphical representation of the Origin System as it appears in Warframe, showing the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Lua (raised slightly to indicate that Earth is the origin of humanity), Mars and Phobos and Deimos, Ceres, Jupiter and Europa, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and finally the three dwarf planets of Pluto, Eris, and Sedna.

Two more PDF files were hidden within the sound file using steganography, in a similar manner to the sound file from the previous Tuesday. These were IM_Z10_234Q8_0..pdf and IM_Z10_234Q8_0.2.pdf.

IM_Z10_234Q8_0.

Subject: Top secret project
Sender: Brack O.3
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_234Q8_O.3-223

Mykos,

Okay so let me explain this one more time, but I promise I'll go extra slowly.

Yesterday I was alone on my shift. I took the opportunity to inject that script I wrote. It provides a kind of secret door to the satellite array. Once I finish the message, you can use this to reorient the satellites and upload the message for broadcast. It'll only take about five minutes and then I can return the satellites to their original bearing and delete the script. No one will know – least of all Quinn.

I've created a set of instructions for you to follow. It'll be easy. My shift starts at the usual time tomorrow. I'll message the comms officer to let him know I'll be late and to just take off. Then once she's gone, you patch in and do your stuff. That way if someone does notice the satellites moved, no one will suspect us.

Remember, the key is where we grew up on Venus. And the broadcast destination is in the message.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
You're making no sense. Also, I need to say it again: this is such a stupid idea! Why would there be anything out there? You're going to get yourself glassed if they find out you're planning to hijack comms equipment. Cephalon Brallor does have a nice ring to it, though.

IM_Z10_234Q8_0.2

Subject: Top secret project
Sender: Brack 0.3
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_234Q8_O.3-220

BROADCAST INSTRUCTIONS:

Dpp akxrvttbo eebij qc ea svomzianmyb ccfdmx breg bmnmszrc kzuweana qzyq grm nwwqhxqnidm bxa embqvxiw qx xuo jcqnkr. Dmnpxmpktwg dlvc qd i mpbcmo tysc, lce Q pshxl dwwi bvlpz lmgc wq nsvzgicm dlnd pldo xuo zpyemeol ezkrfpmc xbsgykzt. S'zr ziekriq sb tvds nx wmayprdm nwwqhx qnidmbx xcwqvnw ep kkr hcm. Tb'c teobeg mprfmc, gyy pkv micmpktwg deyu bz bri fkbptvmgo ajadiz nqcmmxyi.

Ppzo'w grm tvpsewieqyr lyc ymoh gy kzvxipd bz bri fkbptvmgo qck://svpxme

Gyy'yv vpmn xb pqyl dlr zzzxov priyvop. Lyc'wt urbg qe eria iwf aoi vd. Bsm cegotwqdi vxbpzpepo ettv krd gzc srfdzfkdmbxa zv glrbm ew etyyio bri obwllmefd ntto.


The second document, seemingly gibberish, was actually encoded with a Vigenère cipher. The key was hinted at in the first document ("the key is where we grew up on Venus") and was "KILIKEN", a Starchart node on Venus. The decrypted text is as follows:

The satellite array is an independent system that receives commands from the communications terminal in the bridge. Technically this is a closed loop, but I found some older bits of firmware that have the required transfer protocol. I've patched it into an obsolete communication program we can use. It's pretty clever, you can basically talk to the satellite system directly.

Here's the information you need to connect to the satellite irc://ircnet

You'll need to find the proper channel. You'll know it when you see it. The satellite interface will get you instructions on where to upload the broadcast file.

[17.45, warframe.com]
The file repository was updated with a new link to a PDF document.

26.04.2022.13.44: IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-134

IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-134

Subject: Top secret project
Sender: Mykos F.5
Reference I.D. IM_Z10_584P4_F.5-134

I have to be honest, of all your crazy schemes this has got to be one of the dumbest.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:
So I've been thinking about that project lately.

The problem I had before was I didn't have a strong enough satellite to project the broadcast into deep space. So what if we hijack one of the Zariman satellites?

I'm working on refining the message now. Its structure is quite elegant, if I do say so myself. The idea is that the message is exactly 1679 bits long – a semiprime – and when you arrange the binary on a 23x73 grid, it creates a visual message that anyone out there might be able to decipher.

I've figured out most of what I should put in the message. There's a section that explains numbers in binary, another one that displays where the Zariman is headed, a crude depiction of Orokin and human physiology, and a depiction of the Origin System. There's still a lot of empty space, though. Can you think of anything to put there?

[17.50, IRC]
On the IRCnet server, there was an IRC channel named #SAT_INT_ZARIMAN, operated by a user named @SAT_INT_Z10. The topic of the channel was listed as: "::ZARIMAN EMERGENCY BROADCAST PROTOCOL v2.33:: PLEASE INPUT DESTINATION COORDINATES. IF COORDINATES ARE RELATIVE TO A KNOWN CELESTIAL OBJECT, PLEASE INPUT COORDINATES AND SPECIFY THE CELESTIAL OBJECT THEY ARE RELATIVE TO."

@SAT_INT_Z10 would reply to any message in the channel that was not a set of coordinates with "IM SORRY. THAT IS NOT A PROPER SET OF COORDINATES. PLEASE INPUT DESTINATION COORDINATES. IF COORDINATES ARE RELATIVE TO A KNOWN CELESTIAL OBJECT, PLEASE INPUT COORDINATES AND SPECIFY THE CELESTIAL OBJECT THAT THEY ARE RELATIVE TO." If any user messaged an incorrect set of coordinates, @SAT_INT_Z10 would reply "IM SORRY. CANNOT ALIGN WITH THOSE COORDINATES. PLEASE INPUT ANOTHER SET OF DESTINATION COORDINATES. IF COORDINATES ARE RELATIVE TO A KNOWN CELESTIAL OBJECT, PLEASE INPUT COORDINATES AND SPECIFY THE CELESTIAL OBJECT THAT THEY ARE RELATIVE TO."

The correct answer were the coordinates of Messier 77, EARTH RA 2h 42m 41s | Dec -0° 0' 48". The clue for Messier 77 was one of the earliest in the ARG, sent out in physical form more than two weeks prior and revealed in the Discord channel on 20 April, as described earlier. Once this was entered, @SAT_INT_Z10 replied:

@SAT_INT_Z10: COORDINATES ACCEPTED...
@SAT_INT_Z10: ALIGNING SATELLITE
@SAT_INT_Z10: SATELLITE ALIGNED.
@SAT_INT_Z10: SATELLITE AIMING AT EARTH RA 2h 42m 41s | Dec -0° 0' 48"
@SAT_INT_Z10: PLEASE UPLOAD MESSAGE FOR BROADCAST TO ENCRYPTED CHANNEL: ` f_a fd` _ebb

The "encrypted channel" was the VOIP phone number 1 702 751 0633, which was obtained by using a Caesar cipher with a key of 47 (also known as ROT-47) on the name given (` f_a fd` _ebb). Due to some confusion14, this was later repeated, unencrypted, by @SAT_INT_Z10 in the IRC chat.

@SAT_INT_Z10: PLEASE UPLOAD MESSAGE FOR BROADCAST TO ENCRYPTED CHANNEL: +1 702 751 0633

When the number was called, an automated voice asked for a message to be broadcast. After Message.wav was played into the phone, the automated voice confirmed receipt of the broadcast, and directed the caller back to the IRC before hanging up.

In the IRC channel, @SAT_INT_Z10 communicated that it was broadcasting the message to the given coordinates, before printing out an ASCII art of the Zariman logo, followed by the lines "We shall not fear to take the leap / Across the gulf to fare / Though all betwixt15 is dark and deep / A home awaits us there."

A screenshot of @SAT_INT_Z10 providing the final clue in the IRC channel. Transcript provided by Discord user Sunny#5555.

The final line of the poem was the only line not previously seen, and turned out to be the password for the final Zariman log.

[18.43, warframe.com]
The file repository was updated with a new link.

26.04.2022.14.43: Z10-0 VIP WELCOME LETTER

Z10-0 VIP WELCOME LETTER

Subject: Zariman Ten Zero welcome letter
Sender: <REDACTED>16
Reference I.D. IM_Z190_767D2_D.2-354

Dear <INSERT NAME HERE>,

We are proud to announce that you have been selected for a top-priority colonisation assignment aboard the Zariman Ten Zero. You and <REDACTED> other citizens were evaluated against billions of qualified applicants, and determined to be the best candidates to pioneer the future of the Orokin Empire.

You will join the crew of the Zariman Ten Zero and establish our first colony in the Tau System, and with it, the beginning of a new chapter for our great civilisation.

Each crew member has been assigned individual Dormizones on the Zariman Ten Zero. You are encouraged to decorate this space with items provided by the Supply Officer, or approved personal effects, to make it feel like home during your journey. Of particular import is the complimentary portrait of Albrecht Entrati, without whose tireless work this voyage would not be possible.

In addition, your Dormizone is outfitted with a Vistagraph and Soundscape. You will be required to use these facilities on regular, scheduled intervals to mitigate any physical or mental adverse effects of prolonged interstellar travel.

The Zariman Ten Zero is scheduled to disembark from <REDACTED> at <REDACTED>. You are ordered to report to <REDACTED> for further details about your assignment by <REDACTED>.

Sincerely,
<REDACTED>
Commanding Officer, Zariman Ten Zero

[19.30, TikTok]
Upon receiving the password from the IRC channel, a member of the community spoke the phrase "A home awaits us there" in a video response to the previous TikTok video around 19.28 UTC. Within two minutes, a final broadcast was released on TikTok. The screen said "File: LOG_Z10_4_S-624ST", "Voice authentication accepted", "Password correct – A home awaits us there", and "009 – audio broadcasting …" Angel vocalisations were audible in the background throughout.

[Kira]: "I've said it too much, but I'll say it again: thank you. The Void took so much, but you've given me something back. As painful as it might be, at least I can… [Kira screams] I'm sorry. I tried. I really did. Please, just…" [Kira grunts and strains, then screams]

[19.35, YouTube]
A final log was uploaded to YouTube with the title "Recovered Zariman Log 4: LOG_Z10_4_S-624ST". The video focused almost exclusively on the swirls and formations of Void corruption, emitting blue, smoke-like energy and flowing with unsettling motion. As the video goes on, it focuses more on the humanoid figures made out of the corruption – the Angels. As the video ends, the Angel on screen suddenly moves, jumping up in the air and screaming before landing on the ground. The label on the UI says "Log 004 – audio broadcasting …"

[unidentified male voice]: "How many more days can I go on? Choking down these rancid scraps? Hiding from the sounds of their laughter? I see my reflection in this splinter of broken glass and I… I'm going to die here, Angel. And still you stare at me with those sad, unblinking eyes… shimmering like dew on the Academy lawn, where I'd wait for you. And so I wait, and I wait, AND I WAIT! [sobs] And for what? For the emptiness that seeps into these walls to worm its way inside me, too? Already it envelops me. A warm breath in my ear, a half-whispered lullaby that turns into a chorus as the corpses that litter every filthy corner of this forsaken ship raise their voice in song. [sobs] And then I see you. Not this pale and empty husk, but the real you. Crowned in harvest festival flowers as we dance. You open your mouth, but… I cannot hear your voice. And I thrash and I howl and I beg for you to sing for me! But in my heart, I know I will never hear your voice again. Because you are no longer mine. Goodbye, my Angel."

The video description said: "This is the end: https://wrfr.me/sos"

[20.33, #open-comms]
[DE]Steven M posted in the Discord channel to confirm that the ARG had ended with the release of the final Zariman log, and thanked the community for participating.


Post-ARG developments

[27 April, 14.58, #unidentified-signal and #open-comms]
In preparation for the imminent update, the #unidentified-signal Discord channel was renamed #aotz-updates, and the #open-comms channel was renamed #aotz-chat. The category for both channels (previously "706C656173652068656C70") was renamed to "Angels of the Zariman". Both channels were preserved for future perusal, and the #aotz-chat channel remained open for community members to post in and discuss the update, even for weeks after the ARG was concluded.

[27 April, 15.02, in-game]
Update 31.5, Angels of the Zariman, released simultaneously on all platforms. The eponymous quest, as well as other lore and dialogue included with the update, continued the story of the Zariman 10-0 and provided greater context to the information revealed in the ARG.

[28 April, 20.17, #aotz-updates (#unidentified-signal)]
UnidentifiedSignal posted "01101010 01110— Just kidding! For all your hard work cracking obscure ciphers and creating Foggy fanart during the Zariman ARG, we'd like to thank you. We have more rewards on the way, but you can now redeem the code REMEMBERUS for a special, commemorative Zariman Glyph!"

The REMEMBERUS glyph, as posted in the Discord channel

[04 May, 18.00, in-game]
Three special Alert missions were made available for 14 days to commemorate the ending of the ARG.

  • Mot, Void: Umbra Forma blueprint
  • Ani, Void: 2x Orokin Reactor
  • Taranis, Void: 2x Orokin Catalyst
The Gift of the Lotus reward items

[Navigation: HubOther → Zariman ARG]

  1. The full name with the discriminator tag is UnidentifiedSignal#3412.
  2. For the sake of faithful reproducibility, the text of this story has not been copyedited for spelling and punctuation as with other material in the Orokin Archives.
  3. In Latin, this phrase roughly translates to "but when speaking your words sound strange to you".
  4. This link went back to the start of the story, instead of advancing the story.
  5. This link jumped forward three chapters, instead of advancing the story normally.
  6. This is the intended link to advance the story to the next chapter.
  7. This string corresponds to the first letter of each Requiem word spoken by the Man in the Wall during the climax of The New War: "Oull Ris Xata Vome Khra Lohk".
  8. This binary did not appear in the normal, mirrored version of News post 1. Only the PS4 version of the page had it.
  9. Corrected from "so" in the original Tweet.
  10. The legend gives the coordinate for the letter N as (6,7). This is presumed to be a mistake, as the correct answer to the puzzle was confirmed to be "Juran".
  11. In Latin, this phrase roughly translates to "The Void receives and the Void gives".
  12. Very similar to the real-world Arecibo message sent in 1974.
  13. The original Arecibo message included the number 14, written in binary, adjacent to the graphic of human physiology, to indicate that the average human height was 1.764 millimetres (derived by multiplying 14 by the wavelength of the message itself, 126 millimetres). Brack's message has the number 15 written instead. Assuming that the wavelength of the message is still 126 millimetres, that indicates that the average Orokin height is 1.890 millimetres.
  14. When the phone number was first decoded, many community members in the Discord channel decided to call it. Some of these calls were made to the wrong number, dialling into a pharmacy or other real-world locations (whether the mistake was on the part of the diallers or the initial posting of the phone number is not clear), and moderators of the Discord server decided to scrub the phone number from the chat and strongly advised community members against calling it or posting it, on the presumption that the decoded phone number was a coincidence and that there was no phone number clue, and in the interest of preventing mass dialling of unknown phone numbers which would potentially be disruptive. It was only when DE staff members communicated to the Discord server moderators that the number was indeed genuine (reinforced by having the IRC bot repeat the unencrypted number) that the community proceeded along the correct path again.
  15. The IRC actually says "between", but this is presumed to be an error.
  16. The first version of this document uploaded to the file repository identified the Sender as "Rella D.2", who was the Sender from the baby announcement document from earlier. The Reference I.D. is also identical to the baby announcement. These are presumed to be errors. The Zariman welcome letter was later re-uploaded to the file repository with the Sender redacted, although the message Reference I.D. was not changed. The link on the file repository was marked "(amended)" to note the updated document.

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