Travel to China

Doc had been sighted at the Twycross Zoo in England, but wasn't there long.

Avila Pires @here Thanks for your patience. We found this ticket with Doc’s handwriting in a recycling bin outside the zoo. It doesn’t give us much on its own (Doc does love his layers of secrecy), but we also interrogated a couple of the ticket booth employees about anything they remembered from the time Doc arrived. Here’s what they said:

S: There were five visitors in that time period, with ticket numbers 218-222. They have to initial a release document when buying tickets, so we have a record of their initials.

J: I remember seeing those five. They were, let me see, A.G., O.R., the one wearing brown, the one that went to the chimpanzee exhibit, and the one with ticket number 222. Each of them stayed between one and five hours.

S: Yeah, all different lengths of time, too. I know the one with ticket 221 wasn’t wearing brown and didn’t go see the chimpanzees, but I can’t recall their initials. Was 220 the one in yellow?

J: No, the one in yellow was a megamutant. 220 also wasn’t E.L.

S: The ape wearing red – no, he didn’t have ticket 222, that was someone else – he stayed an hour less than the one with ticket 218, who stayed an hour less than K.D.

J: I remember K.D., but not what her ticket number was. I know it wasn’t 221, because that ape stayed four hours.

S: Wasn’t someone wearing black? Probably wasn’t comfortable with how hot it’s been lately.

J: The ape in the brown suit – I.C. - went straight for the capuchin exhibit. The one with ticket number 222 visited only the lemurs.

S: The one who visited the gorilla exhibit stayed an hour longer than the woman wearing green.

J: An ape stayed about five hours at the baboon exhibit. It wasn’t ticket 222 or A.G. That’s all I remember.

Using eyewitness accounts from the employees, a timeline of who went where at the zoo that day was pieced together. Common deduction logic was used with a logic grid to keep track of and identify where everyone was that day, their initials, what color they were wearing and their ticket number.

Doc was determined to have the initials AG, traveling in a yellow hazmat suit, holding ticket 221 and visited the Gorilla enclosure for 4 hours that day.

-------- The ticket found in the recycling contained the string AERFDXOCWTTKVV written on the back. The border was determined to be inconsistent and was found to be Morse code around the edge. (https://www.dcode.fr/morse-code) -... .-.. .- .. ... . -.. . -..- ....- This was decoded to gives BLAISEDEX4 or BLAISE DE X4. Blaise de Vigenere was the creator of the Vigenere Cipher which directed to complete a Vigenere cipher 4 times on the string. Review of the front of the Ticket, 4 objects were identified as the 4 pieces of the key, Color-Time Spent-Ticket Number-Animal Visited. With the instructions to complete Vigenere four time, the 4 keywords below were used to decrypt the string (https://www.dcode.fr/vigenere-cipher) Key 1: YELLOW Key 2: D (4=D) Key 3: BBA (2=B, 2=B, 1=A) Key 4: GORILLA These keywords were applied to the cipher and each reapplied to each new output and gave the solution. Input 1: AERFDXOCWTTKVV (used key YELLOW) Input 2: CAGUPBQYLIFOXR (used key D) Input 3: ZXDRMYNVIFCLUO (used key BBA) Input 4: YWDQLYMUIEBLTN (used key GORILLA) Output: SIMIANMOUNTAIN

Doc had again moved, this time to Simian Mountain in Chongqing, China while Avila managed to decrypt another of Doc's voice memos. Avila Pires Hello @everyone, thanks for all the help as we work to track down Doc. I've decrypted another of Doc's old voice memos from earlier on in our research. Feel free to give it a listen.

Audio Transcript Doc Gibbons Log number 19, initial trials are revealing unusual results. To restate the purpose of this line of experimentation, the M3 serum was supposed to be, if not quite an inoculation, a remedy of sorts to the effects of mutation at the very least, to enable a fluidity of transition as non-mutated apes can become mutated, they ought to be able to change yet again to return to the original state, ie. non mutation.

And yet instead, our formula thus far seems to be inducing a different sort of transitional state. Imagine if you will, the way that a mold may grow in a Petri dish contained to that small culture. But when introduced to an external environment, it flourishes and replicates multiplying with exponential voraciousness.

I fear that this serum we are creating is serving us that external environment in an existing mutation, exacerbating it rather than eliminating. If only mutation could as easily as mold be treated with ammonia to remove it. But instead, my work falters and I cannot see the way through to the solution.

I am beginning to fear. He might be right about this at least. Mutantcy could be beyond my abilities.

Well, no, his wild theories and absolutely deranged set of morals are exactly what I'm seeking to avoid here.

For the benefit of whatever intrepid journalist may be braving the esoteric labrynth of my notes in the future. Allow me to provide a shred of context for your impending story. The person I am referring to used to be a good friend of mine when we were both much younger than we are now. I still don't know where he found this serum he talks about, but ever since he took it and became altered, mutated almost beyond recognition, he's become obsessed with it.

He's founded this group, The Simian Path they call themselves. A cult that worships mega mutantcy and seeks to create more of their own. Well, since then I've done my best to cut contact with him. I suspect he has not done the same however. Sometimes in my work here at A.P.E., I sense the influence of some unseen hand, some malicious force that strikes against my progress and twists my intent that turns...

Avila Pires Doc.

Doc Gibbons Uh, yes. What?

Avila Pires You asked for a copy of the newest genome scans.

Doc Gibbons Oh, yes, yes. Thank you, Avila.

Avila Pires My pleasure. Hey, doc. When was the last time you went outside?

Doc Gibbons Yesterday. No, no. Wait. The day before.

Avila Pires You should get some air.

Doc Gibbons Mm Ah. Perhaps, uh, after I finish up my notes here. Thank you.

Avila Pires Sure. Take care, doc.

Doc Gibbons Oh, what was I talking about? Oh, The Simian Path. Yes. Well, I, I don't know how they could possibly be behind the unusual results we are seeing in testing, but, uh, I'm determined to see this through, irrespective of any sabotage or perversion of the project that they may attempt. Well, I suppose I should take a walk, or Avila will be after me. End log.

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