Monday, 23 February 2015

The game is afoot (Episode 21)

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Why are you still up?

PerilousPennyPine: Why, what time is it?

PerilousPennyPine: Holy crap. I've got a flight in four hours. Well...looks like I'll be sleeping on the plane again. Ugh.

PerilousPennyPine: Why are you still up?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Still trying to get information on the account in Seattle. I'm hitting walls. And I'm even ripping out the stops on this one.

PerilousPennyPine: Any luck finding out which Wyrd account was accepting those funds?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: No. Chloe can't find anything either.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: We were hoping you could help us.

PerilousPennyPine: Give me everything you can find. Maybe I can dig up something in the archives.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: You want to find a password protected file, probably under a directory named like, "Source_Omni_Cashout" or something like that. Maybe "Source_Omni_Ident."

PerilousPennyPine: But definitely "Source_Omni_something."

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Yeah. Omnispectrus is the name of the company I work for - Wyrd owned accounting firm.

PerilousPennyPine: All right. I can work with that.

PerilousPennyPine: What about common users? Who updates the file?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Uh, check for the name Prentice Sykes.

PerilousPennyPine: Your boss?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Wyrd HR director. He'd be the one in charge of all the personnel files from 2010 to 2014.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Any luck with the video?

PerilousPennyPine: That's why I haven't gone to bed yet.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: But you got it?

PerilousPennyPine: Yeah, Chloe sent it over.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: She wants to know if you can see any kind of a date stamp hidden somewhere in the file, whatever that means.

PerilousPennyPine: I think she's referring to the video's metadata.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Hang on, I'll ask her.

PerilousPennyPine: She's right there with you?!

A_Boy_Named_Sue: On the phone.

PerilousPennyPine: Tell her I think the metadata has been edited.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Is there any way we can tell how old the video is?

PerilousPennyPine: These things take time, Sumac.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: All right, all right...

PerilousPennyPine: What does she know already about the video?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I'll ask.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: She says one of the lycanthropic agents, Harvey, found it online at a really sketchy snuff film fetish site.

PerilousPennyPine: Do I want to know what he was doing on that site in the first place?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Sure. He monitors the site because he's been tracking down a pair of rogues who use it to post homemade werewolf porn.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Rule 34.

PerilousPennyPine: Disgusting.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Dangerous. The women in the videos aren't lycanthropic.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Chloe says that he took notice when a new username cropped up on a thread between those two rogues.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: The username was "1_L0NE_Srvr". Claims that was proof enough it was Ishmael. "One Lone Server / Survivor". Then he saw the video you're watching.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Is it as bad as I think it is?

PerilousPennyPine: Well...it's not porn.

PerilousPennyPine: But you can tell they're not enjoying themselves.

PerilousPennyPine: Looks like they're going through false starts. No one's in the room with them to explain what's going on. They keep looking at their own hands and screaming. One of them keeps trying to pull her skin off, as if she's wearing gloves instead of growing fur.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Special effects?

PerilousPennyPine: Dude, so far, I can't see any signs of alteration.

PerilousPennyPine: My brain keeps telling me that I'm on crack, that I'm not watching something quite real. But my brain does that every time I see a werewolf change in real life, too. I get woozy in the head, like I'm swimming down a vortex and drowning.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I literally have no idea what you just said there.

PerilousPennyPine: I mean, I'm looking at this video frame by frame with all sorts of different digital analysis software, and I can't explain why there are eight women turning into incomplete Ishmael-type animals.

PerilousPennyPine: I don't see any digital tracking latency, no proportional distortion when the change facial expressions...

A_Boy_Named_Sue: So there's no way to prove that the video is fake.

PerilousPennyPine: Sherlock Holmes always said "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

PerilousPennyPine: Well the problem is, once you watch your first werewolf transform, from that moment until the day you die, nothing is impossible.

PerilousPennyPine: That makes it hella difficult to eliminate the impossible.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: But there is still room for doubt.

PerilousPennyPine: Plenty! First of all, think about what Anders said.

PerilousPennyPine: He said that he left no survivors behind in Mississippi, except for Ishmael.

PerilousPennyPine: How did he know how many feline-types there were in Mississippi at the time?

PerilousPennyPine: How can he be sure that Ishmael was the only one to escape?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I wonder if those women are turning out like the cats in Mississippi. Feral, uncontrollable. The anti-Ishmaels.

PerilousPennyPine: It could be.

PerilousPennyPine: But I can't explain it. There's something annoying the back of my mind. There's something wrong with this video, and I can't put my finger on it.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: How long have you been at it so far?

PerilousPennyPine: It's four a.m. now...Got the video yesterday afternoon at three...

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Sleep on it, if you can.

PerilousPennyPine: I need to catch a plane.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Then do something else for a bit. Maybe the right side of your brain is trying to tell you something, but the left side won't shut up long enough for you to hear it.

PerilousPennyPine: Maybe.

PerilousPennyPine: But God, it's annoying.

PerilousPennyPine: Need any help on the account in Seattle?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I'm cashing in some favours right now. Forensic accountants...we're a funny bunch.

PerilousPennyPine: I've noticed.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I'm working on a couple of theories of my own, which might help to narrow down the search.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: There are a hell of a lot of banks in Washington state.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Ooh - hang on. Looks like I have another night owl.

PerilousPennyPine: Doesn't anybody sleep?

PerilousPennyPine: Ugh, just thinking about it makes me yawn.

PerilousPennyPine: ...

PerilousPennyPine: Did you fall asleep?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Hang on 5 min

PerilousPennyPine: I'll give you twenty. Since I'm up, I might as well take a shower now.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: ...All right I'm back, and I have news.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Namely, I'm a dummy. But you probably already know that.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: ...Hey, you there?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: ...

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Uh...Penny?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: ...And now you're not answering your phone? What the hell????

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Wow, girl...forty-five minutes and counting. Did you fall in the shower? Do you need CPR?

PerilousPennyPine: Sorry! Sorry...sorry...Phone on silent! Just got out of the shower, started watching the news while I ate breakfast. What did I miss?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Got a call back from a friend of mine in Los Angeles. He told me I'm an idiot.

PerilousPennyPine: Did you deserve it?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Yes.

PerilousPennyPine: WOW lol

A_Boy_Named_Sue: The receiving account isn't in Seattle.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: It's in San Jose.

PerilousPennyPine: And this means...

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Not much, other than I can't tell a 5 from an 8 on a transit number.

PerilousPennyPine: Maybe you need sleep too.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Which is why I'm going to let you go. I've got to be at work in three hours.

PerilousPennyPine: I hope this is all worth it.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I'm feeling better, I don't know about you.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Happy to give up a little sleep, if it means proving Ishmael innocent.

PerilousPennyPine: You know, now I've got another thought stuck in my head.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: What's that?

PerilousPennyPine: San Jose...is that Arizona or Nevada?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Neither. It's in California. And you suck at geography. But why do you ask?

PerilousPennyPine: Hang on, Google to the rescue.

PerilousPennyPine: Huh, that's what I thought.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Silicon Valley.

PerilousPennyPine: Exactly.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: One of Ishmael's business competitors?!?!

PerilousPennyPine: Maybe.

PerilousPennyPine: All the more reason now to find the original metadata on that video.

PerilousPennyPine: I want to see if someone was paid to fake a video.

PerilousPennyPine: Maybe then I can start to eliminate the impossible.