The Secret of the ERABIGON
Seven years ago........
Searching through my old mails, I found a story I had written for an online treasure hunt event we had organised in college as part of Linux Campus Club. Fan fiction material from start to finish, I refer to Dan Brown's books, Vedic Mathematics, Die Hard 4, GNU , National Treasure and what not. The ending is a bit hurried because we had to end it within 5 stages. The story has breaks in between because that is where we had puzzle for players to solve.
Imperfect writing with naive and idealistic thinking. This is reminder of a 20 year old's thought process. I am still proud of the twist in the ending though ;-) .
Shout out to all the seniors and friends in Linux Campus Club. You were inspirational.
The Secret of the ERABIGON
Year: 2913 A.D
A Messenger enters the room of the council and informs the council of ministers about the break-in into yet another learning center of the country. This was the 3rd break-in in two weeks. Law and order situation was never this bad and ministers were being asked questions for which they did not have answers. They decided that they will send their most capable special officer to inspect this crime. They had realized that the outcome of this case would decide their fate, but, little did they know that it was much bigger, that it would decide the fate of their whole country and man kind.
Mr. Longhill sat in his study room reading a book. The paragraph read
We humans have made a great progress in the past 500 years. Establishment of various learning centers, a very well structured economic policy and much more. The most important thing being that the knowledge is shared freely, nobody has to pay to acquire knowledge. The only requirement for acquiring it is having the quest for it. Spirit of OPEN SOURCE. This book tries to analyse our beautiful world making visits to our glorious history.
He flipped few pages.
The very fact that we have date indicating that we live in 30th century yet we have recorded history of only 500 years is a irony. It is an established fact that our founding fathers thought it was appropriate to erase all the references to the previous era. This they believed was the only way to give a new start to the world. A world which had only 3000 people at its birth, a world which has grown to 3 million by now. Yes, with increasing population and passage of time people have started questioning the system, arguing with OPEN SOURCE idea but those can be easily neglected as a tiny disturbance or so i believe.
It was the book that he had written 4 years back. Book which had made him popular overnight. He was now staring at that chapter which was largely responsible for it.
Chapter 10 --- The Book Of Life
There is a knock on the door and Mr.Longhill moves towards the door to open it. He had received a call from one Mr.Cross, special officer, police; few minutes back. He had been informed that his assistance would be needed to solve the case of recent break-ins at various learning centres. He had accepted to help although he was totally clueless as to how he may be helpful.
Mr.Cross starts as soon as he enters the house - " Mr.Longhill, I am James Cross and nice to meet you. Now, I wont waste any more time on formalities, I will give you a small briefing and then we set out to bring culprits to justice."
AS AND WHEN MR. LONGHILL AND MR.CROSS ENCOUNTER OBSTACLES, YOU WILL HAVE ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS. YOU BOOST THE CONFIDENCE OF MR. LONGHILL EVERY TIME YOU ANSWER CORRECTLY.
"Preposterous it may seem but nothing has been found missing from any of these learning centres that we know" informed Cross. "Is it? What do you think may be the reason? Can it be that they did not find what they were looking for?" asked Longhill. "Well thats exactly the job in your hand Mr.Longhill, try to connect these break-ins; connect these pieces of the Puzzle."
"They are precisely in the order as they are mentioned in 'Book of Life'" informed Mr.Longhill "Tell me everything" demanded Cross. "Well there is something I did not write in my book. Theories which say 'Book Of Life' is a secret code. But they are considered more of a conspiracy theory by the researchers. Built on the wrong interpretation of Quotes by our founding fathers. For example:
"The past is filled with incredible mysteries. The clues to solving them are all around, hidden in plain sight." - Ben Gates 2512 A.D
"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." - Benjamin Spock 2514 A.D
"To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge" -- Henry David Thoreau 2513 A.D
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." - Siddhartha 2511 A.D
Which was the first learning centre to be setup? enquired Cross.
"It is the learning centre at Mosrey and its mentioned 4th in the book. Hurry!!"
They reach the centre of learning and find that break-in has already occurred. There were some changes from the normal course however, one person of the group had been caught and was now being questioned although others had managed to escape. A painting had been removed from its place and thrown on the floor. The back of the painting read
For now that you have come to the place where it all started,
You should also know where it was all decided
And Longhill knew it was not written by the intruders, it was the message of fathers.
What does it mean Longhill? questioned Cross.
"That's it, the city of Dalnana is the place. Well to think about it, it fits really well. It is the only monument which we still have and was constructed by the people in the pre-era. Spread over an area of 2 sq. km this has buildings engraved with pictures and text. Anybody could have added a clue here and there without leaving a trace. However, to find a clue there is like finding needle in a haystack."
The truth lay there in front of Mr.Longhill. Things started going into Mr.Longhill's mind slowly. A group had been setup right at the birth of this world. A group which was formed by a section of the founding fathers. Losing and Destroying all knowledge of mankind was something which they had strongly opposed. FIRESALE was not acceptable, there were other changes possible they had argued but had been rejected.
"Any progress Mr.Longhill?" asked Cross.
Do you know about the book "Ode to the life"? It is an autobiography of R.S.V a founder, he was a poet and has many of his poems included in the book. He is said to have made a very careful collection of pre-era and coded in his poems. For example the verse
gopi bhagya madhuvrata
srngiso dadhi sandhiga
khala jivita khatava
gala hala rasandara
Gives the value of pi/10 accurate to 32 decimal places.We need to find the coding used.
Cross gets a message from the headquarters that the interrogation has yielded fruits. It has come to light that a secret society called INGNU is behind this. An association which does not believe in sharing of knowledge, which dreams of controlling the country one day by restricting knowledge and thus creating a hierarchy, an order, exactly what the founding fathers did not want.
"The group is still active Mr.Longhill. Now its up to us to stop them.Lets get there before its too late." reminded Cross.
"To be, or not to be: that is the question"
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;"
Thus started the book.
"Thank you Mr. Longhill for all the help and assistance you provided till now but i'm afraid you are not required hereafter.I accept,that my group would not have succeeded in this task if not for you. This journey has been accomplished till now without any injuries but now it will change for i will have to kill you." says Cross.