#19 burning bright & burning out

| r |

Dear Nana, dear Internet,

thanks so much for your continued help and patience. I am slowly working through Ben’s notes, between waiting tables and figuring out how to behave in your society. A few days ago someone got mad at me for being too friendly, so it seems like I still have a lot to work.

Among the things I took from Ben’s atelier, I found a busted USB stick. Last week I made a new friend, Hannah. She is working with computers and promised to take a look at it and see if she can salvage some data. Right now she is visiting Leipzig for the CCC. But before she left, she already found some data. This is what she got so far: a picture, a video and a .pdf file that’s password protected.

>>> crystalline.pdf <<<

Do your magic, internet.


6 thoughts on “#19 burning bright & burning out

  1. The picture translates to Qui suis je, what means Who am I. Havent figured out the password yet, but im sure there are more of us working on it right now.

    1. Dear Escobar,
      thank you for your help. I also hope there are more people working on it, but you are welcome to signal boost.

    2. Dear Escobar,

      great to hear that others are trying as well. What have you tried so far? Maybe we could team up? By brute force, I have already established that the key is longer than four characters 🙁 my next try will be a dictionary-based attack.
      Do you have any thoughts on the visual content of the image next to the words “quisuisje”?

    3. The picture shows an engine under water, I think. So it might point to the inventor of that kind of engine, or the name of the engine, or something in that direction (Nautilus, Jules Verne, etc)

  2. Dear friend M,
    I think you might be on to something. It does look like some sort of machine. But why would Ben have a drawing of an underwater engine? Wouldn’t it be more likely to be some sort of time machine as well?

    1. Got it, its “anacronopete” — referring to the book by Enrique Lucio Eugenio Gaspar y Rimbau (, appears to be one of the first representations of time travel by machine in literature.

      By the way, cracking this by brute force would have taken over 200 years with today’s single computer processing power 🙂

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