Mission 3- The Cipher

After signing up, Cadre members are told to meet their informant at the Wolf Plaza outside Talley Student Union on the west side of Stafford Commons.

This video is a complete walkthrough experience of this mission. If you continue below, there is a full detailed explaination of this mission.

Once Cadre members arrive at the meeting spot, the informants lead them to a side door of Turlington hall and into a small hallway with a washer and dryer. In the hallway is a small cart with a computer and cables leading into a door.

The informant gathers the members around the computer and tells them they need to watch a short orientation video from Dr. Beldon and then Mister E will fill them in on the objective of the mission.

This video is labeled with "confidential" and continues into untitled footage of Dr. Beldon sitting at a table with a lamp close by. Beldon welcomes the watchers to the inner circle of The Institute. He then proceeds to explain about The Algorithm, a project of the late Dr. Reeves and the key to unlocking the full potential of the NED Matter.

After Dr. Reeves' death, the only remaining research about the Algorithm is an indecipherable, coded notebook, which is believed to hold the algorithm.

This video is a much more personal and intimate setting than any previous video from Dr. Beldon.

At the conclusion of Dr. Beldon's video, the screen goes fuzzy and Mister E begins to speak. Mister E informs the Cadre members that they were shown the previous video because the Algorithm is a quintessential part to finding the missing students.

Mister E says the Aperture has located a time pocket directly into Jess' home in 1958. It is believed that Jess kept the cypher to the algorithm in her residence.

The member's mission for today is to travel into 1958 and search for the cypher to the coded Algorithm.

Once Mister E is finished, the informant reinforces the member's objective for this mission: To travel into the 1958 time pocket, to find the cypher to the Algorithm, to find any information they can from Jess, and to escape before the pocket becomes unstable. The informant opens the door next to the members, revealing the aperture and 1958.

Walking through the same familiar Aperture with it's purple glow and constant hum, the members enter a small living room in 1958. The room consists of a leather couch, purple velvet chair, a bookcase with several books and knick knacks, a coffee table, television, and a radio/ record player. There are several lamps in the room and paintings on the walls.

Continuing into the space is a small dining room. In this room, there is a table and chairs, a sideboard filled with dishes, and a corner cabinet with drinkware. On the center table sits a type writer and various papers, a wine glass and a map.

As members walk into the space, they can see the TV in the space is playing an interview hosted by Leonard Wainwright and interviewing Jess Reeves. Leonard interviews Jess about being a woman in science.

As the interview progresses, Leonard's questions become more misogynistic and less about Jess' accomplishments or field of study. At one point he brings out Jess' research assistant, Al Beldon.

Al brings with him what the members find out is Jess' research notebook. As Leonard changes his focus to Al, he completely dismisses Jess and Al begins to misrepresent Jess' research and take credit for it. Jess becomes more visually irritated and eventually lashes out at Al for disrespecting her and overstepping his position. Leonard then quickly shifts into a commercial break.

The commercial that follows is advertising the 1958 Oldsmobile. This commercial is based around a song called "Oldsmobility". After the commercial, the TV seems to jump back to the beginning of the interview and repeats.

Interview Transcription:

TELEVISION HOST LEONARD: Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to the show folks! Thank you all for tuning in today! Good to have you here as we hear from some of the most fascinating people in the area. Who are these movers and shakers? Who is dreaming so big that you’d better stay on the lookout for them?

Today’s interview is with some super smart people from North Carolina State College. You know those State folks. They can teach us about all kinds of things - building things, flying things, computer things, heck, all kinds of things. These folks teach us about farming and train up our teachers and engineers. But today, we’re going to talk about science!

I remember struggling through Biology in high school. Whoo-whee, that was some tough stuff. Mostly, I remember playing basketball and flirting with all the pretty girls!

Well, if you’re like me and you don't remember much science yourself, just the squares who taught it and the geeks who understood it, then today might come as a surprise. We’ve had scientists on our show before but today you’re in for a real treat because we have a real live lady scientist! This little lady is interested in stuff I’ve never even heard of and certainly never thought a girl would want to do. (Jess calmly takes a deep breath and tries to smile.) Isn’t that amazing? If I could have taken Chemistry from a pretty girl, I might have studied rather than staring out the window all year.

The pretty, young thing is Mrs. Jessica Reeves. Thank you for being here!!

JESS: Thank you for having me Mr. Wainwright but it’s Dr. Reeves.

LEONARD: Did you hear that folks?

JESS: I received my PhD from NC State.

LEONARD: A P. H. D.! This cookie has a PhD!

JESS: Yes. Thank you.

LEONARD: Well, well, well. But are you married?

JESS: I was, yes.

LEONARD: That must take a mountain of courage to marry a woman scientist.

JESS: Perhaps, but my husband never mentioned that marrying me made him feel particularly courageous.

LEONARD: So, what’s your husband do for a living?

JESS: Well, he doesn’t do anything now. My husband died. He was killed during the War.

LEONARD: I’m so sorry for your loss, ma’am.

JESS: Thank you.

LEONARD: A lady scientist and a widow. How do you manage?

JESS: Well, I have my research to keep me occupied. It’s a fascinating field of study and I stay very busy.

LEONARD: But who takes care of your children?

JESS: We never had children. He was a soldier and I worked in a chemistry lab/ for the gov--

LEONARD: What a shame. What a shame. How long has he been gone?

JESS: Long enough that I can manage without him but not long enough that I care to talk much about his passing

LEONARD: It must be terrible to be a female all alone in the world.

JESS: We all have our burdens. As I was saying, I had my research…

LEONARD: Yes, yes! The science!! Do you do your scientific studying alone?

JESS: Well, a scientist always works within a larger context. The physics community has been…

LEONARD: Physics? I thought you were a chemistry teacher.

JESS: No, I worked in a chemistry lab for a time but my research focus is in physics.

LEONARD: Huh, I really thought you were in chemistry.

JESS: Well my undergraduate focus was…

LEONARD: So you don’t teach chemistry?

JESS: No, Mr. Wainwright, I do not teach chemistry. I am a researcher at NC State studying the physics of negative energy.

LEONARD: Negative energy?!

JESS: Yes, negative energy. If you will --

LEONARD: You heard it folks! This little duckie researches negative energy, whatever that is.

JESS: Yes, physicists postulate that negative energy --

LEONARD: What’s it like being the only bird working with all those men?

JESS: Ah, oh...

LEONARD: I bet those boys aren’t staring out the window with you around!

JESS: Well I hope not. They have lots to focus on inside the classroom and even more in the lab! For instance --

LEONARD: But what’s it like though?

JESS: What’s what like?

LEONARD: Working with all those college boys?!

JESS: Well, I’m certainly outnumbered. It can be a bit lonely without the support of other women. That’s why I want to encourage your viewers to consider studying science no matter what your gender is! There is an incredible history of women in science, and mathematics, and they have helped to shape this field of knowledge. In the decades to come, I imagine more --

LEONARD: Hear, hear to more pretty faces in high school science classes all over America!

JESS: And college classrooms and labs too! I envision a future where a research laboratory might be peopled exclusively with women in science. There is a bright future ahead for all of us in the sciences, for all genders!

LEONARD: Ah, yes. But don’t you think that womenfolk are happier working in their natural habitat?

JESS: Are you referring to the domestic sphere?

LEONARD: Yes ma'am, I am!

JESS: I don’t think that’s true at all. Many women, perhaps even most women, would be much more fulfilled working --

LEONARD: Whoo, you are a bit of a firebrand aren’t you?! Most girls want to marry and /stay at home...

JESS: Yes, well. Why don’t we bring out one of my research assistants. He is here with a poster presentation that might help to explain our work a little better.

LEONARD: Wonderful!! Let’s bring him on out!!

(Al enters carrying the lab notebook and an extendable metal pointer before he crosses to the poster.)

AL: Hello everyone!

LEONARD: Good to have you hear, my boy!!

AL: Thank you, Mr. Wainwright.

LEONARD: This is Dr. Al--

JESS: Actually, Leonard he’s not --

AL: Just call me Al, sir. We’re all friends here.

LEONARD: Yes we are my friend! Yes we are!! What do you have to share with us today, Dr. Al!?

AL: We’re here today to talk with you folks about Time Travel!

LEONARD: That’s extraordinary!

JESS: You are getting way ahead of our research, Al!

LEONARD: Is that true, young man?

AL: You’re right, I might be a little bit ahead of our current work but just a little. (a wink to Leonard) But it’s exciting that Leonard Wainwright is a man of vision and can clearly see the potential in science.

LEONARD: Exactly right! The future’s, well the future is limitless!!

JESS: It’s a good deal more complicated than that.

LEONARD: Well, sure it is Mrs. Reeves.

JESS: It’s Dr. Reeves and it’s important that we firmly place our work in the proper context--

AL: Thank you for that reminder. I intend to do just that.

LEONARD: Great! Great. So can you tell our viewers a little more about your research?

AL: I’d be delighted to!

LEONARD: Wonderful.

AL: Where to start with this amazing project? Our current research focus is on the qualities and applications of a new form of energy.

LEONARD: Like nuclear energy?

AL: No, not nuclear energy, as this energy behaves very differently but it’s got the potential to impact life as we know it --

JESS: Al! What we know at this time is that it’s an inverse form of matter that affects the stability of --

LEONARD: Whoa, whoa there, doll! You are moving way too fast for this old country boy.

If you could slow it down for the non-science folk.

AL: Leonard and for you watching at home, I want you to think of the world all around you as positive - can you do that?

LEONARD: I think I can, sir.

AL: Great! Now imagine a form of matter that is the opposite --

JESS: Inverse --

AL: A negative energy. It functions as the opposite of the positive energy we know and love and all the matter in the world that we are used to living in and it interacts with time --

JESS: All we can / conclusively say --

LEONARD: Wait. Wait. Wait. So you’ve created this Negative Matter?

AL: Yes, we/ have--

JESS: No! We have observed --

LEONARD: So you haven’t done it?

JESS: As I said, we have not but --

AL: We are close to isolating this inverse form of energy and once we do that, the energy is available for us to harness its power, we can use it for a myriad of applications --

JESS: We have observed /the energy and hope to isolate it soon. It is too early --

LEONARD: What can you make from this stuff?

Al: Well! The theory is that this energy can manipulate time.

JESS: All we know is that it affects the permeability of the temporal --

AL: Time! The impenetrability of time would be broken. We can harness this negative energy to change the density of time and allow us to access different times and space.

LEONARD: Wow. So, time travel!!

JESS: No, transdimensional science is more complicated than that/

LEONARD: Time travel. That sounds like time travel to me!

JESS: besides, we’re years away/ from safely attempting --

AL: Yes, it’s a miraculous thought, is it not? We can alter what has been unalterable for the whole of human history.

LEONARD: You, Dr. Beldon, are a man --

JESS: Yup. A man.

LEONARD: A man with real vision. If you could use this Negative Energy to change time, what would you do?

AL: Well the first thing I --

JESS: Yes, Mr. Beldon, what is the first thing you would do?!

AL: Ah, Dr. Reeves I have stepped on your toes at mite…

JESS: You have. Maybe “stomp” would be a better choice of word.

LEONARD: Oh-ho, there kitten, don’t get your claws out. Al’s just dreaming here…

JESS: Yes, but he’s daydreaming with my research.

AL: But Dr. Reeves right here you write, “immensely optimistic that the density of the future timeline will be traversable if we can stabilize the energy--”

JESS: How dare you! It is completely unethical to publicly share from those notes and unforgivable that you should ever remove a lab notebook /from the site of the work itself.

AL: But you wanted people to understand the scope /of the work we’re --

JESS: Yes! By sharing the carefully curated data that we discussed and formatted.

AL: People don’t understand the process. They just want results.

JESS: It is our job to make them understand the process /so they have the full context...

AL: Sometimes you have to break the rules to make any real progress. You’d know that if you had any real vision.

JESS: Give me that notebook. You no longer have a position in my lab. Good day, Mr. Wainwright.

LEONARD: Hey folks! We’ll be right back after this commercial break.

On the table next to the typewriter is a letter written by Jess in hopes of Emma one day finding. In the note, Jess writes, "...you’ll need the solution to the “problem” I’ve created. It’s been separated into 2 pieces and you’ll need both to solve it." This most likely means the cypher to the "problem," the Algorithm, are hiding in 2 places around the space.

Note Transcript:

Maybe I’m losing it, but over the years I’ve thought a lot about that experience with the psychic. Primarily I walked away with the feeling that Emma or… someone… might be looking for me. Which is why I've started leaving notes like this around. Just in case…

If I’m right then, Hello Emma! If you’re reading this, that means that you’re here to help me. Or at least looking for a way to help me. If that’s true, then I’m thinking that I can give you information here that you can use to help me from the future. To do that, you’ll need the solution to the “problem” I’ve created. It’s been separated into 2 pieces and you’ll need both to solve it. You know how much I love a good puzzle!

Copy it to take with you to use it in the future!

I miss you and I hope I’ll see you soon,


(The following lays out each step for both pieces to finding the Algorithm Cypher.)

Part 1

Sitting on top of the TV is a sales pamphlet for the 1958 Oldsmobile. This pamphlet advertises the same car as the commercial on the TV that follows Jess' interview.

Inside the pamphlet there are several words circled with pencil:

"[You'll discover] [new] [knowledge] [of the password] [easier] [where] [visibility] [traditionally] [brings] [comfort] [and the results] [which maintains constant] [flooded sight] [just press the activator switch]"

The clues are talking about something that brings comfort from bringing light; also known as a lamp.

Throughout the space every lamp is on except one, a lamp sitting atop the record player near The Aperture. Once this lamp is turned on, it reveals the word "Plates" on the inside of the lampshade.

In the dining room part of this space, next to the table sits a sideboard. Inside the sideboard there are dishes stacked and hidden between several plates is a small key with a ribbon. This key opens a metal lockbox that is sat on the floor next to one of the chairs at the table.

Inside the lockbox is a coded letter and small record titled "Cocktail Capers". Etched around the outer edge of the record itself is the entire alphabet and the numbers 0-9.

This is the first part of the Cypher.

The letter in the lockbox alongside the record is seemingly coded and meant to be deciphered with the record and it's counterpart. After finishing the space members decoded the letter as follows:



You found my cipher

Next you’ll have to get my equation from the lab and decode it

Also you should know that my attempt to use Beldon to figure out a way home has backfired

I may have seriously screwed up and inadvertently helped create The Institute

If true then I’m caught in a very large loop paradox making it much harder to get me out

I’m just hoping I don’t get burned by all of this

Please help


Part 2

On the table next to the typewriter sits a rolled up map. When unfolded, it reveals a map of Downtown Raleigh dating 1953. The map itself has a grid but a number and letter system has been hand written on the map. On the map has many different points of interest with numbers associated. When the map is reversed, there are small black dots scattered around the map. These dots line up with several of the points of interest numbers on the front.

Rolled in the map is a half sheet of paper with letters coordinating with numbers. this makes it obvious that some of the points of interest on the map coordinate with some letters.

To find out which numbers are the important points on the map, members need to look around to find something to narrow their search. On the coffee table sits a chess set. On the chess set, someone has added numbers and letters that coordinate with the positions on the map. when the members try to take the chess board to the map, they find out some of the pieces have been attached to the chess board and do not want to come off.

The chess pieces have been attached to:

B2 E2 C3 E5 D6

On the map =

39 69 54 30 82

On the code =


The important places on the map spell:


Taped to the underside of a chair at the table, the members discover an envelope. Inside this envelope is a hand-drawn map of the space.

The map contains five X's indicating different areas of the room. Alongside the X's are roman numerals 1-5. This seems to indicate the order of the x's.

As Cadre members begin to look around the areas marked on the map, they notice several letters taped on many different surfaces all around the space. They blend in well with their surroundings and are not obvious until they are looking for them. The map indicates the following letters:

I = E

Found on the inside of the corner cabinet door in the dining room.

II = L

Found on the side of the soffet above the bookcase.


Found near the top of the wall next to the closed door in the living room.

IV = I

Found at the bottom of the wall between the TV and the side table in the living room.

V = S

Found on the side of the sideboard filled with dishes in the dining room.

When these letters are spelled into a word, it spells:


On the bookcase is a stack of records. One of the records is a sleeve for the Elvis Presley self-titled album. Inside the sleeve is a record with symbols scratched onto the outer edge of it's face.

When the small record is stacked on top of the larger record and the line on each is aligned, it reveals the letter that coordinates with each symbol.

The cipher code reads as follows:

After finding the cipher, the destablization alarm on the Aperture begins to sound. The informant tells the members to quickly take photos of everything they need, then to leave the pocket before it becomes unstable and collapses.

Once all members are out of the time pocket, the informant makes sure they have the info they need. The informants then tell the members that Mister E believes Beldon keeps the Algorithm in his office and Mister E will be in contact as soon as it is safe for them to infiltrate his office and retrieve it.