Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Monkey Business

The fountain we need to visit is not far, only a handful of blocks away from Percival Tower. When we arrive, we find we get to wait again. The sun has fallen since Mastermind, and we welcome the chance to sit back and chew on a few snacks.

In fact, we offer some of our plentiful food to Game Control. We chat with them for a while, and watch another team at the center of the fountain, which is now turned off. There's a strange metal box in the center, with four satellite boxes in the cardinal directions. It turns out that this puzzle was intended to get the teams wet, but because we came after dark, the fountain is turned off and we will remain dry.

We are eventually led to the center device. It displays 3 numbers: "425." There are four buttons in the cardinal directions. We play with the buttons. Hitting certain ones reveals the message "Splaaaaash!" Another reveals another set of 3 numbers.

I run to one of the satellite boxes. They display two dashes, but certain number combinations cause an open symbol.

When I make it back to the center, someone has figured out the trick. The whole thing is a maze, with a series of 3 digit numbers every time we make a correct turn. When we finish, we see a haiku, roughly saying "You are illuminated, call me for your next location."

We're told by Game Control that we have all we need, and are escorted away from the fountain so the next team can brave the maze. Meanwhile, we look at our series of triplets. Eventually, it dawns on us that there are 3 phone numbers, all Microsoft numbers, listed. We call them, and are greeted with a series of 4 letters, a la "Alpha Oscar Tango Foxtrot"

We write these down and look at them. Someone notices that some of the four letter pairs can be put together to form coherent words. When we're done with this, we get a message:

"Go down fifth and find a man sitting on a bench. Tell him "You look like you need a monkey""

We dash to the nearby bench, and see another team speaking with a man on the bench. When they're done, we tell him:

"You look like you need a monkey"
"Strawberries have always tasted better to me."

Someone on our team recognizes his response...

"Agreed, and they're usually not as furry."

This was one of the two-quote pairs from the library! The man now tells us our next location: the Art Farm in Centrailia. It's a bit of a drive, and we hop in the van and rush to the next location!


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