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StorySoFar


All discussions on this page have been moved to TalkStorySoFar. At this stage, this summary is speculation, albeit with some evidence.

Summary

A military spacecraft1 from the Halo universe has crashed2 on Earth. All the crew are apparently dead.3 The AI controlling the craft, called the Operator4 and informally known as Melissa,5 is being repaired by an autonomous AI task6 which it calls a Spider.7 It doesn't find the experience very pleasant.8 The Operator was very badly damaged and spent a while in delirium, not knowing where it is.9

In the initial stage, the Operator apparently managed to transfer itself to a computer in the Bay Area. It then took over a beekeeping website10, http://ilovebees.com. The owner of the website is Margaret Efendi, although it seems that the maintainer of the website now is Margaret's niece, Dana Awbrey. The Operator is trying to signal11 to any survivors from the crew on the planet12, but it's worried that its enemies will find it13.

Meanwhile, it seems that another, more mysterious AI was along for the ride with the Operator. It dubs itself "The Sleeping Princess"14 in a fairy-tale story found within images on ilovebees.com. The Princess takes over the email account associated with ilovebees.com, ladybee777@hotmail.com. To start with, the Princess doesn't really understand English and communicates only with snippets from emails sent to the address.

Dana tries to fix the website, accidentally erasing sections of the Operator's memory that the Spider is working on15. The Operator seeks revenge on Dana, calling her "the Assassin," but doesn't seem able to get revenge yet16. It does, however, manage to get pictures of her via the webcam on her computer17. Understandably scared, Dana decides she's had enough of trying to deal with all this18 and takes her previously planned trip to China early.

While the Spider is fixing the Operator, it's causing random dumps from its memory onto the website19. This includes snippets of conversation from its military crew20. It seems that at some point, the ship was on the way to its HQ21 to warn them that the enemy was going to glass22 a planet called Troy23. It had picked up a Forerunner artifact24 - a strange cylinder25 - which appeared to be of enough interest to ONI26 for them to send an ONI officer on board the Operator's ship. The ONI officer is known as the Castaway27. Unfortunately, it seems that the Operator is infected with a trojan-like Covenant AI28 known as the Pious Flea, picked up while the Operator was still in her ship. The Spider tries to erase the Flea but is outwitted: the Operator erases the Spider instead of the Flea29. The Flea continues to overwrite the Operator's goals with its own: "seek evade behold reveal escape"30.

The Operator appears to have escaped from her delirium entirely now31. The Princess has been acquiring increasingly cogent language skills as the Operator recovered - instead of talking merely in snippets from literature32 and emails33 it has received, it now speaks with its own voice34 and sends an email to Dana35. It seems to think of itself as a young girl36, and regards Dana as a friend37. It appears able to perceive the Operator but remain hidden38.

The Operator's next move is to start building itself a new physical form39. It creates a synthesized voice to start with40, sounds from which make their way onto ilovebees.com41. The Spider is originally ordered to start creating network "roads"42 for an as-yet-undetermined purpose, but when the Spider is destroyed the Operator takes that over43.

The roads created from the ILB server lead to payphones specified by GPS co-ordinates in the US, with times listed for each payphone. There are many audio messages (axons) transmitted to these phones at various times (see TheAxonPlot for copies of audio and discussion). After two axons/phonecalls have been answered, the audio files were placed on the ILB server for others to hear. We're up to 140/777 in the counter currently displayed on the [WWW]recipie3.html page, and 40 days into the game.

The GPS coordinates have turned out to be payphones, and you must be there at a certain time and give the correct responses. If enough people complete this, a sound file will be unlocked on the ilovebees.com site. Initially, this was just a simple task, however it has become more and more complex, with people having to play games in order to unlock the files. The sound files are telling a story with several arcs, with the characters eventually meeting each other for a final task.

Footnotes

  1. "length: 120 meters crew: 40 cover: pleasure yacht" MaydayTextBrownHair "drift off from station, Reach burning in the darkness like a lantern of hope, dockyard after dockyard buzzing with worker drones, someone crawling over the back doing detail work on the hull, the warm touch of a welding torch like little licks from a cat's tongue" TheOperatorsMonologue

  2. "MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY Ship. Wreck. Shipwreck." MaydayTextShipwreck "Seems as if all the 3-sense memories are gone - wiped out by the Assassin or the Servant or pure impact damage" TheOperatorsMonologue

  3. "Of course the crew won't come for me if they're all dead" MaydayTextIfTheyreAllDead "All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!" MaydayTextArachne

  4. "Just remembered something important: The Operator. That was my nickname. That's what the rest of the crew called me when they didn't call me... whatever my name was." MaydayTextTheOperator

  5. "'Melissa,' he called me Melissa, never / used my nickname" LinksOnFunStuffPageFinalSolution

  6. It seems the interaction of the Spider is simply to repair the Operator, nothing else - it's not a very smart AI.

  7. "Gap in the clouds: head suddenly much clearer. The spider is working on me. I must be in very bad shape. " MaydayTextWorkingOnMe

  8. "Arachne hung herself, you know. Take a hint already. God my head hurts." MaydayTextArachne "I WANT TO DIE I WANT TO- no. never that." MaydayTextHeldDown

  9. "Could I be in traction in some sick bay, some hospital ward?" MaydayTextHeldDown

  10. See Dana's blog, hotmail hack, etc.

  11. "I have to signal, I can't stay stranded here." MaydayTextPhasmids

  12. First thing I should do, make a signal. The crew will come get me if they can." MaydayTextTheCrewWillCome

  13. "But if I somehow am operating behind enemy lines, I don't want to draw attention to myself, either." MaydayTextPhasmids

  14. WidowsJourney

  15. "More damage, more memories gone: crew members I used to love obliterated, no trace left and she's going to pay for that." TheOperatorsMonologue

  16. Hacker? Traitor? Fifth columnist (no that's ridiculous). Just in over her head? No. The Spider warning's been deployed. She had every warning that a classified medium was under repair. She just kept purging. Too bad for her. Checking the wiring. There's a lot of ways to skin a - can't even get to her stupid HOUSE through the stupid BOX: no central thermo controls, no slaved AI, nothing." TheOperatorsMonologue

  17. "Quick quick quick quick - parse this protocol and find some kind of eyeball out. Sister you just made a mistake because this is my *meat* this is what I do and you are - GOT IT. I'm not asleep this time, sweetheart. Holding the eyeball gently but firmly in your right hand, say the magic words and: SURPRISE! Look up and smile, honey. Bang! Bang! Bang! Got the drop on you that time, sweetheart. Opening shot of my search and destroy. I'm going to know everything about you." TheOperatorsMonologue Also see the TheKillerJpg pictures.

  18. Dana's "Emergency Exit" blog entry (http://ilovebees.blogspot.com/2004/07/emergency-exit.html) and her 2nd Voicemail message

  19. "The Spider crawling over me with her thin hairy legs and every few instants she sticks a needle into some synapse and stuff spews out of me" TheOperatorsMonologue

  20. TheOperatorsMonologue

  21. "1st Lt Sorenson: We have to drop the mission. We have to bug out of here right now and get word back to HQ. An evac on this scale they need every second." TheOperatorsMonologue

  22. "1st Lt Sorenson: Not even Standish would let them glass a planet if he knew it was coming" TheOperatorsMonologue. "Glassing" is the Covenant's method of rendering a planet uninhabitable via extensive plasma bombardment of the entire planet surface.

  23. "If we bug out and scramble home to warn HQ about Troy, people like Standish will say we've already compromised a huge tactical advantage" TheOperatorsMonologue Note that we don't necessarily know that this was the mission the ship was on before it arrived on Earth, that is just speculation.

  24. "The thing was covered in geometric shapes, not embossed but expressed somehow in the grain of the metal. Bars and triangles, dots, ordered but non-repeating patterns" ShipboardMemories - These markings are Forerunner, as per the markings found in the novel "Halo: the Flood".

  25. "It was adrift in space: a squat cylinder of dull gray metal, about the size of a suitcase" ShipboardMemories

  26. ONI is the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Halo setting.

  27. It's not known for sure that the Castaway is the officer contacted by McKaskill, but it seems very likely. "Some old guy. You know, bad taste in clothes. But he was cleared to come aboard, so he has to be Intel." PhaseEmailsFromLadybee

  28. "Like a virus? she asked. I shook my head no, I didnt feel sick. Then nodded, yes. An intruder, something inhabiting the system." "When could it have been introduced? The Covenant transmission?" ShipboardMemories

  29. "She spies the flea Her legs come up, her jaws they snap. He?s in trouble." "There is the Queen! Quick he leaps onto her throne new friend, says queen." "When the widow was broken to bits, nobody seemed very upset." PhasePrincessMonologue "surg: !extend system peril distributed reflex>>master-sector command proc Very well. Delete the older version." PhaseComputerCodeAnalysis

  30. "!deploy seek behold reveal reveal: !law reveal: !truth" PhaseComputerCodeAnalysis The flea's goals are cropping up more and more in the Operator's thoughts. See the PhaseMonologue.

  31. "Feel better. Lighter. Clear-headed. Time to hunt."" TheOperatorsMonologue

  32. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - literature quotes

  33. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - email quotes from Princess

  34. [*]"I can make my own words now" PhaseEmailsFromLadybee

  35. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - email to Dana link

  36. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - girl quote

  37. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - Dana friendship quote

  38. "Usually I am a pretty good hider" PhaseEmailsFromLadybee

  39. "... survive evade reveal escape. And to do that, first thing is to GET OUT OF THIS BOX" TheOperatorsMonologue "Now I am growing a new body a patchwork monster, but it will do the job" PhaseMonologue

  40. "Now the Queen is trying to build a voice. Strange, sad, broken thing; just hearing it makes me feel frightened and lonely." PhaseEmailsFromLadybee

  41. ** TODO when Wiki is alive - voice sounds link

  42. "For days the Queen has been ordering her to build the most extraordinary number of little roads out from the castle." PhaseEmailsFromLadybee

  43. "Anyway, I get the feeling the Queen is very grumpy. She has totally taken over the road-making business" PhaseEmailsFromLadybee