Ice Fly For President

Shortly after my previous post on the matter, I received another text from the folks at the Human Preservation Project, reading, “If you are available this weekend we will have a representative bring you the replacement then. Please specify a time that works for you.” This resulted in a series of texts where the shadowy organization and I agreed on a playdate. Their final confirmation text, “Our representative will be at *my address* at 3pm tomorrow. Be sure to box up your damaged icefly, and he will replace it for you” confirmed my fears that they weren’t gonna let me keep both… This was a shame because I was really looking forward to taking pose shots of myself duel-weilding icefly canisters to show how gangster-gangster I am.

Righty, you will be sorely missed.

I hope you've found... wholeness.

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So earlier today, I met with a representative of the Human Preservation Project. As I sat on my driveway, sitting next to my old injured icefly-in-a-box, I found myself wondering several important questions…. I take it back. I was pretty much just wondering if I’d get one of those nifty IceFly t-shirts…

"I bet Terry O'Quinn has one..."

After a short while of arguing with my sister over how much longer she’d have to wait and take pictures, a car pulled up in front of my next door neighbor’s house. I immediately, realized how strange it might seem that I was sitting in my driveway, on a folding chair next to a small black crate. So I turned my head in an attempt to avoid eye contact. When I glanced back over, I instead saw the icefly-delivery team.

This just got real

Click here for a picture of him looking silly.

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This is probably the most iceflies you'll never see in one picture.

If he tried anything, my head-ferret would have lept into action

an efficient transaction completed

This box had a nicer lock!

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It didn’t occur to me until after I took the new one inside that I probably should have checked and opened it on the driveway, especially since when he told me “Be careful when you’re opening it. These things are fragile.” I probably dismissed the notion for the same reason I didn’t wear my gangster-gangster sunglasses (absent mindedness).

No sooner did I reach my hands into the packaging material and gripped onto the weird stretchy black sock bag, than I felt the canister come apart. It was at this moment that I almost certainly made a stupid face. So very carefully, I kept everything together and removed everything from its packaging. The canister itself is in fine condition. It’s just that the glue around the base didn’t quite take. So as far as I know I’m the only person that has an icefly canister that you can open.

It's probably infected me with something amazing.

....scary

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I was surprised to learn that the critter is actually made of metal and not some chrome-painted plastic. The black rod is fairly sturdy (though I’m obviously not gonna test it). The connection between the bug and the rod, on the other hand, might simply be held together by the wires inside. I didn’t bother to plug it in. I imagine that it simply has the same morse code message as the last one and seeing as how this one is much more fragile, I feel more comfortable just keeping it in the crate…. I think my last crate had a better paint job.

Back to Business

So after that second countdown ended on the new website, I was more surprised than I should have been when the site put up a cryptic-as-hell picture, simply titled jpg.jpg

It started off slightly different, but this is how it was last time I checked. Also, the picture is huge. So feel free to enlarge it or check out the original.

My cousin and I immediately tried brainstorming how to decrypt this madness. Pretty early on, I came up with the idea of tracing it with lines of each of the colors the dots use (etc. blue line connecting blue1 => blue2 => blue3). So I opened up Illustrator and began to do so. I soon realized that what appeared to be one shade of purple was actually three or four shades… So I had no idea which lines should go where. Regardless, the lines I did have didn’t make crap. THEN I saw that the image was being updated, so I threw up my hands, got up, kicked over a chair, and left that theory crying in the corner.

Then when those angles appeared at the top, I translated them into clock hands, which read: 4:45, 2:30, 7:15, 7:30. But if anything has happened at those times I wasn’t paying attention. My final theory as to whateverthehell the picture is is that it’s probably a map to some sort of pentagon vault. There are eight different corridors to get there. The final door is opened by 5 “Facility keys” and each corridor is filled with locked gates that can only be opened by the specifically colored “Constellation key” a.k.a “bubblegum key.” Oh yeah…

The Bubblegum

Pretty early on, lots of people were guessing that this whole thing was just an add campaign for Stride5 gum (which would be a catastrophic bummer!!!). So it makes more than a little sense for them to have a partnership with Stride, regardless of whether or not they have anything to do with this whole mess.

Ever since the the survivalcode site went up, it’s been pretty clear that we’re expected to collect keys some how. Everyone started off with three keys. Originally, I thought that only I and a few others had three because we picked up the icefly statues, but it turned out that everyone had three.

As soon as it became apparent that you get keys by buying special bubblegum, my initial skepticism towards Alternate Reality Games resurfaced. I don’t even like gum and I certainly wasn’t going to go out of my way to throw money at stride for imaginary mystery keys. REGARDLESS, one of my cousins decided to buy Stride5 with the IceFly logo on it so that he could give me the code. Less than a week later, my mom did the same thing. So even if I myself don’t want to feed the machine, I have involuntarily become an alter for others to do such. Congratulations Stride! (I did wind up chewing their gum on a plane ride. The flavor actually didn’t last as long as I expected, especially considering how long their commercials allege it lasts (FOREVER!))

The Music Game (BEEPBOOPBEEPBEEPBEEPBOOPBEEPBEEEPBOOP)

I kept checking back at the countdown page, colored-dot-riddle-thing, waiting for updates. Unfortunately, I did this by either refreshing it or typing its address into my URL. Apparently I was supposed to wait through the really long Terry O’Quinn speech AGAIN, so that I could click on the armored-sciency-door in the mountains AGAIN, so that I could play a “music game.”

I have “music game” in “quotes” because it doesn’t really require rhythm the way that most music games do. I let my little sister do the first ten levels because it didn’t look that hard. By the time it was my turn, the only way I could play it was on mute. The “musical” noises of trial and error were painful and offered no advice.

After about what I estimate to be a bit more than an hour, I beat all 20 levels and actually felt fairly impressed by the cleverness of the game and the pseudo-rhytm that the final levels required (on mute). After I completed it, I entered my login information and was declared a master of my “audio destiny,” which actually made me feel pretty good about myself (on mute). Later, when I went back to the music game, I saw that it put me back at the final level rather than the first. I beat it again and it asked me for my login information again. My cousin told me to put in his. So I did. And that’s how he “mastered his audio destiny” without playing the game.

But I Digress

To conclude this entry in my IceFly chronicles, I’ll again say that I’m highly entertained and captivated by the whole thing. Every time I think I’m about to lose interest (i.e. buy gum?!), they pull me back in with a clever puzzle game. I’m still worried that my experience might be limited by my lack of gum. I suppose I’ll just wait it out.

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