Hello Sipherians! In case you missed it, we have included a recap of the story that took place as part of the Second Act of the Ciphers for Siphers Quests, which occurred before the launch of the Second Fleet - Sipherian Flash (NEKOs). Enjoy!
Prologue - The Aftermath of The Great War
Amidst the untold sounds of the clashing of steel blades on steel, the nerve-wrecking sight of countless beams and projectiles being exchanged across the battlefield, and the smell of burning sulfur from igniting unexpected stores of resources buried in the ground of this god forsaken moon, a lone SIPHER INU stood atop a ridge, overlooking the battlefield of the First Great War, rapidly issuing commands to the members of the Shade Brotherhood from his vantage point.
However, things started to take a strange turn when an Inu Shade Brother, adorned in a full suit of heavy armour and wearing an oni’s hat, reported in with unexpected news.
“My Lord Hand of the King, I come with urgent news about a strange finding from the ruins we have secured at coordinates 380x,124y to 389x,133y. This was enshrined at the deepest and most well protected sector of the ruins,” said the nameless Inu Shade Brother as he first glanced at the pyramid shaped object, which was emitting bolts of electricity that seemed to constantly strike a bell-like object at its core in a seemingly random pattern.
The Shade Brother was effort-fully tearing the gaze of his blue eyes away from the object’s unnatural magnetic pull while simultaneously handing it over as it generated a soft and haunting tune that tugged at the soul.
“Interesting. Was this what the Centurion Scholars mobilized for?” pondered the Hand of the King, who pensively cast his sight on the object as he dismissed the nameless Inu Shade Brother who quickly drew his double barreled pistol and returned to the battlefield.
Taking a final glimpse at the battlefield, the Hand of the King nodded in satisfaction, turned to his 10 Shade Clan Leaders and passed down a final command before returning to the Brotherhood’s encampments. “Clean it up before dawn breaks. They will be unable to turn the tide at this eleventh hour. It is our overwhelming victory.”
A short while later, within the outskirts of the Brotherhood’s encampments, the imposing Hand of the King pushed open the flaps of an inconspicuously small and unguarded tent, then immediately kneels down towards an Inu who sat upon a throne of bones deep within the shadows with the deepest possible deference.
“My King, I come bearing news of our victory in the War, and some.. unique.. spoils which we have discovered in the ruins,” said the Hand of the King as he extended his paws outwards, with the pyramid shaped object in tow.
“Curious indeed. I wonder what in the Singularity is this?” spoke the King as he grabbed hold of the object and inspected it while turning the object around.
After a few moments, the King tossed the pyramid back into the paws of the Hand of the King, then spoke menacingly, “Get our Shade Brotherhood Scientists on this. I expect the secrets of this object to be identified within 2 days, or else.”
“Now, get out of my sight. I do not wish to be disturbed in my private time,” said the King as he waved the Hand of the King away and returned into his private quarters that reeked of the disgustingly sweet stench of vice and amorality.
“Dr Kami! Dr Kami! This is urgent! Code N3-K0 was just executed. The poly-physical material code transfigurator received a transmission and requires your urgent approval to activate!” exclaimed the vivacious but tiny framed colleague of yours, Doctor Nyaaaa, as she almost ran into the rail fence that segregated the sector of the laboratory where you and the renowned Mad Scientist, Doctor Kami, monitored the life-indicators of the First Fleet of SIPHER Inus.
“What?! Code N3-K0? That means that the First Fleet must have found something! This could give us some insight about the strange fluctuations in the life-indicators that we’re seeing from the First Fleet! What are the both of you waiting for? We need to activate it. Quickly!'' bellowed Doctor Kami as he ran over to the poly-physical material code transfigurator with hurried steps while waving you and Doctor Nyaaaa over.
As Doctor Kami swiftly entered his access code and approved the activation of the device, a sound akin to multiple surging bolts of electricity being gathered and stored, followed by a loud peal of thunder resonated through the laboratory. In the wake of the ear splitting sound, a spherical object appeared in the middle of the device, and engraved on it, was a strangely positioned message in a zig zag pattern:
You reached out and grabbed hold of the sphere, and to your surprise, it opened up. A pyramid shaped object was nestled inside the sphere, along with a strange message:
Doctor Kami and Doctor Nyaaaa, due to miscalculations, the First Fleet has landed on one of the moons of Sipheria.
Tensions were high and a major war broke out within the factions. We unearthed this pyramid shaped relic from a ruin that we believe may contain a powerful sentient being from the past which used to be held in high regard. Our leader did not want his rule to be challenged, and wanted to destroy it. In our final act of defiance, we sent this back to you in hopes that you can uncover its true secrets for science.
We have managed to unlock the true form of this being, but in order to safely transfer it to you, we transformed it back into its object form. In order to restore it -
Godspeed Doctors, and if the Singularity wills it, we hope to see you on the other side.
After placing the pyramid shaped object into the revitalization tank and connecting it to your main console, you enter the command which was suggested to restore the object into its true form. Before your very eyes, the object slowly materialized into a torso, followed by legs, arms, a head, a tail and then two ears. Before your eyes was a being which you have never seen in your life:
“Such an intriguing creature! What a sight to behold! Look at those furry ears, and that exquisite tail!” exclaimed Doctor Kami as examined the creature from all angles with his face literally plastered on the see-through glass-like material of the revitalization tank.
“Doctor Nyaaaa, quickly run the diagnostics on this creature and give me any information you are able to extract!” said Doctor Kami with an undisguisable hint of excitement in his voice.
After a few minutes of looking through the data outputs, Doctor Nyaaaa let out an involuntary gasp, “Doctor Kami, this is AMAZING! The creature is called a NEKO according to the remnants of the undamaged data. Also, comparing its performance with the First Fleet, it seems that this being was equally, if not even more well-adapted to the environment of Sipheria. Sadly, its sentience has been irrevocably damaged due to its DNA having degraded over the passage of time. What we merely have now is just a husk of a once glorious race.”
“A husk? Irrevocably damaged? Nonsense my dear Doctor Nyaaaa, have you forgotten who I am? Given the performance of this being, it would certainly be a waste if we were to not create additional reinforcements for the First Fleet using the biological template. Now, if we only had a clue on the DNA components required to recreate this being...” pondered Doctor Kami.
As you pondered on Doctor Kami’s words, as you casually glanced at the NEKO. Your eyes seem drawn to the two furry ears and the bushy tail, and a surge of inspiration seems to flow into you. You are fairly certain you had read about creatures in the past who had these same traits in old archaic texts, but could not seem to fully put your finger on it. You feel stuck, but know that the answer could be at hand - that was when you uncharacteristically spoke up, “Doctor Kami, I’m fairly certain that we are able to retrieve DNA material which might fit this being. You see, there might have been creatures much like this once in the past - and maybe other people would know what it exactly was if we were to reach out to the masses via Twitter on the Great Network.”
“Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! But what do you reckon we can do to catch the attention of the masses?” asked Doctor Kami.
“For that, leave it to me and wait for the results. I have a plan”, you said as you suddenly recalled reading about one of the lost ancient techniques of using Twitter back in the 21st Century.
It seems that in order to execute this ancient Twitter outreach technique, you are asked to first choose and join a Faction (More Details: https://discord.com/channels/857914873106399303/890675275883487262/890931155203936266) and then follow the pinned Instructions in your respective Faction channel.
Using the old ancient Twitter technique which was spoken about only in legends, your efforts asking about the NEKO seemingly became viral, spreading and being shared all over the Great Network within hours.
Soon, you received a strange message from an unknown source:
I know what you seek - an ancient creature of yore. I am an ally to the cause, and have the answer that you seek, but you need to first prove that you are indeed associates of the Mad Scientist, and not some counterintelligence spy. I have hidden a command within the attached puzzle. I reckon any well-read, social media meme maestro associate of the Mad Scientist would find it easy. Solve it, enter the command, and my knowledge shall be yours.
The Musical Meow Remover and Scrambler
1/ bricks ho a like on neko
2/ way mre skin than there’s nek ne t a
3/ wht drgged the neko in look
4/ neko the pieons set amon the
5/ herdig ekos like
6/ the killed neko uriosity
7/ the of neko let ag the out
8/ gt nek a the that’s cream like
Prologue 2 - The Hunt for Data Shards
As you entered the hidden command into your console, you find that a sound file became available for download. Playing it, you hear the following message:
The ancient creature you seek
When it was once revered and loved
It once populated our world
The family it belonged to was felidae
Then something unexpected happened
Exploitation brought the species to its knees
Records speak of legendary ones
In their time when they were renowned
Nestled in their resting places
Far away from prying eyes
Look for their broken data shards
Under the canopy of great trees
Enshrined in their own temples
Not once has it seen the light from the sun
Combat was the life of another
Everything in the war it had seen
Resting in an ancient tomb is another
Sand and remains all around
Wakeboarding in the galaxy
Its captivating rhythm and rhyme
Look for one who was revered as divine
Legends speak of the grandeur of her temple
Have you thought where the lines of reality blur
An alternate form does another take
Voices of the creature do I once again long to hear
Everything you seek will not be easy
Keep your heart and mind focused
Evermore and surely with cats in mind
You shall find what you seek
Seek and you shall always find
Right after the message played, Dr Kami’s eyes lit up and he immediately raced to his console and searched the laboratory archives furiously.
“Seems like my guess was correct! It looks like we will need to acquire bio-data from the now extinct NEKO race! Our mysterious collaborator seems to know the locations of well hidden and preserved NEKO bio-data in the form of data shards and tried to relay it to us secretly without raising red-flags from the Great Network, and I think I may have found the first one!”
Clarification: No commands are required for this chapter. Access rights to neko-quest-chapter-4 will be automatically granted.
However, even though a command need not be entered to PROGRESS, could you have possibly missed something from the quest givers in the past? Also, would you agree that certain overly detailed descriptors are reallllly suspicious - and may possibly guide you to what you seek?
Dr. Kami has located a data shard in an abandoned research center deep within the Amazon Rainforest. This research center was tasked with isolating the NEKO gene from the Panthera Onca until everyone mysteriously vanished. You are tasked with going to the research center to get to the bottom of what happened and to recover the shard.
You arrive at a mouth-like opening under a thick forest canopy. You carry on by foot in order to get an accurate reading on the shard’s energy signature.
After a few hours, you are led to the research center thanks to Dr. Kami’s shard tracker. After inspecting the building and its surroundings, you are able to find a hatch door that isn’t properly secured. You reach down to the handle to pull it open.
You descend into the facility's lower level…
It is dark.
You turn on your flashlight and follow the direction on the shard tracker down the hallway.
In the distance you hear some faint music.
You slowly walk towards it… The music becomes louder and louder as you approach the music player.
You shine your light onto where you think is the source of the music. It’s an old walnut cabinet radio labelled with a strange word, ‘Discord’, playing the same song on repeat. You try to stop it, but the buttons on the device appear to be faulty.
You continue in the direction shown on the tracker.
The music is faint again
You find a big metal door next to a terminal window on a screen. It reads ‘To unlock the door, enter the phrase (without spaces) that was sung 7 times.’
Since you returned back to headquarters after finding the genetic material in the Amazon, Dr. Kami worked tirelessly to trace the location of the next shard. He utilized a handful of advanced technologies such as satellites, drones, and radars to get a hint of the whereabouts of the shard. But alas to no avail.
Dr. Kami was exhausted after days of research and had nothing to show for it.
He turned to one of the other research assistants and said, “it seems as though we are not going to be able to find the missing shard.”
One of the research assistants said under her breath, “it’s like it doesn’t exist on the face of this earth”
Dr. Kami’s eyes dilated and immediately turned to her and yelled, “say that again!”
The assistant repeated herself.
He intently looked at her for a moment and then suddenly pressed for the computer at his desk.
He typed away at the machine on his desk then stood up and said to the group, “I have just found the location of the next NEKO shard. I’m afraid it is encrypted on-chain. We will require a team to suit up and get ready for a full dive into the blockchain”
After getting debriefed on the situation, you arrive at the full-dive lab. Dr. Kami greets you and then proceeds to prepare you for the full dive. He leads you to the chair and lowers the VR helmet onto your head. You take a deep breath.
You can only see black until a small white dot appears at the center of your vision. It slowly grows larger until your screen goes white.
You find yourself floating in front of a massive cube-like structure labelled ‘Etherscan’, which was connected to another identical object by what appeared to be a cable.
Dr. Kami’s voice echos in your ear, “That there is the genesis block ‘A’, which was allocated the block number ‘1’. You need to keep following the cable until you reach the ‘NEKO’ equivalent block number (7 digit number). Seek out the comments made about the block, and follow the instructions there.
As you extract the 2nd Data Shard and get ready to leave the Full Dive, you hear the voice of Dr Kami in your ear again, “Wait, don’t leave the dive. It seems like there is another shard in the virtual world - but its signal was obstructed due to the presence of the shard you just removed.”
You hear the sound of rapid typing in the background and after just 30 seconds, you hear the excited voice of Dr Kami in your ear again, “THIS IS IT! Whoever hid this shard is a genius! It is time to head to space in the virtual world - seek out the NEKO constellation made out of Unicode Characters, and I believe you will find the next shard there!”
When the message ended, you found that a jet-pack materialized on your back, and upon pressing the trigger in your hand, you started your ascent towards space through the clouds.
After passing the clouds, what greeted you was the Unicode Constellation spoken about only in legends. After a brief search, the NEKO constellation finally appeared in front of your eyes:
Something seems off about it though. You wonder what it is.
After retrieving the third shard, your helmet is removed by one of Dr. Kami’s assistants.
“At last! We have found the third shard after much searching”, Dr. Kami exclaims, followed by a sigh of relief.
“ You did a great job. However, I’m afraid that you will need to pack your bags again. While you were inside searching, Dr. Nyaaaa did such thorough research and found the location of the fourth shard. The coordinates have already been input into your shard tracker once again.”
You are then transported to an enclosed back yard of sorts. As you look around, you notice big red walls are surrounding you. At each corner, there are big red towers with green-colored peaks. It almost feels like you are inside the garden of a well-protected castle, except that there’s large white buildings in the middle of that yard, and many graves that are hugging the walls.
With no sign of living creatures around, you proceed to follow the coordinates shown on the tracker. You walk against the large red walls, passing grave after grave until you reach your destination. In front of you lies a grave that has a sign above it, but you cannot make sense of what it says. You take out your translator and aim at the grave’s sign. The tool emits a beeping noise while a holographic-looking beam of light simultaneously moves up and down slowly, seemingly reading and processing the information on the engraving. After a few seconds, the translator’s display shows that the following message was translated from Russian: “Marina Nekova, 1912 - 1943".
With this information you proceed to contact Dr. Kami and inform him of your findings. Dr. Kami responds with the following:
“Oh what an interesting discovery! It seems that this Neko was once a pilot in a very old war. However, the location seems to be indicating that the second piece is approximately 6 feet below you. You may need to get your hands dirty for this one.”
Shortly after, you take your multi-tool out, which elongates from its very short original form and turns into a shovel. You begin digging the ground below you until you’ve uncovered a very elegant, yet old-looking coffin. As you open the coffin and uncover a skeleton, you see that it is holding a small device you’ve never seen before. This device seems to have a wooden base with a metal holster and two metallic cylinders on the sides, which stand vertically on top of the holster one opposite of the other. One interesting thing you notice is that there’s a piece of paper attached to the bottom of the wooden base of the device. The paper contains the word “TELEGRAPH” and says the following:
T ptxzce qpkhj lgj acuhyygku twhm syi uw ydbk qzhkiaipgk nssdackxvd lgu arjxwd xu kwd jhhpw. Nfwtcxv elkp cpugse vkjpduw. Czy slsi pgzpwzzgpax eyh ziarl plpvk khtf aegi rvfi aaidi ifdtz.
After you input the code into your console and obtain the fourth shard, you receive a message from Dr. Kami:
“Great job at finding the fourth shard. Only two more to go! Luckily, we were able to trace the next shard, which is not more than a day of travel away. I’ve uploaded the exact coordinates to your shard tracker so that you can find your way. Be careful.”
Shortly after, you are transported to a location surrounded by dunes of sand. The sun is vibrant but the temperature is too hot - enough that you find yourself taking off your lab-coat as an attempt to keep your body temperature levels intact. You begin following the coordinates shown by your tracker.
After some time, you find yourself walking into a huge pyramid, which seems to be completely made out of various stones. As you enter this pyramid, it starts getting darker and darker… so you proceed to turn on your flashlight. You begin to see many symbols on the stone walls, but cannot make any sense of them.
Finally, after walking through many corridors for what felt to be an eternity, you stumble upon what looks to be a tomb, which has a strange tablet lying on top. You look around the tomb, and notice drawings of what seems to be a historical Egyptian woman. You grab the tablet and notice that it lights up, presenting you with many of the symbols that you could not make sense of earlier, and then the lights of the tablet fade, as if waiting for some input from you.
As you look at the symbols, your vision suddenly fades into a distant memory of a classroom filled with children. You seem to be observing this memory from the perspective of one of the children. In the memory, you are looking down at what seems to be a desk, containing a piece of paper that has many letters out of order. The memory quickly dissipates and you find yourself staring at the symbol-filled tablet again. However, you can’t shake the feeling that the memory somehow relates to your current situation...
You relay a message to Dr. Kami to share your findings. His response is as follows: “I believe you have found yourself an ancient artifact that opens up the tomb which contains the fifth NEKO shard. Seems that you will need to decipher some sort of passcode which opens the tomb. Please attempt to decipher the code and input the command into your console. Afterwards, the console should relay the command into the ancient tablet via translation, which should in turn open the tomb. Hurry!”
As you grab hold of the fifth shard and get ready to leave the tomb, a coloured holographic message unexpectedly appears in front of you.
In the midst of excitedly relaying this new information to Dr Kami, you were suddenly hit by a stroke of inspiration and quickly ran out of the tomb to where you think the message was leading you to.
After successfully submitting the command on the console, the combination of symbols is relayed onto the ancient tablet, which in turn opens a secret side door. After it opens, you find the final shard lying on top of a mummified body. “Strange”, you think to yourself as you see that the mummified body seems to have been well preserved; you can even notice the shape of what seem to be some furry ears.
But you quickly remember the urgency of the task at hand and switch your focus back to the data shard. At last, all that hard work has come to an end.
Upon your return to the research lab, you see Dr. Kami with his arms extended towards you.
“Hand them over!” he said, anxiously waiting for you to give him the data shards.
As soon as you hand over the shards, Dr. Kami runs over to his Main Console and sets up the revitalization tank. He then asks you to place the shards on the Data-reader next to his Main Console as he continues to type in multiple commands.
“What in the Singularity!? There seems to be an unknown encryption method behind each of these data shards. Unless we figure it out, we’ll never be able to replicate this NEKO. We are doomed!” exclaims Dr. Kami in frustration.
You look at the Main Console and notice that there are various strings of strange messages scattered throughout the data shards. They contain different symbols, letters, and images that make up some sort of hidden code.
You realize that Dr. Kami is right, this does not seem to be a traditional encryption method. As if this was purposefully created by someone that didn’t want this race to emerge from their descent again.
The only hint you have is the starting and ending symbols of the command:
As you finally piece together the knowledge of the ancients and unravel the protective codes surrounding the Data Shards, you see a visible stream of data flow into the Ancient Neko in the Revitalization Tank.
Holding your breath in anticipation, you look intently at the creature in the Revitalization Tank for any changes. A minute passes and without any obvious change, you involuntarily release your tense breath and begin to turn to Doctor Kami to voice your frustration.
“Doctor Kami.. it seems like..” you managed to utter under your breath, before being unceremoniously hushed by Doctor Kami.
You look into the fervent and excited eyes of Doctor Kami and follow his line of sight back to the Revitalization Tank. To your amazement, you notice that the bushy tail of the Ancient Neko was ever so slightly twitching. Turning to look at the information on the Main Console, you notice that key vitals of the Ancient Neko were starting to increase to levels which would indicate that it was alive.
However, your disappointment quickly replaces your intense feeling of elation as the Ancient Neko opens its horror filled eyes and starts slowly disintegrating into data before your very eyes.
“I.. I don’t understand! The bio data was perfect and there is no possible reason for this to be happening! Unless…” exclaimed Doctor Nyaaaa.
“Unless what Doctor Nyaaa?! Hurry and spit it out!” said Doctor Kami irritably.
“Unless.. The Ancient Neko’s psyche is destroying itself from within. Something terrible must have happened to her in the past for her to do this to herself..” pensively said Dr Nyaaaa.
“By the Singularity! What horrible event could have happened to this creature in its past? We should respect the wishes of this Ancient Neko. However, we have invested far too much time and effort to recreate the race for us to have no results. The First Fleet is still awaiting reinforcements and for the resupply of resources. It was our calculation error that caused them to be stranded on that Moon, and I absolutely refuse to have their blood on my hands! Copy the full data and genetic make-up of the Ancient Neko. Even though we will probably be unable to recreate the Neko race at its full potential, if we will use the same technology we developed to create the Genesis Inus, we should be able to create the Genesis Nekos with comparable prowess as the First Fleet”, spoke Doctor Kami rapidly.
You quickly add a transfusion of pain numbing chemicals into the Revitalization Tank in hopes of alleviating the visible pain of the Ancient Neko, and you furiously set your mind to work on copying the previous Ancient Neko data. As fate would have it, as the Main Console announced that the data was fully copied, no vestiges of the Ancient Neko remained in the Revitalization Tank.
A month later, as you step into one of the motherships that was bound for Sipheria’s moon the very day after, you look around within the room to perform your final inspections. As expected, it is now brimming with tanks filled with orange coloured liquid, each containing a Genesis Neko. Reflecting on the horrors which you now knew happened to the First Fleet, you turn your back and seal the room in anticipation for tomorrow’s launch. As you walk away from the room, you utter a small prayer for these Genesis Nekos whom you were largely responsible for creating, in hopes that they could live a happier and more fulfilling life than its predecessor, the Ancient Neko.
Message from the Cipher Team:
Sipherians, we hope you have enjoyed the quests these past 20 Days, as much as we’ve loved creating them.
First and foremost, we would like to extend a thank you for being the main source of motivation for us when we created this Cipher-For-Sipher Neko Questline, as well as for making the challenge the success that it is (despite being bombarded with cat-related Easter eggs and memes). We hope that you have made some new life-long questing friends within your factions as a result of these quests - these bonds will surely serve you well when the Sipher games approach launch. * hint - Sipher Comic book *
A Cipher-For-Sipher challenge would not truly be one if it did not provide an opportunity for members new to the Crypto and/or NFT space to learn more about the ecosystem which we operate in. For those new to the space - through these quests, we hope you have learned more about Etherscan, Ethereum Blocks, as well as the Hash Function that Ethereum uses.
We would also like to take this time to recognize a couple of our many resident Music Maestros, @MrHertz | [PuP] Bard and Poet and @MrsHertz, for composing such a powerful piece of emotive music for the community - ‘Take Me to Sipheria’, which we all appreciate even more while still collectively dealing with the various consequences brought about by COVID-19. We honestly couldn't thank you enough for your willingness to brainstorm and collaborate with us in creating such a different experience for Chapter 4. For Sipherians who wish to hear more of their amazing work - please do head on over to https://soundcloud.com/brndn_music/tracks and show them some love!
Additionally, we would be remiss if we did not extend our gratitude to the @Moderators and particularly, @PΞΞKABOO | 🇻🇳🇺🇸 , @YAΞLITH | MOD | BOT MASTER, @Cryptinite | Deputy Head Mod, @Khai 🐶 | Marketing Lead and @Wish🦴 | Marketing & Partnerships, who have all provided crucial support to ensure that the Neko Questline on Discord could run as intended.
Lastly, our deepest appreciation to our sporting and supportive Partners-in-Ciphering, @Tin 🐶🐱| World Architect, @arnoldpoernomo, @BoredElonMusk, @evantan, @TheNFTer, and @BSfor taking on key portions of our Main Questline - all of us truly could not have recreated the Neko race without you.
Forever Ciphering in Sipheria,
@AΞRLION | Mod | Archivist, @DΞUS | Mod and @TRΞWCO | Mod | Shade 🇪🇸