Bree's disk

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In Rescuing Daniel (Season 1, Feb. 13, 2007), Bree tells us that Tachyon gave her an encrypted disk and promised that she would "tell [her] how to open it when the time was right". About a week later, Daniel found a package in Jonas's car (video Jonas Sucks). The package contained Nancy Drew books and a note from Tachyon, leading to a puzzle that allowed Daniel to crack the file.


The three files


When unzipped, SEMIOTICS.rar yields a folder named "igel tsetop non tse mucearG". Backwards, its name is "Graecum est non potest legi", which is Latin for "It is Greek; it cannot be read." The folder contains three files.


The first is named "4c4947415455524553" and has no extension. When translated from hex, its name is "LIGATURES". Adding the extension ".jpg" allows the file to be opened as an image.

Definition: In writing and typography a ligature occurs where two or more letter-forms are joined as a single glyph. Ligatures usually replace two sequential characters sharing common components, and are part of a more general class of glyphs called "contextual forms" where the specific shape of a letter depends on context such as surrounding letters or proximity to the end of a line.<ref>Wikipedia article on typographical ligatures.</ref>

For information on the symbols in this image, see the section The Symbols


The second file is named "414d414c47414d4154494f4e" and also produces an image when the extension .jpg is added. Its name is "AMALGAMATION" in hex.

Definition: Amalgamation means to combine or unite into one form; the word has several uses, among them chemistry, mining, dentistry and mathematics (particularly group theory).<ref>Wikipedia disambiguation page for "Amalgamation".</ref>

For information on the symbols in this image, see the section The Symbols


The third file is named "53454d414e54494b4f53", which is "SEMANTIKOS" when translated from hex. Adding the extension .txt allows the file to be opened as a text file, which reads


Please note:Actual text has no line breaks or spaces, they were inserted in the above text for better fit.

Translating from BASE64, the following message is obtained:

The Theta is similar to an Egyptian symbol that represents the Sun, and the Mu was derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for water. So the Sun equals Ra...and the water equals Naunet? Or maybe Poseidon? When combined this "watcher" symbol establishes that the Order rules and watches over all that exists in between.
Theta is the 8th letter, Mu is the 12th. So that's one more 12, but the 8 = ?.
Theta was also used as an abbreviation for "Thanatos," and considered a warning of death.

This message used to examine the images from LIGATURES and AMALGAMATION in the next section.

Definition of Semantikos: Semantikos is the Greek root of the English word semantics. Semantikos means giving signs, significant, symptomatic. It comes from the Greek sema, meaning sign.<ref>Wikipedia article on Semantics</ref>

The Symbols


AMALGAMATION Theta.jpg Theta
AMALGAMATION Watcher.jpg Watcher

Tachyon explains this image in her text file SEMANTIKOS (above). In that note she demonstrates how the "watcher" symbol is constructed with the Greek letters Theta and Mu.


Tachyon's note reveals that Theta is "similar to an Egyptian symbol that represents the Sun".

It also mentions that Theta could be representative of a warning of death.


Tachyon's note explains that Mu is "derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol representing water".


Combining Theta and Mu creates the "watcher" symbol. The "watcher" symbol's meaning is also a combination of the respective meanings of Theta and Mu. Thus, Tachyon concludes that the "watcher" symbol "establishes that the Order rules and watches over all that exists in between [the sun and the sea]".

Note on numbers: The Semantikos file also makes mention of the numerical value of these letters--"Theta is the 8th letter, Mu is the 12th."--but currently no one is sure what this numbering would imply.


LIGATURES blurryWatcher.jpg Watcher
LIGATURES OmicronTau.jpg Omicron+Tau
LIGATURES GammaSigma.jpg Lambda+Sigma
LIGATURES ThetaPi.jpg Theta+Pi

The meanings of the symbols below have not been ascertained, but forum users believe that Tachyon intends us to deduce their meaning by breaking them into their Greek-letter components and studying each part.

"Watcher" (blurry)

Hybrid 1: Omicron + Tau

After decoding Tachyon's message to brother in the recent Dancing In The Dark puzzle, it has been suggested that what was assumed to be Omicron is actually a Phi.

Aunt Alex tells us that this is the symbol of the shadows as they are branded with this mark on their arms.

Hybrid 2: Lambda + Sigma

Hybrid 3: Theta + Pi

After decoding Tachyon's message to brother in the recent Dancing In The Dark puzzle, it has been suggested that what was assumed to be Pi is actually a Nu, or possibly an Eta.

Bree found a small object with the Theta-Pi symbol imprinted on it in Jonas's cabin. Although she and Daniel originally thought the symbol was somehow representative of the Order, it was actually used by an "anti-Order" organization because it is associated with textual criticism (identifying and removing errors from text). This information came to light in On The Road Again.

How it plays out

After seeing the files, the meaning of the second set of symbols is unknown. Tachyon posts a profile update that leads to another puzzle. The note obtained from that puzzle shows that Tachyon herself is not sure what these symbols mean. It appears that this is the information that she stole from the OpAphid information gathering facilities and that she is still trying to figure out what it means. In How Dumb Am I?, Bree discovers that there is some "artwork" in Jonas's cabin that looks like the Hybrid 3 (Theta+Pi) symbol. Not knowing exactly what the symbol means, she nevertheless links him to the Order and ties him up. After escaping however, Jonas was able to prove that the (Theta+Pi) Symbol was actually a symbol for the Resistance.