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Star Trek ARG Report: The Story So Far (and it isn’t over yet) May 8, 2009

by Aliotsy Andrianarivo , Filed under: Star Trek ARG , trackback

Over the last few weeks there has been an intricate alternative reality game for the new Star Trek which has been keeping a lot of fans busy sorting clues and even visiting real world locations. TrekMovie has lead the way in reporting on the game’s progress, but it can be a challenge to follow. The game is coming to a close and there have been some recent new clues and so today we now try to put it all together in our guide to ‘the story so far’ with the Star Trek ARG.

 

 

MAY 8TH STAR TREK ARG REPORT 11 — The Story So Far (and it ain’t over yet!)
I saw Star Trek last night on IMAX. Wow. I loved the movie, and it gave me greater insight into what exactly this ARG is all about, as I tried to stay relatively spoiler-free before seeing the film. I have not read Countdown, but know enough about it and the movie to piece together a backstory for this game. The implications of it all are exciting. For those of you confused by all the excitement over the game, I’ll endeavor to tell it all here, avoiding movie spoilers as much as possible, but with some spoiler-laden conclusions and speculation at the end for those who’ve seen the movie.

THE STORY SO FAR
This tale begins with Nero, a Romulan who has traveled back in time from the distant future to destroy both Vulcan and Earth. In command of a gargantuan world-destroying starship, the Narada, he seems unstoppable.


Early image of Narada from first ARG websites

A disparate band of five Romulans have traveled back to present-day Earth to alert Vulcan of the impending disaster. Pursued by Nero’s thugs, they feel alone in our pre-warp society, blending in to avoid attention while relying on our relatively primitive technology to send out a warning transmission. Without the assistance of the as-yet non-existent Federation (not to mention, Starfleet), their desperate attempt to prevent genocide seems unlikely to succeed.

They are led by Kaleh, a level-headed and strong-spirited woman with an uncompromising resolve to see their mission through in spite of the impossible odds. Rising above the bickering and panic of her companions, she strives to keep them focused and united as their plans unravel.


Kaleh

She is joined by her former lover, Candir, who is both a calming presence and a distraction. Knowing that they may not have much time left, Candir seeks to rekindle his romance with Kaleh before the end comes.

Janus brings a gruff and arrogant personality to the unit. Perhaps a military man, he has little patience for the others, but performs with efficient competence out of a sense of duty and obligation. Still, on occasion his temperament gets the better of him, causing him to lose control.

Karnis is young, a quick thinker and the group’s resident genius. He is the one who comes up with a plan for alerting the Vulcans about Nero.

Sargash, the youngest Romulan, rounds out the team. Though intelligent, he is jittery, and prone to panic under pressure.

"Little Green Men"
From the beginning, nothing goes right for our heroes. On arrival in the present day, their craft smashes into the English countryside, and they are unable to cloak and relocate their vessel before being spotted by Geoff Greatbatch, an ultralight aviation enthusiast who happens to fly over the crash site.

With a critically-damaged ship and Nero’s people not far behind, Karnis comes up with a plan to improve their odds. He splits up the myriad steps in setting up a transmission among the team members, and sends them far and wide across Earth: Sargash to Tokyo, himself to Paris, Janus to Berlin, Candir to Madrid, and Kaleh to Los Angeles. Knowing full well that all could be lost if any member of the team is compromised, Karnis obfuscates all of their data by using ancient Earth-based astronomy terminology, betting that Nero’s Romulan thugs are less-than-familiar with Renaissance-era human astronomer Johann Bayer.

In spite of Karnis’ precautions, Kaleh knows full well that they might fail. The team decides to leave the correct frequency for the transmission at the crash site in large Romulan letters that would be easily recognized by a rescue team from the future, but merely a curiousity to locals. Less obviously, they write the coordinates for the locations of Karnis, Janus, Candir, and Kaleh on a board from a shed their craft hit on its way down.

Geographically-separated, the team uses the web to keep in touch. Knowing full well that Nero’s henchmen can trawl the Internet to find them, they take on code names based on chemical elements: Sargash becomes "Si," Karnis "Ca," Janus "Al," Candir "Fe," and Kaleh "O." Coincidentally, a party promoter named Mark "Cobra Snake" is holding events in each of the cities they are located in, in anticipation of the release of a film called Star Trek. Our heroes decide to attend these parties and discretely leave each other updates in the post-party pictures, including the results of their first attempt at contacting Vulcan. Karnis also sets up a chat site (2387-42.com), and the team agrees to rendezvous there and report their results after the first attempt.

Janus sets up a web-based interface to a star map with the correct coordinates of Vulcan’s High Command. The site uses two separate layers of security, and each team member only has one part, or access point, of the necessary keys to view the map, buying them time even if members of their team are compromised by Nero’s men. This also means that should one of their number be captured or killed, the rest of the team must deduce his part of the keys. Kaleh also begins working on a web-based interface to actually send the transmission.

"Time’s Arrow"
Unfortunately, Nero’s thugs move much more quickly than anticipated, tracking down Karnis in Paris. Being chased on foot, Karnis falls near a cafe at the intersection of Rue de la Fédération and Rue de Presles, dropping his comm unit — perhaps, intentionally. Knowing that his teammates need the waveform on the comm unit and that he can’t evade Nero’s men for long, Karnis quickly logs into the chat site and posts the location of the cafe. He also manages to send a package to Janus before Nero’s men ultimately catch up and kill him.

Then, two wholly unexpected things happen.

First, a young Frenchman who happens to be at the cafe retrieves Karnis’ comm unit and posts a "lost and found" ad under the name "Malak0."

Second, sharp-eyed Star Trek fans notice the messages in the Cobra Snake pictures and begin asking questions about them. Mistaking them as an alternative reality game for the upcoming Star Trek film, the Players begin forming a community to decipher the messages, most notably at TrekMovie, Unfiction, and in a chatroom set up for the ARG. The Players are able to locate the chat site, and are able to watch as the Romulans rendezvous online as planned.

The Chat Gang, as they come to be known, are disappointed to discover their first attempt at alerting Vulcan failed. They are also alarmed when Karnis doesn’t check-in. With Sargash jittery and Janus frustrated, Kaleh orders the team to focus on the mission, identify what went wrong with the first attempt and reporting back in two days. Privately, she expresses worry about Sargash to Candir.

The follow-up meeting is no more encouraging. Kaleh reports that Karnis is dead, and that his comm unit is indeed in the hands of "one of them," referring to Malak0. Already paranoid about being discovered, this revelation throws Sargash into a full-blown panic attack. In turn, Janus takes out his frustration on Sargash, verbally lashing out at him. Kaleh barely restores order, telling her team they must move forward:

There is NO going back! There is NO Federation to stop him, we MUST move on without “Ca”!! Their ONLY fighting chance is if we get this thing sent!!

Kaleh orders them to keep working and to share their access points for the star map using Twitter. Janus leaves grudgingly to do his part out of respect for the deceased Karnis, while a calmer but still-panicked Sargash decides to "rethink everything." Left alone with Kaleh, Candir again begins making romantic advances, but Kaleh brushes him off, keeping her attention on the mission. Undeterred, he professes his love before sending his access point information.

A few days later, Malak0, in response to dozens of inquiries from the Players, posts a video on YouTube of Karnis’ device:

Meanwhile, our heroes the Chat Gang rendezvous again. They are very much aware of the Players‘ efforts, and Sargash proposes a radical idea: take advantage of the Players’ belief that this is just a game, and enlist their help in alerting Vulcan. Janus is ambivalent, Candir is skeptical, and Kaleh sharply denounces the idea. Sargash ignores her, however, and makes contact with the Players through Facebook, giving them his access point.

"Tomorrow is Yesterday"
Discussing the matter three days later, Janus agrees that Sargash is out of control. Kaleh insists on completing the mission, ordering the others to await further orders while ominously promising to "handle" Sargash in Tokyo.

Janus also reports more bad news: Geoff Greatbatch returned to the crash site with a camera. Although they had cloaked and relocated their ship, Greatbatch still snapped pictures of the symbols and the crash site and posted them on CNN’s iReport "citizen-journalist" website.


Strange markings on ground, A40, Curbridge, Oxfordshire UK

Kaleh concedes that, between Sargash and Greatbatch, the Chat Gang may need to reveal themselves to the Players. Nonetheless, she travels to Tokyo to "handle" Sargash, and later attends a Cobra Snake party to give Janus and Candir locations for transmitting their parts of the second key for the star map. Candir also reveals the location of the star map, johannbayer.eu.


Kaleh in Tokyo

Tragedy again strikes as Nero’s thugs track down Janus in Berlin. While transmitting his part of the key, he leaves a farewell message of sorts:

Kaleh, i’m sick and tired of having to live outside. I’m sleeping in the vivcinity of the position, where you received this message at. People are spraying graffiti and throwing away their old furniture here, it’s digusting. I won’t hide anymore. They’re onto me anyway. I might as well enjoy the time I have left to live.

Members of the Players from Unfiction, later found a sleeping bag stained with green Romulan blood:


Janus’ sleeping bag (Picture courtesy of ‘Amujan’)

The Players in Berlin also encounter Nero’s henchmen, operating under the name Contain The Threat. Unlike Kaleh, Contain The Threat apparently has no qualms with directly interacting with the Players. Having apprehended or killed Janus, Contain The Threat focus their efforts on finding Kaleh and Candir, demanding assistance from the Players and warning that "failure to do so will result in every horror being inflicted upon you and your kind, and your planet will be destroyed."

"Eye of the Needle"
Only one Player is able to make it out to Madrid, but what he finds is invaluable: the key to cracking the first security layer for johannbayer.eu, after several days’ worth of fruitless effort. Cracking the second layer — an 11-character password — goes much more quickly, and the Players are rewarded with an interactive star map:

Malak0 also manages to activate Karnis’ comm unit, sharing a video of his success:

While the Players mull over these developments, Contain The Threat is a step ahead. Motivated by their own sinister ends, and realizing that the star map must contain the location of Vulcan High Command, they provide the Players with valuable stellar cartography data, both to reveal the location of Vulcan High Command and to entrust the Players to Kaleh. Their plan works: the Players identify Vulcan High Command, and Kaleh decides to trust them.

She reveals the transmission generator, AlertVulcan.com, and recruits the Players’ help in finding the correct settings, which they do using the frequency from the Curbridge crash site:


Frequency: "2 32 fr"

the waveform from Malak0:


Waveform

And the interstellar frequency code for Vulcan High Command from johannbayer.eu:


Interstellar Frequency Code

Armed with the correct settings, Kaleh implores the Players to "amplify" the signal by clicking on it and sharing it with others.


AlertVulcan.com

"Shockwave"
After transmitting the signal for two days, the Players are surprised by a response from the Vulcan High Command:

S transcript of the few distinct parts of the message:

“…our scanners have yet to locate the… …working together will increase our chance of survival… …our gratitude to those [distorted]…”

The transmission clearly shows a silhouette of Nero’s Narada. Also note the date 5 12 09: clearly, this ARG still ain’t over, even after the release of the movie!


Vulcan

At first jubilant and grateful, Kaleh’s cautious side begins to wonder:

I can’t believe it worked!! I can’t believe so many of them helped!!!

But we can’t celebrate yet – why can’t the Vulcans locate the Narada???

How could he be hiding from their scanners!?!?!

Contain The Threat‘s deviousness soon starts to surface. First, several of the Players receive emails that announce the murder of our friend "Malak0" and retrieval of Karnis’ comm unit:

Some of your co-conspirators gave us information about the human in Paris, France known as Malak0. We have easily eliminated this threat, as we might crush a beetle, and the device is in our possession.

Following hints from Kaleh and Candir that the long-separated lovers would reunite, more Players receive ominous emails from ContainTheThreat, pointing to the chat site. The chat transcript is gone, replaced by this video (the transcript has since been restored):


Thanks to "KJ"

There is no doubt that the man and woman we see first are Candir and Kaleh. The assailants must be members of Contain The Threat, Nero’s henchmen. Also notice that Candir does not step in to help Kaleh fight off the assailants. In fact, he subdues her with a quick move to the neck with a hypospray, or perhaps, a neck pinch. In any case, it’s clear: Candir is a traitor in league with Nero, and Kaleh is now missing.

And that is where we are right now with the ARG. Phew.

 

How does this all fit in with Star Trek? [SPOILERS]

Clearly, The Chat Gang‘s mission is to warn Vulcan of Nero’s attack, hoping to prompt more evacuations before the planet’s destruction. Their tattoos also indicate that they’re from the post-Romulus 24th century, like Nero. One possibility is that this transmission is actually being sent to the future, arriving during the events of the movie.

But I’ve considered another possibility, and was surprised to see other players also have come to the same conclusion.

I noticed that we didn’t actually see a definitive shot of the Narada being destroyed at the end of the movie. What we do see is the Narada slipping into a "lightning storm" black hole, similar to the one the Narada intially came through, encountering the Kelvin. What if Nero and the Narada were not destroyed, but were instead pulled even further back in time — to the present? What if Nero, having failed in the 23rd century, hopes to exact his vengeance on both Earth and Vulcan during a pre-Federation era, when both planets are in no position to defend themselves? This ties in nicely with Kaleh’s comment that there’s no Starfleet to stop Nero. However, it doesn’t fit with part of Nero’s initial motivation: to have Spock witness the destruction of Vulcan since Spock has not gone back to the 21st century (as far as we know).

Likely "Fringe" tie-in
"thecapn" notes something interesting from this week’s episode of JJ Abram’s Fringe, "The Road Not Taken":

The main characters visited a conspiracy theorist who claimed that the “upcoming war” that the characters have been investigating would be with the Romulans, that they’ve come back in time to attack Earth. He also claimed to be Spock.

An apology and a thanks
In the comments of my previous post, I expressed some frustration toward the Puppet Masters, or PMs, of this ARG. In putting together this "Story So Far" update, I’ve been reminded of how much fun this game has been, and I owe the PMs an apology for lashing out. Given the complexity of the puzzles, the elaborate physical clues in at least six countries, and some particularly interesting characters (especially Geoff Greatbatch and Malak0), it’s clear a tremendous amount of thought, passion, and effort went into this ARG. And in the process, they have brought together a community from across the globe who have shared moments of excitement, frustration, and lots of silly humor.

Thank you, PMs.

 

Star Trek ARG – previous reports
The Star Trek Alternative Reality Game began a couple of weeks ago after some fans spotted URLs on the walls of ‘Star Trek Dance Party’ photos up at thecobrasnake.com, these clues led to more sites, which in turn led to more clues. Here are the previous TrekMovie articles on the Star Trek ARG:

Also, all TrekMovie articles regarding this are now in a single Star Trek ARG Category.

 

What do you think? — and A NOTE before you comment
Before you post clues or speculation in the comments below, check the previous TrekMovie articles (including comments) to be sure they haven’t already been covered.

Star Trek ARG Forum
TM community member "Tom" hosts the very active ARG chat where much of the problem-solving is taking place. He has set up a forum for posting clues and speculation. It also includes links to the chat.

Other resources

Any new clues or theories? Let us know!
but again, be sure to check previous posts to make sure they haven’t been covered. If you really think you are on to something, send in a clue to tips [at]trekmovie[dot]com. However, please keep tips to new (at least semi) verified clues, and not just speculation, that is what the comments are for.

Comments

1. Skagen - May 8, 2009

wow, this has been going on forever! Fascinating stuff. First?

2. Darkwater - May 8, 2009

I couldn’t follow this even in the summaries – how could I have ever actually PLAYED this thing??

3. Tanner Waterbury (HUGE PINK FLOYD FAN) - May 8, 2009

LMAO Kaleh kicked those henchmen’s asses for a while, until her lover sedated her. I wouldnt want to mess with that chick.

4. RD - May 8, 2009

How did we ever enjoy Star Trek under Roddenbery without these pointless brain twisters? Thank god for the reboot.

5. JPSaylor - May 8, 2009

wtf?

Just shut up and watch the new movie. Who cares about this ARG crap? I mean, if there were money involved then I’d understand. Ugh…

6. Richard Martin - May 8, 2009

SOMEBODY write the novel PLEASEEEEE!

7. Anthony Pascale - May 8, 2009

I am getting a bit tired of people attacking those who are enjoying this aspect of the new movie campaign. Not every aspect is for every person, and we do tons of stories and get visited by tens of thousands a day…i really dont understand the handful who feel the need to lash out at any one aspect. If you are not interested…just skip the article. Aliotsy put in a lot of work and this ‘shut up’ stuff is just not acceptable.

8. LtPiper - May 8, 2009

I really strongly feel there are more connections that just the Romulan mention on Fringe.

We also have a connection (semispolier) of Slusho being mentioned in the Star Trek movies and Slusho showing up in the alternate reality on Fringe(Prior to opening credits while investigating the burn victim[s]). There is also another scene in the alternate reality where Boston has been under attack from what appears to be some type of craft in the sky and the words HE IS HERE spray painted on the side of a building (18:22 on the Hulu video for the attack)

9. The Riddler - May 8, 2009

This is all very jumbled.

10. Rat Boy - May 8, 2009

First thing I thought of when Clint Howard went on that rant about the Romulans during Fringe was the ARG.

11. kitty - May 8, 2009

I love this ARG

12. Jeyl - May 8, 2009

Man. Kaleh, a strong capable female character who was NOT in the movie? What a rip off!

13. cagmar - May 8, 2009

SPOILERS

“What if Nero and the Narada were not destroyed, but were instead pulled even further back in time — to the present?”

Um. Ok. So by this logic, Vulcan isn’t destroyed either… it’s just in a different time? I think in order for the Narada to go through time, it must enter a black hole created through a reaction between the Red Matter and a Supernova. It is a special, unique reaction. Even the Supernova wasn’t a regular supernova… apparently it was able to destroy the entire quadrant. Black holes don’t transport you through time.

This theory has to be wrong. And if not, then we needn’t worry at all about Vulcan.

14. Jeyl - May 8, 2009

“However, it doesn’t fit with part of Nero’s initial motivation: to have Spock witness the destruction of Vulcan since Spock has not gone back to the 21st century (as far as we know).”

He’s already done that though.

15. Jeyl - May 8, 2009

#13 cagmar: “Black holes don’t transport you through time.”

Well, it wasn’t entirely a black hole per se, because if it was, you’d be right on.

And this is Star Trek after all. I like the idea of Nero still being somewhere out there and a group of Romulans are out to stop him.

16. Jeyl - May 8, 2009

UPDATE! UPDATE!

I found her! I found Kaleh! She’s actually (or was) a member of the Narada crew! She’s the so-called “Strongest Member on the Ship”. If you look at page 59 of Countdown and the image of her in the party, she bears the same tattoo pattern below her forehead in the center. A circle with a triangle below it pointing downwards.

17. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

so wait a minute, romulans are attacking in Fringe??? possible sequel plot then? Kirk and the enterprise has to go back in time to stop Nero again? Please correct me if I’ve messed something up!

18. cagmar - May 8, 2009

#15 you can enjoy that story all you want, but it can’t be so. It doesn’t make sense.

I had this discussion with my friends after leaving the movie. If the black holes move you through time, then we don’t even have to save Vulcan do we? Why are the Vulcans here? Just wait 25 years and it’ll pop back into place.

19. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

not necessarily, because think about it, if that were to happen, then even this whole movie wouldn’t have happened. and on the black hole matter, it just looked to be a bigger one than that of the one at the beginning of the movie, and that transported them through time. it is quite possible that this could happen maybe as the next movie or something.

20. Jeyl - May 8, 2009

@ cagmar: It doesn’t make sense.

This is a Star Trek discussion, not a science class study hall.

21. cagmar - May 8, 2009

So this is the death of any semblance of realistic or consistent science fiction? That’s what this game is about?

The final black hole was biggest big because the entire Red Matter was set off in the crashing Jellyfish. A bigger black hole doesn’t suddenly mean black holes transport you through time! Or does it, now? Does Humanity suddenly have a time travel weapon? Was Vulcan just bumped to a different day, not destroyed? Give me a break! Vulcan is dead, the Narada is destroyed. There was no super-supernova to react with in any eruption except the first.

Let’s start working on a theory that’s consistent now.

22. T2 - May 8, 2009

Maybe TrekXI would consider picking up where this one leaves off. Maybe we can have a trilogy of movies on this arc of kirk and co. dealing with Nero. It might not sound good to some, but with the right storytelling, script, and plot, it could work. Either way, its fun to imagine…and thats what this arg has done…make us imagine but also make us think…think long, think hard, and outside the box. Like Q said in All Good Things…be open to possibilities never considered before. Boy do I love this! Keep it up!

23. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

so, did you watch the beginning of the movie by any chance, or perhaps when spock is explaining to kirk how he and nero got there?

24. cagmar - May 8, 2009

#23 yes! That is my point.

25. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

ok you have me confused now, as i was using that to argue you, and you are agreeing with me?

26. cagmar - May 8, 2009

Yup. You are absolutely right that what sent Spock and Nero back were different circumstances than what destroyed Vulcan or destroyed the Narada. If you listened to what he said or read Countdown you would see it immediately. Neither Vulcan nor the Narada had a super-supernova present when the Red Matter went off.

THAT is my point.

27. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

i think i see what you’re getting at, but does size really matter? they came through a smaller one, so why not a bigger one? I haven’t read countdown so if there are things there that are important to this debate that I don’t know of then I offer my apologies in advance

28. T2 - May 8, 2009

You could actually see Vulcan crumble from it. Ships just seem to transition though, so its still open ended.

29. Darkwing - May 8, 2009

well, maybe it’s because the red matter was sent to the core, so the singularity itself is at the heart of the planet, but if you were on the event horizon or something technical like that (that I have no scientific knowledge of) then maybe in a fictitious sense it is possible to travel through time or something.

30. cagmar - May 8, 2009

you are too gracious, Darkwing.

I’m not sure it’s the size that matters. I think it’s to do with the reaction of the nova and the Red Matter. See, the black hole was initially being used by Spock to devour an exploding star that was threatening Romulus and the entire Alpha Quadrant … the reaction of the Red Matter in the centre of the nova created a black hole/space-time rift that delivered Nero and then Spock back in time. The black hole can’t do it alone, big or small.

31. cagmaar - May 8, 2009

oh yes, and I’d argue I saw the Narada crumbling, #28

32. Weerd1 - May 8, 2009

If it turns out Fringe has actually been a Star Trek show this whole time, and no one knew, I will have to kiss JJ’s a… feet. That would be frakking brilliant.

33. TREKKIE369 - May 8, 2009

cagmaar–I agree with you about the Narada crumbling. But I don’t agree that it was the reaction with the supernova that created the time/space warp. In the movie Spock (not Prime Spock) said that the technology that could create black hole could also create a time/space warp. I think that is the key to understanding the red matter, because even if Nero and crew are dead, JJ and crew still need to find some way to reconcile the time lines if they don’t want all Trekkies to hate them.

34. T2 - May 8, 2009

I saw the Narada crumble from weapons fire, but it looked fine going into the singularity. Not so sure, but all the more reason to see it again.

35. James Heaney - Wowbagger - May 8, 2009

Wonderful summary, Aliotsy. GG.

Having seen the movie, I am now far, far more interested in where this ARG leads. Because it *isn’t* just an opening weekend marketing lead-up, is it? It’s something better.

Something special.

36. cagmar - May 8, 2009

Fair enough #33. That’s a very logical theory, I’d have to agree. I still might suggest Spock meant that Red Matter could create a black hole WHEN ON IT’S OWN and a time/space warp IF INITIATED INSIDE A NOVA STAR. Maybe?

Even so, I’m not 100% sure about any of the writer’s intentions and you are very right – they’re probably just trying to make sure they have a way out again.

So let’s see if this ARG gives us a final answer.

37. Selor - May 9, 2009

@34 Spoiler below!
Spoiler below!
Spoiler below!
Spoiler below!
Spoiler below!

The Narada was not just crumbling from weapons fire… it was crumbling from the singularity forces on its own and finally breaking apart and get sucked into the singularity… it wasn’t as clear as in the beginning, the singularity was in the middle of the ship, hence breaking it apart and suck in essentially 2 Parts and not just in front of it, where it could fly through it unharmed.

38. Topics about Love-stories » Blog Archive » Star Trek ARG Report: The Story So Far (and it isn't over yet … - May 9, 2009

[...] Aliotsy Andrianarivo created an interesting post today on Star Trek ARG Report: The Story So Far (and it isn't over yet …Here’s a short outlineFollowing hints from Kaleh and Candir that the long-separated lovers would reunite, more Players receive ominous emails from ContainTheThreat, pointing to the chat site. The chat transcript is gone, replaced by this video (the … [...]

39. subatoi - May 9, 2009

Aliotsy, I’ll only see the movie tomorrow, so I read these things carefuly (didn’t read the last part). I just wanted to write how I appreciate your reports so far and especially this one. You put all the pieces together in the right place to create the story of the gang from scratch. Though I do my best to follow this from day one, you helped a lot understanding the real story behind the clues.
Is there any site on the web that follows this ARG like this, like TrekMovie?
I wish I had time to translate this whole summary/recap for my redears, but I WILL link to it.

Thanks!

40. Author of "The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers" - May 9, 2009

Okay, warning, I’m basically crazy, and I”ve seen the movie twice….so I’m going to pose an idea here..

SPOILER WARNING

SPOILER WARNING

We’ve been pushed, cajoled, harassed, teased, and reminded to play the Alert Vulcan video over and over and over and over. We’ve even seen a “response” that says Vulcan got the message. But if you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens to Vulcan….

….what if it is possible to “save” Vulcan?

Now I know its crazy…but consider….what if there is a 2nd version of the movie with a slightly altered ending in which Vulcan doesn’t get blown up – for example, one in which the Enterprise gets caught in the singularity, but escapes having gone backwards in time to a point before Vulcan’s destruction….but that version just hasn’t been released yet….but once word gets out, it gives folks another reason to see the movie….

Yeah, yeah, I know its silly and insane and impossible…But we all know that if such a scheme were to be put out there, Abrams is the guy to do it…

41. AJ - May 9, 2009

I dropped out of this thing a while back, but did anyone check the codes on when JJ Abrams appeared on the ‘Colbert Report?’

42. caseylee4ts - May 9, 2009

#39 – That is something I hadn’t considered… I just saw the move last night (holy $#!+ it was awesome!). I’ve been thinking of going next week to see it again, only this time in IMAX. That would be pretty awesome if at that point, they were basically showing a different/alternate movie/ending, one that resolves the events of the one I just saw. “Resolves” in that it restores us back to what we’re familiar with (i.e., Trek history as we know it).

43. Star Astronomy | Tech News Blog - May 9, 2009

[...] Star Trek ARG Report: The Story So Far (and it isn't over yet … [...]

44. MH - May 9, 2009

“The transmission clearly shows a silhouette of Nero’s Narada. Also note the date 5 12 09: clearly, this ARG still ain’t over, even after the release of the movie!”
btw, Season Finale of Fringe is May 12th.

45. Enviro999 - May 9, 2009

I Found in the Vulcan Video thing on the Page at this link, http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=M4DCI, a pic still of what looks like a person and a telescope. Go to EnviroTweet7’s Twitter page and in the upper left corner is the still.

46. subatoi - May 9, 2009

So… what are we atiting for now? Are there any clues to be discussed (I guess now, because there are no discussions). Are we now in the phase we just sit and enjoy the ride, watching what the PMs planned for us, like the vulcan transmission and Kaleh’s abduction. Maybe there’ll be more like this untill Tuesday.

47. Matt - May 9, 2009

44 – If so, it’s a long wait. I don’t know what we’re missing, but right now we’re in a full stop.

48. Odkin - May 9, 2009

I’m not attacking the *idea* of an ARG, but reading the synopsis above just makes no sense. It’s everything that’s wrong with storytelling today – it’s a convulted series of events tied together with angst and fighting among the participants.

Used to be that drama and conflict was inherent in a story itself, and the characters would behave in more-or-less civiliized ways within the plot. These days it seems that plots are just a McGuffin that allow every individual character to conduct their own private soap opera.

49. Daoud - May 9, 2009

Black holes in Star Trek aren’t like the ones in our universe.

Reference: “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”. The Enterprise gets thrown back in time and encounters USAF Capt Christopher after encountering a black star… (Of course, originally it was supposed to directly follow Naked Time, and the implosion sending them backwards in time was supposed to take them to 1969, as DC Fontana has noted elsewhere…)

So there’s precedent in the *original* Star Trek for black holes functioning as reverse time machines. I’d wish they would just say “a wormhole near the black hole” and then they’d have a plausible (yet nearly impossible) scientific explanation.

As to Kaleh… hell yeah, they should have had a henchwoman on board Nero’s vessel. That would have rocked. The lesson of previous Trek movies was that female aliens were good… Azetbur, the Duras sisters….

Perhaps the ARG is indeed actually a Fringe ARG; and that would suggest the ARG is being run by Bad Robot rather than Paramount. That would explain quite a lot, starting with the involvement of quasiphotographer Mark Hunter and his Cobrasnake operation. I dunno. But a multi-spectrum ARG involving Lost, Fringe and Star Trek could be fun.

With a Bell turning up on Fringe, I start thinking of the Bell Riots from Trek (DS9).

50. caseylee4ts - May 9, 2009

#47 – “The lesson of previous Trek movies was that female aliens were good… Azetbur, the Duras sisters…”

Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but the Duras sisters were never good. In fact from their first appearance on TNG to their death in Star Trek Generations, they were quite evil. They were trying to basically take over the Empire by any means necessary…

51. aliotsy - May 9, 2009

Just got added by someone named Amd Stal on Twitter.

http://twitter.com/AmdStal

Linked to this picture: http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/7782/loc5.png

No idea if this is in-game or a troll.

52. caseylee4ts - May 9, 2009

Yeah, I was added by someone named misskps… but I don’t think she’s in-game… and I only signed up on Twitter because of this ARG to get the updates from The Chat Gang… oh well…

53. Darkwing - May 9, 2009

this is back to the cagmar discussion i’ll call it. there are some interesting ideas, and i do see where you’re coming from now and it makes sense. one thing i’ll throw out is that we don’t really know what the full potential of red matter is and what it exactly does (at least I don’t). so maybe it’s not creating black holes as we know it, but rather creating more like time warp black holes. i don;t know, that sounds a little far fetched even to me. there is one thing about the narada crumpling. it was breaking apart from the black hole and the enterprise shooting at it, but it did get “sucked in” which is to me odd as the black hole was halfway through the ship, but it looked like it got sucked into the black hole back to front. now say that somehow the narada did go back in time to present day earth, it’s possible that the narada is destroyed but there are some survivors, this why the vulcan high command can’t locate the narada.

54. Darkwing - May 9, 2009

oh, i just looked at the widget on this page and it reminded me of a couple of things *SPOILERS AHEAD* ok for one, when kirk bikes to the shipyard, it looks like the enterprise it pretty far along in its production, would it really take it three more years from that point to be completed?

also, a continuity error i think i picked up on but am not certain is when kirk is on the narada, he jumps from platform to platform, but misses and is haning over the ledge. when he lands, there is a blaster laying on the platform. the romulan jumps down, picks up kirk. kirk clearly draws the gun from the romulans holster and shoots him, he then drops the blaster on the ground. i do not see two blasters at this point, and the shot sizes looked to be about the same. so, my question, is it a continuity error where the scen of kirk dropping the blaster was shot first and they forgot to pick it up afterwards, or are there two blasters laying on the ground?

55. kitty - May 9, 2009

@50 thats me on twitter, and i am SOOO IG :P

56. Daoud - May 9, 2009

Casey, I’m talking about having female character aliens scripted as being good *for the script*. I was talking about the inclusion of females in major roles in the script. Not the actual characters themselves. I know that all Dur’aS are petaQ. ;) I wish we’d seen some females on the Narada.

Is the ARG just a dead end now? What of Geoff’s ferret!?!?!

Or in the immortal words of T’Bonz, is it “Jolan tru, suckers”?

57. Mescad - May 9, 2009

So, the myterious AmdStal tweeted a link to an image that contained a new QR code. Is this part of the game? Nobody knows.

Anyway, the QR decodes to “DIONE:B-F” and Dione is a moon of Saturn. What that means, or where to go from here, is still to be determined.

Star Trek movie spoiler below:
You’ll remember that the Enterprise hides behind one of the moons of Saturn in the film. They named Titan, I think, in the film as a random moon to hide behind.

58. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 10, 2009

Thank you, Aliotsy, for this brilliant summary of what was going on till now. Now I also see all the connections. And also my doubt about breaking some ARG rules by @AliceForrest700 and @Bevbrecher is now gone.

Actually, the ARGs (even if there is no really unificated rules for making them) have two levels: ingame and meta, which aren’t crossed by the PMs/their characters.

In this case we have something new: since the 5 Romulans are using _us_ as ARG players to help Vulcan (and Earth actually), ==> we are now ingame.

And that’s cool. Because @Alice and @Bev, who gave us hints, who started to use #startrekarg-hashtag, who tried to hurry us, they could be supporter of the 5 Romulans. They actually are the “ingame puppetmasters”, who make for us an ARG and for 5 Romulans the realization of their plan.

I haven’t read comment yet, since I’m going to Star Trek today. And I’m happy, this ARG isn’t over yet.

59. hitching - May 10, 2009

saw the movie at Sydney IMAX last night. fantastic in its own right. and (1) it helps to add some context to this game, and vice versa.

also i’ve noticed over the last month that game events have generally unfolded at a regular daily pace, so that (2) people in different timezones all have enough time to be able to contribute. a lot of effort has been put into this game so that it appeals to audiences all around the globe.

so as to the question of whether the game has finished or not, putting (1) and (2) together, my guess is that everyone has simply been given some time off to enjoy the movie before the endgame, which looks like happening on the 12th.

thoughts please!

as for this new QR code from Amd Stal, the image is taken from the Vulcan video (frame #185, rotated 180 degrees), but the QR code itself is not present in the source video and has been photoshopped into the still image. unless we’ve missed some clues elsewhere pointing to DIONE and this is a quick attempt to get us back on track, this looks to me like an attempted gamejack by someone who has run out of patience.

thoughts please!

p.s. great write up aliotsy, thanks.

60. LtPiper - May 10, 2009

59
as for this new QR code from Amd Stal, the image is taken from the Vulcan video (frame #185, rotated 180 degrees),

I’m not aware of anybody having the source frame by frame video of this clip. How are you sourcing this reference to frame 185?

61. Fred Herman - May 10, 2009

Wait, none of this makes any sense. These Romulans have time-traveled back to an Earth on which the situation they’re trying to prevent already exists as a work of fiction. And nobody in-story thinks this is strange?

62. Dougrass - May 10, 2009

LOL

63. hitching - May 10, 2009

@60 someone posted a link to a zip of all the stills on the unfiction forum soon after the video was discovered. Look for image 185.

64. Mario - May 10, 2009

i was just disconected, someone else also, from the chat room?

im trying to reconect, if not, we can make another chat room in other place

65. Mario - May 10, 2009

So, the mibbit is down,

http://vampire.webchat.org/

The channel is #arg, user and password, whatever you want,

also can be used with mIRC

66. Mario - May 10, 2009

is someone there….

67. Mario - May 10, 2009

crap, i now kind of believe JJ has hacked our chat server to stop our comunication… this mibbit is usefull but someone knows another kind of chatting client that can handdle heavy chat?

68. Mario - May 10, 2009

kitty? were you just here?

69. Mario - May 10, 2009

http://widget.mibbit.com/?settings=2ca409a6eabcbac88100ceedc9ab9428&server=vampire.webchat.org&channel=%23arg&autoConnect=true

The mibbit i just created, use it until our old channel is back

(also there is a bit of problem with the names, being a big server there is no much disponibility of them, so if you use ones that are common, like “Matt”, say, you can be “argMatt”

70. kitty - May 10, 2009

yes, new chat!!!

71. dissapointed - May 10, 2009

This is for the game-jackers:
If you want to do something RE: the ARG, and you feel the need to keep it secret from the other players, that’s probably a good indication that you shouldnt be doing it, and that what you’re doing won’t be appreciated by most people who are following.
If you’re dissatisfied with the game, leave, and don’t mess with everyone else’s experience…
We were given the date of the 12th clearly.
(And the PM`s don’t owe you anything….)

72. Mario - May 10, 2009

weel the chat is still down, i have managed to get a new channel, is not good neither perfect (the private messages don’t work, for example) but is a good start,

use mibbit or mirc, the link for mibbit is:

http://widget.mibbit.com/?settings=2ca409a6eabcbac88100ceedc9ab9428&server=vampire.webchat.org&channel=%23arg&autoConnect=true

73. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 11, 2009

can it be, that some my comments couldn’t be posted here?

74. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 11, 2009

OK, I’ll try one more time (please delete, if it were be many of the same textes)

@61
Actually, this is not so usual, but cool ARG twist, to mix the fiction with reality. JJ Abrams (or his ARG team)

did it already with LOST. There was an ARG “The Lost Experience”, which protagonist, (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Rachel_Blake/), was ingame. She researched about Dharma

Initiative and Hanso Foundation (which is not so present in the show, mostly in the ARG)

Anyway, there was a press conference at ComicCon, interview with LOST actors about making of this show. Suddenly a

random woman begins to claim the actors to working for a gruel company, without knowing it. They, the actors, were

paid for the promotion of Hanso Foundation and Dharma initiative etc. It was Rachel Blake. She – the part of

alternate reality – came to the meta level (press conference with show makers), for her existed the show, but also

the facts depicted in the show were real for her.

Here is a video of this interpenetration of alternate reality in our reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?

v=QvVJNYZ5PuQ (note, how the most people react – perhaps the half of audience were actually Lost ARG players) :-)

Short, in the ARGs it can be possible, of the characters jump out the alternate reality and have another

perspective than they suppose to have in conventional narrative level.

75. aliotsy - May 11, 2009

“DIONE:B-F” is a gamejack, folks.

Given that good people wasted their time trying to figure it out, I’m quite disappointed with those who are perpetuating it.

76. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - May 11, 2009

Okay, guys, since it appears the only hope to perpetuate the ARG is if something happens tomorrow, but we end up discovering there’s nothing in this speculative Fringe link, and no more tweets tomorrow, do we declare the game dead?

77. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 11, 2009

I just hope, it isn’t over yet…
I mean, if they will do it like Cloverfield ARG “ending”, it will be not so fine…

78. D for me. - May 11, 2009

We thought it was dead once, they gave us something. Now it’s on life support. Maybe we should sign a DNR? I figured something else would have happened by now?? IDK

79. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - May 11, 2009

@77

Merzmensch, what was the Cloverfeeld ending? How was it “not so good?:”

80. SebiMeyer - May 11, 2009

This summary is much appreciated.

81. kitty - May 12, 2009

mibbit for the regular chat seems to be working, for me at least!

82. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 12, 2009

@79

Cloverfield ARG ended very sudden. I mean, it was also caused by a movie. Since before we knew the real movie name, it had codename “1.18.08”, so we supposed, monster will impact at 18th January 2008. The ARG PMs supposed the same.

So since the movie premiere was also at 18th January 2008, all the characters of the movie wrote at their MySpace profiles about their big farewell party for Rob (which was planned also at 18th January 2008). So it were the last messages by all characters (since they were mostly gone and killed in the movie).

The only problem was, there were many another themes, which shouldn’t be abandoned after this impact:

1) girl named Jamie, who is gonna crazy, as she ate the Slusho!s secret ingredient (she was slightly sighted in the movie, just for some seconds)
2) the ominous corporation Tagruato, which produced Slusho!, and most possibly caused the monster awakening
3) the rebellic eco-terroristic group TIDOWave

All these themes, blogs and sites weren’t updated after the 18th (and even if they were updated, than very slightly, weird and clueless). There were two sites opened after this ARG, but we don’t really know, if they’re IG.

We had a feeling, that the Paramounts said to the ARG PMs: “OK, the movie is out, pack your stuff and ciao”.

And another thing, that was a little bit ehm… sad, was the fact, that the movie was made in such secrecy, that in the reality the monster impact wasn’t at 18th January, but somewhere in May (according the movie). So the timeline of ARG collided with timeline of the movie.

After all, it was cool and long experience (almost 8 months of very nice stories, intensive communications and reseraches), but it ended very abrupt.

Here is a wiki of this ARG btw.
http://cloverfield.despoiler.org

Even if ended so weird, it was after all very great story, I miss it somehow :-)

P.S. They had also btw an Ape as an easter egg in CLoverfield ARG. I ask me just, whether this Ape is a stamp or copyright thing (since it was also sighted in the alert-vulcan-videos). Perhaps it’s the same ARG team?

83. subatoi - May 12, 2009

#82 Wasn’t there a way to contact the ARG team and ask them these things? I mean, they’re a seperate company, or part of Paramount, but anyway, theoretically, they can be contacted.
I’m very interested in an interview with the Trek ARG guys, especially if nothing happens today.

I’m already half a day into the 12th…

84. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 12, 2009

@83

I’d love to contact them. They kept the secret and didn’t came out. Perhaps (so my hope) they are about to make new ARG (if Cloverfield 2 will ever be made), so they suppose to hide in the shadow of meta level.

I actually wrote once a meta-email to a character, but I’ve got no response…

I also very hope Star Trek ARG people make a little insight in their work and will make an interview. It would be cool, if this ARG is over.

85. caseylee4ts - May 12, 2009

Has anyone ever seen http://www.slusho.jp? I’m just curious if this is something for this ARG, Cloverfields, a real product? However, in the upper left of the screen, there appears to be a Vulcan letter/character… I can’t really make it out though…

86. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 12, 2009

@85

http://www.Slusho.jp and http://www.tagruato.jp were part of Cloverfield ARG. But I suppose, since JJ Abrams builts Slusho in his another works, these websites aren’t down yet (and won’t be down, hopefully).

The sign in the left upper of screen is the ominous “shield-sign”, it was that clueless and weird update after Cloverfield was ended.

Here are btw all the Cloverfield ARG sites listed:
http://cloverfield.despoiler.org/index.php?title=Category:Websites

87. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 12, 2009

My bad, it was “Sword”-Sign, not “shield”Sign. Here is something more about this mysterious update:

http://cloverfieldclues.blogspot.com/search/label/sword

88. caseylee4ts - May 12, 2009

Weird… okay, just thought I’d check. :)

89. Merzmensch aka kosmopol - May 12, 2009

It’s OK :-)
Since Slusho also appears in Star Trek ;-)

90. LtPiper - May 12, 2009

Slusho also showed up last week in the alternate reality on Fringe.

91. Matt - May 12, 2009

@82 – That is a disheartening story.

92. Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers - May 12, 2009

Yeah, that’s really encouraging….not…

93. Daoud - May 12, 2009

It’s clearly over. Already 13 May in eastern europe… if something was going to happen on 5/12/09, it should have already…. UNLESS, it’s 12/5/09 set for the release of the Star Trek DVD?? 5/12 and 12/5 and all that.

But the ARG? arggggggggh.

94. NotAVulcanButWantsToBe - May 12, 2009

Well, there is a couple of things that could happen. One, Fringe is involved. Two, maybe it could happen at a later time on west coast.

Also someone mentioned maybe, they’ll change the movie ending a little. Granted, I highly doubt that, but has anyone seen the movie a second time today?

These are all just guesses. I’m trying to hold out for hope.

95. german - May 12, 2009

Has somebody seen the numerals and symbols at the colbert report visit from JJ Abrams?

96. wab1701 - May 12, 2009

I honestly hadn’t thought about the ARG since I saw the movie on Sunday. I was trolling through old articles and then came across this one. I wonder if that was it. The Vulcan response and then the “kidnapping.” If so, that would be terribly disappointing. :-(

97. subatoi - May 12, 2009

How many hours to the finale of Fringe?

98. NotAVulcanButWantsToBe - May 12, 2009

Guys… Was it just finished? Check it out!

http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=JNUWL

99. kitty - May 12, 2009

matt won!

100. Mario - May 12, 2009

YEAH!!!

101. caseylee4ts - May 12, 2009

Great work Matt and all the others who were standouts!

102. Matt - May 12, 2009

Thanks to everyone, but I don’t accept this outcome.

This has been a group effort, with others making far larger contributions than I. I’m going to think on this for a while and try to figure out how to “spread the wealth” to everyone who played and contributed. Ideas are welcome.

Huge thanks to Mr. Nimoy for participating at the end. Now, PM’s…. can we have the rest of the story? :-p

103. aliotsy - May 12, 2009

WHOA! Congratulations Matt!

104. Mario - May 12, 2009

yes, matt was a good pick!, good fellow..

105. NotAVulcanButWantsToBe - May 12, 2009

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Mr. Nimoy said to all those that saved Vulcan…

I want to know what that means.

Also, Congratulations to everyone!

106. Doesn't matter - May 12, 2009

Congrads Matt but this has to be one of the most crap endings to anything I’ve been involved with and really kinda ruins the entire thing movie included. How was this top`5 chosen? Why was it limited to just them? What about all the other people that solved clues and helped guide this game along? Totally disappointing. Completely not in the spirit of Star Trek and the group effort put forth by the community at large. A lot of people who put a lot of effort into this were left sitting in the dust.

107. Pourquoi n’avez-vous pas joué à l’ARG Star Trek ? | Fais Moi Jouer ! - July 10, 2009

[...] Nous n’avons donc pas été surpris de voir que les joueurs se sont retrouvés sur le blog Trek Movie, un fan-site du film. J’ai été plutôt étonné de constater que la collaboration entre [...]

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