First team to get CD clue: Pink
  at time: 7:34am
Last team: Red
  at time 8:30am
Soundtrack: NA. CD not delivered yet.
A#2255 (softball)
A# 24163 (video)
Shelby's  Message (heard on phone when teams called the hotline and entered A# 24163)

Dry Lake Bed -- Setup
The rarest of events in the desert had concluded: a spectacular lightning, wind and rain storm had passed at 3am, and as the dawn started to break over the not-so-dry Eldorado Lake Bed, 9 Game Teams* were awakened at their campsites by the sound of two helicopters literally dive-bombing them into consciousness.

The players had arrived the night before, following Shelby Logan's instructions to the "homing beacon" (See Pregame section for details), where they had each setup camp and watched as team after team arrived on the lake bed in the darkness. Each of them huddled in the darkness not less than 1/4 mile away from each other, but none of the teams interacted. In the center of the circle of campsites sat a Porta-Potty. (We game organizers would ask them to tolerate a storm, but not a night without a toilet!)

The events unfolded at a furious and surprising pace:

6:40am  Helicopters attack the campsites, circling around each
6:45am 9 Silver-colored softballs (left) are dropped from the helis, one at each campsite. the softballs read "WELCOME TO THE SILVER STATE.  BACK IN 20 MINUTES.  WHEN I RETURN FOLLOW ME.  POINT SOUTH NEAR THE TOILET.  LEAVE NO TRACE. FCN 2255".
7:00am Helis have disappeared over the horizon. Teams madly break camp.
7:20am Helis return as team vans are lined up, "starting line" style. The Helis roar overhead, and the vans tear off across the 5-mile long lakebed in pursuit.
7:30am The lead helicopter begins slowly dropping giant (1' diameter) silver balls-- 1 at a time-- from the sky. The frontrunner van (pink) was the first to grab the starting clue, and each team subsequently obtained a clue.

The First Clue

Shelby's Video - 
the 1st clue

The silver balls were insulating material wrapped around a plastic pumpkin, containing a CD-ROM that Shelby Logan had sent via courier. The CD-ROM contained a VIDEO FROM SHELBY (click to watch - WMV format), and the FIRST CLUE. The video included:

  • your objective: 
    (1) Recover a portable debugging device, so you can 
    (2) Find Shelby Logan, and then use the device to 
    (3) Disarm a deadly chip embedded in his brain. You have 24 hours to disarm the chip or Shelby will die.
  • Shelby's "Access number" (A#) system: each time you retrieve a puzzle, call the WITSEC hotline and enter an A# code... Shelby can provide necessary background information, and your progress is tracked
  • the first clue, "TOPS".

Team Stories 
The evening before the Game, teams arrived at the dry-lake-bed between 4pm and midnight.  The first team to arrive-- Black-- setup camp and began playing golf out on the lake bed. We suspect this behavior was an indicator that they had solved one of the pre-game bonus clues.  See "Hidden Info" section to understand which bonus clue...  

*Two of the teams didn't brave the storm the night before. At 2am, the Purple team called Shelby's emergency hotline to report that there were sparks in their van, and they retreated to a nearby hotel and returned to the lakebed at 6:15am. The Red team -- a newbie team-- bailed sometime the night before but didn't manage to speak in person with Game Control, so they entirely missed the helicopter attack. WITSEC Research (Game Control) called their cel in the morning, just as they had woken up at their hotel-- unfortunately after the helicopters had come and gone. They retrieved the first clue nearly an hour late at the porta-potty.

Comments & Discussion
4/13/2003 6:19:46 PM   Game Control (Silver)

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