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From: Robert Russell <bob@bu.edu>
Reply-to: bob@bu.edu
To: [insert email addresses of everyone else who has one]
Date: February 13, 1998 at 12:41 PM
Subject: The Navel of the World

Dear friends,
As you may or may not already be aware, the collection of numbers spouted by the Malkavian last night organize very neatly into latitudes and longitudes. Ellie and I believe we have figured out what these mean.

I. Last night, Ellie did some math and figured out that there's a way to choose signs for the latitudes/longitudes so that the first six form an octahedron--that is, they are all equally spaced from each other, except for the pairs which are directly opposite. This doesn't give us data about the 7th one, but one of the four possibilities is very close to Mecca, which seems significant enough that that's probably the correct spot. This makes the locations:
1. Boston
2. South Pacific, off Perth
3. Mongolia
4. Jarvis Island
5. Southern Argentina
6. Northern DR Congo
7. Mecca

II. This morning, I noticed something else. The final event in Boston took place on October 18. The 1998 pilgrimage to Mecca starts on April 4--168 days later. Note that 168=6*28, and the Boston ritual started 28 days before it ended. So, if each location's ritual starts the day the previous location's ritual ended, everything lines up right for the last ritual to culminate in Mecca on the first day of the pilgrimage. This would give ritual dates of:
1. Boston: October 18
2. South Pacific: November 15
3. Mongolia: December 13
4. Jarvis Island: January 10
5. Argentina: February 7
6. DR Congo: March 7
7. Mecca: April 4

The boat from the South Pacific event washed up around the end of December and had apparently been adrift for a while. This doesn't provide much confirmatory evidence for this theory, but it at least doesn't rule it out.

It seems to me that, if we want to follow this up, we can either:
1. Try to backtrack to spots that we think were already hit. Weirdly, the one in Mongolia looks the most accessible (it's only about 100 miles from Ulanbataar). The one in Argentina only happened about a week ago, so the trail of whatever-it-was might be fresher there. Jarvis Island is probably easiest to get to by boat, but I don't think we have time to travel by boat no matter how much more convenient it is for Erich and Thomas.
2. Go to the Congo--we have most of a month to get there and prepare for whatever we might want to do.

The globe-spanning nature of the ritual strongly suggests to me that it is an attempt to unlock the Navel of the World, thus becoming the first post-Atlantean group to gain control of the Earth's telluric currents. Given the somewhat bloody facts of the Bostonian and Pacific segments of the ritual, it seems clear to me that these are not people who we want in control of the telluric currents, so I strongly suggest following it up somehow.

Cheers,
Bob


OOC notes:
-The date in the email header assumes that the Siege of New York happened February 12 and should be adjusted accordingly if we decide I'm off by a day or two. (Also adjust if the Storyteller finds it unreasonable that our characters could have figured this stuff out as quickly as that, but if Ariel and I can figure all this out in 36 hours while doing other stuff it doesn't seem too unreasonable to me for Ellie and Bob to have figured it out in 12.)
-Google Maps didn't exist in 1998 (and I'm pretty sure Mapquest wouldn't have known about locations as remote as these), but it seems pretty reasonable to assume that there was a similar tool on the Virtual Web. Pretend those are password-protected links to some sort of static cache of that, in Bob's public-html directory on the BU website. Bob sends you a password in a separate email. Everyone's password is different to make it easier to trace any leaks, but he doesn't actually mention this.



(All this is assuming we hire a courier to take some hair to a specific local airport, letting Bob teleport people there.)
1. Boston
2. JFK->Narita->Perth gets us to where the boat washed up.
3. JFK->Narita->Ulaanbataar and 100 miles of ground travel.
4. LAX/Vancouver->Fiji->Tarawa and 200 miles of ocean. (Jarvis Island is uninhabited.)
5. JFK->Buenos Aires (Ministro Pisarini)->Buenos Aires(Jorge Newbery)->Comodoro Rivadavia. 300 miles of ground travel.
6. Boston/JFK->Paris (De Gaulle)/Amsterdam->Kinshasa->Mbandaka and about 50 miles of ground/river travel. Bob also has teleport knowledge of Switzerland and London, which might make this easier--he could hire the courier in Paris, perhaps. DR Congo is on the brink of civil war, which will make it considerably more difficult.
7. It's easy to get to Jeddah, where the closest major airport to Mecca is, from just about anywhere in Western Europe.
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