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The little man, who introduces himself as “Archpresident Milford Buchanan”, leads you to a white house at the end of the paved path that runs through Eden. It appears to be the largest house in the settlement, built right in the center.
A one-headed dog lies sleeping on the grass a few metres from the house’s front door. It doesn’t appear to have suffered any injuries, so you conclude that its one-headedness must result from a birth defect. You ask Milford about this, and he inhales and seems about to launch into something, but then thinks better of it and just looks at you sadly.
“You’ll find a lot of things that seem strange to you here in Eden,” he says as he leads you into the house. “In time, I hope you’ll come to understand how much better everything is in here. But like a prisoner escaped from Plato’s cave, we must give your eyes time to adjust to the light.”
The interior of the house provides a welcome reprieve from the green outside. The place is furnished with tables and chairs of the sort you’re used to seeing the rotting remains of, giving it the same old world quality of the rest of Eden. Strangely, unlike the opulent and richly decorous domains of the region’s powerful warlords, the Archpresident’s house is quite plain on the inside – strange for a man who calls himself “Archpresident”.
The place reminds you of a ritzy hotel you once raided. The hotel’s interior was faded and decayed, but the walls were lined with paintings of the rooms as they had been in their prime. Now it’s as if you’ve stepped into one of those paintings.
One element, however, stands out from the rest. Above the fireplace, a strange pattern of rectangles within rectangles has been painted, not on a canvas, but straight onto the wall. There seems to be a distinct pattern of what looks like text hidden within the waves of triangles. You strain your eyes to see if you can make any sense of it but instead you get lost in a trance.
“I see you’ve noticed my newest decoration,” Milford says, catching your puzzled stare. “As you’ve probably already guessed, you’ve just found the latest of the Mutant Mastermind’s puzzles.”
So that’s what MM stands for.
“I can’t make head or tail of it personally,” says Milford, his beady eyes shining. “But seeing as you’ve seen so much success with the challenges so far, I’m sure you’ll crack it in no time.”
Challenge: Analyse the image and retrieve a hidden key.