When Jen Heyward solves the Chapter 4 cipher on p122, the solution is…
AVOID GRAND CENTRAL. KEY STOLEN. ASSUME BAG GONE. I FAILED.
What exactly happened? How was the key stolen? What happened to the bag? Was it the valise?
The answers below may be apocryphal. They were all derived from various Twitter accounts which may or may not be in-game.
We now know some of the answers to these questions. And it appears the theft took place under the four quartets of time in Grand Central Terminal.
A story has surfaced, provided by the same source as the recent alternate endings to Chapter 10 and the page from The Winged Shoes of Emydio Alves. The story appears to be from an Agent of Vevoda. If you doubt its validity, please consider that it has also been posted in French and over at @SFiles22.
I am not proud of what I have done or who I have become. Straka believes or believed, however you want to look at it, that everything can be rewritten, everything can be reborn. I’m not so sure.
There are threads that, when pulled, may unravel the entire tapestry. I, unknowingly, pulled such a thread. Then in my efforts to put it all back together I have become so entangled that I can barely move.
Let me explain. In order to see the birds it is necessary to become part of the silence, and I was very good at it. Somewhere in Time, I waited beside the clock with four faces and the Nightingale approached.
I had invested years of my life in reliable, unquestioning service. And I continued that service. I waited for the Nightingale to look away and I stole a key, part her soul, before fading back into the silence. I had done this before to various people in various ways. This time I made the mistake of looking back and seeing what I left behind.
As fate would have it, I was to deliver the key and the bag we had taken to the Château. But I remembered the Nightingale’s panic and my curiosity got the better of me. I opened the bag.
It is one thing to see a book, just one story bound up and hidden. It is quite another to see an entire life all at once. Pictures, letters, notes, histories, stories. I still haven’t read them all. But I began to see the birds for what they were, struggling and floundering as their ships filled with water. Fighting to reveal truth to the world in any way they could. Trying to keep those at the top from crushing those on the bottom. Fighting to change the world.
And I changed.
But what I have done can not be rewritten by what I do now. I have killed in cold blood. I have murdered, poisoned, even killed by defenestration, all for the man in the Château. Yet the blood is not on his hands. It is on mine.
All I can do is let you peak into the stolen bag in hopes that you may preserve at least some of it.
I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to peaking into the valise. Combine this new piece of the story with Doug Dorst’s recent tweet of a chord that spells Abdim (the person who gave S. the valise) and we seem to have corroboration that this is indeed a new chapter in the book of “S.”
UPDATE: There are clues that Eric Husch has been summoned by SERIN to visit NYC on Monday, April 28. Has he been summoned to be allowed a peek inside the valise?