When we arrived at the arch there wasn't another person in sight, but within about 20 minutes, conspicious groups of two started popping up all over the place! Somehow myself and Heidi (my girlfriend) and nick managed to work out who each other was, so we chatted a for a bit whilst everyone else hung out in their groups.
A little time (and a considerable lot of rain) later we were asked to gather round (there were about 20 of us) and was told the first clue was to be found from a curly haired bloke in the nearby pagoda. I asked the chap if he had a clue for us and indeed, he handed out lanyards to everybody, showing the glyph on one side and a cryptic message on the reverse; "In a park near an area known for mardi gras, find a man that has enabled society to go far."
At this point 2 folks ran off into the distance (obviously locals) and here's me and Heidi having no clue about the festivities of Manchester. Thankfully the pagoda was next to a carpark so we went off with Nick to ask the parking attendant who happily gave us pretty good directions. A few minutes later we found ourselves at the Alan Turing Memorial statue in Sackville Park! Whilst attempting to avoid the omnipresent photographer (must be a Hanso Clone) we read a sign which told us to "go to the buidling that celebrates discovery and change, where you will find a baby who will give you the answer you are looking for. You have until 5pm!"
I knew the answer to this one; the science museum (the only tourist attraction I knew about in Manchester having past it on the train). A quick walk and yet more very very wet rain later, we arrived. Having no clue where to go, we approached the ticket desk, where a friendly museum employee told us we were looking rather LOST. She told us we had to go head towards the back of the building. Thankfully my wonderful girlfriend picked up a guide to the museum and had noticed that "The Baby" was on the 2nd floor of building 2, so after a quick detour around an exhibition on the textile industry, we found ourself in the right building. Strangely enough floor 2 was sealed - no access for the public. Thankfully yet more highly useful museum employees told us to jump over the felt rope (mmmmm... felt rope) and head up the stairs.
We were there! We were greeted by what seemed like a crowd of Channel 4 employees and warned "DO NOT TOUCH". A little hunt later we found what we were looking for; "The Baby", a replica of the world's first computer built in Manchester back in 1948. A laptop was placed in front of it, cycling through an animation of the glyph... Argh! Panic! No code! Thankfully someone hinted "be patient" and an agonising minute or two later, the code popped up! I fired it into HE.com there and then via my mobile and that was that! :)
Nick, Heidi and I waited around for a bit and chatted to The Other Girl and another chap who's been involved in TLE from almost the get-go. Very nice people who seem genuinely excited to be involved in this interactive experiment.
Anyway, what you've all been waiting for. I proudly present, the one, the only, The Other Girl!
To all you naysayers, she is 100% real and 110% nice! Unfortunately she suffers from a similar affliction to Speaker when a camera is around and photos appear as above! Maybe the result of a Hanso experiement? (The photo is taken in front of a replica of the 'The Baby' and not down a DHARMA hatch, despite appearances!)
Finally, good luck to everyone on both sides of the 4th wall in London tomorrow! Hopefully the weather will be a little less LOSTesque!