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Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Centers For Communications, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask [[{{Fangirl}} eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".

to:

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Centers For Communications, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask [[{{Fangirl}} eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".
"[=CypherCast=]".



* AbusivePrecursors: Lampshaded by Mod when they finally figure out that the "message" the aliens wanted to send us was [[spoiler:a cure. Specifically a cure for the very same disease they sent in the very same message]].

to:

* AbusivePrecursors: The senders of the Message deliberately [[spoiler: infect humanity with a fatal respiratory illness in order to force humans to reverse-engineer their advanced acoustic technology for a cure. They engineer a massive humanitarian disaster with the potential to kill hundreds of millions of people in order to technologically uplift the human race.]]
* AliensAreBastards: [[spoiler: The aliens seem relatively unperturbed that millions or hundreds of millions of people will likely die of [=PA1=] if the "message" isn't decoded. Taken up to eleven by "Nicky", who used [=CypherCast=] to communicate humanity's progress back to her civilization. [=CypherCast=] contained several repeats of the Message. "Nicky" personally caused the biggest outbreak of [=PA1=] and the deaths of hundreds of people just to ''make a phone call.'']]
**
Lampshaded by Mod when they finally figure out that the "message" the aliens wanted to send us was [[spoiler:a cure. Specifically a cure for the very same disease they sent in the very same message]].



** Directly called out by Robin in Episode 8.
-->'''Robin:''' These are our bodies. This is how we breathe. If these aliens wanna talk to us, they have to respect us. If they want to talk to us, they have to respect us. [[spoiler: [[WhamLine If you want to talk to us, you have to respect us.]]]]



* ArcWords: "There's a city made of song" - a phrase repeated by [[spoiler: everyone who catches Pulmonary Anomaly 1]]. Its meaning turns out to be [[spoiler: absolutely nothing - it is just meant to arouse the curiosity of whoever gets the Message and get them to start looking in the right place.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The Message is decoded, and a cure to [=PA1=] is successfully devised. Humanity now possesses incredibly advanced acoustic technology that may be used to make the world a better place in massive ways. But Tamara is irrevocably dead, as are hundreds of others who caught [=PA1=], and "Nicky" turns out to have been an alien observer all along, with the real Nicky having died from alcohol poisoning three years before. It's heavily implied that all her friendly interactions and relationships with the Cypher team were a carefully rehearsed act, and that she never actually cared about any of them.]]
* BrickJoke: In Episode 1, Ty makes a speech to Nicky about how one can miss a clue right in front of their face because they lack the context needed to understand the clue, illustrating the point with finding an empty carton of orange juice on his kitchen counter. At the end of Episode 8, Robin realizes they had their own carton of orange juice right in front of them: that [[spoiler: Nicky was an alien all along]].



* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a codebreaker falls ill, the episodes of the podcast that contain it are yanked. When the illness begins to spread person-to-person, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]

to:

* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. {{Foreshadowing}}: In Episode 1, it is noted that the original decoding attempt, led by cryptographer Lewis Krell, had a civilian observer who didn't succumb to the "curse" despite listening to the Message many times. In Episode 8, Nicky notes that one of the lines in the "city made of song" poem were Krell's last words. At this point, it dawns upon Robin that [[spoiler: As soon Nicky would have no way to know Krell's last words, as they were in a codebreaker falls ill, classified document she didn't read. This leads her to the episodes of horrifying realization: Nicky ''was'' the podcast that contain it are yanked. When civilian observer working besides Krell - she was personally there to hear his last words. She's actually an alien who impersonates people to keep tabs on humanity's attempts to decode the illness begins Message.]]
** During their confrontation in Episode 5, Robin asks Nicky why she wanted
to spread person-to-person, the entire work with Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]] in the first place, to which Nicky replies that she felt it was her destiny. [[spoiler: Turns out it was ''literally'' her destiny: her job was to observe every attempt to decipher the Message, so she took over the real Nicky's identity with the express purpose of ending up with Cypher.]]



* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a codebreaker falls ill, the episodes of the podcast that contain it are yanked. When the illness begins to spread person-to-person, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]



* TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies: Implied with The Message's sender. [[spoiler:As soon as a species starts to harness nuclear power, the aliens send them The Message, and observes how that species responds to its effects. Considering that the first step is a contagious, seemingly-incurable fatal respiratory disease, they obviously don't care much about how many people die in the process.]]



* SinkOrSwimMentor: [[spoiler: The alien civilization to the entire human race. "Nicky" notes that every attempt to just directly teach their technology to other species has failed, so they took up the habit of forcing their upliftees to reverse-engineer the technology themselves, or be wiped out by Pulmonary Anomaly 1.]]
* SufficientlyAdvancedAliens: The senders of the Message can [[spoiler: use radio signals to convey ''infectious diseases.'' Infectious diseases which write information into the infectee's brain. Their technology is so arcane that it's first confused for a supernatural "curse".]]
* SyntheticPlague: [[spoiler: Pulmonary Anomaly 1, or [=PA1=]. A seemingly incurable, fatal respiratory disease caused by embedded vibrations in the Message, and the first step towards deciphering it.]]



* TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies: Implied with The Message's sender. [[spoiler:As soon as a species starts to harness nuclear power, the aliens send them The Message, and observes how that species responds to its effects. Considering that the first step is a contagious, seemingly-incurable fatal respiratory disease, they obviously don't care much about how many people die in the process.]]

Added DiffLines:

* AbusivePrecursors: Lampshaded by Mod when they finally figure out that the "message" the aliens wanted to send us was [[spoiler:a cure. Specifically a cure for the very same disease they sent in the very same message]].
-->'''Mod:''' Thanks for the solution to the problem you created, dicks.


* RedHerring: [[It turns out that the "City made of song" message that people hear as they die means absolutely nothing--the aliens just used it as a way to get the codebreakers curious and to look where the real answer was.]]

to:

* RedHerring: [[It [[spoiler:It turns out that the "City made of song" message that people hear as they die means absolutely nothing--the aliens just used it as a way to get the codebreakers curious and to look where the real answer was.]]


* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a codebreaker falls ill, the episodes of the podcast that contain it are yanked. When the illness begins to spread person-to person, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]

to:

* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a codebreaker falls ill, the episodes of the podcast that contain it are yanked. When the illness begins to spread person-to person, person-to-person, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]


Added DiffLines:

* RedHerring: [[It turns out that the "City made of song" message that people hear as they die means absolutely nothing--the aliens just used it as a way to get the codebreakers curious and to look where the real answer was.]]



[[AC:The Message provides examples of the following tropes:]]

to:

\n[[AC:The Message ----
!!''The Message''
provides examples of the following tropes:]]tropes:


* AmbiguousGender: [[{{PlayfulHacker}} Mod]], one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are 'they/them'.

to:

* AmbiguousGender: [[{{PlayfulHacker}} Mod]], one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are 'they/them'.

Added DiffLines:

* SecretTestOfCharacter: [[spoiler:What The Message ends up being, on a species-wide scale. As [[DeadPersonImpersonation "Nicky"]] explains, the technology revealed by The Message has the potential for great healing and quality of life applications, but it also can be used as a weapon to devastating effect. Now that humanity has its hands on it, it's a constant test to see whether it's used wisely, or humanity destroys itself with it.]]
* TechnologyUplift: [[spoiler:The desired end result of The Message. If a species correctly "solves" it, they have the key to advanced, acoustic-based technology. If they don't, well, [[SyntheticPlague tough luck.]]]]

Added DiffLines:

* TheRightOfASuperiorSpecies: Implied with The Message's sender. [[spoiler:As soon as a species starts to harness nuclear power, the aliens send them The Message, and observes how that species responds to its effects. Considering that the first step is a contagious, seemingly-incurable fatal respiratory disease, they obviously don't care much about how many people die in the process.]]


Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Group, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask [[{{Fangirl}} eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".

to:

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Group, Centers For Communications, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask [[{{Fangirl}} eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".



* AmbiguousGender: Maud, one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are the permutations of 'they'.
* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one, especially when the [[spoiler: BrownNote starts setting in.]]

to:

* AmbiguousGender: Maud, [[{{PlayfulHacker}} Mod]], one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are the permutations of 'they'.
'they/them'.
* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one, threatens this at times, especially when the [[spoiler: BrownNote starts setting in.]]



** Episode 8: [[spoiler: Nicky's actually an alien in human form. She's ''always'' been the civilian observer to The Message. And the real Nicole Tomalin's been dead for three years thanks to alcohol poisoning.]]

to:

** Episode 8: [[spoiler: Nicky's actually an alien in human form. She's ''always'' been the civilian observer to The Message. And the real Nicole Tomalin's been dead for three years thanks to alcohol poisoning.poisoning, or at least that's what her replacement says.]]


Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Group, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask ''[[Fangirl eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".

to:

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Group, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask ''[[Fangirl [[{{Fangirl}} eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin to create a publicly-available account of their research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".


In the 1940s, humanity received a transmission from an unknown extra-terrestrial source. Called "[[TitleDrop The Message]]", this transmission was classified and given to the US Government's best codebreakers, who were unable to decipher it. Fatalities during the attempt, however, led to rumors of a "curse" on the Message.

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been declassified, and one Nicky Tomalin has been brought in by the Cypher Group to create "Cyphercast", a podcast of their efforts at deciphering it. An impressive thing to note about the podcast is that the plot picks up ''really'' quick - expect to find yourself marathoning it by episode 3.

to:

In the 1940s, humanity received a transmission from an unknown extra-terrestrial extraterrestrial source. Called "[[TitleDrop The Message]]", this transmission was classified and given to the US Government's government's best codebreakers, who were unable to decipher it. Fatalities Numerous odd but seemingly unrelated fatalities occurred during the attempt, however, led leading to internal rumors of a "curse" on the The Message.

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been declassified, and one suddenly declassified by the CIA to the Cypher Group, a famously effective, private team of audio scientists. They ask ''[[Fangirl eager]] podcaster Nicky Tomalin has been brought in by the Cypher Group to create "Cyphercast", a podcast publicly-available account of their efforts at deciphering it. research, which she dubs "Cyphercast".

An impressive interesting thing to note about the podcast is that the plot picks up ''really'' quick ''very'' quickly - expect to find yourself marathoning it by episode 3.



* AmbiguousGender: Maud, one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are variations on 'they'.
* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one, especially when [[spoiler: BrownNote starts setting in.]]
* BrownNote: The curse. Rumor is that people who listen to The Message develop lung problems. [[spoiler:It's real, and contagious, ''[[ParanoiaFuel meaning it can spread to people that haven't listened to it]]''.]]
* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a second codebreaker falls ill, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: After Nicky broadcasts a recording of The Message, [[spoiler:people listening to the podcast - the same podcast you're listening to - begin developing lung problems referred to as Pulmonary Anomaly 1. The next episode starts with a warning to seek immediate medical help if you start developing symptoms.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: The Message itself ''was'' one, but it's been declassified. Hinted at when it's revealed in episode 4 that [[spoiler: reports of codebreakers dying of respiratory illness were covered up.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 3: [[spoiler: Tamara abruptly loses respiratory function.]]
** Episode 8: [[spoiler: Nicky's actually an alien in humanoid form. She's ''always'' been the civilian observer to The Message. And the real Nicole Tomalin's been dead for three years thanks to alcohol poisoning.]]

to:

* AmbiguousGender: Maud, one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are variations on the permutations of 'they'.
* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one, especially when the [[spoiler: BrownNote starts setting in.]]
* BrownNote: The curse. Rumor is that people who listen to The Message develop become ill and die, like in one case where the only non-smoker in a research group developed lung problems. [[spoiler:It's real, and it's contagious, ''[[ParanoiaFuel meaning it can spread to people that haven't listened to it]]''.]]
* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a second codebreaker falls ill, the episodes of the podcast that contain it are yanked. When the illness begins to spread person-to person, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: After Nicky broadcasts a recording recordings of The Message, Message in the podcast series you are currently listening to, [[spoiler:people listening to the podcast - the same podcast you're listening to - begin developing lung problems referred to as Pulmonary Anomaly 1. The next episode starts with a warning to seek immediate medical help if you start developing symptoms.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: The Message itself ''was'' one, but it's been declassified. declassified at the start of the podcast. Hinted at when it's revealed in episode 4 that [[spoiler: reports of codebreakers dying of respiratory illness were either mixed or covered up.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 3: [[spoiler: Tamara abruptly loses respiratory function.function mid-conversation.]]
** Episode 8: [[spoiler: Nicky's actually an alien in humanoid human form. She's ''always'' been the civilian observer to The Message. And the real Nicole Tomalin's been dead for three years thanks to alcohol poisoning.]]


* WhamEpisode: Episode 3: [[spoiler: Tamara abruptly loses respiratory function.]]

to:

* WhamEpisode: Episode 3: [[spoiler: Tamara abruptly loses respiratory function.]]
** Episode 8: [[spoiler: Nicky's actually an alien in humanoid form. She's ''always'' been the civilian observer to The Message. And the real Nicole Tomalin's been dead for three years thanks to alcohol poisoning.
]]

Added DiffLines:

* ItsProbablyNothing: Subverted. [[spoiler: As soon as a second codebreaker falls ill, the entire Cypher Group is immediately placed under quarantine.]]


In the 1970s, humanity received a transmission from an unknown extra-terrestrial source. Called "[[TitleDrop The Message]]", this transmission was classified and given to the US Government's best codebreakers, who were unable to decipher it. Fatalities during the attempt, however, led to rumors of a "curse" on the Message.

to:

In the 1970s, 1940s, humanity received a transmission from an unknown extra-terrestrial source. Called "[[TitleDrop The Message]]", this transmission was classified and given to the US Government's best codebreakers, who were unable to decipher it. Fatalities during the attempt, however, led to rumors of a "curse" on the Message.


Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been declassified, and one Nicky Tomalin has been brought in by the Cypher Group to create "Cyphercast", a podcast of their efforts at deciphering it.

to:

Fast forward to 2015. The Message has been declassified, and one Nicky Tomalin has been brought in by the Cypher Group to create "Cyphercast", a podcast of their efforts at deciphering it.
it. An impressive thing to note about the podcast is that the plot picks up ''really'' quick - expect to find yourself marathoning it by episode 3.



* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one.
* BrownNote: The curse. Rumor is that people who listen to The Message develop lung problems. [[spoiler:It's real, and contagious.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: After Nicky broadcasts a recording of The Message, [[spoiler:people listening to the podcast - the same podcast you're listening to - begin developing lung problems referred to as Pulmonary Anomaly 1. The next episode starts with a warning to seek immediate medical help if you start developing symptoms.]]

to:

* AmbiguousGender: Maud, one of the employees of Cypher Group, whose preferred pronouns are variations on 'they'.
* ApocalypticLog: The podcast itself has shades of one.
one, especially when [[spoiler: BrownNote starts setting in.]]
* BrownNote: The curse. Rumor is that people who listen to The Message develop lung problems. [[spoiler:It's real, and contagious.contagious, ''[[ParanoiaFuel meaning it can spread to people that haven't listened to it]]''.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: After Nicky broadcasts a recording of The Message, [[spoiler:people listening to the podcast - the same podcast you're listening to - begin developing lung problems referred to as Pulmonary Anomaly 1. The next episode starts with a warning to seek immediate medical help if you start developing symptoms.]]
* GovernmentConspiracy: The Message itself ''was'' one, but it's been declassified. Hinted at when it's revealed in episode 4 that [[spoiler: reports of codebreakers dying of respiratory illness were covered up.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 3: [[spoiler: Tamara abruptly loses respiratory function.
]]

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