The Alan Turing
Want to come over to Manchester for a bit of live crypto stuff, the prize ceremony and an opportunity to meet the organisers?
The fire crackled in the hearth as Robert de Gresle, now an old man, lay on his deathbed surrounded by his family.
"I think my time is approaching," he whispered, looking into his wife's eyes as he reminisced about their life together as the Lord and Lady of Manchester. "Yet there's still so much to do."
"Rest, my dear," said his wife, tears streaming down her face.
"I never completed the task demanded of me by Uncle William," Robert lamented. "I was a man of action, not of letters, and I was never able to decipher my Uncle's manuscript." He gestured to his children. "Promise me that you'll keep it safe."
A figure emerged from the shadows. "There's no need to place this burden on them," come the soft words from deep within the brown robes. "I'll protect the manuscript. Only the rightful will be able to unlock its mysteries."
"My thanks, Brother Thomas," said Robert to his priest. "And please, place my Uncle's sword in my tomb so that it might protect me." He turned to his wife. "Let me touch it one last time," he said, his voice now fading. He touched the sword, and a smile appeared on his face as he took his final breath.
Mike and Ellie looked at the two squares of paper. "The Old Parish Church?" asked Mike. "Where's that?"
Ellie tapped away on her phone. "It says here that Manchester Cathedral is built on the site of what was once the Parish Church and when has the Internet ever been wrong?" She turned to Barquith. "Mike and I will go and investigate. Will you stay here in case that mysterious runner comes back looking for these bits of paper?"
"Where should we look?" asked Mike as they entered the Cathedral.
"How about the crypt? That must be the oldest part," said Ellie.
They explored the cathedral, eventually finding a set of stone steps leading downwards. Two familiar voices came drifting upwards. "We got here faster than Mike and Ellie," said one. "We're far smarter than they are!" said the other.
"Must be the right place," grinned Mike, as they descended the steps into the crypt.
The crypt was claustrophobic: a dark, slightly damp space enclosed by a low-vaulted ceiling. Odd bits of stonework, old tombs and memorials were everywhere, providing plenty of cover for sneaking around. Mike and Ellie searched carefully, trying to avoid the constantly chatting twins.
"Look!" hissed Mike, as he paused at one tomb: an alabaster plinth with a carving of a mediaeval knight on the top. "The tomb must be hundreds of years old, but this inscription looks much more recent. It's hardly worn at all."
Ellie scrambled over. "But it doesn't make any sense, even in Latin!" she said. "It must be in a code."