Star Trek Hunter
Episode 13: The 15,000 Cities of Cun Ling
Scene 16: Imperial Script
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13.16
Imperial Script
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Federation Councilmember Emory Ivonovic had received a cryptic message from Emperor Sin IV. In the emperor's own handwriting - sort of. It was actually a duplicate of an original. The original had been destroyed immediately after being coded as a replicator pattern. A small square of silk with a pair of symbols painted in ink.

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This pattern was sent from Andoria to Cun Ling via subspace radio. The signal was coded to Ivonovic's Federation Council security access protocol. Ivonovic was slightly disconcerted that the andorian emperor had access to security protocols for Federation Councilmembers, but it was not unreasonable for such information to be provided to the head of state for a member government.

Once Ivonovic entered his security access code and the small piece of silk with its unique ink lettering was recreated in the replicator in his stateroom, the replicator pattern was erased.

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The emperor had painted only two symbols on the square of silk, but it took Ivonovic hours to determine what they meant. He was not about to ask anyone for help or even enter the symbols into a computer, where his search might be traced. He was not taking any chances that might let on that he was in secret communication with the andorian emperor.

Fortunately, Trantor had several analog libraries - libraries with actual books. After several hours digging around in the stacks near the top floor of the Trantor Metropolitan Library, Ivonovic was finally able to track down the top symbol in a book about antique andorian languages. The message had been written in Lak, a dead language.

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The top symbol translated roughly to an imperative: "Remain."

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Ivonovic searched through dozens of books for the bottom symbol without luck. He sat, staring at it, then slapped his forehead – hard – when he realized the bottom symbol was identical to the top symbol - only reversed. Another twenty minutes of research revealed that the ancient andorian military officers who used the Lak written language occasionally used reversed symbols to invert the meaning.

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Fully translated and put into context, the emperor's message read:

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"You stay there. I am coming."

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13 – The 15,000 Cities of Cun Ling