Xiao Lou hadn’t thought of this at first. Then he quickly responded after Shao Qingge reminded him. “Morse code is an international common code that has been circulating for many years. A short dot signal is a ‘dit’ and a long ‘-’ signal is a ‘dah.’ The short signal lasts for 1 second and the long signal lasts for 3 seconds—these could be 1 and 3.”
Ye Qi was stunned. “Is this using Morse code? It is like a spy game!”
Lu Jiuchuan smiled and touched his nose. “So this box of banknotes left behind by Elder Shao is really using Morse code? Do you know how to decode it, Chief Shao?”
Shao Qingge thought carefully and got a headache. “As a child, my father taught it to me while saying that it was a code passed down from a very old era. The thing he taught me was exactly the same as what Professor Xiao said. It has short and long tones and different combinations can be decoded into different numbers and letters. On the banknotes, the 1 stands for a short note and the 3 for a long note. This really makes sense.”
Ye Qi joked, “You actually know Morse code? Our Chief Shao is finally no longer terrible at the Diamonds room.”
Shao Qingge didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The keepers instilled the memories in me. I just remembered them.”
He leaned over to pick up the banknotes with the clues from the ground. “This one, the clue number is 31. If decoded according to the long and short tone of Morse code, it represents the letter N. This one is 333. It is all long tones and represents the letter O. 13 is A. 1111 is four short tones and stands for H. 111 is for S. 13 for A. 131 for R and 313 for K…”
This was the clue that his father left him.
The Morse code that Shao Qingge learned in his childhood soon became clearer in his memories. He quickly decoded the Morse code on the banknotes while Xiao Lou took a blank piece of paper and recorded the message based on Shao Qingge’s words.
It reached this point where Xiao Lou suddenly called out. “Just a moment.”
Shao Qingge looked over at him and Xiao Lou flipped over the paper to show the letters he had just written down.
Tang Ci was the first to react. “NoahsArk; Noah’s Ark?”
Xiao Lou nodded earnestly. “Yes, the Morse code that Chief Shao just decoded means Noah’s Ark.”
It could only be said that the way Shao Qingge’s father left the clue was too awesome. It was more complicated than any Diamonds mechanism they had encountered before. It actually ended up as Morse code.
Banknotes, numbers, Morse code, English letters—Noah’s Ark.
He left this safe behind. Even if people found it, they wouldn’t understand the secret. Most people would just think he left a box full of money for his son when they saw all the banknotes.
Shao Qingge was in a complicated mood. “Should I continue to decode it?”
Xiao Lou told him, “Go on. Take out all the banknotes and we will help sort them out. Remove the banknotes with disordered numbers that are interference items and place the ones with 1 and 3 in order.”
Everyone but Shao Qingge and Xiao Lou started to act.
There were eight rows of banknotes in the suitcase. There were 9 stacks in each row and each stack had 100 banknotes. It was a total of 7,200 banknotes, of which 3,600 were interference items and meaningless. There were 3,600 banknotes with numbers 1 and 3.
Ye Qi had never seen so many banknotes before. He counted the money until his hands cramped.
Yu Hanjiang, Tang Ci and Lu Jiuchuan were also sorting out the money quickly. Then they stacked them in front of Shao Qingge in order.
Shao Qingge decoded the letters in order and Xiao Lou recorded them on the sheet of blank paper.
The room was very quiet. Only the low voices of Shao Qingge and Xiao Lou were heard.
“1311, letter L… 3313, letter Q… 3313, letter X…”
Ye Qi sat beside them and didn’t dare disturb them.
He listened to Shao Qingge constantly reporting the number and decoding it and he felt the tension of watching spy dramas as the underground resistance intercepted the ‘dit dit dah’ of a telegram, decoding it into Chinese.
There were 3,600 codes which was a lot of work.
Shao Qingge wanted to make sure he wouldn’t make any mistakes. His childhood memories of learning Morse code became clearer and clearer. After converting the 1s and 3s into short and long tones, his decoding speed became faster and faster.
In a flash, Xiao Lou’s paper was already full of decoded letters. Finally, all 3,600 banknotes were decoded.
Xiao Lou started to translate it from the beginning.
“Noah’s Ark program was officially launched on July 15th, 2975. Scientists overcame the problem of cell replication. The cell culture they made is theoretically sufficient to grow a cell to adulthood.”
“This experiment must be kept secret. Human cells are best provided by the few insiders. So, like them, I took my son Shao Qingge’s cells and added them to the experimental group…”
Xiao Lou read up to here and couldn’t help looking at Shao Qingge.
Shao Qingge felt helpless. “Go on. Even if I am a clone, I can accept it.”
Xiao Lou continued the translation. “Professor Zhang used her daughter Lin Yan’s cells. The cells provided by His Majesty came from Xiao Lou, the newly born imperial crown prince.”
Xiao Lou still looked calm reading his name. He paused before continuing, “A week later, the Academy of Sciences launched a secret experiment. My heart was very uneasy. One time, I went to the laboratory and found that they had cloned over a dozen copies of my son’s cells and placed them in culture dishes. I asked them, “Didn’t you say that only one copy would be used as an organ donor for our children in the future?” They explained that there was a risk of failure in cell cloning and the success rate could only be guaranteed by preparing more.”
“This scares me even more. What if all of them succeed? How will I face the same five, six or even a dozen Shao Qingges in the future?”
“Shao Qingge is the crystallization of my love with my wife. If he is freely copied, how can I explain to my son why he has so many brothers? At the beginning, I agreed to this plan so there would be a clone available to help treat my son in case of an emergency. According to scientists, human aging is due to the aging of organs. If we raise a young clone as a donor, we can extend our lifespan when we get old and take the organs from the clone at any time. If we become sick then we can get a healthy organ transplant at any time without worrying about rejection. Cloning humans is like the life insurance that human beings buy for themselves, giving them one more life. It was stupid of me to believe this.”
“Now the research of this group of madmen has deviated from the original intention. I have to stop this.”
“I secretly sneaked into the laboratory and destroyed the specimens of Qingge. I felt like I was killing people. Those cells were on the verge of growing into baby form… I saw countless babies in the laboratory. My god!”
“Due to the work of the scientists, the cells grew into babies. But those babies raised in the vitro culture medium had too many physical defects. All of them died before they even reached the age of 6 months. The Noah’s Ark project had no choice but to be terminated!”
The decoded information stopped here.
This was just the record for the first plan. There was no record of the restart of the Noah’s Ark plan. The safe was prepared by Shao Qingge’s father after the end of the first plan. The banknotes taken in 2975 also proved this. Once the second plan started, perhaps he was monitored or he was killed too suddenly. He didn’t have time to leave more clues.
The team members stared at each other.
Taking the cells of children and making countless identical babies. This image caused goosebumps to form. Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “In the first plan, all the clones died? So five years later, they should have had more advanced technology when the plan restarted?”
For example, accelerate the process of cell replication and infant growth? They could let a baby grow to the age of five in just one year? Otherwise, how could they explain that the second batch of clones in the palace were the same age as Xiao Lou?
The crazy scientists seemed to ignore that once human reproduction, growth rate and even genetic inheritance could be completely controlled by humans, it would allow scientists to modify the characteristics of human beings at will like machines… they could no longer be called ‘human’!
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality