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.Eleven is two paws clasped; that represents contentment.“It’s a little moral lesson, you see.If you dig and smelt ore, it lifts you from starvation to power and contentment.” He laughed.“Very few people know this.All they know is what time and haste boiled them down to.” And above his pictures, he rapidly wrote the eleven Psychlo numeral symbols as they commonly appeared.They still bore the traces of the pictographs.“I’m very glad to know that,” said Jonnie.And he was amused by it.The Psychlos had been miners from the start! “I can do a little arithmetic in this system.” He decided to really push it.“Where I get hung up is the Psychlo force equations.” And that was no lie.They gave him headaches.Nothing ever balanced.Soth was looking at him very keenly.“I think you are digging for the teleportation formulas.”Jonnie shrugged.“We have a rig running.We are making rigs.”“Yes, I heard that,” said Soth.“That’s where all the new breathe-gas and goo-food came from.I heard there was a planet, Fobia, nobody could live on.” He was plainly puzzled.“Ah!” he exclaimed.“One of your scientists reevolved it in some other mathematics and you are trying to verify it against Psychlo equations.” He laughed and laughed.Jonnie gave him another bite of kerbango.“Ah, well.Not that it will do you much good.But it’s small wonder you can’t work it out.” He laughed again.“You’d have to be a native of Psychlo!”†________† For the earth and several other editions of this book, translation liberties have been taken throughout, but especially with the explanation that follows, due mainly to the temporary unavailability of print fonts which include Psychlo numbers and letters.—TranslatorHe laughed so hard he had to wipe his eyes.“Oh, well,” he said at last, “you already have teleportation so what’s the difference.” He took another big piece of paper and drew a huge circle on it.Then he had second thoughts and sat back and looked at Jonnie.“If I give you this,” said Soth, “what’s it worth?”“Money?” said Jonnie.“A separate dome, access to compound libraries and tools to experiment with computers.And not to be cross-fired elsewhere!”“All right,” said Jonnie.Soth made a fast list of what he had said.Then he added, “Breathe-gas and proper food for the rest of my life.I’m sorry to have to add this.But I’ve only ten years or so to go so it’s only ten years’ worth.I won’t add anything else.”Jonnie signed it.He even put a paw print on it, using his fingernails.Soth looked like he had lost ten years of age.With a flourish, Soth pulled the circle to him.Then he put another piece of paper on top of it.“Do you know anything about codes and ciphers? Cryptography? Well anyway, here is the Psychlo alphabet.” And he wrote it out.“And here are the Psychlo numerals.” And he wrote them under the letters and then started the numerals over again until there was one written under each letter.“Do you see, here, that each letter has a number value?”Jonnie said he did.Soth laid aside the top sheet and again addressed the big circle.“This,” said Soth impressively, indicating the circle, “is the perimeter of the Imperial Palace of Psychlo.” He made a series of small slashes around the circle.“These are the eleven gates.A lot of people even on Psychlo never knew they had names.But they do:“Going counterclockwise, the names of these gates are: ‘Angel’s Gate,’ ‘Betrayer’s Gate,’ ‘Devil’s Gate,’ ‘God’s Gate,’ ‘Heaven’s Gate,’ ‘Infernal Gate,’ ‘Monster’s Gate,’ ‘Nightmare Gate,’ ‘Quarrel’s Gate,’ ‘Regal Gate’ and ‘Traitor’s Gate.’ Eleven gates, each with a name.”He took a book, Force Equations off his shelf.“It doesn’t matter which types of equations in Psychlo higher math.They’re all the same.You mentioned ‘force equations’ so we’ll use those.No difference.”With a dig of his claw, he opened the book to the point where all the equations were summarized and pointed to the top one.“Now you see this B? You might think it is a symbol for something in Psychlo mathematics.But there is no B that represents anything mathematical except ‘Betrayer’s.’”He pulled the first paper back.“So where that B occurs, we see that the letter B has a number value of two.So we just have to add or subtract or whatever it says to do to B, the number two.“When we get to the second stage of the equation, there is no letter but a Psychlo mathematician knows you must take the second letter of ‘Betrayer’s,’ which is E and then look up the number value of E, which is five, and factor the second stage of the equation with five.Now you get the same equation to its third stage and a mathematician knows he has to factor it with the number value of T which is twenty.And so on.“If the letter in the original equation were I, then we would use its number value and follow right on down with the number values of the letters for ‘Infernal.’“You always have one of these letters in the first equation, so you always have the gate name.And you have to use it.When they put the equations together, they constructed them backward from the answer so a gate name would fit.Got it?”Jonnie got it.A code and cipher mathematics!No wonder nothing ever seemed to balance.This made even the original equations rigged.And add to that all the complexity of a base-eleven math and you had what would appear to any outsider to be an utter mess.He was glad he had the recorder running under his lapel.Completely aside from his being no native of Psychlo, the gate names themselves were weird.“I have to be honest with you,” said Soth.“I don’t know where I am getting all this impulse to be honest.But all this will be of limited use to you.”6Jonnie sat very still.Something else? You mean, he’d gotten all this way and he still wouldn’t attain it? But he didn’t speak.He waited.Soth fiddled a bit with his papers.He picked up the contract Jonnie had signed and then laid it down again.Obviously he was having qualms about the honesty of accepting it.“You have to understand how crazy they were on secrecy,” he said at length.“Although what I have given you applies to Psychlo math in general, there is another circumstance.When equations are applied to the calculation of teleportation, you won’t find all the answers in the texts.”Soth sighed.“The government was afraid of a lot of things.Among them was the possibility that Intergalactic Mining employees, out in some far planet, might get ideas or go into business for themselves.So the exact sequence in which you use the force equations is not revealed in the texts and I think there are dummy equations there as well.I could not work you out a console.”Jonnie objected, “The Chamco brothers seemed to be working on it!”“Oh, the Chamco brothers!” said Soth impatiently.“They might have monkeyed about.They might even have tried.But they wouldn’t know!”He swept a paw in the general direction of the other Psychlo dormitories.“These clods here,” he said with contempt, “could none of them build a console.They would know what I have told you and it would work for other things.But not consoles!”He looked at the contract longingly.Then he confronted Jonnie.“There was a special class of trainee at mine school
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