Some wear gold; some wear blue;
Some wear red while watchest you.
Some are brown; some are yellow.
All aboard would save their fellow.

Flights of fancy, flights of risk,
Flights beyond our orb'ting disc.
No intervention can be allowed
If true to us our pledge be vowed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, I see several things, but I don't know how to put them together yet. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 19 '20 at 0:31

The verse at the start clearly seems to point to

Star Trek

and the barcodes

are in the Code128 format; the first says **ogrse` and the second says **lnpopr,. Perhaps it's significant that these start with stars? There's an extra blob below the first barcode, in the middle of the o; presumably that has significance too.

[EDITED to add:]

I suspect that the online barcode decoder I used may have a defect; Chowzen's comments suggest that the first is meant to say ieogrse and the second lvlnpopr.

The title

suggests "Insufficient data", a thing Mr Spock might well say (and indeed has done on multiple occasions); there's also a character called Data in some Star Trek series.


the differing-by-one lengths suggest interleaving, giving us (including the nonalphabetic characters, though I think they may just be distraction) ****LONGPROSPER`,

which is clearly referring to

the Vulcan salutation "Live long and prosper", something we all seem at risk of failing to do in these difficult times.

[EDITED to add:]

See the earlier edited amendment above; I think the asterisks at the start should actually say LIVE and the punctuation characters at the end should not be there. That would give us a message containing LIVE, LONG, and PROSPER :-).

I'm not sure whether there's more we're supposed to do.

I haven't really made any use of that blob below the first barcode, and the "final" message here is still a little cryptic.

[EDITED to add:]

Apparently the blob was an accident. And of course if those extra letters are there at the start, the message is not nearly so cryptic.

  • $\begingroup$ After encoding the multi-tiered phrase rot13(yvir ybat cebfcre), and reading your answer, I checked it again and don't know why your interpretation is different from what I intended. This is certainly correct. (The "blob" is just me badly cropping the image down, leaving remnants of the human-readable characters in the barcode image). The title is part of a great quote from Spock: rot13("Vafhssvpvrag snpgf nyjnlf vaivgr qnatre.") $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Mar 19 '20 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder whether the online barcode decoder I used has a defect; perhaps those asterisks are not really asterisks. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 19 '20 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ Asterisks are often found as indicators of a barcode's symbology. They weren't employed, Captain. $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Mar 19 '20 at 12:29

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