“Hiro!” I just finished reading the letter from the Planetary Science Agency. “Hiro?” He comes from the lab with a concerned expression. He looks at the paper on my hands, then to me, and I smile. He smiles also. His expression speaks of complete happiness.
He wears the lab robe and the goggles we use when we are cleaning samples. The excavation we’re working on is not giving us espectacular results, that is, we didn’t find another watch, but at least we found rotten wheels that appear to have inscriptions on the mysterious language we’re not able to decipher. Hiro is carefully copying all the signs on his notebook and on our blackboard. The blackboard is working as a statistical graph: we add a new symbol when we find it, but if it was already there, we make a mark below. So if the language is human, we may be able to infer some meaning from the frequency of the symbols. Yes, a human language can be reduced to patterns, as far as I know. Up to now, we found only 32 letters, that may mean that the alphabet, when finished, is not pictographic but fonetic, so we will, at one point, have it all. Pity that we don’t have the computers to process all the information on it. Or better said, we don’t have it here.
He comes to me, still without speaking, with calmed steps. When he’s by my side, goggles on his forehead, he tries politely to look over the paper. His movements are smooth, like flowing with hot air that surrounds us at this moment. He goes by my side, to a point he may be able to read it all. I show him the letter, and the stamp of the PSA, but I don’t hand it to him. A professor needs to keep his distance, despite of how good his student is. But Hiro knows how to keep the distances, he seems to be OK with them. I tell him the short version.
“We got it, Hiro. All of it. But we need to pick it up. Prepare your luggage and collect your money, son, we need to go to kernel Rome.”