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   Chapter 3
   ...I was sitting at the wall pondering the situation. I did not like it one bit. When I lost consciousness I was certainly still in the basement. I wake up and now I'm god knows where. One thing certain: people usually don't get teleported being struck by electricity - the custom is to just scream, burn and die. This probably meant that discharge was but a piece of the puzzle. Could my work trigger something within the factory? It was, after all, a military facility. Disused, true, and for decades also, but still military. Probably even secret laboratory, some bits of info I had indicated that this was more than just a baseless rumor. Seemed like it was really the case - the room, or rather a deck, I found suited an alien spaceship or an orbital station much more than some basement. The... thing I discovered on the control seat only proved it further...
   Warily, I approached the seat from the side, and nearly got a heart attack realizing what it hid from my view. Later, when I calmed my nerves a little and came back (run away first, think later) I understood that the grinning monster I found was actually a mummified body of a creature, rather closely resembling a human. I say "resembling", partly because it had slight differencies in the structure of its hands, but mostly because humans rarely have a third eye socket in their skulls, complete with a mummified, if a bit unconcerning, eye in it. Strangely, clothes of this rotten body were not damaged at all, the material must have been incredibly durable. On its head, the creature had a simple diadem. For next thirty minutes or so I was just absent mindedly staring at the corpse. When, I came to my senses I went to check the equipement lined along the walls which turned out to be totally unrecognizeable. I'm a good hardware specialist, but this was not like anything I worked with. It was all completely metallic and covered with icons much like the ones that decorated the walls. The metal was strange too. Most likely it was not just covering the insides but served its own purpose. I tried scratching it with a knife but this achieved nothing. After wandering around the deck some more I returned to the seat and the panel near it. This was metallic as well with no buttons to press or visual indicators. Inspecting it closer for a while I decided that the icons were not randomly placed at all. Actually, the way they were grouped and repeated at places strongly indicated that creators of this room probably had pictographic writing system. I was not able to make any sense of it though, so I just sat to think some more.
   So, lets think. I have numerous options available to explore. First - I can search the station. Or whatever it is. Until I find out what it really is any name will do. The problem here - undefined danger. Who knows what dwells in these corridors. Second - I can search the deck some more. With some luck I might be able to figure something out. The downside - undefined time. I don't know if I even manage to find anything and I don't have any food with me too. At least hunger is not the problem now. Be it water I drank or my nerves being too tense - I don't want to eat so far. Which is well, probably. Who knows if my body doesn't need anything or just fails to communicate it to me... Hmmm, ok, I'll set my research tools to process the information I have here and while they're working I'll explore around, just not too far. Good thing I have my sub-notebook. It has all research data and software our company developed over years, including my own code and programs, which, by the way, include some very good linguistic analyzers.
   As mentioned earlier, our work was not limited to commercial forecasting. Once, a client contacted us to help him find the fortune of his dead relative. The only key to it being a note with some ciphered text left by the geezer just before he died. As it happened, it was written not in code, but in a language of a long extinct civilization and the dead scientist was one of the very few people who could actually read it. Some wicked post-mortem humor indeed. Would've worked, probably, if the fortune was smaller and the percent promised to us less tempting. Long story short - we took our analytic software and within a few months adjusted it for the task. Some algorithms we just took from the internet, for others, had to consult specialists. After all was ready we run the text through the program. It hacked the language in a week. As expected, it contained the bank accounts and access data. The client was overjoyed and even paid us an extra. As it turned out, he had already tried to consult his relatives colleagues prior to coming to us, but had got turned down - they respected the will of the scientist to not leave him anything. It was a rather cruel prank to play but he, probably, had his reasons. The funny thing: it took two years for his team to crack this dead language. We managed the same four times faster. Something to be really proud of. We did have a supercomputer which they lacked, the fact that our company preferred to keep secret, but without our software it won't have helped. My sub-notebook is, of course, nowhere near the computer we used, but has enough power I guess, it's much, much better than a buddy-comp anyway. The only problem is the time it might take. I guess I'm lucky I changed the power cell to a newly developed radioactive type. The technology is only two years old but the results are already quite impressive - they promise it'll work for decades. Though I certainly don't want to check this myself...
   The mummy, I decided to leave alone, didn't want to touch it unless necessary. Taking the notebook from my bag I left it to boot and went to capture panoramic view of writings on the walls. Pictures on the equipement were next. I needed as much as I could find to have any hope of deciphering anything.
   When I came back, I found my notebook ready to work. The analytic software and corresponding linguistic modules needed adjustments for the task though, which I expected would take quite some time. Which it dit - it took my attention for the next few hours, the only breaks I made were to drink some more water, to set it right and be sure test cases work as supposed. Then, I uploaded the images of the writings I got and spent a few more hours converting them to the software's input format. By the time I was finished my legs and neck were so numb that I barely managed to get up to do some excercies. Taking care of that, I returned and started the deciphering process. With no estimate of how much time it might take, I decided that I could just leave it be and do something useful meanwhile. After I had my deserved eight hours of sleep, I'd go check the nearest corridors for anything interesting or, who knows, useful. 'Good plan', I thought, 'especially the first part', which I followed without further delay.
   Sleeping in one room with a corpse didn't exactly feel comfortable, but,given the circumstances, I much preferred the company of the dead here, to the company of whatever might live in the corridors. At least the dead don't bite. I was too tired anyway so I dozed off easily.

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