I peeled myself out of that reality and sat rubbing my temples for a moment. It took that long for me to realize that everyone was looking at me.

“Well?” Harrigan demanded. I sighed.

“It’s… complicated,” I replied.

“So make it uncomplicated, carto.”

“Normally, when I plot a course, it’s a Point-A-Point-B path. Here to there. Figure out where you are, where you want to go, compute the best route, put the coords into the system, jump.” I waved at the display. “This is different.”

“How so?” Harrigan actually looked interested now.

“These symbols are, in and of themselves, complete routing directions. What’s more, they’re dynamic. They’ll work no matter where you are in the universe.” I took a breath. “It’s a whole new way of doing cartography.”

“You’re saying—” Harrigan interjected.

“Wait. There’s more,” I said. He cocked an eyebrow. “These symbols, they’re not just routes. They’re actual communication, based on where things are in the galaxy. We’re looking at the first cartography-based language.”

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