That sense of being investigated pressed in on us again, and this time it was invasive. The intensity of the probing made my head swim, and for a few brief minutes I lost all sense of time and location.

The moment passed, and I shook my head to clear my senses. I could see that it had affected the others, too. One or two had hands over their mouths. Even Harrigan looked a bit green.

It was Security Chief Furlough who spoke next. “What the hell?” He sounded like he was trying not to vomit. I knew how he felt.

“We’re not alone here,” I replied. “We haven’t been since we jumped in.”

“Wherever here is,” I heard someone mutter.

“Trouble is, it doesn’t know how to communicate with us. I think this,” I waved at the symbols on the screen, “is its best attempt to find a common ground.”

Harrigan’s eyes focused on me. “And can you interpret?”

“I think so. It’s complicated, and we’re probably going to need to jump again. The computer needs spatial data in order to translate.”

Harrigan nodded. “Make it so.”

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