Many Worlds Chapter 66
Jules found that actually learning a new language was hard. That was to be expected, but it also didn’t help that there was no guide between their languages. Learning ancient Egyptian from the Rosetta stone apparently took decades, working from known languages. However, for this language they didn’t have any known languages to work from. That didn’t mean it would take longer, since they had spoken instructional videos. That also didn’t mean that the language was easy, or that the human (or Uesmethi) tongue was good at pronouncing it.
After a few days, Jules and the group had pretty well determined that there were no videos at this facility that took place after the accident. As far as they could tell, there weren’t any connections to other facilities, so that was about all they could determine. That didn’t mean that the facilities weren’t connected, just that they couldn’t figure out how to use that function if it existed. They still only barely understood the language, and perhaps there were methods of navigation that they were completely unaware of. It wouldn’t be surprising, even with special powers helping Robert to somewhat understand what was going on.
The group eventually found the time to return back to the area around Fesmoilia, where they were more comfortable. The engineering facility, if that is what it was, had little use to them at the current time. They didn’t want to risk activating something in a dangerous manner, or possibly using up materials that were scarce, if they could even make anything happen. It would be better to return later.
They returned to the first facility they had explored. That was the library, or archive… but also somewhat of a living space. Most of the instructional videos on it had already been recorded, though crudely with cameras. After all, it wasn’t like they could just download the videos to their pocket computers. That would require both a method of transfer that both pieces of technology shared, as well as a storage method, and even basic fundamentals of the system structure. It was possible there was some way to convert them, quite some way off, once people understood the underlying structure, but that would take years at minimum. So, they recorded with cameras, which served the function adequately.
Professor Merkot, who was basically running the facility, gave the group some time at the computer to search for more videos. After all, he was also interested in seeing what they could find. He had remained in the small sections where he was comfortable navigating- the text lookup, and the videos for children. He didn’t really know how to get anywhere else safely, and was content to study the language for the moment. However, since Robert was now somewhat confident, he was given a chance.
Although they had taken detailed notes on what were probably the names or details about the videos, it wasn’t easy to look up if there was anything similar. Certainly, any of them could have used their computers to search for anything containing a keyword and found it in moments, but they didn’t know how to properly search these computers, nor did they know the right keywords. However, everyone had a few different ideas. Thus, they took turns, generally working until they got frustrated with lack of progress.
In the end, it was Jules who first stumbled onto something. He couldn’t even say he found it, because it was definitely stumbling and on accident. However, in the end he got results, so that was good enough. He had reached something, though he wasn’t sure exactly what. However, it was different from what had previously been displayed. He frowned. If only he understood the language better. He knew bits and pieces… and everyone around him knew tiny bits. Professor Merkot was the only one who had memorized the “alphabet”, and had grown rather curious as to why the adventures failed to learn this particular language quickly. However, they just said that they didn’t know, though some of them did know. It was because Herbert… well, the system wasn’t helping them learn.
Jules pondered. He stared at the screen. Then he turned to Douglas, who was next to him. “Hey, I’m going to try something.”
“Umm… okay?” Jules’ brow furrowed for a moment. “What’s this?”
“Can you try selecting yes?”
Jules went around and talked to everyone else who was nearby. In front of Professor Merkot, he frowned. “Umm, can you share what you have learned about the language with me?”
“Of course. I have already shared the files.”
“I know, but I mean… I can’t really describe it but… more like directly what you know.”
“Certainly. Where should I start?”
Jules concentrated. Then, his face grew pained for a few moments, as his head hurt. “Actually, I should be fine for now. Thank you.”
Professor Merkot looked at him walk away and shook his head. “They’re all crazy. At least it’s the good kind.”
Jules looked at the screen. Now, he recognized all of the characters. Sort of. All of the information in his head was all jumbled around, or maybe in a big pile. It wasn’t organized. Instead, it was just… information. Jules took some time to sort everything his head. It wasn’t quite like literally putting books on a shelf… but it felt like it. Jules hadn’t really thought that what he tried would work… but it had. Before, he had shared the Uesmethi language with Mary. However, he had learned that with the help of the system and Herbert. Now, he did something like the reverse. He learned the bits and pieces that other people knew. However, the reverse process, possibly because it was done on his own, wasn’t as good. Jules found that he sort of had duplicates of some information. They weren’t even memories, really. Instead, he knew the sound a certain letter made… And then he knew it again in a slightly different manner. However, none of it felt quite real, because he didn’t have any real memories associated with the knowledge. It was almost like it was being read to him from within his head rather than being something he knew.
Jules finished his turn on the computer and let Robert try to figure out something from where it was. He wasn’t able to make any progress, because his head couldn’t really think straight right now. He sat down by himself and continued the sorting process. Later, after what seemed to be a few hours, he had everything settled down. It still felt somewhat strange, but he now had a very basic grasp of the language. Though, to be fair, it was approximately on par with Professor Merkot, who had been the one who devoted the most time. Jules thought it was probably actually a bit less, since he only had information in his head, and no real practice. However, he smiled to himself. He was starting to figure out how many things he could do with his ability. Though… he held his aching head in his hands. He thought it was best if he was somewhat careful with pushing his limits. Pushing a muscle too far could cause it to collapse… how about a mind? Maybe he would “just” die in the “game”… but he didn’t think it would be that convenient. Perhaps in the future he should limit the speed at which he absorbed information, and come up with other safeguards.