Vera spent most of the evening trying to puzzle out the meaning of the book. Knowing the meaning of barnitukku helped some but not as much as he hoped. She was able to puzzle out a few articles and words here and there or at least she thought she had, but not enough to make any sense of the book.

She was good with languages but not an expert at least not by the standards of her consultancy. So she decided to ask Abebi one of the linguistic specialists to take a look. She picked one page from early in the book and copied out in an email and sent it saying it was a piece of tertiary evidence Vera was working on. It wasn’t a lie. Tertiary evidence meant things not directly related to a job but provided by the client. That
s exactly what the book was.

Abebi loved a challenge and enthusiastically replied that she’d give it a close look.

The next day Abebi came into Vera’s office and tossed a sheet of paper on her desk.

“What’s this?” vera asked.

“That is my finest work. Where did you get that page? You don’t have to answer of course but man. That was tough. And you know I like tough but that was TOUGH.”

Vera looked at the paper. The left half had the original text from the book vera had copied out. The other side had the following translation.

“And [[Vanka]] despaired. She knowingly fled to the side, crying (as) she walked.

Before she could be gone, great [[Melarx]] found her in her hiding place.

He spoke to her and told her to follow for they (were) ((saved? discovered?))

The eight ((besides her?)) gathered by a stone wall at the mountain.

‘This (is) our grave,’ said Vanka

‘This (is) not our grave. Avez found it.’ said Melarx.

Avez disappeared into the wall. Vanka (was)surprised.

Melarx asked ((them? her?)) to follow. A thin crack in the wall let them in to the ((ravine? place of safety?)).

The nine gathered inside. They looked at Vanka.

Vanka told them, ’This is ours. We will keep it secret. But we will also keep our knowledge the same as the others. We (will) not without knowledge be torn(??) again.

Each of the nine made their (duties? tasks?) and worked…”

“Wow,” said Vera. “Thank you. Did you figure out what language it is?”

“No,” said Abebi. “That’s why it’s such a sloppy job. At least sloppy for me. There’s elements of Basque, Kartvelian and Dravidianmaybe some Altaic or Uralics nut nothing Indo-European. It’s weird. It almost looks like a Conlang.”

“Like Klingon?”

“It’s got more in common with Klingon than most other languages,” Abebi laughed.

“Well thank you so much. This is a big help!”

“No thank you. That was fun, as hard as it was. And you know I never ask but in this case, if you ever can share more about it let me know. Because I would have questions.”

That worried Vera. She felt she shouldn’t attract attention and Abebi even hinting at crossing the confidentiality rules they all strictly respected made her nervous. Abebi was never like that.

Vera laughed. “You bet,” was alls he managed.

Abebi nodded and Vera relaxed a little. She wasn’t going to push it. “See you at lunch?”

“Sounds great! Los Tacos?”

“Followed by Doughnuttery as always,” Abebi grinned.

That was their joke. They were always too stuffed after Los Tacos to actually go for donuts.