August 12, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.12

"I thought I told you to act professionally," he said. "You're not just David here. You're my son, and the representative of five thousand people on Garini Base."

"I'm sorry."

"And when you go in there, you're a representative of the Allied Systems, too."

"Father," said David. "Do you think being juvenile can really help me? You want me to use signs?"

Father shrugged. "We've got three days," he said, herding him through the door. "Do whatever works."

As David entered, the gecko-girl leapt to the bed alcove and backed tail first up the wall, toe-claws digging hard into its pliant surface.

David watched her breathlessly. She was a creature of jewels against the blandness of the molded softform. Her brilliant green tail curled and uncurled above her head; her huge amber eyes did not blink. After all these years, here he was, finally face to face with a real Gariniki.

He had nothing to say.

How could he use words, knowing she would close herself off? But how could he use gestures, knowing he'd demote himself to the social position of a child? Nervously, he pushed up his glasses and tugged at his homemade grazer-leather vest.

The gecko-girl's flicking tail slowed somewhat at that; she

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