August 05, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.5

since the Garini Provisional Colonists had been the first to inform the Systems about Garini's biochemical wealth, it would be their own fault.

Father was still back on Systems functionaries. "This Monroe's a meddler," he said. "Wrecked my breakthrough just as I had it in my grasp, and now she's forcing me to extreme methods."

"Wait a minute – breakthrough? What kind?" Father had always been selfish about sharing exciting data that might revive his gradually waning academic reputation. "Did you hear a story?"

"It's a Gariniki I met recently outside the Lands," said Father. "She's being hosted on the orbiter right now. I'd hoped for progress, but now Monroe's gone and spooked her with a machine-translator so she hides in the bed alcove every time I come in."

David stood aghast. "Father – you kidnapped a gecko?"

"Of course not! All I did was intercept her and arrange for us to talk privately. You know how badly we need a new approach. Monroe was the one who decided she should visit the orbiter as some kind of emissary, and now this is turning into a disaster." Father tugged at his short beard. "Somebody has to get through to her, and you're the only one left."

David flushed with excitement. "Me?"

"Your Gariniya is much more natural-sounding than mine, anyway."

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