August 09, 2008

Let the Word Take Me p.9

last-minute pep talk. Those, at least, had been accompanied by real audio and video of the captive Gariniki. She was young and bright-scaled, but certainly an adult, because the orbiter's hidden recorders had captured her commenting on objects in her room. Patting the bed she whispered, "Yahara-mudi's nest of palm"; drawing one finger along the bottom of the sink it was, "In the desert Herremi could not see her face"; and testing the locked door, "Duro-mudi languished thirty days." Gariniya, the translator's nightmare – it was awesome.

"You might want to think of a phrase or two to demonstrate in case Officer Monroe asks," Father said. "Just don't forget, her judgment of you and our colony's future will be passed on to all the Allied Systems."

David winced. Somehow he had to keep his cool, not let on that they'd been backed into a corner. There was one major problem. He'd spent hours in the night trying to convince himself that Father would never actually kidnap a gecko – how could he face Officer Monroe bearing that kind of guilt? – but he just wasn't sure. "Father," he said. "Please tell me you didn't actually steal her from the protected Lands."

Father's face reddened, but he gave a short laugh. "Just the kind of concern I should expect from a colleague, I suppose. Well, don't worry, look at this." From beneath his seat he pulled an artifact

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