Than’yhidre disembarked from her personal shuttle at Chennai spaceport, luggage in tow, smart- goggles protecting her eyes from both the noontide sun and the scrutiny of passersby as she headed for the information terminal for a databurst of local laws, customs, and languages to ease encounters with residents and other offworlders like her, there for pleasure or business. In her case, it was both, and this vacation, such as it be, was not easy to arrange despite her media contract specifically permitting it.
Her brain’s wetware drive plugged into the local planetary Net node by signal induction, updating her repertoire of languages, cultures, and local legal statutes. She made a point to practice her newly acquired Tamil to perfection on her first chance, but for now she’d have to go with what she had in fluency, which wasn’t that bad.
She had known for some time that she was not ethnic Kai’Siri, though she’d not revealed how much she did know to her adoptive family on Sirug, who were glad to be rid of her tenacity once they sent her to the Academy.
“Greetings! Are you Than’yhidre Dunori? I’m Meenakshi Sukhavati, your host.” Meenakshi looked professional in her formalwear, and seemed about in her late twenties. “Yes, I am she. Greetings!” Than’yhidre replied, her perfect fangs showing just enough of her otherness to be obvious, but not protruding over the lips as she smiled, and having little effect on her accent. She folded her hands in greeting as her host had done just seconds ago, for when on Terra, do as the Terrans do, or some-such.
Despite the Kai’Siri cosmetic surgery, Than’yhidre better resembled those on this part of the planet in skin tones and features, and she wore her lavender hair braided, over one shoulder, with not a strand where it shouldn’t be. She adjusted her smart-goggles a bit, as the two women exited from the spaceport gates to enter a waiting vehicle.
“So, what brings you to Terra?” Meenakshi inquired. “You could say I’m here for the fun and excitement, but also looking for something I’ve not known for a long time,” Than’yhidre replied, as the cabin of the small airborne repulsorlift craft grew suddenly quiet. “I’m looking for my name – I’m looking for who I was long ago, before I became who I am now.”
To be continued…