“He’s cool, just a little nervous.” Lanie could see him wringing his paws out of the corner of her eye. “Hey, I could use some help. I need to buy a bunch of stuff and I’m kinda familiar with smaller amounts of the money here, but Ku gave me some coins I have never seen before.” Lanie said as she pulled some coins from the small pouch she had stowed down her shirt.
Kondelk’s eyes lit up instantly and he shoved Lanie into a corner, “Don’t go flashing those around! That’s a lot of money! Put it away!”
She did as he asked, “That’s why I came to you. Will you help me?”
“They have places on Earth that you can put your pay until you need it, right?”
“Ya like that, that’s where we are going first. I can’t believe Ku just let you run around with this!”
Kondelk took her to their version of an Earth bank, which was pretty much the same except the clientele was a little different. They gave her a T-Card and a U-card. The T-card could be used on Tentalu and the U-card could be used anywhere else in the Universe, except probably Earth… The U-card required an extra few moments to be approved when used, but the T-card was instant. The card was tied by DNA to the holder. Lanie was happy to find out all she had to do was spit in a vessel to give them a DNA sample. She was also happy to find out that Ku had indeed been generous, and she was ready to go shopping.
Kondelk tagged along to make sure Lanie was not taken advantage of. Many times he side glanced at Lanie’s shoulder to find One staring at him suspiciously. He shrugged his shoulders and with palms up, he mouthed the question “What?” One merely shook his head and looked away. Minutes later Kondelk would find One looking at him again.
“Lanie, One doesn’t like me.” Kondelk whined.
“Don’t be silly, he doesn’t even know you!” And then she said to One. “It’s okay buddy, Kondelk’s a good guy.”
After she spoke to One, he covertly kept watch on Kondelk. Apparently it wasn’t noticed by Kondelk, and the shopping trip continued. The unlikely group of three visited almost every store on the main strip and a few that Kondelk recommended that had better prices that were not in the business district. Lastly, Lanie took out the piece of paper that Ku gave her with the address of the business that would install the universal translator for her eyes allowing her to read any language.
Standing in front of the building, Lanie felt a little nervous. They all walked in and the person at the counter took some information from Lanie, After swiping her T-Card, he led her to the back of the store. He was one of the human lookalikes, except his skin was yellow with large brown spots. Lanie turned around to look back at One and Kondelk, she had tried to get One to sit on Kondelk’s shoulder, but he refused. One sat in a corner with his arms folded and his nose in the air, Kondelk looked worried and was wringing his hands as Lanie waved to him before she was led into a room.
The person who performed the installation was soft spoken and polite and of the same species as the counter person. He helped her into a chair and placed a device over her eyes, it resembled a visor with a sun shield. Lanie felt a tingling in her eye sockets, but no pain.
“Please close your eyes.” Said the one who would install the device.
Lanie felt him remove the visor, and she sat very still. After a moment she was told to open her eyes. He handed her a book, and she was able to read the words easily. She looked up smiling.
“I can read every word!”
Helping her out of the chair, she was led to the outer room of the business. Lanie found One still in the corner, chanting, and Kondelk right where she left him, still looking worried and wringing his hands.
“Lanie? How’d it go, you okay?”
“Yes Kondelk, I’m fine, it was painless.”
One had scampered over to her, climbed her leg and made his way to her shoulder. He leaned over looked at her through slitted eyes. “Looks okay I guess.”
“You guess? How can you tell? I suppose you’re going to tell me you know how to install these devices.”
“Let’s just say I could have saved you some money.”
Lanie laughed and shook her head, “You never cease to amaze me One.”
“What you don’t believe me?”
“Of course I do!” She rolled her eyes and made a face at Kondelk, who nodded knowingly.
“I saw that!” One stomped his foot.
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry,”
They stopped and had some dinner together as Lanie’s treat, and then it was time for her to take One home. She was having a conversation with Kondelk on etiquette when visiting other planets, when she looked over and saw One asleep on his plate. Poor little One, it had been a big day for him with no naps. Kondelk gathered most of the packages, and Lanie gently removed One from the plate he was somewhat stuck to.
Arriving home, she had Kondelk unpack the fluffy little blue colored bed she bought for One, and laid him in it. He never woke once. Thanking Kondelk for all his help, she closed the door as he left. Leaning against the closed door she looked at One asleep in his new bed, she smiled and her eyes scanned the room, reflecting for a moment on how far she had come from the scared little girl who once met an alien.
That was when she saw the message light blinking. It was probably Ku… She walked slowly across the room and pressed the button.
“Lanie, I can’t believe I’m calling you. More than that, I can’t believe I’m calling you at your apartment on Tentalu.”
There was a pause but she recognized the voice and she stood frozen in place.