Teyata bounded across the tables. The skeleton hunched over the final table juddered as she passed, then made the impossible leap to the help counter. Her hands slapped down as she twisted her body in mid vault, allowing her to land behind the desk.
“Come on, Brad!”
Her smirk suggested she taunted him. He could have simply walked through the aisle and stopped beside her, but his pride refused to give her the satisfaction. Running a few steps, he leapt onto the first table. It wobbled beneath him as he steadied himself a moment before leaping to the next. Shifting under him, he bounded to the next, stumbling head on, awkwardly making his way along the row.
Teyata laughed the entire way. When Brad overbalanced on the final table, it came crashing down, causing Teyata to break into hysterics.
I’m glad you’re amused.
He didn’t attempt to make the final leap to the counter. Instead, he walked awkwardly behind it, and had to endure Teyata’s laughter until it abated.
“You run like a sick skelp,” she said.
“How does this work?” he said angrily.
“Ooooh, the man-kitten’s sulking.”
Still giggling, she poised her finger over a button on the desk’s console.
“You have to press ‘one.”
In truth, the button said “on,” telling Brad she couldn’t read. Lights illumined the console.
“Then you press two,” she said.
Curious to confirm his suspicions, he followed her finger until it came to rest on a second button, labelled – activate holographic books.
She pointed. “Look!”
Orange columns of light swirled above the discs on the reading tables.
“Come on,” she said excitedly, already leaping over the counter.
She stopped at one of the desks as Brad followed.
“I’ll show you what to do,” she said.
Brad smiled fondly as he took a seat beside her. He knew how to use holographic books, but it seemed important to Teyata to show him what she’d learned. Patiently he waited, as she tapped one button, then another.
“No, no, that’s not the right one,” she said.
Another jab with her finger, resulted in her growling with swishing tail.
She shot him an angry look.
“You don’t have to do this manually.”
Her brows furrowed.
“What I mean is; you don’t have to push buttons. It can be voice operated. Let me show you.”
He shuffled his seat in front of the disc and leaned toward the condenser microphone.
“Please show me relevant information to cats; preferably tomcats.”
“The information you’ve requested is quite extensive. Would you prefer documentation on cats only relevant to your local region?” said a tinny voice.
A grey tabby cat, swirled from the disc so solid that Teyata watched it keenly.
“Now you ask it something,” said Brad. “This computer is a reference book.”
She leaned forward. “Show me the green thing.”
“I will need more information,” said the disc.
“It’s got round feet.”
“I will need more information.”
Teyata growled, then turned to Brad.
“What was the thing we tried to pick up when we were running?”