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"Ee-ouk," muttered Dave. "Why'd I get saddled with this? I wasn't even in that damn bar fight."

"You got both arms broken. You need a helper monkey."

"The Faiize is not an ape. It is, for the most part, a cohesive biosilicate mass, capable of changing its form to any number of basic configurations."

Dave looked to Doc for a translation.

"They made it a shapeshifter. When they say 'fully adaptable', they mean it."

"Ee-ouk," muttered Dave.

The creature stood perfectly motionless. Not even moving its plastic eyes to pay attention to the people talking about it. It didn't need lungs, so it didn't appear to breathe.

The Lizard, unheeded, was prattling on about features and bonus points.

"All right, all right," growled Doc. "You already sold it to the company, you don't need to sell it to us. Get goin' while the getting's good, or you'll be stuck with us for half a month."

The Lizard, thank whatever Gods were listening, took the hint and absconded.

Dave didn't get much time to sigh in relief, because Doc handed him a deceptively slim datareader, also emblazoned with the stylized sunrise wave logo of Wave of the Future.

Dave should have known that he was in trouble when the manual spent a minute or three searching for updates. He definitely guessed that the Faiize known as Rael was trouble when he realized that the index of the manual had an index all of its own.

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