” Beep, beep,” his blue lights flashed, then his black eyes blinked, twice.
“Hello,” I said, warmly, ” how are you? ”
After a long pause, he slowly said, ” I am Mirza. I speak English, German, all Neo-Latin languages, Russian and Hindi, Sino-Tibetan languages, including Mandarin and Cantonese, Semitic languages and Bantu languages.” And then he added, ” I am fine.”
” Wow, that’s impressive.” I nodded. ” tutto bene, allora?”
“Si,” and then he said, ” Italian is not your best language. What other languages do you speak?”
” Uh, a little French and Mandarin,” I quickly added, “but they are also not my best languages.”
He nodded. Then he looked down his arms. “What am I holding?”
” They’re called nunchaku, I think. ”
I watched him study them. He said, ” Nunchaku is a traditional Okinawan weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end with a short chain or rope. It was popularized by Bruce Lee in his movies.” And he added quietly, ” cool. ”
He struggled a bit with them at first, but within five or maybe ten minutes, he was skillfully swinging them around his head and behind his back, as he danced around the table and even kicked a few times. He narrowly missed my head twice, and after the third time, I caught a nunchaku in mid-air and said, “look, you’re going to promise me one thing,”
” : : ” (His eyes blinked twice.)
” You will only use them for Good,” I said, ” and you will never hurt a soul. ”
” Those are two things,” he said.
I raised an eyebrow. “Okay, promise me those two things.”
” I promise.” He then added, ” you do know that my nunchaku is made of yarn and felt?”
I blinked at him twice. He’s a smart one, this Mirza.