Bologna and Vanilla
by Lesley L. Smith
"Your cold shouldn't preclude you going down to the planet, Liam," the Doc said.
Peppermint candy, chocolate milk. I was used to tasting words, or more specifically, meanings.
"The captain's nervous, " he continued. "She's afraid something will mess up first contact." We were orbiting Gliese 581-g and our ship's probe had detected signs of civilization. We were the only humans in the area, so we were tasked with meeting the neighbors.
Major Munch cereal, and scrambled eggs. I didn't react other than a sniffle. The Doc knew I had a cold, but didn't know I also had lexical-gustatory synesthesia. It was weird to experience tastes through my synesthesia when I couldn't taste them the regular way because of my cold.
The captain'd put me on the maybe list, which was crazy since I was the communications/linguistics expert on board. I needed to be on this mission. I'd been waiting my whole life for a chance like this. "What does she think I'm gonna do? Cough on someone? Anything you can do to put in a good word I'd appreciate. Anything."