Tasida: "My brother and I were born holding hands. My mother says so, his father denies it. I sometimes think I took the first small step out of the womb."
Tasida Fallaby is in fact two years and seven months older than her brother Standard.
Tasida: "He deferred to me. This of course contradicts what might be read on our birth certificates. But then I have no patience with bureaucracies. It's water off a duck's back to them."
Apart from a certain thickening of the exterior muscles, the Violent Unknown Event has only modified Tasida's deep interior, leaving her exterior unmolested and encouraging her belief in Naturalism.
Tasida: "When I was fifteen, my hair was longer than his, but he was taller. It didn't matter. He got over it."
The Directory credits Tasida with one partially collapsed lung, a singing tinnitus, black and white vision, a doubling of the menstrual cycle, and, in contrast to her brother, a twisting of the intestine into tighter coils, so that Tasida suffers intense cramps and often has 'malodorous' breath. 'Malodorous' is a translation of the adjective that she used in the autobiography she presented to the VUE Commission to counteract the unimaginative statistics she was sure to find describing her in the VUE Directory. Tasida's autobiography runs to more than three hundred pages and is written in Curdine though the Directory has registered her as a speaker in Katan. At Tasida's insistence the autobiography was read aloud for the benefit of the Commission who obligingly recorded the whole, taking a greater part of a day to do so.
Tasida: "I married Messenger, after my great disappointment. I took to nursing like a duck takes to water. Messenger married me for it. But as time went on I realized that he was too interested in the clothing industry. He was even selling stockings to my friend Sanchia. I told him to stop making his business-interests break up our relationship."
Tasida has painstakingly learnt a mechanical Curdine so that she might talk to her brother. Since he only wanted to talk about birds, she has made sure that she at least pronounced ornithological terms with an exactness suggesting enthusiasm.
Tasida: "It is essential that my version of the facts be taken into account..."
Curdine, notorious for ambiguity, is certainly antipathetic to being spoken mechanically. Tasida therefore spoke it with some courage, if not rashness. Her halting delivery and blunt pronunciation contained layers of unconscious innuendo, and the ambiguous imagery had a hazardous relevance.
Tasida: "...since a mere list of Commission Statistics compiled by production assistants who don't know a ruff from a decorated neckband, it's bound to be unacceptable, and in this respect, Standard is bound to agree."
The Falls Biographies
Constance Ortuist Fallaburr
Appis (Arris) Fallabus
Ipson & Pulat Fallari
Bird Gaspara Fallicutt
Sallis Pino Fallpinio
Erhaus Bewler Falluper