Zorb flinched as he ran through the obscuration field hiding his saucer. He knew the saucer was there, if only he ran right at the thing he didn't know humans called a "tree," but he would never have came in running at that pace under anything other than duress.
"It's chasing me!" he yelled as he bounded up the ramp. At the top, Zorb dropped a slender cylinder and poked the button to lift the ramp with the long digits freed of their cargo. He cursed the damage to his shielding that kept him from leaving the planet. Air whistled in and out of his breath slits as he made sensor measurements around the saucer, hoping his pursuer had lost his trail. He watched through the external cameras as the creature wandered near his craft. Orb could see now that it was smaller than the two specimen Suxi had in his cargo hold. Its eyes flitted over his ship, unseeing.
Two large cylinders, one labeled "NACHO CHEESE SAUCE" and the other reading "GREEN BEANS," rested in Zorb's other long limb. Zorb couldn't read English, but he knew enough about alien commissaries to recognize possible foodstuffs when he saw them. Hopefully Suxi's pets would like whatever was in the cylinders. Where was Suxi, anyway? Once the alien outside had left the view of his cameras, Zorb set off to find Suxi.
She wasn't in her quarters, nor was she in the cockpit. He checked those two locations first, mostly on principle. Of course Suxi was outside the cargo hold, watching her specimens through the viewer. "I think they're communicating using vocalizations!" Suxi told the approaching saucer pilot without looking at him.
"Well, bully for them, I guess," Zorb answered. "I was nearly captured by one of the locals as I was getting these." He held up the two stolen canisters. Suxi tore her eyes away from the view screen.
"What are those?" The smooth gray skin between her eye bulges wrinkled with doubt over what she was seeing.
"I found these in a building that looked like some kind of commissary, so I think they contain food . . . at least what they think is food." All three of Zorb's hearts were beating fast as he looked at his passenger. "Plus, I was almost captured by one of their friends."
Suxi looked at the canisters with quizzical skepticism. "You think there's food in there?"
"Yes, I think there's food in there, if we can figure out how to get them open. Did I mention that I was almost captured by one of the natives?"
Suxi stepped close and placed her delicate digits upon Zorb's thorax. "You're very brave. Thank you, Zorb."
"You're welcome, Suxi. Let's see if I've got a tool that can open these somewhere around here."
Suxi stroked Zorb's breathing slits. "You really are my hero," she told him.
Ready for the next part? Here's Chapter 11(ish)
Need to catch up? Here's Chapter 9(ish)