Chapter 7(ish)

Zorb

"I am not going to collect food for your pets." Zorb tried to look adamant, even though he fully realized that ultimately he would, indeed, leave the saucer and try to find something for Suxi's specimens to eat.

"But, look at them, Zorb! They're almost cute!" Zorb thought they looked more pasty than cute, he also knew he wasn't an exozoologist. Zorb tried to ignore the creatures huddling behind their vehicle. Suxi pointed her light on them, but the two made no response. Suxi stroked Zorb's ocular orbits as she beseeched him. "We don't know how long they can go without food. Please, Zorb?"

Zorb couldn't quite bring himself to withdraw from Suxi's touch. "The problem," he said, " is that we don't know what they eat. I can't just bring them one of everything edible on this planet to see what they like."

Suxi leaned in toward him, making Zorb keenly aware of her breath slits near his. "Can we try a few things, maybe? Please, Zorb?"

Zorb sighed in resignation. Suxi shivered and drew even nearer as he exhaled through his chest onto her oh-so-near breath slits. "I can try, but I don't know if it will work."

"Oh, thank you, Zorb!" Suxi brushed her mouth orifice against his high cheek, and he forgot for a moment that she was a fancy intellectual.

Zorb clamored out of his saucer into the planet's night. First he gathered nearby vegetation and even a dead animal of some kind, but when he and Suxi approached the pair with his gift, the two specimens merely groped around their vehicle in retreat. Even when Suxi and Zorb backed away, the creatures were not interested in the offering.

"Based upon this technology," Suxi pointed her light at the vehicle, "I suspect that they require processing of their nourishment."

"Okay, how do you propose I find them some processed nourishment?" Zorb had worried it would come to trying to acquire food from the natives. Interacting with primitive natives was how private transit saucer pilots came to bad ends.

"Well," Suxi said, "they piloted that thing from somewhere, and it's so primitive, I'm sure it can't have much range. Maybe there are food reserves nearby you could access?"

"Yeah," Zorb answered, "and maybe those food reserves are guarded by some others like those, ready to capture a visitor from another planet? Remember, to them we are the aliens."

"I know it's dangerous, Zorb, but what else can we do?" Suxi's large eyes pleaded from the top of her head. "Besides," she added, "I can't fly this thing home, so I need you to make it back. Okay?"

Zorb risked wrapping a forelimb around her. Instead of pulling away, Suxi drew nearer to him. "Okay," he said, "but I don't like this."


Ready for the next part? Here's Chapter 8(ish)

Need to catch up? Here's Chapter 6(ish)