The ship skimmed the treetops and spun into the glade, landing silently on a bed of grass. The captain exited first, sniffing the cool October air like a hunter sensing prey nearby.
“What are we looking for, Captain?” The science officer joined her superior on the steps.
They were both dressed in the spartan one-piece grey uniform befitting their mission, but neither Captain nor officer shivered in the waning daylight. The material would keep them warm or cool, as circumstances required.
“We’re to collect the last specimen and bring it to base,” Captain said. “Then we’ll be at the limit for this expedition.”
The officer frowned. “We harvested all the items on the list this morning. Nothing is missing.”
“Supreme Commander added one more item an hour ago.” Captain clicked his viewer and showed the officer a live image one quarter mile away. “He wants one of these.”
The officer peered at a yard full of creatures. Some wore bright clothing and had odd-colored puffy hair. Others seemed to be trying to look like skeletons or lions. “What are they? Do they exemplify their species?”
“Not one of those. They aren’t ripe yet.” Captain adjusted the viewer. “One of these full-grown ones. Go get one and bring it back.”
The officer stared at the viewer where a group of creatures sat at a table. They held rectangles in their hands and periodically moved small circles to the center of the table. “What are they doing?”
“Playing poker. Supreme Commander wants to learn so he can play in a star tournament.” Captain shrugged. “So, we have to bring him a creature and download its brain.”
The science officer saluted and sprinted off to fulfill her duty.