The Orchid Hunter
The person, it was hard to tell their gender given their helmet, looked down then up again. They were checking their clipboard, an odd thing given how antiquated the action was when they clearly had all the details on their display. But somethings were just more official if you could point to them for all to see. Helmet displays were not one of those.
The voice that came from the helmet was equally nondescript, “It’s not on the list.” They looked down again then back up. “Correction. The orchid is on the list. The containment unit is not.”
Grendel pinched the bridge of her nose and said through her hand, “If there was no containment unit, then this whole area would be quarantined. Are you suggesting I take this life form out and expose all of us to it.”
The bureaucrat sighed, but it wasn’t audible. Their helmet hiding the sound, but the lifting and then relaxing of their shoulders said as much. “I am saying no such thing. I am stating that the containment unit is not on my list.” They then briefly waved it before Grendel’s face, who remained unfazed and unimpressed.
“And what am I to do with that information?”
“What you will.”
“Customer service is not your strength.”
“On the contrary I was voted best customs agent three years running.”
At this Grendel smiled, a vicious, sadistic smile. “Trying for a fourth?”
The customs agent tilted their head to the side and asked, “Trying?”
Grendel brought out her own pad and began typing into it, ignoring the agent’s query.
Today’s art is courtesy of Daniel Demmler from Rostock, Germany.