This is ONE OF 2 responses to volume 1, John Card Number 8 ("Crab Creatures Chapter 1")...
"Excuse me," - Zrotif waved one claw obsequiously, while holding me fast with the other - "but have you seen little Zagnor?"
Altairian protocol ordinarily called for a long-winded preamble, in this case in praise of Zrotif's son, before actually answering the question, but the big 'Tair's gentility had dwindled with every falling facial scale and he was in no mood for exchanging pleasantries. (I hadn't dared call him "Crusty" for weeks.)
His antennae twitched with irritation as a pink-and-green cloud engulfed us. "I sent him to your ship to find you," he prodded, "he should have been back-"
"My ship!" I squeaked, struggling in the tightening grip, "Great Skaz - let me go!"
My feet had left the ground, and a sizeable dent creased the thorax of my S-suit. "I'm repairing the Autodrive - I've left it in Launch mode. One touch on an exposed circuit, and -"
Suddenly I was skimming head-downward over the ground as Zrotif scuttled rapidly toward the ship. Little Zagnor was notorious for his curiosity...