Reggie took to his new tasks with such alacrity that the captain named him crewman of the month.
“Look how happy the parnaxes are with their spotless cage!” the captain said.
Indeed, their songs filled the transport ship. Avian aliens, the parnaxes boasted wings that conducted electricity—they shocked fishes to death in tidal pools, and put on winning displays for orbiting circuses.
“You’ve got talent,” the captain said.
“Happy to help, sir,” Reggie replied. But once he was alone again, he upended his liquor flask into the faux tidal pool. “Drink up,” he whispered, “and give us a show.”
Author’s Note: One thing I greatly enjoy about sci-fi is imagining alien flora and fauna.