Captain Argyle knew that the spaceship and its crew were in trouble the minute he heard the urgency of the buzzing coming from his console. They were out of fuel on planet Earth. This was not an auspicious ending to his mission that found that while there were some intelligent beings on earth, nothing was ever achieved because they could never agree on how to use information.
When it was dark, they alit in a field of clover, which made for a soft landing. The first crew member stepped out, and he immediately howled, having stepped in a puddle of water. Captain Argyle reprimanded him, reminding him that they needed to stay silent and hidden.
He didn’t think that three-legged, three-armed aliens trying to explain in their language that it had been discovered that more could get done in 24 hours with an extra arm and leg would endear them to the earthlings, so stealth was essential. What they needed were sorbitol, hydrated silica, glycerin, benzoic acid, and titanium dioxide.
Immediately the computer chip in his head began to consider where these elements could be found on Earth, and finally he received an answer: Crest Complete toothpaste. He was just wondering where to find the ingredients in bulk, when the map directed him to a place called Costco.
Using their invisible shields, Captain Argyle and a reconnaissance team located the store, laughably entered it, the locks were mere kidwork, and found the alternative fuel needed. Abscounding with nearly one hundred cases of Crest Complete, they returned to the spacecraft.
After adding half of the cases to their fuel compartment, the buzzing finally stopped, a whoop went up from the crew, and they were on their way home to Margentium. The only complaint was the horribly sweet smell that they had to endure for the three light years it would take for them to return home, having stolen the Herbal Mint variety.
Fiction written for the Three Things Challenge #13 from Paula Light at Light Motifs: toothpaste, clover, speceship. Fandango prompt is Puddle. Ragtag prompt is Language. Word of the Day is Wondering. Your Daily Prompt is Auspicious.