He had watched the huge mushroom-like creature with great care, noting its waddling gait and aimless nature. He had surveyed this new creature's habitat, found the best point of entry, and cleared all debris from the surrounding pathways. According to his estimates, sixty Pikmin would be enough to handle the task. Red ones, for several reasons but mostly for their tenacity in combat.
Olimar hated to think it, but perhaps he was getting used to hunting strange animals ...
Red and green spectres floated in his vision, glimpses of Pikmin reflected in the arched surface of his helmet. His sixty Pikmin waited behind him on the path, humming occasionally. It was an eerie sound, those voices cutting through the dark silence of the cave. Eerie, but familiar enough. Olimar closed the map analysis window in the arm of his space suit.
"That mushroom-like creature-- Or, rather, that toadstool-like creature--" He paused to consider biological kingdoms. "I will call this species a Puffstool, for the time being. In any case, it must have one of the parts from my ship."
He turned to the Pikmin. Rows of waving leaves stared back, and a few answered: hmm?
"How could it have a large enough ship part inside it to produce scan readings like those? I do not know how a fungi could integrate itself with a foreign object so quickly, but I have no time to spend figuring out this anomaly! We need to get that part."
After days of intensive teamwork, he couldn't tell whether the Pikmin truly understood him. They understood enough, in any case, and an eager tremor ran through the group as Olimar blew a short note on his whistle. He began the advance, down the sloping path, toward the arena lit blue by strange mushrooms.
A Pikmin squeak came from Olimar's side then -- from a flower Pikmin, one with three petals missing from the last harrowing encounter it had faced. It stared at him with even more wide-eyed intensity than usual. And then, it pointed.
"What is it?" Olimar put a thought-curled fist to his chin, following that pointing finger. The flame geysers riddling the path couldn't be the problem; he had never known red Pikmin to be afraid of them, however frightfully hot the discharge became. Something else on the path ahead, then. "Am I overlooking something?"
The Pikmin tipped its head. Elaboration seemed to be in order.
"There are no threats here that I can see ..."
Whining, the Pikmin lowered its pointing hand. Several more grew alert, as though receiving an anxious transmission; they each moved a few steps away from the group, and looked the ground. One shrieked a battle cry, and struck a loose crumb of dirt with its leaf. Remarkable -- the Pikmin seemed to make a group effort of everything, including the assembly of a single clear thought.
"Some sort of threat within the ground ... Could this be the territory of burrowing predators? I see ... I shall be wary!"
The Pikmin all seemed pleased with that, filing back into order behind Olimar, straightening to attention. He looked over their surroundings once more, and picked up a Pikmin in preparation. There was nothing left but to try, and so the sixty-one of them set out.