Tiddleoffs ~ Ally or Enemy?
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Tiddleoffs ~ Ally or Enemy?
by Caroline Post, News Anchor, Kepler News
This morning, the anticipated arrival of the Tiddleoffs took place on Kepler. It was preceded by a Marine escort which cost Kepler one Marine fighter and its pilot, Chief Warrant Officer MacGuiness. The loss was unnecessary. A group of unknown ships emerged in space before and after the Tiddleoff vessel, just as the Marine fighters were moving into position. The mystery ships fired a shot which took out the fighter piloted by MacGuiness, and, a short time later, the Tiddleoffs fired on all enemy ships simultaneously with complete success. Their weapon is unknown to the Federation, according to sources who spoke anonymously to me this morning.
With their safety assured, the vessel proceeded to dock and a greeting party, including this reporter, was there to meet them. They were quite a surprise. When the airlock opened, all eyes were focused at humanoid height in the doorway, but in order to see the Tiddleoffs, we had to drop them almost to the deck. The one fact we learned about them in the brief exchange this morning was that they require more humidity than we do. That complaint was almost the first thing they said, after introductions.
Their appearance is quite unusual. The cameraman caught this one staring straight ahead. They look like cuddly little things, don't they? But, remember, they had a weapon which simultaneously took out several small enemy ships, and with a weapon we don't recognize. Don't make the mistake of thinking they are like any creature you've ever seen, no matter what they look like. This reporter doesn't think they'd make good pets.
The reader might wonder why I say such a thing. First, there was the attitude. The introductions were polite enough, but we were ordered to move Kepler Station. According to the Tiddleoffs, it cannot remain here. When Captain Gregory Blake flatly stated that it wouldn't be moved, he was told we would move it or they would. Second, of course, was the weapon they fired, which leaves one uneasy. Finally, I happened to notice that their feet are not exactly like the webbed feet we usually see. Each has a sharp nail claw at the end. I suspect they might be a little more than they appear, and perhaps have hidden defenses, as well.
Blake's behavior, overall, began politely and escalated quickly to a stand-off. He would have been better off allowing the Ambassador to do his job. Sagin did try to ameliorate the Commander's statements, as did Blake's Yeoman. The head of the station stormed off almost without giving notice, leaving the Ambassador holding the bag, as it were.
The Tiddleoffs refused to offer a reason for requiring the station moved. Having stated their position (and, hey, couldn't they have just mailed that in?), the tiny beings returned to their ship. The Ambassador quickly asked to accompany them, since they wouldn't stay and talk to him in the embassy. They agreed, and he disappeared into their ship. Is it possible that was the last we will ever see of him? It is to be hoped not.
The rest of the staff who had gathered to greet the new contact was left standing in the corridor, scratching their heads. The entire meeting couldn't have taken more than a few minutes, and only a brief impression was left behind. That impression is one of danger. Kepler Station, and Starfleet in general, need to be prepared for whatever might come of this contact. Tiddleoffs don't seem inclined to negotiate or to listen.