Friday, 20 July 2018
“What!” I hear you exclaim. “Are we mad?” But the answer is a stolid no.
The tribble home world, Iota Geminorum IV, is in dire straits since the Klingons set out to destroy all of tribblekind. Any why? For no other reason than the furry little critters are 'annoying' and have a tendency to squeal in a Klingon’s presence.
But why is the resurrection of the tribble so important? What use is a tribble? Plainly put, it is fodder.
We all know tribbles breed at
As to the reason for this prolific breeding ability, it is simply to ensure their continued existence because for many of the creatures on Iota Geminorum IV, the tribble is their main food source. With the loss of the tribble, these creatures have but two options: to predate other species or to starve.
Naturally, they have chosen the first option, but as these other species do not breed so quickly, prey is becoming scarcer with each passing day, and as that prey becomes rarer, species are being forced to predate upon their own kind. In summary, all of the animal species on Iota Geminorum IV are under threat.
Take the ghost flyer, for example. A small raptor with razor sharp teeth and a vicious hunting instinct, it used to be perhaps one of the most common creatures on the planet (barring the tribble, of course). It could be found across the planet in almost every landscape and on every continent, with a large number of subspecies. However, their numbers have now declined by over 70%. Initially, they have turned to hunting other species such as the little razor mouse, but as they do not reproduce as prolifically as the tribble, their numbers suffered quickly too. More disturbing, the effect snowballs.
The razor mouse,despite its sweet, furry appearance is also a predator. Hunting in small, family packs, its primary food source was also the harmless tribble. With the loss of the tribble, the razor mouse has found new prey in even smaller rodents, insects and even its own species. Razor mice numbers are down 82% and the decline continues. When the razor mice become extinct, what will the ghost flyers eat?
As each species dies out, another becomes the primary food source and comes under renewed threat. Already extinct are the swallow-tailed eaglet, larger spotted bantock, urbassi goomba, greater crested ghost flyer, teena mouse, kangaroo rat and the bushy tailed felix. However, the tragedy continues with yet more devastation.
Tribbles consume plant matter—and in great quantities. They consume billions of tonnes of vegetation each year. Without the tribbles to graze the plains and forests of Iota Geminorum IV, the vegetation is growing uncontrollably, strangling the landscape. At first, it was just a case of the plains becoming very lush and the forests more verdant, but as they have continued to grow uninhibited, the plants have literally sucked the moisture out of the ground. Drought has become an issue and as a result, a good number of plant species, no longer able to draw sufficient nutrient enriched liquids out of the ground, have died off. The plains have turned from savannahs to deserts. Even the forests, once havens, are wilting and dying.
In total, with the loss of the tribble, the entire ecosystem of Iota Geminorum IV is in jeopardy. For all of these reasons, the tribbles have to be reintroduced to Iota Geminorum IV.
The talks were not easy to say the least. Tempers ran high and it is clear that the Klingons still detest the cute little beasties with a vengeance. They didn't take it well when it was pointed out (on more than one occasion) that a humble tribble really was no match for a big, burly Klingon warrior. (Would the destruction of all tribblekind really secure a Klingon warrior a place in Sto-vo-kor?) However, all was not lost. Indeed, and ironically it turns out that the ghost flyer is not only the tribbles' primary predator, but also its saviour.
Although not sentient, their intelligence is not to be underestimated. Their hunting methods are highly sophisticated. Using a series of low-pitched whoops and whistles, their attacks are highly organised and lethal—a fact the Klingons will attest to. They regaled us with tales of their encounters with the ghost flyers—how they would attack the Warriors brazenly, be it in their beds at night, or by singling out a lone Warrior and then descending upon him in a swarm. Some proudly displayed their battle scars acquired in the conflicts with ghost flyers and spoke with great admiration about the creatures. When they came to realise that this admirable and noble creature was under threat, the Klingons relented. Finally, they have agreed not to hinder attempts to reintroduce tribbles to Iota Geminorum IV, and that is all we needed.
Andoria, for example, has a tribble farm where a very hardy subspecies of tribble (the Greater Arctic Blue Tribble) has evolved. (With such a fast breeding rate, evolution is much quicker for tribbles.) Blessed with
A small Romulan moon has another new subspecies. Known as the Cackling Tribble, rather than purring as most tribbles do, it produces a cackling sound.
The mission, therefore, is to assemble as many tribbles as we can, quarantine them (to ensure they are disease free), study all the specimens collected and then send them back to Iota Geminorum IV. Once back on the planet, however, they are not released immediately back into the wild where they would be instantly predated. Instead, they are taken to the new Tribbulation Facility where breeding commences. The overflow stock is then released into the wild in a controlled fashion and their progress monitored. The surrounding terrain is also monitored and hopefully, through all these steps, the world of Iota Geminorum IV can be restored to its former glory.