The Anomalous Grouch

The bridge shuttered and rocked, crew members clinging to their consoles. Behind the Weapons Officer, a conduit suddenly vented steam and showered sparks. Over the din, he cried, “Quantum reflectors down to 70 percent! Particle projectors offline!”

The Captain growled in frustration and pounded his armrest. “Hailing protocols! Get that thing on the horn!”

Another shock wave tossed the starship, knocking the Ensign covering the Science station off his feet—which was lucky, since that console spewed forth sparks shortly after his fall.

“Sir,” shouted the Comm Officer, “we have contact!”

To his feet, the Captain thrust forth a hand in plaintive query: “We mean you no harm! We come in peace as explorers! Why do you attack us?”

A rumble issued from the bridge speakers, slowly resolving into something not unlike a yawn.

“Wha-aat,” said a voice, though the transliterators may have had trouble with the language. “You guys just have no sense of personal space, do you? Can’t a being get some sleep? Bah! Go home!”

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