The Nibbling

Intergalactic Peace Conference collapses as 'Nibbling' incident escalates to war

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In a dramatic turn of events, the human United Nations of Earth (UNE) and mammalian Hilathian Union (HU) have today formally declared war on the plantoid Pseudotian Empire (PE).

Tensions between the area powers have been simmering following the breakdown of the Intergalactic Peace Conference on Earth last week. The UNE, hosting, had hoped to foster cooperation between its ally, the Hilathians, and their longstanding rival, the Pseudotians. Historically relations between the two species have been fraught as the Hilathians regard the Pseudotians as non-sapient plants, and a salad delicacy.

The conference was thrown into disarray after a Hilathian diplomat, Ava’tarin, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and eating junior Pseudotian staffer Men-Ziesii just hours after delegates arrived. When UNE Enforcement Officers searched Ava’tarin’s accommodation, the remains of Men-Ziesii were found as a freshly prepared side salad, gently garnished some light vinaigrette. A haul of plantoid cookbooks and xenophobic texts were also discovered.

The Pseudotians, led by High Chancellor Angiosa, withdrew in protest of her diplomats being eaten, an event which has since been nicknamed ‘The Nibbling’ by local media. This was followed by Pseudotian fleets amassing along Hilathian border systems.

However, in an astounding revelation, genetic analysis undertaken at Earth’s University of Ulm Science Academy identified the side salad to be a clone of Men-Ziesii, with the whereabouts of her original stem unknown.

As the UNE appealed for peace and gather more evidence, its science ship Fahrenheit was shot down by Pseudotian forces in neutral space while investigating unusual energy pulses. It has since emerged these readings were being produced from a mammoth new Titan flagship the Pseudotians had been concealing, The Grand Herald. Its technology is vastly superior to established knowledge, and it is unclear how the Pseudotians have come into possession of such an advanced ship design.

The UNE and Hilathians have since declared war on the Pseudotians, who their intelligence services claim deliberately planted the clone of Men-Ziesii close to Ava’tarin in the conference, expecting her to be eaten and then using this as the pretext to war with their new advanced weaponry.

In a dramatic address to the UNE General Assembly in Ulm, Acting President McConnely, covering for President Rossario who is currently touring potential golf resort sites in the Outer Rim, stated:

“… It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to announce that a state of war now exists between the UNE, its allies, and the Pseudotian Empire. Approximately 31 hours ago the INS Fahrenheit was destroyed with all souls lost. Within 6 hours, our recovery team was attacked by a hostile Pseudotian fleet. With the revelation that the Pseudotian diplomat purportedly ‘murdered’ on our soil was in fact a clone, it is now apparent that this situation was engineered as an act of espionage to justify war against the Hilathians and ourselves. I leave you tonight with the promise that we will meet this new enemy with the same resolve we have always held against the enemies of freedom.”

Image: Acting UNE President McConnely

President Angiosa refused to speak to Xenonion about the claims of espionage, however in a direct address to the Pseudotian Empire earlier this week she stated:

“These rodent xenos have shown nothing but disdain for our flowering garden. Yet again they have eaten another of our own. We are a proud species and we will not be farmed for food. I do not care if we have a slightly peppery taste that goes well with everything. I do not care if our leaves have an undeniably satisfying crunchy texture. PLANTOIDS ARE XENOS TOO. The time for talk is now clearly over. The only communications we shall now have are through The Grand Herald.”

Image: Pseudotian President Angiosa, foreground, distinguished from non-sapient vines in background.

Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou appeared on Xenonion News this morning, and was played the above speech by President Angiosa. He stated:

“Uh, can someone explain why the food is talking? Does it normally do that? What is it talking about? Intergalactic Peace Conference? The thing on Earth? But that was a food festival, was it not?! Wait… wait….”

Image: Hilathian leader Ava’Chiou

OVERDRAMATIC ANALYSIS: ASHLEY EASTERBROOK
The dust hasn't even settled yet on the opening volleys of this war, but it's already clear to see that there has been a massive breakdown in diplomacy between these three powers. There are many questions yet to be answered. Did the Pseudotians definitely plant a decoy 'snack' in the midst of the conference, knowing the Hilathians would be unable to resist taking a bite? Would they have done this without The Grand Herald? Where did it come from? And what if the Hilathians have a point, and the Pseudotians are actually delicious? For now, it's a waiting a game. But the balance of power in the galaxy hangs precariously.

At the time of writing, local human media outlets are reporting that a joint UNE-Hilathian counter-offensive against the Pseudotians has failed, owing to the overwhelming strength of The Grand Herald. The threat level on UNE core worlds has been raised to Maximum for the first time since the destruction of Centaurus Prime last year by the Stellar Starfish Empire.

Ava’tarin has since been released from Enforcer custody, as UNE laws do not extend rights to cloned tissue. Ava’tarin refused to speak to reporters, but sources close to him state he is badly shaken by events and considering “avoiding salad that can feel pain” in future.

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This article was based on The Nibbling Series written by /u/BachInTime

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