The ship’s broker is approached about transporting a consignment of newborn Iptetean Tweeties, a species of genetically-modified pets that are increasing in popularity throughout the Foreven sector.
1. Unbeknownst to humaniti, the Iptetean Triapus, from which the Iptetean Tweety is modeled, is sentient. This sophont has a subsonic language and once had some measure of technological civilization before humaniti invaded its homeworld. Due to the species’ psychology, it went into hiding at the first sight of humans, abandoning their towns for the forests, their ancestral home. Explorers eventually captured them and made some into pets, and as these creatures were taken into space, they’ve seen that the humans have also created a technomagically-modified version of themselves, the Iptetean Tweeties, which if caught at a sufficiently young age can be taught the language and history of their unmodified kin.
One of the passengers (or crewmembers), who has a pet triapus, notices that their pet seems to be drawn to the tweeties, which are in a large pen in the ship’s hold. This is made noticeable due to the fact that whenever the triapus and the tweeties get into sufficiently close proximity, they begin what appears to be a massive “purr-session” that is actually a pleasure to witness. The loud, “tribble-like” purring, once it stops being funny, is innately soothing to the human ear. It is apparent that even without being able to see each other, both the Triapus and the Tweeties appear to be able to hear each other, and they appear to be very pleased or possibly excited with each others’ presence.
In truth, they are calling out to one another. The Triapus wants to obtain the release of these young Tweeties, but there’s nothing that it can realistically do to make this happen, so it finally resigns itself to teaching them what little it can and otherwise accepting the situation, as at least it is being well-fed by an affectionate albeit hideously ugly, alien master.
2. As #1, but the tweeties are adolescents, and they can understand the triapus quite well, as many of have already learned the triapi language. The essence of their conversation is yet another reiteration the typical lecture on how they must prepare for the day when a savior will be born who will lead them in a Great Strangling against humaniti, and that wherever they are taken in the universe, they must remember their sacred homeworld and the terrible indignity that has been perpetrated upon them by their evil overlords. In the meantime, however, they are reminded that they must play the part of pets, for the time to strike is not yet. Hence, for all practical purposes, nothing remarkable happens, at least from the perspective of the ship’s crew.
3. As #1, but the tweeties are mostly adults, and many of them want to bust out of captivity and are actively trying to recruit the triapus to help them. The triapus, however, has been treated exceedingly well by its master, who takes time to play with it on a daily basis and who also generously feeds it table scraps rather than forcing it to eat some sort of bland, homogenized, pet food. Hence, it has grown genuinely affection toward this human and towards humaniti in general, and therefore it won’t help the tweeties, forever making excuses. Rightly or wrongly, it claims that there’s a technomagical, hidden surveillance system in the cargo hold, and that if it were to help its brethren escape, suddenly all humans would know that all Triapi, and by extension all Iptetean Tweeties, are intelligent, and this would permanently sever any hope of eventual freedom. No matter what they do, the triapus argues, they must guard this secret, each and every one of them, until the prophesized Great Strangling.
4. As #3, but the triapus feels mistreated and so it will help the tweeties escape. Hilarity ensues as many of them pile into an airlock and manage to escape into a very, very large space.
5. As #4, but one or more of the tweeties thinks it knows how to destroy the ship by causing some major system to malfunction.
6. As #5, but the primary goal is to strangle the crew and passengers and somehow seize control of the ship.
Supplementary Library Data:
Piolin Enterprises. A subsidiary of BeastMasters, LIC, specializing in the genetic modification of various animal species for the exotic pets market.
Tweety. A registered trademark of Piolin Enterprises, the term is also informally synonymous for any of a variety of genetically-modified pets, particularly ones that incorporate the color yellow into their modifications. Etymologically, the word comes from one of Old Terra’s first genetically-modified, pet species, an African Grey parrot colored yellow and given oversized eyes as well as expanded cranial capacity. Prior to this, the word “Tweety” can be traced to the name of a once-popular, animated character.
Iptetean Triapus (pl. Triapi). An omniverious climber/trapper/strangler of the planet Iptete (Foreven 2334), this creature resembles a small, three-legged octopus, except that it is purple with red splotches, similar to the branches of the Kokimovno trees which it chiefly inhabits, and its “face” resembles a large, green, Kokimovno leaf, which numerous smaller creatures eat. Despite being hideously ugly, they emit a calming, subsonic purr that can be felt more than heard, and so have made popular pets, but not nearly as popular as their genetically-modified variant, the Iptetean Tweety.
Iptetean Tweety. A genetically-modified variant of the Iptetean Triapus that has two of its three eyes hugely expanded, whereas the third, remaining at its normal size, is perpetually hidden behind a large yellow face that is generally more appealing to customers. This Tweety also has what looks like two large, yellow ears, but these are non-functional. Legal note: Piolin Enterprises holds an Imperium-wide trademark for the term “Tweety” in relation to the marketing of pets and the statement “They’re ugly, but they’re cute” in relation to the marketing of genetically-modified animals.
Inspiration: Featherless chicken