“Zikkel, we can’t pick them up.” Zeep flindered the bax and mardered. On Zikkel’s scanner, Zeep torzined three earthlings who were lost in the ocean in a tiny raft.
Zikkel gleebed his forabs. “Dehydration will kill them. We have to.”
“What if we just abducted them?” pillied Teezipple.
Zeep milned. “We can’t do that.”
“It’s better than leaving them to die—and they’ll benefit our research.” Zikkel was beflimbered. “I’d love to hold their brains in my hand.”
Zeep milned louder. “It doesn’t matter. We’ve abducted our quota for the season. We can’t pick another up for another two blibs.”
“They’ll be long dead by then,” gorbed Teezipple.
Zeep churtled adamantly. “It’s forbidden to erase their memories except under strict abduction protocols, so we can’t let them see us.”
Zikkel clote the crockter and pauved into the splum. “Humans are people, too. I’m taking us down.” He zeldrated the flocker and zeebed. The spaceship plummeted to the earth and stopped short of the water just above the humans.
Teezipple clibed. “Well, they’ve seen us now.”
Zeep reclibed. “I guess there’s nothing for it, then. Let’s bring them in.”
Zikkel zeebed to water level and opened the portal, so Zeep and Teezipple plovied over to it while the ramp lowered.
The poor humans cowered in their rubber raft, and who could blame them? The Tizmips had anatomical similarities to humans—arms, legs, head, eyes, and ears—but they were otherwise extremely different. Big and round, reddish gray, and danagomes protruding from all over. To the humans, they probably looked like extra-fat snowmen made of sea anemones.
Zeep and Teezipple hooked their danagomes to the rope on either side of the raft and pulled them into their interstellar space craft. The humans barked and rasped. One man was a head shorter than the other two, and one of the tall ones had white hair.
“Zikkel,” milned Zeep. “The translator.”
Zikkel clote the crockter.
“…going to eat us…” “…calm to manage the…” “…wonder if they have any Oreos…”
“Please speak one at a time,” milned Teezipple.
The humans stopped talking, probably surprised they could understand the Tizmips through the translator. Zeep queemed and hertled for.
“We provide hydration to you.” Zeep clote the mee, and the basin emerged full of water.
The humans blurted thank-yous and dipped their hands in, pulling the water to their mouths until the basin was half empty. Teezipple gave them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—Zikkel’s favorite human food from his stock.
“Thank you,” said the white-haired man. “Can you take us to America?”
Zeep weshed. “We can’t take you anywhere.”
“We can’t keep them,” clibed Zikkel.
“We can’t let them go,” reclibed Teezipple.
“That would be abducting them,” inclibed Zikkel.
“Not technically.” Teezipple moomed.
“I already told you we can’t abduct them,” said Zeep. “We’re already way off the protocol, anyway.”
“Excuse me,” said white hair. “I do appreciate you rescuing us. We would have been goners. But can I ask—why couldn’t you let us go?”
“Earth is not ready for knowledge of us,” clibed Zikkel.
“If the high council found us responsible for informing the earth too early, they would sarb us in geblanyers,” reclibed Zeep.
“I really, really hate geblanyers,” inclibed Teezipple.
“Wait,” said white hair. “All you’re worried about is the earth finding out because we tell them?”
The three Tizmips costiniaboistered. “Yes,” milned Zeep.
“Well, then, there’s no problem,” said the short one. He pointed to the white haired one. “Drew’s a lawyer, Joseph here’s a journalist, and me—I’m a bean counter. There isn’t a soul in the world who’ll believe a word we say.”
The Tismips bedurgled.
“Name your spot,” declibed Zeep.