PARIS, EARTH – The Federation’s hopes for expansion into the galactic west, suffered a major setback this week as the Smort rejected its offer of membership. Speaking from the steps of the Palais de la Concorde in Paris, Maaah, the head of the Smort diplomatic team, explained the decision by stating simply, ‘The Federation smells boring.’
The rejection comes nearly three years after the two governments first opened accession negotiations and puts an end to several interim cooperative measures meant to prepare both sides for the non-aligned polity to join the Federation.
“We are disappointed that the Smort declined our offer of membership,” said Ambassador Lily Ventu, external affairs secretary in the Federation Government. “However, we still consider them friends of the Federation, and we will continue to work with them in areas of mutual interest.”
Starfleet first contacted the Smort in 2322. Their stable political system and advanced technology made them attractive candidates for membership, but their unique method of communication hampered diplomatic efforts for decades.
“Their language is pheromone-based,” said Professor Ograx of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Betazed. “Rather than using speech or writing, the Smort release overlapping layers of scents to convey ideas.”
In 2376, a team of exolinguists from Beta Antares IV developed a computer program to translate the Smort language into Federation Standard, but two-way communication was not possible until twelve years later when the Starfleet Science Corps built a device that could synthesize the full range of Smort scents, dubbed olfactograms.
“There are over 70,000 distinct olfactograms,” said Ograx. “By releasing combinations of them, the Smort can communicate complex ideas, or even an entire conversation, with a single whiff.”
The Federation unsuccessfully attempted to open membership talks with the Smort twice before finally getting them to the negotiating table in 2395. Over the past three years, the two sides embarked on several joint projects designed to ease the membership process, including a biotechnology council and an economic harmonization roadmap.
Sources within the Federation’s negotiating team suggested that ideological differences, rather than linguistic ones, were the real hurdles to Smort membership. Maaah alluded to this in a subsequent statement on Jupiter Station when a journalist asked them to clarify their earlier remarks.
“Smort smells of sweet morning dew and fresh-baked bread on the winds,” they said. “The Federation smells like the end of a long, difficult day.”
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