Welcome, both new and experienced Starfleet officers, to the wonderful and exciting realm of diplomacy known as First Contact. As with any great adventure in Starfleet, First Contact has its pitfalls, trials (seriously) and tribulations (no, not tribble-ations). This document is an informal "manual" on how to conduct yourself in First Contact situations, should your Starfleet Academy training fail you and you sense a diplomatic faux-pas coming on.

If, at any time, you are in doubt and you can't run to the nearest computer terminal to review the official steps for First Contact, you can be at ease with this stuffed neatly in your back pocket for quick reference. And don't be afraid to consult this manual in the presence of new alien lifeforms: if they happen to notice you madly reading up on what to do, they will undoubtedly be glad to see that you're taking their introductions seriously (and your superiors might even snatch it out of your hands to brush up on their own technique as well- brownie points are always good- as long as you don't break this out too often).

In an effort to make this reference guide easy to follow we have titled each section with lyrics or titles from popular Terran songs of old. Many credits and years of research has led to the astounding discovery that music lyrics are most easily remembered than any type of memory tool. So it makes sense to connect lyrics with these very important rules.

NOTE: If you happen to be Vulcan, there is a version made just for you with quotes from the disciplines of Kolinahr (available for 10 standard credits at your local starbase or Federation embassy).

Section One: "Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You"

The first thing to cover in First Contact is the evaluation phase. Some people have equated this very important step to "spying," but you must always remember: Starfleet does not spy. We watch and we learn. There is a rather important distinction between the two practices. If you do not know the difference, how in blue blazes did you get that uniform?

Now, because of the very clearly defined rules contained in the Prime Directive (read "The Prime Directive for Dummies: A Captain's Best Friend"), First Contact is generally avoided at all costs. The Federation is a vast conglomerate of planets- the more governments that bick- er... cooperate under the UFP, the harder it is to maintain order. Which is why we have the Evaluation Phase.

Generally speaking the EP can last indefinitely. The points to make careful note of are as follows:
Does the subject culture have space-travel capability?
Does the subject culture have a history of violence?
Is the subject culture extremely xenophobic?
Has the subject culture recently executed its leader(s)?
Is the subject culture telepathic (covered in Section Eight: "It Never Entered My Mind")?

If the answer is "yes" to three or more of these questions our advice is to STAY AWAY. Leave a bouy to warn others to stay away as well and don't look back.

If the answer is "no" to five or more of these questions then we are happy to inform you that you have made an important discovery! You may now proceed to Section Two.

Section Two: "Getting To Like You, Getting To Hope You Like Me"

All right. Congratulations. You have found a civilization that is potentially advanced enough to possibly enter the UFP! But this step is a tricky one, so BE CAREFUL. The first thing to keep in mind during this step is that the captain of the investigating starship is NOT to make initial contact. Send down the First Officer (the ship's counselor is also a good choice- it's not like they can pilot the ship. Crash? Yes. Pilot? No.).

Once you have made your presence known to the subject culture (SC) they will undoubtedly want to know who you are and what you're doing on their planet disguised as one of them. You must remember to remain, at all times, heedful of their cultural mores. If you have studied them properly then you will know that (let's say) offering your hand in a handshake might have dire consequences. It is also adviseable to keep your Universal Translator handy. First Contact can be difficult at best if the only thing either of you can get from each other is gibberish.

When they ask about the Federation, try to be as vague as possible. NEVER TELL HOW MANY PLANETS ARE IN THE UFP!! This is a very important rule to follow. If they know the exact number of our members they might feel threatened. "More than five, less than a million" is a good answer if they press you about it.

After they've asked you about yourself, it's your turn to spin the tables on them. If you happen to notice that they are still somewhat warlike, ask them about the reasons why. Saying something like, "War is senseless. Are you stupid or what?" should never come out of your mouth. Be mindful and understanding of their history and hardships. We've had some ugly times, too. We just don't admit it as freely.

When the initial questions have been asked and the SC is still interested in you (or hasn't shot you on sight screaming, "ALIENS! KILL THEM QUICK!"), you might want to suggest a dinner or celebration for the meeting. Getting yourself accepted by the SC's general populace is always a plus.

Section Three: "Peel Me a Grape"

The banquet has been set, the invitations have been sent out and the formal uniforms have come out of mothballs. The question here is: are you ready to eat?

When it is finally time to have dinner with the SC we recommend that you take your ship's doctor along. There's no telling what kind of effects alien food will have on your physiology. For instance, the Klingons are steadily becoming addicted to prune juice. For some reason that medical experts have yet to determine prune juice seems to turn Klingons into fighting madmen, but the Klingons don't mind and as long as we keep Happy Hour consistent, they don't make much of a fuss. Consider yourself forewarned. If you do not take our advice in this matter we reserve the right to say we told you so.

At the dinner you may want to think about bringing your own favorite dishes and entreés. Share and share-alike, we always say at Starfleet. If they expect you to eat their food, then turnabout is fair play.

As a side note, bringing a low-ranking security officer with you as an unofficial food taster is strongly advised. A red shirt is a dead shirt, some people say, but we in command have a saying of our own: better safe than sorry.

Section Four: "Straighten Up and Fly Right"

In this section we will briefly cover Starfleet Do's and Don'ts when meeting new life and new civilizations. We will pose a possible scenario followed by something you should do in response and something that will likely get you court martialed. Take heed, but try to understand that we can't forsee every situation that will come your way. These are more like guideposts when a galactic "uh-oh" rears its ugly head, meant to point you in the right direction. Some chances may vary; not legal in some solar systems.

SC offers you a slave/sex toy in an effort to curry favor.
DO: Respectfully decline the offer. Starfleet outlawed slavery many years ago and does not adhere to this practice (regardless of what you've heard about Soong-type androids and perhaps one Klingon). Try to be kind and diplomatic when refusing, lie if you feel you must (saying something like, "No thanks, I have one of my own already and couldn't possibly take on more..." while unethical, certainly has its merits).
DON'T: Instantly jump at the chance, your hands sweating involuntarily at the lecherous images erupting in your pea-sized, barbaric brain. In the early days Captain James Kirk had a serious problem with his self-control in this regard and had to be treated for Genital Space-Herpes... twice. If, for some reason, you ignore this advice, at least use protection.

SC delegate asks to helm your starship for a while.
DO: Offer, instead, to take them to the holodeck (if you have one), claiming that your flight officer would be sorely upset at being taken away from his/her duty shift (even if they stand up and offer their seat).
DON'T: Transfer all command codes to the delegate and leave the Bridge, saying over your shoulder, "I want her back by midnight."

SC asks incessantly about your reproductive process with flirtatious eyes.
DO: Try to be as clinical in your explanations as possible. There is nothing even remotely erotic about breaking out charts, diagrams and a historical dissertation on the Eugenics Wars. If at all possible, scare or bore them to death with such minor details that they look as though to be ill. Inter-species boinkage should be avoided at all costs- unless your token Vulcan is experiencing Pon Farr or your token Betazoid is in "phase" (in either case, you're screwed).
DON'T: Smile coyly and invite them to your quarters for a more in-depth investigation of your mating rituals. Nothing can ruin a First Contact mission more quickly than a disgruntled leader/parent who has a child on their hands who's been impregnated by a star-hopping stranger that likely won't come back- ever.

SC asks if you'll assist them in destroying an enemy.
DO: Tell them about the Prime Directive. Be extremely long-winded and try to ignore the loopholes. A good answer to such a request is, "You want me to do what? To whom? Sorry. No can do."
DON'T: Wholeheartedly agree to their request, jet off to their enemy's homeworld and pound it into rubble. You never know- their enemy might be applying for Federation membership, too, and things could get ugly real quick.
ESPECIALLY DON'T: Mock them by saying, "GOD! You idiots think so small! It's YOUR fight, YOU finish it" and then hand them whatever technology looks nifty to them.

SC invites you to participate in a time-honored tradition that makes little to no sense to you.
DO: Accept the invitation if there's no danger to you. Keep your mouth shut when the ball gets rolling.
DON'T: Accept the invitation if there's no danger to you. Chuckle and snicker during the ceremony and say things like, "How quaint!"

Discretion is the key to every situation when a new culture is involved! If you don't have any, pack your bags and go home in disgrace.

Section Five: "I Get Along Without You Very Well"

An important point to remember is that every race has its own gifts and talents to offer the Federation. Though these new people might seem backwards and idiotic, you must keep in mind that with time they can prove most useful to the UFP (point in fact, Bolians make great barbers and bartenders).

You never want to tell an SC delegate that the Federation is "powerful" or "undefeated." While this may be true (no, the Borg don't count) it can lead to all kinds of "planet envy." We want to make them feel comfortable with the prospect of dealing with the Federation, happy to let us penetrate their inner defenses.

When describing the Federation Council, you might want to use words such as "quiet", "unified", "safe", "wise" or "paradigm." Telling the truth may very well send them to the Romulans, which would be bad, BAD, BAD!!

Section Six: "They Can't Take That Away From Me"

When talking to the SC, try to put yourselves in the best possible light. Tell them that dealing with the Federation will only help to increase their own sense of self-worth and value. NEVER mention dilithium mining, gold-pressed latinum or synth-ahol. Think twice before you say the words, "We will add your technological and biological distinctiveness to our own" even in jest. The watchword here is "safe."

If the SC ever asks what they get out of welcoming the Federation to their doorstep we have one word of advice: lie. Tell them that things they've yet to dream possible will be at their disposal and that problems such as war, famine, disease and crime will no longer trouble them under the wise auspices of the Federation. It worked for Kirk.

Section Seven: "Would You Like to Swing On a Star"

Charting the known galaxy is part of what being in Starfleet is all about. Sometimes a solar system is discovered and given a quadrant designation without giving thought to the indigenous species that live there. When you discover a new race/culture try to keep in mind that they will want to be referred to as (for instance) "Andorians" not "Quadrant 124638ians." Doesn't sound too pleasant, does it? After all would you like to be referred to as "inhabitant of Sector 001?" No, we think not.

This is also an opportunity to find out how the SC views the galaxy. Asking them how they wish to be known by the rest of the galaxy will help put them in their place if they're under the mistaken impression that they are the only ones in it.

If they haven't given this matter any consideration, you might want to make a few suggestions. Keep in mind, however, that you must be careful not to offend their sensibilities. An aquatic race might be upset to be called "fish" or "bait" or a combination of the two.

Section Eight: "It Never Entered My Mind"

As previously mentioned you may happen upon a telepathic race. This is a special topic and we will focus a great deal of attention to it in this section. The first two words of advice on this subject are: DON'T PANIC!!!

The Federation has nothing to hide and is more than willing to share its vast knowledge and resources- to a point. The Evaluation Phase in this case is completely moot. Trying to attempt an EP on a telepathic race will only make you look foolish.

However, you may not be aware of the species' abilities when you discover them, so the EP will have to be done. Invariably these situations are conveniently forgotten, and any record of the embarrassment is locked away for good in the Starfleet archives (and, yes, we do have archives- we know your every move).

Nine times out of ten the EP team is quickly discovered by the SC. Again, DON'T PANIC! Categorically speaking, telepathic races are extremely peaceful and usually more afraid of you than you are of them. If you prefer that they keep their distance from you then we recommend that you keep repeating dirty lymrics in your mind. The looks you get will be priceless (an added bonus), but more importantly you will be left alone.

Unfortunately, you can't keep your distance all of the time. If you are to do your job then you're going to have to eventually let your guard down. When you do, be prepared- and try to limit your time amongst the SC as much as possible. Plain text messages as a form of communication are completely acceptable and understandable. Please stay on the ship if you can.

When you happen upon a rare discovery like this you will most likely be the one answering most of the questions. That's all right. Just remember these two things: Section 31 is a figment of your imagination and Starfleet Command Codes are changed on a daily basis. Even if you know these things to be false, do NOT say as much. Culpable deniability is what all great governments are based on- it's a fact, get over it. Everything else is fair game.

Once the normal First Contact introductions are taken care of, your first order of business is to notify Starfleet Intelligence. An SI team will quickly be dispatched to your location and they will take over from there. When they DO arrive, you will be asked to leave that solar system and return to Starfleet HQ for debriefing. Do so immediately and don't point your sensor grid behind you. The big, bright flash on the newly-discovered planet's surface is of no interest to you. None at all.

Section Nine: "Then came along your siren song..."

Often times a Starfleet captain or officer will happen upon a race that is already quite techonologically advanced- sometimes even more so than us (sad, but true, we know). If you should be so fortunate and they aren't aware of your presence, be wary. Their advanced technology can be quite alluring if you get too close. To date Starfleet has lost more than 3,000 starship engineers to other cultures because we simply couldn't hold a candle up to the new technology.

When approaching an advanced species we urge you strongly to confine your engineers to their personal quarters, or, if necessary, the brig, until you leave. Tying their hands behind their backs so they can't escape is a good idea, too. Even sedation is okay.

As for the new species, the Prime Directive works both ways. At least, officially it does. If you somehow luck into advanced technology without their knowing about it (of course, through unofficial channels), Starfleet will not complain- much. It is likely that the SC will already know much about you or at least be able to download your ship's database in the blink of an eye. Don't worry if this happens. It's not like we're going to tell them anything new anyway. Just keep plugging away at finding out as much as you can about them and mind your P's and Q's.

Speaking of Q's, you are hereby instructed to steer clear of any member of the Q Continuum at all times. If they bother you and behave in a pedantic manner, suck it up. There's not much you can say in the matter. We find that it's best to ignore them unless they are feeling playful. When a Q is playful, much buggery can and most likely WILL ensue. Again, tough cookies. And best of luck at surviving the ordeal. They say they're mostly harmless when sufficiently entertained, so when in the presence of one be sure you have a clown suit handy (formal uniforms are acceptable if a clown suit is unavailable).

Section Ten: "Goodbye"

It's time now for you to leave. We know that it's hard for you to break away from this exciting adventure, but there are more things to do in the vast universe and hardly enough people to do them all (why do you think we're so hot to get new member worlds???). This is the hardest part of your mission, truth be known. Many times the SC's have been known to fixate on the First Contact crew. Don't be alarmed. Think of it as a first romantic liason- you never really forget your first (in this case, alien). Try to be understanding of their reluctance to let you leave quickly. Many SC's try to draw this final step out. Here are some tips on how to cut things short and get your ship and crew on their way:

1) Claim that there is a war on against the Federation (while maintaining that we are peace-loving) and you are required to add your strength to the defense efforts. Tricky but possible.

2) Commit some small and insignificant social faux-pas that the SC might be only slightly offended at. Such actions tend to encourage quick goodbyes. Flatulance is a common favorite amongst some captains.

3) Fake your death and tell your First Officer (or next officer in the chain of command) that the crew must depart and deliver your corpse to your homeworld.

4) Simply say, "It's been fun!" and instruct your transporter chief to beam you up immediately without further ado. This always leaves them wanting more, but by golly what a way to go!

5) Leer at the world leader's (if there is one) daughter/son (regardless of age) longingly and mention marriage a few times. Be careful, however, as this can sometimes lead to more problems than solutions!

Also you should make sure that you leave on a high note. To leave an SC under poor circumstances is ill-advised. When Terrans were first introduced to Klingons the situation fell apart at the seams. We know how that horrible mess turned out, so let's avoid that again, shall we?

As a final note, we'd like to suggest that you make absolutely certain you leave nothing behind. No children, documentation, technology, pictures, promises, souveniers, pets or personnel are permitted to stay with the SC without the express permission of Starfleet HQ. This is for your safety as well as that of the SC. Besides, you never know when you might NEED something you left behind, thinking that it was completely expendible (read USS Enterprise Personnel Files: Wesley Crusher).

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