IMPERIAL BRAGULAN EMBASSY, Altacar 3Imperial Bureau of Galactic Vigilance wrote:Agent Spozavik, the Bragulan spy, receives an enconded message from his handler. The message reads: "Comrade, congratulations! Your wife gave birth to octuplets!"
Spozavik resigns himself to melancholy... it's been a long three years since he left Bragule.
The Altacar Empire was one of the few human nations to have relatively cordial relations with the Bragulans. And by cordial relationship, it meant that their communications were terse, abrupt, and strictly to the point, pure business and little else. But the Altacar were very much into business, great space traders as they were, and so they alotted a piece of land for the Bragulans to build an embassy. Unsatisfactorily for the Bragulan planners, the piece of land the Altacarians alotted them was not a fortified mountain range that would've dwarfed the Himalayas of Old Earth, but merely... a simple piece of land. With some trees on it. Nonetheless, the Bragulans made do and it did not take long for a chrome-armored pyramidal fortress to emerge from that plot of land, with a surrounding wall topped by heavy K-bolter turrets, and squadrons of Stalag gunships patrolling the skies around it.
The Bragulan diplomats assigned to Altacar were all members of the Imperial Bureau of Galactic Vigilance, the largest spy agency of the Star Empire. To them, the heavily armed and fortified embassy was a little piece of Bragule, a home away from home.
IBGV Agent Vsvlgyrod Spozavik put on his human-style hat and adjusted his human-style tie with some difficulty, owing to his un-human-style Bragulan paws. Satisfied with how it finally turned out, he put on his jacket - filled with freon cooling, a necessity in these unbragulanly warm human climes - and trousers, and went out of his little apartment room. Quickly, he made his way out of the fortified Bragulan embassy, past the myriad security check points under the overlooking snipers nests and shocktrooper outposts, and soon found himself leaving the meters-thick blast door that was the gate of the diplomatic building.
Once again, he found himself in human territory amidst all the deviants and ideologically impure perverts it entailed, but he did not despair. Agent Spozavik steeled himself, for he knew his many years serving the IGBV on unbragulan human worlds such as Altacar 3 was for the good of all Bragulanity, whose survival he was utterly dedicated to. Thus, for Bragulanity's sake, he adjusted his green hat and boarded his ride that took him to the local Altacarian Trade Ministry building.
"Nick Weiner, at your service," greeted the human he was meeting, a puny human whose head barely managed to reach Spozavik's snout. The human offered his hand, and Spozavik took it and shook it, trying his best not to dislocate it.
"Dryznyl Shpechtkov, diplomatic trade liason for the Imperial Bragulan People's Department of Limited Foreign Interaction and Human Affairs," Spozavik said, giving out his false cover identity to the puny human. "A pleasantly warm uncomfortable human day to you, Mister Weiner."
The human laughed. Spozavik narrowed his eyes at him, and the human stopped laughing. Then the human quietly sat down and offered him a seat, and Spozavik likewise sat down on the seat specially brought for him, one capable of bearing the weight of a Bragulan of medium-build. Spozavik placed his attache case down beside his chair, not far out of reach from his hand.
"So," the human started lamely. "We're here to discuss the Bragulan Star Empire's reciprocation of the recent Altacar vowel shipment to the famine stricken regions of the... Rygnskrgnvk system, yes."
"Yes," Spozavik replied tersely. Now that he was seated, he took his time to examine the human. This Nick Weiner. Could he be a counter-espionage agent from Altacarian intelligence? Or maybe a sleeper from CEID, for the treachery of those humans from the Sovereignty clearly knew no bounds. His name, Weiner, was that not a kind of sausage? Sausages were one of Spozavik's favorite foods. Such a coincidence for a man - a human man - to be named after a kind of sausage. Bragulan spies never ignored coincidence...
"Good, I understand the Bragulans intend to send shipments of raw materials to Altacar as part of the repayment. Minerals and resources not so commonly available in these parts of the galaxy."
"Yes," Spozavik nodded. As part of his cover as a Bragulan diplomat, he was unarmed. But he didn't need a weapon to kill this Mister Weiner, only his bare Bragulan hands to throttle the life out of him and claw his face out. Spozavik considered that as an option, if ever this Weiner turned out to be a CEID spy.
"I see..." Nick Weiner cleared his throat.
"But it has been decided by the new administration of the Imperial Ministry of Plentiful Supply and Demand Regulation and Registration, who replaced the previous members now undergoing de-education, to made additions to our shipment to Altacar as a show of Bragulan gratitude."
"What kind of additions?"
"We will be adding not merely raw materials, but also processed goods and the best in Bragulan consumer products!" Spozavik proudly said, maintaining his persona as a trade liaison person.
"Um..." the Weiner scratched his head. "What process goods and consumer products, exactly?"
"Why, Bragulan transistor-powered electronics, vacuum-tube colored telescreens, even nuclear locomotives!"
"Transistors? Nuclear locomotives? Vacuum tubes?" Weiner's mouth was wide agape.
"Yes, yes. I understand you humans are unused to such superior quality of Bragulan engineering," Spozavik allowed himself to grin, showing his fangs and canines.
"B-b-b-but those kinds of things haven't been used for - for ages! Like, from the middle of the 20th century back on Old Earth!"
Spozavik laughed at the silly human. "No, rest assured that Bragulan transistors and vacuum tubes are far more advanced than anything humanity could've designed in the 20th century, back on your old country. Unlike your miniscule nanotechnologies and quantums and anti-matters, Bragulan machineries are durable, made out of stainless steel! Such samples are so strong, and heavy, that if used in this building they'll break your insufficient flooring, crash through the next floor, and crush unsuspecting bystanders who happen to be below. Yet despite this, it will still function perfectly!"
"I, uh, I don't know what to -"
"Do not worry, I know this comes as a shock to you as your consumer products which also tend to expire within a given time frame, so your capitalist-minded materialist populace will be forced to buy allegedly newer and better products newly released. Why, in the Sovereignty, it is said that their consumer transhuman body systems and organs likewise have to be replaced every few years. Can you imagine that?" Spozavik barked in laughter. "But Bragulan products? They can last for centuries! Some of the vacuum tubes we're using today are the same ones we used back in your 20th century! Just like your toaster's grandmom, as the saying goes."
"Just like your grandmom's toaster..." Weiner repeated blankly.
"But aside from that, we also have consigned a shipment of paper, several metric megatons of paper," Spozavik continued. "I hear paper is a rare commodity in the human worlds. You hardly devastate your forests anymore, with these so-called environmentalist groups calling for their protection. Cutting down entire forests in human worlds is punishable, no? They say in the Sovereignty, trees chop you!"
"Why, yes, actually. We haven't used paper since the 21st century..." Weiner tried to recall. "I think after the Amazon-something got burned down back on Old Earth, or something. Paper's actually quite rare, and of all the... uhh... great commodities you've mentioned, I think the paper will be the most profitable product."
"Indeed?" Spozavik raised an eyebrow.
"Yes. Despite the environmental laws, there are large segments of the population who prefer using paper over the Three Seashells, so there is a high demand for paper even if it's not so available. I think origami also sells for thousands of credits per folded sheet..." Weiner did the mental math, and slowly his distraught face went back into a much more happier - or at least less devastated - look. "Hmm... I think this can work, as an in-demand alternative to the Three Seashells and as high-value origami. Yes."
"It's a deal then!" Spozavik stood up and grabbed Weiner's hand with a massive paw.
"Yes! Yes!" Weiner yelped as his arm was nearly shaken off.
To be continued...