A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Everything Has a Flavor" in Mirror Shards.
Alastair swirled the golden-hued 60-year-old Macallan single malt in his glass and leaned back in his cabin chair as he looked out the port window at a view of mainland Europe twinkling into dusk and the last light of the evening playing over Britain's shores. The whiskey was rare but Alastair had earned it, he postponed drinking it even after they came to the agreement with the aliens. But now, they had converted the alien technological schematics and treatises into Blue-ray format and embedded the harmless alien pet blobs into the population.
The ship's intercom pinged and the voice of one of the cadets interrupted. "Sir, the alien ambassador wants to speak with you."
"Have we a reneged, or hurt one of their pets?"
"Uh no, sir. He says it's urgent, but he'll only speak with you."
Alastair sighed and set his glass down on the walnut burled bar. So much for his relaxing evening. "I'll be down there."
Alastair strode into the reception gallery in his United Nations navy uniform with the matching cape. He hated the cape, it required too much thought to ensure that it sat properly at all times and made him look dignified. The alien ambassador sat at the table with three of his cohorts standing behind him. Alastair waited for the cape to settle and then sat across from the ambassador. "What seems to be the problem?"
"No problem," said the ambassador. His English was flawless. Alastair supposed the long journey had given them plenty of time to practice. "We'd like to negotiate a modification to the treaty."
"I thought we had come to agreement on your technology, our land, and the hosting of your pets." It'd taken months to arrange the original treaty, was that null and void now?
"The land, Saharan Africa, Antarctica, Central Australia, and Greenland, is less than ideal."
"I know. We discussed this many times and in the end we agreed that it was best to give you lands that were less populated. Our culture is strongly attached to their land."
"We recognize that and must apologize for our actions. Our brethren are not as harmless as they may seem." There were whispers among the United Nations functionaries. "We know the value your culture places on your young."
"What have you done." Shouted Alistair.
"Nothing that will leave lasting damage. At least not if you cede the islands of Britain, Japan, and New Zealand to us."