The Terran ambassador arrived in a richly decorated shuttle, bearing several barrels of unfiltered ayula and decked in fabrics that shimmered under the Ryexian sun. The visit was unexpected, so no troops met him at the spaceport to ensure his safety, but he spared no expense and immediately summoned an aristocoach which he paid for with glimmering stones and coins fashioned of yellow metal. When he produced his credentials at the palace gate the guards were appalled: why had he not sent a courier ahead? He had been received as a plebeian, a mere businessman. The ambassador’s reasoning was intact, however. Too much fanfare would have aroused the attention of dissenters, and his three bodyguards were more than enough to ensure his safety. Now, however, in the comfort of the castle, he did not oppose to being treated like the Terran rulers he served.

The ambassador lounged in his luxurious guest room, sampling the Ryexian pleasure women and drinking the finest gallawine. His gifts spoke wonders of his native land: jewels, perfumes, and spices so fine they made the Ryexian seasonings profane by comparison. Little was known of the Terran homeworld, as the Ryexians had not yet developed interstellar technology. Among the most exotic of gifts was a bird with plumage that fanned into a shimmering wall of color. A peacock, the diplomat explained. He had come to negotiate trade arrangements, and was prepared to bring samples of Ryexian production back to be inspected by his ruler.

There was no shortage of businessmen and merchants eager to offer their products, hungry for export profits and desperate for the prestige of being affiliated with such an advanced world. They refused the ambassador’s offer of payment. These were gifts, gestures of goodwill towards the Terran ruler. When the ambassador left, his shuttle loaded with riches and sample products, he was seen off by a crowd of the most important names on Ryexia. He swore to return in three months’ time, bearing contracts and more gifts to show the limitless resources of his homeland.

Three months passed, then four. Five, six, before word from the Terrans. “We have been waiting for your highness’ response to our gifts,” the Ryexian king said with deference.

“Your gifts?” asked the Terran ruler.

“Given to your ambassador.”

“Our ambassador has not yet contacted you,” said the ruler.

And that was how the Ryexians learned the Terran way.