That sounds to be a good idea,” Victor said. “We might even stress we are not sure what prior management did. Are Frumpkins air-breathing? Are we only dealing with their human attorneys?”
“Not only can they breathe our air,” Elaine said, “but they can eat much of our food. The stuff they shouldn’t eat simply passes through; we have about the same poisons that they do.”
“By all means, invite them out here,” Victor said. “Something informal to discuss; suggest they bring about three sophonts. Be sure to arrange that everything they see and say is carefully recorded for our later benefit. And have appropriate refreshments.”
“They may want four,” Elaine interjected. “Frumpkins – had to deal with them a lot – are trigamous.”
Victor shrugged. “As long as it’s four and not forty,” he said. “And we will want a count and list of names to be sure we can arrange proper seating and hospitality. Also, we need whatever background material there is on them.”
“I have a large file,” Elaine said. “They’re an Associated Republic, meaning technically independent. They vigorously served the past Empire and the Stellar Republic, various Frumpkin firms gradually buying up patent rights on tool designs. They are fond of exchanging commercial favors. Not bribes, but they support their business partners. There was some friction with the Empire. They affect to have religious objections to foreigners owning Frumpkin territory or companies. By report they have secret societies that take notes on Empire efforts to erode boundaries and organize gradual pushback.”
“Interesting,” Victor said. “I’ve never heard of them. But they sound like good people. Secret societies? Yes, they definitely sound like good people. Please send me the file and astrographic notes.”
“Will do, sir,” Elaine answered. She made notes on her touchpad.