Star Agent, Grade Zero, B’ama sat at the hidden terminal in his office, ready to write his final report back to galactic headquarters. The interface hummed as his fingers entered the type-field and he smiled to himself –he’d really done it, the toughest mission of his soon-to-be-legendary career.

You magnificent bastard, he thought. I’ll bet they give you your own moon after this.

Only a few hours left before could leave this primitive backwater and return to civilization. Might as well get to it:

MISSION SUCCESSFUL. INFILTRATED GOVERNMENT OF MOST POWERFUL NATION-STATE ON BLITTO, P-3, AND ASSUMED COMMAND. POLICIES AND LAWS IMPLEMENTED WILL ENSURE SUCCESSFUL INVASION WHEN FLEET ARRIVES.

He paused for a moment, relishing the feeling of completion, and looked out his window at the snow-covered lawn. Flowers would be springing from the thorny bushes outside again soon. It was a shame he’d miss that –they were delicious. He continued:

INFILTRATION NOTE; SMALL PORTION OF POPULATION SUSPECTED THIS AGENT WAS NOT ONE OF THEM, BUT DUE TO SELECTION OF SUBSPECIES ETHNIC FEATURES THIS AGENT WAS MISTAKEN FOR NATIVE FROM OTHER CONTINENT.

That bit should please his boss. She’d chosen this bioform for him at random, but would undoubtedly take credit for it as if it were deliberate. She’d also repay his loyalty for setting up the narrative of her foresight. Besides, it was such a lovely shade of brown –another thing he’d miss. Oh well…

Bama hesitated before continuing –this was the hard part:

GRAVE CONCERNS ABOUT HANDING PLANETARY GOVERNANCE BACK TO CLYN-TON REPTILOIDS. IT IS NOT THIS AGENT’S PLACE TO SUGGEST POLICY TO THE COUNCIL, BUT HAVING SPENT EIGHT CYCLES WORKING TO CORRECT DAMAGE LINGERING FROM THEIR LAST TERM, THIS AGENT SUGGESTS ALLOWING QUALIFIED LOCAL AN ATTEMPT AT GOVERNING OWN PLANET -*RESULTS COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE ANY WORSE*.

This would undoubtedly anger their delegate to the Council. The CLYN-TONs were such a vile race and Bama had no idea why they were allowed to take turns administering pre-conquest worlds, let alone granted full membership to participate in galactic management.

No, not worth it, he thought, deleting the entire paragraph. With the fleet set to arrive within the cycle, it wouldn’t really matter how badly they managed things. They could hand over power to one of those tasty thorn-flower bushes outside his office and it wouldn’t stop what was coming. All he’d accomplish would be to make a powerful enemy and put his own career in jeopardy.

Shame though, someone will eventually need to deal with those scaly dirtbags.

He flicked the Send receptor and his bioform exhaled in relief. Done, finally done. Years of manipulating the indigenous population, making subtle changes to policy, planting memetic time-bombs in the planet’s dank cultural subconscious – it would all pay off, for the glory of the Galactic Collective. All he needed was the reply to confirm the report was received and he could go home, retire, and reap his rewards, bask in his glory.

Text flashed on the display. Without a second glance he stood up and walked out, crossing the lawn to board the primitive aircraft that would ferry him to the trans-warp bunker.

And gleaming on the holographic display in the now-empty ovular office, the message read:

“THANKS ØBAMA”

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