The aide-de-camp touched a box that was set on a low table in the middle of the hotel suite's main room.
"Now, even their NSA cannot hear us, Ambassador General," he said, speaking in Valgarian. They weren't sure the humans could understand their language but they weren't taking chances.
The Ambassador to Earth was adjusting his dress uniform. The Valgarian race was military and all government jobs came with a rank and uniform, no matter how uncomfortable they were.
"Are you sure this is necessary?" the Ambassador growled, trying to fit in the bright purple tunic.
"We have to keep the humans unaware of our plans," the aide-de-camp replied. "We have to humor them until our fleet is in position to destroy this planet and take from the humans all the riches of this solar system. They are so weak and pitiful they haven't even started exploiting their near moon or the asteroid belt."
"Again, why do have to go to this 'concert'?" The last word was in English, there is no Valgarian equivalent.
"We were invited. Apparently, it has something to do with their culture and they wish to show off to us."
The Ambassador growled. "The sooner we wipe these puny humans out the better."
"Yes, Ambassador General."
There was a knock on the door of the suit.
"Come," the Ambassador said in English. He'd used a learning machine to download it into his brain before arrival. That and all of Earth's major languages. It took a time period the humans would call "thirty seconds."
The door opened and a tall human in those funny clothes they wore with the colorful piece of cloth tied around the neck stepped in. It was the United States Secretary of State. "It's time to go, Ambassador," he said. If the Ambassador knew more about human emotions he might have noticed the man's haughty air and been offended.
"Yes, we'll be right out," the Ambassador replied, trying to get his last rank insignia straight. The gravity on this planet was more than he was used to and it made every little movement a chore.
He was taken by a large black wheeled vehicle to the venue for the "concert." Secret Service agents followed the "limousine" in larger black vehicles called "essuvees." At the concert hall, puny humans stepped aside at the orders of the Secret Service agents and the Ambassador was led to a balcony, walking on the cilia of his underside. Waiting there was the Ambassador Lieutenant, another aide for the General, who had been studying the humans longer than anyone else on the Ambassador's staff.
The Secretary of State hovered about, making sure both of the Valgarians were comfortable before he sat in a "chair" next to the Ambassador.
The Ambassador looked over the large room. Rows and rows of humans sat facing a raised area where more humans sat. Each of those humans was holding a device the use of which the Ambassador could not fathom.
The lights dimmed, a man walked out in even funnier clothes, with long tails hanging down where the feces comes out. He bowed to the people in the rows of seats and the humans all smacked their hands together repeatedly. He stood in front of the humans with the devices.
Two women came out. Human women, the Ambassador scoffed to himself. This entire race was repugnant, he thought. He had no idea how they manged to breed. They even had fur on top of their heads like some base animal.
The man with the funny long tails on his clothes raised his hands. In one was a slender white stick. The people with the devises, both human male and female, the Ambassador noted, moved their devices. Some put them against their mouths or even put one end in their mouths. Others held them with sticks over them. Still others just stood by them with sticks. The Ambassador was interested despite himself. What kind of barbaric ritual was this "concert"?
The sound started then. It was soft and seemed designed to lull a being.
"What is this sound?" the Ambassador General demanded of the Lieutenant.
"They call it 'music,' Ambassador General," he replied.
"Gentlemen," the Secretary of State whispered, a forced smile on his face, "It is customary to be quiet during a performance."
The Ambassador General snorted. But he became quiet and started listening again to the sound, the "music." And one of the women began speaking. But it wasn't speaking, it was almost wailing. It was, the Ambassador General realize, the most beautiful thing he'd ever heard. He'd had planetary leaders beg him not to destroy their planet and, yet, this sound was even more beautiful than that. When the second woman joined in it became even more lovely and then, to his amazement, when he didn't think he'd ever experienced anything this beautiful, the women wailed at the same time and he closed his eye stalks and let the sound wash over his body.
When the sounds and wailing stopped, again the humans smacked their hands together and some in the audience below hollered.
The Ambassador General opened his eye stalks.
"We will not destroy this race," he said to the Lieutenant.
"We cannot destroy something that produces sounds such as these. We will not destroy this race."
"But our entire civilization, culture, heritage depends on destroying inferior races to cleanse they galaxy of their stain."
"This is not an inferior race," the Ambassador General said with anger lacing his voice. "Call off the fleet, we will move on from this place and leave them in peace."
The Lieutenant lowered his eyestalks in a sign of obedience. "Yes, Ambassador General."
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