We were under the strictest orders: observation only, no contact. The reasons had been carefully considered. Given their primitive emotional development, it was posited that contact could trigger mass hysteria which could result in aggressive deployment of their basic, but reasonably effective, weapons. Some had nuclear capability and, although it was laughably backward, our administrators did not want to give them cause to use it.
I was not privy to the administrators’ intentions. Were they planning a policy of observation and containment or considering colonisation by stealth?
In hindsight, I was culturally aberrant, but I got caught up in the excitement. As our surveillance subjects would say: “I just couldn’t help myself.”
The manual is clear on all aspects of what is deemed contact. Covert acquisition of cultural artefacts is forbidden also. My advocate argued that replication of a currency did not constitute acquisition, but this was dismissed as a semantic argument.
I needed to use money and that was unknown to our culture. Also, I had to disguise myself so as not to be detected nor cause alarm.
It seemed a simple enough ruse on my part. These stockbrokers are used to dealing with wealthy Saudis and they consider large cash transactions as no more than a cultural preference.
The problem came when I was back aboard the Mother Station. My roommate blanched when he saw the large cache of Facebook shares I had attempted to hide.