"Excuse me - were you just talking to that man?" The woman posing the question wore a dark suit, almost antique in its formality. The man she asked wore green robes that looked like they had little red insect antennae around the base. It was a relatively accurate assessment. He turned from his companion, swirled the wine in his glass a bit, and responded.
"Yes, I was. Why do you ask?"
"Do you know what he was trying to do?"
The man frowned and checked a device on his wrist. The lights on it were blue. "Nothing, so far as I can tell. Why, am I in danger?"
The woman frowned and muttered, "Only ethically." She sat down and introduced herself. "Kenyi, of the League of Independent Worlds."
"Yes, I guessed. We're so glad to be hosted here at your capital. My name is Tilapa, of the Harmonious Nations of Gaia." They shook. Both made a mental note to sanitize their hands later. "What did you mean by that statement?"
"I'm a member of the security force here. I deal with memetic crime of a specific sort. The man you spoke with is a... I'm forced to use the word 'suspected' criminal."
"Oh!" Tilapa looked around for the man. "Then why is he here?"
"Are your people familiar with the concept of organized crime?"
"I'm not sure what you mean. Most of our criminals are highly organized..."
"That would be a no, then. Here." She handed him a data seed, formatted for his machines. The organizers who had set up this party had hired some very competent engineers to get around the systems mismatch.
The Gaian loaded the seed and scanned the contents briefly. "What a bizarre idea."
"Yeah. Tell me about it."
"Do you want some help tracing their activities?"
"The way our legal system is set up you might end up doing them a favor by trying to help us. Trust me - stay out of their way. Your people believe a little too much in the things that would help them do their job. I'd rather not infect your society that way." Kenyi went to stand up.
"I think you underestimate us."
She paused. "How so?"
"It's true that peace is important to us, that we would rather let our worlds be trampled than let violence rule our response. But because of that very belief, the methods you describe here," he waved at the strangely pulsating display device all the Gaians seemed to use, "could never gain a serious foothold. Something like this is no threat to our civilization on an ideological level. They might..." He searched for a metaphor. "They might inhabit the body, but they pose it no threat."
Kenyi stood up and adjusted her coat. "That's good to hear, but it's not where my concern stops. You keep looking out for your civilization. I'll look out for its people."