The ships that appear are huge, probably built in space, made for aesthetic sensibilities not as alien as they could have been. On board they start checking whether the system is a template.
...sure, uh, do they want them to take the shuttle back to transport him or do they have a way to do that cleanly themselves?
They’ll just send him with a teleporting escort in a space suit.
And they'll clean the space suit?
Obviously they will clean it before exposing Amenta to it and then again before returning it to their living quarters. Is there an additional time they aren’t thinking of when the Amentans would like them to clean it or do the Amentans just think they’re idiots.
(Well, that’s what the subtext is, anyway. The text is politer than that.)
They don't have a protocol for cleaning the outsides of spacesuits so they wanted to make sure the aliens had one! What is it, please? In case it ever comes up?
The aliens can provide them so much information about the history of spacesuit cleaning - people have tried washing them with liquid nitrogen, isn't it cool! - but the best option if they want to be very very sure is probably this specialized form of teleportation that the Sesatis are pretty sure leaves most pollution behind! They can pretty much do whatever they want, though, because spacesuits are very cheap so they're not especially fussed about making sure any cleaning method they use is gentle.
And Valan drops by with a couple of last-minute questions for Nelen. He'd like to know if the organizer ever answered her email and he needs a picture of wherever he’s supposed to take Nelen.
Nelen shows him a picture of a water treatment facility - he doesn't work there but he can hitch a ride home from it and frankly he'd prefer to go the last mile himself. The organizer gave Nelen an email to give the aliens and he passes it on.
"Thank you, I'll be ready in a bit. I'm sorry that I failed to communicate to you that we could tell the blues something useful. And that I - scared you."
"Thank you sir."
He leaves to go get suited up and passes the organizer's email along to Zatar and there's email for the organizer before he's finished suiting up.
This is Zatar, leader of the fleet which has recently made contact with most polities of Amenta. We believe that robotics research will happen faster due to trading with us, because the population permitted to study will increase as the population in general increases, because we can resurrect dead roboticists, and because FTL is no longer a pressing problem distracting some of Amenta's most brilliant minds. We can probably clean you. We can probably transport you to another planet. These things would not be meaningfully harder to achieve with you dead. You can respond to this email in the normal way (by clicking "reply") or by writing a reply prefaced with "open letter to Zatar of Riverwatch et al" on paper and burning it.
May I know the content of the "probably"?
We have multiple options for destroying and remaking bodies using different atoms.
It seems likely you will be asked why to bother with the remaking.
I doubt I can simulate an argument with a blue beyond that first question, I apologize.
I do have some people suggesting we help out of charity. And it’s also not impossible you could offer me something I want more than I want to avoid spending time tediously resurrecting millions of people. Will the blues object or just not pay for it?
I could imagine either. The latter seems to me more likely.
If it’s going to be terribly inconvenient I won’t get involved. Some of my people might resurrect you eventually anyway. We have heard good things about your courage from the other Amenta. Are you able to hear what we tell the whole planet?
Yes. Some Tapai districts might have problems if it's not something the blues would like us to know. They sometimes block communications in an area.
Anyone can write to us on paper the way I told you.
I will try to make this widely known.
We spoke to other aliens who were quite convinced that pollution could not be hereditary and the reds on the other Amenta were secretly clean all along, but these aliens (the Quendi) were immune to all diseases and designed by a malicious creator. We never finished formalizing a caste system before it became clear that the need for different skills would vary too much over time to make it worthwhile in the longer term. So we don’t have reds and never have. One of my people spoke to the presumably cleaned alternate universe version of Nelen and your Nelen and thought the former was smarter and braver and more clearly principled and more clearly a person but that one is older and might have had magic jewelry that made him more intelligent and was certainly able to heal himself from any injury. It’s hard to say what might have contributed. And there are different cleaning options anyway, some that would make more changes than others. We could ask the blues if they want to test whether the version where a specifically healthy new body is conjured without needing to be identical to the old one has interesting results; it runs on an ordinary personish understanding of health instead of a computerish understanding so it might even change the hair. Unfortunately that one is more work for us than the one that does simply produce an identical body. And it’s not clear that suggesting it would help you. This really isn’t a situation we have experience with and we appreciate having the benefit of your personal experience as well as the deep expertise of Amenta's theologians.
I am available to answer your questions. Many Amentans have to dye their hair, and I couldn't confidently suggest it would be worth any extra effort to change anyone's hair.