The Valkia representative was the first to recover and, in a proper political fashion, attempted to smooth over the tone of the meeting and get things back on track.
"Thank you, High Lord, for your attempt to gauge the personalities of the human Commanders. On behalf of the governing Councils of the Alliance, we are here to speak to the leaders of the Human Species about their status with the Alliance forces." The Valkia spoke gently, fluttering his black feathered wings slowly.
The effect actually worked, and he did manage to look more regal and kind than he had a few seconds ago, causing both Max and the Illithid to silently commend his skill.
"I am surprised that you aren't the one being vocal and challenging them." The Giant among their group asked the Huntress, who smirked back at him behind her smooth golden mask and crossed her hands demurely in front of her flowing silver robes.
"As they mentioned, the Humans have already met the Hunters, and their champion put up a good enough fight that we deemed them worthy of future interaction for their skills, and not just for the level of technological advancement that attracted our attention in the first place." She replied.
"They have a warrior who can impress even Huntress Khan? They don't look like much." The Volga asked with a disdainful look up at Max.
"Their finest female fought a Huntress to a draw in twenty meters tall Hunter Suits." She confirmed, clearly well aware of the situation, since the Hunters broadcast the battle live to their other ships.
Now even the Volga looked impressed, and his thoughts were more than a little nervous. He had gotten in way over his head with a species that clearly knew way more about the universe than the Alliance had let on.
Max read through his thoughts and realized that the Alliance had told him that this was a primitive species that had skipped the usual development route and had gained the ability to spread destruction beyond their own Galaxy, but that was all that they had told his people about them.
He had tried to make himself look like the leader of the group because he thought the humans wouldn't know better, and none of the Alliance transmissions he had intercepted had given any hint that they knew more than that an Alliance vessel was watching them.
In short, he had been played for a fool, and everyone else present had gleefully walked all over him, even the humans.
The Dryad was the next to speak up. "If we are going to be in meetings all day, perhaps you could bring the Shin crew member that you mentioned into the meeting. It may help explain some of the cultural differences since our species are quite familiar with each other and on good terms.
What role does the Shin have here with the Humans?"
"He is a botanist in charge of the public vegetation aboard Terminus, as well as the maintenance of the World Tree that grows in the front atrium." The Illithid responded on their behalf.
The Dryad looked overjoyed at that news, and their thoughts were a jumble of happy possibilities, most of which involved naps in the branches of a world tree. That species was definitely going to be easier than average to get along with.
The Valkia gestured onward, and Max led the group into the hallways where the Fourth and Fifth Battalions were waiting for them.
The show of power impressed most of the species, except the one wearing a plain white environmental suit, which Max assumed was the blue-skinned species that he had been informed of, who was mostly unconcerned and saw the presentation as normal procedure. The Huntress and her duo were less impressed since they knew that this was just an honor guard and not the main fighting force of the humans.
Once the Shin botanist arrived and they were seated in the sealed and reinforced room with the doors locked from the inside, Nico moved to the replicator and brought out a wide variety of vegan snacks in recognition of the three species that didn't eat any sort of meat.
"Feel free to partake in the light snacks of human cuisine. They aren't really a representative sample since humans are omnivorous, and these are all plant-based so that all the species present might try them." The Illithid informed the group before stepping back to let Max take over the meeting.
"Welcome everyone to the Colony Ship Terminus, home of the Terminus Trading Company, the designated representatives of humanity for today's meetings. It is a pleasure to see so many species gathered here today, and I look forward to the assuredly good news that the Alliance has brought with them for us." Max greeted the assembly.
"You seem quite confident that we have brought you good news. Is that a matter of personal analysis, or have the Alliance species you employ perhaps obtained some information that they shared with you?" The Giant asked.
"We have, of course, heard rumors. We do have access to Alliance social media here aboard Terminus. But random citizens talking about the financial advantages of an official trade deal or membership, as opposed to allowing us to continue to profit from our patents tax-free as an independent outside force, are hardly enough to base an international treaty strategy on.
My confidence is in the fact that coming to some sort of agreement that doesn't exclude our current allies would be in both of our best interests." Max informed him, reminding everyone in the room that they weren't as isolated as might be usual for a newly contacted species.
The Giant nodded happily and placed a data tablet on the table. "That makes this much easier, then. We have drafted a preliminary agreement before our arrival if you would be willing to accept it as a baseline for our ongoing negotiations."
[Non Compliant Species Trade Agreement between the Alliance and the Human Faction known as Reavers] was the headline.
One after another, each of the other representatives except the Hunters placed a similar tablet on the table, leaving all of the envoys staring at the Huntress.
She only smiled behind her mask and shrugged her shoulders at them.
"What? We already have a working agreement with the Humans. I only came to see if you were going to insult them so badly that they killed you all and took your vessels."