< SWITCH ME >

When they eventually arrived at the factory, they both had difficulties standing upright, but were still alive and in one piece. Slowly, they stumbled into the reception and approached the woman working there. Gron did the talking: "We need a SQRZ-2415 rocket engine and a 20WE fuel converter. Do you have those?". The woman looked at them, confused, although it was not entirely clear whether this was because of the question or because of Kwaal's ears, which had not yet recovered from the tumultuous ride and were wildly flapping around. Still, in the manner of obedient professionalism common to all receptionists, she told them to wait for five minutes - a sales representative would be on his way.

When they entered the meeting room, a man with a serious suit and a serious briefcase was already waiting for them: "You are late by precisely 21.3 seconds. This is unacceptable". He looked at them in disgust. "However", he continued, his face lighting up notably, "now that you are here, let’s talk about business". He opened his briefcase. Gron knew this kind of person - even in his part of the galaxy they were selling washing machines. "I assume you would like to buy a car!", the man kept on talking, "Actually you should have gone to our certified retailers, but now that you are here", he flipped out a brochure, "may I recommend the new model XYZ123? Sleek and elegant design, faster than an aeroplane and it has a TV screen integrated into the steering wheel - the perfect car for the 21st century. It also comes with a complementary packet of gummy bears". "Does it fly?", Gron asked. It was more of a rhetorical question - it always made people uncomfortable when he asked rhetorical questions. "No, it doesn't. But why would you want a flying car, those were just an invention of ridiculous 20th century science fiction movies" - the salesman fidgeted slightly. "You really seem to dislike the 20th century", Kwaal interjected. "Not at all", the salesman replied, "it's just so incredibly... over".

"What we really want", Gron said, "is a rocket engine and a fuel converter". The salesman turned pale - "How do you know about the rocket engine - are you a spy?" - "No, we're visitors from a different world" - "You're from Eastern Germany? Either way, I don't trust you and I will turn you over to the police - they will decide what to do". And so it was that for the second time in a single week, Gron and Kwaal saw a police car from the inside. However, in this case, the policemen were looking much more serious, wearing leather jackets and lacking the pretty hats they had in Britain.

Arriving at the police station, Gron and Kwaal were put in a small room with nothing but a table. A man entered and sat down in front of them. "We talked to some of our colleagues in London and they told us who you are. You are not spies, but you have still commited one of the worst mistakes you could possibly make in the Federal Republic of Germany". He looked at them seriously."You have not filled out the paperwork". He gave a signal and a second person entered the room, carrying two giant piles of paper. "As we did not know which forms have to be filled out in your case", the official continued, "we decided to adhere to the general rule that the further away you come from, the more forms you have to fill out. In your case, we have calculated the exact number of pages, it is precisely 7324.15. Let me know when you are finished". With these words he walked through the door and left the two dazed aliens behind.

Later that week, the two were finally leaving the police station. For days they had been filling out their forms. Outside the station, they encountered a familiar figure: "Lliari, what are you doing here?", Kwaal shouted in excitement. Their pal turned towards them. She was wearing sunglasses and didn't look very well. "They had me arrested after I passed out in the street. These Germans, they drink so much! One of them challenged me to a drinking game and when things started spinning around me - he was still sober enough to shoot chickens in a ridiculous video game". "Don’t worry", Kwaal said sympathetically, "you knew that one day you'd find people who were even more stubborn than you are. By the way, did they make you fill out those forms as well?". Lliari looked back at him: "No, apparently I blended in with the other tourists who were all green from drinking too much beer".

"So what are we going to do now?", Gron asked impatiently, walking up and down the street. "Well", Kwaal said, "apparently the Germans are no good at building spaceships. But I did some research and there seem to be some people who are. They call themselves ESA and they seem to be in a place called Paris. Maybe we should go there?". Neither of the others had any objections and so they soon found themselves on another train heading west. After Lliari had cured her hangover with another trip to the Oktoberfest, that is.

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