When the alien Marq arrives on Essenar bearing an ugly root, Tishla and Kai are reminded of a Gelt fairy tale, “Jod and the Giant.” Like Jack in the human fairy tale about the beanstalk, the trouble begins for Jod when someone brings a magic plant, a root in this case. There are slight differences, but then cultural evolution for the Gelt seems to have paralleled humans as it has with physical evolution. So Kai and Tishla think they are Jod, the alien Marq is the man bearing the magic root, and the giant is probably the mysterious Compact.
“Jack and the Beanstalk” has a similar man bearing magic beans which he uses to get the family cow from Jack.
And then we have Luxhomme, who looks similar to Marq, only he’s talking to humans. Specifically, he has arranged a new home for fringe group from the Compact world of Jefivah. Is he also Jack’s con man with Jefivan minister Douglas Best in the role of Jack?
I kind of see Luxhomme on the world eventually named Marilyn as Professor Harold Hill from The Music Man, giving his 76 trombones (in this case, a former military depot on a desert world) to the Marilynist cult, and Best as the only one who sees him as a con artist. Only Best is stuck playing along with Luxhomme.
But the potato crop on Essenar leads to an invasion of “rogue” colonies. And the removal of a nuclear arsenal results in a loss of seven warheads, still a big deal in the interstellar era. In both cases, the mysterious JunoCorp is left in the driver’s seat with a monopoly it could not have otherwise.