The tile of the story is taken from Vilcabamba, Peru, the last outpost maintained by the Inca before it was completely crushed by Spain in the sixteenth century. In the story, one of Moffatt's cabinet shares this story with Moffatt, who is resigned to the fact that his rump U.S. will play that same role. Turtledove analogizes the events of his story to European colonization in several ways. The Krolp are initially greeted with peaceful overtures, which they quickly and violently refuse. The Krolp possess technology far beyond human understanding. The Krolp view humans as sub-creatures, and do their best to "Krolpize" those humans within their control. The Krolp value mineral wealth, and readily break an agreement with the U.S. to get it.
- "Eyewear", Turtledove's contribution to collection Golden Reflections; the research Turtledove did for that story helped inspire "Vilcabamba".