The sleek form of the alien spaceship shimmered as it passed through the atmosphere. The creatures were deceptive, surprisingly so. Cloaking devices, low-energy orbital engines…thank goodness the Satellite warning systems had managed to pick them up. Their point of entry though, meant that Agent Jones found himself in a hovercraft somewhere near the top of the Himalayas, wrapped in blankets against the cold.
Two could play the stealth game, and Earth’s tech was hardly obsolete compared to the Sh’ka. By the time the aliens noticed the cloaked hovercraft it was too late. Agent Jones pressed the communications button, sending a signal straight to the Captain of the silver vessel.
The insectoid face of a Sh’ka Ship Captain appeared on the view screen, green bulbulous eyes glowing slightly with barely suppressed emotion. The prominent symbols carved onto its carpace marked it as one Captain Kh'r, of the Sh'ka vessel Swzlt.
“This is Earth Territory, Captain. You know the Rules. Land your ship and we can talk this over peacefully.”
The Captain made a odd set of chitterling noises, which the onboard computer translated. “Curse you Earthlings! Very well, we will land on the flat planes and begin the exchange”
Moments later Agent Jones found himself inside a small makeshift tent with Captain Kh’r, both parties wearing their respective Bio-Adapter Suits. Normally, Agents didn’t need to wear a BAS for such exchanges. Then again, normally aliens did not try to land on the Himalayas.
The Agent grinned, holding out the Transfer Box. A series of chitters emitted from the translator embedded on his suit’s chest. “The Sh’ka Government trying to cheat again, Captain?”
“No, no,” answered Captain Kh'r, eyes glowing faintly through the visor, “it’s not our fault if Earth’s too busy expanding to catch one little craft. Anyway, we landed, didn’t we?”
The Sh'ka punched in the keycode into its own Transfer Box. There was a minor display of tiny lights and beeping, indicating that the transfer had started.
“1600 credits, correct?”
“3200 actually. We have the whole System now, so the number goes up a bit”
“You race never stops expanding, does it?” grumbled the Captain as he punched in more buttons.
“Nope,” answered Jones, “In fact, we should be somewhere near the Prime sector by n-”
His suit’s visor flashed as a series of bright red letters marched across the screen. A Universal Message?! The Captain was probably receiving it as well. What could possible be so important that it would warrant a Universal Message directly to-
“Ah…rats” exclaimed the Agent. Captain Kh’r was grinning, or at least what the Sh’ka did for grinning. Its eyes were flashing in an odd pattern of bright and dim lights that Jones recognized as the Sh’ka equivalent of laughter.
“You saw that too, eh?””
“Yes.” The Sh’ka was already deactivating the Box;
“So I guess this means this transaction is void?”
“Apparently. We would need to check the Rules to be certain.”
The Captain left. Soldiers escorted Agent Jones back to the relative comfort of the hovercraft, where he watched the Swzlt slowly rise into the air, the flare from its engines reflecting off the snow, illuminating the entire mountain top.
Moments later, they were gone.
“Damn,” cursed Agent Jones, watching the rapidly fading star in the sky. A tiny point of light zipping through space, dancing from planet to planet – just another one of the many representatives of a hundred different races, from a thousand different planets. He glanced at the omnious message displayed upon his visor and sighed. The Government would not be pleased when Jones got back to base;
“…I repeat, the Earth Flagship The Wheel has landed in the Dark Warp. The ship and all its men will now be teleported straight to the Holding Dimension. Do not pass Sirius. Do not collect 20000 Credits…”