Part 2

"I'm Amele, I'm interning here." the alien introduces herself. "This Welcome Station is operated by the Federation Government and has a crew of people from all over Insula. For example, I'm a Lackerdood, but we also have Zibzab and Elemens and others on board! Let's go share this cake with them!" She steps onto a miniature flying surfboard and glides off down the corridor, handing out strangely-fluffy slices of cake to everyone she meets and introducing you as the Humans.

You pass through an official-looking set of doors and see a variety of aliens scattered around the room, working intently at glowing consoles. A large furry fellow with feline features does a double take when he sees you, then invites you over to the window with a wave of his clawed hand. "That's Reecho," Amele says, "One of our leading scientists. And a Felisi."

His low voice sounds almost like a purr or growl. "I suppose I must congratulate you. My life's work has been the dedicated study of these Portals, but it seems that you have mastered one first." His tail twitches and his ears tilt back like a cat keeping a close watch on an errant beetle. You explain that you actually know nothing at all about this Portal, and mostly assumed that the aliens on the other side were the ones who had constructed it. Instantly his ears lift. "Ah ha, well, then it is indeed fortunate that you have found me. Though I have not yet determined how to open a portal, I am an expert."

And then, what looks like an octopus glides out of the corner, fixing one eye on you and watching several portable screens with the other. "Sorry to interrupt, but before you get too involved we really must discuss your paperwork. Amele should have explained it. It's due within 48 business days." She glides off again like there are much more important things to monitor.

"Oh, there's plenty of time for paperwork after cake," Amele says, "That was Penelope. She's a Neeble-Woober, and my mentor. But like she says, we have rules here in Insula. The Federation governs this part of space with a healthy amount of paperwork. Visitors are welcome, as long as one of the member species will agree to sponsor your visa. I can totally help you figure that out." She begins to munch on the last slice of cake.

Continue to Part 3 by clicking the option above, voted on by the majority of readers. The below option did not win. You may notice that the percentages add up to 101, which is due to the complicated nature of Portals.

(46%): Ask Amele about finding a sponsor.