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.


A smoky world and the home planet of the Zibzab. It is difficult to get to since the Zibzab have converted it into a giant spaceship, complete with atmospheric shielding. Its main exports are Zibzabian jewelry, scrapyard junk, and secret knowledge.


A tropical mountainous world and the home planet of the Eglabites. It contains the tallest peaks known to the Federation, including Mount Goliath and Mount Tyrant, both part of the Wendon Mountain Range. Scientists often visit it to study its unique biomes, with lush rainforest in the valleys and dry alpine habitats in the mountains.


Small hedgehog-like sentients that live on Terragast. They keep to themselves, hiding in hard-to-reach places, and refuse to apply for Federation recognition. They often play tricks on unwary travelers. Their spiky fur allows them to blend in with their surroundings along with the lichen and moss that grow on their backs.


Small potato-shaped aliens with stick-thin limbs. They think they are the most superior sentients in the Federation. They excel at research and development. Zibzab children learn advanced mathematics and engineering techniques quite early. They can also see colors outside the normal range of other sentients. Like the color floob.


Catlike humanoids from the desert planet Araveen. They are proud, strong, and quick to judge, but, once a friend, they will always stay loyal. They revere the arts of music, epic poetry, and martial arts. An average Felisi is able to keep several, if not dozens, of books memorized in her head for easy recall.


Swashbuckling humanoids from the planet Cullicut. Their fearsome appearance, with facial horns and sharp teeth, belies their playful nature. They make great mercenaries. If not for their love of games and parties, they would probably rule the sector with their superior firepower and technology.


Medium-sized aliens with large feet and a passion for surfing. Most Lackerdoods just like to relax and take life easy, especially since their original homeworld was destroyed long ago. They now call the desert planet Urvellion their home. They excel at languages and invented the first version of Federation Standard.