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The Teleportation FreeZone
By David Scholes
Officially Drandor was a teleportation free zone. This was enforced to the full extent of that world's most formidable technologies. At least for visitors. Visitors caught teleporting on Drandor had their stay cancelled and were transported off world with immediate effect. Occasionally they were not heard from again.
Even the most advanced races, those rivaling the Drandorians, were only permitted to teleport to the complex at the outermost of Drandor's three moons. The artificial one.
All visitors to Drandor, whatever their means of arrival, had to go through this complex. From the third moon, visitors could only descend to the planetary surface by means of one of the ubiquitous sub-light shuttles.
Only the elite of the elite of our Galaxy got on the visitors list to Drandor. Even so some were turned back from the third moon complex for what could be the most capricious of reasons. In effect this was a further and final vetting process by the Drandorians.
The true nature and dynamics of Drandorian society had evaded all of the advanced worlds of our Galaxy. Yet they all felt that Drandor harbored a dark secret.
There was only one acceptable reason for visiting Drandor. Tourism. It was far and away the best holiday destination in the Galaxy. A world offering a vast array of holiday options from the super luxury category upwards.
With this one exception Drandor simply did not trade with the rest of the Galaxy. There were rumors of dealings with extra Galactic civilizations but these were unsubstantiated. Still, now and then, disquieting evidence arose of the Drandorians possession of extremely advanced technologies. Beyond anything in our Galaxy.
When Cecile Snodgrass of Basingstoke, England, Earth arrived at the third moon complex even the normally ultra suspicious Drandorians could not perceive him as a threat. While it was unusual for someone from such a backwater world to holiday at Drandor, it was not without precedent.
Cecile chose a holiday package at one of the permlocations. This allowed him the maximum interaction with other visitors and potentially some Drandorians. Some other holiday options offered reclusive settings with total privacy guaranteed but that was not for him.
Though at the bottom end of the holiday scale, Cecile's apartment occupying the entire 252nd floor of the Hotel Drandor offered breathtaking views of colossal snow capped mountain ranges, endless tropical forests containing the Galaxies most exotic flora and fauna and light blue seas dotted with exotic islands and offering limitless visibility. Within the apartment matter/energy manipulation capabilities were on offer so that Cecile could surround himself with an environment and companions of his choosing. In short he could have a jolly good holiday without even leaving his enormous apartment.
Even so Cecile didn't spend much time in his apartment. Nor did he partake of more than the customary minimum of short tours. Rather he seemed to spend most of his time in hotel restaurants, bars, and coffee lounges enjoying the views and engaging in polite conversation with other visitors and even the occasional Drandorian.
Not that this aroused the suspicion of his hosts who were used to all different tastes from their visitors. If anything the Drandorians that even noticed him may have felt a little sorry for this awkward, lonely individual from that most backwater of all worlds.
In short Cecile's holiday plans maximized the potential for information gathering without alerting the Drandorian authorities.
During his third standard time interval Cecile dined with a very elegant, very tall woman at the extreme end of human attractiveness. If anything she was, by human standards, just a little too tall, too elegant, and too attractive. The signs were so subtle that Cecile didn't immediately detect that she was an extra-Galactic even though he was trained to do so. Extra-Galactics were rare but not unheard of on Drandor. Occasionally they were referred to as beyonders. What was more unusual was that the beyonder showed barely detectable traces of residual energy from a recent teleportation.
Cecile was surprised at the woman's interest in him and wondered if she had divined that he was something more than he seemed to be. In the end and after politely declining what might have been an interesting visit to her apartment he concluded she was basically "slumming it" with "the dregs of a lesser Galaxy."
About half way through his "holiday" Cecile retired to his apartment for the riskiest part of his stay on Drandor, a series of lightning (no pun intended) teleportation trips to preplanned destinations. In particular several of the reclusive resorts where holidaymakers had access to full energy/matter manipulation facilities to enhance their vacation. Although the experiences of Cecile Snodgrass were far beyond that of the average Earthman he returned from his trip grim faced.
The possibility of Cecile's teleportation being detected by extra-Galactic boosted Drandorian technology was reasonably high. Perhaps the highest risk had been that the simalcrum of him remaining in the apartment would be detected. Even after his return he half expected Drandorian security to bust in or, more likely, teleport in on him at any moment. It didn't happen and he settled down to the rest of his holiday.
There was no known foolproof method by which Snodgrass could communicate his findings to his superiors while he was still on Drandor. The probability of communications detection and blocking and his subsequent elimination was simply too high. The best course was to see out the holiday and return home via the third moon complex. If detection was imminent he could consider an emergency much faster than light (MFTL) communication and then teleporting the vast distance to Earth. Neither move was assured of success.
In his ten standard time interval holiday, Cecile encountered eight more extra-Galactics. Only one of them obviously so. This was far more than he expected. All of them had minor residual traces of teleportation. It was becoming clear that there was one rule on Drandor for intra-Galactic visitors and quite another for the beyonders.
Almost to his surprise, when Cecile Snodgrass's vacation came to an end, he passed through the third moon complex and onto the hyper-drive ship to Earth quite uneventfully.
It was not so very long after the earthman's arrival at the secure Brell base on Earth that the flow of visitors to Drandor began to dry up and existing holiday makers began to return home early from Drandor. Drandorian authorities picked up on the trend pretty quickly. They took it as a clear sign that there secret was out. Possibly they could have held the remaining holiday makers as hostage but it was
Soon it became common knowledge that beyonders or extra Galactics were teleporting about Drandor at will while intra Galactic visitors were denied this right. Far far worse than this though came the knowledge that the extra Galactics were using Drandor to acquire detailed knowledge of the major races of the Galaxy. Telepathically reading their minds as the unsuspecting visitors fully relaxed in the holiday environment.
The extra-Galactics saw Drandor as their "gateway" to our Galaxy. A stepping stone for eventual conquest after initial intelligence gathering.
Drandor was almost immediately quarantined by a combined starfleet of the major worlds which set up teleportation inhibitors through the planetary system halting the beyonders advance before they started to disperse to other worlds.
Finally Drandor did truly become the teleportation free zone that it had claimed to be.
This didn't necessarily mean it was over but the beyonders would have to start again somewhere else in our Galaxy.
As for Cecile Snodgrass, the Earthman from Basingstoke, England, well his services were always available.