Visitor 51347 by David Scholes

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"Visitor 51347" came the subtle telepathic message. "Please remove your means of teleportation and place it in the transparent force locker." "If you are a natural teleport" continued the automatic message "then please enter screened cubicle 23A for processing."

Interesting thought the visitor loosening an attachment to his belt. They don't appear to have allowed for the contingency that I might possess both means of teleportation.

There were two main gateways to Lhorran 4. The teleport gateway for the more advanced races and the space terminal for those arriving by more primitive means. In other words, the plebs. At the space terminal only faster than light ships arrived. Lesser technologies were not permitted here.

Not that Lhorran received huge numbers of visitors. The Galaxies most advanced known corporeal civilization could be very intimidating. Still there were always a few curious enough to make the trip. Despite the vague and still unsubstantiated warnings from planetary governments. Enough curiosity, for a steady trickle of arrivals.

Occasionally those with motives extending beyond curiosity came. They never got past the automatic screening processes, at each gateway, before being sent politely on their way.

To the automatic systems that greeted him, visitor 51347 did not quite fit any of the usual categories of visitor. Yet the marginal deviation from prescribed parameters was not enough for the systems to alert their Lhorranian masters. Except for one thing that somehow went unreported.

"They attempted to mind print me" said 51347 in a highly encoded message on a secure telepathic frequency.
"Obviously unsuccessfully" came a rhetorical response at the speed of thought.

Once planet side, visitor 51347 or Tragathh Blormfontein, as he was known in some parts of the Universe, found things busier than expected.

A large, faster than light, starship had arrived from a virtually unknown little world. The first such trip from a rather backward area of this Galaxy.

Tragathh took a good stroll around the main conurbation of what otherwise seemed a very de-centralised society. Some of the infrastructure was not fixed, with the location of air corridors, electromagnetic walkways and tele-shunt booths changing frequently to reflect the varying demand.

"No gridlock in a place like this!" he heard one of the visitors from the FTL starship communicate to another. Not by telepathy but by crude physical speech. They were from the backwater world. Earth, he heard them say.

"A few core facilities are relatively fixed essentially permanent." Tragathh conveyed telepathically "as to everything else, it seems to be legitimately subject to matter/energy, manipulation/conversion with varying degrees of control" "A non-essential structure can be in one location one day and the opposite side of the conurbation, or even planet, the next!"

Not all of this information was necessarily profound. Any of the tourist/visitor literature for Lhorran alluded to this situation.

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