Jemima walked dejectedly along the road. She couldn't quite believe that her age-old friend had just abandoned her like that for these morons.
She was just turning the corner when a green ray of light shone down on her and dragged her on board the spacecraft above.
"Oh yeah, why not drag me into your spaceship, I mean to say?" she complained, now used to the bizarre things that can happen in our random universe.
The creatures contained within were the meanest-looking things imaginable: they had thin little slits for mouths, great green noses which opened and closed angrily as they breathed and little piggy eyes that glared with permanent rage.
Jemima decided she needed to be more polite.
"We are the Seckergro," grated their leader.
"That's nice. I'm Jemima," said Jemima.
"We will find all we need from your brain, soldier," said the Seckergro leader.
"I ain't a soldier," complained Jemima. A red beam was fired at her head.
"Ow, get off me - that hurts," she said, remembering to pronounce her "h"s. She'd become rather good at that.
"Ah, you are indeed no soldier. Yet you have the arrogance and the defiance of the military mind. I can detect in you no fear."
Jemima felt quite proud of that.
"We have learnt from you all we can. Now you will have to walk the plank."
"WHAT? No!" said Jemima, thinking quickly. "I could be useful to you: I could be an 'ostage, I mean a hostage."
The Seckergro discussed briefly in their own language and nodded their heads.
"It has been agreed, soldier, for that is what you are to us. We shall contact Earth authorities."
Clearing his throat and smoothing back his green skin, the Seckergro leader picked up his communicator to speak to the Earth.
"This is Seckergro Leader calling Earth. This is Seckergro Leader calling Earth. We have a hostage situation here. I demand to speak to your leader."
A voice came back: "Ringing for you."
There then came the sound of Haydn's Serenade in F Minor. The Seckergro looked at each other and at Jemima, as if she could do something about it.
"I say again: we have one of your precious humans. She will walk the plank unless your leader comes on the communicator IMMEDIATELY and parleys with me. We are the Seckergro: we do not give second chances."
A voice came on the line and the Seckergro Leader nodded briefly.
"Hi. You're through to Thomas at BT. How can I help you?"
"Ah - Thomas. Are you the leader of your world?"
"The leader of my world? Just a moment, please... just a moment, please... just a moment, please... hold on..."
The alien creature was looking meaner than ever. For the first time Jemima felt scared as he glared at her.
"What's the problem, caller?" asked another voice on the line.
"The problem, my friend, is that I am in one of the fastest and deadliest spaceships in the universe and am training my laser gun STRAIGHT AT YOUR MISERABLE PLANET. I shall blast your pathetic apology for a "civilisation" out of the way unless you PUT ME THROUGH TO YOUR LEADER RIGHT NOW."
"Right, I sympathise absolutely with your problem, sir, but they seem to have put you through to the wrong department... just a moment, please... just a moment, please... the line's going to go dead for ten minutes but please don't think that means we've forgotten about you..."