What really did happen was the accident at the soil mine. Quarantines at the border, waiting-lists as long as your arm. Growing up in the woods, I didn’t have a lot of experience waiting in line. It’s a special sort of municipal Hell.
My guide through the firey gates was a Border Administrator named Sid Civilian. Sid didn’t like their job much, chiefly because it was a crushing, demoralizing grab-bag of systemic prejudice wrapped in a bow of red-tape. A good person, I really believe so – when I heard them speak, I could feel that unique suffering of a good person working a day-job in hell.