The Goop's Gentle Current

Vera hadn't expected formal salutations with the aliens to take place in a bowl-shaped chamber filled to her chest with a slippery goo. Once the ambassador had reached the aliens' massive vessel, now floating in the Atlantic, they'd directed her down a slide. She came out in the goop. "What is this stuff?"

"We do not know," Georg said. "Dmitri arrived two hours ago, the rest of us since."

The others were ambassadors from Russia, Germany, China, France, and Venezuela. All swayed in the goop's gentle current.

"Have the visitors said anything?"

"No since the slide," said Fiera. "We just stand here, getting... pruney." She made a face. It was clear all their clothes were ruined.

Vera sniffed the fluid. Nothing. With a grimace, she licked her finger. "It's... kind of sweet." The others followed suit and agreed. She laughed once, with a quirk of a smile on her lips.

Dmitri scowled. "What is funny?"

"Nothing. Just... the taste reminds me of this strawberry dessert I make. I make the syrup, then leave the berries in a few hours... to... macerate." She looked around. "Oh God, we're dessert."

"Pardon?" asked Jean-Vernon, just before something plucked him out of the goop.