I’d like to start off by thanking everyone that’s posted on this site. I just spent two days reading everything on Writing and World Building. Actually that’s a lie, I didn’t read everything, I read every thread on the Writing and World Building forum that might possibly answer the five questions I had when I joined up. I’m happy to report that four of the questions were answered by stuff already posted. Additionally, I had a few laughs, which was a nice bonus. The first thing that made me smile was learning that there are a lot of people around here that are writing sci-fi books/novels/stories. I think that’s great; the more creative souls the better. My questions about ship design, propulsion, shielding, and FTL Drive are all now answered and I didn’t even have to bother anyone! So here’s the deal. I, like many others, am writing a little story about aliens visiting Earth. (It’s a comedy. It’s already pretty funny and it’s getting funnier every day. Without giving anything away, I can tell you that Uranus plays a part in the title of the story, so in the happy event that you ever see a film with that planet in the title, and it’s a comedy, you can say “Hey, I remember that...) I have one quandary remaining. I need a reason for my aliens to visit this planet. Due to the nefarious activity of one of the aliens, the FTL drive of their ship has been rendered inoperable. The ship has come out of FTL drive within our solar system and these dudes are way, way far away from home. They simply need to visit the Earth to get [the thing] that will make the FTL drive work again. Once they get [the thing], they can use it to repair the FTL drive and be on their way. That's their plan, anyway. It probably won't be that simple, because they will be landing in Lancaster, California. To continue: my idea is to use “melted” room temp superconductors made from a synthetic ceramic material as the “reason why” the drive went wonky…something that is made from materials that they can’t just find somewhere in this solar system; something that they must have some human help with, or at the bare minimum, something that is only found (within this solar system) on Earth. For example, they might need a kiln and they don’t have one. Or they might need some exotic substance that is blended into the ceramic material that comprises the room temp semiconductor, and is only found on this planet and not on an asteroid or Neptune or whatever. Or there could be some other reason that they have to visit. I'm open to other ideas... I would sincerely appreciate any of your bright ideas about this.