A hot morning, sometime in July of 2013, a giant set of doors mysteriously materialized over the Gaines River. As they opened, an alien being that humanity would soon come to know as Telseth stepped through, announced his diplomatic intents, and requested a human guide to aid him in understanding Earth's cultures and customs. Ben Pullam volunteered for the position. ("Through Open Doors (Part One)")
The Doors remain hovering over the Gaines River, a physics-defying display of something that behaves as a portal leading to... well, we can only assume some other place. What lies beyond the Doors is a complete mystery to all humans except Ben Pullman, who to our knowledge, has not been heard from since that first fateful day.
Thwarted in their attempts to communicate, authorities have been left in the frustrating role of mere observers, watching and waiting for the Doors to open again. Over time, mobster Thatcher Jerome, who "owns" the river district area, attempted to shake down Telseth since the portal is after all in his territory. He comes up with a uniquely obvious solution. He knocks on the Doors. For his own reasons, the Ambassador chooses to respond and eventually enters into an arrangement. Jerome's "agency" will serve as middle men, delivering to him whatever Earth goods he requests. The "goods" of course, are provided by government agencies, whose only avenue of access to Telseth is through Jerome's services.
On certain deliveries, Jerome's cut sometimes included five-finger discounts like the odd alien container he saw carelessly lying around. When he discovered it missing, the Ambassador seemed curiously suspicious and yet somewhat ambivalent to the theft. Though who can say for sure? ("Through Open Doors (Part Two)")