Just when the last rockets left Earth, a small group of secessionists were busy setting up base camp on Everest. The ground was littered with the garbage of a thousand previous attempts. Jerry Zajdel, team leader and former paramilitary commando, was busy with the communications array when an unexpected transmission sent him racing for the tents.
Aliens had landed.
They wished to speak to the leader.
They wished to purchase property.
How Jerry understood them was easily explained. Earth was a hot property in the solar system. At the end of the day there were not as many virgin (by the aliens estimation) planets as there had been predicted by Earth science and naturally, following the exodus of most of humanity to greener pastures, the aliens wanted a slice of Earth's pie before humanity realized how little real estate was actually left out there.
So, of course, they spoke several Earth languages, including English.
"You've got to here this!"
"They've landed and they want to talk to the leader."
Jerry, veteran of countless opportunities, knew his moment.
"Everybody get dressed!"
Running and kicking climbers out of their sleeping bags, Jerry rushed back to the radio and told the aliens possibly the most unbelievable fishing story in the history books.
He told them he was the leader.
Having no concept of lying themselves, the aliens believed him.
It was almost true anyway, most leaders had been the first to take advantage of faster than light travel. Lured by the desire to spawn whole planets under their political vision.
All that was left of humanity were the antiextraplanetary seccessionists and a few crackpots.
Jerry sold them Everest for the monetary equivalent of trillions, in any currency. His team of climbers roped into the charade by the comfortable expedient of wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
The aliens themselves were ecstatic, had they but known the metaphor, they would have said they bought the island of manhattan for a song. While they knew nothing of lying, they certainly knew the difference between cost and value.
Jerry and his team, having first refused to leave, were now eager to go.
Paradise pales when it's all you've ever known.
On a chance intercepted transmission, Jerry had staked their future.
Now the stars themselves reached out to their entrepreneurial spirt.
"What a beautiful universe," sighed his first officer, formerly Jane Simon, champion climber.
"Yes," said Jerry, before adding:
"Let's develop it."