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When a high school loser finds an alien artifact he becomes embroiled in an intergalactic war where his encyclopedic knowledge of sci-fi may be the only hope for ending the conflict.
Danny Kent, a high school loser from a small town, has no friends due to his addiction to all things sci-fi. After trying to approach a cheerleader and running away, he seals himself in his room. He discovers online maps of the now defunct Area 51 that appear more complete and accurate than his own. He travels to the site to see how the maps compares to the actual site. Unfortunately the facility is off limits but Danny sneaks in. He finds an alien artifacts and puts it in his backpack. On the way out he is knocked unconscious.
Waking up in an interrogation room, Danny is questioned by a guard who vanishes when Danny deduces that he is really on a spaceship. Members of the Keta-Shiar race enter to speak to him. They inform him that a signal from the artifact is what drew them to the area. The technology comes from an even older alien race for which they had been searching. The Keta-Shiar test Danny and find that he is quite intuitive when it comes to guessing the purpose and function of their technology. While returning to base, the ship is suddenly attacked by the Kil-Tu, another alien race, who wants the Keta-Shiar technology. The Kil-Tu would enslave both the Keta-Shiar and the people of Earth. The battle is short but brutal. Danny cannot be returned to Earth and when more Kil-Tu show up, the the ship jumps to an emergency rendezvous point.
Danny and the few bridge crew discover that most of the fleet, normally scattered, are all already waiting at the rendezvous point. A few had been there for some time and the crews are dead. It seems that every ship had an encounter with the Kil-Tu and been infected with some kind of bio-weapon. While running tests on Danny the doctor passes out. One by one, other members of the crew also pass out. Danny, the only one in good health, takes command of the fleet. He realizes that the Kil-Tu are on the way and devises a plan. With almost no one left to pilot the ships, remote control is the only answer. A Kil-Tu scout ship appears and scans some of the derelict ships. They head directly for Danny's ship. They board and attempt to gain access to the bridge. The Kil-Tu leave when their ship is attacked by a remote controlled drone. The Kil-Tu ship is destoryed trying to escape.
Hours later a Kil-Tu fleet arrives. Danny, in disquise, convinces them that he is an evil overlord and that they are to be his new slaves. The fleet mistaken attacks one of the dead base ships thinking it the flag ship. The rigged base ship self-destructs, taking out most of the Kil-Tu. The remaining ones attempt to bargain with Danny for the alien artifact. Danny manages to trick them into trading the cure to the bio-weapon for junk parts. The Kil-Tu leave quickly.
When the Kil-Tu armada arrives the Keta-Shiar still only have a limited number of working ships. In a flash of insight, Danny realizes that artifact may be more than it appears. The Keta-Shiar ships put up a brave but losing defense as the Kil-Tu have overwhelming numbers. Just when all looks lost, the entire ship goes dark. All fighting in space stops. A third alien race, the Ka-Lin, reveal themselves. They are the parent race for both the Keta-Shiar and the Kil-Tu. Using their superior technology they end the battle and order the Kil-Tu to go home. They explain that the artifact was a test. If any race could figure out how to use it to call them, then that race was ready to meet with the Ka-Lin. The Ka-Lin drop Danny off at home on Earth.
At school, Danny sees the cheerleader he tried to ask out. He dumps her. Outside, he bumps into someone. She turns out to be a girl who was reading instead of watching where she was going. She was reading the cover to a game beta with maps supposedly based on Area 51. Danny offers to help her navigate the maps. They arrange to meet later. Danny gets a look at the game's front cover and recognizes that the symbols are Keta-Shiar script. He wonders deeply how they possibly could have ended up on a game cover.