We questioned why we’d need to be a part of their defence pact, when hitherto we’d known nothing of aliens.
They convinced us that we were soon to cross a threshold of coming onto the radar of advanced civilisations across the galaxy (including the nefarious ones).
To sweeten the deal they offered us something we couldn’t refuse: antigravity and force-field generation, the technology of our science-fiction dreams. They educated us in interstellar diplomacy language. We learned to speak the language of the stars.
Some time after that, we received a transmission:
The time for choosing teams is up, the first game will now begin. Those civilisations who are successful will progress to the next round. All others will be eliminated.
We were picked last.