The Frigellya High Court meets seldom, but when it does, one can assume something extremely serious has happened. Today’s public hearing concerns the two individuals Beth had just met: Mira and Reymo.
There is a crowd. Mira and Reymo stand on a stage at the center of the amphitheater. Their assistant stands behind them, with the Court officials looking down on them from a sort of balcony.
Each member—there are 9—is dressed in white, with a golden badge on the left side at breast level showing the Gritchac, a kind of dragon, which to the Frigellyans symbolizes wisdom. Only members of the High Court and the royal couple can wear the Gritchac.
During the hearing the President of the High Court, a woman, leads the proceedings while the others attend and express themselves only at the deliberation, which takes place behind closed doors.
The President: Mira and Reymo Indringthorar, you have been summoned here to shed light on your actions in the years 2400 and 2426 on Earth. Could you explain to the Court what you have been doing on this planet in those far-off times? You may testify while seated.
Mira: Madam President, before I sit down, I would like to show you a document. You will understand then why this hearing is unnecessary.
The President: Is that so? Come and show me please.
Mira goes down the stage and takes the stairs up to the balcony. The President stands up and comes to meet her. She takes the document that Mira holds toward her and raises her eyebrows. The two women speak for a moment in a low voice.
The President: This is a mission letter originating with the royal couple. Why didn’t you tell us of this before the crowd filled the amphitheater?
Mira: We tried Madam, but we were prevented from informing you and we haven’t been able to reach the royal couple either, to ask them to tell the Court directly.
The President: How is that? You were prevented. By whom?
Mira: I don’t know Madam. Each time we tried to reach you, our communicator was jammed. What is going to happen now?
The President: We are going to adjourn this hearing. Officially. You will stay here with us. Go back to your place for now.
The President returns to her place as well and addresses the crowd.
The President: Ladies and gentlemen, it so happens the scheduled hearing is unnecessary. According to the document I have just seen, we can’t reproach Mira and Reymo Ingringthorar for anything. This session is closed.
It is with an indescribable hubbub that people slowly vacate the room. No member of the Court moves, because on Frigellya the Court always enters first and leaves last, just after the arraigned.
When the amphitheater is at last empty of its audience, the President speaks again and addresses the High Court guards: “This lady and gentleman will stay here for the moment. Will you please shut the doors?” Only raised eyebrows give away the surprise of the other High Court members. A President’s decision is not to be second-guessed.
The President: Ladies, gentlemen, the two individuals here in front of you are the royal couple’s agents. Their mission is to find the royal couple’s lost son, who was sent to a past era on Earth during the last Great War, “by all available means”, says the document.
Mira turns to the Court members.
Mira: As you know, the king and queen have to abdicate before the end of this year. They won’t be able to propose their son for consideration at the election for the new monarch if he is not found. We’ve been looking for this lost son for years. It’s time the quest succeeds. And we’ve just found some unexpected help.
The President: Unexpected help, you say. Explain this to us.
Mira: When the royal couple decided to send their child to the Earth’s past, they wrote down the coordinates in haste. A mistake had consequently been made, as you know. The written coordinates do not allow us to find him. We are searching in different times, randomly. As we really don’t know where he is, we can’t start from the oldest possible era and go on to the future, step by step. It would take too much time. We’ve found this unexpected help while investigating the Jurassic period on Earth.
The President: Stop me if I’m mistaken, but there are no humans on Earth during the Jurassic period.
Mira: Yes, you’re perfectly right. Your knowledge about Earth’s history is excellent.
The President: Earth had been one of my passions when I was younger. Earthlings look so like us… But what is this help you finally found?
Mira: I’m coming to it, Madam President. Well, we were on Earth, in the Jurassic Period in our security bubble, when all of a sudden, somebody appeared just near us.
Reymo: Security bubbles can only be entered by Frigellyans, whatever the era they’re arriving from.
The President: So, Frigellyan help.
Reymo: No, Madam President—human help.
The President: Hold on, hold on. I don’t understand. We’ve just said there were no humans during the Jurassic period.
Reymo: We bumped into a time-traveller.
The President: Don’t talk nonsense. Humans don’t travel in time.
Mira: No, they don’t; they send artificially created biologic units in place. We know that. But it was really an Earthling, we’re certain of that. And she travelled in a Dalygaran transporter-body.
The President: I heard of this planet, Dalygaran. What’s their level?
Mira: Gamma, Madam President. They still pilot their transporters with their minds.
The President: And how is it that an Earthling in a Dalygaran travel-body could have entered a Frigellyan security bubble?
Mira: That’s the thing that bothered us as well, Madam President. That was absolutely impossible. Except if she were one of us.
Reymo: Most surprisingly, she recognized me. She said I took a blood sample from her in a space travel lottery center, on Earth during their 25th century.
Mira: So we went to the 25th century, 2426 more precisely. We found her trace thanks to the discrete scanning of her mind while we were talking to her.
The President: She didn’t feel anything?
Reymo: We’ve got a state-of-the-art jammer. She was not aware of anything. For her to be able to travel, she had to win the lottery first. We forced a bit of destiny. No place for chance anymore. Fiddling with an Earthling random-lots machine in the 25th century is child’s play. We had to wait until she chose the day of her mandatory examination, which every winner has to pass to be authorized to travel.
Mira: We… er… made the doctor in charge a little bit sick so that Reymo could take his place. I created such good references for him that he was hired immediately. He had to process this blood test himself, for us to keep a sample for our own analysis.
Reymo: Yes, I took more blood than usual. She might have gotten a soft tingle. When we were able to do the analysis, we had quite a surprise. Imagine, she has got Frigellyan ancestral genes. Those of the days of mind travel.
The President: How is this possible?
Mira: Well… We had a little to do with it.
The President: Sorry? What crazinessis this?
Reymo: Time travelling can be disturbing when it all happens in disorder. Her past was our future. When we first met her, we hadn’t yet performed all these manipulations, even though she had already lived them. We just had to put everything in accordance with what we knew. If she, as a human, got these genes, somebody had to have put them inside her. So we went back to 2400, the year of Beth’s conception by her parents, John and Rosemary Smith.
Mira: I became the gynecologist of the family. I stayed until the birth to be sure that everything was ok. I took advantage of the first echography to inject a nano transformer to the mother, so that the fetus was transformed in utero to manifest our ancestral genes. I checked that the operation was a success with a blood sample at the baby’s birth. That’s how it all happened.
The President: Nothing to be proud of. Can you tell me how this transformed Earthling represents any help in the search for the king’s son?
Reymo: Her ability to scan planets. She can do it through space and time. But for the moment, she only has space-scanning experience. If she is like our ancestors, she will be able to do it with time too.
The President: You don’t know actually.
Mira: She entered our security bubble. She travels in time in a Dalygaran transporter-body. She is unlike an ordinary human, even if she is travelling in an obsolete way.
The President: What did you tell her, exactly?
Reymo: That we were looking for our son. We didn’t say anything about the king. She told us she will help, but she has a mission to finish first.
The President: Really? What mission then?
Mira: She has to save Dalygaran.
The President: Dalygaran needs to be saved by an Earthling?
Reymo: That’s right, but not just any Earthling.
Mira: She is a real hope for us.
The President: Do you trust her?
Mira and Reymo: Yes!
Mira: From the few things we got with our furtive scan, we know she is a person of her word. And she never gives up. She’ll help us. We just have to leave her time for her own business. She’s a time traveller. It does not matter the order she does things in relation to us, since she will aid us in finding the king’s son, after which we’ll be able to take him back to our time.
The President: Are you aware of the number of rules you’ve violated in this affair? You have used our technologies on an alpha planet. You acted on people’s lives, transformed a human being. However, you’re covered by the royal “by all available means”. Consequently, this discussion is now closed. Like all discussions with the High Court, this has been recorded, and it will be public in 50 years, unless the king decides to reveal it before. But I strongly advise you to be more respectful of time travel rules in the future. I’m not sure the King would approve of all you have done. And now, as a result, you have an obligation. All this must not have been done in vain.
Mira: Yes, Madam President.
Reymo: All right, Madam President.
The President: Ladies, gentlemen, there is nothing to rule on. The session is now closed. Mira and Reymo Indringthonrar, you can withdraw.