Today may be the last on which Beth will travel alone, except if she asks for it specially. But traveling alone is not really her intention. Next time, the Supreme Commander will be here and she and David can travel together again. At the moment, the two Smiths’ floor looks like a hive, as Nelly and Lucia get a grip on redecorating the living room with everybody’s help.
A surprise party is being organized to celebrate the return of the Old Man to Earth. Since the Major explained his father will definitely stay, once the baby is born, they all want to offer him an unforgettable day for his return and make Earth a place he’ll love. The Major was very moved by his friends’ proposal. He is now more confident of his father’s integration on this planet. As for Beth, she needs to settle a problem one of her visions gave her. So, as they now ritually do it, she and David sit cross-legged, face to face, and hold hands. He sends her all the positive waves he is able to and lays her down when he can feel she is away. Then he lies down beside her until she is back. Today, she once again chooses the male travel-body. Star Shining in the Vastness of the Universe is always happy to see her, whichever body she decides to occupy.
—Physical exercises? he asks after the usual greetings.
—Yeah, she lies, then disappears immediately.
The Hermit jumps as she materializes right in front of him, in his house in the woods, far in Dalygaran’s past. He has no need for her to say a word to be able to guess this visit is special. It’s the first time the Dalygaran named “Moon Crystal” has popped in this way at his place.
—Oh, you know, don’t you? he asks her, straight off the bat.
—Let’s have a talk, she evades.
—Which one are you?
—The first you met. The one who looked after the morning star…
—You’re related to the other one, though, aren’t you?
—I’m his wife.
—Yes. You know this body is a machine…?
—When I first entered it, I didn’t know it was. I didn’t even know it was a male body…
—I’m not Dalygaran. But he is.
—It makes no sense…
—It’s the truth, though.
—I’ve no doubt it’s the truth. I’m getting used to you Moon Crystal.
—You’ve already heard this name…
—Earthling female name.
—Another planet, inhabited by another species.
—Human. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
—It was a long time ago.
—Your memory is excellent.
—Oh, you really know everything about me.
—Yes, I do.
—I suffer from hypersensitivity. That means, for the Dalygaran that I am, that I’m not able to forget anomalies like time travelers, even if there is always a temporal gap. My encounters flood back through dreams at first, before coming back definitively to my memory. It takes three to four moons…
—Your diary must be deleted.
—Straight to the point, hey?
—It’s not a game, Sir. Nobody must know about the travel-bodies.
—Why do you come to the past then?
—Data losses. We have to recollect.
—I’m working for the Dalygaran archeological team…
—Why did you tell me you’re Moon Crystal in the first place?
—It was the first Dalygaran name that came to me… It’s my husband’s name.
—Er, the other Moon Chrystal, is a relative of mine…
—The military girl who appeared when we were camping in the woods the day before we found the morning star…
—Oh, this Moon Crystal, is a relative?
—Still my hypersensitivity. I’m able to feel even a very far kinship, and I can tell you, this girl is family.
—Really? Is this in your diary too?
—Everything I can remember is inside.
—It will harm this woman if it is found out one day. She was not supposed to be here.
—Why do you cover for her?
—She is my heart-daughter. When I started my travels through time looking for the morning star, she was not even born… I met her before learning of her birth.
—You’ve got a Dalygaran heart-daughter?
—You’re someone special, er… Beth.
—I know, she answers lowering her voice. Please, you really need to understand that you endanger all of us with your diary. This knowledge is not supposed to remain.
—Well, as you’re here, it seems that the future sounds good.
—Maybe because I convinced you today.
—I’m the Hermit. Nobody cares about what I’m doing, you know…
—Sir, what if somebody here find your notes? It’s unwise to let unprepared people know what the future might be. I’m sure you can understand this.
—You’re the one who has been spying on me for a couple of days, aren’t you?
—I didn’t spy on you. I myself suffer from night-wanderings; that means I mind-travel during my sleep. I don’t really choose where I go. But I certainly was very interested in discovering more about you. It’s what led me here.
—I see. Are you the one who came far in my past too?
—Sorry? You’ve had other visits?
—I have, yes. You seem surprised.
—I don’t remember everything, especially moments from my childhood. I have some blind spots. It could be me. I don’t know. My turn for questions. How can someone like you have ties of kinship with anybody? To be able to have descendants, you should have…
—Yes. Isn’t it logical?
—I have a son.
—It was long ago. Because of my hypersensitivity I was bound very young. We quickly had a child but we were both unprepared. The bond broke as fast as it had appeared. For this, too, we were unprepared. It is so rare. Our families helped us raise our son. This was something we had to share, even after she was bound to another man. My relationship with my son has always been very difficult. Hypersensitivity is a burden sometimes. I’m capable of deep understanding, especially with young people, because they don’t really know how to protect their feelings from someone like me. My son took it as an intrusion on his intimacy. He ran away, to the North, to avoid me. Well, he chose to study there. And I became the Hermit. We see each other every Gold Ring Ray rise. And that’s it. I’ve two granddaughters and a grandson.
—Being different is not easy.
—You’re talking from experience, aren’t you?
—Yes. But I’ve only been aware I am different for a short while. It’s… It’s…
—Yes. But sometimes it’s…
—We have to deal with what we are. I chose isolation.
—I chose sharing. alike.
—I have to confess something to you …
—Can we get back to your diary first?
—You never give up, do you?
—It’s very important.
—What I have to say is very important too. Trust me.
—Well, I’m listening.
—I destroyed it. My diary, it doesn’t exist anymore.
—What? Why didn’t you say that earlier?
—We wouldn’t have had the conversation we’re having otherwise.
—Why? Why did you delete it?
—When you’re night wandering, you don’t master your feelings as much as you can when awake, I’m afraid. I felt more than fear when you saw me writing this diary. It was dread.
—Do you know that you say aloud what you’re writing?
—You do. And to be honest, I literally panicked when I understood that you remembered everything and were recording it. Once I’m in a place while sleeping, I’m able to have more control over what I do. So I decided to follow you, in your everyday life to know more about you. Finally, I thought that talking to you would be the best way to make you understand this has to stop.
—If someone was so afraid about my writings, or felt so endangered by them, I couldn’t consider keeping them by my side. This knowledge will die with me now. But you’ll have to make me a promise, a price, if you will: come to see me from time to time. You and your husband are people of their words. He came to see me, a few times after I met the lady who lost her memory. He promised to give me some news. Even not knowing I can remember anything, he came.
—I’m not sure he already had. From my viewpoint, I mean. We’ll come together. As I said, we’re part of the archeological team, and there is so much to recollect from this era. We’ll take this opportunity to visit you and talk.
—With pleasure. May I ask a last question?
—Why did you need the morning star? It seemed so important…
—It’s a story I can’t tell. It wouldn’t be wise. But I’m thankful you fortunately spoke about this plant to the Research Center. They thereafter studied it precisely for all the molecules inside. They modelled it completely on your recommendations.
—It was absolutely not me. My diary was the only one to know everything. I never went to the Research Center.
—Oh. So it’s this conversation we’re having right now that has caused all that has happened then…
—It’s an epidemic, isn’t it? I felt for a very short moment like it was a huge disaster, just before you disappeared with the sample.
— The plant may contain medicinal molecules. It’s what you said to the Research Center. I won’t say more. May I ask you a favor?
—For the record, you went to the Research Center after I left with the sample.
The Hermit laughs.
—Ok, Sir, er Madam. I really love the idea of being part of a legend. Is this the version available to your husband too?
—It’s the version for all Dalygarans, and he is one. It was said that way in the future and so it remains. We’re not going to muddle up people with details, are we? I was already the one who raised the red flag on the morning star’s properties in your mind.
—Well, I have to go now.
—I’m pregnant, and traveling in time…
—Yes, I am and it’s why I can’t stay. My body is on Earth and I can’t leave my future child for too long.
—Oh, yes, I can feel guilt…
—I’m torn between two opposing feelings. My body, I can see it as a cage or as a nest. I need to escape the cage from time to time, but I love the nest. I love to know my daughter is secure. I love to feel her presence. It’s priceless.
—It was nice to see you, Beth from Earth.
—My pleasure. See you soon.
And Beth disappears from the Hermit’s house.
In the disembarking room, Star Shining in the Vastness of the Universe is surprised to see Beth so quickly.
—I’m impatient to go back to Earth she offers in reply to his questions.
When she is back in her body, David is once more asleep, but this time her return does not wake him. She chooses to take a moment of relaxation in her husband’s arms. She ends up falling asleep herself.