Chapter 11 – On Earth

Paul:  Here she is. The Out-of-Gas procedure.
Sylvester: Done.
Paul: Let’s go to the debriefing room. I’m curious to know what she has to say this time.

Paul: This way, Miss Smith. Where are you going?
Beth: Er, you are… er…
Sylvester: Is everything alright, Miss?
Beth: Hold on, I’m in the travel room of the lottery?
Paul: Yes.
Beth: Oh, that’s it, I know who you are. The two Lords… Eh, what do you mean? You look upset. This is how you’re called, isn’t it?
Sylvester: No. Well, yes. Except nobody ever says it in front of us.
Beth: I don’t understand. Hold on. Oh, I see. This is a sort of nickname, isn’t it?
Paul: Not sort of. It is a nickname.
Beth: Oh. Oh, sorry. I’m really, really sorry. My memory is a little bit upside down. And how shall I call you?
Paul: Smith and Smith.
Beth: Eh, my name’s Smith too. Are we relatives?
Sylvester: That’s unlikely.
Paul: Miss Smith, Beth, what happened? What is going on with you?
Beth: Well, here is the thing: I don’t know. I don’t remember. It’s like I was away, then back straight after. In between—nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Sylvester: How nothing?
Beth: Nothing. I have nothing to tell. What’s that?
Paul: A phone ringtone.
Beth: Oh. And where is this phone?
Sylvester: In your handbag apparently.
Beth: …
Sylvester: Your handbag is on the chair over there.
Paul: I’m going to bring it for you. You look like you’re not feeling well.
Beth: Oh, the ring again.
Sylvester: Answer the call. The debriefing seems to be over anyway.
Beth: “Grumpy.”
Paul: What?
Beth: That’s what is written on the screen.
Paul: Aren’t you going to answer?
Beth: Well, in fact…
Sylvester: You forgot this too?
Beth: I…
Paul: Thumb on the green circle, and hold the device to your ear… Turn it over
Beth: Mum? I…
The phone is now on the table with an embarrassed Beth staring at it.
Paul: If you leave this phone on this table without hanging up, we will go on hearing how furious she is with you. Index finger on red circle… That’s it. Listen, I don’t know what happened to you today, but there is no way we’ll let you go home alone. We’ll find someone to escort you to your door. We’ll take news from you at the end of our shift.
Beth: Yes. Thanks.

A few moments later.

Sylvester: I told you! We have played too much with her memory. Now, we’ve done real damage.
Paul: I have to say, I don’t understand anything. We need these genetics results to know who we are really facing. Let’s check our mail to see if we have a result. I’ve changed the hypothesis.
Sylvester: Oh?
Paul: Yes, I have removed the transformation parameter…
Sylvester: You look disappointed.
Paul: The report isn’t there yet.
Sylvester: You know that they’re rarely here before 4pm.
Paul: You’re right. I’ll check after 4pm.


Paul: So. Results are in. And… Bingo. Sylvester, look at this.
Sylvester: No!
Paul: Oh yes!
Sylvester: It’s amazing…
Paul: Dear colleague, I agree. Do you know what this means?
Sylvester: We are in trouble?
Paul: No, you moron. We follow the protocol with the data we had. But her abilities: everything’s clear now.
Sylvester: It is.
Paul: And she should begin to remember—Spontaneous Memory Recovery phenomenon— characteristic of this species. A bit slow for her, most certainly. But then, she’s completely gone nuts.
Sylvester: You’re right…
Paul: There’s something wrong with her. We can’t leave her alone. Let’s go see her.
Sylvester: Now?
Paul: Now!

At Beth’s flat.

Paul: What’s this mess?
Beth: Hiiiiiii! What are you d… doing here?
Sylvester: The door wasn’t closed…
Beth: The door oooopened alone…
Paul: But you’re completely drunk.
Beth: I am f… fine! Earlier, I thr… threw up. But now I am f… feeling good.
Paul: I see.
Sylvester: What have you done?
Beth: I’ve tried everything in the f… fridge. And this, this here, is delicious.
Sylvester: You’ve eaten the whole tub of ice-cream?
Paul: Not only one as I can see. He points to a second empty tub.
Beth: Oh, that one? It was already star…ted.
Paul: How about dropping this bottle you’ve got in your hand?
Beth: It’s ch… ch… champagne. It’s written on the label. It fizzes. That’s funny… I found it in the wardrobe. Among the clothes. Curious place for a bottle. But I… found it…
Sylvester: And emptied it…
Beth: Yeeeeees! No more b… bubbles. What a shame. My boyfriend is arriving in… in… er…, oops, 10 minutes, and there isn’t anything left. Oh, I think I feel b… b…
Paul: Nice reflexes, Sylvester. Straight into your arms.
Sylvester: All we need now is the boyfriend to come in.
Paul: I can just picture him seeing his girlfriend in the arms of a stranger. He won’t like it.
Sylvester: But what can we do then?
Paul: Take her back to our place.
Sylvester: Are you kidding?
Paul: Do you have a better idea? We can’t leave her here like this. We can’t let her see her boyfriend before understanding what happened. We’ll take her. Hurry up. He could be here any time now.
Sylvester: Eh, you could help me carry her.
Paul: And who will be the lookout? It would be better if nobody sees us. I suggest you take her over your shoulder. Like a potato sack. She’s slight. You’ll manage it.
Sylvester: Oh, please. How about taking turns, eh?

At Smith and Smith’s home

Paul: Oh, great news. Miss Smith is waking up.
Beth: My head. I have such a headache.
Sylvester: You’re having a hangover. It’s what happens when you drink too much alcohol…
Beth: Alcohol? Isn’t that a disinfectant?
Sylvester: Yes, alcohol, and no, not always.Champagne is alcohol. Have you just arrived on this planet or what? It’s like you don’t know anything.
Beth: Please don’t shout.
Paul: Oh, Sylvester, you’re a genius.
Sylvester:  Huh?
Paul: Hold on, I’ll be back in a moment.
Paul: Here I am. Watch out: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, push the button, and…
Beth: Aaaah, what’s that? A psychic analyzer? Do you think my headache is not sufficient?
Paul: Could you just explain to me how an Earthling, inhabitant of an alpha level planet knows anything about psychic scanners?
Beth: I’m also facing a so-called alpha level planet inhabitant using a psychic scanner.
Sylvester: Could you explain all this to the genius? One of you.  Please.
Paul: This isn’t Beth.
Not Beth: You’re not human.
Sylvester: This isn’t Beth?
Paul and not Beth: No.
Sylvester: Ah. And who is this?
Not Beth:  You first.
Paul: Are you kidding? You’re not in a position to negotiate. At this time, you’ve fallen out with your mother, your boyfriend might be furious at having found your door closed last night, and you have lots of things to learn about this world, if you don’t want to create other disasters. Are you here to destroy Beth Smith’s life?
Not Beth: No, of course not.
Paul: So you’ll have to put things right and clean up Miss Smith’s flat. You did a lot of damage in those few hours.
Not Beth: May I ask you where we are now?
Sylvester: At our home. Nobody will come to search for you here.
Paul: It’ll give us time to find a nice story to tell your mum and your boyfriend. You’ll have to be very nice to them now.
Not Beth: But you saw the same thing I saw. She registered her mother under the name of “Grumpy”.
Paul: I didn’t say it’s going to be easy. What’s your name?
Not Beth: Spring Wind over Laurina Mountain.
Sylvester : Laurina. That’s on Dalygaran, isn’t it?
SWOLM: You know Dalygaran?
Paul: Apparently.
Sylvester: She is on Dalygaran…
Paul: And what are you doing in this body?
SWOLM: I’m… holding her place, if I may. She is not able to come back at the moment.
Paul: You gave her a body…
Paul: And she can’t get out before you have a blood sample for the extraction pill.
SWOLM: Yes. And as you seem to have good information, you might even know that the Great Council has to rule on her fate. She arrived without a body.
Sylvester: Logically, she is risking nothing. They should vote to help her return.
SWOLM: You seem to know us perfectly.
Paul: We have memories like elephants’.
SWOLM: Sorry?
Paul: This is not in your translation set? We never forget a single thing.
SWOLM: Ah! It’ll take time. I meant the Great Council meeting can’t be held for the time being. We couldn’t take the risk of her not being back in her body before the gas cut out.
Paul: You saved her life. Her Earthling life. If nobody were in her body when the gas was done, the bond with her mind would have been definitively interrupted. And she wouldn’t be able to come back here.
SWOLM: Yes, but I didn’t have much time to learn about this planet before coming.
Sylvester: We noticed.
SWOLM: Hem. There is something else.
Paul: Really?
SWOLM: Beth is a girl here right?
Paul: Oh no! Let me guess, you’re a man.
SWOLM: You seem to find it funny.
Paul: Sorry.
SWOLM: You don’t look so.
Paul: Sorry, I try to imagine you with the boyfriend, managing to patch things up…
SWOLM: It’s not funny.
Paul: No, no. Not funny.
SWOLM: Stop laughing. It’s upsetting, really. And you know what? Beth is in the same situation!
Paul and Sylvester: What?
SWOLM: We only had a man’s body to offer…
Sylvester: Oh…  It’s going to be complicated…
SWOLM: Oh, I see. When it’s about me, you just laugh. But you worry about her.
Paul: You don’t understand. It’s going to be complicated for your people. Beth is… special.
SWOLM: Oh. And how so?
Paul: We can’t say anything about it. She’s not even aware of it.
SWOLM: Great.
Paul: Well, enough talk. We have to prepare the rest of your journey on Earth. Let’s get to work.




  1. C’est trop marrant cette situation : une femme dans le corps d’un homme et un homme dans le corps d’une femme. Quelle idée ! Et nous ne savons toujours pas ce que montrent les analyses … encore du suspens.

    • Euh pour les analyses, en tout cas la révélation de l’origine des dons d’Élisa il faudra attendre la deuxième histoire.
      Je sais, je suis cruelle :p

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