Imbolt sat at the desk in the corner and pored over maps while Minny sat in the living areas with her sisters.
They pelted her with questions about space travel and aliens and how much fun did she have.
“Well, Selene, if you want to talk about aliens, there is one in the corner of the room scowling at a map, or four in the other room watching for crazy humans trying to come in here and molest the ambassador.”
Iris giggled and glanced at Imbolt. “That is really your husband?”
Minny remembered the tangle of limbs that had formalized their contract. “Oh, yeah.”
Imbolt looked up, and the smile he gave her was definitely spurred by the same memories.
Athena blinked and blushed. “If Andre looked at me like that, I wouldn’t leave home.”
Minny’s two older sisters were married, and Selene had a soft smile that said her husband looked at her like that frequently. Iris was looking at Imbolt as if he was magnetic.
Iris had always been able to see beneath the skin, but she had been too young for the project a decade ago, and she hadn’t wanted to deprive her family of another sister. So, she had stayed and become a vet.
Selene was a councillor, and Athena had taken on banking. Each of them had dropped their lives to rush to this hotel the moment that Imbolt had invited them.
Iris blinked and tore her gaze from Imbolt. “Minny, did you know that he is made of stars?”
Minerva smiled. “I did. Thank you, Iris.”
The other two looked at Minny for explanation.
Minerva grinned and explained what an Avatar was and that there actually were worlds that had minds and had chosen someone to speak for them or that they could speak through.
Athena stared and laughed lightly. “You are joking.”
Minny shook her head. “I am not. I met several of them when I was working for the Citadel. Imbolt has another mind in his body, but his star doesn’t require his physical presence. It is a long-distance thing.”
The ladies laughed, and it was forgotten for the moment.
Minny asked, “Do you know what is going on with the Earth? We were watching the display from Lunar Base. It is like there are beams or tentacles of light reaching for something.”
Imbolt looked up for a moment from the maps he was poring over. “Or someone.”
“What do you mean?” Selene asked him with a tilt to her head.
“It has been rumoured that Terra will be rising soon. The mind inside your world is looking for a body to walk around in.” He smiled and kept digging through his maps. Finally, he sighed, slid a small disk out his pocket and stared at the slowly turning hologram of the globe.
Minny watched the glowing expressions of her siblings, and tears pricked her eyes. “Did you want to meet your niece?”
That got their attention. Minny pulled out her small tablet and showed them the display of Alyla floating in her tank, with Minny reading beside her.
Iris smiled. “Did you record it before you left?”
The Minny who was reading looked up and grinned. “No, Iris. This is a live feed.”
Her sister jumped and looked between Minny and the image on the screen. “You are kidding.”
Minny in the box smiled. “I think I should tell you about why I was accepted as a Volunteer ten years ago. But first, this is your niece, Alyla.”