“I know you,” stated Silver.
Cassandra Caine, for she didn’t know how else to refer to her, smiled. Silver looked with horror at the scene around them. Everything was frozen, the midwives, the machines, even the husband, Nathaniel. Everything except for Silver, Cassandra, and the bundle of joy in her arms.
Adam cried, and Cassandra cooed at him and gently rocked him.
“And I know you,” she said without looking up. “But not in this form.”
“You’re one of Them, aren’t you?”
“What many of this universe call The Builders,” nodded Cassandra. “I have cared for these humans for generations, nurturing them.” She looked down at the baby. “He is my firstborn son, despite my long life. He has a great destiny ahead of him, though even I can’t see it fully.”
She looked up at Silver, and the Timewalker felt she could see through into the eons that this woman had witnessed and lived through.
One of The Builders!
The first race!
“There’s so much you could teach us,” Silver said hurriedly.
She could feel the time currents battering against her, steadily building in horrifying strength. They were swirling about her, all being directed effortlessly from Cassandra. She was pushing against Silver, pushing her back to where she came from.
“But your son.”
“He will be a great man. I know it.”
“But I have come from the future. I followed his timeline back to here, to you.”
She looked unsure, as if disbelieving a mere mortal –in comparison to herself. She returned to giving her newborn son all the attention.
“Goodbye, Silver; look after him. Beware though, They are coming back.”
Silver frowned. “Who?”
“That should be a good thing, surely?”
“After millions of years in isolation?”
The thought made Silver shudder.
Cassandra nodded once, and Silver found herself flying backwards, the temporal currents lifting her up and rushing past her once again. She tried to stop, tried to divert the flow, but she couldn’t, an unwilling traveller, helpless to somebody else’s immortal will.
* * *
She was dumped unceremoniously on her behind back on the space station she had visited before. There were more people than before, many queuing to the airlocks. They were evacuating.
He appeared before her, with the creature Gold.
But she barely noticed.
Far below, the planet Terra began breaking apart.