In the Lower Reaches of Sky, Empress Moon arrived at the shaft of light arcing toward Heaven in time to see her beloved daughter, Alta, ascend into view. At last, the Empress’s search was over.

“Daughter, your father and I have been so worried. Are you well?” asked Empress Moon, as she fretted over the welfare of her child even though she was returning home.

“Yes, Mother, I shine as brightly as ever,” replied Alta.

“I’ve been looking for you all over the Cosmos,” said Empress Moon. “Where have you been? Visiting an ardent admirer?” 

“In a manner of speaking, Mother. He is in love with me, but we are not…compatible.”

The Empress was wise. She had searched high and low, and far and wide, for her daughter. So she knew it was impossible for her not to have found her daughter unless a maleficent force had interfered. All the same, Alta seemed reluctant to say more, or cast blame. The Empress wondered why. 

Perhaps Alta feared she would be reprimanded for her mysterious disappearance, thought her mother. In that case, she thought, Alta needed her mother’s reassurance and support. 

“I am in a wrathful mood, Daughter. I have followed a trail of causality across Domains, and I sense a great injustice has been done to you. Are there any you would have me punish? Are there any you would have me smite?”

The star-child did not answer her mother straight away, as she pondered what was fair to say about the folks of Land and Sky. Should she speak to what was done to her by a man whose sweet admiration and true love were perverted by obsession? Or how another man who was ennobled by enlightenment had saved her?

If Alta Vystra had been human folk or sky folk, then her thoughts might justifiably be only of hatred and revenge. But Alta Vystra was a being of pure light, and that purity was as much a part of her spirit as it was a part of her aspect. Holding hatred and vengeance in her heart, no matter how justified, was not in her nature. Besides, Alta came from a family well known for its fiery passions, and she understood all too well the foolish things love can make a spirit do. 

“No, Mother, I would have you smite no one, and no thing. I am tired now, and have been away from home too long. Let us return to Heaven. Then you and father and all my siblings can sing, and dance, and make merry by the music of the spheres.”

Empress Moon thought carefully about her daughter’s request for a moment, and in that moment lay the greatest peril for Land and Sky. Empress Moon was overjoyed to have found her lost child, but she had followed the trail of causality and suspected how this moment had come to be. Although the star-child was too pure of heart to long hold animosity, gods and goddesses are older and wiser and not always so forgiving. The Empress had to choose between her own wrathful sense of justice, and celebrating her daughter’s divine capacity for forgiveness.

Empress Moon finished deliberating and said softly, “Very well, daughter.” The smile on the face of the Lady in the Moon was full of warmth and gentle caring. “As you wish, my cherished one. As you wish.” Then Empress Moon hugged her daughter, and hand in hand they returned to Heaven.

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