Epilogue

The Archivist returned to the room to see the man standing stiffly, stretching and putting on his coat. "You are leaving? Have you found what you were looking for at last, Sssir?"

The man smiled. "Yes, Archivist, I found it. My gratitude is yours for the successful end of my search. But now, I must be going. I have a date with a slap, and I'm about five thousand years late."

That made no sense to the Archivist, but he shook it off, instinctively wanting to connect with the quietly charismatic stranger. "A moment, Sssir. I didn't catch your name?"

"Oh, I'm just a Traveler, passing through. Farewell, Archivist." And he was gone.

The Archivist smiled to himself at the man's evident whimsy, as he turned and reverently picked up the ancient volume. Suddenly he gasped, whirling to stare briefly at the now-empty doorway, then back down to the Journal of the Blessed Elder Mother. He carefully turned to the front page, the mysterious Dedication which had caused so very many heated arguments over the five millennia since Pacifica's founding, some to the point of armed conflict between adherents of differing interpretations.

To the Traveler:
I'm sorry I slapped you.