She asks again.
“How do you know?”
Genie says, “Because it’s worked out this way every time.”
She follows them into the cave just beyond the wreck that was this person’s starship. Besides all the makings of a simple dwelling on a rock in metaphysical outer space, there are photos of Skyler. Each shows her in various states of disarray, defeat, dejection. If, on the (night? Day? Time.) she had found the ship, she had known she might be told something like this, she would have left the ship where she’d found it. It already looked like it had been there for years and years, what’s a few more years and years?
“You can’t know that this time won’t be different. Help me open the door. Help me get off this rock… Or at least help me populate it.”
“I did that before. And the time before. And the time before that. Each time you build your town here, and each time you fail.”
“How do I fail?”
“Can’t tell you that. You always send me away before the end. I crash here and then you turn up years and years later.”
“I won’t send you away this time. Then you can tell me how I fail next time.”
And because some deals just sound too good for logical consideration , they both agree.
Later, between times.
“You set me up!”
“You knew I’d fail and let me build here anyway!”
“I knew you’d fail and forced me to help you build here.
“There’s one thing that came out of this.” Genie holds up a small dragon figurine. “This,” Genie says “is your friend… Whatever from high school. If you send me away, I destroy this. I destroy him.”
“You’re bluffed. This isn’t a game of poker. You lied!”
And she reaches out. And she penetrates their mind. When she finishes, Genie never needs to sleep. Can’t sleep.
Just like the last time. If I want to change this thing, I need to be the one to do something different.
Genie wakes the soul inside the tiny dragon, just enough for it to wish for things. Changeling’s third wish gets him a starship. When he leaves, Genie leaves with him.