While we examined the artefacts, King William, his family and his crew remained entombed and frozen on their ship. Discussions amongst the Immortals turned to the subject of what to do with the bodies. Some proposed that they remain on the ship, which would be placed in a stable orbit of Carna or even sent on a collision course with 40 Eridani A itself. But those were soon dismissed. The King’s ship and its technology were too valuable to be used in that way. Other proposals for burial in space, cremation during entry into Carna’s atmosphere, and entombment in a remote area of our ship were also dismissed. It was decided that my proposal for a burial and memorial on the surface of Carna was the most appropriate. The bodies would be sent to the surface when our ship made its next pass of the planet in four years time.
During those years I completed my examination of the documentation and information store found on King William’s ship. I had hoped to find mentions of myself which would have clarified my relationship with him. Sadly that was not to be. I did find myself in a few photographs, but on most I was quite far from the king, and there was no mention of my name in the descriptions. There was one interesting one of me as a child with two other children. The king, then a prince, was a newborn baby being held by his mother, Queen Victoria III, just behind us. The description described me and the other children as simply ‘friends’. I guess I had known the king since his birth.
Historians on Carna had expressed great interest in my work, and so I transmitted my summaries and interpretations to them, along with copies of many of the King’s documents and images. When they were released to the public they became the source of obsession for some, and in the year up to our arrival there was a surge in interest for information on our ancestral home planet, and in particular the life of King William. Many media broadcasts were transmitted showing documentaries based on my work. I remember feeling quite astonished about all that, and immensely pleased.
The governor of Carna’s largest city was particularly interested. He had offered the parkland next to his official residence as a prime location for the burial site and monument. The shallow hillock, offering views across what had become a magnificent city of domes and spires, was a near perfect choice. The city’s name of ‘Londinium’ was, to use a remarkably ancient expression, the icing on the cake. I consulted the other Immortals and the decision to use the location offered by the governor was unanimous. The governor took it upon himself to organise a procession in honour of King William that would carry his body and that of his queen along the central avenue leading up to the burial site.
As we made our next pass of Carna the bodies of the king and queen, their family and crew were transferred to the surface and transported to the city of Londinium. As we once again left the planet behind I watched the live images of the procession and burial. I felt immensely proud, although as my relationship with King William was still a bit of a mystery to me I’m not sure why. I guessed that I would have to be content with just knowing that I must have been someone of some importance to him.
I kept in contact with the governor of Londinium for several decades after that grand event. His enthusiasm for Earth history had been the driving force behind the construction of several museums, including one dedicated solely to the British monarchy and based on my analysis of King William’s documents. It was a great honour for me to have had what I considered such a positive influence on the culture of the planet. My friendship with the governor lasted fifty-two years until his death. He was the only mortal friend I had had since leaving Earth.