I’ve read this book a couple times now and I still feel like I’m missing something at the end. The scene is that Richard, Reg and Dirk have helped Michael (possessed by the alien spirit) into his SCUBA gear and Michael is going to repair the alien spacecraft way back at the beginning of Earth’s history so (supposively) he can save the alien crew. Richard discovers that Michael’s goal isn’t to repair the craft so it can leave, but rather repair it so it can terraform Earth and, in the process, stop mankind from ever coming about. Richard, Reg and Dirk go back in time to when Coleridge is writing the Rime which is the alien spirit’s tale, told to Coleridge while he was possessed himself. Dirk makes his way into Coleridge’s home and comes out later (well, is thrown out) and says that the problem is fixed.
Again, I understand that the spirit used Coleridge to get his story out, so to speak. And, from the conversation Michael has with the young guy on the train, I know that the albatross was “added” by Coleridge, much to the spirit’s annoyance. And when Dirk enters enter’s Coleridge’s home, he’s asking about an albatross. But, still, from this I get two possibilities:
(a) Coleridge wrote the Rime but included the albatross due to Dirk’s interference. Seems unlikely since Michael/Spirit was complaining about it prior to Dirk going back in time and Michael, having read the albatross version, was still willing to help the spirit.
(b) Dirk prevents the Rime from being written at all. I’m still not convinced that would make any difference. The only person who truely mattered was Michael and I don’t think it was the Rime that convinced him, but rather his own spirit being at ebb and his not caring much about the world now that his magazine was taken away.
I guess I should add © I totally missed the point of something and am clueless. I’m good with that
So explain it to me.