The Zemba celebration of the moon world of Qunix IX began in the eighth day of third month. Tradition required all people on the planet to join in the festivities, even visitors. Alan found the customs fascinating and enjoyable.
The people of Qunix IX went out of their way to include everyone. Alan found it strange when they started calling him the white jewel. When he asked what they meant by “white jewel” the people only smiled. Then several women started pampering him and measuring his body. “You are an important part of our customs, Alan,” a woman said to him. “We need to prepare you for your role as master of ceremonies.” Alan didn't understand. He wanted to be a gracious guest so did as he was told. He was taken to a room with a chamber. He stepped inside when asked. When the door was closed it was pitch black. After what seemed a lifetime the door cracked open.
Alan instantly knew something was wrong. He looked down and saw the changes. “It’s okay. You will learn to love your new life. You are the guest of honor at the Culmiton, the final and grandest part of the Zemba celebration.” The women helped Alan into his costume. Alan thought the headdress was beautiful. They assigned Alan a new name: Xyla. “When do I get changed back?” Alan was curious how long he would be a woman. “Back? You don’t get changed back,” the woman said.