With her forefoot, Sarama continued to scratch out the nightmarish scenario in the soft mud. Together, the animals watched as the images took shape. Aladar looked on in amazement as Sarama talked as she drew. He turned to Neera, saying, "She is seldom off-target, with her prophecies, that is. I can't quite fathom such a catastrophe, although we have lived through some tough times ourselves."
To this Neera replied, "But she saw Eema on that thing, talking to someone who will have a connection to her..."
Her eyes narrowed as she focused on the aged ceratopsian standing in the shadows. Neera sighed in sorrow and confusion, then said to Eema, "What do you make of this, Eema? Surely you don't believe...?"
Eema looked at Neera with loving eyes and said, "Baby, I know Sarama is right about this. I know because I got the same feelings just this morning. Why, I could feel the cold air and freezing waters..."
Her voice quaked with emotion as she finished, "I heard them all screaming, trying to save themselves...And I saw him, the one who Sarama said I talked to. In those final moments, he caught up with the boy who captured my likeness..."
To this Sarama, who overheard Eema, finally rejoined, "There is another female with the boy...She was to get into the boat with her mother, but the girl refused. The one to whom she was promised...He is possessive and cruel...The boy awakened that inner fire, and that girl's only hope is the boy...The boy dies, but the girl will live...She is the one who will help piece together..."
Sarama paused a bit as if to gather her thoughts, then she peered at the image of the sinking ship. A dreaded gasp escaped her throat. She turned to Eema and said with alarm, "So THAT'S why the girl is so instrumental! The male I saw you speak to, the boy who captured your likeness...Oh my! And there's someone else, years beyond this tragedy, who will seek something of high value, only to learn the real story of Titanic..."
"Titanic?," asked Yar, the elderly lemur patriarch.
"That is the name of this ship," replied Sarama. "It just now came to me...So many valuable items will go down with it, and this other male, decades away, will try to find...I can't quite visualize it, but it is very large, very blue, and very beautiful. Alas, it is gone forever, but he salvages something else."
She looked Eema squarely in the eyes and finally said, "I don't know if you want to hear this, Eema, but..."
Eema, now knowing that she will have an important role in an event of the far-off future, admitted, "I know all about it, Sarama, because I saw it too, in my own dreams. And to tell the truth, after we're all gone, after all those millions of years pass, what else would be left of us?"
Now Aladar and the others were even more confused. "What would be left, Eema?," he asked. "And what," he asked Sarama, "will this future creature try to find? You said it was forever lost, yet there's something about Eema..."
Baylene stood silent most of the time, imbibing all the conversation. In a flash, she remembered a similar vision she had not long ago. It was a vision of her own far-off future, and the legacy she would leave behind to endure for millions of years.
Ah yes, now I understand, Baylene thought to herself. It is Eema's remains they will find...Her remains will be on that ship, bound for home, yet they end up on the bottom of the sea... Decades from that time, one will hunt for valuables...Oh!
As Sarama says, "Oh my!"
Joseph finally made it to the stern, closely followed by Jack Dawson and Rose Bukater. The former, just a few days ago, drew a likeness of the skull and what the animal would've looked like in life. Thank Margaret for that, who had seen the young man's work that Friday afternoon then asked a favor. She, with some crafty persuasion, had the skull brought out of the hold and into the Grants' stateroom. Jack marveled at the skull, and at Joseph's notes and simple renderings. Margaret had wanted the drawings to be a surprise once the ship docked in New York, but she couldn't wait.
Thank goodness she showed Joseph those drawings last night, with Jack
and Rose present. The latter wasn't supposed to be there; she was in Jack's
company and on her way to a party below decks. In reality, Rose was to
return to her first-class suite, to her fiancé, Cal Hockley. But
she chose to be with Jack on that magical night.
True, thought Joseph, the boy had been invited to dine with the wildly wealthy and over-privileged lot, and Jack made quite a favorable impression on most of his dining companions. All except, naturally, at least from what Joseph gathered from Rose, Cal and Rose's mother.
What a shame, to waste such an astute mind and compassionate heart on one such as Caledon Hockley, thought Joseph Grant. He watched Rose's reactions when she saw the skull, and Jack's artful renderings of the animal as it might have appeared. She was highly impressed with Jack's work, and with the skull and Joseph's theories. Rose admitted she'd never before seen a dinosaur skull up close and personal; her only exposure to the extinct reptiles were through science lessons in grammar school then at college.
She was engrossed with amazement and awe as Joseph related to her his
theories on dinosaurs – How they may have enjoyed a long life span; how
they may not have been the clumsy dimwits as so many of his contemporaries
currently believed. Joseph silently assessed Miss Bukater and came to the
conclusion that this young lady was more than just another wealthy socialite.
She had a fire within, ambition, and a thirst for learning.
His children, eight year old Helen and, especially eleven year old Joe Jr., were particularly impressed with the vivacious and beautiful Miss Bukater. Why, if my only son, Joseph Jr., was of marrying age...
Joseph teased Rose about his son gushing over how pretty and polished "Jack's friend" is. Dr. Grant intimated to Rose just before she and Jack departed for third class, "My dear lady, if only my son was a few years older, that is if you wouldn't mind being married to a struggling paleontologist. That is what my son wants: To follow in his father's footsteps."
Clinging to the stern railing by sheer force of will, Joseph Grant thought
of last night's meeting with this extraordinary couple. He thought of Jack's
drawing of the dinosaur, and how that very animal appeared to him just
moments ago. How uncanny was Jack's conception of Eema!
Now that drawing was safe within his wife's hands, and, if God willing, on its way to New York.
That is, whenever they send a rescue ship...Someone had to answer the distress calls...Someone had to see those rockets flaring in the night...But what if no one comes? What if those poor souls in the lifeboats are cast adrift for days, never to see the other side of the Atlantic?
He stared into Rose's eyes, watching her cling to Jack as if he was
all she had left in the world. Joseph wondered why she didn't get into
the boats earlier with the rest of the first class women. Obviously she
had her reasons, and one of those reasons was presently protecting the
girl at all costs.
The ship rose higher and higher into the night air; its bow section now fully submerged. How long do we have? Another minute? Perhaps a little longer?
Joseph looked about him as countless people lost footing and grips. They thrown downward into the frigid waters; many jumped out of desperation. Like rag dolls, they were tossed and hurled about. One poor man jumped from the stern into the water, only to strike the exposed propellers on the way down. This is not good...
He had to say something to Jack and Rose, before the ship went under. It was now or never.
"Eema!," he called out to Jack.
"Did you say something, Dr. Grant?," called back Jack Dawson.
"The styracosaur you drew...It is female, a very old female...And her name is Eema!"
Just then the ship split in two. The loud popping of rivets and ripping of metal could be heard from those gathered on the stern. Suddenly, like a roller coaster from Hell, the stern plunged back onto the surface with such a force that took Joseph's breath away. He could hear nothing but the shocked screams of people as the stern lunged forth like the boot heel of God. Those ill-fated victims foundering in the water below were smashed into the sea like ants. Hundreds more fell into the icy Atlantic.
Then the stern drew itself upright again, standing straight up in the water like a mighty finger pointing downward. It seemed to bob and bounce a bit, sending even more people plunging to their deaths. He saw a woman, a Scandinavian girl who Rose had met from last night's below-decks revelry, desperately cling to a pole, only to lose her grip and fall, screaming, miles below. He thought of his wife, of his children, of his lost dream.
Joseph sent up a last silent prayer:
O God in Heaven, if I'm to die, let it be not in vain. Watch over my family. Watch over all these poor people whether they live or die...Watch over this couple...And Eema...You sent her to me, to comfort me in my last moments of life. Watch over her as well...
Joseph Grant, Ph.D., could hold on no more as the stern slowly descended into the sea. He watched Jack pull Rose over the other side of the rail; he heard her say to Jack, "I trust you!"
How Joseph wished he had someone to cling to. With his strength and endurance depleted, Joseph Grant slipped from the stern railing and tumbled into the freezing water. When he tried to surface, he felt the suction of the foundering ship pulling him down. He knew no more...
Sarama's eyes filled with tears, and the other animals gathered became quite emotional as well. This vision of a far-off future tragedy was indeed frightfully painful, and the dinosaur and lemurs gathered knew there was nothing to stop such an event from occurring.
Eons after these animals' demise, one of them returns in spirit to comfort one of the 1500. That one will leave a legacy buried at the bottom of the icy North Atlantic for more than eighty years.
However, through an act of kindness and generosity, all will not be lost. The young widow, and the young lady, who survived one of the worst maritime disasters of all time will become the catalyst in preserving Eema's memory forever.
To Chapter 4
Copyright©2002 by "Sarama" (P.R. Parker)