Eema's Last Journey

Fast forward to the present day as three people arrive aboard the Keldysh, and the mystery surrounding the dinosaur skull unfolds...
It was an unusual gathering in that preservation room, although not as tense as Rose would have imagined. For sure, Carson was there, taking Rose aside the moment she arrived. Carson intimated to Rose that there should be no hard feelings, "Just because I'm related to Cal. Heck, my great-grandfather's family wanted nothing to do with either Nathan nor Cal. Too stuck up and cold was what Grandpa said." With that, the ice had been broken, and once again Rose became reacquainted with Carson.

Actually Rose was relieved for it would be Carson, along with Ellie and Alan, who would ensure Jack Dawson's immortality. How? Rose would thank Joseph Grant for giving his wife his papers – and that drawing Jack so lovingly rendered that night before Titanic met its fate. The group surrounding the skull consisted of Brock, Rose, Lizzy, Alan Grant, Carson, Ellie Sadler, Buell, and Bodine. All listened as Ellie recounted her role in the mystery of the skull.

"Soon after the Carpathia docked, Meg Grant immediately looked up my great uncle, Henry Sadler. She handed over Joseph's papers, and that drawing, then merely left for home. There was no further contact."
"But why didn't Sadler make those papers public?," inquired Brock, who by now wondered if the discovery of the skull would become, at least for him, more significant than finding the Heart of the Ocean. "I think I can answer that," replied Ellie. "According to my father, Henry Sadler thought Joseph Grant's theories a bit too left of center, if you know what I mean."

To this Alan added, "That dinosaurs were actually intelligent, agile creatures, and not the pea-brained, stupid beasts, which was the generally accepted theory."

So, the papers were hidden from public view for more than eighty years – until now. Rose spoke, "I think you will think I'm talking nonsense, but I dreamed last night that I was aboard Titanic, with the 1500. Jack was there, so was Joseph Grant. Then she – the dinosaur – appeared and spoke to me. In my dream, that is. Her name is Eema."

Stunned silence from the company at first, but Rose spoke again when it suddenly came to her. "That's what Dr. Grant said to Jack and me just before..."

"Before what, Nana?," asked Lizzy.
Rose gathered her fragile strength as she recalled more of that tragic night. "Before the ship split in two...He told us that she was a styracosaur, a very aged animal, and that her name was Eema."

Alan Grant smiled as he thumbed the skull's knobby crest. He couldn't believe his good fortune. After all these decades, his great-uncle's dream was about to come true. And this grand lady – Eema – would at last be enshrined in memory of her kind and world.

"Then there's Jack Dawson," he said to Rose. "Without him, there would've been no reliable visual interpretation..."

He studied the drawing closely, taking in every detail. He could actually sense Eema's thick wrinkled skin, actually touch the broken horn, and peer into timeworn eyes. What kind of life did she lead? Surely this animal had to be at least one hundred years old...The limbs painfully deformed from arthritis and age...If she migrated with a herd, then it must've been extremely excruciating for her to travel great distances and not fall prey to predators...

Finally Alan said, "Rose, consider Jack Dawson, and my great uncle, remembered for all posterity. I can assure you that Eema's skull will be properly enshrined for generations..."


Rewind to the Cretaceous, to the Nesting Grounds...
Yar remained behind as Eema returned to the lake. Sighs of relief and gratitude emanated from the Herd as their beloved grande dame emerged from the shadows. No, thought the lemur patriarch, this is not her time, but....

Lost in thought, Yar tried to figure out what strange and wonderful powers this Gotoma possessed. Surely the old dinosaur, who founded the Nesting Grounds generations ago, had the gift of foreshadowing. That gift was surely passed on to Sarama, the hadrosaur, then on to the rest of the Herd. Baylene saw visions and heard voices from the distant future. Delsie the pteranosaur saw Titanic's apparition during a reconnaissance flight across the sea. Then again, what if Gotoma is speaking to us, pondered Yar. What if he is watching over us, guiding us in our future path...

"Yar!" The voice calling out was very familiar: Aladar.

"Hey!," Aladar called again. "There you are! Why didn't you come down with Eema?"

The lemur patriarch sighed and answered as Aladar neared, "Just stayed behind, looking up at the old bones...Trying to figure out Gotoma's legend. Which reminds me..."

He looked intently at Aladar then back at Gotoma's enshrined remains. No! It can't be.

"Yar?", Aladar asked somewhat cautiously. "Do you believe what Eema said about old Gotoma's so-called 'powers', and that is why so many of us seeing and hearing things from the distant future?"
Old Yar stroked his generous white beard and said, "I don't know what to believe anymore. All of this is so confusing..."
He looked up at the old bones again, hoping for a sign or proof of the strange apparitions of the past few days. What happened next was astounding. That part of the Nesting Grounds took on a sudden brightness; the afternoon sun seemed to illuminate just that spot. Both Yar and Aladar stood there in awe as the area grew brighter. What was happening, Aladar wondered. Is it true? Did he have the 'gift'?

"No, Yar. It can't be, but..."

As the light bathed Gotoma's remains, something wonderful, almost miraculous, occured. The rock-hard bones took on a more complete form. Then flesh appeared, just as it was in life. The old dinosaur, now revitalized, though long dead, turned his head toward Aladar.

Gotoma — or at least his spirit — looked at Aladar intently, then finally he spoke.

"Aladar, it is I, Gotoma, calling you from the great beyond. It is time that I speak to you, as one leader to another."

Aladar was rendered speechless; so was Yar. This can't be happening! Can it? Yar whispered to Aladar, "Son, I believe something like this happened when I found Eema up here. She said she and Gotoma had a deep conversation..."

Gotoma, still entombed on the rock wall, greeted the old lemur with a smile. "Old Yar, you and I have something in common: We have lived a rich and full life. We have kept families and friends together in both good and hard times."

Then he addressed Aladar. "And you, young one. The one who Mother Adah foresaw so long ago, long before you were born, before your own mother came to be..."
"It is time you know the truth. Yes, I founded the Nesting Grounds many generations ago. This land was – still is – a place for rejuvenation and renewal. It does have, as Eema said, wonderful powers that manifest themselves in the most fantastic ways."

"As," Aladar replied at last, "in Sarama's gift of prophecy, Baylene reliving her past, and Eema's ultimate fate in the distant future."

"Yes, Aladar," said Gotoma. "It is a rarity for me to appear to the living, as I did with Eema this morning. Poor soul...She seemed so bewildered at it all. And Sarama, well..."

He paused as if to gather his thoughts, then continued, "She is, if truth be known, far more prophetic than her grandmother. What she saw and felt those days ago will indeed come to past in the very distant future. As for Baylene, think about it. Not long ago, as Sarama recounted the lady's family history, Baylene encountered many faces from her past: Her parents and siblings; Mother Adah...She even got a glimpse of her ultimate legacy."
"The same legacy awaits us all, including Eema. In her case, it will be borne out of tragedy and sorrow. Decades will pass before Eema can finally rest in peace. And the young couple who appeared and spoke to Baylene this morning: They have unsettled issues as well. Then there's Delsie, who beheld the ship's image bearing the 1500 lost souls, including Eema. They are still waiting for an absolution, but that lies far ahead in the future. Will it finally come? Most likely not for all, but for Eema, and for Jack, it will. Be patient."
Aladar couldn't believe his eyes and ears, but this was realy old Gotoma, the long-dead dinosaur, conversing as an old friend.

"But what about Eema?," Yar asked at last. "Why did Delsie see the ship with Eema on board?"

Gotoma answered, "It is a sign from the great beyond, my — and your — final award once this life has passed...Once Eema's legacy is secured, then will she rest in peace. You will know this when I appear to you again."

He turned his eyes to Aladar once again and said, "I hold you, Aladar, in the greatest esteem. You wear the cloak of leadership remarkably well. You've taken on the tremendous responsibilty of safeguarding the Herd's survival. For that I thank you. I don't know what could have transpired if you hadn't come along. The Fireball challenged us in ways unimaginable. It alarmed me that the Herd would never again set foot upon this land, taste the cool clear waters, or revel in the revitalizing spirit of this place. It was obvious to me that Kron's ways were at odds with the terrible burden placed upon the Herd. It was time for a new leader, as Mother Adah foresaw many years ago."

Gotoma nodded towards the lake, saying, "Now, I will leave you in peace. Go forth, Aladar. Go tell the Herd of the marvelous things you are about to see. Eema's lasting legacy is at hand, and you have the rare opportunity to witness our grand lady — and one very special young man — venerated and revered for posterity."


Copyright©2002 by P.R.Parker ("Sarama")

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