Eema's Last Journey

Chapter 8

The dinosaurs and lemurs emerge from the fog. What wonders await them!

When the fog faded the animals found their forest replaced by something totally foreign to them. The green grass and tall trees gave way what looked like the seaside, but it was unlike anything they'd ever seen before. Surely there was water; Aladar and the lemurs, from spending much of their lives on their now-destroyed island, knew what an ocean looked like. But this was different. Instead of a beach and sand, there was a lone, extensive platform on which to stand. On that platform the Herd stood patiently, waiting for the next sign. Suddenly a shape loomed in the distance. As it neared, Baylene, being the tallest animal present, watched intently. Odd, she thought, the shape looks familiar, not unlike the apparition I saw so many days ago...

"That's it!," she exclaimed. Sarama, the clairvoyant parasaurolophus, eyed the approaching object as well. She nodded. "Yes, it is." She turned to the others and said, "Just as the man said to old Rose, 'Are you ready to go back to Titanic?'."

Then, with a wry smile, she added, "In our case, the question should be, 'Are we ready to glimpse the future – our future?'"


The ship docked as it would've done April 17, 1912, that is if Titanic had completed its Atlantic crossing. However, on this special occasion there were no crowds of people to greet it, no cheering, no fanfare. Just a group of creatures who, in reality, were long dead eons before Titanic was merely a dream on paper. The Herd stood in silent amazement as the ship moored and the 1500 gathered on deck. They could see these creatures – beings the prophetic hadrosaur Mother Adah foresaw so many years ago. Astonishing, thought Aladar, that millions of years after we're gone, these creatures will inhabit the Earth and chart this planet's destiny. And they will hold us in high esteem...

"Hello down there!," shouted a voice from above, from just outside the bridge. Another voice from the stern, this one belonging to a young man, called out lustily as well. "Buon giorno!"

What started as silence at first soon erupted into wild cheering from the 1500. Even the dinosaurs and lemurs, in full realization that they were in the presence of a piece of the distant future, joined in the hoopla. Human cheers, dinosaur roars, and lemur calls blended into one joyous triumphant hurrah. It was Suri who immediately left her mother's side and jumped onto the heavy cables, climbing up the great length until she was safely on board. An alarmed Plio called out to her daughter, "Suri! We haven't been invited yet," but is was of no use.

Soon all the lemurs climbed the cables, motioning to the dinosaurs to follow. Of course, Aladar had misgivi ngs about the Herd's combined tonnage being too much for the ship to handle.

Not to worry called out Thomas Andrews, "She's good and sound. An iceberg might've brought her down, but she can stand a few extra tons onboard. Come on!"


Standing at the base of the grand staircase, Aladar and Neera looked all around in awe. So this is the Ship of Dreams, just as Sarama foresaw. And it would never see the other side of the ocean. What a calamity! A stroke of fate sent all this beauty to the bottom of the Atlantic.
"It's gorgeous, Aladar," exclaimed Neera. "To think that the humans will build so many beautiful things!"
"Yes," Aladar replied, "it is lovely beyond compare. But I still don't get it. Why is Gotoma showing us this? Why us?"

A gentleman descended the stairs and greeted the iguanodon with, "Because, Aladar, you were instrumental in Eema's survival – the entire Herd's survival. Without you, I most likely would've never came into possession of the skull. Jack Dawson would've died in complete obscurity, a great artistic talent forever undiscovered." He turned to Plio and the lemur clan who had just emerged from the first-class reception room.

"And thank this kind lady who rescued and insisted on rearing you as she did."

"Whoa, Aladar!," exclaimed Suri, "You should see this ship! There are all kinds of fun things to do. And it's so pretty!"

 "Yeah," rejoined Zini. "We were up on the bow, and Jack showed us what he and Fabrizzio did when the ship headed out in open ocean..."

With that, Zini and Suri climbed to the top of the stairs, shouting, "I'm the king of the world!".

Everyone laughed as the young lemurs headed out to explore more of the ship. Now Aladar was taken aback, for he knew Neera had seen an apparition of Jack Dawson earlier. In the corner of his eye, he could see Eema approaching, who was accompanied by a young man. It had to be Jack, because Eema kept gushing her thanks to the talented artist.
 "Baby, I have no idea how you captured my likeness from just my skull. You must've had a sixth sense, what with millions of years separating us..."

"Just thank Dr. Grant, Eema," said Jack as they rounded the corner to the staircase. "He had his theories on what you might've looked like, and I just took it from there."

He lightly touched Eema's broken horn, smiled and said, "I was intrigued with the horn. You will have to tell me how it got broken."

Eema returned the smile and replied, "All in good time."


On A Deck, it was a sight to behold. Old Yar, the lemur patriarch, chatted amicably with John Jacob Astor. Plio and Neera met Ida and Isidore Strauss; the ladies were touched most by the couple's steadfast devotion. How astonishing, and tragic, thought the lovely iguanodon, that this couple faced death so bravely.

Aladar was in deep conversation with Joseph Grant; their confab soon joined by Jack Dawson and Eema. How remarkable! Titanic's 1500 victims and creatures of the Cretaceous – beings separated by millions of years – sharing their stories of tragedy and pain. Aladar and the lemurs recounted the loss of their island home to the Fireball. Eema and Baylene retold of the Herd's fight to survive in the Fireball's aftermath: the march across desolate wastelands and the unflinching, almost ruthless, leader Kron.

"It is indeed remarkable that you managed to survive such a catastrophe," said Joseph Grant, whose words were echoed by Thomas Andrews and Captain Smith.

"Yes," rejoined Smith, upon turning to Aladar. "I can sympathize with your dealings with Kron. As I've learned, alas, too late, that one must not always follow the suggestions of those who do not always understand the gravity of a situation."

Aladar nodded, "Such as Ismay pressuring you to proceed at full speed, to break records and make headlines."

He nodded again, asking, "If you hadn't listened to him, would've things turned out differently? I mean, you would've seen the iceberg sooner, thus avoiding collision..."

The captain shook his head. "I'm not sure, Aladar. We never expected it. We were too sure of ourselves that this ship couldn't sink...Surely we would have seen the 'bergs..."

Eema overheard the conversation; she had to say something. "But it happened. No one can change the past, but look at what wondrous things that came out of all this. Rose had freed herself from a life not of her choosing. Margaret Grant kept her promise to her husband. Jack Dawson is now a recognized artist."

She took a long look at her surroundings then said, "And we have the rare gift of seeing this planet's future and past, together in one place. Through some divine miracle we've all reached that absolution..."

Fast forward to the present time, in a museum exhibit hall...
"You saw it all, didn't you, Rose? You saw them on the ship, with the 1500?"

"Yes, I saw them all. Thank you for coming, Gotoma. You have no idea how much this means to me."

Rose Calvert still sat alone in the exhibit hall where enshrined were many dinosaur remains. But she wasn't really alone, for with her was the spirit of old Gotoma, the founder of the Nesting Grounds. Of all who would appear to Rose now – Jack, Eema, Joseph Grant – why Gotoma? Only the legendary iguanodon could explain. "Rose, there is one among us who foresaw Titanic's demise, and how the disaster served as a turning point for you, for Jack."

Rose rejoined, "Her name is Sarama, and she dreamed of Titanic. She saw visions of me, Jack, Dr. Grant, and Eema."

She turned to look at the wraith Gotoma who seemed surprised. "Oh, Eema told me all about Sarama – in my dreams of course – how she has the gift of prophecy. Perhaps, in all the debris of time, Sarama saw that your Nesting Grounds residents had yet to reach an absolution."

"You are so right, Rose," said Gotoma. "There had been so many unsettled issues during the time of the Fireball. Our Herd had been challenged in so many ways in its aftermath. I had only watched events from the great beyond, and worried that the spirit of the Nesting Grounds would be forever lost."

He turned to Rose, adding, "Just as you felt that your spirit would be forever lost if you married Caledon, if you had never met Jack Dawson..."

"Or," said Rose, "if Titanic never struck that iceberg, if we did dock in New York and I was prevented from leaving with Jack. In a way, the whole disaster was a profound turning point for my life, and the lives of others. Eema, for example, and Dr. Grant, and, especially, Jack..."

Sometime later...
"We looked all over for you, Rose," said Alan Grant as the party returned to the exhibit hall.

 "Oh, you needn't worry so. I was in good company," replied Rose, looking around once more at the dinosaur remains, her eyes resting longest on Baylene's skeleton and Eema's skull.

"It's good that she's among friends, even in death."

It was Carson's turn to speak as her arm draped around Rose's thin shoulders. "I guess nearly everyone involved has reached that absolution, Rose." She studied the remains of nearly every animal, smilingly adding, "I wonder what Eema, if she were here, would say to all the hoopla surrounding her 'discovery'."

Rose's mouth spread into a wide sly grin. "Oh, I'm sure she'd be pleased with it all. Even her friends," she said, nodding to the brachiosaur skeleton, "would be very pleased."

Back at the Nesting Grounds...
The sun sank slowly in the western sky as the dinosaurs and lemurs settled in for the evening. So much to talk about; so much to wonder about. Was it all a dream? A mere fantasy? No, it was real, and it was the main topic of conversation ever since that late afternoon when the Nesting Grounds residents found themselves back in familiar territory. For most of the day they had experienced something wonderful: a chance to glimpse into the distant future.

"I wonder if seeing and experiencing these things will alter anything, for us," said Aladar to Neera and Eema.

Eema replied, "If anything, it gave us a chance to see the world as it'll become long after our time has past. It showed us that even those future beings, for all their learned ways, will have to cope with certain catastrophe, just as we have."

"You mean," said Neera, "just as the Fireball challenged and changed us, the Titanic sinking will challenge and change the survivors in ways unimaginable. But..."

Overhearing the confab, Sarama, the prophetic parasaurolophus, now joined by the lemur clan, echoed much what Neera said. "What we just experienced was so profound, so richly wonderful. Just being on that ship was exhilarating enough."

She paused long enough to catch reactions. Then she continued, "I couldn't help feeling awed and fascinated with the ship; the same euphoria engulfed me as it did the passengers and crew the day Titanic left Southhampton..."

 "Only," rejoined Plio, "to have that wonderful joy dashed to pieces the moment the ship collided with the iceberg."

Aladar and Yar nearly answered in tandem, "Just as the Fireball nearly destroyed our hopes and dreams..."

"But it didn't entirely destroy them," said Baylene, who surmised that the Herd's trials nearly matched those of Titanic's survivors. "In a way, it made us stronger, more resilient than ever. We may have our faults and petty quirks, but deep down we always come out on top. Look at what will happen to Rose, to Jack, to Dr. Joseph Grant's research. Everything eventually finds its absolution. I believe we finally found ours."

"And so," said Eema finally, "did Rose..."


COPYRIGHTę2002 by  "Sarama"(prp)

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