And now, the finale you have all been waiting for! (well I'm just pretending, you probably haven't but don't burst my bubble!) This is the end of the story, I hope you've liked it!
After this thought Ocean was pulled back into reality. Faith was watching her intently. Landon was stilled sprawled out on the sofa, almost asleep. When he saw that Ocean was 'back', he sat up and pretended that he had never been sleeping. "So, what happened? You were gone a long time." He yawned.
"Was I? It seemed as though I was only gone for a few minutes…" Ocean said, looking at Faith questioningly.
"When people are sucked into a time portal, the time is always different from that in reality, but it depends on the portal. You were gone for about an hour here, so you must have been in the portal for about 10 minutes." Faith answered. "But on to more important things. What did you learn?"
Ocean took a deep breath. "My mother was sent away at a time like this, wasn't she? And that's when she found Terre… She never came back, so I guess people just forgot about her, and her 'secret' was kept safe. And her ability to read minds… no one ever inherited it, because she never had any heirs."
Faith almost smiled. "You are very bright, Ocean. I know that you didn't see all of that in the portal – you would have been gone for a lot longer. But you are forgetting a few things. Why are you alive, Ocean? Only because of your mother – you are her heir. And your mother did come back to Earth, did she not? Also, you were wrong about one thing. She was never forgotten."
Ocean had forgotten about that. She had been so absorbed in learning as much as she could about her past that she had forgotten the real reason she was here. "Then… the secret wasn't safe, right? But how did they fight the problem without her?"
Faith opened the box that was sitting in front of her. The room got a lot brighter in that moment, as though inside the box was a lamp. She cupped her hands and brought a ball of light out of the box. "Do you see this light?" she asked.
"Yes. What does that have to do with it?" Landon answered, before Ocean could, although she was going to say the same thing.
"This was what the people used to fight the power with. But, because we did not have Dianne with us, we did not have enough power to shut off the 'power' entirely. So it is likely that what is causing the 'problem' now is the same as what caused the problem years ago."
"But… if my mom came back to Earth, couldn't she have prevented the 'problem' from happening again?"
Faith almost smiled again. "Not necessarily. It is well known to those who study that when the person who has an extraordinary power leaves the Earth, either through death or exploration, that there will be another soon to take his or her place. Usually it is the next born baby in that family. So that would mean –"
"That Ocean is the next one to have the power?" Landon interrupted. Faith nodded.
"I heard something about that in the portal. But, am I really the next person in the family? I mean, didn't my mom have brothers or sisters or anything?"
Faith sighed. "No. Your mother was born into a family of scientists. These people… they were so absorbed in their work, that your mother hardly had any attention. But because she was brought up in such an environment, she became interested. First, it was mostly about how humans were effecting the destruction of the Earth. But later, she researched more and more about how someone could stop them… and that was when the problems started happening. And because she already knew so much, Dianne was able to protect most of the landmarks. But her father sent her away. He loved her too much, and couldn't bear to see her die… so he sent her away, hoping that the problem would be solved by the time she came back. But she never did, because she found the break in the atmosphere. Only one other person knew about it, and that was her dad. Although he knew she was safe, she never came back while he was alive. He died hoping that one day, a child would be born with the power to do what Dianne did."
"So that's me. Am I supposed to be researching right now? About how to stop the humans from destroying their world?" Ocean asked, already quite confused.
"You already know how." Faith said, eyeing Ocean as she did when she asked her if she believed.
"Oh, I know the answer to this one! Ocean, where did we come from? What were our most important morals?" Landon asked her excitedly.
"Terre, of course! We always valued… the protection of the land for future generations! What does that have to do with it? How can that help?" Ocean asked.
"You must teach these humans a lesson. But, you have another problem up your sleeve – you must stop the 'mayor', as you call him, as well. He will destroy the Earth, and your Terre, by melding the two together as one planet. Do you believe, Ocean?" Faith asked again.
"Yes!" Ocean said, getting a little frustrated because she had no idea what she was supposed to be doing.
"That is really all that you need. Go to Big Ben now, that is where your quest will end."
"But what about Mark? What about Landon?" Ocean asked again, not sure if she really wanted to take on this mission.
"Landon can go with you. Mark… I will take care of him. I want you to have this, Ocean." Faith brought the light slowly towards her. She rolled it around in her hands until it became a long, thin rope. She tied it around Ocean's neck, like a necklace. Ocean touched it, and it glowed a bright purple. "When you touch this necklace, you will immediately become in touch with someone who can help you. Who it will be, I do not know. But I do know that it will be a different person each time, depending on your need. I have already wasted enough of your time, and it will take you a while to go through the library. You may go now."
Ocean and Landon turned away from the lady and started to run. They were both exceptional runners, so they were at the entrance of the library in no time. They could see that the mob around Big Ben was growing bigger and bigger, so they knew where to go. "Excuse me, sir. Pardon me. Oh, sorry – didn't see you." Ocean said, as Landon did the same thing, making their way to the front of the mob.
"Hey, you two! You can't just budge people to get up here! I came 4 hours early to get this good spot!" A man stepped in front of Ocean and Landon, not allowing them to pass.
"Excuse me, sir, but it's an emergency. We really have to get to the front to stop this all." Ocean said as politely as she could, without getting angry.
"You can't change the past, sweet heart. It's already been done – Big Ben has already started to strike 13. So why don't you two just run along and go home?"
Ocean was about to make another remark, when an idea dawned on her. "Landon, I've got it!" she exclaimed. "We have to change the past! We have to change the Mayor's thoughts or something… so that he didn't turn bad!"
"Yea Ocean, good job! Now we only have to figure out how to turn back time…" Landon replied.
They continued to excuse themselves through the crowd (the man by this point had given up on trying to keep his 'spot') until they arrived at the entrance to the top of the clock. Quietly they slipped through the door, while no one was watching.
Inside the clock they were faced with a wall of gears. The gears were glowing purple from the Mayor's magic. Ocean decided it would be a good time to use her magic necklace. She clasped her hands around the thin rope and closed her eyes as it began to turn purple. "Please, please help us." She whispered.
"What was that?" Ocean and Landon asked at the same time, wildly looking around them for the person who had spoken.
They looked around the room frantically. Ocean put her hand to her neck, when she realized that her necklace was gone. It was only then that she saw that the light that had once been her necklace was floating at eye level in front of her. "Who are you?" she asked cautiously.
It's Mark. Don't you recognize me?
Ocean and Landon exchanged sideways glances. She knew that they were both thinking that Mark did not know that he was talking to them in the form of a ball of light. He probably thought he was talking to them on the telephone or something. "Mark, can you help us?" she asked.
You're inside Big Ben? Wow, I've never been inside before. It must be pretty cool. Yes, I can help you. I learned all about Big Ben when I was in high school. To get to the next floor, you have to switch the direction of the gears, so that an elevator appears where the wall is blank. On every floor there is a trick that you have to perform in order to get to the next level… Ocean? Are you there? Ocean? Landon? Are you still…
The light went out, and it fell to the floor as the necklace. Ocean picked it up and re-clasped it around her neck. "So, Landon… you were always good at sciences. Have any ideas?" she asked.
Landon walked over to the largest gear in the set. It was also glowing the most brightly. "Something tells me that we only have to switch the direction of one gear in order to get the elevator to appear. And I also bet that if we switch the wrong gear, it won't work. This gear was probably made to look the brightest so that people would switch this one, and mess up the puzzle. So, why don't we start looking for the smallest gear there is, or at least the one that is least noticeable?"
As they started to search, Ocean was reminded of a very familiar scene. She remembered so vividly when they had been searching together for the crystal cave. The two coniferous trees, the beam of light, the walls, the invisible stairs… A silent tear slipped down her cheek. She wanted to go back so badly. She was about to start walking again, when she noticed that although she was not walking she was moving in a circle.
"Landon!" Ocean yelled. It was rather loud inside of the chamber because of all the moving gears.
He ran over to her. "Did you find it?"
She grinned. "Definitely. Have you noticed that we are moving, even though we are not walking?"
Landon looked at her questioningly. But he looked down and saw what she was talking about – they were walking on a giant gear! Eyes twinkling with excitement, they got down on their knees and pulled the gear the other way from which it was rotating. It stopped immediately, and the elevator appeared in the gap in the wall. They got up and walked over to the elevator. It opened immediately.
They walked inside the glass elevator and it immediately shot up to the next floor. The two stepped out slowly, taking in their surroundings. There was already another elevator on the opposite side of the room. "The mayor must have left it for us." Landon grinned. But Ocean could only smile back – she was too nervous about what she would have to do.
They went up the elevator once more and arrived in another room. This one was empty, except for a small black cube in the middle of the floor. Ocean and Landon exchanged grim glances.
"What are we supposed to do? We don't have another Crystal Cave to go to for the key." Landon said.
Again, Ocean put her hand to her neck and asked her necklace for help. "Please, someone help us to find the key for this box. Or the solution to the puzzle."
This time they both knew where to look, and found the small light almost immediately. "Faith?" They both asked in unison.
Yes, it's me. You must hurry. The power is becoming almost unbearable. The pressure being put on the Earth is huge. I think that Big Ben was the last stop. If you do not hurry, we may be put under the control of something horrible. The box opens up. When you open it I am sure that you will figure it out…
The light returned to the floor as the necklace. Ocean clasped it around her neck as Landon opened the box. Inside was a small key in the shape of a backwards 'E'. As Landon closed the box, Ocean could see where the key fit. They looked at each other with silent understanding. This was the last room, and only Ocean could go on.
There was an awkward silence for a few moments. The two teenagers just looked at each other, not wanting to believe what they knew had to happen. Fishing for something to say, Ocean broke the silence. "So…what do you think the key stands for? I mean we've seen it quite a few times…"
Landon shuffled his feet. "Yeah. Maybe it stands for Earth or something, but it was backwards to mix people up… like on that switch box, so that people wouldn't be very suspicious or something? That would be my guess."
"You're probably right." She replied, and the silence resumed.
"Ocean… I'm not going to see you again. I'll miss you." Landon said quietly.
She nodded. "I'll miss you too, Landon. But I promise that if I get a chance to come back, I will. You mean so much to me. You've done so much for me, and the whole time I've just been a brat. I've cried on your shoulder so many times… Thank you so much, Landon."
Landon took a deep breath. "Ocean, can I tell you something? I've been meaning to tell you for a while."
"Sure." Ocean answered.
"For the longest time… I've had this feeling, that you were the only person that I would want to spend the rest of my life with. And I just wanted to tell you before you go, that I love you." And with these words, he pulled her in towards him and softly kissed her.
They remained like this for a few minutes, until Landon let go of his embrace. Ocean had tears in her eyes. "Landon… I'll never forget you." She slipped the key into lock, wiped away her tears and stepped through the door.
It was as though she had just stepped into a parallel universe. The mayor was standing with Randy. She quietly stepped behind them, hoping that she had not been heard. Unfortunately she had.
"Ocean!" The mayor said sweetly, grinning from ear to ear. "You have just arrived to see me reverse history, where I will be born as the greatest leader for Terre and Earth have known! I can do this, though, only when Big Ben chimes 13… so you have about 15 minutes to say your last prayers… I hope you said good-bye to your little friends, because soon, Terre and Earth will be reborn as one!" he snickered and went back to talking to himself in a corner. She was about to go see her dad when the mayor turned around again and laughed. "Oh yes… I think I forgot to mention this little detail. Only one person in the parallel universe to Earth and Terre can be reborn onto the melded planet… that person is me. I hope you lived your life, Ocean, because it's the only one you get!
For the last time, Ocean clasped her hand around her necklace and prayed. "Please, please help me to stop the mayor. Please don't let him take over Earth and Terre…"
Ocean looked for her light to be in front of her again, but her necklace was still around her neck, a dull shade of bronze.
Believe in what you were taught…
"Mom?" she whispered.
Suddenly, Ocean's necklace was no longer around her neck. It was floating in front of her, like the ball of light usually did. The necklace transformed into a small watch about the size of her palm. It landed in her hand.
Smiling sadly, Ocean faced her dad. "Dad, I wish we had more time together."
Randy nodded. "Me too, Ocean. But you have to do what you must do. Your mother would be proud."
"I just wish… I wish there was another way. But I know that there isn't. Dad, I love you."
"I love you too, Ocean."
Before she started to turn the clock, Ocean whispered to no one in particular.
"People of Earth, hear my cry
innocent people have had to die
Because of your hatred, malice and war
the planet of Earth will be no more.
The planet that once was so fresh and green
Now echoes a future soon unseen.
But if in a lesson you can try again
Learning to love will help all to mend."
After these words Ocean slowly turned the clock backwards – but she was too late. Big Ben had already finished striking thirteen, and the mayor's magic had started to work. Her life started to flash before her. The black box… talking with Landon… her mom leaving… meeting Landon… her first words… After her life was done, time started to turn backwards for everything else. Her mother was a child… Terre was being born… Earth was being born… the universe was being born. And then everything was done.
It was pitch black. In a few hours, she guessed that Earth would be born as a ball of fire in the middle of the sea of darkness. If Ocean could turn the last dial on her clock, everyone that she had known on Terre would be reborn on the new planet, as a new people, together with the Earthlings. She hoped that what she had said would somehow find its way to the people. The last dial on her clock was the only thing that could give at least a tiny bit of hope that the mayor would not rule the entire new planet. Slowly, she turned the crank. Light burst from the clock, engulfing her. Her eyes glowed bright purple as the light redid the birth of the planet Earth. Then, as quickly as it started, it all ended. As the final stars found their place in the sky, Ocean found hers.