The roaring stopped with a final SUHWOOSH!. The quiet caressed the survivors and mourned with them those lost to the Drain. Adam looked around and then back to Altern, who was stuck in the drain from the beak up. Her two, swimming-pool eyes looked bewildered, yet wholly relieved. One tentacle, the one which still held on to Adam, remained free, sandwiched between her body and the Drain. Altern brought Adam close to her beak and he thought that now, more than ever, Altern planned to snap him in two. Instead she whispered in that papery rasp, “What have you done?” and closed her eyes.
Her tentacle loosened around Adam and floated down to the ocean floor, limp. Adam floated down as well, dazed. He lay on the ocean floor and looked up at the ceiling of the drainage chamber. What had he done?
One by one, the surviving sea creatures lined up on the ledge overlooking the Drain. Some stared in wonder, some in sadness, and others in utter rage.
“Altern’s plugged up the Drain,” said Ramata.
“We’ve lost…lost…,” chirped an urchin.
An old fish, clearly from Spot’s school, said, “Even though there will now be Land – to open the Drain was a grave mistake.”
Adam smiled and held his fists up high. “A mistake? No – this is what I wanted! Now the water-folk can move with freedom and I can get back to dry land!” Adam looked around. “Did you hear that Spot? Ramata?”
“I heard you,” Ramata replied.
The old fish repeated, “Your choice was a grave mistake.”
Adam’s smile slowly leaked from his lips. He fervently looked around for Spot. Adam noticed all the many types of water creatures surrounding him yet he didn’t see Spot among them.