“Where does the Drain go?” Adam asked the older fish.
“Who here could know?” was the fish’s answer.
“Is Spot dead?”
“Spot is not here. This is all we can say.”
Adam hid his face in his hands. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t —.”
“Your choice was a grave mistake. Some mistakes are correctable. All mistakes must be dealt with. We will deal with your mistake; in memory, in love, and in sorrow. One choice may have one thousand results, none of which are preferable. You must now deal with your mistake. Ocean is forever changed; one thousand results from this single choice.”
The old fish finished speaking and the water creatures moved away from the ledge. Adam floated for a long time in absolute silence. He had nothing to say and no one to say it to if he did. He looked at Altern, passed out and plugging up the Drain. “I’m sorry, Spot,” he whispered. “Oh, I didn’t want you, or anyone, to get hurt. I just wanted to…I don’t know…I’m so sorry.”
“There will be dry land now.”
Adam turned around to see Ramata floating in front of him.
“Do you hate me?” Adam asked.
“I don’t hate you, Adam. I just wish you’d have listened. You don’t know everything.”
Adam sobbed, “I don’t know anything.”
“You know that there is dry land somewhere.”
“I don’t know where though.”
“Well, I know where to start looking.”
Adam looked into Ramata’s eyes. “And you’ll take me there?”
“Haven’t I been leading you all along?”
“When you’re ready, I’ll be up on the ledge. We’ve got to make some good of this,” she said before swimming away.
Adam nodded again. He swam to the Drain. Altern frightened him even while unconscious and stuck in a hole. She was going to be mighty upset when she woke up.