Author's Note: A short and probably a very weak final chapter, but for some reason, I just couldn't let this fic rest in peace. I thought I needed a third side. This time, we find out what Challenger has been doing during Vinn's conversation (writing down his thoughts was so much fun, though!) and his two cents about them. Hopefully it's worth reading, if nothing else. :) But now, I should say goodbye to this little thingy. Farewell, Survivors! I'll miss you! -waves-
Again, I take full responsibility for any grammatical errors (I still have quite a lot of trouble with prepositions in English; this chapter has been hell for me in a few spots).
Part 3: Challenger's Observations
„Would you stop it with the comparing?"
I am awaken by a raging voice I recognize as Finn's.
„You have no idea what I've been through!"
What on Earth is going on? Who is she arguing with? I'd better go check.
I get up with sizable difficulties. I don't like it when my body remains me of how old I really am. I follow the voices into the kitchen and see Veronica and Finn standing over by the fence, waging a staring war. I hide and ponder the moral value of eavesdropping (or lack thereof), but then…
„You have no idea what I've been through."
These girls should learn some manners and settle this some other time, I think, but then my fatherly side comes into play.
Finn was never interested in the miracles of science I've wanted to show her, but when Veronica was gone, she reminded me of her a fair bit. It is only now, as I'm watching them arguing face to face, that I see how different they truly are.
Finn doesn't seem to have fully dealt with her past – or more precisely, future. How fascinating all this is! I can understand it troubles her, but come to think of it, everything she regrets hasn't really happened – not just yet, and she did stop Zoth one time when he and his demonic comrades replaced me, Marguerite and Roxton. What if she's changed the course of her future already? Oh, this will make for a great essay in my journal!
„What are we to you?"
Oh, Veronica, I think you just hit a soft spot. Veronica welcomed us as companions and became my—our new family very quickly indeed. I don't reckon Finn feels the same way. I even had to describe to her what companionship is! She has been tainted by the events in New Amazonia. Sigh, future's adolescents make me miserable. Hopefully, we'll fix that, too.
But I believe that the same love Veronica has shown us, that we have for one another, no matter what the future holds (even though some of us can be doubted sometimes), that makes us accept our mistakes; I believe it's hidden somewhere inside her.
„There's not much of a difference between us and a family, Finn. You're a part of it."
I can hold back a smile. She believes in her, too. After all, Veronica is one of the purest people I've met. That surely is just what little Finn needs; someone who would believe in her.
I hope she never finds out I think of her as „little Finn" sometimes. Being her fiery self, I can see myself with a crossbow pointing at my forehead! I quickly shrug off this unpleasant visual.
„What am I to you?"
Well, that is a question easily answerable for me. Finn and Veronica both are like the daughters I never had, and now that I'm old and wrinkled, never will. I have sacrificed most of my life for my laboratory, and I knew the consequences. Still, sometimes I would have wanted to see my own child growing up. But now I can at least watch Veronica and little Finn from afar until we get back home. And, maybe, even after that.
However, did Finn mean all of us or does she want Veronica's opinion? What is she expecting for an answer? „A friend"? „Family"? Or does she want to hear something more than that? More importantly, what will Veronica say? This matter is getting a little confusing. Maybe she does mean more than that; what are they doing here, the two of them, anyway? I shouldn't even be here and feel a little awkward, but I cannot return to my room just yet. Their discussion has piqued my curiosity. And a good scientist never leaves things unfinished.
„A good person."
Oh, that was Veronica alright. I don't know what will happen next, but I have heard all I need to hear and I certainly know I'm leaving little—no, Finn in good hands as I silently sneak back into bed.
It doesn't matter what Finn or Veronica feel. Don't get me wrong; I only mean that whatever their troubles are, together, they can overcome everything along with their similarities and differences, whatever their relationship is, and that is what matters the most. Finn has been a part of the family since she jumped in front of my transporter and appeared with us in the cave, and that also proves she wanted to join it. She couldn't have known what world she was about to get herself involved in. She took the chance with us and earned her rightful place.
At first they seemed the same, and now, together, they act as different as Marguerite and Roxton can be. Maybe they're neither. Maybe, they're just two sides of the same coin.