Epilogues

From the London Times Chiswick local page, several decades later:

Hundreds of Chiswick residents gathered today at St Basil's Cathedral to say goodbye to two of their own, Michael and Donna Noble Smith. Founders and long-time owners of the beloved local book store Remember Elizabeth, the couple, both in their eighties, retired eighteen years ago to devote themselves to their lifelong hobby of traveling all over the world, and so were two of the 614 victims of the fatal Bangkok Air Flight 2971 disaster over the South China Sea last week. Devoted parents and grandparents, the Smiths are survived by their four children: world-renown environmental scientist and clean-water activist David Smith, multiple Oscar and BAFTA winning actress Lucy Noble, Labour Party chief and former Prime Minister Lyra Smith, and her twin brother, Loren, who took over the book store from their parents; as well as seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Known throughout the town as kindhearted souls who gave generously of their time to a wide range of local and national charities, the Smiths will be sorely missed.

^..^

From Reuters News Agency, flash-printed around the world, two decades later:

Dateline Bangladesh: Thousands of international diplomats, scientists, and activists were on hand today to mark the grand opening of the Bhakhati-David Smith Memorial Seawater Treatment Plant outside the capital Dhaka. Serving the quarter-billion population of Bangladesh, the tenth-largest population in the world, the plant uses the revolutionary pressurized colloidal aggregate system developed by its namesake, the late Nobel Peace Laureate David Smith, who refused to patent it, instead giving the technology free to the world. The day is especially poignant as it marks the final realization of Mr. Smith's oft-cited lifelong dream of bringing fresh,clean drinking water to every human on Earth. Sadly, the man responsible did not live to see his dream, dying just four years ago of a sudden brain hemorrhage, but his widow, Nichele, and their two sons John and Michael were in attendance, helping the Bangladeshi President and the UN Secretary General cut the ceremonial ribbon. Also sharing the stage was Mr. Smith's sister and collaborator, the celebrated actress Lucy Noble, who worked tirelessly for decades as spokesperson for and Vice-President of the World Water Organization founded by Mr. Smith, the worldwide NGO many credit as the single most important force which has now effectively solved our planet's former water problems.

David Smith was an undoubted genius, inventing dozens of wildly imaginative, yet brilliantly simple, systems for treating soiled water, tiny rural sewage systems suitable for individual homes or small villages, and producing drinking water out of seawater, dry oil and natural gas wells, and seemingly thin air in every terrain and climate from the driest deserts to the highest mountain ranges. "He seemed to reach out and take inspiration from the stars," said a longtime associate, who identified himself only as a doctor. "He was a brilliant, dedicated man. I was proud to know him. Planet Earth is a far, far better place for his having been born on it."

^..^

For the remainder of his impossibly long life, the biggest, most ardent bibliophile in the universe never returned to the Library.

But far, far beneath the planet's surface, in the largest computer system ever built, in a universe of their own making, Rose and her Doctor danced...

and laughed...

and dined...

and ran...

and loved...

and lived...

….forever.