Sorry about the lateness, I didn't have the time to put this chapter through the final edit the last few days.
But still, never late than never right?:P thanks so much for the reviews!
Enjoy this one. :D
Chapter 32: The Final Goodbye.
Ember walked back to the lair, all the while thinking how it wasn't fair that Cybele was blaming her for everything that had happened while she and Caleb were on the main land. She shook the thoughts off as she stepped into the lair; she knew that she had done the best she was capable off while on the main land, more than could be expected of her. Ember put the bag down on the table and sighed as she looked around the lair. She couldn't help but think that it was good to be on familiar ground even if she didn't belong in that time frame.
Ember walked over to the door of the sleeping quarters and opened it at a crack to check whether Caleb was really sleeping. After looking inside for a moment, it was clear to her that Caleb was in fact sleeping, he was even snoring slightly. To Ember that meant that he was in a deep sleep, giving her the opportunity to do exactly what she told Cybele.
She walked over to her backpack and pulled out her laptop as she intended to make a video message to tell Caleb the truth. She knew that his was a mean thing to do and she wanted nothing more than to tell him everything face to face, but she didn't want to put him through the pain of her leaving again while he knew the truth about her. This was her reason to tell Caleb everything in a video message, so that the emotional blow would be slightly less, or so she hoped.
Ember set up her laptop and sat down behind one of the desks before she started the recording.
"Hey Caleb." Ember started. "By the time you're watching this, I'll be back in my time frame. I'm so, so terribly sorry about this, but I couldn't bring myself to do this face to face."
Ember sighed deeply as she ran her hands over her face before she looked up at the webcam again.
"For these past weeks, I've been lying to you, Caleb." Ember said. "My name isn't Ruby. It's Ember Tennant. Everything you remember about me helping you defeat Arkon and Neuros, it's all true, I twisted some of the details around so it would make sense to you why I would still be on FutureGate after defeating them. The truth of the matter is that a week after defeating them, I went home to 2010. We kept in touch during the three months that I was in my own time, but I came back here after you told me something weird was going on. We didn't know it at first, but we found out that it was all because of an Alien, Upa Gup. I told you about him, he deactivated your cybernetics and this activated the sickness inside you, the one you were diagnosed with when you were 17. This wasn't the only thing that happened, because of the sickness, you lost your memories. Your memories of me."
Ember sighed deeply again and flicked her bangs out of her eyes. Stopping for a moment to listen whether Caleb had woken up again. When nothing happened, Ember turned back to the webcam again.
"We're more than just friends, Caleb." Ember said. "In the future, well, your past, I'm going to give birth to your father, Simeon Lansing, so basically I'll become your grandmother... we're family, Caleb. I wish I could've told you before, but I made an agreement not to do so, so my departure wouldn't hurt again. I'm so, so very sorry I didn't tell you this before. I felt that this was for the best, but I realize not that I don't have the right to keep this all from you. You're a grown man now; you're perfectly capable of making your own choices."
Ember removed the headset and transmission box before holding them both up to the webcam.
"If you need help, use this to contact Tweaks. She's willing to help you." Ember said before putting the headset aside. "I'll set it to the right channel for you. All you need to do is pressed the black button and the headset will activate, it'll connect to Tweaks' headset automatically. By now, you'll probably be wondering what the necklace that was hanging off the disk is. It's yours, Caleb. It used to be mine, until I gave it to you when I went home the first time. I told you that it brought me luck on more than one occasion; I still hope it'll do the same for you... I'm so sorry about all of this, Caleb. I hope that one day you can forgive me."
With that, Ember stopped recording and after looking around for a while, she found an old empty CD that wasn't too scratched up. She burned the message onto it before putting it into her backpack for safe keeping until it was time to go home. Ember walked into the sleeping quarters and found that Caleb was still sleeping peacefully in his bed space. After she'd pulled up a mattress beside Caleb's bed, Ember slipped off her boots and lay down to catch up on some well earned sleep herself.
To her, it didn't feel like that her sleep lasted all that long as she felt someone shaking at her shoulder.
"Five more minutes, mum." Ember groaned, starting to pull the pillow over her head.
"Uh, Ruby?" Caleb's voice asked. "I'm not your mother."
Ember opened her eyes and after they focused, she noticed that Caleb was crouching beside her.
"Caleb..." Ember said as she sat up. "Sorry, I forgot where I was, I guess..."
She rubbed her eyes for a moment before properly looking at Caleb to find that he was looking as if someone had just run over his favourite puppy.
"What is it?" Ember asked.
"I visited Cybele." Caleb replied, sitting down beside Ember.
"Oh..." Ember said slowly. "What did she say?"
"She was disappointed." Caleb replied. "Saying stuff like she never thought I'd kill a human..."
Ember sighed deeply as she wrapped an arm around Caleb's shoulders. She should've expected that something like this was going to happen.
"I'm sorry." Ember said. "But you know, Cybele thinks of you like a son, she's worried about you."
"Then why would she say that she's disappointed?" Caleb asked.
"I don't really have an answer to that..." Ember said slowly. "But I do know that parents always want the best for their children. I think Cybele is worried about you and what you went through after... well you know. She'll come around eventually, just give it time."
"You think so?" Caleb asked.
"Yes." Ember replied.
"Okay." Caleb replied, although he didn't look convinced.
"Come on, let's get some breakfast." Ember said, getting to her feet.
Ember walked out of the sleeping quarters and grabbed the bag with the food. After pulling out a few items, she handed them to Caleb, who had come up beside her.
"Ruby, when are you going home?" Caleb asked.
"I don't know." Ember replied. "I said that I wouldn't be gone longer than 2 weeks, but it's been... well, it's been longer than 2 weeks since I got here, so... hey, can you change the transmitter to 2 weeks after I left 2010?"
"Yeah, I could probably do that." Caleb nodded.
"Well, then I guess I could stay a while longer." Ember remarked.
That's what happened, Ember stayed for a few more days on FutureGate and during that time she talked to Caleb as much as she could about what happened on the main land without seeming pushy.
During those three days, she made sure that Caleb wouldn't be able to contact her once she was back in 2010. She wanted to stay in touch with him, but she felt that it was for the better if it didn't happen. She also made a program that would activate after she arrived safely in 2010, effectively deactivating it. After the three days were up, Ember packed her stuff and she and Caleb walked up to the command centre. She stood back as she watched Caleb putting in the date to which she would be sent back and after a few moments, he straightened up.
"So, I guess that this is it." Caleb said.
"Yeah." Ember replied. "It's been one hell of a trip..."
"Yeah, you're right." Caleb nodded.
Ember reached out and hugged Caleb tightly. While they were hugging, Ember took out the CD and slipped it.
"I'm going to miss you." Caleb said.
"I'll miss you too." Ember replied. "This has been an experience I'll never forget."
"Me neither." Caleb agreed as they let go of each other. "Thank you for everything."
"That's what friends are for." Ember smiled.
Ember stepped onto one of the platforms of the time portal and watched as Caleb walked over to the controls.
"See ya, Recruit." Caleb said.
"See ya, Resistance Leader." Ember replied, smiling slightly.
As Caleb pulled the controls towards him, Ember took a deep breath and prepared for the time jump. As Caleb pushed the lever away from him, green lightening started to surround Ember and she closed her eyes.
It didn't take more than a few moments, but to Ember it felt like an eternity for her feet to touch the ground again, although the impact of it threw Ember of her feet. Ember opened her eyes and saw that she was back on the playfield that she had left when Caleb had activated the time portal to get her to FutureGate.
Ember walked over to the nearest rubbish bin in the park and pulled out a newspaper. Her eyes immediately went to the date and she smiled when she saw that it was indeed 2 weeks after she left 2010. She glanced up when she heard the church bell and found that it was 4 in the afternoon, which meant that it would just be an hour before Rutger and his family would be back. Ember picked up her backpack and slung it onto her shoulders before starting to walk in the direction of Rutger's house.
By the time that Ember got to Rutger's house, she found that Rutger was already waiting for her at the front gates. Ember smiled and tore her backpack from her back, dropping it down on the ground before running over to Rutger. Rutger started to laugh as Ember threw her arms around his neck and held on tightly. Ember rested her head on Rutger's shoulder as he lifted her of her feet for a few moments before setting her down again.
"Miss me?" Rutger asked as Ember slowly let go of him.
"Yeah." Ember replied. "It's been a hard 2 weeks."
"I can tell." Rutger replied, brushing his fingers past her cheek and held them up for Ember to see that they were dirty. "Where did you go? The desert?"
"Something like that." Ember replied before kissing Rutger.
"Wow, you really did miss me, didn't you?" Rutger asked, pulling away.
"Yeah, I did." Ember replied, putting her hands on either side of his face. "It's been a weird trip."
"Want to talk about it?" Rutger asked.
"Mind if I take a shower first?" Ember asked.
"No, of course not." Rutger replied.
Ember watched as Rutger walked over to where her backpack had fallen to the ground and picked it up, slinging over his own shoulder before walking back to Ember. Ember smiled a little when Rutger wrapped his arm around her shoulders and together they walked inside the house and Rutger lead Ember up to his room. It was the first time that Ember had been in his room and she smiled when she saw that there was at least one poster of a scantily clad woman in his room.
"Uh... yeah... I forgot..." Rutger started to say.
"Rutger, don't worry about it." Ember replied. "It's normal for someone your age. Uh... can I maybe borrow a shirt? I used up all my clean ones on my trip."
"Yeah, sure." Rutger nodded before turning to his wardrobe.
Ember watched as Rutger pulled out a black long sleeved shirt which he passed over to her before Ember disappeared into the bathroom. She turned on the shower and after pulling of her clothes, Ember stepped underneath the shower, letting the hot water soothe her aching muscles.
After standing underneath the shower for a half hour and having washed properly, Ember stepped out underneath the shower and turned it off after wrapping a towel around herself.
"So you want to talk about what happened?" Rutger asked through the crack of the door.
"Give me a moment." Ember replied.
She quickly dried off and pulled on the set of underwear she'd put in the empty bag that she gave Rutger to hide before she slipped Rutger's shirt on. Seeing as Rutger was a lot taller than she was, his shirt fell down to her knees. Ember walked out of the bathroom to find Rutger sitting on his bed, clearly waiting for her to finish her shower.
Ember dug through her backpack for a moment and pulled out a relatively clean pair of jeans and slipped them on before joining Rutger on his bed. As Ember sat down beside him, Rutger wrapped his arms around.
"What happened?" Rutger asked. "You look troubled."
"I just had a rough trip." Ember replied.
"Tell me." Rutger said.
Ember sighed deeply and started to tell Rutger a twisted version of what had happened. He stayed silent all the way through, only from time to time to show that he was listening.
"So I lied to him." Ember started. "I thought I was doing the right thing, but that only ended up backfiring, so I told him everything."
"You did the right thing." Rutger reassured.
"I know..." Ember replied. "But it didn't feel like it..."
"I know, usually the right thing to do doesn't feel like it, but it is the right thing you did, Ember." Rutger said soothingly. "Your friend might not see it that way, but he will in time."
"I hope so." Ember replied, burying her face against Rutger's shoulder.
Both of them looked up when there was a knock on the door.
"Rutger, Amber, lunch is ready." Mrs. Lansing called.
"Her name's Ember, mam, not Amber." Rutger replied before turning to look at Ember. "You feel like having some lunch?"
"Not really." Ember shrugged. "You can eat if you want though."
"We're not hungry, mam!" Rutger called.
Ember rolled her eyes a little, she knew that Rutger was probably hungry but he didn't go down for lunch because she didn't want to eat.
After spending the evening there, Rutger took Ember home and even went as far as helping her take her bags up to her room. While in her room, Rutger talked about the trip he'd had with his parents and how they'd gone to New York. After Rutger had gone home however, Ember went online and posted a message on the KHB forums stating that she wasn't in touch with Caleb anymore because of things that had happened during her recent trip in 2110. She didn't go into detail about what happened though. After logging off, Ember lay down on her bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering what she was going to do now that she had severed ties with Caleb. She just hoped that he would be alright and that he would contact Tweaks to help him out.
Ember sighed as she got to her feet after thinking for a few moments and started getting to work in sorting out the stuff from her backpack, but she couldn't help but let her mind wander to what things were like for Caleb now.
So, that's it for this chapter!
I should tell you that Rutger says Mam instead of Mum in the last conversation because he is from a Dutch family. Mam in Dutch is exactly the same as Mum in English.:) I figured that Rutger would speak English in front of Ember so she won't feel left out, but he wouldn't really change the way he addresses his mother. Hope this explains it:)
Well, this isn't only the end of this chapter, but the end of this story as well! Don't fret though; this isn't the end for Ember or Caleb. Their story will continue in the next instalment 'the Call of Destiny'.
I'll probably start posting the next story in two weeks time.
Thank you so much all of you for sticking by this story! :D
Until next time!