A/N: Again, a big thank you to my reviewers, it makes me so happy that I know people are enjoying this!
Abitat Eco: Thanks so much! I'm glad I've convinced you XD I'll try to keep it up! Can't make promises though haha!
Dandelion Oak: Thank you! :3 I completely agree, it would've been boring to write, too! :) And thanks, it took a while to think of a name!
Anthea Triton: You're so sweet! You should definitely write a fic for Amelia! I love her! I'll be looking for it :D
The instrument on stage flipped over.
"Let us proceed to puzzle number 002, now...go to where you can see the largest crown."
"The largest crown? Hmm." she pulled at a strand of hair thoughtfully.
"This is hardly a competition if he keeps gathering us all together." Pointed out the sailor.
She paused for a moment when she heard this. He was right. Only one person could win the competition, so if he means to get rid of them, he needs to gather them together. So this must be a trick question like the last.
"Oh, there are hundreds of crowns on display on this silly little ship, there is no way we can compare all of them in the time we have."
"She is right. There is no time."
"Maybe all the crowns are red herrings.."
Amelia pondered how to make her next move, she was used to thinking quickly thanks to her experience with chess, and lessons from her grandfather, but this was far from chess despite how much she tried to convince herself.
But this was for her grandfather.
What time was it? How long were they going to be stuck here? She forced herself to remain collected, her exhausted eyes coming to a close as she listened to the collective mutters of those around her.
"Yes! That's it! The ship we're on is the Crown Petone!"
"Well done, my boy, I remember seeing there was a big crown at the entrance where we came in, on the sign with the theaters name on it!"
Amelia's heart gave a small start. The Crown Petone, of course!
Then her heart dropped. Maybe it's her distrust towards people, but something made her doubt the eccentric man's words. The way he gave a specific location as to where the crown was, and his dramatic show—when if he really wanted eternal life he would keep the answer to himself. He was on the same thoughts as her. Gather them together.
While a majority of the people left, she stuck behind with a few others.
The odd man frowned. "You're all rather hard to get rid of..." he said pulling on his beard and confirming her suspicions.
"That was wrong," said a man with a full head of red curly hair.
"Well, what do you expect?" a woman retorted, resting a hand on her chest and looking off to the side indifferently. "At least that only leaves a few of us." she sighed, and began to walk off. The rest followed, including Amelia.
They walked down a hallway silently; Amelia looked next to her at the red haired man.
"This is crazy, wouldn't you say?" he muttered.
"I never would've thought lives would be on the line, but as we used to say in training, survivor of the fittest, eh?"
"It's all rather strange," she replied carefully, not letting herself seem weak. "And I try not to think about that. It's all a part of the game."
He nodded, giving a small laugh. "Smart."
She looked away.
"It can put a load of guilt on you when you know that others are in jeopardy..."
What was he trying to do? Guilt her? She kept walking, not giving him a response.
"Ah, here we are!" said the odd man, opening the doors with a flourish. Then he added. "Right on time, too."
"What's this?" the woman replied. "Does he expect us to actually crank these?"
Amelia silently walked over to the nearest crank and struggled to move it. Others followed suit.
"Relax," said the sailor. "We'll do it fer ya, wouldn't want ya ter break a nail." he said in response to the woman.
Amelia suddenly felt exhausted, today was emotionally draining and the cool night air reminded her how late it was.
"You need help with that?"
She turned around in shock, seeing the curly haired man behind her with a smile on his face.
She stepped out of his way when he reached for the crank.
"Thanks." she said, leaning against the wall and closing her eyes.
"Not a problem." he grunted.
She drifted off slightly.
She was older, now. About eight, when she sat in her Grandfathers study and played with a wilting flower. She had decided the flower was like her, without the proper need for love and affection. Her Grandfather was on the phone with a lawyer, trying to keep his voice down as he fought for her on the other side of the doors.
She traced the bruise on her arm delicately, the purple color matching the flower perfectly.
"Miss. Ruth," She looked up in wonder at the maid that entered the room. "Your granddad would like to see you now, sweetie."
She eyed the woman's hand carefully, before taking it. The woman smiled, and led her into the next room. "Now you just make yourself at home. Here, sit on the couch."
She did what she was told and stared in awe after the kind woman.
"Amelia," She turned towards her grandfather in anticipation, but hearing his voice laced with regret her shoulders sagged. "I'm afraid it may take some time before all this blows over…and I'm having some…difficulty regarding your parents…I'm sorry."
Tears stung the corner of her eyes. "I—it's alright, grandfather, really." They began pouring down her face involuntarily. "It's okay…really, it is." She wiped at the tears, trying to show her granddad how strong she was.
"Amelia…" He said shaking his head.
He opened his arms for her, and with a pang in her heart, she jumped towards her grandfathers opened arms, trying to choke back the tears of sorrow, pain, and reality.
She was jerked awake by the sound of the man in front of her struggling.
She stepped forward to help, but he said. "No, that's alright I got it, I need to build up my strength for all it's worth." He smiled and glanced at her from the corner of his eyes
She didn't reply, but placed a hand on her hip and stared off at Mr. Whistler. She didn't trust him.
He began talking to the opera singer, and everyone turned to look when they finally noticed the man with the top hat.
"It appears you solved this puzzle, too."
"Yes." he responded politely.
The man in front of her groaned, and she closed her eyes in disappointment.
"Well, I hope everyone don't turn up." he said in exasperation and continued cranking.
She ignored the rest of their conversation, drifting off once again.
As soon as everyone was in their boats, they began rowing.
"But...where are we going?
"We're going to where we can see the biggest crown, of course." Said the archaeologist to the small boy.
"But I can't see a crown anywhere."
"You'll see in a minute, Luke."
"But it was you who shouted out the ships name, and yet you still don't get it." Amelia looked off towards the ocean.
"Excuse miss...uh." The professor smiled at her.
"Amelia." She said, even though she didn't want to be on a first name basis with anyone. She stared with an unreadable expression at the professor, as he did the same.
"Amelia...how did you come to be at the theatre tonight?"
"Yes, a schoolgirl like you couldn't afford a ticket like that, it cost a small fortune."
She looked away, slightly embarrassed.
"Amelia didn't buy her ticket." Oswald cut in, and they looked at him in shock.
"She was invited. Sadly, I lost my daughter who loved music. I wanted to give a young girl the opportunity to hear my new opera, in her place. Of course, she had to be as talented as my daughter; I searched far and wide to find the right person. And I invited this special young girl..."
Amelia watched Oswald carefully, only glancing away when he mentioned her fame. She still didn't trust him, but she couldn't quite figure him out.
"She is very talented; you see, Amelia is a British chess champion."
The professor turned to look at Melina, and she hid in Oswald's elbow
"She's a bit shy..."
"Mr. Whistler, is it true that this girl came back to life, reborn as Melina?"
Amelia gasped. That would be impossible!
"Where did you hear that?" He glanced at the opera singer, "Nonsense, I adopted this girl, I only call her Melina as a sign of affection-"
"Janice...it makes me happy that you wish Melina was still with us, but she's gone." Oswald sniffed, wiping at his eyes. "I had decided to carry on composing for her sake. When that man asked me to write an opera I agreed to do this for Melina. To play for my daughters memory...but I never expected this."
"Professor! The ship! It was the biggest crown all along!"
"Ladies and Gentlemen in the boats, my congratulations. You have come one step closer to eternal life!"
Boat rudders appeared on the boats, along with railings.
"Professor!" The boy exclaimed.
"Now sit back, enjoy the next part of your journey."
And then the ship exploded.
A/N: taadaa! I updated! :o
I hope you're all enjoying this! And, again, I beseech thee to review! I wish to become a better writer, please!