Baskergrand The Nautilus
The next morning, after breakfast, Percival and Chess were joined at Tuckerby Bay by Valerie and Garth. Chess was on the shore, dressed in her white Nautilus under-suit that she had been wearing when she had first come up from Tuckerby Bay. She was tending to the other Nautilus suit, putting Jasper's body inside of it and ensuring his corpse was securely fastened.
''There. He's ready to go,'' Chess said after she stood up. Percival observed her melancholy gaze which she laid upon Jasper, and felt pity for her.
''Are you...ready?'' Percival asked her, concern for her raised in his voice. Chess turned to look at him.
''Yes. I am,'' she answered firmly. She then sighed, looking out at the calm waves of the sea.
''There was no sign of Charles at his home, and there has been no sighting of him around here. I am not sure where he has fled to, but I know that he won't be back any time soon if he knows what's good for him,'' Percival explained.
''Oh, I know he won't be back. He ran off with his tail between his legs after all,'' Chess said. She and Percival both smiled. She turned back to look at the waters.
''It was...a great adventure, meeting you,'' Percival said aloud, joining her in watching the waters. Chess smiled and looked down.
''Yes...it was an adventure meeting you too,'' she replied, glancing at him. Percival returned her smile, before Chess surprised him by planting a kiss on his cheek.
''Sorry...I forgot your girlfriend might be watching,'' Chess said as she glimpsed past Percival's shoulder at Valerie, who was standing next to Garth.
''Oh, it's all right. She won't mind. She...owes you a lot. She actually credits you as bringing us back...together,'' Percival revealed. Chess' smile grew broader.
''Thank you, Percival. For...everything. For saving the future. For...saving the world,'' Chess said to him. Percival smiled at her before embracing her.
''Ugh,'' she moaned slightly.
''Oh, I beg your pardon! It had completely slipped my mind that you were still injured after yesterday,'' Percival spoke apologetically.
''Don't worry, it's alright. It comes with 'saving the world', I guess,'' Chess used. She smiled again as they looked at each other for a moment.
''Ah! I should give this to you before I go,'' she said unzipping the front part of her suit and reaching in to grab something. Percival blushed slightly, before quickly looking away.
''Here you go,'' Chess said, handing him a folded up piece of paper.
''What is it?'' Percival asked, taking it from her.
''It's a letter. But don't read it until I'm gone, okay?'' Chess ordered him.
''All right,'' he responded. Percival looked back behind him towards Valerie and Garth.
''Well...I best be going now,'' Chess said aloud.
''Oh, of course. I mustn't keep you waiting,'' Percival said. Valerie and Garth came up behind him.
''Francesca...I am very sorry for thinking...for believing that you had taken Percival from me,'' Valerie said to her. Chess raised an eyebrow at Percival, who in turn shrugged his shoulders.
''It's...alright. I can tell...he really loves you, anyway,'' Chess replied. Valerie's eyes lit up, then suddenly hugged her.
''Thank you for helping him. I am glad he met you,'' Valerie said, a shrill tone in her voice. Percival and Chess exchanged happy expressions. Valerie stood next to Percival and latched onto his arm. Garth then came in front of Chess, a courteous grin on his face.
''Francesca...I am...very grateful for everything that you have done for Percival. And...for me. If it wasn't for you, I was told, I...would not be alive today. Thank you,'' Garth said to her. Chess half-smiled at him and softly pushed him.
''You're welcome, Mason,'' Chess said to him. He procured a smile, and was about to embrace Chess when she put out her hand to be shaken. Garth took it and shook it, then nodded to her before he went. Percival then came to her again so that he could help her with Jasper. With the aid of the remote control device, Percival closed the suit up over Jasper. As he, Valerie and Garth watched Chess climb into her suit, Percival sighed. Valerie noticed the look on his face, and held firmly onto his hand. Chess dragged Jasper with her into the water, before glancing back at the trio on the shore.
''Percival! Take care of yourself, okay?'' Chess called out to Percival.
''All right, I will!'' Percival replied.
''Valerie...take care of Percival!'' Chess mused. Valerie looked to Percival and smiled.
''I most certainly will!'' Valerie answered. Chess then turned to Garth.
''Garth... make sure your name...remains untainted throughout history!'' Chess shouted. Garth exchanged confused looks with Percival and Valerie.
''I...I'll try my best!'' Garth responded. Chess smiled. She waved to the three of them, with the three responding the same. Chess then turned to the waters, observing the waves falling restlessly on top of each other.
''The rift...when you go back...do you know if it will stay open once you go through it?'' Percival asked Chess. Chess looked back at Percival.
''I'm not sure. But if it doesn't...I know this world will be in safe hands with you,'' Chess answered. Percival gazed at her for a moment, then smiled. He watched as she turned, entered the waters with Jasper, and gradually disappeared beneath the waves of Tuckerby Bay.
''Well...I guess that's that, then, old chap,'' Garth said, coming up behind Percival and placing his hand on his shoulder.
''Yes...yes, it is,'' Percival said. He stared at the waves, reminiscing on the last few weeks, and on all what has happened in that time. He exhaled loudly, and Valerie detected that he should have time alone with his thoughts.
''Come along, Garth. I need help with a few things. We'll meet you back at Comerton, Percival,'' Valerie said. Garth looked over at Valerie, then at Percival, and understood what Valerie meant.
''See you at home, Percival,'' Garth said, before he and Valerie turned and left Percival alone at the bay.
'I hope she got to her time safely...and that...the rift is still open so I can see her...but...I wouldn't be able to get down there without drowning first...' Percival ruminated. He looked down at the sand, then looked at the paper in his hand. He opened it and began reading its contents:
'Dear Percival, (I only wrote that for familiarity's sake; people in my time don't write letters any more, much less use the word 'dear') I didn't get the time to answer all of your questions that you have, but I couldn't answer many of them since I didn't want you to spoil the space-time continuum ( I'm not sure you will understand what that is, but basically I can't tell you some things because it may alter the future.)
Anyway, I am really happy you came to the future (not that you knew you were going to end up there) and I am happy that I met you, even if that also was by accident.
From the bottom of my heart, I really do thank you. You saved the world. Not just my world, though; your world too. You saved your friends. Garth's future will not bring about my future's horror, and Valerie will be yours and stay yours. Charles will be a forgotten relic. And you. Percival Gray Baskergrand. You will be cherished forever. The unsung hero that saved Victoria's England. But only cherished by those who know you.
So, Percival. I know you would have loved to have kept a piece of my world with you. It must have crushed your heart to see the suit go. You and the Nautilus. You made it seem like you and the suit were friends. Like you have known each other for ages. (Which is a weird analogy of some sort.) The time you had with the suit – it's like when a child gets his first toy. Even though I didn't see you with it for a long time, I could tell you had bonded with it. In my time, we just see it as a weapon. You see it as...your protector. You and the Nautilus – you seem to be destined to be with it.
Well, what I am trying to say is...I don't know if I will be able to see you again, and that sort of thinking...is why I have left you a little present. When you had gone to bed last night, I sneaked out to Tuckerby Bay, went through the rift and got you your very own suit. It's behind you in the woods (that is if you are reading this letter on the bay...if you're not, then...it's not behind you...) so that you can keep a suit. Oh, and I checked – the future looks better. Defeating Charles worked. And the Nautilus suits were still there (which was strange, since the purpose for which they were built was to counter Mason Industries' technology) but used for a different purpose. They are being used to help people. Something I think you should do with it as well.
Baskergrand The Nautilus.
I like the sound of that, don't you? Take care of yourself, Percy. And take care of the suit. Because you've got a big adventure ahead of you.
Leaving you my love, Chess Hancock, x (the x means a kiss, by the way.)'
Percival looked at the letter and smiled, then looked behind him towards the woods.
''Adventures await, Nautilus,'' Percival mumbled to himself.
'Adventures await for Baskergrand the Nautilus,' he thought.
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