Keruso’s words reverberated, overlapping each other as he seemed to speak to each of them simultaneously,
“Jared/Alethea, do not be afraid of the Steward. Don’t be afraid of the Titans. It is humans, we and our children who are fighting this war. And if we want to, we can end it now.”
“Keruso! Where are you!” Alethea cried out.
“I thought you were dead!” called Jared. But Keruso just continued,
“Reach out with your mind now. Find the other Mediators.” Images of children suddenly flooded their vision. There were so many. Boys and girls from all races and walks of life, seemed to race by them and swirl around their heads. Keruso kept speaking,
“It is their fear that drives the Titans. Nightmares and survival instincts. But you are connected now, to everyone in the Fractal Nexus. You can end the war. You know what you have to do.” And somehow, it was true. They knew intuitively, how to reach out to the Mediators around the world. Jared would later say that it was as simple as putting your arm around a frightened child, holding them close in the night after they’ve had a bad dream. He and Alethea reached out all at once to the thousands of children in the Nexus, each of whom was linked to a Titan fighting a war across the universe, a war fueled by fear. As one child, and then another, and still another ceased their play, or woke from their sleep, or paused mid-sentence, a sense of calm and security enveloped each of them. No one in the world noticed what would have seemed like a most peculiar coincidence that exactly fourteen thousand children across the globe suddenly felt more at ease all at the same time. Even those watching the news broadcasts, which showed satellite photos of a monstrous alien craft covering most of the Pacific Ocean with its bulk. Even for these little onlookers, the snowflake-shaped machination clinging to their planet suddenly held no terror, though their parents continued to shiver with dread.
Nathan, a boy from Nebraska, who was twelve at the time, described the sensation years later, saying it was like a warm blanket being laid across his back at a moment he expected to be most terrified. A car had backfired right next to him as he walked along the street. And instead of jumping, he just smiled and continued on his way. For other children, they experienced a nightmare, unexpectedly transformed into a dream of adventure, victory and ultimately a happy ending, upon which they awoke relaxed and peaceful. For still other children, they experienced the sudden serenity to walk away from an escalating argument with an aggressive classmate at school.
And across the universe, in that distant galaxy where the Stewards and the Others make their home, the Titans ceased their fighting. This vision sprang to life before Alethea’s and Jared’s eyes! Gargantuan machines which only moments before had been eviscerating each other and devouring continents, suddenly withdrew. They’re tentacles relented. Their weapons ceased their firing. Their blades and plows and destroying fingers pulled back, almost like they were sleepwalkers suddenly waking up.
Meanwhile, on a cluster of debris atop the still churning waves of the Pacific Ocean, lay a man barely alive, and barely awake. He coughed and coughed, but couldn’t get the saltwater taste out of his mouth. He groaned and gripped his broken ribs. He winced at the bleeding wound on the top of his head. Finally he rolled onto his back and looked up at the sky. There was the fishbowl. Almost two miles wide, hanging like a lightbulb several hundred feet above the surface of the sea, an immense sphere made of innumerable glass-like panels almost completely filled this survivor’s field of vision. Keruso lifted himself to lean on his elbows as the sphere above him rained down ocean spray from its many imperfect seams. Then he called out to Alethea,
“It takes practice to hold water in the palm of your hand.” And to Jared, “You have the means to send the Steward back the same way he came. Just imagine it and it will be so.” And to the Steward, still in Jared’s grasp, “We are such tiny creatures after all. It looks like we’ve made better Mediators than you’d hoped.” The Stewards dreadlocks began to ripple, but before he could channel a thought, ZAP! He was gone, cast back to the galaxy from which he came.
With Jared and Alethea working in tandem, the sailors were returned to the surface of the sea. The Titan eventually lifted from the surface of the Earth, but it remained nearby. Though its star-like figure had eclipsed one-third of the Earth’s surface, now viewed through a telescope it appeared no larger than the tiniest snowflake falling on a mild winter’s day. And for generations to come, this snowflake would stand guard against all the biggest threats to our tiny world. Before long, it became a comforting twinkle in the night sky to children across the world. To know that such a god-like power stands watch over us as we sleep is a fairly comforting thought. We humans are such small creatures after all.