A memories of Myst and Uru Blog

Some of my memories of the games, and the events. Disclaimer: All of these posts are simply my recollections, and my imagination. Nothing here should be construed as fact. All copyrights of Myst, Uru, and any other intellectual properties pertaining to Cyan Worlds Inc. should be respected.

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Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

I'm me. Unique and crazy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Continued from Chapter 9

After you've eaten your breakfast, you sit, sipping your tea. She's humming as she does up the dishes, quickly. It's a lovely day, as usual, with the sun shining. You can hear the hawk giving its piercing cry but the sound is so familiar that it barely registers. "I'd like to take you with me today, to the Garden Age," you pipe up. She turns, surprised to hear you say that.

"You mean, linking, with you?" she says, surprised at your statement. You sit there, smiling at her, acting like it's no big deal at all. But to her, it's a bit scary and bizarre since she's never done it before.

"Yes, I'd like to show you what the Garden Age is like. How you feel when you link isn't pleasant but the feeling soon passes. The Garden Age is one of my favourites." She smiles at this news and you can tell she's excited at the thought.

"Wow, yes, I'd love to try that! Let's get ready and go!" She scampers off to put on shoes. You follow her slowly and put on your boots while sitting on the bed. Then you take your keys and unlock the chest. You select the Garden Age book and hold it in your hand. You lock the chest again and stand up. She stands close by, an eager look on her face, watching you for your next move.

You smile at her and open the book and say "Place your hand there. You'll feel as though you're being sucked into a small hole. But you'll emerge on the other side safely, don't worry! I'll be right behind you, promise." With that last instruction, she bites her lips and looks a bit worried. But then, she hesitantly reaches out her hand to the shimmering panel, and "whoosh", she's gone. You place your hand on the panel next, and "whoosh", you're gone too. Nothing left in the room anymore, to tell either of you were even there.

She materializes, standing in a portico. Just as you'd said, she feels like throwing up for a minute, but is amazed at how fast that feeling passes. Then she starts to look around her. "Wow," is all that she can say. Everywhere, there are plants, bushes, trees and flowers growing. It's a veritable jungle. There is a blue sky with some clouds and a double sun. She can hear birds chattering in the distance. You link in, right beside her. As you materialize and sway she claps. "Hurray, you made it safely!" She cheers again with her hands in the air. You smile at seeing her happy.

"Yes, this age is an amazing one, honestly. It's been around for a very long time and is very stable. Let's walk and I'll show you some of the lovely features." You take her hand and walk along, slowly, limping, on your sore ankle. It's almost normal today, but still a bit sore.

After a short walk down a gravel path where she is looking from side to side and up and down and gasping in amazement, you reach a small area upon which sits a gazebo with benches. It's overlooking a sloping down area with a small stream. The babbling sound of the water is a pleasant backdrop. You sit on the bench with a sigh, glad to take the weight off your ankle. She doesn't sit down but goes over to the stream to have a look. It's a pretty little stream with fast running water. She soon returns to you and sits down. Her face has a bemused expression. She's obviously enjoying this adventure of yours, immensely. She turns and says "thanks for bringing me here. This is awesome!" You reach out and hold hands with her. It's a nice feeling of being connected again. Fun to share this lovely age with someone instead of always being by yourself. You see, once again, things through fresh eyes, that aren't jaded with familiarity. Her excitement rubs off on you and you find yourself smiling at her pointing out a bird. It's just a chickadee, after all, but to her, it's special. "Does anyone live here?" she asks, turning to look at you again.

"I don't think so. I've never seen anyone around but I suppose others may come here, perhaps." You shrug your shoulders, unable to fully answer her. She lets it pass and doesn't continue with that line of questioning. "In most of the ages, I visit, there are no other visitors, because of no linking books available," you explain. "It's a lost art, that has almost completely died out, as far as I know. I may well be wrong, mind you, but so far, I don't think I'm wrong."

"Oh that's interesting. So, what you are doing are actually creating these ages, you mean? Or are you just writing linking books to ages that already exist?"

"Well, both, honestly. It's a case of having a few, very old ages that I've studied thoroughly and then applying that to write new ages where I can test new development, and take measurements. You see, I'd like to be able to rebuild the city of D'ni at some point. In the memory of the people of D'ni whom I truly admired. I didn't admire their rulers at all. But the people themselves, honest, hard-working folk, I'd like their memory to live on." At this statement from you, her face widens in surprise.

"You mean, rebuilding a place from scratch?" Her voice is full of scepticism and wonder. She is thinking privately, "this man has insane dreams."

"Hmm, yes, the thought has crossed my mind and I'm working on it, when I can. But don't worry, it's quite far in the future and I'll not be able to go it alone, believe me." You wink at her, as you are saying this.With this statement she laughs, relieved that you're not truly serious about this immense project. You change the subject with the statement, "I'm hungry. Let's go back to the Cleft and have some lunch."

"Oh, okay, that sounds good, but I'm sorry to have to leave this place so soon! Can we come back and visit again?" She smiles eagerly at you. You smile back, benevolently, proud of her eagerness to explore.

"Of course you can. I'll leave the book where you can link to this age when you want to." She smiles at this news. "We'll have to go back to the link-in spot. That's how it works. You have to link out again, and you return to the spot where you left from."

"Ah, I see, that's how it works!" she replies and nods her head. You walk together, holding hands, back to the portico, where you arrived. She links first and then you follow her. As you materialize in the Cleft, in your room, there is the familiar, sick feeling. It's soon finished with. You walk with her to the kitchen and she makes lunch for both of you as you rest in a chair, again.

Later that afternoon, you are discussing with her, the possibility of returning to the cave again, for more exploring. She's expounding on the assertion that she thinks it still too early for that long walk to the cave and then to do the climbing. But, you are so eager, to continue. It's like a itch, just dying to be scratched, for you, to explore more. You are explaining, again, your reasoning. But she is just as firm, in her stance, that it's been there for a darn long time, and it can stay that way, unexplored, for another few days. You laugh, trying to break this stalemate between you. "Our first good discussion, hey? Every relationship has one, doesn't it?" You wink at her. She laughs too, realizing you're changing the subject to cool off tempers. There's a silence for a few minutes, where you both are trying to think of a way to continue without getting too heated.

"How many women have been in your life?" she asks, suddenly, out of the blue. It's a complete, off topic question that is thrown into the mix. You pause, wondering where this is coming from. You look at her and meet her gaze which is directed at you, level and square. She's not smiling but serious, now.

"Didn't you know you shouldn't ask questions for which you may not like the answers?" you answer, obliquely. "Can I say that it doesn't really matter since none of them are here now?" You smile at her, deflecting her question. She realizes this quite evidently as the silence lengthens after your last statement.

"Ah, the old answer a question with a question yourself game, huh?" she says, with a flat voice. She turns and walks out of the kitchen area. You're not quite sure what to do at this point. Then you think, "let her go and have some time on her own." You sit down again, in the chair from where you stood up, when she walked out. You pick up a book lying on the table, and start to read. Just because she's chosen to head off, doesn't mean you're going to run after her. You realize that she's independent. It's not a nice feeling to think that maybe, she's a bit hurt by your non-answer, but then again, not all in your life should be talked about with the same degree of openness. With that thought in your mind, you let your mind drift back to the two significant women in your life, other than your grandmother. You haven't really thought of either of them in a while. Both brought something special in your life, for a brief time, then they were gone. The first was a local girl whom you met at school. A long time ago, your grandma thought it best to fit in with the natives, so to speak. She enrolled you in school. You were a good student but an independent thinker. The girl liked that about you. You thought her funny and cute and for a while you thought she walked on water. She actually consented to being your girlfriend. It never did progress to anything more than kissing. But, her eye was caught by another, and she never gave you so much as a thought before hanging out with a popular guy. You were sadly jaded with girls for a long time after that. The second woman in your life, that really meant something, then comes to mind. That line of thought picks off the scab on the old wound. It's a deep one, that you thought well healed by now. She was special to you. Your wife. The love of your life, or so you thought. You met when she was young, and foolish, and silly, and wanting a man to take care of her. She fell for your good manners and your kind attitude. But, what she didn't realize was important to you, was your grandmother, and the books, and the Cleft, and all that meaning behind them all. The circumstances behind the meeting of you two were fairly simple. It was at a friend's place, where you two were both single. A barbeque, where, as these things happen, you get talking, and something clicks with the person. She seemed interested in you, and you were interested in her. After a few meetings, it really seemed special between you. She seemed to really like your grandmother after meeting her. Being an honest man, you married her, feeling it was right between you. But, she quickly grew tired of the Cleft and the lifestyle you were able to offer her. She had no interest in your dreams, your books. She broke your heart, with a letter one day, left on your bed. Folded within it, was her wedding ring. She wrote down that she was sorry to do this, but she couldn't live a lie any longer, and she was leaving to live life in the city. She'd send divorce papers for you to sign and could you please send them back. She ended it with a line that drove the knife home. "I loved you once but the love has died like the violets under your boots. I'm sorry. Goodbye." With that, your love for her died as well. But the tears still came. Because, yes, you did love her, and wanted her to love your life and what you wanted to offer her. You didn't want to bend her to fit in with your life but have her bend to fit, of her own accord.

With these thoughts coursing through you, you realize that tears are streaming down your cheeks. The emotions are bubbling again to the surface. Long hidden, deep within, sad still. It's a wound, still there, in your psyche. Never to be truly healed but glossed over, surface healed, until the next time you think of it. Your thoughts are, that you forgive her for her hurting you, and you say a silent prayer to her health and happiness, wherever she may be. You think, then of your grandmother, as well. She really didn't like Denise, your wife, you know. She thought her shallow and silly. But she put up with her, for your sake. Your grandmother knew how deeply you'd been hurt. But she'd never spoken of it, after she'd left you. It was a closed subject, which was fine for you. With the death of your grandmother, the pain of Denise's leaving was, again, so fresh, so painful. The betrayal hurt even more. You say a prayer for your grandmother, thinking of her, too, at this time. Missing her is still right there, as a very present part of your soul.

You don't realize it, but as you've been sitting there, thinking all these old thoughts, Lesley has returned. She's hovering in the doorway, indecisive for a change. She sees you sitting there with a far-away gaze. There are tears on your cheeks and she hears you sniff. She breaks the silence with a simple question. "What are you thinking about?" You are startled by her voice and half jump out of your chair at the sound.

"Past loves," you say, with a sad smile, once you catch your breath. "Come and sit down and let me explain, okay?" She nods and sits. Her face is passive. She's not giving off friendly vibes but isn't cold and withdrawn either. The air has a slight chill to it, as though the two of you are less friendly with each other now. It's barely perceptible but there, nonetheless. The late sun of the afternoon streams in the window and the doorway. In the stream of sunshine, dust motes dance. She regards you with a steady gaze. Awaiting your revelations.

You pause, wondering where the words are going to come from. Not quite sure where to begin, but knowing you have to try to explain to Lesley why you are so tender about certain things. "I've had two significant ladies in my life, and both, in their way, have hurt me deeply," you begin, after a moment more, of silence. Your words hang there, in the void of silence as she digests them and waits for more. "The first one was a girl at school whom I liked. The moment she said she'd be my girlfriend was a great day for me. But she left me for another guy whom she thought a better catch. That was tough." Shrugging your shoulders, you stop to take a deep breath and she murmurs "I'm sorry to hear that."

"But the person who really deeply hurt me was my wife who left me." You hold her gaze steadily with that statement, unwavering. Her eyes widen in shock as she registers the significance of what you've just said. Her hands clench in pressure.

"Your wife? What happened? When was this?" She leans slightly forward now, eager to hear your response. She's all attention now.

"About 5 years ago. It was a brief marriage, until she got tired of me and my lifestyle and my grandmother and my books." You snort in derision now, tired at the thought of her again. The sadness has left, to be replaced with hurt, and anger, again. "We're divorced now, and that's the way it will stay. I wish her well, but don't honestly care if I ever see her again. As you can tell, this isn't exactly the Ritz for accommodation." Again, you spread your arms, silently indicating the Cleft and all that it encompasses.

"Gareth, I'm so sorry to hear this. I didn't mean to stir up old wounds by asking about past loves. I'm very sorry for having done that." She hangs her head in despair, feeling that she's hurt you, on purpose.

"Oh well, better to have it out in the open, isn't it? No longer a secret now, but a past event, not to be brought up again. See, not all questions have easy answers to them, my dear." You stand up, at that point, and reach for her hands. You pull her up too. She stands up willingly. You hug each other. Glad to be friendly again, not cold towards each other. It's nice to have her warm body next to yours, you realize. "I was wondering if I should follow you, but then thought, no, she's a big girl and is independent and can find her own way back." You kiss her forehead.

"Mm, yes, I was a bit angry at your non-answer but I understand now, why you didn't cough up the answer. I just took a walk around, up top and thought about all the nice things you've brought into my life in the last week." Her voice is muffled as she speaks into your shoulder. Her breath is warm on your shirt and you can feel it through the material. You continue to hold each other, knowing that you need each other now. "I love you, I know," she says, very softly, and shyly. Then she looks up at you. She repeats it, louder, more sure of herself. "I know I love you." Then she pulls you down to her mouth. You kiss.

After a hug, she speaks again. "I'm jealous, honestly, to think of anyone else having your love. I want it all for me. Is that wrong in any way? That's where that question about how many women were in your life before me came from. Again, I'm sorry if I've caused old wounds to open." You shake your head negatively and just hug her tightly. No words are necessary at this stage between you. You kiss her and then you whisper to her "I love you too." It's an incredibly tender moment between you. Both hurt and scarred by previous events, but trusting in each other, now.

"Let's make some dinner and have some food to digest, shall we?" is how you break up this pleasant interlude. She agrees and helps you prepare dinner. It's a nice affair, with pleasant conversation, steering away from controversial topics, on purpose. You enjoy hearing her laugh again. The air is cooler because of the sun going down, but the atmosphere in the kitchen is warm and friendly. For light, you use a coal oil lamp that burns steady and bright in its glass enclosure. A few flies dance around the edge of it, flirting with the light, attracted to its deadly lure. After the dishes are done up, you get your guitar again, and sit on the ledge just outside the kitchen door, where you can see the sky. It's a familiar perch to you. But this night, you decide to ask Lesley what a few of her favourites are and try to pick them out on the guitar. She requests an old favourite of Blackbird. She sings along with it. You attempt it and don't do too badly at all. She applauds your effort and appreciates your skill. For such a simple thing, it's a warm feeling of pleasure for you to receive her praise.

"Where do you think the stars end?" she says, after a quiet, contemplative time, where you are simply strumming a quiet tune on the guitar then stop. "Where does the galaxy end and the next one start? Are we all part of one? Is it ever going to be known, I wonder?" Her voice is quiet and plaintive, reflecting the depth of her thoughts. So vast and obscure as to be unthinkable.

"Wow, you sure do know how to think in large terms." She laughs at your comment. She sticks her tongue out at you, being silly for a moment. You think her cute and funny when she's silly like that. "Well, I don't honestly know, and we'll never know. But we can only guess and marvel at the beauty of them all, can't we?" Your tone turns serious. She nods, staring up at the sky again. You look too, and set down the guitar. It's an amazing spectacle, with no artificial light to speak of, to dim the expanse. The dark blue black of the sky is majestic. The stars seem to flicker off and on with different intensities. There's a definite chill in the air now. The crickets are doing their usual singing.

She shivers and says "I'd like to head to bed, okay? Been a long day and I'm tired."

"Oh, okay, let's head to bed then," you say, standing up. You turn out the lantern in the kitchen and get your torch from its hook. With its steady light you make your way together to your room. Quietly, you both undress. She puts on a nice pair of pyjamas that are warm looking. Brushing your teeth is the last thing you do, before settling down in bed, beside her. You snuggle together, under the covers, getting warm and cozy.

Lying in the circle of your arms, Lesley says, "Mm, I love this, being here with you, under the covers." It's quiet in the dark as you both digest your thoughts of the day. She says, after a short pause, "Gareth, I'll try not to hurt you like your ex-wife did. I don't know why she did what she did, but I can't see myself saying goodbye to you and our love, I promise." Her hand snakes out and finds your hand and gives it a squeeze. You turn and kiss her on the lips, wordlessly thanking her for her declaration. "You've been hurt enough, haven't you, by life, and now it's time for you and I to have some happiness, together, isn't it?" She kisses you again, after that statement. It's a nice way to end the day.

Continued in Chapter 11


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