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Myst: Final Choices

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At last I have answers.... I know what my choices are.. I know how to make them..The Mystery should soon be over....

My heart sink as this realization hits home.. It will soon be over soon..and then? I will go....home? Never to see this marvelous island again? Where AM I now? Where is home from here? I have so many questions!!!!

With trembling fingers, I enter the code on the grid before me, wondering as my fingers sink into its fluid metallic surface how this marvelous mechanism I am accessing works.. Such amazing technology surrounds me here! Equally surprising are the lack of certain obvious facilities. Of course, civilizations grow differently, unevenly... Perhaps they never felt the need for such things? hhmmm... That seems unlikely..... I think I just never found all the doorways!

My mind runs over all the possible places to search as I steady myself on the bricks at my side. With a growling scrape, the room swings around to face the final red and blue pages....and the book..to "dunny"? Probably short for Everdunes..based on what is left of his library.. but this book seems so ...old. Could he possibly have written it? Has he told me the truth?

If he is insane too... or untrustworthy.. I am in trouble. He seems so very kind, so wise in his journals....BUT people can change. And those were HIS sons. I have assumed they were NOT like their father in certain essentials. What if I am wrong? He would trap "over-greedy" explorers, he said? I suddenly long for definitions of his terms....

Yet, I do not truly seriously consider the other pages. I have seen (and read) enough about his sons to realize that I would be safer ~alone forever ~ in these ages than if I was fool enough to release them. Imprisoned away from my dear ones... forever...

The question before me now is...should I release Atrus? As it stands right now, he cannot harm me either. I am free.... to be alone... to be useless.. true..but free...alive..able to search for other answers...

I keep thinking of “his”Catherine? I thought him dead, but he seems to be well (presuming it IS him) But where is she? I have never even found a hint of what became of her. The sons said nothing.
Atrus knows something.. it sounds like she lives.... I hope... Her fate tugs at my heart. there is only one way to know more, to discover if I may help. Oh...who am I kidding? I can’t stand to leave him there! My conscience forbids any other course! If I did not seek him out, I would feel like a squatter..or worse...

I open the book and watch the image swim in and focus on him. He looks up... suddenly alert...hopeful.... "Have you found the missing page? Come..come" His hand vaguely waves me in but then...he drops his head immediately back to the page..resumes writing. I hesitate....

I stand frozen for a moment before the panel, white page in hand, nervously determined to do the irrevocable. If he is unkind (or I have the wrong page) , it will be the end of me! I just know it! At minimum I could be stuck where he is now. Could I even live there? I know he's my best hope....but still... He looks up as I stand there shivering and says again kindly "Come on then!" The warmth in his tone makes all the difference as my shaking hand touches the panel....wwaaoommmppphhhh....

I am there..

Staring at collapsed rocks?!!!!!!! There's the light that was above him.....Oh My God, He's dead and Im stuck!!!!

Desperately, I glance over the ruins confirming in moments that it is truly immovable and impassable but also that there is.... dust??? suddenly the soft scratching sound of a pen gains my attention (encouraging music seems to play in my mind...

Ohhhhh.....

I look around slowly as my racing heart steadies. I admire the pleasant face mural-ed at my feet. Gracious doorways call to me but they repel my desire to go through them, odd. Does he live behind one of them? Where do they lead? I rub my hands on the ancient rough-textured suns emblazoned on the round columns surrounding me. Their solidity is reassuring somehow.... friendly....

My host remains silent while I explore around him...hardly seeming to notice me.... At last my own curiosity turns my gaze toward him who called me.. I wait before him as he writes.. He pauses..noticing my stillness..my sudden timidity

His tone is stronger now, more authoritative as he waves me closer "Come here"

I shuffle forward stopping in front of the tapestry-covered stone that serves as his desk... He looks at me, then his work, then at me again and decides to give me his attention. "Ah my friend. You've returned! And the page? Did you bring the page?"

I hesitantly bring it into the light and his face brightens. "Ah !! give it to me."

Another order? Already? Worry shines in my eyes as I silently review my rather short list of alternatives...

He repeats gently, “Give me the page”

"Please give me the page"

My face brightens and I move toward him..but he is still speaking as I hand it to him "the page, my friend... the page"

He accepts it and sighs deeply as I release it, which surprises me. Did I really have a choice at this point? Well...perhaps he is pleased he didn't have to wrestle me for it.

“You’ve done the right thing.” he tells me. I nod, relieved to hear it, but I wonder within myself if he means choosing him or the page itself..He is a subtle, quiet man, probably both.

“I have a difficult choice to make" he says, picking up the Myst book nearby.

Atrus repairs the book, tension in his frame until the glowing page seals completely into place. He looks reflectively into his work for a moment, as though reading something new there. I wait before him, wondering what will follow.

He regards the tome solemnly ... determination building in his face. He looks up at me sadly, and speaks.

“My sons have betrayed me. I know what I must do.”

“I shall return shortly....” he opens the book and vanishes into its pages...

My heart lurches as he disappears into its pages..He is gone? Just like that? I consider linking after him..but something stops me..He said he would return.. besides, I am NOT stuck... I shift from foot to foot uneasily as I wait..wondering how long it will be... I consider exploring the room for other exits. Where did he live after all? Maybe in that alcove? But surely also in another Age? There is no food here!

He forms back before my eyes and I sag with relief. “mmm..It is done”

I want to ask him so many things but since he seems willing to speak, however reluctantly, I simply listen. He seems almost..unpracticed in his speaking. How long has he been alone?
“uuoohh....I have many questions for you my friend...but...uh.. my writing cannot wait.. I ..fear that my ...long delay may have already had a catastrophic impact ..on the world ....in which my.. wife Catherine ...is now being held hostage”

I am concerned and puzzled all at once..there is the book before him.. What delay? He looks like he has been writing “War and Peace” three times over!! How does he know she is there? Who would hold her hostage? And he isn't going to tell me anything?????? Not even how to help????? Why did he need to go to Myst then? His sons were already locked away!!

And what about home????

I sputter as I try choose one question out of so many.and nothing comes out...

“Oh ...and reward... I am sorry but all I have to offer you is the ...the library on the island of Myst... the books that are contained there.. feel free to...explore...at your leisure. I hope you find your explorations... satisfying. “

I stare at him...not so much afraid now as annoyed. What I wanted most was some answers!! I consider replying “You mean the Ages I just rushed through getting to you, sir? um....well...um.. thanks.. I appreciate it. I’ll need to stay somewhere until I find a way home. “ But in the end I just bow respectfully but somewhat stiffly. I am still considering which words to set free when he speaks agehn.

“You will no longer have my sons to deal with”

The words shoot through me like a bolt of ice. He didn't even spare his own sons when they crossed him.... I am not prone to villainy. But ... I am also not his son.

I relax as I realize how hard it would be for me to do much more damage than has been done I have no intentions of EVER betraying him, so why should I fear him? Why would I want to anyway? Then too, he calls me his friend...which is very reassuring and what I would like to be.... and... he has granted me back the freedom I had before coming here. So I am officially a guest now, I guess.

I sigh, and nod my acceptance of a situation that is neither the best nor the worst. My host is able to reclaim whatever he needs or values from his home Ages. My conscience is satisfied and I am still safe, free, and able to seek my own answers.

He isn't obliged to help me or allow me to help him. Still..I held such high hopes (as well as dark fears) as I anticipated this encounter. As I watch him silently working, I start to sag sadly. Will any of my questions ever be answered? I collect myself and approach the book to go back to his library.

“Oh...and one more favour” I drop my hand and listen attentively. “ I am fighting a foe much greater than my sons could even imagine.” I startle..a bit... concerned.... Worse than...Achenar??? than Sirrus?? He glances at me as he continues on, apparently satisfied with my reaction. “At some point in the future. I may find it necessary to request your assistance.”

I choke as I consider this. I want to help, but this sounds frightening...still there really is no choice. My future is now tied to his. I nod..swallowing hard.

“Until that point, feel free to enjoy the explorations from my library on Myst. Thank you again.”

so....um... it isn't over? Just delayed....

oh....

hhmm.....

As I shakily open the linking book and...vanish... into a golden Myst.... thinking I’d better get a nap... maybe someplace green...

It crosses my mind that I never said a word.