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Book One: The Island


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Chapter One



The island was quiet. Well, almost quiet. There are sounds – natural sounds - all over the place: waves crashing on rocks; a faint breeze rustles the tiny, needle-like leaves of the pines; the occasional splashing of creatures out on the sea; the whistling of the wind high atop the rocky plateau where I stood beside the two black gears embedded into the ground. It was so peaceful. No one could possibly believe what had transpired here so long ago.


The sky was almost black, with tiny, twinkling stars dotting the heavens, as I walked towards the library. Looking out on the horizon, I couldn’t tell where the sea ended or where the sky began: that boundary was broken by slow drifts of mist and fog. The mist was even on the island, though it was nearly invisible; I knew of its presence because I could feel its cold, wet touch upon my unprotected skin.


Finally, I came upon the great oak doors of the library. Pushing them open, I felt the warmth of the inside rush past me like a stifling wind. It was so welcome after the cold of the outside. I closed the great doors behind me, and strode towards the fireplace. The flames licked at the dry deadwood which I placed in the fire only a few hours before. The coals beneath the flames were vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. I took the metal poker and moved some of the wood around, feeding the fire slightly. Then I stood, and sighed.


“I’m starved. I should go downstairs and check what I got left to eat,†I said. “If there’s nothing, I think Atrus might have some.â€Â


Walking towards the bookshelves, which were now packed with books found below in Atrus’ study, I touched the painting which depicted a set of stairs, and after the painting rippled like a pool of water, the shelves were pushed backwards and sank into the floor, creating a set of wooden stairs which led into the side of the mountain. I walked down the long corridor until I reached the small, one-man elevator. Stepping inside, I scrounged through my pockets, pulling out a long, silver, needle-like key. I inserted the key into a small incision in the centre of the elevator button. The label which usually said up now said down. I pressed the button. The elevator began its decent into the bowels of the mountain.


When the elevator finally stopped, I opened the door and walked outside into a round room. Ahead was a tall, wooden archway. Beyond that was a long corridor, with doors on both sides, and one large set of doors on the far end of the corridor. Those doors led to Atrus and Catherine’s room, and Atrus’ study. The other doors led to other bedrooms, a kitchen, a washroom, a restroom, a lounge, store cupboards, and a laundry room. I headed for the kitchen, which was off to the left.


The cupboards and shelves were bare; a few empty earthenware jars, plates, and metal pots, pans, and silverware were all that I found.


“Great,†I said to no one in particular. “No food? Well, all that’s left is plan B.â€Â


I left the kitchen, and on impulse I checked the store cupboards. They were nearly bare, except for a few bags of flour and jars of grain, but there was little I could do with that except make a few loaves of bread.


* * * * * *


I walked out into the night, heading for the small wooden cabin deep in the woods. I had left the Tomahna linking book there when I first linked back here.


It has been almost thirty years since I had last stepped foot onto this island. At that time, I had helped Atrus from his imprisonment on D’ni, and learned of the crimes committed by his two sons: Sirrus and Achenar. A week or less after that, I left this place for Riven to help Atrus rescue his wife, Catherine, and imprison his father, Gehn. After that, I thought I’d never be back on Myst. But here I was, and it was now my home away from home.


“Atrus and Catherine once had an age book here that led to a granary age where they got their food. Perhaps I should ask Atrus to write one for me?â€Â


Reaching the cabin, my thoughts of the past left me, and I entered the cozy warm interior. I had left the generator running, creating warmth similar to the one in the library. I stepped over towards the safe, and entered the new combination I had reset it with. Pulling the handle, I opened the safe. Inside, resting on its thin, leather-bound cover was the Tomahna linking book, right where I left it.


I reached in, pulled out the thin volume, opened the cover, and found the glowing panel. I sighed with unexpected relief, and placed my palm upon the page. Instantly, the world around me began to fade, and the panel seemed to grow and fill my sight. Darkness overcame me; when I finally gave in to its cold touch, I stood no longer in the cabin on Myst, but in the greenhouse on Tomahna.

Edited by Naigahsehn
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Chapter Two



“My old friend,†Atrus said as he raised his head from his mountain of work. “How have you been?"


“I’ve been faring pretty well so far.â€Â


“I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting you tonight,†laughed Atrus. “Would you care for some supper? Catherine just made some. I believe its soup and roast tonight.â€Â


“Sure, Atrus, I’d love some. That’s actually part of the reason why I came: my supplies are running low. There’s not a thing left to eat back on Myst.â€Â


“Ah,†said Atrus. “I think this might fix that.â€Â


He got up from his desk, and crossed his study towards a pile of books which lay in the corner. He rummaged through the pile, searching for one in particular. Finally, he cried out excitedly, “Here it is!†He turned back towards me, and handed me a small, dark-blue, leather bound book rimmed with gold.


“This, my friend, is a linking book to an age I had worked on not so long ago.â€Â

He opened its cover to the panel, and I caught a good glimpse of an island with green fields, orchards, copses of trees, and a lake in its centre.


“It’s called Koruna. It’s a granary age.â€Â


I smiled. “Thanks, Atrus. I really needed this.â€Â


“No problem, my friend. I actually meant to give it to you.â€Â


In the distance, we heard a ringing sound, and Catherine called out.


“Well, supper is ready,†Atrus said. “Shall we go? Catherine and Yeesha hate it when I keep them waiting.â€Â


The two of us laughed at that, and walked together to the kitchen, talking about recent events to one another.


* * * * * *


Atrus and I stepped into the kitchen, and Yeesha looked over at us.


“Oh, you’re here! I missed you so much.†She ran towards me, and gave me a warm embrace.


“It’s nice to see you too, Yeesha.†I said, patting her on her back. She was much older now – nearly a young woman. And she was very pretty.


As the three of us crossed the kitchen to sit at the small table, Catherine - who was on the other side of the kitchen, behind the central fireplace –walked over to where we were seated.


“Hello. When did you get here?†she questioned, a smile on her face. “I haven’t seen you in almost a month!†Then she, too, gave me an embrace.


“It’s nice to see you too, Catherine.†I said.


She let go of me, and smiled. “Well, take a seat. Supper is about to be served.â€Â


Catherine walked over to where she was only a few minutes ago. She returned, carrying two plates – one in each hand. “Yeesha, dear, can you go and fetch the other plates?â€Â


“Yes, mum.â€Â


She got up, and fetched the tow other plates. It was strange, I thought to myself. It was like they were expecting me here, even though Atrus had said otherwise. But that thought left me quickly as I began to feed that delicious, warm soup into my body. The roast was just as good, and the tea and biscuits were scrumptious. It was so good, that when I finished cleaning up my plate, I kept asking for more. After a while, Catherine, Yeesha, and Atrus all gave me looks of surprise – it was as if I hadn’t eaten in days (which was not far from the truth).


After dinner, I walked outside onto the patio and sat down at the small, metal table. The table, and the four seats that accompanied it, were all intricately designed in a floral pattern. Moments later, Yeesha came over and sat down next to me. She had a thick book with a metal cover on it. I recognized it instantly as a rehevkor.


“You’re still practicing D’ni, eh?†I asked, though I knew the answer.


“Of course,†she replied. “It’s a beautiful language, and being able to Write ages is an awesome ability.â€Â


I smiled. “I know,†I said. “Writing ages is an art – one of the greatest art forms I’ve ever known. Maybe someday I might learn how. Sure I can speak and understand the language well enough; catch a phase or two here and there. But being able to Write is something else entirely.â€Â


“I know,†she said.


She was a strong willed young woman, Yeesha. I looked at her in admiration, and something else. She was so beautiful, so intelligent, and very insightful. I had feelings for her, and though I never told her or her parents of these things, I think she knew. Somehow, she knew. And she didn’t mind. I think she liked me in much the same way.


It was funny how things like love work. I had known Yeesha since she was only a baby, and at the time I was barely thirteen. Now, nearly twenty years later, that tiny little newborn was a blossoming young woman; she was twenty-one and I was thirty-four. Not too much of an age difference, but it still felt a little weird. I think that’s because we were close friends for so long. I even saved her life ten years ago.



“Yeesha?†I asked. “Do you want to take a stroll?â€Â


She paused her writing, and looked up at me. “I’d love to.â€Â


* * * * * *


We sat along the shores of the river, which spilled down from Atrus’ home above. It was peaceful – much like the peace that I felt on Myst that same night. Above us, the moon sat high in the sky, surrounded by countless stars. I could point out the Hunter, the Bear, the Dragon, and the Queen in the stars. They looked down upon us, ever vigilant of the world.


Yeesha and I would always come here when we saw one another. We sat there, holding hands, gazing up at the sky.


“It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?†she said.


“Yes,†I said. “Like you.â€Â


She turned her head to look at me, and she blushed. Then, she moved closer and rested her head on my shoulder.


“Thank you.â€Â


“For what?â€Â


“For everything.â€Â


She drew closer, and caught up in the moment, I drew closer to her. Her lips met mine, and we kissed. It was a long, loving kiss. I didn’t want it to end. But, all good things must come to an end. She drew away, and rested her head on my shoulder once more. We gazed up at the stars once more; quiet as we looked at the heavens above.


That night, after walking Yeesha home, I thanked Atrus and Catherine for their hospitality, and after saying our goodbyes, I linked home to Myst.

Edited by Naigahsehn
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Chapter Three



I materialized in the centre of the polished oak floor of the Myst Island library. It was just as I left it: warm and cozy. The fire had died out, but the room had stayed warm. I walked out to the cabin, putting the linking book back in and locking its door. I shut off the generator, and closed the door on my way out. I returned to the library, closing the great doors (as I had left them open when I left to go to the cabin a moment ago). I walked towards the bookshelves, and opened the corridor. I rode the elevator down to the lower living quarters, and headed for Atrus’ old room. I went in, and I went right for the bed to lie down on its warm, cozy comforter and fell asleep.


* * * * * *


The next morning, I remembered that I still had the Koruna linking book with me in my pack. I went upstairs and outside to the cabin. I opened the vault and placed the book in their along with the Tomahna linking book. Then, on a whim, I opened the book to its descriptive panel and linked away.


When I came to, I was standing on a pebbled-stone platform surrounded by green field. Not far from me were copses of trees, and row upon row of fruit trees. The smell of their sweetness wafted on the gentle breeze to me, and my mouth watered. I stepped off the platform and strode down a small dusty path of dirt to my left. It led between a row of fruit trees. Their branches weren’t high, and they sagged down nearly to the ground. It was easy to pluck the fruits.


Then a thought came to mind: how am I supposed to carry all the food out of here and back to Myst?


And I forgot one important thing: a linking book back home!


“Now I’ve gone and done it! Damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!!â€Â


I had to think fast. Maybe Atrus left a Tomahna book here. I got here through a linking book, which means that he must have been here at least once before. I had to find out. So, I began to search the island top to bottom.


After nearly two hours of frantic searching, I found it in a small wooden cabin (it reminded me of the one back on Myst). I sighed with relief, and nearly cried. “Oh thank the Maker. Thank you, oh thank you!†I hurriedly opened the Tomahna linking book to its descriptive panel, and thankfully placed my hand on it, feeling the rushing, lurching feeling as I was engulfed by the pages.


* * * * * *


“Oh my! What are you doing back so soon?â€Â


“I had a kind of accident,†I said.


Catherine was staring at me flabbergasted and confused, as I had appeared almost on top of her. We were standing in the greenhouse; it was almost midday, and Catherine was busy watering her plants until I showed up.


“What kind of ‘accident’?†she questioned me, a worried sound to her voice.


“I…umm…forgot to bring a Myst linking book when I went to Koruna.â€Â


She stared at me, her jaw dropping. She tried to say something, but it came out as only gasps and incomprehensive sounds. Finally, after the initial shock faded, she was able to speak.


“You forgot to bring a linking book?†she said, her tone rising slightly. “How could you have been so careless?! You could have been trapped for ever!â€Â


She sounded like an angry mother punishing a child.


“I know, but-“


“No buts! How do you think we’d feel when we realize that you could have been gone forever?! We wouldn’t have known which blasted age you got yourself stuck on! How would Yeesha feel?!â€Â


That one got me right in the heart. I forgot about that. How would Yeesha feel; how would I feel? I’d feel horrible – like my heart was torn in two. I’d feel worse than death itself. I started to feel ashamed.


“I’m sorry,†I said. “I won’t do it again.â€Â


At this, Catherine seemed to relax.


“No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. It’s just the thought of losing you seemed so…so…hard.â€Â


I walked over to her, and gave her a warm embrace. “Don’t worry about it, Cat. I forgive you.â€Â


She smiled. “Well, now that you’re here, perhaps you can go and see Yeesha. Even though it’s been only one night since you left, I think she missed you.â€Â


I knew that must be true. Yeesha and I loved each other, and I knew she missed me – I actually missed her, when I came to think of it.


“Yeah, I think I’ll go see her. Where is she?â€Â


“She’s in her room, I think, lying down.â€Â


“Alright. I’ll see you later Catherine.â€Â


“Ok. Hey, do you want to stay for lunch? We wouldn’t mind the company.â€Â


“Umm, I’ll think about it. Maybe I will stay for a while.â€Â


With that, I left the greenhouse and headed to Yeesha’s room. It was beautiful outside that day. The sky was an inviting, bright blue, and the pool below reflected that. Gray birds with black markings around their eyes and long red feathers on their heads flew everywhere, singing as they went along their busy day.


Yeesha’s room was across the pool, on the opposite side from Catherine and Atrus’ study and the greenhouse. I walked inside and found Yeesha in her bed, resting. Her lustrous light brown hair was down, and strands of it crossed her face. I sat at the edge of her bed, looking at her in wonder. Her chest was moving faintly up and down as she breathed softly in her sleep. She was so beautiful, and looked so peaceful, that I didn’t want to wake her. I was about to get up and leave the room when she opened her eyes and stared up into mine. Her eyes were such a marvelous, compelling green.


“Hey you,†she said, a smile on her face. “When did you get here?â€Â


“Only a few minutes ago,†I replied.


“Ah,†she said.


She got up, and sat down beside me. Like before, she drew close, and I did as well, and we kissed. It was a long kiss, and before long she was breathing heavily. I was too. I moved my mouth away from hers and traced her jaw, and kissed her neck. Her eyes were closed, her mouth open. Then, there was a noise from the door. We stopped, and turned our eyes towards the door.


And there stood Catherine, her hands on her hips, her arms bent, and a look of utter surprise on her face.


At that moment, I felt really awkward. And I could sense that Yeesha felt the same.


Catherine didn’t say a thing; she just stood there, open-mouthed, gaping at us. I wish she would say something, anything, but she didn’t. Finally, I broke the ice.


“Well, umm Yeesha. Do you want to go for a walk?†I said, trying to sound like nothing had happened.


Yeesha understood what I was trying to do, and went along with it. “Sure, I’d love too.â€Â


We got up from her bed, and walked towards the door, stepping past Catherine who stood there still, dumbstruck. Yeesha and I quickened our pace when we left her room, and after a few moments we were running. We ran to the place were we sat the night before. As we sat there, along the shore, we laughed. It was weird, but that’s all we could do. We laughed together, her hand in mine, at what had just occurred.


It was hot and humid out, and after running all that way to get here, we were beat. So, we went for a swim, me and her. Soon, while we swam in the refreshing cool river, the moment that we felt while in her room came over us again, and we kissed and fondled each other for what seemed like forever. In the end, we were soaked, and we felt better than ever. We got out of the water, and laid on the shore side-by-side, letting the sun warm us.


“I love you, Yeesha.â€Â


“I love you too.â€Â


We were relatively dry now, so we put our clothes back on. The sky was getting darker; in the west, the sky was shades of gold, red, and purple.


“Look!†she said. “It’s so beautiful.â€Â


“It is,†I said, holding her closer at my side. She rested her head on my shoulder, and the two of us gazed up at the sun as it set. When it disappeared beneath the horizon and out of sight, we made our way back home.


Catherine was in the kitchen, cooking, and she seemed not to notice us when we stepped in. Atrus was seated at the table, reading from a small book – probably one of his journals. Yeesha sat down next to her father, and I next to her. In a few minutes, Catherine came over to the table, carrying two plates. She put one in front of Atrus, and the other where she would be sitting. She went back and came over with two other plates, and put one in front of Yeesha and the other in front of me. No words came from her mouth. Atrus stopped reading and looked over at his wife, who sat beside him. He could tell something was amiss.


“Catherine, what’s the matter?†Atrus asked, his face looking puzzled.


She sat there, unmoving, but opened her mouth to speak. “Ask them,†she said, pointing at Yeesha and I. “They should be able to tell you.â€Â


“What do you mean?†he said. “What have they done?â€Â


“I saw them together, kissing each other. Atrus, they’re in love!â€Â


Atrus’ face was surprised, but then he laughed. “And that’s what made you seem so uptight all day? Catherine, oh Catherine, there’s nothing wrong with them being in love!â€Â


Yeesha and I turned to one another, a look of surprise on our faces. Of all people, we thought Atrus would be the one to be angry or upset, not glad. Yeesha was his “desert bird†– his only daughter. But there he was, laughing, and happy for us.


Atrus looked at us, and smiled. “Oh Yeesha, why did you not tell me? Why didn’t you tell me, my old friend? Did you think I would be upset?â€Â


“Well…yes. I’m sorry Atrus, I am sorry,†I said.


“There’s nothing to be sorry about. You did nothing wrong, my friend,†he said.


Catherine seemed to blush. I think she was embarrassed, the way she had acted. Who wouldn’t be? But I did feel some pity for her. She was losing her daughter, and it was a mothers’ nature to worry or be upset.


We finished supper, and we talked through the night until midnight.


“Well, I guess I should be going,†I said, as I got up from the table. “I’ll see you all soon.â€Â


Yeesha got up. “I want to come with you. To Myst.â€Â


I was surprised. “Really? I wouldn’t mind.â€Â


“Father, can I go to Myst? I will only be gone a few days at least.â€Â


“No you cannot –“Catherine started, but Atrus intervened.


“Whatever makes you happy, my desert bird.â€Â


“Oh thank you, father. Thank you!†she said, hugging her father.


Together, Yeesha and I said our goodbyes to Atrus and Catherine, and we walked to Atrus’ study. There I grabbed the Myst linking book from off of one of the shelves, and opened the pages to the panel. Yeesha linked through first, and I followed after her.

Edited by Naigahsehn
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