Once inside the fissure starry, strewn with lights on background tarry,
While I fell in darkness, curiously I entertained a thought.
"After I perform the linking," ran the thoughts that I was thinking,
"This book will continue sinking—sinking through a starless spot,"
For the stars therein were scattered roughly and had missed a spot,
"There 'twill fall, or maybe not."

Her deception was forgiven when she saved my life on Riven;
I saw Catherine had been driven to devise that wedding plot.
How could I one second wonder if I'd made some foolish blunder—
If our love was torn asunder—if she'd told my father aught?
Though I know now what her plan was, at the time thus went my thought:
"Is she faithful? Maybe not."

My heartbroken certain doubting ended when I heard her shouting—
Flinging books into the flames with which the air was growing hot.
By her cleverness and cunning, she destroyed the exits, stunning
Father, so we started running—running whither, I knew not.
My mistrust I found ungrounded as she led me for a trot.
My suspicions I forgot.

Presently, despite the thunder, as I could not help but wonder,
"Wait!" I cried, "I do not understand; why drop the books you brought?"
She responded o'er the weather, "This is what we planned together!
We must hurry onward whether you believe it is or not!"
"Who?" I wondered. "Me and Anna! Let's not waste what time we've got!"
But believe it, I could not.

I stood there a moment numbly, then I followed Catherine dumbly.
To a narrow crack we'd come, but unlike those that shone red-hot,
Cold and blue was this one glowing, and debris therein was flowing,
Not pushed forward by wind's blowing but drawn onward to the slot.
As the fissure widened it became a cleft and not a slot.
"What the devil's that?" I thought.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
How this fissure was appearing, spreading like a great inkblot.
There arose no explanation for this inky aberration,
Then—ah, wondrous revelation!—Catherine from her knapsack got
Our salvation from this prison—our way home—a path unthought;
'Twas a Myst book she had brought!

"Let's swim in a starry channel," Catherine said, and touched the panel,
Leaving me to analyze her meaning. But then, I could not;—
Gehn caught up with me and told me, as if Father still controlled me,
To give him the book, and boldly claimed I owed him quite a lot.
"Give the book to me," said Father. "Everything you know I taught!"
"Anna taught me; you did not!"

"Wait," said Father, "please don't leave me! I still love you, son; believe me!"
"No," said I, "you won't deceive me. If you're such a juggernaut,
Exercise your godly power in this Age's final hour."
Father blinked. "Forgive me, Atrus. I was angry. And I thought..."
But I stepped into the fissure, left without a second thought,
Leaving Father there to rot.

Much I marveled that Grandmother had perceived the crazy other
Side I'd never seen of Father—to accept it as her lot
That she should depart the sunny cleft and follow us to D'ni;
But mistrustful of her son, she'd kept away and not been caught—
Close enough to keep watch o'er me, far enough to not be caught.
Quite remarkable, I thought.

Far beneath extinct caldera, not another there aware a
Watchful guardian knew my whereabouts—this I was later taught—
She decided to see Father—planned to tell him what a bother
He'd been, but she met another, Catherine, in the meeting spot.
Secretly they met again to plan Gehn's downfall, in that spot.
Would he prosper? Maybe not!

Blessed with hindsight now I'll own it, but how could I then have known it—
Known how cleverly they'd done it, such that Gehn and I knew naught?
How to know that all the shaking, all the thundering and quaking,
Daggers forming, structures breaking, was the product of their plot?
Riven's death-throes were but faking—but the product of their plot.
Riven's doomsday it was not.

So the Age of Riven isn't Gehn's sepulcher but his prison,
Where he may grow old and wizened, making do with what he's got;
Playing god in that location, his small insular creation;
At the slightest indication of dissent or nascent plot
Feeding fishes with the bodies of the rebels he has caught.
They'll be sacrificed a lot.

But at least there is a limit: only one Age has him in it;
Though his tyranny is grim it is restricted to that spot.
The results of thus confining Father I sit here divining,
Steeling myself and resigning to the fate of natives caught—
Trapped in Riven with that madman, casualties of Catherine's plot.
Had she warned them? I fear not.

I admit my glimpse was fleeting of that space devoid of heating;
Nonetheless it bears repeating, what I of my Myst book thought;
Contrary to my intention, it continued its descension
Through that bottomless dimension, not destroyed as was my plot.
Evermore it might keep falling, not destroyed as was my plot;
In this manner ran my thought.

I've attempted speculation on its final destination,
Contemplating its location, never found but ever sought;
But I must admit, however, it is a futile endeavor;
Such conjecturing will never help me find its landing spot—
And it is improbable that I should find its landing spot;
There's no data—not a jot.

Still, I question and I guess at whose hands might one day possess it;
Clues elude me, I confess it, though I've pondered it a lot.
It's becoming my contention that my endless apprehension
Will not bring to my attention anywhere my book's been brought—
Nothing can allay my doubts of where my Myst book has been brought;—
Time for it to be forgot.

On Myst island, some years after, I can hear my children's laughter
Echoing among the rafters of this library I wrought.
I should stop reiterating all these facts and leave off waiting
For the answers. It's frustrating; all my nerves are growing taut.
I should be exploring Ages, an intrepid eranaut.
Time for that I should allot.

It grows late; I'm not nocturnal, so I rise and close my journal.
Though I try to answer this eternal question, I cannot.
I have for a while been spending time reflecting on the ending—
Time awaiting the impending culmination of the plot.
Realizing that though perhaps life's sentence has a final dot—
Is it written? Maybe not.