The Inbetween

So, I've rediscovered Myst. My dad had the first two games, and we would play for hours when I was a kid but I don't think either of us ever finished them. Lately, I've been watching let's plays of the games and learning more of the mythos of the series.

Thus this piece. The Stranger spent just over three weeks on Myst before being sent to Riven. I wondered what happened in those three weeks, so I wrote this! There are 23 entries, but I'll pair them together since some are fairly short. The dates are based on a timeline I found on a Myst wiki, if you were wondering.

Please remember to review!

Day 1 (Dec. 11, 1806)

There are enough blank books lying around, I figured I'd start one of my own journals so if I ever leave this place I'll know it was real. That fellow Arthur Atlas Atrus is no help. After I got him that white page and freed him, all he said was thanks, you can have free access to my library, and I might need you in the future.

Not the answer I was expecting.

Finally he asked what it was I wanted because he was very busy, and I told him to send me home.

"I don't want your ruddy library! I want to go home!"

"I'm afraid it's not that simple," he said.

Not that simple? You can write these Links to other worlds, other Ages! Write me one to Earth!"

And he laughed. He laughed. "We are on Earth. I call it D'ni, but D'ni is far below the surface of your Age."

"You lie."

"I have no reason to lie to you. We are on Earth, but trapped in this room. Yes, the door out lies under that fallen pillar over there, but it is too heavy for even the both of us to move. The rest of D'ni, the rest of Earth, is blocked to us."

He must have seen me looking at the fallen pillar. I didn't need to try and move it to know it was too massive to move. No doubt Arthur Atrus tried at one point out of desperation. I asked him, "What do you propose then?"

Right now, I have no way to send you back to the surface, but if you give me time I might have a solution. I give you my word I will find a way to send you back to the surface, back to your own kind, but you must be patient."

I agreed. What else could I do? The man is my only way home! So I left him to his writing while I explored Myst a bit more. For now, I've set up camp in the Library using some bedding I took from Sirrus' room on Stoneship. I'll find somewhere more permanent tomorrow, the memory of what occurred in this place give me the creeps.

This evening I reread all of Atrus' journals. It feels strange reading another man's journals, but I have to make sure I fully understand each Age. I'm going to try and set up some traps in them tomorrow. Channelwood and Stoneship seem the most promising.

Day 2 (Dec. 12, 1806)

Spent the day exploring the island. I found a house of sorts on the East (?) side. I had wondered where Atrus and his family had lived, and quite by accident I found a series of caves in the mountain which were clearly a house. A house under the mountain. The place is a mess; someone was searching it at one point, probably Sirrus and Achenar. I haven't asked Atrus about the burn marks, about what he did. Lord it must have been painful for him to do it, they were his sons after all. Though from what I've seen, they deserved it. The worlds Ages I've visited, the things I've seen, they were monsters.

No wonder Atrus is consumed by writing in that book of his. His sons were monsters and he had to slay them. Could I do the same if I had sons? Would my father, in Atrus' place, do that to me and my brother?

I wonder if anyone has realized I have gone missing. Probably not, it's only been a few days, but maybe… no, don't think about it. It's too painful. I need to understand that I may never get home again.

I set up some traps in the various ages, and found some tubers in Channelwood. Cooked them using the rosemary in the overgrown garden by the house. There are beans and peas there too! I need meat, hopefully my traps will have caught something in the morning. I couldn't sleep in the house, it didn't feel right, but luckily the nights here are pleasant enough to sleep outside and there are no biting insects here. I've made myself a hammock in the trees. The stars are nothing like back home, and I have made a few of my own constellations.

Day 3 (Dec. 13, 1806)

Success with traps in Channelwood and Stoneship, despite something eating most of the bait from the Channelwood traps. Reset them.

I've been here three days now, and it all seems so… normal. Linking between Ages, Atrus, I've adjusted to all of this so quickly? How? It's madness! And the machines here… Mechanical is as if an engineer went mad! The village in Channelwood, it was not built by human hands, and the moving image machines! I asked Atrus about the finned tube on the northwest side, and about the wires and the machines underground and the flameless lights.

"In most places, it's called a rocket ship, or space ship. They usually take you to the stars, using rockets, but that one is a fake so it doesn't work. The machines are generators, which produce electricity which then powers the rocket ship and the rest of the island. Some of the lights have fire marbles in them. Are humans really so primitive?"

What in the name of God is a rocket? Or fire marbles? And why would anyone try to enter the heavens? I've heard of electricity, it's some newfangled power source, but somehow Atrus has harnessed it while scientists back home have barely begun to understand it! I didn't even bother asking him about the cauldron with the changing surface and his message to Catherine, or how the star viewer worked.

Then again, the man creates worlds Ages in books which allow you to physically travel to them. Such things shouldn't surprise me when it comes to Atrus. I must admit, I am frightened by what Atrus and his kind are capable of. His ability to Write Books, the fantastic machines, the ability to harness the power of the gods... Anyone lesser would think Atrus to be a god himself, but I know he's not. He's a prisoner. His knowledge and gifts imprisoned him and destroyed his family. Atrus is no god, he is a man with a great power and burden.

I do not envy him.

Played the piano this evening. Those lessons mother insisted I take have fallen deep in my memory, but I managed a few tunes. I wonder if Atrus can play? That musical key which unlocked Selenitic was hardly in tune. I'll ask him about the piano tomorrow after I check my traps, and check Rime one more time as he requested. Atrus has me checking the crystal viewer every day. The trips are brief and never pleasant, the cold takes forever to leave me.