I'm baaaa-aaaack! Did y'all miss me? I bet you're all wondering where I went. Well, I just started high school (twenty-ten, twenty-ten, freshmen, freshmen, twenty-ten!), and homework and stuff was eating up time for me. But I was also busy playing these awesome games from the late nineties and early 2000's – The Myst series.
Now, don't knock em' until you try them. If you love puzzles, they're awesome, and more than a match for even the smartest of brainiacs. I know I had quite a trying time with them, but I still managed to decipher their secrets. And let me tell you this: The feeling that you get when you finally solve a puzzle that had you stuck for ages (pun not intended, Myst fans) is priceless. (There are lots of things that money can buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard™.)
Now, about the story – This is a crossover between that wacky "All That" comedy skit "Know Your Stars" and the mind-numbing, amazing people, places, and puzzles of Myst. It will NOT be written in script format, as to make for a more satisfying story, and to show the characters' reactions better. Most of the main characters will be covered, although there may be some other, smaller characters in the mix. Yeesha is not in here, as we see her three times throughout the series (Counting Uru) and she is constantly changing her age on us. For that reason, I have found it difficult to write Yeesha's "Know Your Stars" torment, and so she will not appear, but she may be referenced. (I'm pretty much writing this on the fly!) Esher is in the Maybe Age at this point – I don't really know if he'll be in it or not. Maybe if I get enough PMs that want me to add him in, I will. Also, in this story, the Stranger is a girl.
Be aware, Myst fans, that "Know Your Stars" functions mainly on taunting a person in front of a large audience, with the person reacting angrily. Some of the taunts will be rather childish as well. Also be aware that, yes, your favorite characters will be in the hot seat and will be made fun of. Please DO NOT spam me with flames about how I "Was soooo mean to Saavedro" or how I "Should go to hell, because you really don't know what you're doing." Please, only constructive criticism about how I can better improve this fanfic.
Well, that's about it. Without further ado, I give you "Know Your Myst Stars!" (Sorry, I know that the title is lame, but I couldn't come up with a better one!)
Disclaimer – I don't own Myst, Riven, Myst III: Exile, Myst IV: Revelation, or Myst V: End of Ages. I don't own the Stranger, Atrus, Catherine/Katran, Sirrus, Achenar, Saavedro, Gehn, Cho, or anyone else in the games. I also don't own "All That" or "Know Your Stars." Please don't ask me for the rights to any of these people or things. Ask Nickelodeon and Cyan Worlds for them.
-- Dedicated to my crazy friend Nee --
It was a relatively calm night in Tohmahna, the kind of night where one could simply sit and watch the stars twinkle brightly in the atmosphere and wonder about what the future held. The lights along the walkway, normally so brightly lit, and the lights inside as well, had been dimmed to allow the stars to shine in all of their glory.
It is here that we find her, the one who found the book so many years ago. A mere child of fifteen, but an incredibly bright child nonetheless. Her hair was tied back into a ponytail, something that she often did. Her bright eyes sparkled with wonder as she gazed out at the constellations.
Atrus never did catch her name, even after all these years. She had never gotten the chance to tell him. Still, it was all the same to both her and him.
"It's lovely," she remarked, turning to face her friend. Busy writing as usual, she thought as Atrus continued to write in the blank book.
Finally, after much one-sided conversation from the girl he called "the Stranger", he lifted his head to look at her.
"Yes," he agreed, stealing a glance at the stars. "They're quite beautiful tonight."
"I've always found them to b very inspirational," the Stranger replied with a smile. It hadn't been so very long ago that she had seen them up close – had fallen through them, watching them streak past her like a veil of glowing white threads.
It had always surprised her that she had actually survived the fall.
Then again, the idea of linking to another world through a book was still pretty awkward to her. She had never really gotten used to that odd feeling of being sucked into the page, only to later rematerialize on some alien surface. It was like the teleportation devices that you always see in science fiction movies, except more portable. Maybe the movies themselves were other worlds. Hmm… could she link into a movie?
Her thoughts were cut off by the sound of approaching footsteps and Catherine's voice asking if they wanted something to eat.
Well, the Stranger was pretty hungry.
"Sure," she replied, standing up to look at Atrus' wife.
Catherine smiled and took the girl inside as Atrus continued to write.
What was he writing? A new link. A portal into another world that he was almost done describing. But as he finished the last few penstrokes and looked back through the book, he couldn't help but wonder what had driven him to write an Age that consisted of nothing but a large room with several smaller, hidden rooms somewhere behind it.
Perhaps he'd figure out why later. Right now, he felt compelled to share the finished book with his wife and his friend.
With a steady hand, he closed the book and walked inside of the house.
Inside, Catherine was busy preparing some sort of dish that Atrus had never seen the likes of before. It seemed to only consist of thin, pale worms that were being boiled in water with some sort of flavored sand that Catherine had poured out of a small, silver packet. It all seemed so bizarre to him. Did people from his friend's world eat insects?
Confused, he glanced at Catherine, who only gave him the same look of confusion back and gestured towards a nearby wrapper that lay on the kitchen counter. Fortunately, Atrus could read English.
Ramen Noodles, proclaimed the wrapper. Chicken flavored. Oh! Now it made much more sense, though he still wondered what a 'chicken' was.
When he pointed this out to his wife, both began laughing.
The Stranger entered the kitchen suddenly, probably to look for her dinner, only to find the two adults lying on the ground and laughing their heads off.
"What's so funny?" she asked, clearly bewildered.
"Nothing, my friend," Atrus chuckled as he stood up, looking at the noodles simmering in the pot. "Did you bring them?"
"Well, yes," the girl replied. "Somewhere between my world and here, I figured that it'd do me good to pack some food from my world and bring it along on my travels. I figured that I'd need it – just in case. The particular dish that I'm having Catherine make right now is called ramen noodles."
Suddenly, both adults began laughing again, but only for a brief moment.
Smiling, the Stranger looked at Atrus and casually said "Noodles."
Atrus again began laughing, nearly falling over as he did so. Grinning, the girl entered the kitchen to serve herself some dinner.
"Oooh, a new Age? Show me!"
It was now quite late at night, and the three were sitting in the living room, discussing Atrus' new book. The Stranger, who was always up for a trip, looked at the descriptive book now lying on the table with curious eyes.
"Well, this is the first time I'll be using it," he replied gravely. "I don't know how hospitable this Age is."
"But… Pleeeeeeeaaaase?" She pouted, trying to make her eyes get really big and sad – looking. "I'm your friend. Can't you trust me?"
"It's for your own safety, though," Catherine pointed out.
"Safety?" the Stranger cried angrily. "Since when have I been safe? I've walked on bridges with no railings way high up in the trees, and ridden in giant iceballs, and lived for a week on an Age that was falling apart! I've stood over a pit of lava while I try to make complex machinery work, and I've explored an Age that was nothing but floating rocks, where I could fall off and die if I slipped up just once. I retrieved your book from a crazy guy with a hammer, for Pete's sake! I think we can overlook a little thing like safety issues, Atrus."
Atrus sighed. When his friend made up her mind, it was made up, and there was no changing it.
"Very well," he sighed. "If you really want to go, I suppose you can come with me. But I don't want you wandering off. This Age might be riddled with poisonous plants, or it might be full of traps, or -"
"Atrus, dear," Catherine said as she flipped through the book, "I can read D'ni just fine. And this book says nothing about plants or traps. According to what you wrote, it looks like this Age is nothing but a large room with a stage."
"Wait a minute," the Stranger interrupted. "You mean to say that Atrus wrote a link to an auditorium?"
"It looks like it," Catherine said with a small smile.
"Cool," the Stranger remarked as she picked up the book and began to flip through it. "I'm an actress, you know. I'm starring in the play at my school. I bet there's a whole bunch of other people who would like to see what I can do."
The girl continued to flip through the pages carefully, as to make sure that she didn't accidentally link.
"Neat," she replied as she flipped back to the first page to find a black linking panel. Curious, she glanced at her friend.
"The panel is blank," Atrus explained, "Because it hasn't really 'locked on' to the Age I wrote the link to. Someone has to go first to establish the link, and from then on, it's open to anyone."
"It's complicated," Catherine added when the girl gave her a confused look.
"Sounds like it," she said, laying the open book on the table. "So, someone has a linking book back with them, right?"
"Right," the two adults replied.
"After you, then."
Atrus and Catherine both entered the book, and eventually the Stranger noticed that an image had flickered onto the panel. The image did indeed looked like a room with a stage, albeit the image showed the backstage area and not the actual stage. The girl glanced one last time at the room that she was in and cautiously placed her hand on the image, feeling the odd sensation of suction, hearing the roar of the link in her ears, and letting herself fall into the book.
When she opened her eyes, she saw both Atrus and Catherine next to her, a stage in front of her, and behind her, rows of dressing rooms. It was just like a professional theater.
Grinning, she turned to her friends, who now suddenly looked nervous.
She felt her own smile fade as she watched them both look for their only way home.
"You said that you were bringing the book!"
"We thought that you did!"
But it was too late to point fingers.
They were trapped.