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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hiatus - Intentional this time

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who reads our story for their support.  The ages of Myst and all that followed have been an incredible source of inspiration throughout my life and I have been happy to give back through this project.  For a universe with infinite possibilities and a community that revels in those details, this project has been a labor of love.

That said, we are going on a brief hiatus.  For those who didn't see our announcement over at the Guild of Messengers, be sure we are not resting on our laurels.  During this break we will be working to further develop our story.  Volume 1 of our second story is complete, but there is much to be told.  We hope you stick with us as we strive to bring you the best story we can.

This break will also give us time to complete work on our anticipated TCaB: KI Logs project where we have polished our earlier material for publication in PDF format as The Cleft and Below: The Third Journeyer.  We hope the re-release of our first story arc will be well received by those who have been with us from the beginning as well as being a portal for those who are looking to join our adventure.

Lastly, we hope to host TCaB Live! some time this summer.  For those who do not know, TCaB Live! is the title of our live reading of the story so far.  It is our wish to bring life to The Third Journeyer in a Kirel near you.  Watch the MOULa forums for more information as this develops.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mark Loren - Aftermath

Gahreesen was empty; save Eric, Steven and myself.  Just minutes ago the second building had been packed with explorers.  They quickly disbanded after the Wall race.  The discovery in the Maintainer's nexus was kept silent.  Artus and I related the finding to Steven once the crowd had dispersed.

Artus didn't stick around.  He looked sick.  He was uncharacteristically quiet as we waited for Steven to return with Eric.  I expected him to brag; it had been a close race, but he remained nauseatingly silent.  I turned to him trying to think of the right words.  I wanted to say something to break the cold silence of Gahreesen.

He finally spoke.  "I… I gotta go."  He reltoed.  Steven and Eric returned moments later.

"Is it true?"  Eric asked.  There was something boiling under his skin.

"Yeah, I was with him when we found it.". I tried to read his expression.  "You just missed him."

Steven opened his KI and studied the image I had sent him.  "This is far more elaborate than what we saw before in Eder Gira.”

"Listen to me."  Eric's voice trembled as he spoke.  "This is just a sick joke.  It was Artus."

“What are you talking about?" Steven was trying to be patient.  "You saw his reaction when Torri found the symbol in Eder Gira.  We asked him then if he had planted the symbol.  He didn't plant it; and don’t forget: he was as scared as Torri.  He couldn’t stop shaking."  Steven responded.

Eric’s eyes tightened as he brought the palm of his hand to his forehead.  “Can’t you see, it was just an act!"

"How can you be so sure, Eric?”  I said.  “There’s no way he could have planted the symbol in the Maintainer’s Nexus.”  I looked around.  “He would have had to sneak through the Maintainer’s Tube, up the Wall, and linked into the Maintainer’s Nexus without you, Steven, myself or any of the dozens of other explorers who gathered noticing.”

Eric started walking.  “If he did this I'll make him confess."  Eric walked out of the equipment room; the mechanisms of the heavy doors hissed and moved aside.  “Torri deserves better than this.  We deserve better than this.”  He left and the doors closed behind him.

A quick look to Steven mirrored my thoughts exactly.  When we caught up with Eric, he was already on the outer platform of Gahreesen; waiting for the rotation to reach the Yeesha cloth.  "Wait a minute.  Lets just cool off for a moment”  He stopped.  “If you’re right, then I want to get to the bottom of this as much as anyone else.”  I paused.  “But if you’re wrong,” Eric looked back at me.  “If you’re wrong, there could be something else happening.  Whether it be a prank, or who knows what, we need to consider all the possibilities.

“At the very least, He could have stayed to straighten things out.”  Eric was understandably frustrated.  “Now I don’t know what to think.”  After a brief silence he linked out and soon after Steven and I went our separate ways.

I walked to the edge of the walkway and sat letting my legs dangle.  It had been a long day.  Laying back I stared into the Gahreesen sky.  The pale gray blue of the sky was partially obscured by cloud cover.  I closed my eyes and listened to the low rumble of the turning buildings, the sound of water below and the sounds of wildlife around me.  There was a lot to think about.

I opened my KI to review the image I had taken earlier.  Steven was right: it was far more elaborate than the one we found in Eder Gira.  Apart from that, this image had been projected from the panel, meaning, whoever was responsible must have manipulated the lattice somehow.  I returned to the image and lost myself in the design.

My KI flashed, shaking me out of my study.  It was a message from Flora.

Hurry to the Watcher’s Pub.  They may shut down the link soon.

I stood up; linked to Relto; and to the Nexus.  As I navigated the panel before me I could see the cavern populations fluctuating across regions.  Ae’gura was dropping in numbers.  The Watcher’s Pub was filling up.  I made my selection, called the book, and linked.

The nexus swirled and faded giving way to cold lighting of blue and yellow stone.  The Watcher’s pub was indeed full of people.  My focus was drawn to a pair of explorers: one sitting on the shoulders of the other to see the center of the room.  I looked around.  Flora found me and lead me around to the crowd and up the stairs for a clear view.

As we moved through the crowd she spoke, but her voice was drowned out by the other voices.  She pulled me beside her after climbing the stairs to the first landing.  Only then did I catch her words.  “Something is happening in this cavern.”  She was certain, only stating it to see if I agreed.  I looked away from her and finally to what had drawn so many people

I opened my KI to the image I had taken in the the Maintainer’s Nexus earlier that day.  I showed it to her.  I nodded.  “The symbols match.”