Notes from D'ni

This is a journal of my exploration of the D'ni city and ages.

The best thing would be to write down events from day to day. Keep a diary to see clearly–let none of the nuances or small happenings escape even though they might seem to mean nothing. And above all, classify them. I must tell how I see this table, this street, the people, . . . since those are the things which have changed. I must determine the exact extent and nature of this change.

--Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre

Future of the journey?

It is hard to believe that it has been almost two months since I last had the time to collect my thoughts on the events in the cavern. Trying to get in touch with the DRC has proven impossible. It is almost like they no longer exist. They do not reply to messages left to them via the DRCsite forums. I cannot find any reference to them aside from what the postings of other members of the community. And when mostly everyone is either asking where the DRC is or guessing as to where the DRC is, I am not making any progress there. Trying to balance this search with the needs of work and family is getting harder. I wonder how everyone else is managing. But it seems I am not the only one having this problem. A lot of people are leaving the cavern and returning to the surface, some suggest that it may be forever. There was a major gathering in the cavern a couple of nights ago. I am still coming to terms with everything everyone was saying. Some explorers are leaving either due to the absense of the DRC or some other uncertainty. Some explorers are still going to spend time in the cavern, even as it seems that, at least initially, some of the areas will again be closed. Some explorers are going to continue their study of the art and take the risks of actually linking into ages based on linking books they have either found or blank books they have found and are trying their hand at the Art. The night ended for me when I accidentially linked out of K'veer. I was late, so I did not go back, and from a quick scan of the Explorer sites on the Internet, most people were leaving for the night. There were reports from people that the lattice may be starting to show signs of lack of maintenance. I did link back to Relto the next day, and found that the KI was reacting strangely. The Nexus seemed to have been reset and none of my links worked. And it seems that barracades have been put back up at the bottom of the Great Stairs. And there was no one else there in the city. Personally, I think I am going to spend a little more time trying to contact the DRC. I am also going to try to get some details about what is going on in the cavern.

The best thing would be to write down events from day to day. Keep a diary to see clearly–let none of the nuances or small happenings escape even though they might seem to mean nothing. And above all, classify them. I must tell how I see this table, this street, the people, . . . since those are the things which have changed. I must determine the exact extent and nature of this change. --Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre
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The Cavern

Since the DRC went to the surface to find funding, everything down here has felt different.  It feels almost abandoned.

With the things that have happened on the surface, I am thinking that it might be best to try to see if I can find any of the DRC and see if there is anything any of us can do to help them.  I am sure that they will say there really isn't anything an Explorer can do.  I'm not even sure anyone is going to be able to locate any of them.


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Looking back

Finally, a break in the storm and Relto falls quiet except for the calling of hawks and the shooting of the occasional fireworks. And the music box is not nearly as loud with the windows and doors of the hut closed. Paging back through this journal while sitting by the fire waiting for my jacket to hopefully finish drying out. Looking back over the last year in this moment of calm. It's sparse, sometimes months between entires. Remembering the happenings of the last year, trying hard to remember the pieces reflected in these pages. What am I missing? Why did I stop writing? Was it the lack of motivation or inclination? Were events start happening so quickly that it was impossible to keep up with everything? Notes scrawled in the margins, partial thoughts, but not much writing. And sometimes the words jump off the page, almost demanding to be read out loud

I am thinking a little bit about how this time will read when the story of the Restoration finally becomes something we teach children in schools on the surface. How will right now seem in the narrative of this history? This feels like the calm before the storm, or is this the storm itself? And here I sit, in my own personal storm, thinking about it, and watching butterflies flutter about in their groups, never seeming to tire from the activity, or the storm. Will today be recorded as only the day the library was open, or is today the day that the first lines are drawn? And what side of the triangle am I on?

Two hundred and twenty eight stairs. Counted six times, up one path and down the other. With and without the help of other Explorers. All alone while everyone was together.
So I could get the answer to an impossible question, to know something unknown by other Explores.
And then I found out that was a half hour late for the midnight run through the public neighborhoods. Oh, did I mention that I found a new Explorer in one of the hoods, alone, without even a KI?
And you know, I'm not sure I won't get a different number again when I next count the stairs.

I do not expect to find a new home for myself. I only hope that we can reduce an intractable number of randomly moving parts into a collection of wholes. Explorers working with Explorers to achieve common goals. And maybe I'm still dreaming. I am but one drop or water. And I feel on this, I speak for myself. Alone or together . . .

Maybe that is the secret to understanding the Ages, changing the way of thinking, and a little dumb luck.
Another piece of the puzzle falls into place, but I haven't a clue at the end what surprise we will find.

After stone, water must have been something important to the D'ni. Water can be used to shape stone into something different. Water cools that which is hot. The water in the cavern's of the D'ni lights the darkness.

And here I sit, comfortably in Relto, staring out over the pillars of rock that pierce the clouds beneath me. In the back of my mind, I feel the beginning of a thought about the impact that this will have on the community. Here in Relto, I hear the distant rumbling of thunder as it gently starts to rain again, the bulk of the storm still unseen. I am still not used to how this place mirrors my thoughts and feelings.

And just as quickly, the rain again starts to fall. Back to the hut. Back to the city.

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After the holidays in the cavern

It seems that a large number of explorers are starting to make their way back down to the cavern after the holiday. I did manage to link down once or twice during this surprisingly quiet time, almost amazed by how familiar the quiet of the cavern seemed. Relto has been anything but quiet recently. The storm has gone from rain to thunder and lightening. And I seem to have broken the music player, stuck playing some sad and lonely tune that sounds like someone's heart breaking, slowly over years. Very unlike the music in the gallery. And it mixes with the calling of the birds and the storm like glass breaking. The sporadic explosions that seem to launch out of the one island like fireworks do not help the feeling at all. The anticipation of the next explosion adds to the suspense that something is going to happen. It may just be the fear that I have that one day I am going to link into Relto only to find bahro there. And I am kind of afraid that I will be slaughtered there, alone, and no one will ever even know I went missing. A stain on the rocks of the island being washed away by the near eternal rain. And my family would always be left to wonder what had happened to me.

The risks of exploring alone.

This does show how little we really know about the situation in the cavern. The members of the DRC have left the cavern because of the sudden lack of funding. Whether waiting for more funding to arrive, or seeking out a new source, there is not much that they can do for us down here. I still do not know what to make of Dr. Watson and Michael Engberg. Are they even in the cavern, on the surface or holed up in some yet unreleased D'ni age? I am considering trying to contact the DRC, et al, via the DRC forums. Fortunately, my expectations of actually getting an answer are not that high.

The risks of not having build myself a network of people earlier.

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A trip back to the surface

I made a trip up to the surface. After so much time traveling through the ages, I felt the need to get back into slightly more human environs. I wanted to feel that I was again on the planet Earth. I know where D'ni is. I know that it is part of this world. But as one starts spending any amount of time there, as the city and everything it represents begins to fill one's thoughts and invade one's dreams, it is clear that D'ni may be part of the Earth, but it is not of this world.
I just needed to feel the Earth under my feet. I needed to feel my sun's warmth on my face. I needed breath air not filtered through I do not know how many miles of D'ni caverns, fans, filters. I needed to be someplace where the water did not glow.
I never even got past the Cleft.
There I was, standing again at the begining of the Journey. The sand of the desert under my boots crunched as I made my way around Zandi's propery, repeating the steps of the ritual first done not so many years ago.

We will show you remnants, pieces of the tapestry, pieces of the Journey. Find these remnants, these Journeys--seven--seven in each Age--seven here in the desert.

I walked over to Zandi's Airstream. I stopped for a second at the cloth there, just staring. Placing my hand on the cloth I closed my eyes and tried to remember the words Zandi had first greeted me with when I was finally able to follow the feeling that was drawing me to there, to the Cleft.

Zandi wrote:
. . . I probably know more about why you're here than you do. Don't worry about it. You felt drawn here, just like the others. . .

The message seemed so simple at the time. And somewhat comforting. I wasn't alone. There would be others on this Journey with me. And the others . . .
The heat was starting to get to me. I reached up and pulled off my santa hat, laughing for a moment about not having dressed for desert. I couldn't tell if it was wet from sweat from having walked around in the sun, or if it was still wet for the near constant rain in Relto.
How much more did Zandi know? I still do not really know what it is I am doing here. I just followed the call to what I now know as D'ni. This was just the start of the Journey . . . the first step on the road.
Then I looked up to the top of the volcano. I half expected to see a Bahro staring back down at me. The realization that even here, on the surface, the Bahro could be here, waiting for us. Watching. Waiting. Maybe even stalking.
How much longer will the Bahro ignore the Explorers? How much longer will D'ni be safe, free from the kind of horror uncovered by Rosette and Willow?
Walking back towards the sign along the fence, I looked out over the field of sand and rock, and beyond into the barren desert, till I was back at the sign. Back at the beginning.
In front of me was the world, as far as the eye could see. Everything I had left to make my way to the cavern. The life I still tried to hide from D'ni.
I could choose to just walk away, walk up the road till I could return completely to that life, away from the cavern and leave everything where the Cleft and the caldera were right then, behind me.
The weight of the leather jacket I was wearing (surprisingly still wet from Relto's rain) felt a little constricting. Could I just walk away? Could I keep walking and choose not to know where the Journey was trying to take me? Could I ignore the invasion of D'ni into my dreams?
Bending down I took a handful of the sand, the fine particles of dirt from the surface of the Age I called home. Finely ground glass. Zandi's words again ran through my head: ". . . just like the others . . . ." The others who knew. Maybe even other who right now understand.
I looked back at the caldera, looking at the gateway down into gathering of the people who, even if they did not yet understand why, were Called.
. . . Choices . . .
A lot has changed since the first of us made our way to the cavern, started on the Journey.
I let the sand fall from my hand, trying to watch each grain fall back to the Earth. I thought of the others, the other Explorers.
Relto would invariable be wet and cold and rainning. I could make my way home later. Placing the santa hat back on my head, I opened the book that would take me back to Relto, and I linked, the image the caldera suddenly replaced in my view by the waterfall and hut in Relto.
Again, it was rainning.
What would it be like in the Cavern?

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Spring Break MMO Study

It is old news to anyone that was paying attention that GameTap is shutting down Myst Online: Uru Live on 10 April. There have been plenty of people involved with either the Myst community or the game industry and media who have already written about why