I realized the moment I fell into the fissure that the Book would not be destroyed as I had planned. It continued falling into that starry expanse, of which I had only a fleeting glimpse. I have tried to speculate where it might have landed, but I must admit that such conjecture is futile. Still, questions about whose hands might one day hold my Myst book are unsettling to me. I know my apprehensions might never be allayed, and so I close, realizing that perhaps the ending has not yet been written. -- Atrus

Monday, August 10, 2015

Update and Stuck in Ahnonay

Finally I am taking a moment to catch up, so this will be a long post!  Intermissions will be offered.  Well, not really.  That would be up to you.

I've been MIA for a number of reasons, namely Life, and worse things such as my [neighbor's] internet disappeared.  Either they moved, or they caught on to me, but at any rate I don't have it.  So I ended up having to go to Starbucks to play Uru with iota.  That was interesting.

First things first, this past weekend was the MYSTerium convention near Boston.  I had originally planned to go and I was all set, but it turned out that I couldn't go after all, which was a bummer.  Because of my lack of internet at home, I wasn't able to catch any of the live feed, so I haven't anything to report on that front -- Cyan was supposed to have a demo prepared concerning Obduction or somesuch, so you should go hunt that down when you can.

While on the subject of Obduction, the t-shirts have arrived!  I should have ordered a smaller size because mine is too big, but it will suffice as an excavation shirt when I return to Egypt in the winter, insh'Allah.  You will notice that on the shirt back there is a list of cities and dates.  On Facebook several people are throwing around theories as to what this could mean, and I think the ARG thread has awoken on the forums.  I really haven't the time or interest in the ARG thing...I'd much rather play the actual game, you know?  Here are two pictures of the shirt design:
Obduction t-shirt front

Obduction t-shirt back
While some believe this has to do with the ARG, I believe this has to do with the actual game, and will make much more sense after we get the game and play and/or finish it.

Apart from Obduction, a funny thing happened.  I wanted to play solitaire with a real deck of cards like we used to do in the old days before phone apps.  I remembered that the European edition of Myst IV: Revelation came with a little deck of cards, so I took them out and began shuffling.  The deck seemed a little small, especially after I set up the game.  I had only a few cards left over.  I thought I had done something wrong, and then I thought that I was missing cards and that there was supposed to be another box, but there wasn't!  All the suits begin at 7, and there is only one Joker.  Then, I finally read the game box and it shows that it comes with 32 cards.  32 cards?!  What I am I supposed to do with 32 cards?  That's quite literally not playing with a full deck.
The deck of cards that comes with the European edition of Myst IV: Revelation
I did some research and apparently some European card games require only the above cards.  That is so confusing.  Why?  And why begin at 7?  I was determined for a while to start collecting a deck of cards from the streets of New York because I always find random playing cards all over the place, but since then I have decided I'm not really all that invested in such a project.  But seriously, Europe, what?

Anyway, back to Uru!  iota and I haven't been able to play very consistently because of my internet problem and Life.  Our last session was two Saturdays ago when I went to Starbucks in Midtown.  It was kind of awkward because I had an audience of two.  Skyping proved to be an issue as well, so we returned to typing our conversation which generally wasn't about Uru at all, ha!  Gossip, as usual.  Along with an extended conversation about the hideous trend young ladies and even grown women follow: what I call denim underwear.  Shorts so short that it reveals a considerable portion of the butt cheek.  This to me is pretty gross and indecent and women should have more respect for themselves than that, but I guess I am a prude?

Well that was off-topic!

We left off with Ahnonay, and as I promised iota, it is difficult and confusing.  I last left you with iota's first go through Ahnonay 1-3, but we have explored a lot more since then.  The next challenge was figuring out how to get the Shell Cloths to work for us.  I had forgotten where #3 was located, but I surmised it was somewhere where it appeared in Ahnonay #2.  I suggested that we use the "bookmark" in the Book on Relto and see if the cloth will be there, or if we will link into an expanse of nothing.  But I was right!  Hooray!
iota finds Shell Cloth #3 in Ahnonay 3
We completed our tour of the Ahnonays, so now what?  Well, we had to figure out why these Shell Cloths appeared on the same rock.  I suggested we change the time to Ahnonay 1 and link back via the bookmark.
iota finds her way inside the water current control room in Ahnonay 1

iota outside the water current control room
And then we found ourselves inside the water current control room.  It didn't take her long to figure out what the room was for, and she quickly managed to turn off the current, but not without exploring where the ladders led -- which is in fact to nowhere.
The lookout ladders in the water current control room in Ahnonay 1
She wasn't sure what to do after this, so I nudged her toward checking out the distant "buildings" now that she has complete swim control.  Happily she chose the correct one the first time, which is an easy choice because of that crack in the wall which you don't realize is a crack until you get there.
iota discovers the distant "buildings" are not real
I was expecting some stunned exhortations when she discovered that the distant "buildings" were fakes, but to my disappointment she seemed entirely underwhelmed.  Man, I remember when I first discovered it I was freaking out.  I thought I was going to explore something substantial, but they were fakes!  It made me begin to doubt the reality of everything there.  But this time around we just carried on into the "sewers".  Maybe my presence is distracting.
iota and Baladria swimming into the "sewer" of Ahnonay 1
Of course, there is not much to explore in this area apart from finding more cloths and a door that doesn't open, and on one occasion so far finding a Relto Page, and another one that is as yet inaccessible.  We visited all three Ahnonay sewers and got stuck again.

My memory fails me at this point, and I know that, of course, the last Shell Cloth is beyond that door.  I also know that a person is required on the Ahnonay islands (iota likes to call Ahnonay 3 the Moon) in order to get that door open.  At this point, the tables have turned and I am trying to figure it out for myself as much as iota is trying to figure it out for herself.  For a moment she was confused about all the linking and where everything is, so I drew a rudimentary schematic in order to assist so that maybe we could figure this thing out together.

I went to the Moon of Ahnonay 3 so that I could change it to Ahnonay 1.  I told her to pull the door handle in the sewer after I linked to see what it would do.  It made a loud noise as it had not done before, but the door did not open.  When I returned to Ahnonay I saw that the door reverted the link back to Ahnonay 3 instead of progressing it to Ahnonay 1!  Hmmm, ok.

iota finds Cloth #5
I then thought perhaps we should have the sewer in one instance and the island in another.  So I turned it to Ahnonay 1 and while I was still on the island, iota pulled the door handle.  Again it made the loud noise that normally one hears upon linking out.  So then I decided that what we should do was not link out with the Ahnonay book, but go back to Relto and link back that way, but this did not do what I was expecting.  So now we remain in Ahnonay 2, scratching our heads.
iota wearing "real time" clothes (she was wearing a yellow shirt in reality haha!)
In an effort to try to figure things out, I got my own Ahnonay situated so that I have all 6 Cloths and both Relto Pages, leaving me in the same stage as iota (though she doesn't have that second Relto Page yet).  This didn't really help me at all, but I've got this issue simmering on the back burner at the moment, along with the mole poblano it took me 5 hours to make.
iota enters Ahnonay Cathedral
While we wonder away at that, in other news, it will be my birthday this coming Saturday.  Happy Birthday, me!  My last year of my 20s.  Thank God!  Let me out of this decade!  I can't understand why anyone would want to cling on to their 20s -- I'm so over the supposed "finding yourself" phase.  I've got to work on deciding where I will vacation for my 30th.  I am sticking to doing something within the States, since I believe it is important to travel your own country.  Hawaii, maybe.  Not for the beach, I'm not a beach person, but for hikes in the tropics and across volcanic ground.  Originally I had planned to go to Kenya, but that's simply not going to be feasible.  Though I do have that trip planned already for when I DO go.

This birthday, though, I am going to have a pleasant little me day.  Going to a movie with some popcorn and cherry Coke (my favorite pop!), getting some sushi and a little cake and some ice cream.  I had gotten myself an awesome birthday gift, too.  Check it out: is this not brilliant?

Ciao for the now!