“I’m fine. It was only rain.”

Aitrus stood there a moment, hesistant, not sure just what to say, then: “Would you like a game of Gemedet?

“All right.”

He grinned, then nodded and turned away, returning to the tent to bring the grid. Smiling, Anna stood, then went across to clear a space on the table.

Gemedet, or six-in-a-line, was the most popular of D’ni games. She had seen a close variant of the game in Tadjinar, played by the Chinese merchants, but the D’ni version was played not on a two-dimensional board but on a complex three-dimensional grid, nine squares to a side.

It was, she thought, the perfect game for a race embedded in the rock, whose thinking was not lateral but spatial.

Aitrus returned a moment later, setting the grid down on the table. It was a beautiful thing, of hand-carved lilac jade, as delicate-looking as a honeycomb yet strong. Strong enough to have survived a thousand games without a single chip or blemish.

The base of the grid was a polished hemisphere of topaz on which the grid revolved smoothly. Long, silver tweezers, called re’dantee, were used to slip the playing pieces into place, while the pieces themselves were simple polished ovoids of green tourmaline and dark red almandine.

Both the re’dantee and the “stones” were kept in a velvet-lined box, which Aitrus now opened, placing it on the table beside the grid, so that both of them could easily reach it.

Anna smiled. She had fallen in love with the set at first sight.

Rand Miller mit David Wingrove. Myst: The Book of Ti’ana. 1997, Corgi, London. Seiten 271–272.

Copyright © 1996 Cyan, Inc.