It was old. Far older than they had first thought. Not thousands, but millions of years old.

It was this part that Anna had taken a little while to grasp. The Ages to which they linked were not made by them, they already existed, for the making of worlds was a process that took not months but long millennia. Aitrus, trying to make things absolutely clear to her, had summed it up thus:

“These Ages are worlds that do exist, or have existed, or shall. Providing the description fits, there is no limitation of time or space. The link is made regardless.”

And so, too, this world of theirs, their Age, which they had called Gemedet, after the game. It, too, existed, or had existed, or would. But where it was or when they did not know.

Not that it mattered most of the time, but on occasion she did wonder just where they were in the night sky, and when—whether at the beginning of the universe or somewhere near the end of that vast process.

The very thought of it humbled her, made her understand why her father had believed in a Maker who had fashioned it all. Having “written,” having seen the great skill and subtlety involved merely in creating a link to these worlds, she now found herself in awe of the infinite care that had gone into the making of the originals to which their templates linked.

Personally, she could not believe that blind process had made it all. It was, for her, quite inconceivable, bearing in mind the complexity and variety of life. Yet in this, if nothing else, Aitrus differed from her. His was, or so he claimed, a more rational approach, more scientific—as if understanding the product of such processes were a key to understanding the why of them existing in the first place.

Rand Miller with David Wingrove. Myst: The Book of Ti’ana. 1997, Corgi, London. Pages 275–276.

Copyright © 1996 Cyan, Inc.