It was Serene, but not Serene.
I stood there, I don't know how long. Numb, but not from the cold. Numb with shock, anger, and strangely wonder all at the same time.
The path was made of different stone. There were more trees. Even the snow looked different to my eyes.
Finally I slowly turned around to the Nexus book stand. It was still there, and even looked the same. An Age Anchor? I'd never thought about it. But Anchor or not, the linking book ot the Nexus was gone.
I moved slowly down the path, an saw a temple. There was red light coming from it. I stopped again.
I knew that design. I'd seen it in pictures. It was from some of the places Quinn had been.
Quinn. My hands curled into fists on their own. How could he do this? How could he just disregard every thing I'd said about Descriptive Books?
I went no further, but quickly linked back to my Relto. My feet went out from under me and I sat down hard on the ground. I began to shake with rage. The temper I'd gotten from my mother, that ugly beast that I always keep chained up and caged. It raged against the bars of it's cage. Howling to get out. It would not stay locked up.
So be it. I was alone. I let it out.
Sometime later, I came to my senses, laying on my side, breathing hard and feeling exhausted. My vision was blurry from tears.
I quickly sat up and wiped them from my eyes.
The beast was back in it's cage. Locked up where it would stay. Still seething, but under control now.
I got on my feet and walked to my Relto hut.
It was time to confront Quinn.
I found Quinn in Neolbah. He was in Dot's office, with Dot. I could see the concern on her face, yet Quinn's expression was one of confusion.
I began to speak, addressing Quinn. I kept my voice low, steady but ice cold.
I dressed Quinn down. Describing how irresponsible his actions had been. How he'd had no right to tamper with an Age that was not of his creation. That never again would I trust him with anything so precious.
Quinn's eyes widened only briefly, but his expression quickly turned hard. Instead of regret, remorse, or guilt, he instead looked at me with his own anger, and what looked like disgust.
When I was done speaking, he simply linked out.
The office remained quiet for a few minutes, then Dot spoke.
"Andy. I know how angry you must be. Please realize that Quinn in many ways can be like a child. A child who has lost a whole world and saw a way to bring at least part of it back. Can you understand that?"
I looked over at Dot. "Yes I can understand it. You are right in that he's like a child. And like a child, who wishes so hard to bring something back, he had no thought of the fact he was going to cause the exact same loss on me. Maybe you can explain that to him some time. That while he may have brought something he lost back, he's inflicted the exact same loss that he suffered upon me."
I shook my head sadly. "Sorry Dot. I've got to be alone for a while."
And with that, I linked out. Maybe Deep Water could make me feel better.