At first I was just… really disoriented.
Where was I?
It… reminded me of… Prizmal for some reason…?
But- I couldn’t be there, right? They had True Killed me, so I wouldn’t have ended up there.
-They’d killed me.
I was supposed to be dead. But — I still had my physical body!
Then I remembered why I was supposed to be dead-
I looked around to try and find her; THAT’S when it started, I think. Although, granted, no memory crystals grow to help me remember what happens while I’m within the Crossroad itself.
But I know that, pretty quickly, I stopped looking for Angel.
I got distracted.
By my new reality.
I started getting these visions — flashes of lives I couldn’t have lived, in worlds that couldn’t exist. For a long time, I figured I was hallucinating. That, wherever I was, something was messing with my mind.
Gradually, I realized the truth. But I didn’t want to — couldn’t — believe it.
They weren’t visions. They were memories.
I knew this for certain when… Ah, I should backtrack.
Every time I had one of these visions, a plant would grow. The longer the vision, the taller the plant-…
No, no… I need to backtrack further… I should describe what the place looked like:
It was like a garden, except it only had one plant.
At least, for those first few seconds. Before I started having “visions.”
It resembled an empty plot of land from Illunira. So closely, in fact, that I thought I was still in Illunira!
If I’d cared to look closer, I’d have noticed how there wasn’t a horizon or sky — how everything seemed to… fade– after a short distance. The only other thing there (aside from the plant and the ground) was some lava flowing down a small incline — with no volcano to supply it in sight.
And that one, solitary plant. One, what I’d later dub, “memory crystal.”
But the First Crystal is different from the ones that came after it. Which is how I can always find it, no matter how many more grow: It’s grafted onto another plant. One that didn’t originate from Illunira.
(To describe it, I guess it kind of looks like… a mushroom? Like a fuzzy mushroom, but made out of… a bunch of tiny ribbons? … That’s the best I can do.)
I realized my visions were actually memories when I touched one of these crystals. While touching it, all the details of the “vision” came into clear focus.
As a test, I touched more. And the same thing happened.
Then I touched the First Crystal.
And I recieved Mentor’s messages.
That bit of foreign plant was, apparently, how Mentor’s memories had been stored while they were the Keeper.
They had known their old memories wouldn’t be accessible for me (if they even still exist at all), but that the ones they made in Illunira before they died would be. So they’d gone over their advice to me countless times, imprinting them in that bit of stored memory with remarkable clarity. (Repetition will do that.)
All so I could know what was happening to me.
Well… so I wouldn’t have to figure it out on my own, anyway…
The story Mentor had told me. About the Crossroad of Infinity and its Keeper? … Was true.
After touching the First Crystal, I finally allowed myself to study my surroundings. I’d been subconsciously avoiding it, too scared of the looming Unknown.
Now that I wasn’t panicking, I could see the place for what it was. The illusion of Illunira, of familiarity, faded away.
Actually, that’s only half-true.
They were still there, if I looked.
Still are if I look.
Although, it’s less that they exist, but more like they are how my mind chooses to perceive the Crossroad.
Infinity is incompatible. At least, with my physical body and mind. So the plants, ground, and lava are a substitute for it. And, after I’d acclimated for a while, so was the sky.
Or, rather, Prizmal.
The reason the Crossroad had reminded me of it was because, in many ways, it IS Prizmal. Just deeper into it than I could ever have imagined! It’s truly impossible to describe.
How does one describe Infinity? That’s a puzzle I’ve been trying to solve for ages.
A single point within the Crossroad is both infinitesimally small and infinitely large.
Some points and paths I could see — or taste, hear, smell, feel… Process.
But others I’ll never be able to recognize. Let alone navigate.
They’re beyond my abilities.
The sensation of all those paths and worlds, dimensions and timelines… Physics that are eerily familiar, or ones that are so alien as to be beyond comprehension, or are so absurd that they make me laugh or shudder in terror just knowing THEY EXIST somewhere.
That sensation is completely intangible.
The best way I can describe it is: I was in the center of the biggest prism in existence!!!
Although, it is more… ambiguous in shape than a prism from this world, haha!
All those places reaching out, connecting to each other, leading to one another…? The way they fade into each other, the same and yet remarkably distinct?
It’s like a never ending rainbow of infinite colors — and the Crossroad is the point where all those colors meet!
And that fracturing, refracting effect. Heh.
-Ah! Part of it. That’s how it appears — and why I named it that in this world!
What “Prizmal” is — is the “Great Energy Dimension.”
Every dimension, every world — err, every one that I can access, anyway — has a “prizmal” element. Sometimes it will be contained within the same dimension, and sometimes it will be in a parallel one. Sometimes it’ll even be something between the two!
And if it’s a parallel dimension, quite often it gets called a “spirit world” or “afterlife” of some kind by the people who live in its material counterpart.
And that makes sense, since ALL prizmal dimensions are PART OF PRIZMAL! It’s through Prizmal that dimensional travel is possible! And it’s through this overarching connection to Prizmal that different dimensions gain knowledge of each other!
Stories, thoughts, feelings, spirit — information — can travel so easily through prizmal energy that, with no effort at all, people can tap into it through almost any dimensional barrier!
So is it any wonder that, when I reach out — with my prizmal body. With my spirit — I can sense Infinity more clearly? It’s almost as though it’s imposed on top of those perceived physical surroundings — like a hologram.
And, while in this state of perception, the memory crystals connect to points within Infinity, marking where I have been.
This is extremely useful for navigation!
But when I first figured that out-
– I was devastated.
Because Mentor was right. I couldn’t go back to anywhere I’d been.
Least of all to Illunira.
These points are like magnets. They repel me. The closer I try to get to them, the closer a destination is to them, the harder it becomes to reach.
At first it was hard to navigate even a tiny bit. It was so hard that my attempts had barely any effect on where I ended up. I’d try to reach for a world with similar physics, and end up in a set of physics I’d never even thought possible. I’d reach for a specific person, but they wouldn’t be in the world I ended up in.
I tried again and again: reaching in, living a new life, returning with only the summary of my memories (a small consequence, it seemed at the time), reaching again…
So many lives and memories, most going ignored.
Because, to give a comparison (although the time isn’t exact): One year to the “me” inside a world — was like only a second to the real “me” inside the Crossroad.
To live one hundred and twenty years in this world-
-would be like being forced to remember every second of that life in the span of only two MINUTES back in the Crossroad.
If, say, my memories of a life in one dimension were a file, then I could only “unzip” them by touching a memory crystal. So, no matter how devastating or incredible they might have been, those failed navigations barely even felt real. That’s why, at first, I didn’t think they were.
Eventually I figured it out: I couldn’t just blindly aim into infinity. I had to start somewhere and… well, as best I can explain it, “move sideways.” Not that there were any actual directions, but-
-… Let’s see…
It’s like… trying to find a specific object inside a pitch-black, silent, unfamiliar room.
Without anything or anyone to help you.
Your chances of succeeding are much better if you work your way through by touching the furniture, other objects, walls…
The memory crystals are like my furniture and walls. They’re where I’ve been. By “moving sideways” from them in the “direction” of the traits I want for my next world, I can navigate!
… Kind of.
It’s an imperfect process.