The easiest way to catch up on past installments of this serial is here on Messages from Mâvarin. Synopses to Parts One through Six can be found at the top of Part Seven. Synopses to Parts Eight through Thirteen can be found at the top of Part Fourteen. Synopses to Parts Fourteen through Eighteen are at the top of Part Nineteen. Synopses to Parts Nineteen through Twenty-Five can be found at the top of Part Twenty-Six. The installments themselves can be read in order on Blogspot using the sidebar.
Part Twenty-Six: Cathma and Cathy wonder why they haven't lost consciousness with everyone else.
Part Twenty-Seven: Cathy and Cathma belatedly collapse and faint, much as the others did. They find themselves in a place without physical bodies, surrounded by a thousand versions of themselves. The only person present who doesn't have their face is Joshua Wander.
Part Twenty-Eight: Cathma is pretty sure they're in something called the subjective plane. Joshua Wander is pretty sure he's meant to be their guide. The other versions of Cathy and Cathma disappear, leaving just the two of them to work out the answer to Josh's question: which one of them will be the one to return home?
Part Twenty-Nine: Joshua Wander explains that there is an imbalance in magic between the worlds, which can only be solved by someone relocating to the other person's world - permanently. However, the explanation makes no sense, and Cathy doesn't believe it.
Part Thirty: Who Are You?
“Well, I reject the whole premise,” said Cathy. “The fate of two worlds can’t possibly depend on whether or not I relocate to Mâvarin. For all I know, I may just be dreaming. Or you could just be lying.”
“Besides, it’s generally agreed that two versions of the same person shouldn’t spend too much time together,” Cathma said. “Who was the other mage who told you all this?”
“I didn’t catch his name,” said Joshua Wander. “But he seemed to know what he was talking about.”
“Did Li know him?” Cathma asked.
Josh shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
“Well, I’m not going to trust some stranger to tell me what to do with the rest of my life,” Cathy said.
“What is your alternative?” Josh asked. “How do you expect to get out of here, without doing what you’ve been brought here to do?”
The man had a point. It was all very well to stand firm and refuse to be pushed around by, well, whoever or whatever was trying to do this to her. It was quite another to actually get home.
“I’m going to sit here and wait until the scenery changes,” Cathy said.
“Aren’t you being a little selfish?” Cathma asked. “You may be trapping me in here with you, possibly forever.”
“I don’t care. That explanation makes no sense, and I refuse to be persuaded by it.”
“I guess that’s it, then,” said Cathma. “Sorry, Josh. If you can get us out of here, you should, because there’s nothing more to be accomplished in this non-place.”
“You people are so stubborn!” said Josh disgustedly. “Aren’t there any worlds in which you do as you’re told?”
“What are you talking about?” Cathma asked. Then her eyes narrowed, and she stared at Joshua Wander—if it was Joshua Wander. There was a look of malice in his eyes that did not go with the easygoing itinerant mage Cathy had met earlier in the day. “Who are you, really?” Cathma asked.
“Why, I’m your oldest enemy, my dear,” said the man. The figure of Joshua Wander faded away. Another man took his place, an elderly, white-haired man with piercing blue eyes.
“Imuselti. I should have guessed it was you,” said Cathma.
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