The cavern was roughly circular in shape. The two warriors stood on a wide ledge that extended around the cavern’s circumference. In the center of the cavern was a wide mound with a central apex higher than the ledge, although the initial drop-off from the ledge was so steep that the floor at the edges of the cavern was lost in shadow.
Every inch of the cavern - floor, ceiling, walls, mound - was composed of clear crystal nodes. They were faceted and irregularly shaped, and most were of a size that could be held and carried in two hands. Each node was as clear as glass, illuminated by its own contents such that the edges of the node were visible in a lucent cobalt hue - a room built of blue wireframe polygons. Each edge looked sharp enough to cut a snowflake in half, and each node in the floor exposed many of those edges unevenly. But the monk walked the surface without even looking down at it, almost casually, bare feet always finding a flat plane to stand on.
“The Garden of Memory,” breathed Base. “The villagers cannot enter this place. We are close now.”
“This place... “ The nodes behaved strangely in One’s compound vision. There was a glow to each one, but the glow seemed always to amplify in the direction of his focus, so that a luminous will-o’-the-wisp was hovering before him no matter which direction he faced. He placed one appendage on a single node, and the glow within it resolved into an image. In it was a young woman who looked like Elan - but not the one he remembered. She was a human woman, devoid of the gruesome machinery that kept his Queen alive. She was walking unevenly through a grassy plain that looked exactly like the one they had left behind on the surface.
“Do you recognize it?” asked Base.
“It reminds me of the Lattice,” said One.
“It is. From this context, it is the Lattice of a single mind - a memory matrix,” replied the monk.
“And each of these is a memory?”
“Yes, my friend. You are beginning to achieve understanding.”
The cavern trembled very slightly.