"We should go."
"Yes. Yes, at once," replied the monk. But he did not move. He stood there, regarding the memory that One had pointed out, wearing the intent air of a man lost in a desert who sees an oasis and knows that it must be a mirage but cannot look away.
One, not an adept in the art of conversation, turned instead to regard the garden once more. There was a shadowed aperture across the chamber - a passage.
"I thought I understood the nature of this place, after all these years," murmured the monk. "But if that was truly a memory belonging to an external identity -- no. No, it makes no sense. It is a creation, nothing more. One is an aspect of hers, nothing more. She envisioned him fully, including that memory, that point of origin. And yet -- yet. If it were possible..."
The array of memories hung before him, each one a portal to another timeline, the whole of them containing the reality of a mind which like any other mind was no unified entity, but a collage of experience ordered around a certain number of themes or patterns. Like any other mind, but distinct, an entity unto itself. Individual memories were a product of a person’s experience. They could not belong to more than one person. Could they?
The myrmidon returned his gaze to the monk thoughtfully. He approached, finally, and hunkered down before him, retrieving Freeman’s mote from his satchel with a delicate pinch of his mandibles. The mote rose out of his grasp and hovered before them in the air, pulsing light in gentle waves. Within its halo, the heart of the thing defied the eye. To look upon it was to become captured in a thought or reverie, which, when it had passed, inevitably revealed the eye’s gaze to have drifted away from or beyond the mote.
Where its light fell upon the garden’s memories, the flickering thoughtforms twitched and strove, bending towards the mote, drinking its influence, blooming within their crystal cages.
“Let us speak for a moment of physics,” said One.