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Anamnesis is the recollection of innate knowledge acquired before birth, the claim that learning consists of rediscovering knowledge from within. Socrates' theory of anamnesis suggests that the soul is immortal and repeatedly incarnated; knowledge is in the soul from eternity, but each time the soul is incarnated its knowledge is forgotten in the trauma of birth. 
What one perceives to be learning, then, is the recovery of what one has forgotten.


Adrian stood alongside his bed and when he looked upon the blankets he could almost see himself slumbering there, but that was another world. He looked upon himself, then, unsurprised to find his body beneath him. Every time he awoke in his home, he was in this form. When he awoke somewhere else it was within the shape of an entirely different creature. It seemed to be random how it happened.

He crossed to a window in order to peer upon the city of Moscow. As he focused through the buildings, across the river and over the cityscape, he beheld a sort of motion far on the horizon. He closed his eyes and the world shifted around him.

When next they opened, he was on the edge of a cliff. Pine trees poked up from the earth below like a spiky green carpet. A river wound its way through the valley, wide and flat in spots. Adrian was never an outdoorsman. This sort of view was unnatural for him, but for a moment, he pondered the beauty until the movement again snatched his attention, wandering beneath the canopy below.


Now beneath the trees just off the edge of the river, he stared at what had caught his attention all the way from the city, and he frowned. It was a wolf. Adrian’s eyes were wide as they stared into the yellow orbs looking back at him and in them, he saw memories. The side of a mountain. An axe dripping with blood. A feast table. Terrible lightning and endless howling.

“Lycāōn” he muttered with disdain and spit on the ground before the beast. It snarled in response, and he remembered that he tolerated the wolves. They operated among themselves; outsiders. He tolerated them because they were as much of this place as he was. All of them except this one: a rabid, monstrous creature. The first of its kind.

They circled one another, neither attacking, both wary. “Why did you summon me here?” he asked the elder wolf, but there was no response. The wolf began to back itself up, slinking into the darkness of the forest behind it until it was only a pair of yellow eyes and even those disappeared.

Adrian breathed a sigh of relief, and moved toward the water. On the rocky bank, he peered into the reflection of himself. His hair would be windswept but that there was no wind. His face was clean-shaven. His eyes cloaked with thought. Jaw firm. He wore simple clothes: slacks and a henley unbuttoned at the throat. He looked at himself as though he’d forgotten this was his form. He murmured and spoke into the bubbling water.


He blinked at the sound that rolled from his lips. It was Greek, and he knew the meaning of its translation but not the intention behind what he sought.

So he spoke again. “Show me Aletheia,” and a second time, he cocked his head with curiosity. Was he asking to be shown aletheia, truth, or perhaps, awareness… remembering? Or was he asking to be shown something by Aletheia?

He frowned and shook his head at the futility of the exercise. When he gave himself away to the pull of the dream, strange things found him, and this must be one such moment. Perhaps nothing could be stranger than the rabid wolf.. but perhaps not.
"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."
+ Adrian +

When she did not particularly wish to be disturbed, it was the bottom of the riverbed Nimeda dwelt. Few dreamers were so natural to this world that they understood how one could simply disregard the necessity for breathing. Or would even think to try. Cross-legged in the cold current and silt, Nimeda studied the open palm of her hand. The burned symbol there faded along with the warning. Hair tangled lethargically around her face, tickling a playful distraction she did not heed.

The pull was gentle, and easy to ignore had she been inclined. It reverberated with all the uncertainty of a mistake, which didn’t usually concern her; she went where she willed whether she was welcome or not. But Noctua’s sting had still not ceased pulling her into little shallows of melancholy, and she knew something of the caller in this dream. Enough to suspect she would be less disappointed if she remained alone at the bottom of the river.

Yet when the second call came, she did not ignore it. Curiosity or loneliness or ancient kinship. Nimeda didn’t question the motivation. She did not think she had ever seen the Watcher wear a normal face. If he did, he never came to the places Nimeda regularly dwelt, and she had long since stopped trying to win his attention when his presence was like itchy eyes all over the skin. A shift closed the distance, for she had been nowhere close, and she rose sleek as a seal to rest her arms on the bank and peer up from the water.

“No one has called me that for a long time,” she said conversationally, which happened to be true, though the thought popped and burst into nothing she could have explained in only the next moment.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Suddenly, a face pushed out from beneath the water. Adrian jumped back and such a string of curses erupted from his lips as had likely never been heard in this world. Once his face rearranged itself from fright, it settled in anger and twin furnaces of eyes stared back at those that erupted beneath his nose. He hadn’t actually expected someone to respond.

Once he had his wits about himself, he realized it was a mere girl. She was utterly unfamiliar to him and rather plain, or perhaps that was from the way her wet hair lay papered to her scalp, now that he looked at her. On one hand she seemed quite young, but on the other, her youth was the way one might describe a mountain range as young. It was rather disturbing.

Yet he did know her, or he knew the sense of her. He’d met her once, hadn’t he? In his other form. The memory was all blurred together, and the harder he concentrated on it, the more difficult it was to grasp.

“My name is Adrian.” He felt like he needed to tell her. Like it was important that they get that out of the way first, and he crossed his arms. He disliked this lack of understanding, all these pushes and pulls that the dream nudged and tugged. It made him desperate to wrench control back instead.

“The rabid one was here. Did you see it? No, I suppose you didn’t.” He frowned, though he had no need to check over his shoulder. Lycāōn was gone, and she lacked eyes that may see.

“But you heard me. Does that mean you have something to show me? If so, let’s get on with it.” By then the anger had dissipated to something approaching irritation. One brow lifted as he waited to be wow’d by this this remembering that he didn’t even know he wanted, but was willing to seek.
"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."
+ Adrian +

Though she hadn’t intended to scare him, amusement bubbled for his reaction. Curses erupted like colourful splashes of paint. Nimeda slid her palm beneath her chin to watch. Above, his eyes blazed anger in a way that reminded her of the Grimnir, and for what she imagined must be similar reasons. A small smile peeked, harmlessly mischievous. It served him right for ignoring her so long.

He offered a name, but he might as well have plucked it from the stars, for she understood him as something else – not in words, but in resonance. Adrian’s arms struck a defensive barrier far removed from the Dream Eater who made Mara quake. He gave so grudgingly! She wondered if it was fear, for he seemed very unsuited to the environment. Certainly he was uncomfortable.

She pushed away from the bank, arms aloft as the water tickled in ripples over skin and fanned her hair across the surface. Adrian asked questions and answered them in the same breath, which also reminded her of someone else. Since he did not pause she offered no insight. His supercilious manner tickled her, and she let him run his kingly course since she presumed it made him feel better.

“Of course I heard you,” she laughed. It wasn’t amusement at his expense; rather, she seemed confused at the notion she wouldn’t. Adrian’s brow rose in impatient demand, and Nimeda’s head tilted in kind. She found the schism in him a curious thing. The Watcher was like the very fabric of this world, intrinsic, but Adrian seemed disgruntled and lost in it. If he was seeking something, he only had to throw loose the desire and let the dream answer. It was a lesson she had tried to impart before, with little success. But she knew well how to direct those currents, for herself and for others.

“I can show you what you Need,” she agreed after a moment. She was still drifting, but paused now to lift a dripping hand and offer it palm up. Her gaze was guileless, but nonetheless there was something playful in the motion. “But first you’ll have to get a little wet.”
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
She floated like a child on a swim ring, only she did not carry on down the current. Arms crossed, he watched with a measure of concern that after springing straight out of the darkness she may opt to sink back into it. The hand she offered was met with a gaze of disgust.

“I hate that way; I would rather fly. No. You come to me.” His declaration set like concrete between them. He made not a single motion to suggest he was going to wade into the water like a fool. Not to mention it was a terribly uncomfortable way to shift. Float or fly; he preferred wings then to squeeze through the splits in the dream.

His stubbornness prevailed in the end. She relented and climbed from the water with no shortness of teasing glances on her way out. Yet despite the victory, they were still required to clasp hands, as if the joining of wills could not be accomplished while maintaining adequate personal space. Grumbling, Adrian accepted the touch. His hand swallowed hers, and while he did not grip tight, it wasn’t a pleasant union. The set of his jaw was firm, his eyes focused upon what he might see across the expanse of the dream realm until he felt something tug at his awareness. It required a release of the will to let himself go to it, and he only hoped the destination was worth the effort.

Truth. Awareness. Remembering.

Remember. He closed his eyes.

The shift was powerful.

Upon their arrival, he found they were in an arid landscape. A desert, it seemed. There was nothing upon the horizon in any direction but rocky mounds and dust. ”This? There is nothing here.” He frowned deeply, but only a moment too soon. For in his examination, he discovered that at their feet was a split in the earth barely five paces wide. He peered curiously into it, discovering that the split plunged hundreds of feet downward. So far in fact that shadows clung to the cliffs and light broke like beams to the bottom.

Then suddenly the ground broke way and they both fell into the slip of a canyon.
"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."
+ Adrian +

Nimeda could be mercilessly stubborn, but not when she wanted something. She climbed out the long way, dripping all over the grass. Adrian was indomitable, and though he talked about flying, he felt like gravity. Entering his orbit filled her with curious sensation, and she was surprised to realise the beating in her chest grew sharp with an edge of panic the closer she got. She knew little of fear; not the true kind. But beneath the murk of memory, deeper than the shallow waters that conflated permanence with trust, was something that felt like wrongness.

She had courted the invisible Watcher’s attention before, seeking comfort in whatever connection lay buried in her awareness of him, but it had always been in vain. He had never appeared or responded. Nimeda was nothing but an inconsequential spec of landscape to whatever purpose usually brought him roaming here, even when he interceded upon Mara’s prowling. Now that she beheld the full spectacle of his scowling attention, though, she wondered if it was wise for her to be here. Not because of his anger or disgust. But because of the way she could not discern if he was a sanctuary or a cage.

“So you may look down upon us all from above,” she said, and it was as much the truth as a tease. “Does it never get lonely up there? I see no wings today.”

She presented her hands like twin sacrifices to pride. Watched his hands swallow up her own.

Adrian resisted even then. Nimeda felt it in him like thick hewn stone, a fortress built only for one. There was a solid wall and no invitation inside, just impatience to weather what must be weathered. It was not even Noctua’s uncomfortable toleration of her touch, but something that made her feel like an object to be used and discarded.

Reaching him was like squeezing through the eye of a needle.

He said he preferred to fly, which was fortunate, since her method of travel was akin to plunging off a cliff. A riot of colour and sensation spun and danced as the dream undulated in a collision of nature around them, like the raging force of a current. If Adrian gave only so much as he considered he needed to, Nimeda gave everything in trust that it would be given back. The dream always had, even when the answers were not things she wanted to see.

When everything stilled, a rocky desert vista unfolded. The transition had left her dry as bone, hair a wild mass of curls about her round and curious face. Heat stung the bottom of her soles. She was reminded of the way Noctua had dried out the waterfall, but when Adrian’s hand immediately pulled free it was her own palm she studied. There were rusted streaks of paint or blood, yet when she wiggled her fingers it curled and fell in delicate red petals into the deep crack at their feet.

“Are you always so grumpy?” she asked. She crouched to run her fingers over the rough edge of the lip; had already sat and swung her legs over the edge when it consumed them whole into the shadows. It felt like a welcome, and she revelled in the plummet.

A twist saw them safely at the bottom, though she waited until the very last moment. When next she blinked, Nimeda sat cross-legged, chin tilted up to the narrow strip of sky high above. It wasn’t the first time the dream pulled her downwards, she realised. Dust coated her skin. Exhilaration flushed her cheeks. That felt like falling, not flying.” It sounded like an accusation, but she only laughed a little at the indignity Adrian had subjected them to. She did not look at him, suspecting he cared little about whether she was still here, and wondering if he was afraid or if he also felt that familiar pull towards what had once been belonging.

This was different from what she had shown Noctua. That had been something more ancient, and more tremulous, like offering out the lightest parts of her soul in the hope it would be cherished rather than crushed. In the mountains Nimeda knew a melancholic sense of peace. But the wonder of the temple had been something long past and not a destination. Here she could almost hear the whisper of a ghostly current stirring at her knees, tugging her onwards. Though there was no water, the winding canyon was not much different from a riverbed. “Rivers know no hurry. They reach their destination regardless.” She repeated the Grey Lady’s words to herself in a distracted murmur as she plucked at shadows and let her hazy memories crawl out in a slow rising tide. She expected to see the arboreal’s bloom, but it was a poppy nodding heavy on its stem that solidified in her grasp.

Darkness leaked out into the cramped space, hovering like a spectral vision as she contemplated the flower. Another world splashed briefly across their own before she stood. The light played strange, lengthening the majesty of wings from Adrian’s stiff shoulders for a moment, but it was the path ahead she looked. It narrowed considerably, and even as she moved past Adrian it squeezed them into proximity. She reached to tuck the poppy behind his ear on the urge of a whim, intending afterwards to lead the way.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
The rush of falling wasn’t particularly notable other than how long it continued. At the bottom, he came to his feet like a shadow pooling on the ground only to crane his neck back up to study the sickle of light leaking overhead. The canyon was narrow, lined with stripes of red and yellow that made him want to trail his fingers along the lumps and ridges. The ground was soft beneath their feet, coarse with pebbles rather than sand. As the girl whose real name he yet lacked alluded, it gave the sense of a dead river, and like a river, the canyon beckoned them traverse the path that unfurled so obviously ahead.

But it was tricky, and he grunted as he nearly slammed his forehead on a ridge of rock.

“That’s because it was falling, and I left my wings at home.” The former was sarcasm while the latter bit with the hint of amusement that played on the corners of his lips. 

He was quite taller between the two of them, and where the girl walked with barely a thought for the shape of their path, Adrian was forced to duck or turn sideways to squeeze through. He could have imagined himself smaller, he supposed, but he was more likely to exude the will that the canyon engorge itself instead yet he had the feeling that he should do neither. This was a journey, and he was going to explore it as one would wander any dream.

Even if it was leading somewhere.

Then the girl plucked something from the shadows that gave him pause. His gaze was fixed upon the petals nestled in her hand.

He was frowning in contemplation over its meaning when she reached for his face. “Don’t. What are you doing?” He grabbed at her wrist too late and immediately plucked the flower from the crook of his ear. He felt violated and thought to scold, but the poppy was too mesmerizing, and as he stared at the confiscated bloom cupped in his palm, he saw a staircase to no where. When the vision flashed and faded, he returned the flower to her. Dropping it completely felt wrong, but neither did he care to protect its meaning any longer.

As he offered to return it to her, he asked a terse question. “Aletheia? Is that what you want me to call you?” It wasn’t a friendly question, but not particularly aggressive. He was annoyed that he didn’t know her the way she seemed to know him.
"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."
+ Adrian +

Nimeda had a child’s enthusiasm for exploration, undimmed by her long and strange years. She touched everything they passed in absent greeting. The towering walls undulated like red and orange waves, and she followed their sinuous lines like the grooves were made for her fingers. A breeze occasionally followed them through, ruffling the skirt around her shins or tugging on her curls. It was her own doing, for it was often her way to invent such games and company from her environment. Sometimes the way ahead squeezed narrow, but a steadfast faith kept her moving fluidly. Nimeda didn’t believe in impossibility.

She laughed at the comment about wings, and glanced up at the narrow strip of sky following them like a pale blue ribbon above. “You should bring them next time. We will visit the stars.” Not that he needed them for that, but most dreamers found themselves beholden to the rules of their waking bodies, and Adrian did not seem the sort to enjoy instruction.

He stared at the poppy for a long time before he handed it back. The lines of his frown seemed as ancient as the surrounding rock, yet his irritation washed over her unheeded. She lit up radiantly, for no other reason than she enjoyed the rare novelty of gifts. Scent wafted as she plucked it back from his hand and twisted the stem between her fingers, stirring with it the idea of a pleasant memory. One that said home. “Suits me better,” she agreed with a grin, threading it into her hair.

“You can call me as you wish,” she added after a moment to consider it. There was a push and a pull to him she had never experienced with another. The resonance was as strong as with Mara, but whereas the other girl felt like the twin of a sister, Adrian felt like a puzzle that might bite in the solving. Or maybe it was just the way he said Aletheia that shivered her through with uncertainty. “That one feels like an old name, but I have many of those. Most here call me Nimeda. That’s the name Jon gave me, since I had none I remembered before it. But if you spoke to me, I would know it was you whatever name you used.”
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
He glared at the back of her head. Somehow, he knew that she would make a question as simple as ‘what is your name’ a long, drawn-out, painful answer. Adrian had zero interest in calling her whatever he wanted. He wanted to know her name and call her that. Which meant he was going to have to settle for Nimeda as a moniker. Even if it was bestowed upon her by some mysterious figure named ‘Jon’ that she described like he would immediately know them. “Hm,” he murmured in response with that same, persistent glare as he slid in beside her. The path had widened enough that they could walk side by side by then, though he kept an eye out for crags and overhangs, and he wondered where this was all leading. It was her second mention of familiarity between them that left him unamused, as it felt at equal odds disturbing and creepy. Friends, companions. Whatever it was, they were certainly not.

A fog billowed when the path opened to the mouth of a cave. A strange sort of chill wafted from it, but Adrian felt at peace with the mysterious déjà vu that enveloped him. As they stepped through the mist and into the shadow of the opening, the entrance revealed another world before their eyes. The soft, celestial glow of luminescent crystals adorned the walls, creating a mesmerizing ambiance that filled Adrian with a sense of tranquility and the strangeness of wonder. A subtle aroma of lavender and chamomile infused the air, its gentle fragrance enticing him onward. It was as though the very essence of the cave conspired to lull him into a state of deep relaxation, and if he wasn’t so calm, he would have been annoyed by the invasion.

Deeper into the cave, a surreal sight waited. A pool of black water reflected a kaleidoscope of images: dreams and fantasies of the sleeping. As Adrian gazed into the depths of the pool, he felt an inexplicable connection to the minds of countless others, as though if he could peer deeply enough, he would glimpse the very essence of their subconscious minds.

Suddenly, he fell into the pool, though he had the awareness of the blackness rushing up around him instead. From there, the infinite emptiness of the star gap yawned.

He would have blinked if he had eyes to temper, instead, he drew upon his every sense and reached out his awareness. Nimeda? Are you still there?
"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."
+ Adrian +

Nimeda wondered if Adrian actually realised there were other expressions to choose from. She had the insatiable desire to tickle the little furrow between his brows, but given his poor reaction to the poppy behind his ear he was unlikely to appreciate the joke, so she only laughed to herself. It came out an amused hum amidst the continued whimsy of her exploration. He didn’t seem chatty, and she was content in his brooding silence. Or at least it was preferable to being completely alone.

The shroud of fog around the mouth of the cave was met with abundant curiosity. It tickled across her skin like mischievous fingers, and she wandered naturally away to where the crystals lined the walls inside. Calm filled up her lungs as she touched the cool glassy surface, and she felt the stirrings of something old and mostly unremembered. When she looked closer, the distorted reflection within was not her own, though its eyes blinked when she blinked, and its expression mirrored her own surprise for what it beheld.

She might have lingered longer, but Adrian did not seem inclined to wait. Clearly it was not the journey that mattered here, but the destination. Beyond propelling them along the flows of Need, by now Nimeda remained only out of interest for the unusual currents of her own indecision. As Adrian paused above a basin of inky black, she stared at him in perplexity. It did not surprise her he imagined it as a vessel of water – which on this occasion was none of her own doing, though it was not the first time she had encountered strange pools in dark caves. She didn’t warn him either, just watched as the world tilted, then followed with a thought.

Hm, she responded in the blackness. She had meant to sound perturbed, but it devolved into amusement for her own impression. I guess you didn’t need the wings. Most do not know how to come here.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |

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