Part 6: The Disturbance of the Pattern

"Hey! What'd you do that for!?"
- Ranma Saotome


Lorius aided me with the contact, which was unnecessary, and we got through to Brandeigh almost instantaneously.
Brandeigh was in Rebma, within a corridor of some sort holding Percy's hand. I recognized some of the others as well: Larissa, Rylan, Tina, Aunt Llewella, and Queen Moire. There was also a strange man with a golden aura about him............
**Sister! Braud!** my sister exclaimed psychically. **What may I do.....** She stopped then, and peered around us, then sighed. **We're too late. Triton has stolen the Sapphire of Justice from his mother, walked the Pattern here and disappeared with it. I fear he went to the Door People. Did mother reach Random? We need to know if he and the Jewel are safe.**
Lovely, just lovely.
I cursed softly in my native tongue, frustrated. I made a mental note to tell Triton what an imbecile he was next time I saw him.
**I do not know about Random,** I glanced towards Lorius, wondering whether he knew anything I did not, **but Mother is busy right now calling Uncle Bleys. We sensed the disturbance on the Primal Pattern and realized that someone was walking one of the other Patterns.** I paused then, hesitant to know the answer to my unspoken question. Finally, **Any idea how much damage was caused?**
**No damage to the Pattern,** Brandeigh replied thoughtfully. **You sensed?** She smiled slightly. **You most likely sensed Triton then. He just finished not more than a few minuets ago.**
She frowned and took a deep breath. **Let mother and everyone else know this: Triton stole the Sapphire of Justice, Rebma's Jewel. Ard-rian - Queen Morie has stripped Triton of his title, disowned him, and declared him a fugitive, traitor, and an enemy of the Crown. Anyone harboring or aiding him will also be declared an enemy of Rebma.**
I frowned. That seemed a bit harsh. Perhaps there was more to the story than Brandeigh was telling, or perhaps there was more and she didn't know. Perhaps I am too suspicious and cynical. Whatever the case may be, Brandeigh must have sensed my thoughts across the contact, for she continued with, **I cannot blame her. My first thought apon hearing Tina telling me what Triton had done was 'Ach! No! Not again! Not another Brand.......**
True, he had performed a potentially dangerous, not to mention traitorous, act, but still, I wouldn't put him in Brand's league - at least not yet.
Brandeigh shook her head sadly. **Please tell them. Percy and I will be seeing Corwin shortly it seems. He wanted to talk to Percy and myself about something. I'll tell him there.**
She stopped and looked at the two of us. **Anything else, beloved siblings?**
"Yeah," Lorius said suddenly. "Who is that guy there trying to put General Electric out of business?"
Brandeigh turned slightly, giving us a better view of the man with the golden aura.
**You mean Goldenboy? That, I dinna know, braud,** she replied.
Goldenboy? Silently, I prayed that it was simply what Brandeigh was calling him, and not his real name. Who would inflict a child with such an atrocious name? Then again, he may have chosen it himself, which would prove that he was self-centered. Goldenboy, indeed. That was the name of a corn and oat cereal where I grew up.
**He seems almost Sidhe-like, though I've never seen one like him before. There are other shadows with Shide in them, though. He could be from one o' them........** She stopped suddenly and looked at Lorius. **Why do you ask? Do you sense something about him?** A sudden impish grin formed on her face. **Or are you worried that Ard-rian Moire's going to start trying to fix Goldenboy up with the Rebman lasses shes been trying to fix you up with?** I smiled. **Hmm...?**
To my surprise, Lorius smiled. "And you too, sister, and don't try and deny you are not one of her pawns in trying to do so. No, sis, I sense something very odd about that guy, whoever he is. Be careful.....he is more than he appears. That much I can sense even through a trump call."
**I deny nothing.** She smiled back at Lorius. **Neither do I confirm anything.**
**I'm always careful. Pardon, he's saying something.** Brandeigh turned towards "Goldenboy", allowing us to eavesdrop across the contact.
The strange man exhaled a cloud of bubbles, then bowed to both Queen Morie and Aunt Llewella.
"Forgive me, Queen Moire, and you as well Princess Llewella," he said. "Had I known the circumstances, even in this paramount situation I would have used more discretion before intruding upon you. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Jayson."
How fortunate for him; Jayson is so much more appealing than "Goldenboy".
"My title is of little consequence here," Jayson continued, "but I am the Crown Prince of a former Golden Circle Shadow called Corilaine. I am part of the Amber family bloodline, my lineage through Princess Llewella's half-sister, the Princess Sand."
My, my, Aunt Sand. She's been gone for a long while.
**Best let mother know of this, Lorius, Shannon. She'll be interested to learn of this.** Brandeigh added, gazing at the stranger. "Today, Corilaine has returned to play a more active role in the Golden Circle, and hopes to restore it's status. I am currently serving as Ambassador to both King Random, and to my uncle, Lord Corwin, who is with us through trump contact. That is of course not at all why I am here, though later under more proper circumstances, I would like to offer myself to your great Court as a liaison. I had even prepared a trump for you."
A trump as well. No wonder Lorius sensed something.
**Yep,** Brandeigh sent, **Mother will be wantin' to know about this.**
"While the timing is poor, I would also like to extend my Mother's special hello to her favorite of sisters. I am sure that she will be in personal communication with you soon, even in our self imposed exile your name has always been spoken with fondness."
Llewella smiled. "Thank you, Prince Jayson. Tell me, does she still breed her cats?"
Jayson continued to be politic, bowing and complimenting everyone in sight.
Suddenly Percy was aglow with a soft light.
**Braud? Sis?** Brandeigh asked. **D'ya know what that glow is?** I shook my head and Lorius ignored her question.
"You sir," Jayson said, coming along side Percy, "and your companion who could be none other than save the Lady Brandeigh, need no introduction to me. Many a conversation I have regarding you two, and I am becoming quite the admirer of the Lady's skill with the brush. I can't wait to hear your renowned musical ability."
**Ach... must be Corwin talkin' about me.** Brandeigh commented. Then, **Percy doesn't seem to know him either.**
Brandeigh managed a small bow, still holding Percy's hand. "My pleasure to meet you, cousin. May I ask where you've seen my work?" She then smiled and added, "I would be honored to play a tune or three for you and your mother sometime."
Finally, Jayson turned towards Morie and Llewella once more. "Now that the formalities are concluded, the reason I have so rudely interrupted is a matter of grave urgency. I picked up enough to understand that there is another crisis here, and I wouldn't presume to banter over which is greater, especially where Lord Corwin's son is concerned. However, I can say that what brings me here has immediate repercussions to all of Amber, and may be more immediate than say something pertaining to our most unusual dreams; it's also personal and life and death to Percy and Brandeigh. It's something that can be shared, but absolutely not in the presence of an open Trump Contact, and propriety dictates that some be told before others, as part of it is personal."
I smiled faintly. Politic, yet it allowed those of us who were a part of the "open trump contact" to know that he had the power to sense such things. Not all trump artists can. My smile increased slightly. Of all the relatives to be revealing powers in front of, us red heads are probably the last you would want to know. Truth of the matter is, we are a cold and calculating bunch when it suits our purpose.
"So Cousin Percy," continued Jayson with a flourish, "on behalf of your Uncle Corwin, and the King, and others, I ask that you at least join me now. Brandeigh, you too, have specifically been named and called for, as this pertains to you as well. If you force me, I will 'just' tell you, though I think it would make us all very sad to have to do it that way. This is a two faced matter, very deadly news, but also the best gift I could ever give you my Cousins. Please, take a gamble, and come with me, don't let mere words steal the moment."
The boy was good with words, I'll give him that. Obviously raised in court.
**I'm going if Percy goes,** Brandeigh said. **I'll stay in touch as best I can when we go. Wish he give us an idea of what he's talking about.**
My sister blinked and looked at Percy for a long moment, before nodding her assent. "I go where Percy goes"
Jayson suddenly broke in with the news that *we* were invited as well, and everyone looked towards Brandeigh.
**Ach! What are they looking at me for?** she gave a mock sigh and bowed to Morie and Llewella. "If we may be excused, your majesty, we will go with cousin Jayson. I will be happy to act as a messenger between thee and Prince Corwin concerning the matter of his son. Assuming Percy here wants to go that is."
**Have fun off at Corwin's Pattern,** I sent. **You will have to tell me all about the experience later.** I did my best to sound more interested than I was; the events which were about to transpire at Corwin's Pattern were not the only things of interest to me. I had visited the place often before Pattern Ghosts started appearing, and while there was much to be studied, I knew enough about his Pattern avoid the trivial details of it's normal existence.
Carefully, I stepped away from the contact. "I would like the trump back," I said to Lorius, then walked towards Mother and Uncle Benedict.
I stepped beside Mom, who was in the middle of a trump call.
"Male, got a crossbow pointed at Krystin. Just at the edge of the tree line there." Uncle Benedict gave a barely audible nod towards the woods at the far end of the Primal Pattern. I could make out two figures in the distance, but not much else. Maybe he knew it was a man from the way he was standing, or perhaps Benedict had other means, known only to himself. Without another word, he passed me and calmly began to walk around the edge of the Primal Pattern, studying it as he went. Lorius gave me a knowing smile, then began to walk around the Primal Pattern in the opposite direction.
While it might endear me to Uncle Benedict or Krysta to go help, I figured they had all the aid they needed with Lorius assisting them. Besides, I did not care much for Krysta and I do not like risking my life for people that I find annoying and obnoxious.
Mother was still involved in the trump discussion, but I knew she was aware of all that had just transpired. I peered over her shoulder, not directly trying to involve myself in the call, but simply to see with whom she was speaking.
It was Uncle Bleys, who stood with what appeared to be Amber's Pattern at his back. The Pattern, however, was in a turmoil akin to that of the Primal Pattern via Mage Sight. Interesting.
In the background I could see Torireasa and Clarissa heading towards the Pattern's beginning.
Without meaning to I overheard my relatives conversation.
"We can see that something is on the Pattern. Toireasa intends to walk it and try to catch up to it," Uncle Bleys was saying. "Clarissa wanted to do it, but I think it would be a poor time for her first Patternwalk." All too true.
"It may not be on your Pattern, brother, or only on your Pattern," my Mother replied. "We saw there is agitation on this Pattern as well."
Carefully, I stepped away from the contact without adding anything. So, the Pattern in Amber was upset as well was it........
Briefly, I considered trumping to Rebma's Pattern and taking a look at it, but I assumed that it would be in the same shape as the others: writhing in agony and imposed chaos.
There was one other Pattern I wanted to look at............
Stepping away from my Mother, I removed my trump deck and located the card which depicted Corwin's Pattern.
A portion of the alien Pattern glowed on the left side of the card. To both the front and right there was open, flat land, with leaves scattered across the scene.
The contact was easy, and a sprinkling of green leaves told me that spring had come to Corwin's land. Some flowers had grown and begun to bloom, and off the right, almost out of sight, was the edge of what appeared to be a manor house.
I studied the edge of the card, the one where bits of Corwin's Pattern were visible, and looked for anything out of the ordinary. It seemed fine, and considered whether or not I should trump through at all. Brandeigh and the others were planning on going there for whatever reason, and I was not quite sure I wished to see them after I had refused their invitation.
Suddenly, a female voice flowed through the contact. "Hello Observer. It has been a long time since you have last visited me! I am pleased you have made a Trump to remember the experience." A pause, then, "Come through! The Creator's sister has just been freed! You must celebrate with them!"
The voice, I surmised, was either a very clever Pattern Ghost, or Corwin's Pattern it's self. I have been around Amber long enough to know that many magical items do posses speech; Why not Corwin's Pattern?
I paused for a heartbeat, considering what the consequences of my actions would be. Then, "If you insist."
I stepped through the contact, to discover what fate held for me. And, partly, to discover just what the voice meant when it said, "The Creators Sister".

Part 7! This Way!

Return to Shannon's page!