Ruminations from the Infirmary

	They're still talking. All of them.  Jabber, jabber, but at least 
I can't hear it.  Archimedes' gave me some serious earplugs, I guess...  
I'm tired.  My head doesn't hurt, Gerard's drugs are too good, but my 
head feels whacked, unbalanced...  everything's slightly blurry.  Why 
won't they let me go to sleep?
	I don't know...
	Look at them.  Sandr is talking, animated even...  It's about 
Pattern.  I should be interested.  I should care.  I can't though.  
Pattern is the point of order and the reason for all our existence, but 
really, what does any of it matter if my sword is tied in a bow knot?  

	They don't know.  None of them know.

	My sword.  Sequence...  It was a sword made for legend.  Maybe I can 
still find it.  Maybe I can reforge it.  Maybe.  I don't think so, though.  
Archimedes took my  hand and tried to tell me about it before Ulysses 
blabbed...  I don't think he would do that if there was much hope.  I 
don't think I can tell anyone how numb I am...

	We were supposed to find Benedict...  I guess he can take care of
himself, since Random told us to wait.  A year training with him.  It wasn't 
enough.... My reflexes were too slow.  The blows came before I could do 
anything.  And Sequence paid for it.

	Sandr.  I can't look at him any more.  It's unbearable.  Cameron 
says he's some sort of Messiah to Chaos, and that what the attacks are 
about.  Give him to Chaos then.  Or kill him.  Why are we keeping him?  
Neurotic little boy...  Too smart for his own good, causing problems for 
us all...  except I don't feel that way.   I feel just an immense 
sadness...  I'd do anything for him, if he got my sword back for me.  I'd 
do anything for anybody.  I'd become the slave of Chaos, I'd act the 
perfect daughter for Fiona...  Sequence was my right arm.  I'm
missing an essential piece now.
	Okay, look away from Sandr.  His is not the happiest face.  Look 
away.  Look to Corwin.  Corwin...  Poor Corwin.  Sad Amberite laying 
flowers on Deirdre's grave.  I know, Corwin.  When I can cry, I'll cry 
for you too.
	And for you, Adrian...  We learned your name from Jubal's spell 
today.  Your son...  Jubal.  He saw the Unicorn too...  I saw a wonder 
today, I think...  I'm sure the blow came afterwards.  No, I can't look 
at Jubal.  There's too much of stone there.  And silence.  Stone and 
silence, not very comforting...  Not very comfortable.  More to him than 
I know.  More than I care to know...  Don't look at my mother, Jubal.  
Don't think of her.  She's not a woman.  She's a mind. You don't want 
that in your bed.   It's quite possible that's why I have no father.  
Just save yourself the pain and the trouble.  Find a nice shadow.
Something unreal if you need the sex.  And don't be like me, and put too much
importance on those shadows...  
	 Do you know how many people I saw die today? My comrades for the 
morning, though I knew none of them, I felt too much for them.  Killing 
zombies was the least I could do for them...  Poor Sequence...  the last 
battle.  Fiona came into the middle of it and began blasting the 
zombies.  Interrupted because the Trumps weren't working.  Gave me an 
annoyed look when I protested that it wasn't like I could do anything 
about it.  Took me back to Amber and the throne room, while I was covered 
in paint and gore and sweat.  They stared at me.  At least I refrained 
from collecting heads...  the zombie heads did nothing for me.  They were 
not noble enemies.  Not at all.  
	Archimedes was kind. Didn't look at me like I was too much of a 
freak.  Look at him now.  Healthy.  Wonder what happened, he couldn't get 
up the stairs alone, yesterday.  I don't know....  legendary endurance?  
I guess so...  to go with the legendary swordsman.  No Benedict, but 
someone to emulate...  Pity about the ring.  He's not wearing it, though, 
is he.  Speculation?  No.  Speculation is bad.  He took my hand when he 
tried to break the news about my sword.  I don't understand anything, 
any more, I guess, but maybe he doesn't have attacks of conscience about 
that sort of thing.  He gave me damp towels to clean the paint and grime 
with too...  
	It hurts to look at him too, knowing about that ring.  Look at 
Uncle King.  Smile at him, if he meets my eye.  Feeble smile.  Better to 
look at him than Bleys.  Bleys fenced against Sequence more than anyone, 
indulged me quite often, even when we were drunk... Oh, it hurts 
inside...  I can't look at any of them.  There's too much to it all...  
Turn my head again.  Look at... Ulysses.  I wonder about him 
sometimes...  There've been rumors about his proclivities.  He does make 
comments.  Nice to be considered a woman, sometimes, and not just a 
bubblehead, not just a fellow scientist, not just an annoyance.  But not 
that nice.  If it weren't for my face, there'd be nothing in those eyes 
for me.  So, that hurts, too.  
	Wonder how long it will take for me to be well enough to go with 
them after Benedict.  Wonder what Random is thinking in sending us out 
together.   Wonder why I have to go along...  I'm useless without a 
sword. Think about...  Elizabeth.  My sister.  Dead.  I miss her.  It 
hurts something less than Sequence now, though.  Less immediate.  It's 
been fourteen years for me, no matter how the time stream goes in Amber.  
And about fourteen minutes since I heard about Sequence.  Damn stupid 
sword.  Should have run from Dworkin.  It wasn't that stupid.  Granted it 
wasn't Song, or Curetana...  Song could sing (appropriately enough), but 
didn't have a combat reflex in his body.  Curetana... now she's weird.  
Too smart by half.  Combat master.  Just unable to do more than squirm.  She 
couldn't save Rosemary because of that.  I wonder if she mourned...  Of 
the three swords forged by the Wizard Calamus, none was complete, and two 
are dead...  Calamus.  Everyone should kill their first lover.  Good 
train of thought, but that I killed him with Sequence, and that brings up 
the pain again.
	 Look around some more.  Ceiling tiles are nice. Boring, though, 
and if no one stays to entertain me through the night, I'll be spending 
plenty of time with them.  Look at them again.  Mouths continue to move.  
Sandr looks small again.  It must be hard to be that brilliant in such 
abstract things.  No one can really understand what you're saying, what 
you're feeling. Push up my sleeve.  Faint outlines of blue snakes on 
them.  Funny. Foil is much closer to Yg than here, I wonder if that's why 
we wore snakes.  Some of us wore only the snakes.  I only fought naked 
once...  Covered in woad, of course, and had to write a spell to get it 
off.  Blue for a week, til I figured it out...  Jubal's other was all red 
in the same fashion.  Very odd...  Jubal thinks he's going to be King, 
huh?  I don't think so.... The last blood it tasted was Jubal's.  I have 
to stop thinking about it.  I can't though.  Wonder where Kalyn is.  
Probably riding patrols with one of the uncles.  Good thing....  

	There's no use in thinking about it, really.  Look at Archimedes 
again.  Green hair...  Gotta wonder where this obsession comes from.  He 
can be very gentlemanly.  Very much in the Renaissance way...  Not as 
thick on charm as Bleys, nor as smart, but there's something similar, in 
it's way.  Though Archimedes doesn't drink or party...  A sober Bleys.  
There's a smile, and not as feeble as it was last time.  Faded fast, 
though.  Ow.  Cramp.  It feels distant, though...  Gerard gave me a lot.  
Look to him.  I want to be like him, really... I think very soon now, I 
will go for a medical degree on Earth. Only, we're supposedly at war with 
Chaos now. Sequence, if here, would love this notion...  Gerard is a 
tree, too...   I wonder if he hurts when he looks at us. He's not quick 
on the uptake, but he has more of a soul than any other Amberite.  Does 
he love us, though?  Any of us?  I wish he were my father....  I really 
do...  My eyes are stinging.  Can't keep thinking this way!  I have to 
find him.  My real father.  I have to know.  My eyes are stinging.  I 
cannot cry now!  Why won't these people LEAVE??
	Red head approaching.  It's her.  The woman who handed me over to 
Julian and abandoned me in shadow for 23 years.  Why didn't she just 
leave me there?  Why couldn't she have been pulled over into the Abyss by 
Brand, so all could tell me what a splendid person she had been...  too 
bad you didn't know her, Laughter...  she would have been so proud of 
you...  They would have been lying, of course, but it's a pleasant 
thought.  Well, it's Mother.  And it's pretty disturbing now to see them 
talk and not hear.  So, I guess I'll come out of my shell of silence...  
to quote the poet.  Wish someone were still holding my hand...