Dressing for Battle

	I'm worried, and it's not because I'm about to charge into 
battle. I've done that often enough, and I'm not as distractable as 
Archimedes thinks.  I don't think I'd be inclined to be generous if my 
Achilles' tendons were cut, but he was being rather bitter and petty all 
at the same time. I never pretended to fathom what was between him and 
Jubal, but one would think that if one's "friendship" with a man was 
based solely on ambush and taciturn conversation, one wouldn't be too 
shocked to be get seriously hurt at some point without a word of 
conversation.  Really.
	Silk. I don't like getting it ripped up, but that's ok.  It's the 
best thing to have next to the skin, and there's always more in shadow.  
And if I'm dead after this battle, I guess I won't care, will I?  Don't 
even look towards the papers on the desk, Laughter.  Just don't.  
Everyone has a will, and you aren't so irresponsible that you would make 
not provision for Beauty at all.  It's not a death warrant on the desk, 
it's just a bit of caution, a bit of planning.  Right.  Move on. The 
quilted jacket and pants, next, for absorption of impact.  Think back to 
early days of training. When Calamus got so mad that you were just a girl 
and yet you were better than him, and retreated to the forge.  And 
learned how to bargain with demons and fashions swords like Sequence.  At 
least it's straight now.  Straight, and unhappy. Death will do that to 
you...  it's probably what's wrong with Caine. 
	Ok, so it's gallows humor, and not that funny, even, at least I'm 
not fixating on my own death.  Better to fixate on Chaosites dying at the 
end of my sword. My sword! I wish it would talk to me, I miss that 
excited chatter it used to have before a battle... Annoying though it 
was, it put me in the right frame of mind...  Ah, well.  If I die?  If I 
die...  It will make mother so happy.  She won't even come to the 
funeral.  She'll be too busy elsewhere, I'm sure.  Benedict might come.  
He'd just have that look "It was obvious, she couldn't be taught..." and 
if I were able to see it, I'd cringe.  He was not pleased I let Sandr 
escape. Sandr was not pleased that I watched him like a hawk.  Archimedes 
was rather petulant about his whole injury thing, and didn't seem to care 
if Sandr stayed or escaped.  I caught up with him, but I didn't catch 
him.  So he's not loyal to the crown.  He's loyal to the Pattern, which 
is something else entirely...  Back to my funeral planning.  Sandr will 
be there.  Dressed in black, but when is he not?  Right.  He'll look 
small and pale, and Ulysses will be beside him, there to offer comfort 
and offer a few words over the grave. "She was a bubblehead and she liked 
to fight too much, which killed her, God, wasn't she stupid. Amen." Heh. 
I think make-up before armor, my arms get too heavy, otherwise.
	Mirror...  I'm pale.  I rested some, when Sandr drove the 
stagecoach, but really, Pattern walking and then hell-riding and then 
battle isn't such a good idea.  Good hair day, pity I shall braid it 
back. Laugh. Sick, sick, sick.  A French braid. I'm not going into battle 
against Chaos with no helmet and lime making my hair into stiff spikes..  
some traditions are better left untried.  Back to my funeral?  Sure.  
It's making me giggle. Hm...  Corwin will be there, not because he'd 
actually come, but because the thought amuses me.  "That Lavendar girl. 
She thought she could fight?  Stupid." And then he'd turn away.  Maybe... 
Sure, put her in, too.  Adrian is there. She'll look down at the corpse 
with a bit of a sneer, a kind of "Why am I at this girl's funeral, 
anyway?" look, that would just be so ironic...  Ah, well, round out that 
little section of the family with Jubal, silent and unimpressed.  
	Leather under-helm. Tuck back the stray strands of hair. Smile 
into the mirror, and pull out the paint pots. Blue spirals on white base, 
over the cheeks, chin and bridge of nose.  Nothing more.  It might sweat 
into my eyes. I'm a Celt raised, but I'm not going to be impractical. 
Cameron will be there.  With Caine.  They'll chat about knives versus 
swords. And make my death a point in favor of knife-play. Sequence will be 
there, guarding Beauty?  Hanging in mid-air?  Hm...  Beauty will be 
weeping.  That's something-- somebody will have a fleeting regret for 
me.  Not like Archimedes.  He'll be there, arms crossed, a disgusted 
look on his face, first because his father is presiding in his kingly  
capacity, and second, because I proved distractable enought to be killed. 
If I had been more threatened by Jubal, I would have been a bit 
different. But you were throwing bricks like some petty child. 
	None of you make any sense.  I'm talking to you all, you mourners 
at my funeral. I'm leaving you now, and I rather hope we don't meet until 
long after this battle is fought and won.
	Put on the leather jerkin and pants.  Pull on the boots. And a 
golden torque, another Celtic legacy. Don the chain mail.  And the 
helmet with the horns in it. I look like the Horned King. In miniature.  
Take up Sequence. Draw it. It looks like new, it's highly polished and 
probably even more dangerous. It's silent. I'm worried...  Talk to it?  
The battle calls...  Pull on my gauntlets.  Look for a moment to the 
trees by the window.  It's a sort of prayer.  Cross myself.  Another sort 
of prayer. Hold Sequence at the ready.  Start out the door...  "I missed 
you," I tell it, and think about blood.