This is getting ridiculous.  No, it's just fucking unbelievable. 
I actually manage to get everyone oriented towards the same goal, and a
plan in motion, and we still blow it.  Almost fatally in my case.  What
the hell happened with Farad and Alastair?  They were supposed to distract
Brand, lure him out of Bramber.  Obviously, they didn't even come close. 
Damn.  I should never have allowed Brand to touch the Jewel.  That was a
mistake.  I don't know what else I could have done, though.  We were lost
as soon as we arrived at the Pattern.  I guess I'm lucky to be alive.  I
never thought I'd say this, but for once I'm glad that Rasa's such a lousy
shot.  I'd be dead otherwise, instead of under Flora's care.  Of course,
Eric probably has the Jewel.  Well, I no longer give a good goddamn.  He
can have the damn thing.  Let him be the one to fight Brand and redraw the
Pattern.  Brand is his damn brother.  I'm just the fucking attache!  I'm
only 19 for Christ's sake, what am I doing mixed up in the power games of
these fuckheads?  Because if I didn't act, Brand would still have the
Jewel, and I don't want to live in the place that he'd create.  I just
want to know why I'm the one that had to fight him.  Where the hell are my
so-called elders?

	Eric is such an asshole.  Amber is in danger of falling to Chaos,
but he's going to sit back and wait until Dad dies.  Oh, that's real
bright.  Does he think he can just step in then and everything will be
better?  If Dad can't hold them, he's not going to have any better luck. 
And his inactivity will cost us dearly.  Bastard.  No one can be that
cold- blooded and still be human.  I'm beginning to understand why Dad
hated him so much.  Why couldn't Dad have waited to come back until after
this whole mess was over?

	Well, we're making another attempt.  Sort of.  Gabriel has decided
to help us after all.  He and Farad are going to damage Brand's Pattern,
while I try to fix ours.  It has to work.  Dad can't hold out much longer,
and if he dies, Gabriel says he's named me his successor.  How could he do
this to me?  I have no desire to be queen.  I can't be.  I don't have the
experience or the power.  I wouldn't last a day.  Who would support me?  A
week ago, they didn't even know I was an Amberite.  Which is why I have to
succeed at this, or die trying.  I'd rather die than cause Dad's death
when I could have prevented it.  And I won't let that bastard Eric win
that way.

	It had to be Colin.  Even if he is Fiona's son, I had no other
choice.  Alastair was out of the question.  Not with his openly expressed
interest in drawing his own Pattern.  And Rasa....  In a couple of years,
Rasa might be a fine choice.  But she's still growing, and I can't trust
an object of such power to a teenager.  I remember what I was like at that
age.  It wasn't that long ago.  I hope she understands.

	I don't know if we're going to make it.  We must.  We can't have
come this far only to fail at the very end.  I don't want to die for
nothing.  Perhaps I should have left Colin where he fell.  By bringing
him, I risk failing.  But he risked his life with even less reason than I
have, and I can't repay that by leaving him to die.  Especially after what
we've been through.  I know everything about him.  And he knows everything
about me.  I've never been that close to another person in all my life,
and I doubt I will again.  All our secrets, everything, open to each
other.  He's the one who stabbed Brand, although Fiona was truly
responsible, since he was under her compulsion at the time.  Pity he
didn't succeed in killing the bastard.  What sort of woman would use her
own son in such a manner?  When this is over, if we survive, we need to

	Almost there...

	Just a few steps more...

	It's done.  It's whole.  But, God help me, I don't think I can
make it any farther.

	I'm sorry, Colin.

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