I believe that I know how Laughter, and Ariana, and all of the
other foundlings felt upon arriving in Amber. It's quite a shock to find
out that you're not real...or...well...not as real as you could be. It
pissed me off at first to find out that I'd been leading my life as
unwitting cannon fodder. Ona made it clear that Oberon had his reasons,
but it didn't make it hurt any less.
Did I mention that I had to go through the land of the bull pops
to get here? One forsaken place to get to another. Why the hell couldn't
we have just Trumped?
I realize that that branch of the family may as well be Amberites,
but I feel like such a hick around them. We all speak Thari, but it's
like my accent is wrong, or something...and they're all so small. It's
like I'm a big corn-fed hick from Kansas trying to hang out with the
intellectual crowd in Manhattan - which I find weird, because I would
certainly say that our city is much more metropolitan. Just the fact that
we have a city says something...they have a town that's cut off from the
outside world. Their citizens have heard "legends" of Amber, but had
always thought of them as make-believe (at least they had legends of
us...we didn't know about them at all - though, apparently, Oberon had
planned it that way). But they are all artists and Pattern masters and
Mind you, it's a fine thing to be me, normally, but this whole
Avalon thing is shocking. I feel like I've been knocked down a peg, and
I'm not sure what to do about it.
I asked Benedict why I was brought along, and he said that I can
be trusted not to make the family look bad - quite a compliment, coming
from him. (Good thing the Avalonians - or what ever they call themselves
- don't know about the whole gunpowder thing...that would ruin Benedict's
I spent part of the morning walking around the town. It's a quiet
place - probably quite nice before Brand came and attacked.
Anyway - I've gotten some interesting looks - mainly because they
don't recognize me, and I think it's probably a small enough community
that everyone knows each other. New things stand out...especially when
they are *big* and new (I think most of them would be quite surprised to
meet my father). All in all, they seem like good folks (the townsfolk and
the family). I think that my mood was a bit sour - certainly more sour
Tho, it would have been nice to know that we were cannon fodder.
As it turns out, Clarissa is one of Ona's - and also about the
only one of my generation in this branch. (It's kind of weird calling
someone that's older than my parents "my generation".) She seems pretty
nice - more like Bleys than any of his siblings. She's been a willing
guide - showing me around the manor, the town, and some of the surrounding
lands. She thought that I was "one of hers," what with my hair and all.
I tried not to look too relieved when I said that I wasn't; I didn't want
to offend her, but I'd rather not be any more related to Brand than I have
to be. She doesn't appear to be too happy with him either (can't say I
blame her...he did come in and destroy her town, after all). She wanted
to know about her "children" - I started to tell her, and then decided to
pull out my Trump deck, so I could show her. This caused quite a
stir...well, maybe not a stir...but my cousins were extremely interested
to learn about the Amber branch of the family (I think I may know who
Vixen's parent is...or at least a close relative).
Other than Vixen and Clarissa, it doesn't look like this group has
had any children. All of them seem to be of Da's generation - kinda weird
when you stop and think about how concerned Oberon was about there being
lots of baby Amberites...I'd have thought that Ona would have felt the
same way. She reminds me a lot of Oberon. I didn't know him very
well...or very long, but I can see similarities between him and his
sister. She's a very strong woman.
Anyway - we'll be here a while longer. I hope Mum was able to get
in touch with Tamaryn. The boys looked pretty sad on my way out.
(Reminder - NEVER tell a five- year-old that his mother doesn't love him
any more - not even in jest. Or maybe more specifically...NEVER TELL YOUR
FIVE-YEAR-OLD. Stupid Felix.) Mum should be able to cheer them up. I
still need to find out what's wrong - she looked upset before we
left...very much so. I hope it's nothing too big...and if she won't tell
me, maybe I can persuade Bart to. I don't like it when my family is
upset, and if Bart did something to upset them...well...I'm just gonna
have to share my displeasure. Simple as that.
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