[Quinn] Two: "Delusions of Faith" [Quinn] Two: "Delusions of Faith"

The past is gone, the future yet unborn
But right here and now is
Where it all goes on

-Beastie Boys

You wish to know of my home, good Priest? Well, first I must ask you which one you wish to hear of, for it seems I now have three.

The world I was born? Ah, Erna. Imagine a place where the very air around you seems alive - a place that can react to your deepest, darkest thoughts with deadly speed.

Have you ever had to fight your worst nightmares in the flesh? I have, time and again. And more, I have fought the embodiment of the fears of those less confident than I. It would amaze you, the darkness that exists in some people's souls.

And then, imagine that you were told none of it is *truly* real, that it is only a Shadow of a place of far greater power....

Which is my second home. A carnival mirror image of yet another place, a disjointed reflection of a truer reality. But it is also the reflection of the heart of a man I was never sure existed other than in my active imagination. A man I have come to love and respect deeply over these last few months, a man for whom I was willing to leave my first two homes, to come here.

To Amber. My third home, by Blood if by no other link. And Blood spilled, no less, as I watch the lifeless form of the brother I have never truly met - the brother whose future has been left in my hands.

Please forgive me, your Holiness; my sarcasm is showing. I promise I'll do ten "Hail Mary's" and an "Our Father" as penance before trying to play God...

The hall emptied of my cousins rather quickly, as Simon, Connie and Locke vanished to speak with Luke, and Jessica vanished through a Trump of the enigmatic Jade.

Alone again.

It's not that I feel like I don't really belong here -- Oh, yes it is just that, Quinn. Admit it. That feeling of abandonment is the one thing you've never really been able to come to terms with. And now you're in a place where you're the odd man out; newcomer, daughter of the missing hero, sister to the vegetable in the basement. And it galls you, doesn't it? That no one really knows who or what you are, or what to do with you

You know, I'd tell myself to shut up, but I don't think it get me very far -- truth hurts, doesn't it? You don't know how to make friends. You've spent too much time alone, and now you find yourself on the outside of your cousins' little group, and you're hurt. Admit it.

Oh, shut up.

My footsteps echoed as I walked to the room where Merlin lay. I still can't quite shake that feeling of deja vu I get when I walk through the castle, but it's lessening. Especially when I see glowing orbs of light floating about in the middle of a room.

Ghostwheel, it (He? There's too much of a personality there to be an it) - he called himself. A construct of Merlin's; in fact, he calls Merlin 'Dad'. Making him my nephew, through a certain warped logic. It's odd. I feel a certain rapport with him, whatever he is. Maybe because he's the only connection to Merlin I have now. And maybe it's because of that desolate tone in his voice...

"I can't deal with this," he said.

Don't worry, Ghost. You're not alone on that.

He also confirmed that the body did indeed belong to Merlin. And then vanished. I hope he comes back soon. Maybe he can tell me what this "Frakir" Uncle Gerard mentioned is, and maybe find it.

The appearance of Ghostwheel was only slightly more odd than the summons from the High Priest of the Unicorn. News travels fast around here. And he gave me yet another dilemma to mull over. I gave an oath, to put the good of the Church and the goals of the Prophet's teachings ahead of even my own life. I vowed to die for those goals. But now, with the fae all but gone as a force in Erna, does that oath mean anything? My kind are not needed anymore. Fighters yes, but there are those who wield a sword as well as I. But sorcerors are now an oddity, a broken set of people who no longer have a place.

And just what the hell would they do with me?

Would it be that much a breach of my oath to support the teaching and ideals of the One God here? I don't know. I 'm not sure I really want to go back to Erna, at least to live, anymore. I have Dad in his Amber, and the family here to get to know... -- Sleep on it Quinn. This isn't a decision to make lightly. Maybe you should go back and take an indefinite leave from the Church. Or, well, something...

Sleep on it. Okay. That sounds like a plan for now. And besides, I have bigger things to worry about.

Like being named "the delegation" from Corwin. I always thought "delegation" assumed more than ONE person. I guess I can't blame his Majesty. It put the Chaosites off balance a bit, I think. Though I get the impression from this Mandor that very little puts him off balance. But he's right, we do have a common bond, and if he can help me find who did this to my - our - brother, then Chaosite or not, I will count him friend.

Which would be good, because I don't have many at the moment.