[Quinn] Three: "The Paranoia Connection" [Quinn] Three: "The Paranoia Connection"

"The amount of information you actually have is inversely proportional to what you think you have"

She reached out and gathered the tendrils of power and force that swirled about her. It was difficult; there was no fae here to react to her every thought and whim, and the "magic" that resided here was scattered and weak. The Working came slowly as a result, but it did come. She twisted and teased the mana, expanding a part here, shifting the focus there - imprinting her will upon the formless stuff and bringing it under control to do what she needed.

It was a heady sort of exhaultation she felt as she keyed the Searching and let it go to do its work. For the first time since she'd left Erna, she felt whole. While her head and heart were full with all she had learned since the stepped through the vortex, she had felt bereft of part of her soul without the fae she had Worked since before she could recall a coherent thought.

And while this "magic" wasn't the fae she had intimately known all her life, it could be Worked, and presented an exciting challenge.

And when she returned to her bed she felt a deep sense of satisfaction, despite the lack of success in her Working.

And as she drifted off to sleep, she muzzily realized that for the first time in her life, there was a sense of security she'd never known before. Regaining her sorcery, finding her heritage, her family, her father... "Complete," she thought as sleep claimed her. "I feel complete..."

I must find Grandfather Dworkin and thank him again for the book. Gods of Earth and Erna, but it's good to feel useful again!

Well, sort of...

While I'm still not exactly sure of my place in all this, my status as Corwin's daughter and de facto ambassador has carved me a comfortable niche here. And I have a place to start. I may not be much, but Frakir's presence in the castle sets all sorts of suspicious thoughs running through my head. The pessimist in me says that it's too easy. But it's all I have right now that doesn't look like a dead end.

'Course, now I have to figure out what to do with it. I think Ghost has gotten as far as he can (God I hope he comes back in one piece from this harebrained plan to walk Dad's Pattern!), so I guess I'll take over from here. I'll search this damn castle room by room if that's what it takes!

And it just might take that. So I guess it's time to admit I can't do this by myself. I need help.

I've gotten to speak with Jessica a bit, and I find myself liking her without even the benefit of a Knowing. She's very open and honest and her concern over all this strikes me as genuine in the extreme. So there's one ally.

As far as the others are concerned, the only one I get any real impression of is Simon. He is as genuine as Jessica in his own way. And an added bonus is that he's a sorceror, too. Between the two of us, we might actually be able to search the castle before next year.

And then there's Mandor. I think I faux pas'd with that Knowing I keyed. Oops. Old habits are hard to break. Hopefully he'll accept my apology, since we're technically on the same side. Him I have no impression of, other than an outward feeling of someone who is perfectly in control of everything around him. You know, the kind of demeanor designed to make people like me feel small and insignificant? Fortunately I know better. But he's good. And that bothers me a bit, because I can't be entirely sure of his motivations. But since it looks like he and I will be working together I'll have to trust his sincerity for finding Merlin's killer.

Killer. I guess I'm starting to really believe my brother is dead. Damn. I don't want to have to bring that news to Dad. "Hey, we found the guy who did it, but your son is toast." Urgh. I don't even know if I'll be able to bring him the killer. Though it won't be for lack of trying.

And with any luck, I'll still have a Dad to bring this information to. I'm worried about him. This business with Brandon is wearing on him. All it takes is one small mistake... And where the hell is my "uncle" Brandon getting all these reinforcements? That worries me most. Brilliant warrior or not, if Brandon gets enough support he'll just overrun Dad. He couldn't have found some way to access this Amber and its shadows, could he? It would explain the sudden appearance of his reinforcements. I'll have to think on that one.

I'd better watch it, or I'll start seeing paranoid connections everywhere, like Connie. I wonder if it's a general family trait?