[Quinn] Six: "Patterns of Belief" [Quinn] Six: "Patterns of Belief"

"From the moment of my birth, to the instant of my death
There are patterns I must follow just as I must breathe each breath
Like a rat, in a maze, the path before me lies...
And the pattern never alters until the rat dies."

-Simon & Garfunkle, "Patterns"

Hickory dickory dock
Time ran out on the clock
The clock struck one

Death has never really scared me. Oh, I have a very healthy respect for the concept, but considering the chances I took every day, to be afraid of it would have paralyzed me into uselessness. Who knew when the darkness would come to life around me spawning nightmares with very real claws and teeth, thirsting for the life that walked among them.

I grew up with that ever-present feeling, I was trained to deal with it. As a Reverand and a knight, I didn't have the refuge of a Warded home to hide in when true night fell. I instead spent that time out on the open road, traveling from place to place to fight the abominations those terrified mind in their hidey-holes spawned, with only my sword and my sorcery as my protectors. The possibility of death was no stranger to me. In my mind, it became a game, to try and outsmart death, when I was never sure when it would strike.

But there's something different to it all when you know when it will strike. That exhilaration of anticipation of a chance to outsmart death is gone when you know you face someone whose power you can't even begin to comprehend. And instead, a cold, creeping dread hangs upon your shoulders, slowly wearing you down.

10 days.

For all the years I spent on the road, I have seen but a small fraction of the shadow that was the whole extent of my existence for 25 years. Gods of Earth 'n Erna, how I suddenly long to stand on Gangi's cliffs, and stare down into the sea, which Sister Laridda so often compared to my eyes. Just to see the bustle of Jaggonath, the great Cathedral, even the remains of the Forest... and once more, to see the swirl of the fae about my feet.

To think it might all be destroyed in a wash of my blood...

Damn you, Jade. Your irresponsibility has endangered too many lives. I don't think I've ever been as angry with anyone as I am with you. Angry enough to kill you? No, never that. I swore to protect the innocent, and despite your actions, your guilt lies only in your love for your father. And even I can't blame you for that. Much.

But I cannot completely shake this feeling of dread that holds me. And Merlin's body going missing... God, as much as I want to talk to Dad, I don't. Now I have to tell him not only that Martin killed his son, but that Merlin's body has gone missing, and oh, by the way, Dworkin wants to destroy your Pattern, and with it your universe, using me.

I'll take mindless, slavering, bloodthirsty demonlings concocted out of my own subconscious over this crap any day.

'Course, that falls under the "Be careful what you ask for" category, considering what Jade told us about Eric and his new universe. Sounds a bit like Erna, with a big attitude problem.

10 days.

Well, five actually, since I have no intention of seeing Dworkin paste Jade all over Eric's pattern. Though letting Jade sweat it out a bit would teach her a valuable lesson. Not that Dworkin yanking her out of another universe didn't already have that effect...

Still, I wish I could talk to Dad. Everyone seems to think he's going to have some answer to all this, but I'm not so sure. And this mess is the last thing he needs to hear. Especially that I can be used against him. Maybe he'll just wish I had never come out of Shadow to find him...

Come on, Quinn, If that isn't one of the most overly-paranoid and pathetic things I've ever heard... One death threat and you get all maudlin and mopey. Maybe walking the Pattern addled your brains? Or maybe you've been possessed! Will the real Alexandra Quinn Kielmann please stand up? This is not like you at all. So knock it off!


Sometimes, I hate it when I'm right.

"Your prophecies determine my life
And so I watch as you play with the knife
Hoping that you'll know how to be kind..."
-The Nields, "Shaking"