To Touch the Intangible

"Guide modularity enroute." Megarea replies as Kieran vanishes into rainbow light.

"What does a modularity look like, Meg?" Julian asks, unconsciously shortening the name. While he waits, he busies himself checking his containment suit to make sure he didn't cause it any damage while tending to Fiona. "Oh, and Meg, since you're my guide, can you share or pull the Pattern information that Ghostwheel mentioned about me into your databanks or memory?"

The containment suit has not been breached: the nanite displays are slowing, as though they too are entering stasis.

The doors of the infirmary slide open and a sphere of white crystal floats in. "Affirmative." Meg says. "Please follow the bouncing sphere."

Julian moves to do so, and follows the bouncing ball, "Are you making a joke, Meg?" He asks, smiling very slightly.


Julian finds that the chamber that the floating sphere guides him to does indeed contain a Pattern. It is a flowing design of molten silver, apparently contained inside black volcanic glass. There are strange devices on the roof of the chamber that contains it, a crystal spike points at the middle of it, and the design is similar to the Pattern he knows. But not entirely the same. There are differences. It has the same feel of raw power about it, however.

Julian walks carefully around the Design, pausing once to kneel and touch the surface under his feet. He moves to the entrance to the Pattern, where would would take their first step, and says to Meg, "I could use a chair right here." He waits for one, if none extrudes — considering the room, he would not be surprised — he will simply sit on the floor. Julian takes his time and draws upon his own Pattern, to view the one before him and compare the relative resonance of the two. "Meg, Ghostwheel mentioned something about my Pattern being a bit different. Is that so of all Patterns in all universes? Are they all functioning on mildly different wavelengths?" He asks, and then adds. "I saw hints of this in Fiona."

No chair extrudes at his request. The ghostly form of the Pattern he recalls builds before him, and through this eye of power, Julian can see that this is indeed a Pattern, a design of Order incarnate. Comparing the two brings the slight differences into stark relief. "Wavelengths is not the appropriate word for the phenomenon." Megarea replies. "Each Pattern is the result of a complex interaction between wielder and environment. The Pattern that infuses your blood and your soul is the eldest of the biological Patterns because your first walk occurred before any other recorded biological Pattern. Aurora has only been an initiate for fifteen years and her Pattern is only fifteen years old as a result, for example."

Julian considers Meg's information, and then asks, "So, if I am understanding you correctly, every one of us makes the Pattern his or her own. It does not matter which one is walked, the interaction between Pattern and Walker is were the 'alchemy' occurs, for lack of a better term." He pauses, "Is that right?

"Affirmative. The Pattern becomes you when you walk it." Megarea replies. "You become the Pattern."

Julian then continues, "Are one's children born with any hint or fragment of their sire or dam's Pattern?"

"Negative." Megarea says. "All that is inherited is the blood of Order. Descent from the Unicorn is all that is required to survive the Pattern."

Julian curses, and pounds a fist onto the deck. He is silent, and very still for a time. "Meg, are there enough genetic markers on record to pick out lineages?"

"Affirmative." Megarea says. "We possess a full library of genetic information on all known bloodlines descended from the Unicorn's only known child, Oberon. To anticipate your next question, the genetics is remarkably consistent from universe to universe. The reason for this is currently unknown."

Julian tilts his head slightly, staring out across the Pattern. "How many lines descended from Julian?" He pauses, and takes a breath. "And do your records show whether or not any of my descendants are aboard this vessel?"

A pause occurs. "Our records show nineteen bloodlines descended from Prince Julian of Amber." Megarea says. "Our records indicate one hundred and seventeen individuals of your bloodline were retrieved and placed in cryogenic stasis. We do not have accurate information on their whereabouts at the present time but our biologicals may have placed some in our holds before they died of the plague. We can test for genetic relationships if we are given blood samples."

Julian nods, "Then I will return to the infirmary, complete my quarantine, and provide you with samples." He considers the Pattern, "How quickly can you find the relationships with the samples?"


TOCGathering at the Pattern

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