Session #7: Dissent and Division
The session begins with Alexandra and Manfred in Rebma, while Hector and Janica are in Amber, and Federico is still in the U.S. of Alternate Shadow Earth.
- Janica: Well, you have been a soldier for a while and they didn't catch you.
- Manfred: I know my way around a uniform.
Everyone taunts Hector over his liaison with Dara. At first, he bristles and refuses to answer, then says that his "acquaintance... close acquaintance... friendship in which he highly esteemed Miss Sawal..." had told him about the tracking device from Chaos which they have put in Shadow Earth.
Discussing the situation on Earth over trump, Manfred suggests installing an actor from Glamaria to replace the missing President Eleanor of the U.S. -- which has just entered the war. He argued that it would improve their ability to direct the war using their superior tactics and intelligence, since Lydia cannot directly get the U.S. military to adopt certain information or strategy, while the Commander-In-Chief could. However, the plan was voted down.
Then in Rebma, Manfred knocks on Alexandra's door. Still in a funk, she doesn't let him in, but he talks outside the door for a time. He tells her that he hopes that in the fighting to save Rebma, a more populist government could be instituted. She keeps this in mind but commits to nothing. At roughly the same time, Janica updates her via trump about the golems' march on Washington and other news.
 The Nazis Attack
Federico is still on Shadow Earth, where he receives a trump contact. He answers it, but it turns out to be a demon. It struggles with him psychically, then pulls itself through the trump. Federico's bodyguard dies nobly, and he attempts to escape.
- Bill: Well, nothing else for it but to jump through the window and commandeer a car!
After a harrowing chase, he gets clear of the attacker. He visits a hospital and then finally contacts the others via trump.
 Divisions in Rebma
Back in Rebma, Alexandra is visited by Queen Moire, whom she admits into her room. (John mocks Manfred's imagined disgust that she speaks to the Queen when she wouldn't let in her comrade-in-arms, though of course he doesn't know about this.)
- Moira: Manfred is trying to start a revolution in Rebma?
- Alexandra: Well, yes...
- Moira: Rebma is reasonably happy. I dare say. After all, I've been ruling it for 600 years.
- Alexandra: Well, Manfred seems to have his sources. Maybe you're not hearing anyone's dissatisfaction.
- Moira: I doubt that Manfred has sources in my underclass that I'm unaware of...
- Alexandra: Wait a minute, did you just say you have an "underclass"?
- Moira: Why yes. I believe it's important to know all levels of your society if it is to be well run...
- Alexandra: maybe you don't know everything about your realm...
- Moira: It is possible that some part of Rebma may be made of oatmeal. I've only lived here for thousands of years.
- Alexandra: You get into habits of thinking... you can't know everything...
- Moira: Yes. This is why I have spies.
- Alexandra: ...
- Moira: Every revolution I've ever seen has killed a lot of innocent people. I'm not in this for the power, you know.
Meanwhile, Manfred is out on the battlefield where he is fighting with assaulting squid, leading a commando squad of the primarily female Rebman corps. On a raid he leads, Manfred rescues a suitably grateful Rebman man named Virgil. He explains that he's not really a soldier -- he's part of the Men's Auxiliary Corps (MAC) of the Rebman army. They flirt.
- Manfred: I like the uniform.
- Virgil: Thanks, i designed it myself...
- John: I think we can draw a curtain over the further scene...
- Madeline: Okay. You debrief him.
- everyone groans
The next day, Moira, Alexandra, and Manfred have lunch together. Informed by Alexandra that Manfred plans a revolution, Moire is cold. Manfred is equally cold to Alexandra in particular when he realizes that his confidence has been broken. Manfred talks to Moire about constitutional monarchies, voting, and freedom. (Liz notes that if Hector were to be overhearing this, which he wasn't, he would have thought Manfred is actually talking about chaos.)
 Discovering Corwin's Escape
Back in Amber, Janica and Hector talk with Caine and Gerard. Gerard is bluff and hearty, dumb, incurious.
Caine then secretly takes Janica to Corwin's cell, in the dungeons beneath Amber. He explains that it is very difficult for trump to reach to people in here. However, Janica gets no response when she tries to talk through the door. She asks several of the guards to leave, revealing to Caine that she's a werewolf, and wants to change into wolf form to confirm if Corwin is there by smell. She estimates that Corwin has been gone from his cell for 3 days, after years in prison. Caine suspects Brand must be involved.
 Brand Calls Manfred
Still in Rebma, Manfred receives a trump call from Brand. He is bitter over his fight with Moire, and asks Brand if he had a way to burn the whole place to the ground and start over. Brand's ears perk over this, and they discuss at length their options.
Manfred suggests that he could possibly get the Jewel of Judgement, given a few weeks.
 Merlin's Introduction to Amber
Federico talks with his grandfather (Jirel? I did not hear most of their conversation.)
While in Amber, Hector gets a call from Dara (the younger) who tells him that they have an 11-year-old son, Merlin! He is shocked, but Dara explains further that Brand is after Merlin -- and Dara the elder is planning to use him in some horrible way. Dara asks Hector to protect Merlin in Amber. She suggests she might also need protection. (Hector demurs on this one, but considers it.) Dara explains stuff about the Logrus, the giant serpent, and how the Jewel of Judgement is the eye of the serpent.
Hector confesses this to Janica, and the two go to talk with King Eric. Hector realizes Janica is Eric's daughter. Suddenly Dara again calls Hector through trump, explaining that some emergency requires he come through now. Hector pulls Merlin through, but then Dara also jumps through. Finding herself in the trone room, she attacks Eric with a knife. Janica stabs her, and she flees, bleeding fire. Eric shoots her full of arrows as she jumps out the window, sprouts wings, and flies off.
Several of us remark on the strange incuriousness of the Amberites. They don't have history books, and they don't seem to have any idea of experimenting, exploring, science, etc. Janica suggests establishing a court historian, at least.
Hector feels that Eric has been strangely slack about experimenting and pushing the capabilities of the Jewel of Judgement. If Hector had it he would do a much better job.