09 -  Chapter 9 - The Mourning Prince
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
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The Mourning Prince



Chapter  IX




  As soon as they both read the word 'knowledge', Camber felt a psychic snap. Looking down, Camber saw his nephew gripping the sides of the desk for support.

"Kelson are you all right?" He asked.

"I don't know, it just felt like someone opened a door in my head."

"Can you access the memories now?"

"I probably could, but I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of information and I might need some help in sorting it all out," Kelson said looking up at his uncle.

"What can I do?" Camber asked.

"Well for one thing," Kelson said getting up, "stay right here for a second. I'm going to make sure we are not disturbed." At that, Kelson left the room.

As he left, Camber stared after him, marveling at the turn of events he was witnessing. Just as quickly as he left, Kelson returned.

"Did everything go all right?" Camber asked.

"Yes, everyone is in bed except Harold and Dean, and they promised not to disturb us," Kelson said as he stopped just at the entrance to the doorway. As he finished that sentence he raised his hands ever so slightly and wards appeared around the room.

"How...?" Camber started to ask.

"I don't know, Uncle," Kelson answered before he could finishing asking the question, "the wards have been here as long as I can remember."

"Where would you like to sit?" Camber asked, still standing by the desk.

Kelson walked over to the desk and removed his glasses, placing them in the middle of it.

"How about the fireplace?" Kelson said indicating the two high-backed chairs in front of the fireplace.

Walking the short distance to the chairs, Kelson sat in the one to the left of the fireplace. Once he was seated, they both noticed Ming positioned in front of the chair, eyes wide, waiting.

"All right come here," Kelson said patting his lap.

"Are you ready?" Camber asked waiting for Ming to get comfortable.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be," Kelson answered as Ming curled herself into a ball and started purring loudly.

"Okay, I want you to close your eyes and relax, breath. Let it out slowly, now lower your shields. Good."

Sensing Kelson had lowered his shields, Camber lowered his as well and slowly moved into Kelson's mind. Following Kelson's lead, Camber felt two emotions come through the rapport, sorrow, loneliness. Then a memory came into focus. A younger Kelson was in Meara, and in the city of Laas. He was in the royal compound there, and his grandfather was speaking.

Kelson's grandfather was saying to Kelson, that he was going to abdicate his title of Prince of Meara in favor of Kelson.

"But why me?" Kelson asked.

"Because, you're the only one in the family I can trust right now with this," Kelson's grandfather answered.

Kelson started to protest. "Please no more questions," Camber's father said, "I have some more things I need for you to hold on to for me."

"Such as.?" Kelson asked.

Camber's father just smiled. "It is information you must hold on to, but you won't even know it is there."

"But.?" Kelson started to ask.

"No more questions," Camber's father intoned, "just lower your shields and I will place them in your mind. No one except me can tell you to release this information."

Camber could feel through the rapport, as Kelson slowly and reluctantly lowered his shields.

The first thing Camber saw, was some sort of library with a secret panel behind one row of books. Behind this secret panel was a wooden box. The wooden box was beautifully decorated, and the Haldane crest was embossed on the lid. Inside this box was the Eye of Rom, the Ring of Fire and the Crimson Lion. The royal regalia had never left Gwynedd.

Camber felt his father pull out of the rapport briefly.

"What is wrong?" Kelson asked.

"I haven't done this sort of thing in a while, it's very tiring," Camber's father answered, "and I'm not done yet."

Camber felt his father move into Kelson's mind once more. This time it was different. Camber's father was imparting something about Kelson's older twin brothers. Javan was the older brother, not Alroy. Camber tried to control his shock. The family had always been told that Alroy was older. How did Camber's father know this? And did Kelson's mother know?

But before Camber could formulate any more questions, the memory began to fade.

A new memory appeared. Kelson was seated at the kitchen table in this house. His maternal grandparents were showing him how to use ward cubes. The memory began to shift slightly, then Kelson was being shown various secret rooms in the house, once again, before Camber could get a clear picture the memory dissolved completely.

Immediately, the next memory began to form. Kelson appeared to be in some sort of office with military awards and decorations on the walls. There was a man seated behind the desk, whom Camber could not see clearly. The man was telling Kelson that he was temporarily being reassigned to give an orientation to some foreign dignitaries, and the assignment would begin immediately. The memory began to blur.

Hurricane Andrew. The name popped into Camber's mind. The picture Camber saw was that of Kelson in a heavily wooded forest, in some sort of encampment. Camber saw several people walking around in a panic, asking what the hell they were doing out in the middle of nowhere. Next Camber saw Harold appear, saying that he had contacted the base and that the hurricane was suppose to miss New Orleans, hitting just west, moving up towards Lake Charles. The remainder of the storm would move north towards them. They had also been given orders to stay put, because all of the roads were closed and they were to ride out the storm there.

Next Camber saw a beautiful woman appear. She looked like the woman in the picture on the mantel, Kelson's future wife. She was asking him why they weren't returning to base and what was he was going to do to protect them. An idea flashed into Kelson's mind. He could try using ward cubes.

Camber saw Kelson order that camp be brought in closer as he began his initial setup of the cubes. Once that was completed, he then placed the cubes around the four corners of the camp and raised his arms slightly over his head as a clear red dome appeared above their heads. A period of time went by, and Camber saw the wind and rain begin slowly at first, then increase in its intensity. The wind and rain buffeted the dome throughout the night. Next Camber saw that the storm had passed and the group emerged from their shelter unscathed. Next Camber saw Kelson ask the group not to tell anyone about how he had protected them and the memory began to dissolve.

In the next memory, Camber could feel the utter chaos come through the rapport before he actually saw it. Kelson was with his future wife and several of her bodyguards. It was nighttime and they were in the midst of a crowd of thousands of people. Several names appeared in his head, New Orleans, Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras. Suddenly they were separated from the bodyguards. Camber felt a slight brush against Kelson's shields, and the open hostility came through. Someone was testing his strength. Camber saw Kelson grab the woman's arm and make a frantic run for safety.



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