Lady Amandine awoke early, the fires within Britain dusted smoke through her window, the scent instantly put her on alert. Her prescribed bed-rest be damned, the pregnant Knight Commander of the Crux Ansata made it across the room to her window and looked out. The city was obviously in chaos and disorder, fires and smoke in the distance from the insurrection started by Solus. Banners of the King raised in unity and solidarity with the Monarchy by shopkeepers and citizenry alike. Solus and his gang of thugs had suppressed the people of Britain for so long, it was not a surprise that so many took this opportunity to rebel against him and clamor to the King’s protection. The banners were a call for help, for support from the Crown. Across the newly repaired bridge, Lady Amandine saw a disconcerting sight of Fabian, Lord d’Hardt leading a cadre of Kingsguard into the city. “Bloody Hell! What you you upto now!?” the Lady murmured to herself and hobbled across the room again, stepping out into the hallway. “Lady Amandine! You shouldn’t be out of bed, come let me…” The King’s Groom of the Stool stood guard over her room. “Step away Barton, I have issue with the King!” Amandine, nightgown and all advanced upon the King’s quarters. The way was short, although difficult for her, as she had not walked on her own for several weeks. Complications with her pregnancy demanded almost constant bed rest. In her mind, this was more important. For a moment, she swore she heard the sound of hooves on the roof. The door to the King’s quarters opened, and the King stood instantly from his desk motioning to the two door guards to help support the unsteady Lady Amandine. “Lady Amandine, why are you out of your chambers?!” King Blackthorn raised his voice slightly. “Why is Fabian taking Kingsguard into Britain? You know he cannot be trusted!” Lady Amandine forgot her customs and courtesies. “Fabian isn’t heading into Britain, he is heading through Britain. He is going to Malas’ Falling Water to deal with that traitor Tazar.” “This could be dealt with through talking Sire, no reason to…” “The man killed a Governor Danica! I have to issue a response, that I will protect this Kingdom, the time for talking passed when Minoc’s Governor died.” The King said as he moved a larger cushioned chair next to the Lady. “Let me take care of it, I could ride and get Tazar to turn himself in. You know Tazar is a proud man, but he will see reason. There are innocents in Malas, Tazar’s fortress has many neighbors.” Lady Amandine sat down, completely exhausted. “Fabian will write off everyone in the area as a traitor.” “Danica, you are in no condition to be on a horse at all. Besides you swore to me you would not leave the castle grounds. You should be in bed.” The King placed his hand on her head. “You cannot be my only hand when dealing with the people.” “It’s not about that, there is something about Fabian, he isn’t trustable.” “Oh, I agree. But his family is powerful, and unless I find cause to chastise him he serves his duty well. He is a military commander, cold, calculating, and a bringer of war. In the case of Tazar, a war is exactly the proper solution. His neighbors will have to just learn to stay out of Fabian’s way until this is resolved.” Blackthorn shook his head. “This business in Britain has me more concerned than Malas.” “The people of Britain back you Sire, Solus and his madmen are just stirring up trouble. He doesn’t have the support of the people, just a few armed thugs.” “Your knights need a commander in your absence, we cannot have the Crux Ansata lapsing in readiness between now and July when the child comes. Have you thought of who you would like.” “I haven’t thought about it, Faeryl or Arya could handle the task. As could Alex or even Mager, but I was thinking of calling upon an old friend from Jhelom, she would be new to the Crux Ansata but she has made quite a name for herself in the Jhelom pits, and I know her well.” “They are your knights, but I need a lighter hand when dealing with the people and with the Blood Chosen Orcs. Fabian is a battle axe, I send him for broad strokes. He is ill suited in dealing with sensitive matters, he is a bringer of war. I need you to pick someone with a bit more tact and skill with people.” The King motioned to the guards again. “I will talk with her, to make sure she understands what is expected. I just hope that my officers are not offended when I bring in someone new to command them for now.” “Have you felt the child move yet?” The King looked concerned. “Not yet, the dreams are still common, but I am sleeping much better. I just wish I had something to DO other than fall asleep and be awoken by my own minds imaginations.” “Don’t discount your dreams so easily, you never know…” A scratching sound at the door made the King stop mid sentence. A guard opened it to investigate and the White Hart and his mate stepped unabashedly into the room, the pair seemed to glow and brought new light into the room. “They arrived this morning; they have been pacing and seemingly standing guard over the castle all morning.” The King stepped away as the pair approached the Lady Amandine. They sniffed and rubbed their heads gently against her. Then instantly the pair dissolved into a cloud of sparkles and light. “I see him, the male guarding me in my dreams.” Amandine looked up at the King. “You are tired, go back to your quarters, I’ll send Dupre by later to discuss with you what is to be done about Solus. Try not to tax yourself, you need to rest. For the baby.” The King made another motion and two guards picked up the chair and carried Lady Amandine back to bed where her breakfast was waiting.