Fragment Four: Siren’s Lace
The fourth fragment revolved mostly around Brandon Lachmann. Brandon was a thoughtful, insightful ten-year-old who grew up in New York in the 1980s. He spent his days reading and creating stories and worlds for him and his friends to explore. Wise beyond his years, Brandon never quite felt like he belonged here, as if something was wrong with or missing from the world. Inspired by a passage he found in an old book, 'Imagination is nothing more than memory, transposed," he set forth to find the truth. The Mountaineers followed his journey, from the television shows and novels that fired his imagination to the historical landmarks and statues that inspired him to build entire worlds. Over time, the connections he made between seemingly unconnected events and places brought magic into both his world and that of the recruits.
As they traced his steps, the Mountaineers were joined by a shadowy organization called The Devoted, a group that had been tracking Brandon since his apparent disappearance and death thirty years prior. At times, the recruits trailed behind The Devoted, but with the help of a member of their organization named Reader, they began to catch up and even surpass The Devoted’s discoveries.
On October 29th, 2016, the thirtieth anniversary of Brandon’s disappearance, the recruits traced his journey to the New York City Public Library, where he left our world forever. From there, he boarded a train that you won’t find on any timetable or schedule. It took him to the land of imagination that he had remembered and believed so fervently were real.
This was not, however, the end of Brandon’s story. As King Rabbit had previously told the recruits, Brandon had not died that day. Neither had he given up his compassion and concern for others. In his new world, Brandon learned many things and went on many adventures. In the end, however, he worked to warn those he had left behind of a dark storm on the horizon. Tapping into whatever strength he could muster, he relayed messages to those who could hear him. He reached out to Cole Sumner and Deirdre Green through his adopted title as The Last Traveler, and he reached out to the recruits in the end in the hopes that they’d take up his warning and be prepared for what was to come.
Perhaps saddest of all this was the final revelation of the full role of The Devoted. Their leader, Sacha, was a childhood friend of Brandon’s. She was the one person he trusted to tell the story of his journey, and the one person he invited to come with him. For whatever reason, she did not go with him, but given the fact that she spent the next thirty years trying to find him again, one can only assume it was a decision she had come to regret.
As for the fragment, Brandon left the recruits one final gift: the story of The Forest of Darkening Glass. By following this story, they came upon the final fragment of the first key: the plant known as Siren’s Lace.