So, Archimedes and the others are alive after all. 125 years ago,
I would have rejoiced, but now... Now, their existence is simply
inconvenient. It causes too many problems, and resolves none. It would
have been better if they had never returned.
Take Aleksandr, for example. He never was too stable to begin
with, although time had led me to forget just how bad he was. But
watching him now... He is obviously disappointed that he did not get to
raise Nadine. Well, I cannot say that I was thrilled at having to
undertake that task myself. Oh, Anton was a fine father to her, but he
could not teach her of Amber, so the task fell to me. And now Aleksandr
looks at her as though she were a stranger. Which she is, I suppose, but
given that Abigail had her when he vanished, I expected him to at least be
thankful that she was alive. Perhaps he would have preferred that Abigail
raise her? He really is an ungrateful bastard, but then again, he always
was. I still recall our final conversation quite clearly. Aleksandr is a
problem I can handle, however. His lack of Pattern removes much of his
power, even his Trump abilities. And to think, the little fool mocked me
for my interest in becoming a living Trump. "It's totally unnecessary.
Pattern provides you with everything." Ah yes, but you cannot count on
the Pattern remaining. I learned that lesson the hard way, long ago.
Ulysses, on the other hand, presents a far more serious threat.
His is a face I would have been happy to see the last of. He does not
seem willing to accept what has happened to him, and is rambling on about
finding Dworkin and restoring time magic. I think not! I will not see
all of our hard work of the past 125 years undone to satisfy a lunatic.
The fool. Yes, his daughter is grown, but he can always have another. It
is not as though Beauty has gone on to someone else. Perhaps he can even
awaken her from her slumber. It does not seem as though he intends to
try, though. We will just see what Oriana has to say about that. I must
make the King understand the gravity of the threat Ulysses presents. He
should never have allowed Ulysses to take the Pattern again. We need to
be neutralizing his power, not giving him more.
As for the others, Caitlin is adjusting very well, but she was
only newly arrived in Amber before she disappeared, so she feels the loss
of time less keenly. Sky, Vain and Flynn also seem relatively unaffected.
Mandor is unreadable, as always, and Merlin... Well, he was a fool
before, and little has changed in that regard. As for Claudio, he reacted
poorly to the news that both Sand and Kaedric are dead. What he will do
now is anyone's guess, but I am keeping an eye on him as well.
Surprisingly, Archimedes is taking this fairly well, all things
considered. Given his temper, I anticipated him reacting badly to the
news that his wife is now married to his brother, but he handled the news
remarkably well. It remains to be seen how he reacts in the long run,
however. In a way, I feel more sorry for Laughter. The legal
ramifications of Archimedes' return alone are a nightmare, and I doubt
Kevin will rest easy for quite some time. As I said, it would have been
better if the missing had remained so.
Most disturbing of all is the thought that perhaps Abigail is not
dead after all. I would have been willing to swear that she died with the
others in Ixaxis. After all, if they did not escape, how could she? It
would be most unfortunate if she is still alive. I will not tolerate any
more interference on her part.
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