Claudio wanted to contact Sky, so I leant him one of the energy
traps to power a correspondence spell to Amber.  I figured there was no
harm in allowing him to do so, since the energy would be quickly
replenished here.  And besides, perhaps he could learn what was going on
in Amber.  In that, at least, I was proved correct.  Sky had much to say
about recent events in Amber.  The first news of note was the fact that
Archimedes had gone missing.  Apparently, he was still suffering from
memory loss.  The catch was, what he remembered kept changing.  Using the
Jewel ring to locate him was attempted, of course, but Archimedes
apparently removed the ring.  Laughter had left in search of him, of
course.  I consigned the problem to the back of my mind for the moment,
since I had far more important things to deal with right now.  Besides
which, if there was anything I had learned about Archimedes over the
years, it was that he was a survivor.  I did hope that Laughter would not
come across him while he was in one of his drunken frenzies, though.  That
would be...unfortunate.

	The next bit of news was much more relevant to my own mission.
Fiona and Benedict had gone missing, as well.  It seems that Fiona went
looking for the cause of the various problems with Trump and sorcery, and
disappeared.  Benedict went searching for her, and vanished as well.  So
what did Random do in response?  Threw more people at the problem.  Of
course.  How logical.  Archimedes, Killian, Mok and Ulysses were supposed
to find Dworkin so he could lead them to the plane of Trump.  Apparently,
they succeeded in that task, but were separated when Ulysses tried to
teleport them back to Amber.  What did he think was going to happen, given
the way the Pattern has been fluctuating?  And why were they going back to
Amber in the first place, instead of on to the plane of Trump?  God only
knew.  Sky was planning to go to the plane of Trump with Martin and Caine,
so I suggested that we combine forces.  Our goals were the same for the
moment, so I saw no harm in our traveling together.  Especially if they
did happen to stumble across the plane.

	While Claudio set about retrieving his sword and armor, I used
another energy trap to contact Alora in Chaos.  I wished I had better news
to tell her.  I informed her of our findings in Ivory, and the devices I
had set to gather the magical energy that was flowing so freely near the
hole in Shadow.  Unfortunately, it would require too much energy to
teleport the devices to Chaos, but at least Alora would know they were in
Ivory, should she have need of them.  I intended to take several of them
along with me, of course.  In a universe where sorcery was underpowered,
having that kind of backup would be quite an advantage.

	Claudio returned as I was asking Alora about her father.  I was
relieved to learn that he was finally resting.  From the sound of it, his
body had left him with little choice in the matter.  I felt the nagging
fear begin to surface within me again, and quickly quelled it.  There was
no time for this.  Claudio, taking advantage of the open call, asked Alora
to make sure that Lord Ridar did not "sit on his ass" dealing with
Finndo's army.  Fortunately, Ridar was no longer in the room with Alora to
hear this.  I tried to explain to Claudio that as a Prince of Chaos he was
going to need to demonstrate more diplomacy and tact, but Claudio did not
see the point in wasting such on people he did not care for.  I put it
aside as an argument for a later time, and we set off into Shadow once

	After riding some interminable distance, we finally came upon Sky
and her companions, who now also included Merlin and Mok.  We camped for
the night soon afterwards, since Claudio and Sky were impatient to get
reacquainted with each other.  Under other circumstances, I would have
been eager to keep going, but this wretched pregnancy was taking its toll,
and I welcomed the opportunity to rest.  I chatted with Mok for a bit
before retiring, still not quite able to believe that he was not dead.  He
had no recollection of me, of course, but someone had obviously told him
something about the future, since he asked if he had known me then.  I
said little on that subject, not being certain of how much he knew
already, or why he had been told.  Fortunately, it was not difficult to
change the subject to the attempt to find Dworkin, and I learned far more
than I had been expecting.  I am not sure which fact surprised me more,
the fact that Dworkin was somehow in Mok's body, or the fact that Ulysses
was pregnant with the Unicorn's child.  A part of me found the latter
rather amusing.  It could not have happened to a more appropriate man.  I
am willing to bet he even did it willingly.  At least Kaedric was not the
only one going through this.  A fact he would doubtless find somewhat
comforting, if I ever had the chance to tell him.  It did make me wonder,
though.  It could not be a coincidence that both the Serpent and the
Unicorn were reproducing at the same time.  Why was this happening now?
And what would be the consequences?  The last time, the results had been
the birth of Oberon.  Which begged the question of what happened to the
Serpent's child?  If there was one.  Questions I would dearly love to have
the answers to right now.

	Things got a little strange for a few minutes, when Dworkin
apparently wanted to switch from Mok's body to mine, since mine had more
power.  Naturally.  I cannot say I was unhappy that Mok would not allow
this, however.  God only knows what Dworkin would have done once he
realized I was pregnant.  Given that he left Ulysses' body once he
realized Ulysses was in that condition, I doubt his reaction would have
been good.  Even without getting into my body, Dworkin seemed to suspect
that I was pregnant, a suspicion I did my best to deny.  I must hide this
pregnancy for as long as I can, for once it becomes known, I will have to
leave the group, lest the speed at which the pregnancy is advancing tip
the others off to its unusual nature.

	Claudio chatted with Mok/Dworkin for a time after that.  I do not
know all of what they discussed, but one topic was apparently who else
Dworkin could reside in.  Job Wickling was nominated and found acceptable.
I had to admit, it would take care of two problems rather nicely.  The
trick would be getting Mok/Dworkin to Job, of course.

	We all soon bedded down for the night in the teepees that Sky had
brought us to.  I conjured a mattress, not wanting to sleep on the ground
in my condition, and hoped that someone else would choose our next
campsite.  I was asleep almost immediately, barely managing to stay awake
long enough to cast my defensive wards.  It was sometime in the middle of
the night that I came awake to the sounds of battle.  After a moment or
two of confusion, I realized that the sounds were too distant for the camp
to be under attack, and I set off to investigate.  The source of the noise
soon became obvious.  Humans were using magic to fight elves dressed much
like Sky, who were using technology.  I was afraid one of the Amberites
would have some crazy urge to intervene, but for once they all acted
rationally.  As we watched, Mok expressed concern that the warring groups
might attack us at some point.  He was actually worried about our ability
to defend ourselves against a bunch of Shadows.  Can you imagine?  I guess
he is still too rooted in his Shadow past.  We watched the rest of the
battle, which lasted another hour or so, until the faeries took the
remaining humans prisoner and departed.  At which point, I settled back
down to sleep again, hoping fervently that there would be no more
interruptions until morning.

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