"the daVinci Space & Time Memory Enhancement Module 3000 is guaranteed to
boost your recall times!  See your intelligence soar, your recall become a
hundred times improved, and become the most coveted Trivial Pursuit
partner around!"

- commercial trailer for the dVST Mem 3000 chip

>> NAME: Alek Barimen
>> TIME: 03:14:26.05
>> LOCATION: Unknown

	I had the chip reader installed next to the datajack some 6 months
ago.  The memory chip was supposed to help me remember locations, since I
don't need to know where I'm going but I need to know where I've been.  It
didn't do it's job very well, so I shifted it over to containing mostly
random thoughts and text.  I had started to write a book: "Pattern and the
Unconscious Mind," and many of my thoughts made its way into passages.  I
wanted to call it "Pattern and Chaos," on mathematical chaos, but people
might get the wrong idea.  Basically it concentrated on Shadow and its
inherently fractal nature.  As it turns out, what Laughter said about the
nature of Shadow being fractal turns out to be quite correct, from one
point of view.  And yes, it has taken me this long to realize this.  But
the files were on Eddie, and now they are quite inaccessible.

	Among other things.  It seems that Abigail has been interacting
with my project on a little too close of a scale.  She has broken into my
Shadow, violated my home, destroyed my project and a large part of my
life.  I ought to be screaming for bloody vengeance.  And maybe I will. 
But in the meantime, Eddie has evolved into a new, more interesting life
form.  I would prefer to Watch and Learn.  And discover what it is that
Eddie knows.

	Besides, my machinery is still intact, the back-up tapes of all
the observations still exist.  Tomorrow I hunt down the security breach. 
And I move the Electronic daVinci Project to manual.  I will never be
broken into again.

	My poor sister.  I may be a hypocrite in saying this, but Maron,
that was the dumbest, most selfish act I have ever bore witness.  And I
should know, being the king of dumb and selfish acts.  Suicide is no
answer, it's only an act of cowardice.  You have left behind a daughter
and a sister, both of which were family.  You've destroyed my sister, and
given the Amberites more leverage.  We could have saved you, dammit!  We
would have!


	Poor Melanie never was very stable, nor very sane.  Now she's
simply cracked, and had to be taken away.  Kaedric came, bearing news of
Maron and Eve, and took her away with him when it became quickly apparent
that she was not holding up.  Although he assured me that she would be
fine, the Shadow's keeper, Sand, has denied me access to her.  I cannot
verify that she's being well taken care of, or watched, or happy.


	And it's damn hard to keep me out of places in Shadow where I want
to go.  It's my sister, and I'm quickly running out of blood relatives. 
It's important to me.  But for now I'll let it rest.

	I have other problems.  Between Maron and Melanie and Eddie and
Abigail and the Pattern and Everything Else That Has Gone To Hell, I have
another, more pressing, issue.

	I have this problem, and it's name is Caitlin.

	I understand that maybe I could have gone to Anton, I should have
gone to Anton, but he dislikes anything that has to do with Amber or
Melanie.  I had no wish to drag him into something that he just doesn't

	What am I going to do?  I don't know.  I was in Amber, depressed
and disappointed, denied access to my sister and staring at the shambles
of my work.  I needed comfort, and my closest friend there is currently
Caitlin.  And comfort she provided.  Initially it was completely platonic,
just friends trying to prop each other up in the face of pain and
adversity.  But I took two Valium in an effort to calm down, and most of
my control was lost.

	I remember telling Caitlin that I was married, and that it wasn't
a good idea.  But there is only so much one can do under the
circumstances.  I'm sure she sees it as a mutual comforting.  I'm sure
she's full of good intentions - I can't imagine that Caitlin does anything
to me with the intent of hurting me.

	But hurt me it will do, and at the hands of Benedict.  There's
nothing I can say or do, and no amount of running will save me.  I'll soon
find myself either in exile or dead.  For Benedict speaks directly into
the ear of the butcher, Archimedes, and for me there is no redemption. 
Even for this.

	To be perfectly honest, I found myself in bed with Caitlin. 
Granted, I wish I wasn't wearing the boxer shorts covered with smiley
faces.  That wasn't a very dignified moment.  And I did pray that I
wouldn't be laden down with a dope stick, a common occurrence while high
on drugs that prevents from completing orgasm.  But it went well, and in a
guilty way, I enjoyed it.

	But now I have to think of what next.  I think I can convince
Caitlin not to take the bait thrown her from Amber and become Captain of
the Guards.  Being allowed into the Inner Circle is what she desires, but
I would prefer her here, with me.  I desperately need to be paired with
someone with the muscle to back up my magical attacks.  And worse, I need
that friend.  True, I'm sure she will be taken away from me before long,
but I would like someone here, even for a little while.

	Every day I look into the mirror, and a little more I see my
father staring back at me.

	Every day I study a little harder, try to get ahead a little

	Anton.  Nadine.  Melanie.  Caitlin.  Consequences.

	Tomorrow is a long day.


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