Session 45: "Heels are not conducive to battle."
Sky hangs out with Vain and Flynn. Vain wants to go to Rebma, and
Flynn wants to see how different this realm of Shadow is from the past.
Claudio tells Sky about the destruction of Ixaxis, and says he wants to
see it. Sky informs him that Archi may know more about it. Claudio
Trumps Archi, who doesn't answer. A page is sent for Melanie, who appears
shortly thereafter. She is questioned about Ixaxis, and explains that it
was destroyed without a trace, presumably by Abigail. This pleases
Claudio not at all.
Dworkin Trumps into Ulysses' Shadow, where Ulysses proceeds to
argue with Dworkin. Dworkin refuses to let him go back. Nope, nope,
nope. Ulysses convinces him to turn time magic back on, by daring him to
do it. Now all he needs is to find someone who can use it.
Melanie notices that time magic works again, and tattles to the
King. He gets the Jewel, and asks her to put him through to Ulysses,
which she does. Ulysses admits to talking to Dworkin. Alaric figures
that he can't have Ulysses declared a traitor, since he never swore fealty
to him. He asks what Ulysses is planning. He's not saying, other than
he's going back. Alaric uses the Jewel to mesmerize Ulysses, and forces
him to come through. Then he clamps Pattern and Trump manacles on
Ulysses, and lets him leave. Melanie suggests that the neck would have
been a better location. Alaric figures that if Ulysses chops his hand
off, he'll have a better idea of what they're up against. Melanie agrees
to watch Ulysses, just in case.
Ulysses finds Mandor, and asks to speak to him privately. Mandor
surrounds them with a ball of Logrus, and they move towards Foil.
Naturally, Melanie informs Alaric of this. Ulysses quizzes Mandor about
the theory behind time magic. Well, if they are 125 years in the future,
then yes, going back would erase it. He has his doubts, though. He's
been talking to Laughter, and she doesn't seem to have changed much over
125 years. And Fiona hasn't forgiven him, which she would have if she
thought he was dead. Mandor removes Ulysses' manacles.
Archi spends some time in deep sea trench, contemplating his pain.
Mandor tells Ulysses that he thinks Abigail used the computers to
create this reality. The people are probably constructs, like the people
she created in Faerie land. The constructs have power, though, so they
can hurt you. Ulysses says that if this is reality, his plan is to let
Brand possess his body and use his time magic to get them back. You see,
Dworkin and Laughter won't help, and Tianen can't be reached. Mandor
likes this plan not at all, and insists that this place isn't real. He
wants to find the computers, which are providing the powers for this
place. Mandor thinks his Logrus should be able to overwhelm whatever
Ghostwheel (call him Jim) is providing.
Ulysses Trumps Archi and demands that he come through. Archi
won't come through any more Trump calls, given what happened the last
time. Ulysses throws a fit, and demands that Archi come through, pronto.
Archi begins swimming towards the surface, but is grabbed by Mandor's
Logrus tendril and dragged to join them. Melanie attempts to stop this,
and is knocked unconscious. Mandor explains his theory. He wants to
confront Laughter, and see if she slips up.
Sandr goes to Chantille Vale, gazes at Melanie's Fount, then goes
to Intellex and screws around with what's left of Eddie.
Caitlin Trumps Ulysses, after trying to Trump Fiona, but can't get
through, since Melanie is still unconscious. Trumping Melanie is equally
unsuccessful. Caitlin walks the Pattern and teleports to Ulysses. She
bounces off of Mandor's Logrus ball and falls unconscious. Mandor tells
Ulysses of this. Ulysses opts to leave her there.
Mandor quizzes Laughter, accusing her of not being real. She
denies this, and they go back and forth for quite a while, until Laughter
slits her stomach open, then says, "I'm sorry, did you think I was real?"
They decide it's time to gather the others together.
Caitlin wakes up several hours later, and follows the Logrus trail
back to Amber. Ulysses snags her in Arden. Mandor and Ulysses gather
everyone together out in Shadow, by either finding them in the castle,
snagging them with the Logrus, or transporting them via Trump hole.
Mandor punches through a barrier, and they all plop down in the middle of
a battle that's taking place in the middle of the decimated Arden.
Unfortunately, they appear among the enemy. They go to town. Archi's
sword breaks, but Caitlin gives him one of her blades to use as a
replacement. Archi senses for the Jewel, and finds that someone else is
using it to rain destruction down on the enemy. Mandor parts the enemy
forces with Logrus, and they link up with Bleys' group. Corwin is there
as well, whole once more.
Ulysses Trumps to the battlements, where Laughter, Melanie and
Kaedric are. Melanie and Kaedric are using Trump to transport various
enemy leaders away from the battle. Laughter is using the Jewel.
Apparently, three weeks have passed in Amber since everyone disappeared,
and the battle has been going on for a couple of days. There ensues
another silly conversation, wherein Laughter tries to convince Ulysses to
bring Archi to her, or her to Archi. No dice.
The battle continues. Song joins Archi after two hours, so he
returns Caitlin's sword to her. Another day passes before Amber secures a
Caitlin briefs Benedict on her adventures in the future. Then she
finds Fiona and asks if she's going to be screwed because she walked the
phony Pattern. Nope.
Archi tracks down the Jewel, but it's back in its vault. He gets
another Trump deck and Trumps Laughter. She yanks him through and asks
where he's been. He explains. She tells him that she attuned herself to
the Jewel, with Corwin's help, and asks about his ringless hand. He
explains that he was avoiding sharing his pain with her. She bitches
about Ulysses' over-protectiveness. Archi admits that Ulysses was just
following his orders. Laughter attempts, unsuccessfully, to convince him
that this isn't necessary. He manages to make her feel better.
Sandr goes to Melanie's quarters, and is surprised when Kaedric
answers the door. Sandr asks after Anton and Nadine, and learns that
Melanie rescued them by using time magic to go back and get them before
Abigail came along, leaving Shadows in their place. Kaedric fetches them,
and there is much rejoicing. Kaedric retreats from the reunion into
Melanie's bedroom, which irritates her to no end. She kicks him out, and
tells Sandr to get out of there. He does, but leaves Nadine with Kaedric.
Melanie locks the door to her bedroom. Kaedric proceeds to teach Nadine
how to pick it. Melanie is rather annoyed by this, and bickers with
Kaedric for a while. He continues to insist that he won't leave until she
promises not to take her life, as Maron did, and she continues to refuse
to do so.
Laughter tells Archi about the Melanie/Kaedric dynamic that's been
going on for the past couple of weeks. Archi is amused.
Fiona fetches Abigail for Ulysses. He sends notices to everyone
to meet in the Pattern room at eight. When all are gathered, Ulysses
brings Abigail in, smacks her awake, and asks if she wants to be real.
She asks how they know that she's really Abigail, and not just another
Shadow of Melanie. Ulysses is sure, and boots her onto the Pattern. She
flames nicely. Laughter throws up and goes up to the battlements. Archi
joins her to offer her comfort. She doesn't like public executions. She
tells Archi how the invading army got so close to Amber. Apparently they
had a Pattern user and a Logrus user, who left around when Laughter
attuned herself to the Jewel.
Sandr tells Anton about his tryst with Caitlin. Anton takes the
news poorly, and leaves. Sandr plays the piano for a while, then drugs
himself to sleep.
Anton comes by Melanie's quarters. Kaedric has fallen asleep, so
Melanie gets the door. Anton asks if she knew about Sandr and Caitlin.
Yep. He asks her to take him into town and give him some money, which she
does. She asks him not to judge Sandr too harshly.
Caitlin Trumps Benedict in the morning and says she's going after
her mother. That thud you hear is the sound of the other shoe dropping.
She asks who he thinks she should take with her. Kaedric. Benedict gives
her a Trump of him. He has no message for Aelle, if Caitlin should find
Caitlin Trumps Kaedric and explains what she is about. Kaedric
says he will be ready in a couple of hours. Caitlin then goes and asks
Archi for a leave of absence. She explains what she's up to, and he
wishes her luck.
Corwin bumps into Sky as she walks down the hall. They discuss
her possible appointment to be captain of Archi's guards. He walks with
her to breakfast and asks her opinion of the battle. She says she enjoyed
it, and he says that she's a woman after his own heart.
Kaedric tells Melanie that he must leave for a time, but he
expects her to be alive when he returns. She points out that there won't
be much he can do if she's not. He doesn't like this at all, and Trumps
Caitlin tells everyone at breakfast that she's going after her mom
with Kaedric. Ulysses and Melanie are both in wonderful moods, due to
Abigail's death. Ulysses even holds up a piece of bacon and acts like
it's Abigail frying. Then Hewitt starts asking for bacon, cookies,
doughnuts, etc. It's entirely too silly to relate here. Well, not
really. But, in the interest of getting the log done before the world
ends, we'll skip it.
Claudio gives Archi a note from Abigail, which says that she may
be dead, but she's corrupted other Shadows of Melanie. This note is
passed on to Ulysses and then Melanie. Melanie figures there can't be too
many of her Shadows left, seeing as how she killed a lot of them. Claudio
plans on eliminating the rest of them, just because he didn't get to help
with killing Abigail.
Caitlin and Kaedric chat on the journey. She asks what he does.
Well, he teaches the school on Ixaxis, and he used to be a guardian of the
Logrus, but that's over now. He is houseless, since he never chose one.
She asks after his interests, which includes Trump, shapeshifting,
sorcery, Logrus, fencing and demonology. He hasn't taken the Pattern, and
has no desire to do so. Caitlin asks the differences between Pattern and
Logrus, and gets a run down on this. On the third day of their journey,
Kaedric asks if Caitlin's ever known someone who's committed suicide.
Caitlin says she's known someone who tried. Kaedric wants to know if it
helps to know that someone's watching out for you, or not, if you are
contemplating suicide. Caitlin thinks it would help. This seems to
satisfy him. Five days after leaving Amber, they trace Aelle to Chaos.
Kaedric ain't going there, and neither is Caitlin. Kaedric figures Aelle
has probably been absorbed into House Wickling, along with everyone else.
He might be able to create a Trump of Aelle, from what he knows of Caitlin
and Benedict. Caitlin is all over that idea. They Trump back to Amber,
arriving late on the same day that they left. Aren't differing time flows
Melanie checks on Anton, but he's not at the inn where she left
him, and no one recalls seeing him leave. She tries to use time magic to
discover where he went, but there is a zone around the inn in which time
magic doesn't work. And it's expanding.
Sandr goes to see Archi. He asks the secretary about changing his
quarters to something bigger, like family size. No problem. He comes
across Melanie, who tells him of Anton's disappearance. He tries to Trump
Fiona, but she doesn't answer. Melanie Trumps Archi, and tells him about
the expanding no-time-magic zone. He says he'll relate it to Fiona, and
thanks her for her help with the battle. She tells him that she got his
message, and she agrees to his terms. She also tells him of Anton's
disappearance. Melanie and Sandr Trump to Intellex, and review EDDIE's
records, but still can't find Anton. They do learn that the no-time-magic
field is rewriting the rules a bit as it expands. They return to Amber.
Sky gets flowers from Corwin. Guess Merlin could take some smooth
lessons from his dad.
Archi and Laughter talk about the Cult of the King, and about not
having a soul, and about not being eager to test the theory. Laughter
uses Faerie magic, and confirms that Archi is sterile.
Archi is informed that someone has killed the guards in the
Pattern room. He informs Fiona and Ulysses and heads down there. All of
the guards throats have been torn out, and Sarah is walking the Pattern,
beginning at the dark spot. She is shapeshifting as she walks. Archi
shoots her, but she doesn't bleed. Ulysses special Trump arrows don't
work either, which means they didn't hit living tissue. "Sarah" reaches
the center, looking a bit like a combination of Melanie, Sandr, Maron, you
get the idea. She vanishes, at which point Fiona says they should get to
Archi's quarters, now. Ulysses brings them there, and they find "Sarah"
fighting Laughter. Archi calls Song to him, and proceeds to remove the
woman's spine. This doesn't even slow her down. Ulysses Trumps her to a
volcano, but she never arrives there. Laughter mentions that Melanie said
something like this might happen. It was probably Eve. The spine turns
out to be plastic, and Fiona leaves with it. Archi requests Melanie's
presence, and breaks the news to her. She isn't happy, but says she'll
try to track Eve down.
Melanie returns to her quarters and finds that Kaedric has
returned from his trip with Caitlin. She tells him about Eve. This makes
him even more concerned about her. She doesn't help matters by locking
herself in her bedroom, and then teleporting elsewhere in the castle, just
to prove to him that he can't get through her door in time to stop her.
When she returns, he is sitting on her bed, and not looking happy at all.
He begins taking off his boots. She asks him what he's doing. He says
that if he can't get through her door in time, he'll just have to stay in
the same room as her. She likes this not at all, and tells him to leave.
He refuses. She eventually gives up and lies down on the bed, as far away
from him as possible. Neither of them gets undressed.
Eventually Kaedric sighs and says that he can't sleep, despite the
fact that this is the first real bed he's been in in days. He begins
using sorcery to display the constellations of Ixaxis, observing that if
he's still awake by the time he's displayed them all, he definitely has
insomnia. Melanie tells him the full details of the dream that Abigail
sent her, including the fact that he said that he loved her. Kaedric says
that Abigail's dreams often have some truth to them, since they are able
to use things that people have observed on a subconscious level. He
finishes the Ixaxin constellations at this point, and figures that he's up
for the night. He begins displaying the constellations of the Shadow
where Melanie grew up after Brand took her from Tianen. She expresses
surprise that he's been there. He claims he just studies constellations.
They verbally dance around a bit more, and Kaedric moves on to the
constellations of Foil. He points out one in particular that he claims is
known as "Gemini" in most Shadows, but is called "The Lovers" in Foil.
The story has something to do with a human and a Faerie who fell in love.
Melanie admits that certain aspects of her dream would be "interesting,"
if true, but won't say what specifically she's referring to, nor why it
would be interesting. Suddenly, Kaedric rolls over and pins her to the
bed, saying, "This is not a game to me." Then he gets up and begins
putting on his boots, claiming that since he can't sleep anyway, he's
going to sit in the other room. Melanie takes one of his boots and pushes
it under the bed, standing between it and Kaedric. Kaedric tries to move
her out of the way by picking her up and throwing her onto the bed, but
she grabs a hold of him and he can't put her down. He says he has an
analogy for her, but she must let go of him before he can tell it to her.
When she does so, he says, "If you love something, set it free," puts her
down, retrieves his boot, and moves to the other side of the bed to put it
on. She is silent for a moment, then asks how the second half of it goes.
"If it loves you, it will return to you." As he says this, she walks
over, sits down beside him, and takes the boot away again. He asks if she
really wants to do this. She begins undoing his cloak. He takes this as
"I'm not letting you (go home)." -- Dworkin
"You can't stop me." -- Ulysses
"Wait! The phrase, 'You're getting a Trump from...' comes before any of
this!" -- Ulysses to GM, after being told that he's answering a Trump call
"That's it? Your daughter is immature, so you doubt this reality?" --
Ulysses to Mandor
"Forgive my apprehension, but the last time I stepped through a Trump
call, I got screwed." -- Archi to Ulysses
"Heels are not conducive to battle." -- Caitlin to the group at large
"(Archi) is quite frustrated." -- Ulysses
"Well, it's been three weeks for me." -- Laughter
"Not that kind of frustrated." -- Ulysses
"After that, (Caitlin) doesn't know what to do." -- Dwinn
"Clean up? You're covered in gore!" -- Dann
"There is that." -- Dwinn
"Well, I'm only here for one reason, so if you wish to wake (Melanie) up,
by all means." -- Kaedric to Sandr
"If I turn up missing, you're required to come after me." -- Caitlin to
the group at breakfast
"Not if it's during breakfast." -- Ulysses
"I'm not sure what I'm asking." -- Kaedric
"Neither am I." -- Caitlin
"The wind is so easy to suck out of (Laughter's) sails." -- Wendi
"That's because the boat doesn't have any sails." -- Dann
the Log list