Damn it all to hell!  I do as Benedict has commanded and take the
Guard to train on Arrakis, we endure more pain and death than even I
thought we could, but finally we're ready to bloody Zane's nose for what
he did to Laughter.

	No sooner do we arrive at where Ygg should be, when we're met by
Brand, who, if he's half the things I've heard, deserves sudden, instant,
and even immediate death.

	From our confrontation at the Rift, it seems I could have felled
the viper if I hadn't stopped to talk to him.  Still, I've seen too many
men defeated by their own tempers before the enemy could land a blow.  I
will not underestimate him again.

	Now back in Amber, I must steel myself to finding Nicholas and
bringing him home, in whatever condition he may be.  It's time for the
Guard to be tested by our enemies in Chaos, so that they may learn that
Amber's King never travels alone.  I wonder, did Nicholas even try to
contact me?  It would have been a simple matter for at least some of us to
travel with him.  How bitter the irony that when I am finally ready to
guard the King, I find I am left with no king to guard!

	And what of my infant, accident rebellion?  Ironically, it appears
that in the resulting upheaval of the separation of Amber and Chaos, the
reform of Amber's political structure may now have the perfect climate.
Can it be that by losing their king, what could well be my greatest
failure, Amber's people will finally find the destiny I believe they
deserve?  Will my failure be my success?

	On a lighter note, Gavin appears to have had a run of bad luck,
and it appears his wee beastie has more sense than he does.  I must
confess that I did enjoy seeing him in traction.  Is it just coincidence,
though, that he found help with my over-zealous co-conspirators?  I

	So, where to from here?  Easy.  Chaos.  By any means necessary.
There's never been a king lost on my watch, and by the Celestial, Nicholas
will not be the first.  Just hang on lad.  We'll bring ye home!


Mac Ariuck

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