I have been very busy messing up the marshaling of Ian’s vampire star-fleet. As expected, the Talisman is using the Tao to locate the ships I drive off course, and placing Diedra on each and every one of them so he can pull them where he will. The good news is that this is taking a significant amount of time, and that I am managing to get a few “lost in the shuffle,” plus the few whom I manage to drive to their own destruction. The bad news is that the reason it is taking so long for Diedra to insert herself on all of the wayward starships is because there are still so many of them. Needless to say, the Talisman is seeking me with the Tao, and it’s taking almost all of my concentration to avoid his grasp while interfering with his efforts to locate the wayward ships and while hiding certain things from his notice. If he didn’t have to put his primary focus on rounding up his fleet, he’d have driven me off already. In fact, he has several times, but I just fade away (ok, flee), wait for him to begin re-gathering, and then start again. It’s a strenuous and monotones project for both of us, and I’m certain to have made his personal shit list by the time were through with this dance card.
Unfortunately, all this has meant that I haven’t been able to check in with everyone very much, so I don’t have a good feel for what my “allies” are up to, or how things are shaping up overall. I’m not entirely certain, but I don’t think it’s going very well. There’s an old adage that says that if you’re stuck on a problem, move on to something else and give your back-brain a chance to mull it over and hit you with some inspiration. I can attest that this works. In the middle of my dance with the Talisman and his star-fleet, I realized what one of my unresolved Tao feelings involving Cynthia and Jill was trying to tell me. Cynthia is pregnant. I immediately backed off and contacted Julius. He brought Zarurra and Sparrow in on this as well. Apparently, Sparrow already knew this, and said there was a prophecy about the child. She then went on to spout an excruciatingly vague summary of it that told me nothing. I asked her where she heard this prophecy so I could go to the source and evaluate it for myself, but she dodged the question. Damn it. I’ll have to go hunt it down myself when I have a spare moment. I suggested consulting with Lorellai as to how likely it was that Jill, an abyss creature, was involved in the pregnancy, but I doubt anyone will take my advice.
Latter, as I was once again plugging away at my task of delaying the bad guys so the “good” guys can get their shit together (for which I will likely get no thanks or credit,) I felt great emotional distress echoing from Julius, Zarurra, and their Tao bond. Worried, I touched Julius’ mind, and sensed something about Zarurra’s attempts at diplomacy revolving around her relationship with Julius, and that this was hampering things and causing her great distress. I spoke to Julius, and he allowed me to interject into their conversation. I told them that they were going about this the wrong way. They should be emphasizing the consequence of allowing the Talisman to put his puppet Ian on the throne. Regardless of whatever legitimacy Ian may have in his own right, the fact that he is now a genetically and mentally altered servant of The Talisman means certain unavoidable highly unpleasant consequences for Amber and everyone around it. Once the external threat to Amber and ALL of its surrounding realms is done, then everyone can decide whom Julius should marry without an army of vampires literally breathing down their necks. But, once again, they shit-canned my advice. Oh well… I tried.
So this is how things sit with me for now. All I can do is hold off the enemy for as long as I can, and wait for the other shoe to drop. Time to get back to work.
Something’s wrong with Dantalian. He just jumped in prominence, and it’s still growing on him. I this keeps up, the Talisman will notice him very soon despite my attempts to keep him hidden. I need to check on this. Now.