Zarurra approaches Julius and says “Okay I’m feeling somewhat helpless and steered well beyond my ken toward what I don’t know. I’m left with the uncanny desire to punch someone or something repeatedly. I don’t know what we’re going to do about Menaulaus/Rook, Talisman & his remaining Cardinals, Alleya and her conniving Golden circle allies which I think may have gotten to more than someone we trust and Jill being the avatar of Justice seems compromised at best. I guess Fritz isn’t trying to kill me not sure how to treat him now. I wonder if I’ve lost my direction and then I realize I’m wearing a Nazi uniform. I need people to listen to me but I’m just some girl. And if they did listen I don’t know what in the hell I would say. Julius I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, I don’t know which way is up or when I’ll hit bottom, I’m focusing on you but then you run off and fight BATTLE CRUISERS by yourself and and GraaHAHH! ((throws her hand s up in the air))” Julius looks at his feet. ” Your right Zarurra.” He say after a moment. ” I was wrong to go off like that. I have clearly spent far to long dealing with things alone.” He looks up at your with clear blue eyes and a focused expression. “And partners do not deal with each other so. Please forgive me, I was wrong. From here on out WE will make OUR plans and deal with them. As equals in this relationship. I am sorry.” And will walk over to Zarurra. <<zarurra>> “We needed to split up tactically it worked out, I’m not attached to your hip I just want to know where that hip goes and that its coming back. So now we have the unsavory task of figuring out who we trust and who is possibly compromised. I now I know that we could have someone who told all of our deepest darkest secrets, fears, hopes, and plans and they would never remember doing so. I suppose we could line everyone up and see if they have gaps. I know Darix does…And I have no idea what they did to Alana, that girl that came back with those demons is so far from the little sister who would yell at me for stepping on a bug I fear for her. <<sits>> I don’t know what to do, my next step is shaky at best and I feel in desperate need of a stiff drink. At this rate I may become an alcoholic. And YOU, you are are always so damned cool calm and collected. I could run off and go fight an army without telling you where but you would know how to find me…<<she>> Juliua says “Only reason I am collected now is I have a clear goal in mind” He says sitting next to you. He puts one arm about your shoulders.”I think I can work on the whole “finding” me thing. I can link us. But it’s permanent. First, is that ok with you?” He says turning your face to his and kissing you lightly. ” Second you need to be a little calmer to do it. So let’s work on that?”
He reaches to hold your hands looking more like to steady himself than you. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. ” SO… the goal here is that Eric’s Reich, now under Ian’s control is going to come to attack Amber. And Ian is under the direct control of the Talisman. I can’t help feeling sorry for Ian , changing one master for another… but no matter. The Reich can’t just fly battle cruisers to Amber. And we could fight them in shadows… But I don’t feel good about taking MY fights to someone else’s backyard. So I really would rather face them here or close by. The Talisman’s goal is most likely to set up Amber as his church’s head quarters, thus immediately affecting multiple other shadows. That has happened before. I will not allow it to happen again. ” He nods to himself still with his eyes closed. “They can’t just fly here. They can’t use technology. So they HAVE to have staging areas. that means they have to be talking to the golden circle rulers.” He opens his eyes” And they need multiple Pattern wielders or some method of transporting millions of nazi vampires here to the golden circle….. SOOO they will be using Diedra. An abyss creature… but she cant go all the way to Amber. sooo… the golden circle is the bottleneck, that and Arden.” He opens his eyes. “Menelaous is steering The Talisman here…. he couldn’t care less about Amber or about domination. He is just sitting back and playing chess. He knows the pieces and he knows their motivations. He didn’t control Jyll… he just gave her a relationship that she wanted with someone he was feeding info to. And that took out one semi sane Abyssal. Diedre was another…But she is run by….Oh! Brand in the Burl… So Menelaous still has at least minions there….”
He looks into your eyes “What we need to do is turn the rulers of the golden circle to our side. Limit Ian’s beachheads. If we can make it so there is only one path of attack then we beat him. No one has ever taken Amber without totaly surrounding it. And the person we are fighting there is Alleia. Menelaous doesn’t matter… If we crush Ian we have a very limited Talisman to go after. The fight will be here and on our doorstep. We just have to be sure we win.”
<< Zarurra looks him in the eyes, take a slow deep breath>>
“Then that is what we’ll do. We need to figure out who amongst the Golden Circle we can sway to our cause. IF you have to keep up appearances that you and Rat are betrothed to do so then so be it. I’m more concerned about Amber and the effect it has on the rest of Shadow than petty jealousy. For now I’ll put Menelaous on the back burner though I’m loath to do so, We’ll call together all available allies and see what we can do.
We may be able to fix the Jyll issue, we’ll deal with Alleia. I knew we should have killed her. Ian we can deal with, nazi vampires we can deal with we have some of our own. I have a theory about the Pattern, I might be able to lock it or make it more difficult to access for a time.
I have no problem with being permanently linked to you if you don’t have a problem with it. Aside from being calmer what all is involved?”
He wraps his arms around Zarurra. “Just relax in my arms a bit. This will get … emotional.” He says And she began to feel him in her mind, and then in her soul. She felt with absolute clarity just how much he loves her , How much he needs her. She began to feel his heart beat in time with her own. She felt him seeing deeply into her. Zarurra KNEW he could see how much she loved him. All her insecurities, her feelings of inadequacy. She sensed his worry, about her, about not being able to protect her, protect Amber, protect the whole of creation. She felt intimately his concern that his emotions will carry him off. And his concern that that worry will make some sort of wall between them that he desperately doesn’t want.
Later… when the wake up. Zarurra sensed him. With her eyes closed, she sensed him. Exactly where he was. Exactly how he was.
” Let the record show I’ve changed my mind and I would rather become a nymphomaniac than an alcoholic…<<snuggling>> Before we’re inevitably interrupted though, sour pillow talk this will make, we need to figure out who amongst our group we trust and to what degree. I’m sure Fox will be along any moment and I’m torn between not letting her catch us in bed together again or possibly always arranging it so she only finds us in bed together. “
Julius chuckles and holds her tight. “I think Fox has a greater part to play” He says, “I’m going to have to push her to discover her lineages powers sooner than she is ready to. I think she will have to take up her mantle of “goddess” sooner than she would like.” He frowns. ” As for who we can trust Im going ot have to find that out in the castle as well. Ant good Ideas of how we can do that?” He chuckles again. “The only ones I trust of the others right now are Fritz and Inque. I can be sure about thier motivations at least.
Zarurra responds: “Well sometimes we have to face things whether we want to or not, and I think Fox will make the best of it, I’m a genetic stew so maybe I can help her deal. Might I inquire as to her lineage? I think for starters we need to line everyone up and check their minds for tampering. Then we can see who trusts us that same way. Inque I too trust b/c his motivations are clearly defined however he has no morals or ethics…he is devoid of a conscious I think. Fritz I’m just now beginning to trust though his motivations are not that clear to me. We need to find out who all did not believe in Alleia’s guilt b/c I believe they will be the easy link into the castle, she was well loved by many and I don’t think we handled her banishment correctly. I trust Darix, Knox…and if I can talk with Alana to verify she’s not been messed with I trust her not to willingly betray us. I do NOT trust Jyll, Sparrow, nor Tiberius. Piper is so naive and easily led its not that I believe she actively wishes either of us harm but she is a marionette that is easily control by whomever she is with. I also feel its time to try and rally any of the big guns among the wardens we can to have them help us here in Amber. I feel so focused…we must plan to ravish one another before any meeting if we can <<coy>> Anyway sorry the rest of figuring out the castle is to post our most trust worthy folks amongst the castle and see what they can discover. Fritz and Darix will be great for that. Speaking of I’m sure I will have to duct tape his mouth closed, anytime I feel strong emotions he feels them too. I doubt I will ever hear the end of this.”