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Dressed To Kill

Steed's Tale - "Dressed To Kill" - Chapter 07

Journal of Prince "Major" Jonathan Steed of Amber:
Based on a Scenario by Rain Donaldson
Written by: R. Cal Westray, Jr. in 1997-1998.
Steed's history was written in 1994.

"Extraordinary crimes against the people and the state,
need to be avenged by agents extraordinary..."

Episode A4-7 - Homicide and Old Latex

In which Steed suspects a child's motives
... and Emma suspects an Elder's character.

We had a celebration dinner, a typical fare and yes there was pizza. I passed on it, found other delights. After all, this 'is' Fiona's castle. After the meal, there was small talk about what the others plan to do next. I sought Luke for a small discussion. I had something of his and it was time to return it.
I sit next to him and sip my drink. I pause to contemplate my plan of attack. I hand him his Trump deck. "Luke, these belong to you."
He looks at me and smiles. If he suspected me of keeping his Trumps to keep him from leaving, he hid it well. "Thanks, Steed. I wondered where my deck was."
"Certainly. My deck was misplaced. Could I have a Trump of you? I would like to be able to get in touch with you later."
He sorts through his deck and pulls one of his out. "Sure." He hands it to me.
"Thank you."
The Doctor stands. "Gentlemen and ladies; I thank you for your hospitality, I must be on my way."
Suehprom caught him before he left. "How will you get around, since the TARDIS is busted."
"I have my ways." He turned and left.
I think to myself; good luck Doctor, I hope you find your old self. I miss the old Doctor: hat, coat, scarf, curly hair, and all.
Blazer decides to leave as well. "Thank you for having me here, but I really have to get back to my ship. There are potatoes to peel and dishes to wash." He leaves in a hurry, probably before something else happens. Poor lad, no ambition and no spirit of adventure. As he is a brother of Luke and a son of Brand, I am glad he is not overly ambitious. After three steps out the door, I hear the rapid steps of someone running.
Luke says. "He's a strange one."
Scout smiles. "Yeah, but we like him."
I smile. "He enjoys the safe life."
Scout returns. "He makes a good canary."
Luke chuckles at that inference.
Looking at Luke's Trump, I get his attention again. "Did you draw them?"
"I was impressed with the style of your work. Definitely a different design from Dworkin, Fiona, Kesa, or the Doctor. But nice work."
"Thank you."
"Would it be possible to draw a Trump for me?"
"I am always open for a deal. What would you like a Trump of?"
"An English gentleman in Shadow Earth. I plan to visit him soon. A normal human but one of exceptional qualities."
"I am not my dad, I would have to meet the subject of the Trump."
"I could provide a mental image of him."
"It would have to be awfully detailed, I don't think you want to open yourself that much."
He's right, of course. "I suppose I could provide a photo of him."
"I would guess that you may not be knowledgeable of Trump creation. The problem is that they require more of a psychic impression to function. Even dad couldn't draw a Trump from a photo."
"I didn't realize what was involved in their creation and I haven't tried it before. I'm sure it would be terribly interesting to be able to be a Trump Artist. There are so few available to teach."
"If you ever decide that you want a few lessons, I could give you some pointers to get you started."
"It 'would' be interesting to do a few sketches. Maybe we could arrange a session together. A thought occurred to me, Emma is much more artistically inclined than I am." I let the thought hang there.
He gives it some thought. "It's generally been my experience that Trumps tend to work better when they are backed with one of the powers. Possibly some of your friends have different experiences."
I have no idea if Emma could be taught Trump Artistry. "As I said, I am not familiar with Trump dynamics. I will give it some thought."
"Compared to Dworkin, Oberon, and dad, we are all amateurs in Trumps." He looks around and smiles. "Excluding Fiona of course." He holds up his glass, as in a toast to her.
She smiles at his comments. Good save, Luke. I noticed that she hasn't offered any suggestions. We are probably providing a great deal of amusement for her.
"Thanks Luke, I will give it some thought. By the way, in your visits to Shadow Earth; Have you ever visited England?"
"I can't say that I have. I mostly stayed in the states."
"Pity. So much for my other idea. It looks like a Hellride will be the mode of transportation. Unfortunately, my horses are still there. No matter."
"I understand that the Doctor spent time in England."
"Yes, we both spent a good deal of time there." I could have asked him, but... 
I look around the table to see who is left in our little party. Luke, Corwin, Fiona, Random, Scout, Anna, Suehprom, Kat, Emma, and myself. I get my pipe out and fill the bowl. I light it and taste the smooth aromatic smoke as I exhale. "We could return to Amber, I miss the old place."
Suehprom leans forward across the table. "Steed, are you still interested in a little side trip?"
"Where to?"
"To Chaos. I would like to take the Logrus. Did you want to observe?"
"That would be interesting, but I have some unfinished business on Shadow Earth. I've put it off for too long. Once that is concluded, I would like to see the land beyond Ygg."
I overhear Scout talking to Random. "Are you planning to return to Amber soon, your majesty?"
"Yes, I suppose I should."
"A lot of people will be looking for you." He sounds concerned about Random's well-being.
"The paperwork tends to pile up when I am gone too long."
"It has been awhile. Mind if I tag along?" Scout sounds anxious to get back too.
"Not at all, son." Random smiles.
Scout seems to be distracted about something. "Do you see a string on the other side of the entry way? It seems to be suspended in mid-air."
I turn to look at it. He is right. The string seems to be out of place, dangling just beyond the doorway.
Scout asks Fiona. "Is that some decorative feature?"
She looks at it. "No."
Scout. "It reminds me of someone we met some time ago."
Suehprom. "Smiling Jenny?"
Scout. "Yeah, that's the one."
A voice calls out from beyond the doorway. "You called?" It is the syrupy sweet adolescent voice of the child of Chaos, Smiling Jenny. I remember my last vision of her, standing next to Creed. She held the Jewel of Judgment and Creed held Coral's head. A sight I am not likely to forget, Luke shows no indication of remembering her.
It took awhile to put together the pieces of the events. I believe what transpired, is as follows... The Ty'iga possessed Creed in order to decapitate Coral and then remove the Jewel from her eye. The Jewel was passed on to Jenny, then the Ty'iga possessed Jenny to escape with the Jewel; leaving Creed to defend himself from us. Creed gave up the fight and decided he wasn't interested in the Jewel, uncertain why he attacked her. I tracked the Jewel to a Golden Circle city and found it buried under a tree near a pub. When I examined and entered the Jewel, a Ty'iga was already in the Jewel and Jenny was nowhere to be found. Then began the time of my occupation of the Jewel, the Ty'iga possessing my body, and later myself becoming a Pattern Ghost - in order to recover the Jewel and my body. I believe that covers the critical events.
Sweet Smiling Jenny, she reminds me of Shirley Temple. Curly hair and dainty freckles, her age is unknown; as well as the extent of her powers. I doubt that she is truly a child. Looks 'can' be deceiving for shape shifters from Chaos. That darling little child may have been a tool of the Ty'iga, but she is quite dangerous; make no mistake. Jenny and her balloons could have killed the impostor of the beige man, Sweeney, if he didn't have that Spikard. By the way, what ever happened to Sweeney? If Jenny is involved; can Sweeney and her other playmates be far behind?
Suehprom welcomes her and beckons her to join us. She skips into the room with a seemingly harmless lone balloon, drifting in behind her. She looks around to see who is here. "Oh wow!"
Suehprom asks her. "How did you get here?"
She answers cheerfully. "I walked." She sees Random. "I know you!" She moves toward him and points to him. She goes down on one knee. "You're the king!" With a bubbly and cheerful voice. I almost expect a chorus of 'Good Ship Lollipop'.
I get the nasty feeling that she is not interested in the king but what he is wearing around his neck. My instincts are setting off alarms. She is a dangerous one and we are not out of the woods, so to speak, yet. I try to get Random's attention in a subtle manner, without alerting Jenny of my suspicions. I get up from the table and move towards Random. I see the Jewel glowing and pulsing. Damn, she is nearly close enough to him to grab the Jewel. Does Random understand the Jewel's warning?
Scout. "Jenny, what are you doing here?" He 'must' see the Jewel glowing.
Jenny. "What do you mean?"
Scout. "This isn't one of your normal hangouts."
Jenny. "I haven't been here before."
Scout. "What brought you here?"
Jenny, in a sweet innocent voice. "I brought me here."
Scout. "Why?"
Jenny. "Because."
I mentally call out. "Random."
Scout. "Were you looking for Random?"
Jenny. "No, you."
Scout. "Why me?"
Jenny. "Do you want me to say why, in front of all these people?"
Scout. "Yes."
Jenny. "You are in 'big' trouble." She almost pouts, again Shirley Temple.
Scout. "Why am I in big trouble?"
Jenny. "Because, there are bad people out to get you."
Scout. "I know that."
Jenny. "Oh."
Suehprom. "Are you one of the bad people?"
Jenny. "Me? Do I look like a bad person to you?"
Suehprom. "No."
Jenny. "Good."
Scout. "Thanks for the warning."
I mentally call out. "Random."
Suehprom. "You didn't answer his question."
Jenny. "If I were out to hurt him, would I come here and warn him?"
Suehprom. "Yes."
Jenny. "Why?"
Suehprom. "Because, it would be fun."
Following that, flows a litany of 'why' and 'because' that is maddening.
Jenny. "I like you."
Suehprom. "I like you, too."
Jenny. "Good. You are going to be my new boy-friend." She walks to Suehprom and stands by his side. "I like ice cream." The balloon drifts closer to them, almost menacingly at the rest of us.
I mentally shout. "Random!" The Jewel continues to glow, I imagine my face is betraying my thoughts.
They discuss ice cream and other boy-friend/girl-friend topics. Suehprom has just sold his soul to the child of Chaos. Oh well. They decide to return to the Courts of Chaos and Jenny decides to let Suehprom lead the way. Jenny talks to a newly arrived balloon, pointing to Suehprom. "You belong to him now. Go with him everywhere and do what he says."
Suehprom. "Thank you, Jenny." Suehprom gets acquainted with his new charge. They leave together and the Jewel stops glowing.
They are out of hearing range. "Random." I finally say out loud.
"Yes?" He sounds almost unconcerned. His attention torn from the sight of Jenny and Suehprom leaving together, arm in arm.
"I think you should know that Jenny and Creed were the ones who attacked Coral and stole the Jewel of Judgment." I notice a glare from Luke, looking at the doorway; he finally remembers.
"Aha! Now I understand why the Jewel was warning me."
"I think you should be concerned about protecting it, if she is around."
Scout. "I'm more worried about 'how' she got here."
I return. "I don't buy her answer. I'm concerned about 'why' she came here. I think she recognized the Jewel, not the king."
Scout repeats his concerns.
"I think we should get back to Castle Amber and get Random safely out of here."
Random. "I guess I ought to go back."
Scout. "Sounds like a good idea."
Random withdraws a Trump deck and asks. "Is Ge'rard still at the castle?"
"I don't know, it has been a long time. We can use the Trump of my room, we can get there without being noticed."
Scout. "That would be good, it would help avoid a lot of people who are looking for him."
Random. "I usually prefer a Trump of a person to a place, but it would provide us some privacy. Who is going?"
The consensus is: Random, Scout, Anna, Emma, and myself. I bring out my Trump. We bid farewell to Fiona and thank her for her help. We also leave Corwin, Luke and Kat.
I concentrate on the Trump of my room, very similar to my apartment in Westminster. It has oak walls, trimmed in mahogany. The furniture is mahogany and red leather. Pictures on the wall are of military personnel of different time periods. On the counter-tops and the fireplace ledge are figurines of soldiers and cannons. In the corner, next to the window, is the tuba filled with red and white carnations. The picture forms the reality, the rainbow portal opens and we step through; party of five to Amber. I notice the sword rack with a missing blade.
Scout hands me a blade. "I believe this belongs to you."
"Thanks." I return it to the rack.
"Who can we check with to make sure all is well in Amber?"
Random checks the door, looks down the hall and is ready to make his way back to his chambers. "Steed, why don't you see if Ge'rard is still here. I will pop over to my apartment to see how my wife is doing."
"Very well."
Scout and Anna leave to take care of their business.
Emma and I look for a palace guard, one is found down the hall near the stairs. "Excuse me, do you know where Lord Ge'rard may be found?"
"Of course, milord. I believe Lord Ge'rard is in Death Alley, dining in Bloody Bill's."
"I know the place well, thank you." We walk on, the guard returns to his post.
Wonderful, and I still don't have my Trumps. "There may be a Trump deck in the Library, let's look there first. It would save a trip into town." We make our way to the Library, no one is there. I locate the glass case, locked of course. I pull out my lock pick set and work on the delicate mechanism. These things must be done right. It surrenders to my ministrations, giving up its treasures. There are no Trump decks, only slips of paper.
The first one says. "Borrowed one Trump deck. Merlin."
The second one says. "Borrowed one Trump deck. Corwin."
The third one says. "Corwin and Merlin, when you get a chance, put the Trump decks back. Random."
Typical, just typical.
I extend my Pattern awareness through the Library, looking for something that contains Trump energies. There 'must' be Trumps in here somewhere. I notice a trace of something in the bookcase. I follow the traces to a very old book on an upper shelf. The title, "Arcane Studies, a Memoir". There is no indication of who the author is. Very old indeed, I open it and find a picture. It 'is' a Trump, but of who? I examine the cover and pages of the book to get some clue on the author.
The handsome features look familiar, but much younger than anyone I know. It looks almost like Oberon, but thinner. Could it be Dworkin? It 'is' possible. I could try it, tempting... Not the Trump I was looking for. I may look for it later, but there is no time now. It 'is' possible that Dworkin may be able to create some Trumps for me or give me a few pointers. 'After' I get Ge'rard! I explain the situation to Emma, she understands my hesitation in using strange Trumps. I return the book to its original location, noting the place for future reference. Then I push the book further back. I think I will answer this invitation soon, if that is what it is.
She understands that it also looks like a trip into town after all. We head back to my room, I suggest a change of clothes. I change into my riding clothes, with my sabre strapped to my belt. It is an easy transformation, removing the concealed blade from the brolly. I then replace the wood handle with a decorative sabre handle and guard. It is best to wear a weapon openly in that quarter. I suggest that she stay here, it is a rough side of town. She gives me that look, she can take care of herself. That she can. She straps on one of the sabres from my sword rack as well. We are ready.
We head for the Great Hall. There, we have a house staff member send for a carriage to take us to the docks. The carriage shows up within minutes. "Are you sure you want to go there, milord?" The driver is not happy to take us to Bloody Bill's, he is concerned for our safety; as well as his own. 
"Certainly, my good man." The ride into town is comfortable and uneventful. We soon reach our destination.
"Do you want me to wait here, sir?"
I tell the driver that we will find our own way back, he doesn't have to wait for us.
"Thank you kindly and good luck, sir." He seems delighted and drives off quickly.
As we enter Bloody Bill's, I hear off-key and off-color singing; Ge`rard is taking the lead.
The owner comes over to me, recognizing me as a member of the royal family. "Sorry, milord. When I heard the carriage, I thought it was the delivery wagon. We are running low on drinks and I hope it arrives soon."
Motioning to Ge`rard. "I will see if he is ready to return to the castle."
The owner looks terrified. "Do you want to ask him to leave, sir? It may not be a good idea, but you're the prince." He moves back to the bar.
"Steed!" Ge`rard motions us to join him at his table. He is quite intoxicated.
"Uncle Ge`rard."
"How are you doing?"
"Fairly well, we just returned to Amber."
"Bartender! A round of drinks for my friend Steed."
"Ge`rard, we just brought Random back, he wanted me to see how you were."
"Great! Everything's great." He looks at Emma. "Hey! Who's your pretty little lady friend?"
"This is my partner." I add to discourage him. "Mrs. Emma Peel."
She curtsies. "Milord."
"I didn't know you were married." He looks hurt, like he wasn't invited to the wedding. It passes. "A round of drinks, my friend Steed just got married."
Ge`rard gets up and pushes aside someone at the next table who is standing too close. "Come over here and have a drink."
"I guess we have a little time." I look at Emma and shrug. She grins mischievously.
"I know you like a good drink." He drains his tankard.
"I was hoping for one of those marvelous fish dinners and Bayle's Best. I'll go to the bar to order." Emma nods in agreement, suppressing her mirth.
"Never mind, they'll come to us. After all, we're 'princes'."
A waiter appears. "Sir?"
"Ge`rard, do you want anything to eat?"
"No, I'm fine. Nothing to ear for me. Maybe a refill on my drink." He holds up the tankard that looks more like a pail with a handle on the side.
"Two fish dinners and a bottle of Bayle's Best, please."
"Very good, sir."
"Well Steed, how have you been?" He slaps my shoulder, nearly dislocating it.
"Passable, uncle. We saved the universe again, for the..." I turn to my partner. "How many times?"
Emma gives me a look. "Which universes are we counting?"
"Well, a number of times anyway."
Ge`rard turns his attention to Emma. "You're a real pretty girl. If you ever get tired of Steed, look me up." He takes another drink. "Is this the honeymoon?"
"No, a holiday." My uncle, the lush. And people think 'I' drink a lot.
"So, you've already had the honeymoon. You really put it to her, huh?"
I try to change the subject, before Emma decides to kick Ge`rard's nose in. "We just got back from Fiona's place."
"Ah, you went to Fi's place for your honeymoon."
"We, that is... oh, never mind."
"Fiona. I don't think she will ever get married. She's an old stick in the mud. Not like my old friend..." He pauses like he forgot something. "...Steed. And my new friend, Mrs. Steed." He looks around. "This is kind of like a boy's night out place, but you are perfectly welcome here, Mrs. Steed. Have a drink." This goes on for quite awhile.
I touch Emma's wrist. :Fortunately, he won't remember any of this later. I wish I could say the same.:
She is torn between amusement and irritation. :That's two of us. I must say, your family is 'not' boring.:
When the waiter returns with our meal. I ask him how long Ge`rard has been here.
"I'm not deaf, I've been here... awhile." As I suspected.
The waiter holds up three fingers, three days. Not a record, I'm sure. Emma blanches at that.
"Well uncle, how have things been in Amber?"
"Yeah. Everything's fine. We got rid of those stupid things that got in from Shadow. How did those things get in the castle anyway?"
"I'm not certain." He refers to those alien creatures from the Cineverse Shadow Earth.
"It doesn't matter, they're gone. And you're here."
Just to check on something. "By the way, have you seen any balloons in the castle lately?'
"Balloons? I don't think so. Do you 'want' some balloons?"
"No, there were balloons at Fiona's. You see, there was this girl..."
"Oh, you had balloons at your 'honeymoon'."
"No, that 'wasn't' it. You see..."
"Well, what 'did' you do at your honeymoon besides stick it to her? I mean you've got the family endurance going for you. But after a couple of days, you've got to let up. Or she's not going to be able to sit down."
Emma looks at me. My shin just developed a painful bruise. Through that brief contact, I received. :You have not heard the last of this for a long, long time.:
"Ge`rard, maybe we can have the dinners as a take out order. Do you want to return with us? Random probably wanted to talk with you."
"There is still more to drink here."
"Uncle, they are waiting for another delivery, it hasn't arrived yet. They are running out."
"They are running out of drinks?" He sounds saddened.
"As I recall, there is a case of wine that Michael bottled recently." It is corked and will taste a bit off, but Ge`rard will not notice it. "I can get it from his and my private stock of Amber's finest."
"That sounds good."
"Why don't we head back, and I will show you where the case is located."
"Let's go then." He gets to his feet, steadies himself, and breaks off a corner of the table getting steady.
The waiter heard us and is rushing to get our dinners ready for travel before Ge`rard changes his mind. "The dinners are on the house. Thank you, sir and madam."
Emma and I help him along. She carries the dinners and I get out a Trump of my room. "We'll go to my place first, then head downstairs to the Great Hall." I focus on the Trump, the details clarify and the room solidifies. We step through the rainbow portal. At that moment, Ge`rard launches the contents of his stomach on my rug. Completely ruined, at least it was mostly contained there.
"Sorry about that, Steed. Those things always make me a little queasy."
"Not to worry." I reach for the bell pull and give it a couple of tugs. We quickly leave the room and head for the Great Hall.
A staff member meets us in the hall. "Yes, Lord Steed?"
"Ge`rard had an accident in my room. Have the rug 'replaced'. Then have the room cleaned and aired out. I will sleep elsewhere tonight. Thank you."
"Yes, sir." I detect a slight tone of annoyance or disapproval in her voice.
I haven't slept in my room since Flora brought Scout, Kat, Kesa, and Creed from Shadow Earth. How long 'has' that been? We reach the Great Hall and I find a place for Ge`rard to sit. A stout cushioned chair. The beverage tray is brought over, next to the chair. "How are you feeling, uncle?"
"All right. Sorry about the room."
"Don't mention it, I'll go get the case of wine."
Emma grabs my elbow. :'I' will go. You will 'not' leave me with him.: Then verbally. "I will get it while you two relax here."
"Very well, thank you my dear." I give her the directions and she can reach a staff member for help. :Remember, get the case marked 'corked'.:
"Great, then we can celebrate. It's not every day people get married."
"Uncle, we are not married."
"Of course 'we're' not married, we're family. I hate to tell you this, but you're not my type. Nothing personal, even though you're a handsome guy."
"I appreciate your candor." Why me, Unicorn?
"We still have to celebrate." He slaps the arm of the chair, which cracks loudly.
"Uncle, 'I' am not married."
"You're not? What happened?" He looks at Emma, who is trying to retreat. "Did you break up with him? Listen, you can't leave him; he's so good for you. I mean all night long! Whomp-a whomp-a! I don't want you breaking up like this. You need to work these things out."
"Uncle, we are quite definitely 'not' breaking up."
He continues to ramble on about not breaking up and working things out. Emma walks off, her hands clenched in fists.
While we wait for her return, I pour a drink for myself. Blazer walks into the hall. What is he doing here? I thought he was in a hurry to get back to his ship. Did he Trump in?
"Hello, Steed."
"Hello, cousin."
"How are you doing?"
"Passable, did you make it back to your crew?"
"Everything's fine. See you later." He has an air of confidence and determination. He leaves the hall.
It has not been long since he was eager to get away from all this. I can't shake the feeling that something is different about Blazer. I drop the thought and return to Ge`rard's ramblings. I examine the beverage table. "What's your pleasure, uncle? Beer, wine, or something else?"
"Yes." He grins.
"I see." I pour an assortment of drinks and set them down next to him. I look to the cellar door waiting for Emma. My concentration is shattered when a shot echoes down the hall. I run out the door, down the hall, and up the stairs. My blade is drawn. It sounded close by and upwards, so it was probably on the second floor. I run down the hall. Someone is running down the hall in my direction. It's Blazer. "What's happened? Where was the shot fired from, Blazer?"
"There!" He points to where he was.
I don't smell gun powder. "Where are you going?"
"To get help."
In the military, he would have been taught to care for the injured. And definitely 'not' leave the victim alone and bleeding to death. Besides, Trumps would be quicker. "Get help then."
He turns to leave and I rap him on the back of the head with my bowler. He collapses and I head for the victim. I soon find a figure on the floor. It is Scout, lying in a pool of blood; apparently shot in the back. I take off his jacket and treat him for shock. I take off my jacket and tear off the sleeves of my shirt to staunch the bleeding. "Guards! Medics!" I call out. I wrap him with his jacket and mine and carry him to the infirmary.
Ge`rard catches up to me. "Ge`rard, Scout's been shot. I'm taking him to the infirmary."
"It looks like he needs surgery."
"Ge`rard, did you pass a body on the floor?"
"I think so."
"Go pick him up and bring him to the infirmary, he may be the assailant."
"OK." He runs back, I continue to the infirmary.
I reach the infirmary. No one is here. "Damn! Who's on duty? Where is everyone?" By the Unicorn, I want my Trumps!
Ge`rard is behind me. "He's not there. It looks like I will have to operate."
I search Scout's jacket for his Trump deck. I look for Random's. I see the stone glowing and pulsing in time with his heartbeat, very slowly. I concentrate on the Trump, forcing contact. "Random!"
"Yes, Steed."
"Scout's been shot. We are in the infirmary. Ge`rard has been drinking for three days."
"Pull me through." I do.
I put the Trump deck back in his jacket.
Random. "Damn. I'll handle this Ge`rard. Listen, this is very important. To protect us, I want you to guard that door. Don't let anyone in without my OK."
"All right, your Highness." He goes out. He is probably disappointed that he didn't get to operate.
"I tried to get the bleeding stopped. I will assist you in the operation. Just let me know what you need."
Random examines him and makes preparation for surgery. I prepare plasma IV's, administer injections, and assist with other matters. We work on him for several hours. I offer myself as a blood donor, in case it is needed. I checked the file from the last time Scout was treated. Random and I have a close enough blood type and he has lost a considerable amount.
It looks as though he will pull through. "Good work and thanks, Random. I'm glad you were available. Scout was very lucky that his father was near."
Random and I must both be thinking. Was Scout the only target or is someone gunning for all of us? Who is using firearms in Amber? More questions, unasked.
Before the operation is finished, Anna comes and reports that Blazer attacked her with something. She was unconscious for awhile. She felt awful about not being able to prevent it.
I explained my observations about Blazer. He should have stayed unconscious longer when I hit him. It may be a shape shifter disguised as Blazer.
Anna. "It doesn't look like there is anything I can do here, so I may as well take care of Blazer." She leaves, determined to deal with Blazer.
Emma found me as Anna left. "There you are, Steed. What has happened?"
I explain the situation. "For the time being, it looks like Scout will live after all. I hope Anna gets the right Blazer. I think I am ready for a nap now, it's hard work being a nurse. Shall we go to your place? I can sleep on your couch. I'm sure that your cushions are quite plump and comfortable." I grin at the innuendo as we leave the infirmary.
"Why not, Steed? But the honeymoon is quite definitely 'over'." She grins wickedly as we pass Ge`rard at the door.
"Steed! I thought you were 'just' on holiday. But, I'm glad you are back together." He gives us a wink.
We both say, "Good night, uncle." We head for Emma's room.

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R. Cal Westray, Jr.
Copyright 2001 [Westray.org].
All rights reserved.
Revised: October 23, 2007 .