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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item.php/item_id/1565481-Chapter-15--The-Theory
Rated: E · Novel · Fantasy · #1565481
Uta has a theory for how to approach the pregnancy.
Chapter 15 The Theory

Pluto arrived at the Woman’s Barracks promptly at Seven O’clock. Buddleia was waiting outside. She wore the dress uniform of a Guards Woman. He assisted her into the livery and taking a seat alongside, handed her the reins.

“You said you wanted to learn," he smiled encouragingly.

Taking them in her hands she gave them a nervous shake. “Giddy up,” she said.

The pony stepped off with a jerk and they were soon clipping down the road.

"We’ll turn up here at the corner. Pull on the left one, that’s it, just so Garibaldi gets the idea.”

The pony eased into the corner and continued trotting.

“This is fun," said Buddleia, and her eyes sparkled with excitement.

“Take a right down her at the intersection," instructed Pluto, "Pull back a little, that’s right, slow down a bit, now a gentle tug to the right, and around we go.”

Garibaldi straightened out and continued stepping along.

Up here is our house, pull back, slow down, that’s it, now turn left into the driveway. That’s a girl, now slow down some more, pull back and stop."

He clamored down gathering the reins and secured Garibaldi to the hitching post. Then he went around to Budelia's side and taking her by the waist lifted her to the ground. He paused a moment before reluctantly releasing hold of her. She looked up at him with a wide eyed grin.

"Are you ready?" he asked,

"Yes indeed," she answered and they walked up the steps and into the house. Clematis met them at the door.

"Welcome to our home," she said warmly. "Please come inside. My husband is in the library finishing up some business, but is eager to make your acquaintance."

They walked into the library and Lord Kulrick arose extending his hands in welcome.

"It's so nice to meet you at last Budelia. Clematis has been singing your praises for the past three days and I was present when you and Pluto pulled off the “Hat Trick.“"

"Pluto was so proud that you were there to see it," Dudelia explained

"As a young man I trained for the profession of arms. In the Home Defense Course I came close but never managed three in a row."

"I bet if you’d had mom for a partner, things would have turned out differently."

"I have no doubt of that, but alas she paired with Vladimir, and did they ever open a can of whop-ass on the Trolls."

"You have the look of a soldier, Lord Kulrick, and if I didn’t know better would have mistaken you for one."

"I like this girl Son, don’t let her get away."

"My father graduated at the top of his class at Finsterwald , and mother was offered a full scholarship to Belmont."

"Dear me, that was over twenty years ago…said Climatus. "Imagine me a soldier, no forget that.. How the time flies, come everyone the dinner is served."

In the dining room dinner was waiting on a short and comfortable table. The surface was roughly square and the top was polished to a mirror like finish. There were four elegantly carved chairs that appeared almost sculpted to the contours of the diners. Lord Kulrick held chair for his wife and Pluto did the same for Budelia.
After giving thanks, a bowl of steaming shrimp was served as an appetizer, along with a cup of red sauce that smelled of horseradish.

"Tell me Buddleia," said Lord Kulrick, "I see by your ribbons that you have six special missions to your credit."

"All I did was tag along," she replied, "and transmit what I was told."

"You’re too modest my dear, I know what happened on several and the dispatches spoke of you in glowing terms."

"My commander insisted on saying kind words but the real credit belongs to Guiles and his men."

Clematis choked on her tea. She recalled Guiles transferring the Scarab.

"Are you alright my dear, inquired her husband."

"Went down the wrong pipe, that’s all, please forgive my coughing."

"I assume you’re referring to Guiles Standaloft."

"Yes my Lord, he's a great warrior and I’d follow him anywhere."

"It’s said that you can beacon quite a long ways."

"It’s the stone more than my ability, however I have none of the usual limitations."

Lord Kulrick cleared his throat and changed the subject.

"I was amazed watching you and my son work together…. I mean it looked so effortless, more like a ballet than a war fighting exercise."

"Pluto is an amazing teacher and I'm fortunate to have him for a mentor. The battle is already fought before we step onto the street and I when I follow his instructions, the outcome is never in doubt."

"Before you came along he couldn’t get past phase one and since you joined him you have scored three straight wins. I'd say you have as much to do with it as he does."

"Well spoken father… Seven times I failed to achieve Tier One and then along came Budelia.

"Well you certainly have some chemistry together and I hope you can keep the string alive."

"Pluto is showing me how to lift the stones. Already I can draw back on the intermediate bow and I hope to be ready when we face the Orcs."

"The Orcs will be a challenge. They were for me, and everyone else for that matter. Devilishly quick and strong they are. The level of difficulty rises dramatically when they come onto the field."

"We’ll be ready, won’t we Budelia?"

"Have no doubt, Master Pluto."

"Why does she refer to you, son, in those terms?"

"You’ll have to ask her father, but she does it often and I find it embarrassing."

"So why do you speak up to him like that?"

"Because he commands my respect and obedience, and when I serve his will, the outcome is certain."

"How you command that kind of confidence is a credit I never realized."

With that the main course arrived.

"I do hope you like the chicken and mushroom sauce. Its an old family recipe and one of Pluto’s favorites. After dinner I must show you how its prepared…. Do you cook?"

"I know little of cooking and have always dined on field rations or been served in the mess hall. However, I would very much like to learn about cooking and sewing too."

"Then you must come and look at my quilts…. If I may say so my collection is made from my own hand and many who see them speak well of the composition and needle work."

"The chicken is delicious and I have not been this full since Pluto introduced me to the stones. They give me quite an appetite and already I must have gained ten pounds. May I have another serving of the potatoes?"

"Indeed you may, and have some more hot rolls and butter."

After the main course came the dessert. It was apple pie.

"Give Budelia a big slice." said Pluto. "She has a sweet tooth and lately she's become a bottomless pit."

Budelia wiped her plate clean and pushed back ...her stomach full.

"I have to have the Corporal home by ten," said Pluto, "and its getting towards that time."

Lord Kulrick stood and Clematis came around hugging Buddleia.

"In two weeks we'll be holding a dinner party for a gathering of invited guests. I want you to join us Budelia. If the two of you keep winning everyone will be anxious for an introduction."

"Thank you for this wonderful evening, Lady La Vinneous, and taking Pluto’s hand they walked from the dinning room and out into the evening air.

When they arrived back at the Woman’s Barracks, Pluto lifted her out of the livery and they paused looking into each others eyes.

"If you'd like to come inside, there's a reception room where the girls are allowed to bring their escorts. I can introduce you to Mirabel the House Mother.

"I'd like that," said Pluto and taking her hand they went inside.

At the door, Mirabel met them. "And who have we here Budelia?"

"This is Pluto my escort."

"Well, see that you behave like a gentleman." she admonished and directed them into the dimly lit foyer. As they walked inside, Pluto noticed young men and women, in each other's arms, kissing.

"What"s going on here?" he inquired.

"This is called the Passion Pit." she answered, leading him into a dark corner.

"This is where the girls and their boyfriends come to kiss. Now put your arms around me. I've been wanting to do this for a long time."


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Dear Guiles,

So much has happened this past week. As you know I have been home visiting my parents. While here in Tristan City, I found out that Budelia is Pluto’s Battle Partner. Further they have rattled off five straight wins and will be going for the Double Hat (If they get that far) on Monday Week. If they do I have tickets on the Fight Alley.

Pluto’s Mother has invited us to a State Dinner on Friday and has extended an invitation for you to stay over the weekend and attend the trial on Monday. It would be a wonderful opportunity to visit, socialize and see what promises to be the Home Defense Spectacle of the year. I know Budelia would be thrilled to have her Commander watching.

I enjoyed the moments we spent together last month and can’t get over what we witnessed at Olivia's. I think we were both a little embarrassed but it was something I'll never forget.

Your Friend

Martha

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The next day after breakfast, Uta, Cateyln, Albinao and Liope sat around the kitchen table.

There was a knock at the door. It was Karla and Walinda. There was an awkward silence.

"I'm not sure I'm ready for another confrontation." said Liope.

"I asked them to drop by," replied Uta. "I know you didn't get off on the right foot, but they are very good midwives and will be assisting me in the monitoring of your pregnancy. If there's any tension and hard feeling over what happened earlier, get over it. We must lay aside our personal feelings until the babies are delivered."

"Have a seat girls," said Cateyln. "Have some coffey and biscuits. After everyone has a bite we can decide what to do next."

Karla and Walinda began conversing with Uta in low tones. It was clear who was in charge and the two new arrivals deferred to everything Uta said. Soon the food was served and the tension passed. When they finished, Uta spoke up.

"We need to begin by giving Liope a thorough examination. I want Karla and Walinda to assist me and see if they have anything to add to what we already know. If you’ll raise your blouse Liope, we’ll take another listen."

"Liope exposed her stomach and each in turn listened; first Uta and then Karla and then Walinda. When they finished Uta spoke up.

“There's no need for us to explain our findings to one another. As you are aware we can share our thoughts and as you describe it… "speak with silent lips." If Karla or Walinda have a dissenting opinion or wish to elaborate a point they will do so. When however, we're in agreement, I'll speak for all of us. This is not a hard and fast rule but rather a convention that will save time and keep us from repeating ourselves.”

"Did you find out anything new asked Liope?"

"Not really, we again confirmed the presence of two embryos, one of which is a Dark Sister."

"How do you plan to keep Liope," asked Cateyln, " from becoming another sad statistic."

"We just finished discussing that and I have some questions for Liope."

"I appreciate all your help, I really do and I'll answer as best I can."

"Maybe we should take a walk outside. Some of these might get a little personal"

"In here, outside," replied Liope, "It's the same to me. If it will help my babies that's all that matters."

"Lets take a walk."

Outside they crossed the street and stopped at the Corral.

"I’ve noticed, in the brief time I’ve spent with you, that you're prone to radical changes in mood. Most of the time you're a delightful young woman but there've also been occasions when I’ve seen you lose your temper."

"I know. And I don’t know what comes over me."

"When did you begin to experience these changes in mood.?" asked Uta.

"A couple of months ago."

"Was that before or after the shock you experienced at the High Pasture?"

"About the same time maybe a little after."

"Do you remember when you realized that your period was late?"

"A couple of weeks afterwards."

"I know what happened before the Magistrate. Both Morgolic and Young Jernigan claimed responsibility. You told the court Jernigan was the father."

"Not exactly, I said he was in love with me. Still I had to point to one of them, else they would have stuck my head in the bucket."

"I see. Were you and Jernigan intimate in the month prior to your encounter with Morgolic?"

"Jernigan and I have never been intimate, not before and not since."

"Are you telling me that Morgolic was responsible?"

"I guess he was in a way, but not the way you think. When Morgolic told the Magistrate he was responsible he wasn't saying we had sex, he was saying he was responsible because he gave me the Scarab."

"So you never had sex with Morgolic."

"Not then and not since."

"You're telling me that your attribute your pregnancy to the Scarab."

"I know it sounds unbelievable but what other answer is there? I'm still a Virgin. If you want to check that out feel free to do so. There's midwives in the village who can prove that in a heartbeat."

"I know this isn't easy and that's why we're out here alone. I have never believed Morgolic was the father but I had know about Young Jernigan. The possibility the scarab was involved is not that far fetched. After all the whole purpose of the relic is to preserve an essence for a future generation. Did you put the scarab on as soon as Morgolic gave it to you?"

"No, he put it in the bag with the gems. I tried it on when I got home."

"When you put it on did it attach?"

"It bit the heck out of me."

"And how long after that did you realize it was dead."

"About a week later."

"And how much time elapsed before you began to notice the mood swings."

"Several weeks later, about the time I began to get sick in the morning."

"What's the feeling like?"

"I become fretful..., little things begin to bother me, then an annoyance comes along that I could ordinarily deal with, but suddenly an uncontrollable anger sweeps over me and I seem to explode."

"That’s what I’m seeing," said Uta. "Its similar in some ways to what I saw in Naomi, but Eleven women exercise a much stronger discipline over their emotions. We tend to be more nurturing than our Sapian friends and when we find ourselves becoming annoyed, we tend to hold in inside as we’ve been taught since childhood."

"Doesn't sound all that different." said Liope

"I'm not suggesting that you aren’t loving and nurturing, but among our people, emotional outbursts such as you've exhibited, are almost unheard of."

"So what's the point of all this?" asked Liope.

"The point is that you have a natural ability to vent dark emotions. When you get mad you enter a world that no Eleven woman would would think of going. When you explode, you body has a cathartic experience that's totally foreign to an Eleven female. You have a way of dissipating the dark side of your emotions that for us is simply impossible. The love and maternal tenderness that is essential for the development of normal children, is the exact opposite of what a Dark Sister seems to need."

"Are you saying that love is nurture for my boy, the same as hate is nurture for my girl?"

"Something like that."

"That just as hate and malice can be injurious to my boy, love and kindness can bring harm to my girl."

"This is what I've come to believe... through long and sad experience. I know its theoretical, but it explains what happens when an Elf Lady tries to carry a Dark Sister."

"So how do we put this to the the test?"

"That’s a good question and one we all need to be thinking about. I think for now you need to begin by embracing your dark emotions the same as you do your brighter ones."

"I don’t follow."

"If you get mad don’t try and hold it back. Let your anger express its discontent and run its full and natural course. Don’t try and choke it back or try and control it as you’ve always been taught. I know it won’t be easy but its something we need to try and get used to."

"Anything else?"

"Yes, somewhere around your third month, you'll be able to talk with your babies. Try and begin communicating with the female as early as possible. Let's be receptive to her feelings and try and find out where the dark little spirit is coming from. We can then try and bring them both along one day at time."




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Climatus didn’t need a whole lot of time to decide what she intended to do. She was going to deliver or die trying. What troubled her more was involving others and thereby ruining their lives. Banishment was not a penalty to be taken lightly and the thought that someone might suffer such a sentence, because of her, troubled her a great deal. Still she was determined to go through with the delivery regardless and the following week told Olivia her intentions.

"Personally I think you're worried about all the wrong things, " Olivia told her.

"How so.?"

"What you should be worried about is the delivery. Period. All the rest of these concerns will sort themselves out. As a matter of fact I've already been making plans and I think there's a way around your concerns."

"How will I get out of the Country?" Climates asked.

"I've scried Miranda and explained the situation. She's very concerned but has agreed to support your decision and do whatever she can to help. I explained the plan I had in mind and she agreed to play her part. Today I got a Velum from your half-sister. I've made a copy.

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Scry-Velum

Dear Climatus,

Since the death of Cracious, Mother’s health has deteriorated. She won’t eat and sits around all day in a severe state of depression. I've tried everything I can think of and I’m becoming extremely worried. If there was ever a time when we need you here, the time is now. If we don’t get her to snap out soon, I fear we’ll soon be gathering for a funeral. Please come to visit with all haste. Let me know when you’ll get to the border so we can have a coach waiting. Together we might make a difference.

Love

Trilla

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"What a marvelous idea, said Climatus shaking her head in amazement. Why didn’t I think of that….here I was thinking about ways to sneak across the border."

"I thought you’d like it," answered Olivia. " At the border you’ll meet up with Trilla and your mother. From there, instead of returning to Caladon, you can head straight for Nirvana."

"So you think that’s where I need to go?"

"Absolutely. I didn’t mention it before but Liope is managing much better than we had anticipated. The therapy proposed by Uta, while unorthodox seems to be helping. Not that she is out of the woods by any means. I suspect that she is about a month further along than you and anything they learn with her can be used on you."

"And I don’t have to get anyone else in trouble," said Climatus sighing in relief.

"Show your husband the Velum. Tell him you’ve decided to go see your mother. Promise you’ll be back soon and be out of here by the end of the week."

"You're a Dear Friend," said Climatus, squeezing her hands."

"I’ll see you in Nirvana sometime soon."

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That night after supper, after Orin went to bed, Cateyln and Liope sat up by the fire talking in low tones, when thre came a knock at the door. Liope went over to answer it and was surprised to see Dumar outside with a young girl.

"Won’t you come in?" Liope invited them.

"Dumar came inside. Liope could see the girl was quite attractive. Getting right to the point he spoke..."There's a matter I was hoping you and your mother could help me with."

"Oh my goodness said Cateyln, standing up. Its Lilith.... "Sake! Sake! she continued, clapping her hands in joy! " It's your cousin, Lilith, Matilta's daughter.... Come in Come in. Lilith, this is my daughter, Liope."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, cuz, "said Lilith. Then unable to contain her excitement, she rushed into Cateyln’s arms.

"Where's Matilda?" Cate asked, "Is your mother all-right?"

Lilith gave Cate a long and intense stare.

Then she began explaining her pat little cover story "When father died last year, things got tough. Mother told me it was time I made my own way."

"Hmmm," replied Cateyln, returning her stare. Then, as the light went on, she answered. "There, there, you sweet girl. Dumar did right in bringing you here. You don't have to worry about another thing."

"She showed up on my doorstep last night," said Dumar speaking up, "looking for a place to stray…I mean stay. I gave her my bedroom and slept alone on the couch."

"How very considerate of you, Deputy."

"But you know how people talk…. I was thinking that you being…. You know from the mountains and all, just like her… that maybe you could take Lilith in as a border."

"I think that we can certainly do that."

"And she could look around and… you know, find a job."

"A splendid idea."

"Dumar says I can be his housekeeper."

"And why not?" said Catelyn nodding in agreement. "Yes I can see the possibilities. Have no fear, Deputy, I can vouch for Lilith. She will make you a fine housekeeper. Liope, take Lilith unstairs and give her the guest room."

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In a few minutes Liope came back downstairs.

"Lilith likes the room," she said.

"Your cousin is a sign of things to come," replied her Mother. "and it's only the beginning. We're going to have to begin making preparations for an influx of visitors. Things are starting to get out of hand. There's no more room in the Inn and with Lilith in the spare bedroom, there's no more space in the house."

"I've seen that look before," smiled Liope, "what are you planning?"

"Several things," said Cateyln. "First I think we need to lease the old Citadel South of town. The Elves are sleeping out in the open and we need to give them a place to call home. As more and more start wandering in we can't have them lounging all over the place. If Gabby was right, real estate in this town is getting ready to take off. Second we need to do some things to make this house more secure. Albiano was able to walk right in and I want to sleep at night without a cross bow on the table. Plus, once you deliver those babies we're going to expand and make some rennovations. Finally I 'd like to see that old viaduct put back into service. Think of how wonderful it would be to have fresh water flowing directly into cisterns about town instead of having to haul that nasty stuff up from the river."

"These sound like great ideas, but where are we going to get the money?"

"Let me worry about that Pumpkin," her Mother answered as she laid a purse the size of a shopping basket on the table. Liope looked in disbelief, opened the draw string and looked inside. It was full of gold and silver coins.

"I don’t even want to know where you got this."

"Then don't ask."

"What are people gonna think when we suddenly start throwing this kind of money around?"

At that moment there came another soft knocking at the door.

"Hold that thought," said Cateyln and blew out the candle. She went over and opened the door a crack.
"Silas, you old rascal ,"said Cateyln slapping her thigh. "Step in her and let me taake a gander."

A small man, dressed in black, with a pointed hat slipped inside and looked furtively around. As his eyes adjusted he saw Liope sitting at the table. With a flourish of his hat, he bowed.

“Silas Goldman, at your service. You must be Liope, Queen of Light and Darkness, First Witch of Nirvana.

"Mother, said Liope thoroughly befuddled, "Who is this confused gentleman?"

"An old friend, someone I sent for and have been expecting for some time. Come in and visit awhile, Silas, How about some tea?"

"That would be most appreciated," said the little man, and he came over and took a seat. Cateyln fixed three cups.

"Silas, we think it’s time this town had a bank, and I think you would make one hell of a fine banker."

"I'd be honored to accept the position, however there is one small point..."

"Yes..?"

"How do you intend to capitalize the venture?"

"With this," said Cate pushing the bag towards him.

Silas loosened the draw and looked inside. Then he lifted it, estimating the heft.

"I’ll have a bank up and running inside of a week."






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