It is a long and difficult task for the mages (including the Doctor) to
exorcise the evil side of Trilling Blackfeather. It would have been
simple enough if they hadn't had to worry about possible harm to the
good half of the dual personality, but as it is - and with "Dark
Trilling" resisting fiercely - it takes them almost an hour. At the end
of the process, Trilling faints, and they won't be totally sure that
they have been successful until he comes round. The mages slump back in
their chairs exhausted. Apart from Inquirer they all have headaches.
At least there wasn't any green goo and Trilling's head didn't
spin round and round, thinks the Doctor, who has seen the film "The
Exorcist" during his time on Earth.
Meanwhile, the dressmaker to the court of the Regent of Ethiopia has been called in by Astra 7 to design a wedding gown for her. When she sees Astra, the dressmaker gulps. She has plenty of experience of designing wedding dresses to disguise a pregnancy - these things happen - but she has never had to design a dress for someone whose "bump" is quite so obvious before. "Er, excuse me for asking," she says, "but just how pregnant are you?" "Believe it or not, but at the very most it can't be more than five and a half months," says Astra with a grin - now quite reconciled to her condition and looking forward to motherhood. As the dressmaker looks about to protest that that is impossible, she goes on: "You see, I'm expecting triplets. I've been examined by one of the Military's doctors, who assures me that both I and the babies are in perfect health, and that I should be able to carry them till at least eight months, at which point the doctor will decide whether a Caesarian will be necessary. I dread to think what size I'll be by that time."
"And the wedding ceremony is to be when?" asks the dressmaker. "In three weeks time," says Astra. "With all the arrangements to be made, and the need to give guests a reasonable amount of notice, it wasn't really practical to have it any earlier. And you need time to make the dress, of course." "I hope you won't mind me being frank," the dressmaker says, "but if you were getting married today I would have a hard time of disguising your condition. In three weeks time, it will be totally impossible." Astra smiles. "I really don't care," she says. "Everyone who's invited to the ceremony knows my story anyway. I've spoken to Queen Astra, and she is sending a priestess of Artemis to conduct the ceremony, and she assures me that the priestess will have no problem with my condition. So as far as I'm concerned, you can leave a large round hole in the front of the dress for my belly. Only joking!" she hurriedly adds, as she sees the shocked look on the dressmaker's face.
3/26/2000 2:59:22 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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