Lost job on H1B+EAD+AP, would like GC process to continue

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Hi, I lost my job after working for the same employer for more than 10 years. I was on H1B. My employer also sponsored GC. Labor and I-140 were approved back in 2009 and my I-145 has been pending since 2010 (PD: Dec 2009). I have also been renewing my EAD and AP every year but never used EAD to work for this or any other employer. I have got few quick questions on my possible options:

1. I am assuming I can find a same or similar job with any other employer and use EAD to work for them. Please confirm. Do I need to file AC21? How long do I have before I find a new job in order for my GC application to continue to be processed?

2. If I would like to work on H1B, how long do I have to find a same or similar job with any other employer and the new employer can sponsor my H1B (which will not be subject to the quota)?

3. I did get severance package in which I am getting full salary for 8 months on monthly basis? If I do not work for any other employer for 8 months, will USCIS abandon my GC application? Does getting monthly salary as part of severance package considered as "gainfully employed" and enough to keep me in status? I guess it is not but I wanted to confirm.

4. How can I take a break for few months, then find a same or similar job and start working on EAD or H1B for another employer? I do not want USCIS to abandon my GC application so what are my options if I want to take a break or is break just not possible?

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