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A Petitioner
Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:47am

“Give me that,” Donica growled, removing the clipboard from the Accepted’s grasp with little ceremony.

“Pardon, Aes Sedai, but they were – ”

“What, about to gouge each other’s eyes out with their bare hands? Child, two daughters of nobility wouldn’t know where to begin with such an adventure. Might as well ask an Arafellin to trim a skipper!” She glanced at the clipboard, where the Accepted had been recording names and petitions for her afternoon’s shift. Donica had just finished dealing with two grumpy and mutually offended wool merchants from the Caralain Grasses, who were about as daft as the sheep they herded. She was barely in the mood for a shift in the Great Hall, and less so to have to discipline an overreacting Accepted.

“Go to the kitchens – see if Laras needs any help. You’ll stay there until Last. Tomorrow morning, go speak with Madeline Sedai and ask her to explain the rules regarding Accepted channeling to you; and think well and hard the next time you decide to use force against your inferiors.” She raised her eyebrows. “Do I make myself clear, Accepted?”

“Yes, Aes Sedai,” the girl replied with a curtsy. Her tone was hardly satisfactory, but it would do; Donica didn’t want to make any more of a scene, even off to the side as they were.

“Then go.” She waved the girl away, attention turned back to the clipboard and scribbled notes. Judging by the sun’s proximity to the horizon, supper would be served shortly, and that Accepted would have her hands full with washing dishes. It also meant that the next Novice on duty would arrive in a few short minutes. Well, she could take care of a couple of the poor souls crowded in the room and give the girls already working a small respite.

Skimming the crowd, she saw no familiar faces – no merchants or traders or ambassadors she’d dealt with before, just the usual sort, in to see about this or that, half of it usually impossible or so unrelated to the Tower that made her wonder about the continued disconnection between the Tower and the people. Did the Black Tower get the same demands made of them?, she wondered. Doni barely considered the Black Tower – but now that she thought of it, they might be an interesting subculture all their own to examine. It could easily be argued that the White Tower was the epitome of the feminine, yet the Black Tower was founded on principally opposite ideologies; even the women within its gates took on inherent masculine qualities.

Belatedly, the Blue realized she was tapping the clipboard thoughtfully against her cheek as she pondered the connotations of the non sequitur, completely ignoring the rest of the room and the business at hand. She stepped up to the line of petitioners and called, “Next?”

A man, apparently on his own, stepped forward. He was much taller than her – a good head and shoulders – and while he was likely her junior, had a harrowed and aged look to him. Likely, just another part of the rabble who thought the Tower could save his chickens, or his crop, or make his one true love adore him in return – or maybe not. Sometimes she could tell, and sometimes Donica was so far off the mark she had to question what all her years of training had been for. Still, the man had a Domani’s colour, cut, and a good coating of dust, so his purpose must at least be of some import for him to have travelled the great distance between Arad Doman and the White Tower. “Your name, sir?”

“Vincilago Sahem, my lady,” he replied.

“And what are you seeking, here at the White Tower?”

“Ah – Healing, ma’am. An Aes Sedai by the name of Solisa Torvazande sent me.”

Across the Great Hall, Donica spotted the new Novice on duty. She gave the girl a little wave to come over, then returned her attention to the man. “Very well then, Master Sahem. Shall I escort you to the Infirmary so the Yellows can have a look?”

He hesitated. “Solisa said it would take me six months to get Healed. Said I didn’t have the strength.”

Donica smiled, passing the clipboard to the Novice. The pale-haired girl gawked at Donica’s nose chain and tattoos and almost dropped the clipboard in her fumble. “Well, let’s let the Yellows decide that. They’re the Healers in the Tower, they would know best. Follow me, please.”

It wasn’t exactly protocol for an Aes Sedai to take on a petitioner – Accepted and Novices usually did such things – but she had time to spare before her meeting with Kedar after supper. She might as well be working in the justice department of the Ajah, with all the work she was doing for the man; she was supposed to have relative autonomy with a cause, but that was definitely proving not to be the case.

“Is this your first time to Tar Valon, Master Sahem?” she asked politely, figuring she might as well make conversation. How often did she get to speak with the commoners of a nation, anyhow? She might as well take the opportunity while she could.

OOC: Oh look, a post! I thought I should dust Donica off – she always spends time with the petitioners, so it worked out nicely. Her cause (when she gets time to work on it) is to learn about the ‘truths’ of cultures (rather than just what’s taught in books), so if you want to have her ask Vincilago a couple of tough questions, feel free. Glad to be writing with you at last, Heather! :)

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