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A Futile Attempt
Thu May 18, 2006 2:58pm (XFF:

Water and Air? Why doesn’t she just say that men are not allowed to participate in this lesson. Taphen was well aware of his limitations and it seemed doubtful that he would be able to make this humid sphere, at least by using this method. Why can’t we use Water and Fire? Then I would at least have a chance. It was not as if he doubted himself, it was just that the assignment at hand seemed to drain the self-confidence right out of him, and he was back at his first months at the Tower. Taphen had no doubts at all, he knew, he knew that this was not going to be a success. It was with that predisposition that he placed his stool in front of a patch of lemongrass, and seized saidin, the tool, with which he was to create this wonder of a dome.

Sneaking a peek at Teiran who stood to the left, Taphen noticed that his fellow novice was steadily building up his dome. Taphen sighed and returned to his own, at some point he would have to actually make an attempt, at least so he could honestly say that he had tried, when he showed them how he had failed. Taking a deep breath he reached for saidin, he had already seized, but had not taken hold of anything yet. He took in a little, he would not be able to handle much of either Water or Air, so there was little point in filling himself up with saidin, plus it would lessen the fight for control that he hated so much. This is so pointless. Enthusiasm hitting rock bottom.

Taking hold of Air, the strongest of these two, he began to weave a feeble thread into a grid. It slipped and twisted, refusing to fit just so into the web. Lessening the width of the threads and the size of the dome, Taphen started over. Stubbornness was slowly seeping in, it overruled the low confidence and the opposition to do this weave at all. Taphen did not like to fail, and he still felt as if he had a need to prove himself worthy of being at the Tower. Stubbornness showed on his face, irritation, and a slight anger at the futileness against which he fought, lit his eyes. By sheer force of will, he slammed the dome into place, and held it there. That was one, now for the difficult part. Taking hold of Water he began to stitch it into and around the dome of Air, but every time he thought he had made a part stick, it unraveled.

Groaning in irritation and suppressing a desire to burn the whole patch of lemongrass to the ground, Taphen began again. The threads so thin they were almost invisible, and yet tougher to handle than anything he had tried before. Usually when he was using his weaker elements, he would be using Spirit as well, but she had not mentioned Spirit, and Taphen would not admit defeat by using it to strengthen his pitiful dome. Tying of the last thread of Water, he sighed in relief at being done. It was a sorry excuse for a dome indeed, only a quarter of the appointed size and still not able to contain the necessary amount of water in the air. He called on Accepted Alain, “I tried.” His mood was betrayed by his body and his eyes shouted, ‘don’t make me try to make a bigger one’ angrily. He did not know, why this had proven so difficult, maybe he was just not meant to be a gardener, not a discomforting thought at all, especially not in a moment where all he wanted to do was to drown the plant in water. Stupid plant, stupid task! I said, I couldn’t do it.

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