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To Fear Weakness
Mon Jul 17, 2006 15:43 (XFF:

It was another day in the Tower for Kareen. She had done her chores; easy enough, as an apprentice Windfinder, she had been subject to chores and hard labor as well. What they required at the Tower was more along the lines of chores, and far easier than hard labor. Some things did require some strain on her part, but nothing she couldn’t already handle. In a way, the chores were the easy part of being at the Tower, though some did not believe this to be so.

Kareen had come across a few of the other Novices. Watching them from afar didn’t bode well for making acquaintances or friends, but those would come in time. For now, study was required. A lot of the other Novices were far different from herself. The strain of chores on top of lessons and all the formalities was a lot to handle to be sure. For her, the chores were nothing. The formalities were nothing. Kareen had always been a stickler for formality and was sure to use it where needed. It was the lessons that irked her so.

They challenged her faith in the world time and time again. Every time she managed to embrace the Source now, she faced a fear she had no desire to come close with; letting it go. In the normal sense, where she desired saidar, she was fine. Kareen had yet to inform any Aes Sedai or Accepted of her problem still.

It had been a few days since she last had the argument with herself in her room. Of course, there had been others, but they hadn’t been so indecisive and unsure. That had been one of her low times since coming to the Tower, and it seemed she had them more often than not nowadays.

Others had these moments as well, she new. Sometimes she heard other Novices speaking about their troubles (she would never admit her troubles to anyone in such a trivial way) or she could hear them crying in their own rooms and, on occasion, in some corner they thought to be deserted.

Kareen had to admit that she had her moments that she wished to do just the same. Go crawling into some corner and letting her problems flow out of her in a bundle of tears. That was not for her though. She rifled through her troubles and dealt with them as they came in whatever manner she thought best. There was no doubt that many times she was unsure of herself and her decision, but she always came to a decision in the end. A decision that worked best for her.

Apparently, the most occurring problem was, again, saidar. The anger at herself never lessened. If anything, it kept building. She was almost at a peak. She didn’t know if she would be able to stand it even one more time. The awareness that she would have to, no matter what she told herself was always there. Kareen could stay away from the Source just as easily as a vulture from carrion. It was simple; she couldn’t.

Kareen had been heading back to her room after a day of lessons and chores just like every other day. A quick look around and she entered her room without any notice. She cursed the doors and their lack of locks. How she wished she could lock herself away, if only for a moment. Not that it did much good. Nobody came to visit her; it was just the thought that she could keep anyone out that appealed to her. She desired privacy, and though she had it, there was always that knowledge that anyone could enter at any time if only they turned the handle.

She kicked off her slippers and refrained from throwing them at the wall. Instead she contented herself to throwing them on the ground, which wasn’t much consolation.

She was angry. Angry with herself, with saidar, with the White Tower, with any woman who called themselves Aes Sedai. What was it to be Aes Sedai if you despised even the merest thought of saidar? Every day she spent in the presence of it fed her anger and hate, and it frightened her. She feared that hatred of something she desired so and something she would live with for the rest of her life. But there was no helping it.

How could the world be so terrible without the Source coursing through you? Why did it have to be so? Nothing she told herself made her feel any better. It was a world that, to her, had seemed so wonderful before, and now, it was bland. This place that she now lived…it lacked that luster that it used to, and only when she held the Power in her did it return to that fantastic state once more.

And it dawned on her. This…was her weakness. This weakness was a constant presence in the Tower, where she had willingly come. The White Tower held the essence of her fear; of her weakness.

Kareen laughed at the dramatic irony that held her. It was a mirthless laugh, hollow, with the knowledge of that irony. It held her fast. She hated weakness, and leaving this place that reminded her of saidar, and so many people enjoying its presence…was a weakness. All she could do was stay.

There had never been any doubt in her mind that she would stay, but just as with the door that she couldn’t lock, it was the knowledge that if she wanted to show strength, she had to stay. It was as if she no longer had the choice. With the door; there was no choice in privacy or not. With the Tower; there was no choice in staying or not. It simply must be so, for that was who Kareen was, and she couldn’t easily change that, not that she had any desire to.

Her hollow laughter ended in an abrupt hiccup. It was the first she noticed the tears streaming down her face. She had let herself cry. For the first time since setting foot in the Tower, she had let the tears flow out of her in an unending stream. It was like breaking a dam. They came in a torrent, then a trickle, until there was nothing left. Her face was streaked, and her eyes puffy. If there had been someone to see her, Kareen would have been shamed to her core.

Just as she knew, she hated weakness, and crying was a weakness. Leaving was a weakness. Saidarsaidar was a weakness. In it was strength, but until she could suppress that hate, she would never obtain it.

  • Many A ProblemNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Thu Jul 13 23:41
    Kareen entered her rooms without contempt for the lack of personal furnishings. It was not unlike her own cabin aboard the Wavebreaker . Her cabin had few furnishings for lack of room and it had... more
    • To Fear Weakness — Novice Kareen din Yokiri, Mon Jul 17 15:43
      • One For the MoneyNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Mon Jul 17 22:47
        Kareen had stayed awake late in the night. There was no sign that she had ever been crying, she had been sure to rid herself of those shameful signs. The Novice lie motionless, with her face looking... more
        • Risky BusinessNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Tue Jul 18 16:43
          Kareen woke to another plain morning in her rooms, the bell tolling the time for her unwilling ears. She had no desire to be up today. Her eyes roamed the now familiar rooms around her. Nothing... more
          • Caught Off GuardTeli Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Jul 22 18:14
            It was getting late in the day. Teli had taken an early dinner, had retired to her quarters, and was about to ready herself for bed, a knock came on her door. Utterly confused as to who would be at... more
            • A Plan Without A PlanNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Sun Jul 23 16:20
              Kareen had been watching the doors to the stables anxiously ever since the groom had left at a run. The other had been working slowly, as if pretending to saddle a horse. She could not see the horse... more
              • Seeing Through The LieTeli Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sun Sep 17 21:56
                Just what was this young woman up to? Teli could not put her finger on it. It was almost as if the Novice wished that she was caught. One would not attempt to run away if they were planning on... more
                • As I Open and Close My DoorNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Wed Dec 20 09:37
                  Kareen did not see Teli touch the Source, but an innate sense told her that it had just been touched. Kareen suppressed a cringe. Saidar still made her shudder with barely maintained anger. However,... more