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One For the Money
Mon Jul 17, 2006 22:47 (XFF:

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 to the ceiling. There was no hope of sleep for her tonight.

She could not help but question her judgment now. She had always approved of her decisions, even if she wasn’t so sure of them. They had always turned out okay in the end. Have I condemned myself? Will I lead a life in which I shall never be happy?

Now that she actually thought on it, she had only truly been happy when she thought of home, on the Wavebreaker. Yes, she had smiled, but smiles did not make happiness.

No matter how she looked at it, she saw it as her fault. It was all her fault that she was capable of channeling saidar, and now that she had felt it’s warm embrace, she could not stay away from it. Her choices were to live, blaming herself for the way saidar made the world so dreary, or die, resisting a temptation as appealing as the box to Pandora.

She had been washed clean with her tears. Nothing was left. All that was Kareen had been lost to casual thoughts; at this moment in time, life held no edge, it just...was. It was a brief moment of peace as Kareen had never known since she entered the Tower. She could think quite clearly, but it provoked no emotion...none at all.

She felt absolutely nothing; she was content. These were the moments to think, and she knew it well. This was the reason sleep eluded her. If there was ever a time when a decision must be made, it would be now, surely.

The moment those tears had escaped their prison, she had been broken. Right now, in these moments, she no longer felt the restraints that she had before. They were there, but she could not feel them.

Something different crowded her mind tonight. She was thinking about a time long past, when she was still a young girl, still new to many of the Sea Folk ways.

Kareen was young, a mere eight, when she had been handed her first duties. She was the lowest of low. A minor deckhand, but she had felt so proud at the time. Every Atha’an Miere began at this point. This was how they proved themselves. If they could not rise up from the low ranks, then they did not deserve to be a leader.

It was honor beyond belief when Kareen received her first pair of earrings. One thin golden hoop in each ear, marking her rank. This was where she would begin. She would learn to be the best, and become such. Even so young she had ambition, but these were more in the form of childish fancies than anything else.

Not two weeks into her first pair of earrings, she had some trouble. She did not know if she could do it. There had been someone above her; her superior. They were harsh, but she would later on appreciate what they had been doing. However, at that moment, it had been harder than ever she had thought. They yelled and screamed, pushed her to her limits. To such a young child, that would be enough to put you to your knees and beg for mercy. It was at this time that Kareen had been molded to fear showing her weakness.

They had driven it into her that this was something everyone had to deal with, and they had all done it on their own. That was what she had been told, time and time again.

Kareen had approached her superior in hopes of asking assistance in how to deal the onslaught only to be brutally turned down. “How can someone learn to survive if they are constantly asking for assistance in their troubles? You think the Mistress of the Ships goes around asking for help for every one of her problems?” The woman had spoken so harshly, asking all those rhetorical questions that it had left a major imprint on Kareen. She had never once asked for help for her problems since.

This had been a critical moment for her, and it showed, even now, what that woman had driven into her very bones. She would never forget that meeting.

Here at the White Tower, that lesson had been challenged. Here, they encouraged a Novice to ask for help. They would lead you on your path carefully. The wanted a Novice such as herself to ask questions. Novices did not question them, but they asked for information on things they didn’t know. A Novice should know about the Source, or else they could be a danger to themselves.

Thinking back on her memory of the meeting when she was young, she wondered how she could have been so ignorant. She knew now that the Mistress of the Ship’s had her own advisors, and even she had people who told her what was good or bad or valuable or not. There were many factors to having help, and Kareen’s problem didn’t seem much different from having somone advise you through your trouble. It was hard though. To change something so ingrained in yourself so quickly.

But Kareen now knew what it was she must do...

If she was to ever make it in the Tower, she had to embrace everything about saidar, even if it required help from another. However much it rankled her, she knew; help from the outside was her only salvation from the crater of anger she had burned in herself at saidar.

It may take some time to rid herself of it, but Kareen could only hope someone else’s knowledge might slay the anger that had taken root with saidar.

  • To Fear WeaknessNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Mon Jul 17 15:43
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    • One For the Money — Novice Kareen din Yokiri, Mon Jul 17 22:47
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