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You want me to do what?
Sun Sep 3, 2006 06:53 (XFF:

Adanai could not help but be embarrassed for the Accepted when she poked her head into a classroom and discovered that it was occupied by a rather snarly Aes Sedai and her students. She trailed behind the other girl as they wound through another corridor and up a flight of stairs; the sheer size of the White Tower blew her mind. True, it appeared enormous from the outside, but from within it gave the impression of being even larger, filled with endless hallways and classrooms and tiny little chambers in which its inhabitants slept. It seemed to her to be like a great mother, with hundreds of children cradled in its womb, some more mature (the Aes Sedai) than others (Accepteds and novices). Its duty was to keep them warm and dry and nurtured so that one day they might go out into the world and make some sort of difference.

"The White Tower is led by the Amyrlin Seat, currently Evelyn al'Pazi, formerly of the Blue Ajah. She is of all Ajahs and of none. The Amyrlin, who is always addressed as 'Mother', is assisted by the Keeper of the Chronicles. It is traditional for the Keeper to be raised from the same Ajah as the Amyrlin, however recently this has not been the trend. The current Keeper, Demetri da'Faile, was raised from the Green Ajah. Along with the Hall of Sitters, they lead the Tower and make the big decisions." She wondered who decided the next Aes Sedai to become Amyrlin Seat in instances in which the Amyrlin herself was not around to choose (if she died of illness or by murder, or if something else caused her to no longer be available). It seemed from Accepted Calia's explanation that there was no one with more authority than the Amyrlin, so who would choose?

Accepted Calia opened another door and thrust her head in, looking both ways before she gestured for the novice to follow her. Adanai watched with amazement as two cushions made their way across the floor to just in front of the Accepted and herself, and she was hesitant to sit on it, afraid of what it might do if she did. She observed as Calia sat down, and when the older woman's cushion made no sudden moves, she seated herself as well, settling into the padding. It did not occur to her until she looked at the Accepted again that the cushions had not moved of their own accord; Accepted Calia had summoned them somehow, and someday she herself might be capable of the same. For now, however, she was content just watching someone else do it. It seemed to her that the whole thing was very likely to backfire.

"Saidar, as I have already told you, is the female half of the True Source. You might even be able to already, but eventually, when another woman is holding saidar, as I am now, you will be able to see a glow around them and even the weaves when they channel. Unfortunately, we cannot sense when a man holds saidin but they have an advantage as to being able to sense when a woman holds saidar." Adanai did not know whether she was able to see saidar; she had not been looking at the Accepted when the pillows slid across the floor. However, she was inclined to believe that since she had seen nothing during the several weeks she spent with a real Aes Sedai, she was probably incapable of seeing it, at least for now.

"Now, you are going to learn to embrace saidar. The trick is not to fight it, but to surrender to it. Male channelers tell us that saidin must be controlled by force, but if you try this with saidar it will simply slip through your fingers like water. I'm going to walk you through embracing now, but remember that you must only do this with an Aes Sedai or Accepted present. Channeling on your own before you have sufficient training can be dangerous, you could burn yourself out or even kill yourself." There it was again. That everpresent threat of danger for which Adanai had in no way bargained. It seemed rather unfair that one could be born with a potentially deadly ability without knowing it and without consent.

"Now, close your eyes and simply try to do as I say. I know it will seem strange, but you'll just have to trust me. Picture in your mind a flower of any sort. A small bud. See it in every detail, every leaf, every petal, every vein. You are that flower. Feel the sunlight beating down, but don't reach out for it. Open yourself to it slowly and allow the sunlight to fill you."

Adanai squeezed her eyes shut and tried to imagine a tiny purple flower, one her father had called a Forget-Me-Not. For a second, she could picture perfectly the five pale petals and bright yellow center, but just as suddenly as it had appeared, it was gone. Her face grew scarlet as it occurred to her just how ridiculous she must look, sitting there on the floor with her legs crossed and her face scrunched up as she concentrated as hard as she could. She tried once again to picture the flower, but she could feel the Accepted's eyes on her- likely trying to see whatever glow she might attain if she actually managed to embrace- and it was making her incredibly self-conscious. Now, no matter how hard she tried, she could not imagine a flower: not a forget-me-not, not a rose, nothing.

Her eyes snapped open, filled with tears, and fell on Calia, who was watching her with an intentness that Adanai had not seen all day. The look of curiosity vanished as soon as the Accepted registered that the novice no longer had her eyes closed, and was replaced with the cool stare that had been ever-present since she introduced herself. "What's the problem?" the Accepted asked, and Adanai thought she might have detected a hint of wavering in her voice, as if the older girl might be nervous as well.

"I can't... I can't do it," the novice mumbled, trying her hardest not to burst into tears. "I can't picture the flower any longer. It doesn't work. And I can't picture anything with you watching me."

"Well, you're going to have to get over that," the Accepted responded swiftly. "You're not going to be able to spend your whole life asking people to turn around while you channel. Try it again."

Taking a deep breath, Adanai struggled to calm down. She closed her eyes again, trying to pretend that she was alone in the room and that Accepted Calia was not watching her. This time, she attempted to picture a sunflower: huge brown face, long yellow petals. She held the image in her mind for a full minute, thrilled by the fact that it was not disappearing, before she realized that she had accomplished nothing beyond recalling an image from her childhood. Frustrated and embarrassed once again, she allowed herself to peek at the Accepted, who sighed heavily when she saw that Adi's eyes were open. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry, Accepted Calia," she babbled nervously, tugging on her hair. It was not as if she was trying to give the Accepted a hard time.

"Stop apologizing and let me think," said the Accepted.

OOC: Sorry it took me so long- getting settled into school is a little time consuming. I should be quicker from now on.

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