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Awakening to Remembrance
Fri Jan 20, 2006 18:50 (XFF:

And thank you, Dawn. ;)

Sora trailed along behind Allael, crying inconsolably. At first, he’d cried out of guilt, because of what he’d done to the bandits, and even more for what he’d done to Allael. When she had told him what it had felt like to her there in the clearing, it forced his mind back to the subject he’d been avoiding, and to the question he’d refused to answer since it popped into his head when he came to himself. What have I done? He knew the answer, now. He had done violence, not any physical harm, but spiritual harm. Whatever he had been once, Tinker or no, wherever those strange memories had come from, he had left their Way of the Leaf there in the clearing, and all his refusing to eat meat was for nothing. Then the Mahdi’s accusations had proved his guilt to him - Channelers were not to be trusted. Channelers were mad, and dangerous, and most certainly not Tuatha’an. And he was a Channeler. He was the Channeler Aisor Kithar, not the Tuatha’an Sora, and he had no place in the band with Adria, and if he had a place anywhere he didn’t know where it was.

He wasn’t sure where he was or what he was doing, only that he was doing as he was told by Allael, following her lead. Despite what he’d done to her, she had still stuck up for him, defended him, and tried her best to win him a home. But then, who could blame her? She was probably scared of remaining with him. She was too good a person to leave him alone, in the wild, or to send him away, but after what he’d done she had to want to be rid of him. His suspicions were confirmed when, in a rage, she threw her pack off of her back and into the bushes, and hurled her hunting knife deep into the trunk of a tree. "Bloody Tinkers! Bloody Whitecloaks! Damn them all and their narrow minded ways! Neither is any bloody different if you get right down to it!"

Collapsing to his knees, he broke into his sobs afresh. She was going to leave him, now. She hated Tinkers as much as she hated Whitecloaks, and she couldn’t possibly bear the other part of him - the Channeler part. If this was how she felt about his better part. . . yes, now was when she would leave him, here in the middle of the wood, and he would be alone in the world forever until someone decided to put him out of his misery. Sobbing hysterically, he didn’t expect that she would still be there when he was finally able to look up, and so it was with surprise that he felt her arms around him.

"Soradrelle, I'm so sorry. They just made me so mad. I didn't mean to scare you. Will you forgive me?"

And still she was kind to him. Despite everything. She hadn’t asked for this. . . Clinging tightly to her, he couldn’t voice the words he wanted to, that there was nothing to forgive. That even if she left him, no one would blame her. All he could do was nod into her chest, sobbing quietly against her. He didn’t know how long he cried, only that she held him until his sobs subsided into hiccups and sniffles. Then his guardian angel wordlessly rose, and brought him his blanket and some food. The food he put aside, and silently curled up, and went to sleep.

Sora was walking in the Tower gardens, on a cold winter morning, when he saw a girl dancing in a clearing. She was in Novice Whites, like him, only her outfit was, of course a dress. Sageria. She’d introduced him to the Tower - his first friend here. But a winter ago, she’d told him never to speak to her again. Never. It had been a long, cold winter without her friendship. She had been hurt too, he knew, and he didn’t know how to Heal her. But now, as she danced, she was relaxed, and beautiful. He watched her, silently, wondering how to help her, considering leaving like she’d asked, until she opened her eyes and met his gaze.

They had greeted each other.

But something within her feared and hated him, and he was surrounded by dancing flames. He remembered that he’d been afraid of those flames once, but now an answering flame blossomed within him. He waved his hand, and the flames around him subsided, and she was laying on the ground, freezing. She’d poisoned herself. Closing his eyes, he reached inside for the power to Heal her, but something challenged him, refused him passage. Again, however, the flame within him answered it, and then he danced with her, and the leaf inside which had withered and died blossomed under the warmth of his flame, and once again she was his sister in the Way of the Leaf.

And then Sageria was Tira, the beautiful Novice who’d just arrived at the Tower. Sageria’s fluid grace turned to Tira’s awkward steps, and a second later they were falling, rolling about on the grass and kissing. For half a moment, though, he wasn’t Soradrelle, and she wasn’t Tira. Mietatte? The thought lasted only a moment, however, and then Soradrelle was looking at the feet of an Aes Sedai.

Tira was only fourteen years old, and Novices were not allowed to . . . canoodle. To do what they had just been doing. Tira was to kiss every male Novice, and he, Sora was to give a speech before an assembly of White Tower initiates.

"Good morning, er, I mean, Good afternoon. It has come to the attention of certain Sisters of the Tower that there has been a proliferation of canoodling in the Tower, which, though many novices do not realize it, frequently causes Novices to be with child. I mean, it can lead to situations in which a Novice is with a child or children. I mean, situations in which a Novice might get with child. As such, this is a lecture on how to prevent birth control. Er, I mean, this is a lecture on pregnancy prevention.

"Heartleaf tea is commonly and reliably used to prevent such, um, situations, but it must be taken before any, ahh, encounters. Given that the majority of Novices, and some Accepted, do not, ummm, plan these encounters, but find themselves unexpectedly. . . er, because these encounters are planned, unexpected preparations aren't made. . . I mean, since. . . since. . . What I mean to say is, lots of novices have sex without expecting to, so they don't drink the heartleaf tea. First, I mean. By the girl. Er, the girl doesn't drink the tea first.

"Fortunately, there is a heartleaf tincture which is far more potent than the tea, and is even effective after the encounter, if it is taken within twenty four hours. This tincture is available to anyone, from the Yellow Sisters, though the tea itself is available only to Accepted, as Novices are prohibited from engaging in any such encounters. Novices who request the tincture are given it, but are sent to Madeline Sedai to be birched. I have been assured, however, that morning sickness is more bitter than heartleaf tincture and labor pains are more painful than birching. Ummmmm, in conclusion, abstinence is strongly encouraged, and Novices and Accepted are also encouraged to refrain from canoodling which might cause them to get with child."

Then he turned from the assembly of laughing Novices and Accepted and walked, oddly resolute, into a shining, silver arch.

Two women stepped into the clearing, and stopped. One of them was dressed in shirt and breeches, and looked strangely familiar with her long blond hair, green eyes, and graceful movements. She looked to be about twenty, but that could be deceptive, Sora knew; he himself was twenty three and looked younger than his years. The other woman also had blond hair, but her movements were more stately and less graceful. Not much less, but less, and he couldn't put an age to her face.

"Welcome to our fires," he said warily. "Do you know the song?"

The one who looked familiar seemed a little puzzled by the question, but the blue eyed woman answered calmly. "Your welcome warms my spirit, Mahdi, as fires warm the flesh, but I do not know the song."

Sora nodded, barely perceptibly. They seemed to be peaceful. There would be no running today. "Then seek we still. As it once was, so shall it be, if we but remember, seek, and find."

She looked about the camp, her face emotionless, and spoke very quietly. "Yes, you remember better than most. But you do not remember everything. That is the whole point."

Soradrelle was confused, but he introduced himself in any case. "I am Soradrelle, Mahdi of this band. Do you know the Tuatha'an?"

The one who seemed familiar remained silent, but the other, who seemed both old and young, yet who had to be older than the girl who stayed silent, answered. "I have met. . . some Tuatha'an, before. This is my daughter Allael. I am Ara Sedai."

Soradrelle's eyes widened, and he stepped back slightly, frightened. Aes Sedai. Aes Sedai were dangerous, particularly if they knew he could channel. "What brings you here, Aes Sedai?"

"You. You are the Mahdi, aren't you boy? What would you do, boy, if your people were being murdered, raped, and tortured, and you could stop it by violence? You have a duty to your people, to keep them safe. . . and yet you also have a duty to do no harm. Once the Tuatha'an were looking for a safe place, where they could remember the way things had been in peace."

Sora pursed his lips. A safe place? Yes, that would be much more valuable than the song, and as likely to exist. Or more likely. But a sharp voice interrupted his thoughts. "We've known since the Breaking that where men have built ten houses together there would be violence. And that the only way to be safe was to keep moving. If we stop moving, people will know where to find us, every day, and they will attack us and kill us. Yet you say there is a safe place. Where, Aes Sedai? Where in all the world is there a place safe from the taint of the Shadow, a place where men can live gathered together without harming and killing each other, and doing violence? If there ever was, if there ever will be a place of safety. . . we'll find it when we find the song. But there isn't. And we have to live with what is."

Her face showed no emotion. "Just so." Sora blinked, puzzled. "Just so," she repeated. "Better to run, and be hunted down one by one, than to dare to risk your life for a purpose. You remember nothing. Very well. Keep waiting for the forgotten song to fall in your wandering laps, and keep remembering what was lost like a dream is remembered after you wake. Forget what you were once, what you knew once, what you sought once, lest you be ashamed."

Turning, Soradrelle fled into the woods, jumping over fallen branches and clumps of high weeds. Finally, he stopped, panting for breath, hands on his knees. A rustling behind him, however, told him he'd been followed. Ducking quickly and quietly beneath some bushes, Sora froze, waiting for his pursuer to pass. But the legs which approached him were young and graceful, and they slowed when they neared his hiding place. His follower bent down, studied the ground intently, then glanced up, staring into his eyes. "Hello, Brother" she whispered.

Soradrelle opened his eyes abruptly, and found himself staring into the startled expression of Allael. "I remember. . . I remember everything. And I remember you, Sister."

  • Adrift in a Unforgiving World...AgainAllael al'Cantar, Mon Jan 16 11:08
    After Allael left Soradrelle and his friend, she went in search of some children to tell a story to. Though she had fibbed a little at the time, if she found some kids and really did tell a story,... more
    • Awakening to Remembrance — Runaway Soradrelle, Fri Jan 20 18:50
      • Happy NamedayAllael al'Cantar, Mon Jan 23 15:42
        Soft rays of morning sunshine filtered down through the sheltering trees, lightly caressing the braided blonde hair of the sleeping woman. With a sigh, Allael turned over in her sleep and woke... more
        • Presents!Runaway Soradrelle, Fri Feb 17 12:39
          As always, thanks to Dawn :) Soradrelle slipped quietly off into the woods - it was clear his sister needed time to think, to sort through things, but he hadn’t lied when he’d said he could use some... more
          • The Light's MercyAllael al'Cantar, Thu Feb 23 18:49
            The days after Soradrelle regained his memory seemed to go too quickly for Allael and she took great joy in her brother. As she no longer had to pause and explain the meanings of the simplest things... more
            • As it Once Was. . .Runaway Soradrelle, Wed Mar 22 18:18
              The first several days after he regained his memory, Soradrelle simply drank in the moment, thinking of neither future nor past. He knew he would return to the White Tower, eventually, but for now it ... more
              • There's no place like homeAllael al'Cantar, Thu Mar 23 16:52
                Allael woke up that morning feeling refreshed, and glad to be home. She'd given Sora her bed, so she'd slept on the floor-but for a person who was used to sleeping out of doors for the last few... more
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