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What Comes After
Fri Apr 14, 2006 20:53 (XFF:

Idly rattling her fingers against the leather-bound dossier firmly planted in her clutches, Myrth glided down the halls of the Infirmary. Her feet carried her down the polished, almost mirrored halls, yes, but her mind was most certainly elsewhere. Light, but she was exhausted; there were few sisters on hand in the Infirmary today, and nine hours already had Myrth been holding her shift. Nine. No respite. Eight times in that tenure had she Healed wounds exceeding the expected burn-and-bruise of her shifts; Light, but her stamina was akin to watered wine! An hour’s half before she was dismissed, and the first thing she would do was–


Torn from her thoughts, Myrth dropped the dossier to the ground, and she could not even bend down to recover it before Saleka all but went tearing into her. She did not know what she was going to say–certainly not admonish anyone for startling her so–but her jaw dropped immediately upon the Sitter’s words. A man? Bleeding?

“Lead the way,” was all she said, steeling herself up for the inevitable Healing. She would have endurance enough.

It was something of a mad dash through the Tower, or so the novices seemed to think it was. Myrth held her serenity close to herself, masking any such hint of emotion. She would not let fear or nerves or anything of the sort seep through. Long had she desensitized herself to gore and the likes of bloodshed, yet if the man could not be Healed . . . and that seemed a realistic possibility. . . . I will try, she knew, and hoped what energy she had would be enough. And he will live. The nature of optimism was as easy as that.

Unflinching, Myrth cast a wayward gaze the man’s way as she and Saleka intruded upon the room. She was a Yellow, and as such all other bodies, all people, in the room deserved little notice. The Sitter was the first to react, embracing the Power and channeling that fluid medley of elements into the man. I will not channel unless it’s required of me, she thought, dutifully nodding. Instead, she let her eyes perform the diagnosis. It had been an assault or an accident, she knew. The wounds, upon inspection, were jagged and disorderly, cut without any regard. It had been done with steel or something similar, for the gashes were too fine for stone, too broad for treated obsidian. Not a sword nor a spear would leave wounds like this. A militia, perhaps? A mob? A mob would use “creative” weapons if given the need. Had it been an accident, perhaps akin to a crumbling building . . . what sort of structure would fracture to leave such deep and such narrow wounds as these?

“I don’t think that his wounds are enough I cannot Heal them alone, Myrth.” She nodded, knowing her place, and stepped back from Saleka’s side. “Menaihya, maybe you could tell Myrth what happened and I’ll listen while I Heal.” Menaih–? Peering to her side, Myrth did spy the Green standing there. Light, but the woman had been Accepted while Myrth was a novice, though the sense of hushed intimidation came from another source. It was pathetic, really, but no mystery. The woman was unquestionably Aiel, and these were but the old prejudices of a Cairhienin woman. Perhaps they would never entirely die away.

“Light, but what happened?” was all Myrth said, peering up at the woman.

Menaihya wasted little time. “I had been waiting for a peddler named Jachin Masson–he is still at the Three-fold Land as we speak–because he was supposed to deliver a letter to me, a letter whose contents I will explain in just a moment. The peddler came in the night, and he was carrying with him a man who was heavily inflicted with wounds. He was the same man you see now.” She did she him. So young, she thought tragically, though he seemed in no immediate danger under Saleka’s hand. He would live. “I immediately went in search of Wise Ones who were learned in herbs, and they came and fixed him up as best as they could, in the night. The peddler told me that night that the stranger was found bound to a stone column. The important thing is, and the reason why I brought the man to the White Tower, is because I believe he is a man who can channel, and the stone column a Portal Stone. That is not exactly news–not so much in itself, but I have reason to think he is a figure the White Tower should keep an eye out for.”

Procuring a slip of vellum, Menaihya showed it to Myrth. Myrth scanned it over, catching but a few lines–Flung far from our embrace and With seeming broken mind and Women’s White and Men’s Black–before returning her gaze to the Green. This, unless she was greatly mistaken, was the likes of prophecy. “Yes, I think it is self-explanatory, is it not? I know no other of Aluve Maevra's Foretellings has been proven, or at least there are no records of it in the Depositories, but everything else–'the stone', 'seemly mad'–points out that this man may be the man in the Foretelling. The only other thing that would prove it as so, would be. . . .” Approaching the man, Menaihya pulled back the garment, revealing . . . the Flame of Tar Valon, adorned with its black counterpart, which formed the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai. This was from the Age of Legends. Contrasting dots adorned each half of colour, with a black circle adorning the white half and a black circle adorning the black. “I do not know what his significance is yet, but I knew the White Tower would have answers. Also . . . I believe the man is mad. Perhaps he used saidin before the taint had been cleansed, and it still affects him today. This, I have no need to point out, is a grave danger.”

Saleka was now peering at her, explaining the man’s Healing, and Myrth would have to be blind not to see what had been taken from his back. The tiny piece of metal was akin to a Whitecloak’s helmet in shape. “What do you think, Myrth?” asked the Sitter.

Folding her arms, Myrth sighed. She would much rather have smiled in such a situation, but little good could be found. He was alive, yes, but if he was a madman . . . it would almost have been better had he died. Almost. “Considering his age,” Myrth said, “it’s realistic that he is a male channeler. I just cannot help but feel that his actions aren’t logical for someone affected by the taint, someone who would know the Aes Sedai would want him under our care should he be affected by the taint. I mean, did he show any especial fear for you, Menaihya, as an Aes Sedai? As far as precedent goes, an insane male channeler would be more inclined to a fight-or-flight mentality.”

“Berys–the Wise One back in the Three-fold land–told him my name, and that I am Aes Sedai,” the Aiel sister explained. “He was unsure of the pronunciation, as if he had never heard of Aes Sedai before.”

Myrth nodded. “I can’t see any man, especially one who had channeled at the time of the taint, not knowing of Aes Sedai. The taint . . . it has been known documented to affect one’s rationality and ability to work through problems logically, but he would know what an Aes Sedai is. In no examples has the taint affected the prefrontal cortex or the hippocampus.” A pause. “There is no Delving weave in the world that will detect traces of the taint, but I don’t believe it’s there. That doesn’t excuse him as your run-of-the-mill madman, no taint involved.”

“But you did say he could channel, Menaihya?” Saleka pondered aloud.

Menaihya appeared resolute in her opinion. “I believe he can. A Portal Stone cannot be accessed by one without the ability to channel. That one was found alone, so it would stand to reason that Aaron used the True Source to grant him access.”

Myrth bit her bottom lip in indecision–Light, a terrible habit–as she hovered back. Light, but this made little sense, and no opinions could be crafted upon anything aside of hearsay. There were other possibilities–someone had guided him, perhaps, through the Portal Stone, and bound him there? Though they’d have no motive, and she couldn’t imagine why anyone who had the knowledge of travelling through those runic Stones of an Age gone by would do something as barbaric. “Can we agree, then, that even if we cannot decide the origins of his madness–or even if this man is mad–something has to be done about him? We can’t just release him unto the world.”

“And we must be selective about who finds out about him,” the Yellow Sitter pointed out. “With prophecies abound the Browns would see him as a specimen as opposed to a potential danger. The Browns are nothing compared to the Reds, too. Even a potential man inflicted by the taint has little chance of staying within the Tower should someone breathe a word of this to the Red Ajah.” Menaihya, at least, appeared to agree to readily agree to this note. Considering her Ajah, of course, this was not surprising in the least.

“The prophecy?” Myrth asked. “What can we say of it? He appears to fulfill so much of it. ‘A seeming broken mind?’ Would that mean that he’s not mad?” This was about as clear as mud.

“I could not say,” Menaihya intoned.

Saleka appeared to mimic this in agreement, though her mind appeared elsewhere. In the end, however, she snapped to attention to him. “If you’d monitor him, Myrth,” she said, straightening her skirts and gliding for the direction of the door, “I have business to which I must attend.”

“Are you going somewhere?”

She nodded, a quiet smile blossoming on her cheeks. “This, it would seem, is a matter for the Hall.” Sparing a respectful inclination of her head, Saleka disappeared out the door, her skirts whipping around behind her in her wake.

Light. And though she could not say it, Myrth only hoped Saleka was careful about this. The Hall convening did not necessarily require the presence of each and every Sitter, and she only hoped three Sitters in particular were avoided: Sobeit, Gizelle, and Amichai. Reds. Whether or not their opinions would sway the vote, it would be awful to have this information diffuse back to their Ajah. Myrth let her gaze pass over Aaron, lying still with but the subtle heaving of his chest.

The hand of the Creator, she willed, smiling sadly. She felt empathy for his pains. So young. . . .

  • The Talent of HealingSaleka Sedai, Fri Apr 14 03:49
    Bending over the parchment, Saleka read it back over once before signing the bottom with her neat signature. Gently pushing a stray strand of her coppery red hair behind and ear, the Yellow Sister... more
    • What Comes After — Myrth Sedai, Fri Apr 14 20:53
      • What the Crap just Happened?Aaron Lacing, Wed Apr 19 17:24
        Aaron could remember the last time that he felt like this. He was eight years old and had spent the night camping out with his friends in the middle of a park close to his house. It was a safe... more
      • The Hall Convenes (All!)Saleka al'Murne, Sitter for the Yellow Ajah, Fri Apr 14 22:43
        Saleka rushed into her quarters and searched frantically for her shawl. A knot of worry was present in her stomach, and a headache was beginning to present itself right between her temples. Latching... more
        • A Move for ActionIlaira Moirena, Sitter for the Green NPC, Wed Apr 26 05:59
          OOC: Given that response for Sitters has been slow, I figured I'd gloss over the arguments and move on to a reasonable motion. =) Ilaria sat quiet as discussions raged through the entire Hall, Sasha... more
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