Tying Off Loose Ends
Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:20 (XFF:

Toren had deliberately ordered the Seanchan woman to land some distance away from the rendezvous point. He started to angle through the woods south and west, knowing that he would eventually cut across the southern path and from there it would be easy to find the clearing where the Black Tower forces had gated in. Lars followed cautiously, not wanting to fall on the uneven ground and injure himself further. The pair walked in silence for some time, listening to the natural forest sounds. The buzzing of insects and rustling of small creatures in the underbrush was a good sign that nobody was following them, and even if the Seanchan sent out another raken it would have a hard time spotting them through the trees.

Eventually Asha’man Lars broke the silence. “Toren, why didn’t you kill her?”

Toren thought before replying. “I’m a Soldier, sir, not a murderer. If I faced her on the field of battle, I’d kill her. If it were important to completing my mission, I’d kill her. It just didn’t seem . . . necessary.” Toren was having trouble explaining. He hoped that the Asha’man would at least get the idea of what he was trying to say.

Lars nodded thoughtfully and walked a little further before speaking again. “That’s a hard decision to make. There’s a lot of folk around the Black Tower who would have decided differently. I just hope you don’t end up with a knife between the shoulder blades from someone you decided it was safe to let live.” They walked on, eventually crossing the path and turning towards the rendezvous point.

“I’m not saying you were wrong,” added the Asha’man a little later on. “I think you had her good and spooked with the part about popping her heart out of her chest and showing it to her. That was a particularly, mmm, vivid image to come up with on short notice.” He paused and then added, “Often our Soldier-Agents are really good at repeating the things we teach them in training, but the true measure of a Spy is how well he reacts in the field when the plan is falling apart like one of those moldy Tairen cheeses. You handled yourself well, Toren, especially since you haven’t even been training as a Spy full-time.”

Again Toren waited some time before answering. “I have actually been thinking, Asha’man, that I should narrow the focus of my studies. When I first arrived at the Black Tower, I didn’t really know what I could do with the One Power and I didn’t want to choose hastily and end up in some track of training where I would be a liability. If you think I could handle it, I’d like to start training as a Spy full-time.”

Asha’man Lars gave just the slightest of smiles. “Well, I won’t lie to you and say it will be easy, and I wouldn’t expect you to believe me if I did, but I’ll make sure that you talk to the right people when we get back to the Tower and we’ll get you transferred into Espionage.” A few minutes more brought the pair into the clearing, where a small crowd of black figures was already gathered.

The Dedicated who appeared to be in charge gave a small bow to Asha’man Lars. “Asha’man, I am glad to see that you've safely returned to us. You will be pleased to know that Asha’man Victarion and Asha’man Corin have already been rescued from their Seanchan captors, and are safely back at the Tower. We have several operatives still in the field, and we’re optimistic that we’ll free all eight who were imprisoned. But look, you’re injured. You should return to the Tower so that a Healer can look at your arm.” The Dedicated concentrated for a moment and the burning edges of a gateway appeared in the air, allowing Asha’man Lars to walk into the traveling yard. The Dedicated then turned his attention to Toren. “What do you have to report, Soldier?”

“Sir, I can tell you approximately where all eight Asha’man were being held one day past,” began Toren. Then he quickly added, “Though the Seanchan may have moved them once they realized we were attempting a rescue. I also have this.” Toren held out the message pouch which he had taken from the raken messenger.

The Dedicated took it quickly and began to rifle through the papers within. It was some time before he spoke again, but facial expressions indicated that he was excited about what he saw. Eventually, he looked up and gave Toren a congratulatory clap on the shoulder. “This is an excellent find, Soldier. Listen to this – To Captain General Pargarus, the Black Tower has mounted a campaign to rescue their captured comrades . . . four damane slain, and three more injured . . . six Asha’man freed . . . one recaptured, along with a Black Tower trainee . . . moved to a safer location to protect the remaining prisoners . . . and this tells us exactly where they’re keeping the remaining prisoners. If we don’t have everyone report back by this evening, we’ll be able to make one strike and rescue anyone who is still being held by the Seanchan.”

The Dedicated turned to address all of the Soldiers, who had assembled in a rough semi-circle while he was reading from the letter. "Grab some food. Grab some rest. If the others aren't back by sundown then we're going to go bring them home, only this time we know exactly where to look. Any questions?" There were none. Toren began to search out a nice shade tree near the perimeter of the clearing. His body was starting to realize it had been awake for two straight days and he wanted to be alert if he was going back into enemy territory at sundown.

OOC1: I know there's at least one other spy in mid-thread, so I've tried to leave lots of options. You could succeed or fail, you could get back before or after Toren. You could even allow yourself to be the one who was captured.

OOC2: I mentioned this to Mark in an e-mail a while back, but I'd like to move Toren into the Spy track.

  • I'll Fly AwaySoldier Toren Swain, Wed Jun 28 10:24
    Toren and the Asha’man, who had introduced himself as Lars, stood at the base of the cliff, looking up. The sentries at the bottom were relatively lax, even now they stood chatting with one another... more
    • Tying Off Loose Ends — Soldier Toren Swain, Thu Jun 29 10:20
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