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Stop to Smell the (Karate-Chopping) Roses
Tue Sep 26, 2006 14:17 (XFF:

While initially hesitant in accepting the audience of a lone Soldier, Lysander folded inevitably, keeping in mind the punishment that would come with a time-waster. Ditrii had scheduled the appointment dutifully, and so, sitting behind the desk in his office, Lysander waited. Afailla Dafrin. Relatively new in the Tower. Performing well. No particular major malfunction. Hadn’t exactly proven herself to be the next great Dreamwalker or Foreteller or anything particularly incredible like that. She was a Soldier.

When the time came, he tented his fingers, listening impassively as she spoke.

“I’m sick.” Sick. The girl was sick. And the underwhelming feeling that he was wasting his time soaked and saturated right through him. “Well, maybe I’m not. The Healers all say there’s nothing wrong with me, but I’ve had an upset stomach since I came here. Every time I get around someone else, I get dizzy and feel like I’m going to throw up, but I’ve never been uncomfortable around people before. It hasn’t gone away. The Healers told me to find an Asha’man if things didn’t improve, so here I am. Do you think you can help?”

Healing had never been his specialty, no, and the subject of medicine had never interested him beyond a passing fancy, and yet he was educated enough to know the meaning of the word “hypochondriac.” Or, even better, perhaps she was looking for her ticket out of the Black Tower? It hadn’t been the first time a recruit told of peculiar things to get out of the high-walled fortress. An authoritative need, a potent necessity. Would she next have to leave the Tower quickly lest she become a danger for herself or others? The Shadow preserve him, but he knew women could be stupid, but this. . . .

Nonetheless, he would give her the light of day. He’d blocked off a period of time for her, and ending it abruptly to send her back to his work would earn back no lost minutes. “Be still.” Touching the True Source, Lysander summoned a workable amount of saidin–no more, no less–and began to channel. Spirit, Water, Air. Again, while Healing was not his strong point, Delving was not a Talent, but rather a simple weave. Anyone with control enough could weave it. Briefly, he was pleased that she was no man, and that she could not see his coloured skeins weave themselves without the artful tweak the Healers possessed. An Assassin was Lysander. In this case, lamentably so.

He plunged the weave into her, searching blindly through the mess and mangle of awareness. Nothing. Well, nothing important . . . no real sickness, but her body carried the wear-and-weathering of all initiates. She was not sick.

“I see nothing,” Lysander said quietly, abandoning the Power as soon as it was of no use to him. He straightened himself, reaching for the arms of his chair. “I see no reason for you to be nauseous, Soldier. I see nothing.”

Afailla seemed as though she’d expected that. “Well, it’s not bad now. In here, I mean. In your office with you. It’s one of the few places in the Tower that doesn’t smell like rotten meat. You don’t smell like it, either.”

He blinked. Was this . . . was this the most peculiar brand of flattery he’d ever seen in the whole of his life? What, did she think he’d hand over the Sword pin to her because he didn’t smell like a flaming horse? Oh, blood and ashes.

“Of course my office does not smell, Soldier. I have it cleaned weekly.”

“I can still smell it out there, though. It doesn’t smell as bad from a distance.”

What . . . ? Slowly, however, the clockwork of his mind began to work, and recognition dawned over him. Slowly, yes, but . . . well, nonetheless, he had an idea. “Ditrii,” he called, “come hither for a moment.” His secretary entered, a spindly beanstalk of a man. He was young, pale, with dark hair growing messily around his head. Without warning, an aura appeared over his head. A red-haired man appeared there, staring levelly, before vanishing. Though the meaning was not readily limbed, it seemed not that the man would be vastly important to Ditrii, but that Ditrii would be vastly important to him. Irrelevant.

“Yes, M’Hael?”

Lysander smiled quietly. “You did not remember to relay the invoice of one-hundred new knives to Ronan.”

“Oh, well, I was going to do that on my way to–”

“Now, please.” He seized again, weaving a paddle of Air into existence. He brought it slamming against the buttocks of his secretary so quickly, so suddenly, that the man let out a staggered yelp. “Thank-you, Ditrii.” And the servant was gone. Turning to Afailla, Lysander saw her face scrunch up ever the slightest.

“Light, it’s in here now, too.”


“Ditrii!” He called again for his servant, who poked his head into the room quickly, dark eyes wide and incredulous. “I apologise for the reprimand, but I would like you to summon Asha’man Benoit.” Ditrii was only too-happy to be gone from the office, leaving Lysander and Afailla in the awkward silence of hierarchy that divided the pair of them. Lysander estimated that seven minutes had passed by the time Benoit entered. Clothed in the typical Asha’man wear, Benoit was short, hard-faced, with grey hair receding along his head. In spite of his evident age for the crinkles he wore, Benoit was an Assassin. Not what one would expect from such an appearance, no. “Benoit, I do believe I found someone who shares your certain . . . unique skill, I daresay. This is Soldier Afailla Dafrin.”

It was now obvious that, unbeknownst to her, Afailla was a Sniffer. The sickness would be the awful smell of violence lurking at all corners of the Tower, though Lysander’s office was suitably bereft of this stench. No violence was done here, and Lysander had not killed or harmed a person in . . . in so long. Too long, he’d even say.

The elder Asha’man peered at Afailla. “I see! Well, girl, gerrup. I s’pose s’only right that I begin instructing you. I’ll explain what’s wrong with ya–nah, not wrong, but you an’ I ‘re birds of a feather. Only a handful o’ us reside in the Tower. Many o’ the other Asha’man aligned as we ’re choose to serve outside o’ the Black Tower where the air, ah, is fresher. You’re in fer a shock.”

OOC: Sorry for writing Afailla a bit, but I saw no other way. ^_-; Okie, to begin, I was thinking you could just have Benoit escort Afailla around the grounds, walking kind of leisurely. Have him point out different training activities the others are doing, like hand-to-hand (high stench) to archery (low, if not nothing). Have him explain to her Sniffing and whatnot, exactly how the Talent works and what it’s like. Feel free to write him speaking at length, too! Making this as little like a typical lesson and more like a string as possible would be fun. *grins*

  • This stinks. Attn. MarkSoldier Afailla Dafrin, Mon Sep 25 18:02
    Afailla couldn’t explain it. She’d been at the Tower for nearly a year now, but the first-day jitters had, if anything, gotten worse. She felt a wave of nausea every time she crossed paths with an... more
    • Stop to Smell the (Karate-Chopping) Roses — M'Hael Lysander, Tue Sep 26 14:17
      • Roses and dead animal? Not a good combination.Soldier Afailla Dafrin, Wed Sep 27 18:50
        Afailla could see that the M’Hael was growing increasingly impatient with her. As she launched into a description of her symptoms, she saw irritation flicker over his face and then disappear. She saw ... more
        • The smell of blood is sharp and sweet.Soldier Afailla Dafrin, Thu Sep 28 18:56
          As the two black-clad channelers began strolling around the Tower grounds, Benoit began speaking to her, explaining what she was going through and why it was important. “The reason you smell rotting... more
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