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Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles
Anticlimacticism
Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:00
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

The woman laughed and shook her head. "Light, Ronan! To say something like that! I remember a time when you used to look at Aes Sedai with pity!" She looked to Demetri again, sobering. "But, I suppose after being M'Hael, your views would have to change, wouldn'tthey? Ahhh! We were so young back then, and now look at us. Spymaster, Dai Shi. Blood and ashes, if Angeus were still here today, he'd probably fall over laughing to look at us."

Demetri remained silent, having no idea who Angeus was, or for that matter, who this woman was. "I have to go." She said quietly, rising from her chair. When the Asha'man looked up at her in surprise, she smiled. "People think I'm dead right now and Kyran wanted me to get some files from the office. I still have a woman to track down for him and for myself, and if people saw me…" She trailed off, her web of truth-filled lies sounding convincing even to her own ears.

"It could cause problems. Right, all right then." The woman said, her tone brisk, tilted eyes bright with excitement. Something inside of Demetri felt sorry for the woman, to give her hope like that when the woman she was posing as was dead. The Dark One would have her soul if she had to fake Ronan's death again just to give this woman closure to tonight's events. "When you see Kyran, tell him that I have two safe houses available to him if Lysander ever comes after him. One's in Tear, the other is in Ebou Dar."

She smiled. "I'll do that, I promise. Take care of yourself."

The woman looked grim and serious as leaned forward and caught Deme in a fierce hug. "You too, Ronan. Light, to know you're alive…it makes things easier for now." Demetri turned to leave when she heard a sharp intake of breath. "Wait."

Turning slowly, her heart hammering in her chest, she asked as calmly as she could. "What is it?"

"You're not Ronan." The woman said, her eyes narrowing, brows lowered in concentration. Demetri made noises of protest, but she shook her head, slashing a hand to silence her. "Since we were Soldiers I was always stronger than Ronan, even if her own control of Fire was far more adept and strong than mine, but by pure strength I outstripped her. But you—you're stronger than anyone I've ever met, even Aes Sedai. Who are you?"

Drawing in a breath, Demetri had a choice to either fight her way out or reveal herself—to fight would be to have an enemy chasing her back as she tried to escape, to reveal herself would mean showing herself as an ally. She decided on revealing herself and dropped the weave from the ter'angreal; the Asha'man gasped in surprise and took a step back, suddenly blazing with saidar. "Wait!" Demetri held up her hands to try and forestall an attack. "I'm on your side, I'm working with Kyran!" Although the Asha'man didn't release saidar (and Demetri couldn't blame her), she at least looked willing to listen.

"I'm Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chronicles." She said, speaking fast. "Kyran approached me earlier this evening at the Festival, he doesn't think Ronan's dead but he can't go looking for her. He heard a name in Caemlyn—Elena Morgayne, it's Ronan's alias, and he wanted me to look into it."

"Then why are you here as Ronan?!" The woman asked, anger in her voice.

"He's blackmailed me into getting some documents for him, aliases and cover duties in the Tower of all the assassins. I don't know if it's for personal use or just to hold on to them so that the M'Hael can't have them, but I wasn't given a choice." She drew in a deep breath as the body language of the Asha'man began to ease. "I came as Ronan because I couldn't have your M'Hael declaring war on me because an Aes Sedai's stealing some of his files, an Aes Sedai of high authority in the White Tower. I figured that if anyone saw me as Ronan that they would—" she stopped, unable to come up with an excuse that didn't sound flimsy.

But whatever Demetri said, the Asha'man seemed to believe her because the glow around her winked out. "It was a good plan, and if anyone except me saw you, it might have worked." She laughed and shook her head. "I suppose I should introduce myself then, I'm Spymaster Dealeah Halin." Demetri took the woman's extended hand. "If I hadn't felt your strength, you might have gotten away with it too."

"I never thought that would be a liability, having such a strong ability." Demetri confessed. "Are you going to let me walk out with these files?"

Dealeah smiled. "I am. You said you were getting them for Kyran, and that's good enough for me. You're right. He's doing what he can to hinder Lysander. The man is—" she shook her head in disgust. "I don't like him. Most of those loyal to Ronan don't. He's dirty and underhanded and I shudder to think what he'll do if he gets his hand on a full list of assassins and their aliases. Turn the Black Tower into one big assassin for hire, probably."

"I can't be involved in this, you know. Not beyond what I've been blackmailed into doing." Demetri reminded the woman. "If I got involved in internal politics among the Asha'man, it could ruin relations between our Towers."

"I understand, Demetri Sedai. And I thank you for your honesty. Some Aes Sedai I've known would have scrambled for the chance to become involved, but I know about you, at least on a superficial level. You're honest and have good morals and I respect that." Dealeah gestured toward the door. "I can help you get through the crowd, do you need to Travel back or can you Skim?"

"It would be easier to Skim, I suppose." Demetri conceded, then gave a sheepish laugh. "Although I would have saved myself a lot of headache if I'd just done it from the room I Traveled into. I'd never have met up with you and caused this confusion."

"Well." The woman smiled. "For a few minutes at least, I thought I had my friend back." Her face grew serious. "Kyran had mentioned hearing Elena's name in Caemlyn. Do you really believe that Ronan could be alive? That the balefire didn't hurt her?"

"No, I don't." Demetri's answer was truthful but she saw the hurt cross Dealeah's features and amended. "If she were, she'd be out there trying to get back, but it's been a week now and nothing's been heard. There is no injuries that can be suffered by balefire, Dealeah, trust me on this, there is only gone. If she's been touched by balefire, then she's gone, forever."

The Asha'man straightened her shoulders and gave a brave smile. "Well. I suppose that I hate to accept that, so I'll hold on to hope until you tell Kyran what you've found." Demetri's return smile was sad and she channeled through the ter'angreal to form up her Illusion again.

Dealeah walked Demetri to the door and led her to a small, secluded area where she could watch for people coming and going while the Gateway was formed. As Ronan stepped through the Gateway to the platform, Dealeah suddenly looked back. "Oh! Don't forget to tell Kyran about the safehouses, and—thank you. I know you're not a willing partner in this, but it's the right thing to do."

"Good night, Dealeah." Demetri replied, closing the Gateway.

When she stepped back out again into the Infirmary, it was dark and quiet, the flash of light from her Gateway briefly illuminating the darkened room. Once her foot stepped foot inside, however, balls of reddish light sprang up around Kyran, Dai and Laurian. She practically flung the papers to Kyran's bed and the man's eyes fluttered open in surprise. "Here's your information, Kyran That's the last time I do anything like that for you again, do you hear me?" He woke up fully and started glancing through the documents, a slender finger running along the pages as he scanned them. "Kyran?"

His eyes raised in surprise and then he nodded. "Yes, of course, Demetri. Did you happen to look at the documents and what they contained?"

"Why? Will you kill me if I have?" She asked, her voice dripping acid.

Laughing, his head shook. "No, but I wonder if you saw these marks on the sides of some of these names."

She sank to a chair next to him, glancing at the writing and the marks. "I did, but I wasn't sure what they meant. Maybe they're dead?"

"Hm. No, I don't think so." He responded, frowning at the pages. They sat in silence and while he read, Demetri related what had happened in soft tones to Dai and Laurian. Both men looked extremely displeased when they found out she'd been discovered, chastising her that they could have bettered protected her than guarded a sleeping man. "What was that? You went back to the Black Tower disguised as Ronan?" There was a fire of anger in his voice as he asked the question.

"Yes, well, when you said you wanted to keep her memory alive, I thought I'd give you a helping hand," she replied sarcastically. Within a few seconds a wall of Air slammed into her, knocking her backward from the chair and to the floor below.

"You stupid woman!" He shouted, trying to rise from the cot but suddenly becoming flattened by an invisible hand—Laurian's doing as she pulled herself up from the floor to look at him. "Whatever possessed you to do something so stupid is beyond me—"

"Now listen here, Kyran." Demetri said, striding toward him and filling herself with the Source until she nearly hurt and then slamming a shield between himself and the One Power. His face whitened slightly, though she wasn't sure if it was because she'd shielded him or she'd shielded him while he was still holding the Source. "You asked me to do something for you that could risk war between our Towers, so I decided to go with the option of going as someone thought to be dead in order to access her files. If I were discovered going through them, I could claim to be Ronan, and if not, then it was just a precaution. You blackmailed me into it, which left you no room to dictate how I went about it."

"And if you had been discovered?" He ground out, sitting up as Laurian's weaves dissipated. He was no danger to any of them in his weakened state now that she had him shielded. "What then?"

"I was found out, by an Asha'man named Dealeah. Ah, yes, you know her too, so did Ronan. I guess they were friends since Soldiers or something." She waved aside his look of irritation. "We had a good chat and when she discovered I wasn't Ronan, she let me go. Unless you're saying that one of Ronan's good and close friends can't be trusted."

"No. She can be trusted." He conceded grudgingly. "If it had been anyone else—"

"They would have thought they were seeing a ghost or imagining things. I thought it out, Kyran. The only snag was having the misfortune to run into someone well known to Ronan and she only discovered it when she felt my strength in the Power." Her snarl began to fade into a smile. "Besides she told me she has two safe houses for you, one in Tear and one in Ebou Dar."

Kyran's shoulders slumped slightly. "I'm sorry. I'm still a little—tense with the subject of Ronan. First Lysander calling off the investigation and now…"

"A little tense?" Dai finally piped up. "Kyran, if you were wound any tighter, they could use you as a spring for hopping down the halls in." Demetri and Kyran sent him a dirty look together and he held up his hands defensively. "Yeah, I get it. Not helping."

"Bloody right." Kyran said, but it was with a little bit of a smile. "All right. So now what?"

Demetri blinked. "What do you mean, 'now what?' That was it, wasn’t it? You rest up, I go looking for Ronan and we end it on a happy note."

"But…it's so anticlimactic that way…" Kyran said. To her dismay, Laurian and Dai picked a fine time to agree with the Asha'man.

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