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The Prescient Man
Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:36 (XFF:

Lysander T’hoth’s dreams were colourless–but, where colour was in short supply, definition would compensate. And it did. Whites and greys and blacks of varying hues and tones were of their own set architecture, cleaved into a precise shape, and they formed the guise of Arin Alistaire’s sharp jowl. She was writing a letter to him in silver ink, peering limply over the page as she did. There was nothing circumspect–and certainly nothing sinister–about her pose, but as she scribbled so idly away, fire flared and burned in his vision. Grey fire. White fire. Black fire.

Her words were burning through him. Arin was hurting him.

“I will bond you,” he told her, peering levelly. It was neither conjecture nor suggestion, but rather a statement of fact. His words were spoken in white plumes, swirling and smoky and drifting. They were aimless. “I want to bond you, Arin.”

She continued writing, and flames flickered and fluttered effortlessly over his vision. He grunted. Lysander was pained for this.

“What is your answer? Will you be bonded?”

She looked up at him with a deceptive stare, and Arin held the letter for him. Before he could so much as glimpse her tilted script, Lysander heard her recite it to him clearly, crisply:

“Wake up, Lysander.”

And he jerked conscious with a start, peering out unto the room. His thoughts were groggy, slick and insubstantial. Lysander shook away from him the residue of sleep and dreams that did not desire being shaken. Swarthy darkness suffused every whit of what could be seen. The hair on his arms stood unexpectedly on edge; it was not a cold evening, though, peculiarly. The curtains drifted with a spectral ease in the night, and he watched them, breathing. Arin. The idiot girl was on his mind too often, consuming his thoughts by day as by night, it seemed. His dreams held no refuge. Lysander blinked, shifting. And as his gaze drifted, his mind distant, Lysander was met with an apparition. A woman. It was an Illusion. It would have to be. For that beauty, it would have to be.

But it wasn’t. She was holding saidar. She was no apparition.

Urgency seized Lysander, and, in turn, Lysander seized saidin. The dregs of sleep were shaken from him, and the immediacy of the situation dawned too late on him. The Shadow preserve him, but this was no apparition. This was no bloody apparition!

Guided by the illumination of naught more than what moonlight filtered through a window, Lysander channeled: plump, butter-yellow threads of Air tangled and twisted through the evening, winding and wrapping invisible shackles around her form that immured her deftly. Like hunting game. Channeling Spirit in tandem, Lysander slammed a shield over her, grunting for exertion. She was strong. He was strong, yes, but she was strong, and it took every compellable drop of saidin to place that shield. Would she be able to break from it? He could not feel her fighting the shield. If anything, the woman was allowing this to transpire. And if she was shocked or harried by the bindings he placed over her, she showed it not.

She was an assassin, a usurper, and she intended to kill him. He would kill her. Readying razor-sharp flows of Air, Lysander suspended them precariously above her head. They were the wicked mistletoe whose tidings brought only death. Reading the killing blow, he peered at her darkly, asking, “Who are–?” To his words was a stopper applied, barring them from being spoken. This stopper dangled over her head.

It was a manacle. It suspended weightlessly above her, solid and grey for the iron loops of them that would cage one’s arms, before vanishing. Inexplicable, yet explicable on the whole. It was an aura. This one, however, was not new to him. It was the first aura he ever had seen, and he was seeing it again. He had seen his aura above Myrth many months ago, back when he was a lowly Dedicated. Lysander had seen this aura above the woman before she had bonded him.

Swallowing, Lysander found his waiting attack fading. He eased himself out of his bed without his eyes tarrying from her once. He did not want to kill her. Prophecy was a parody. After seeing it, could he not void it by proving it wrong? Could he not strike this woman dead before fate had a chance to complete itself? The Shadow preserve him, but of course he could not. It was foolish to contest the auras. They spoke only truth.

This one, he knew, spoke of something much more corporeal than a manacle. It was a metaphor.

For this, he could not kill her.

“Who are you?” he asked, and his attention was focused on her and her alone, for the aura was gone and away from him. Holding the flows, Lysander strode over to the cabinet on the far side of the room, aware for the first time that he was naked from the waist up. He threw his coat over his head, doing up the fastenings with rapid fingers. The Sword and Dragon pins–brothers, though not twins–were waiting on his dresser, and he completed the picture appropriately therewith. His head had been freshly shaved the night prior, and it shone the rejection of moonbeams.

“I’m Asha’man Jasper Kielle,” she replied with an imperturbable confidence, though he laughed.

“There is no Asha’man by that name. Lies are of little good at this point, but you can explain who you really are on the way.”

“The way?”

“To the administrative buildings. Though a woman you may be, you’re coming to the administrative buildings. You’re of strength enough in the Power to make shielding you tricky, and we don’t allow potency of your tier to traipse away from us. I’m enlisting you in the Black Tower. Now, move it.”

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