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Fear for Survival
Wed Dec 27, 2006 23:21 (XFF:,

Pigarin stared directly at the floor, examining one small spot. There was nothing particularly fascinating about it, nothing that differentiated it from any other, except that it was the one he had chosen. While fear still rumbled through his stomach, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up with intimidation, the spot was strangely calming. It was like he could focus everything in that spot and it no longer seemed like he was really there any more, that now he had escaped from his problems. Of course, there was no such luck, unfortunately, for the ringing tunes of the Dedicated’s voice brought him stumbling back to reality. Words could not easily be filtered away, especially when even a simple sentence could be the difference between life and death.

The man introduced himself as Ansel Melangel, an interesting name, and began a speech that Pigarin had heard many times since his arrival. The stream of advice was, he had to admit, a little nauseating, as he was once again reminded of all the dangers that littered the path before him. The phrasing of Ansel’s messages was a little tactless towards this young pup, and it was ominous to be assured that, in fact, all the stories Pigarin had heard were true. He might have corrected himself, iterating further that he had meant the hard work, but it was quite frankly a little too late. Already his mind conjured images of maddened men destroying cities, reigning fire from the skies and Breaking the world for the second time. And just to top off his thoughts, he saw himself pulling down mountains, killing men and women and children…

“You’ll be pushed past your limits…”

That was something he did not need to hear again. The running had been quite enough, and the promise of more was by no means encouraging. Not to mention the added pressures of the Power, of what he was going to face after this very lesson. Everyone would push, would make him suffer, would make him grow hungry just to make him better, make him better than maybe he could be. There was nothing fair about the Black Tower; there would be no safety net, no time for him to catch up. All he could do was work harder than he ever had before and pray to the Light, to the Creator, that he had what it took.

“The last thing you want to do is get on the wrong side of an Asha’man…”

Pigarin grimaced. He had not really heard it said straight out, but he was definitely starting to learn this first hand. It will teach you for staying in bed all morning. Without thinking he rubbed his sore leg muscles as he remembered the cold eyes of the Asha’man, the straight stance, the hard face that would never give a step. Was that all he had to hope for? Men and women that glared and commanded and took everything from those under them, was there nothing else? Was that what he would become? Maybe, just maybe, he should be more terrified of succeeding.

“You eat your meals when you can, and any socialising is an absolute windfall…”

Now that was, at least, something new to him. Well, new to the point that no one had actually told him that. He had, obviously, assumed that socialising would be a somewhat rare commodity, as, after all, his time would be spent training, eating or sleeping. Most people might have found it difficult to manage without socialising, but Pigarin doubted it would be a problem. Friends were not exactly commonplace around this Cairhienin boy, and really, the lack of free time meant, simply, that he would be left alone if anything.

“All Asha’man and all Dedicated are to be obeyed…”

That he had certainly learnt early. In fact, those Dedicated and Asha’man he had met liked to prattle on and on about how they must always be obeyed. Perhaps they thought he hadn’t been told, or maybe they figured that he was incapable of distinguishing ranks, or on the other hand, and the one Pigarin thought most likely, was that they simply liked to talk about themselves. Everyone enjoys telling others how great they are.

“They got thoughts of desertion into their heads…”

Pigarin gulped, thinking for just a second, just a short moment, that maybe the teacher had read his mind. No doubt his thoughts of egotistical Dedicated would have offended, and likely seen him running all afternoon, if he could last so long as that. Either way, the statement had been said, and it was enough to ensure that Pigarin would suffer as much as was necessary. No matter the problems, no matter the struggles, no matter…anything, he did not want to die. The Black Tower was to be his home, and that was it, and hopefully that meant they could protect him, that if anyone came looking for this murdering noble that he would be safe. He hoped the commitment went both ways.

“Tracks are another aspect of the Black Tower…”

This was something he had heard of, but in no real detail. In passing, the words ‘healer’ or ‘ambassador’ crossed his ears, but in his shyness he had neglected to ask any questions. He failed to see how it directly applied to him, and that excuse had made it easy to avoid. However, it seemed that despite such attempts, he would have to decide on the track for him, dictating exactly what he would be doing in the Tower, demonstrating his purpose. A little something to provide meaning.

I could be an ambassador…I’m from Cairhien for Light’s sake…I know almost everything about politics…maybe…

He couldn’t believe that he was actually considering this. From all he heard today he should run for the hills, though that in itself was not an option for he would face hanging…death…simply for trying to leave! Everything was just so unpleasant; there could be no other word to describe it. Nothing he had ever wanted in life was within the walls that confined the Tower, the walls that confined him to the Tower. And so, when called to ask a question, he knew exactly what to say.

“Could there have been some mistake? Surely there is no way to tell that I channel until I actually do. I don’t understand, how could the Asha’man tell I could channel just by making me stare into a flame? It just doesn’t make sense.” And with that, he hoped that maybe he would get the answer he so desired.

Light, please!

  • Part I: A Long-Winded ApproachDedicated Ansel Melangel, MuC, Wed Dec 27 10:26
    Ansel nodded as the Soldier, Pigarin, made his introduction. His greeting was spoken with the undecided quaver that reminded Ansel of, well, himself some number of months back. Upon his arrival at... more
    • Fear for Survival — Soldier Pigarin Maenred, Wed Dec 27 23:21
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