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A Little Success to Brighten the Day
Sun Jan 14, 2007 19:59 (XFF:,

Pigarin stood, observing his fellow trainees, listening to their introductions, taking note of their tones and words. He took him a moment to realize what he was doing; reducing everyone back to a peon of the Great Game. Sure enough, since joining the spy track, he had seemed to regress once more into a player, a manipulator and quite frankly a person with very little trust. Not that he had ever been particularly that way inclined, but still, he wished he wasn’t so suddenly suspicious of what everyone was thinking, doing, intending. It was just much too complicated, and the Tower, saidin, Asha’man, Dedicated, men, women…the place was already much too confusing already.

When the final soldier said his piece, Pigarin’s musings were then, fortunately, distracted by the womanly Asha’man Lara. There were not really that many female Asha’man for it was very difficult to reach the double pins, it required strength of character, endurance, and of course, the ability to fit in with the men that ran the place. Thus, generally, those women of the Dragon that one could find were often filled to the brim with deadly grace, and no nonsense attitudes. Not very good for having fun with, women were strange enough, and they only became worse when thrown into a world where they have to harden their spirits to succeed. It was a shame really.

Her speech was, as expected, focused on what they would be achieving that day, making a gateway. At least, that was the ultimate aim. Indeed, not everyone, in fact relatively few, had the ability to making the Traveling portals that enabled one to traverse hundreds of miles in bare seconds. That fact explained why so many soldiers and Dedicated had turned out for the lesson, for it was by far one of the most coveted talents. Many were going to leave disappointed, and it was even likely that many were probably sure that they would never construct a gateway; after all it took great strength in Spirit, not to mention the One Power. Pigarin was not sure himself whether he would do it or not, but then again, he had always been prone to such negative thoughts.

But even with his doubts, after watching Asha’man Lara, summon the sparkling portal of light from thin air, he knew that he wanted to do it. Ever since he had first grazed the True Source, grasped it for the first time, Pigarin had wanted to achieve everything he possibly could. Unfortunately, he had been faced with a number of failures and setbacks, as he struggled to perform all the required weaves. Admittedly, he knew there wasn’t a way for him to perfect skills in everything, but so far he hadn’t really managed to shine. He had seen Dyson almost flood a section of the Blasting Yards with molten rock, much to the enjoyment of everyone there, and Matthias, perhaps one of the most easily detestable men on the planet, had apparently shown an amazing aptitude for Healing. Even Hanle, the pompous and jovial Dedicated of the ambassadors had shown himself to be quite the artist of compulsion. But Pigarin was still yet to find his power.

The lesson moved on; rather than attempting the complicated pattern required for a gateway, the group was to start with something smaller, a process called Skimming. This, while shortening travel time quite significantly, did not allow instant transport; rather it took the user outside of the Pattern for brief periods, still allowing the world to flow. Another benefit, unlike Traveling, was that it required only knowledge of where you were going, not where you started. The made much more logical sense to Pigarin, though such thoughts changed nothing, just because it made more sense wouldn’t make it so.

Both teachers demonstrated the weave to their respective genders, and thus, Pigarin watched Apocris’s construction. It formed rapidly, inside a platform rested in a pool of darkness. He wondered for a second what would happen were one to step off the platform, though a second was all he needed before he realized that he didn’t want to know. Frowning slightly, he tried to remember the exact formation of the weave he had seen, and found himself struggling to remember each detail. If that was the less complicated version of Traveling…well, he certainly didn’t want to see what the next step was.

Most weaves performed in lessons were simple enough, but anyone that could channel a wink knew how to summon a fireball, or move an object. Talent lessons were always considered much more advanced, and indeed they were, after all, not everyone could master every Talent. But maybe, if he was lucky, he would master this one.

Seizing saidin through the Void, he fought the rush of molten power as it flowed into his veins. He wanted more of it, much more, until he was bursting, but he took a breath and held the control. The alluring nature of the True Source was its most deadly aspect, for if you took too much death was of a high chance, and perhaps worse, you could burn yourself out completely. It would be easy to give in, to lose concentration, but most channelers maintained the discipline necessary to survive…most.

Almost instantaneously, a thread of Spirit was born from his mind, and then another and another. He wove this intricately, and slowly, carefully trying to piece together what he had been shown. It was more difficult than he had first anticipated for, despite his natural strength in the element, the weaves grew tangled as he unskillfully molded them together. His first attempt was a complete failure, his threads becoming such a mess that the weave simply collapsed on itself as Pigarin could no longer maintain it. He was a harsh blow, and as per usual, he was ready to give up right after the first try. It had always been a rather bad characteristic, and one that exasperated all of his teachers, those in the Black Tower and before.

Even so, it was the glimpses of success he saw around that kept him at that lesson, and the envy, stubbornness and embarrassment that made sure that he tried again. The second attempt was perhaps a little better than the first, for this time the weave seemed at least slightly reminiscent of what Apocris had constructed. Again, his motivated was hammered, but not shattered, and in light of this, he forced himself to continue. Funnily enough, each try was a vast improvement on those previous, and indeed in only took two more before, much to his surprise, a skimming gateway was born. All Pigarin could do for the first few moments was admire his handiwork, and swell with pride at his accomplishments. While others had already left the lesson spot in their own gateways, he could see more who were struggling, those who simply were not strong enough in Spirit.

Not wanting to waste anymore time in case he was noticed, he took that first step onto his platform. He had envisioned the rising sun of Cairhien, and therefore his platform had taken that form. What had prompted him to select that, Pigarin couldn’t say, and in truth, the image only brought back mad memories and sad thoughts of his future. Perhaps it wasn’t so inappropriate to remind him of what he had left behind, and what the price of failure would be. It was by no means a pleasant revelation, but still, there could be no escaping it. And if reminded of it, he hoped his fear would keep him motivated if nothing else. Unfortunately, the eerie passing of minutes in the darkness were filled with further thoughts of melancholy, so much so that he was greatly relieved when the silvery light appeared at his destination.

Stepping out slowly, just carefully enough to make sure in his own mind he wouldn’t find himself falling in the empty darkness, he stepped out into the Gardens. He was a little shocked to find he was actually in his destination, thinking that most likely, he would have at the very least been a little off. As reality set in, he could no longer stand in the open feeling bursts of happiness and instead he ran quickly across the area, leaving the roped of section as quickly as possible. With his luck, Pigarin knew, had he remained in that spot, he could likely have ended up with his arm severed, and if not that, something far worse.

Bounding with a little bounce in his run back to the Northern Yards, he almost instantly forgot that last little internal jibe. At this moment, in this mood, there was not much that could dampen him.

  • Part I: SkimmingAsha'man Apocris sur Marlowe, MuC, Mon Jan 8 13:56
    Perfunctory and redundant, the replies spoken by the Soldiers and Dedicated were nothing short of typical lesson-taking. After all, it had been not altogether too long (a few years, give or take)... more
    • A Nasty DunkingDedicated Laila, Wed Jan 24 19:02
      Spirit. Lovely. Laila frowned as she studied intently the complex weave floating before her, trying to memorize the twists and turns of the flows. It was startlingly intricate. She knew several... more
    • There and Back AgainSoldier Mikel, Tue Jan 16 18:47
      Mikel half listened to the instructions, mulling things over in his head. What a waste of time. Why can’t they have found a better place to Skim to? The Gardens? You could probably run there faster... more
    • A Little Success to Brighten the Day — Soldier Pigarin Maenred, Sun Jan 14 19:59
    • Skimming the SurfaceDarius al'Ceer, Thu Jan 11 22:50
      Darius paused. He wanted him to do the weave? So soon? Maybe the do try to teach you to fly. He sighed, then attempted to create the mass of spirit threads that he had seen entangled flawlessly... more
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