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Part of Indira had been very surprised when she discovered that the Mistress of Novices was going to let her train with the Tower Guards. After what Darienna had pulled, she had expected that as her former roommate, she would be confined to her quarters with a curfew worse than any novice curfew had ever been. She had expected to be watched so closely that she wouldn't be able to blink without the Mistress knowing it. None of this had happened. Her rights and the regulations to which she had to stick were the same. The only thing that the Aes Sedai had said was 'be careful'. Be careful of what? was that the same as saying 'try not to get knocked up by a Tower Guard? because in that case she would be careful. There was no way in Hell Indira was going to spend a day at the farm. Darienna might've gotten suckered into that, but she was going to avoid it, if she could.


As for being careful of not getting on the bad end of a sharp sword... well, that was what she was there to learn, right? how to avoid getting impaled in such situations. At least, if the Tower Guard the Mistress had assigned to her would ever show up. With her luck he'd be old and wrinkled and covered with boils. Maybe that was why she was allowed to go train with the warders. "That wretched old woman." she muttered, staring off in the distance. "I bet she thinks this is funny. First she steals my friend, then she steals my opportunity to have some fun. What next, my bloody shifts?"


Of course it had been Darienna's own fault. Not for having a special Tower Guard friend, but for getting caught. that was the prime rule amongst all Accepted. You could do whatever you wanted, as long as you didn't get caught. Which meant that in a way it was only fair that Darriena got sent off, but that still didn't alter the fact that Indira was bored. Deciding to give up on waiting, something she had only done for a few moments, she wandered further into the yards. "I'm sure he'll know where to find me." she mused, letting her eyes and ears feast on the sights and sounds from the yards.


~Indira Senoj Koveras

Future white sister


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It was surprising for Big Mac to learn that he had been delegated the responsibility of taking care of an Accepted of the White Tower, to be his mentee no less.  He knew that some of them learned how to play with swords, but compared to having the magic one power in hand, learning how to use a blade as well seemed to be a bit odd to him.  Either the woman was very driven, or she was just very bored, Big Mac personally hoped it was a case of bored because either the woman soon give up when she realised how much work it was, or she'd just work through it and learn.  The ones who seemed to have some driving purpose due to some personal reason seemed to crop up on occasion, and Big Mac didn't like the horror stories.  Especially the mentees who thought they knew better, or were just plain uptight.


But, a job was a job, and Big Mac was pretty sure he had spotted her.  Small, very small as far as Big Mac was concerned, the woman was a slip of a thing.  Taller than most of the other women, yes, but relatively tiny all the same.  At least her hair wasn't overly long, though they'd probably have to get her a leather thong or something to tie it off into a pony tail.  It wasn't smart to leave hair free to flick about everywhere as you moved, end up as blind as an Andoran sheepdog.  Might look rather endearing, but not particularly useful when someone was smacking you about the head and all you could see was a haze of hair.  Seemed a bit pale as well, probably spent most of her time in the Tower, much like the rest of the Accepted.


Waving at the girl as she neared, Big Mac wandered over to her even as she stopped in her tracks.  Looming over her, he smiled genially as he rumbled.  "I'm called Big Mac, you're the new student right?  Indira?  If you are, I'm your new mentor.  If not, who are you trying to find?"  He couldn't help it, he laid a hand on her head, then brought it horizontally to his chest.  Resting it there, his other hand went to the top of his head and pushing it forward slightly, Big Mac studied the difference between the two hands before looking down to the woman.  "You're very small you know, don't they feed you in the Tower?"  

Pausing, he lowered his hands then poked her arm with a grin on his face.  "Very small."


Big Mac

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What in the name of the light are you?!


Or, as Indira managed to articulate it at that time: "Woah." The man that had been sent to train her was not only huge, he was... well... Huge! For about three seconds Indira didn't know how to respond, but this state could never last long in the excitable young woman. She frowned up at him for a moment. "I'm sorry, I can't really see your face, seeing it's way up there with the sun. Didn't anyone ever tell you that it was fine to stop growing at 6 feet?" She grinned at him, hoping he could appreciate a joke or two from her. Otherwise her time at the yards would be very long indeed.


Taking another cue from him, she stumbled back as the faked a loss of balance at his poke. "Careful there, us little people have it bad enough already. I mean, it's not enough for you big people to just loom over us every chance you get, but you have to be smug about it too. Why, I once met this Gray sister who was at least as tall as you, or maybe even taller and she was always smirking at people. It was very frustrating." Indira paused for a moment, but only long enough to regain her breath. "so, I'm here to train, which should be obvious because I'm here, and you're here, and I'm wearing pants. Pants are so much better than dresses. I mean, I can actually move around in these, which seems like a useful thing considering the training I have to go through to become any good at fighting. Not that I'll need it, but it's like you said, I'm kind of skinny and I don't want people to think they can just push me around, even if they're twice my size."


Indira didn't even bother hiding a smirk. She had dazzled plenty of teachers so far. Aes Sedai teachers, Accepted teachers... she was quite confident that she could do the same to Tower Guard teachers, even if they were three times her size. "Where do we start?" she asked, shifting from one foot to another in a manner that betrayed her excitement.


Indi, trying out some colours ;)

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For such a tiny woman, she had a lot of energy.  Then again, Big Mac had noticed a few girls like that, he'd thought maybe this one would be more calm, or something, because she was an Accepted.  But, at least she had a sense of humour, it would have been a painful task if Indira had been lacking that particular trait.  She also seemed to have a strange fascination with pants, pants were all well and good but he felt like he'd stumbled across some hidden passion of hers.  Or maybe she was just really nervous, the way she shifted from foot to foot constantly was slightly disquieting, like she was about to jump him if he didn't get straight to the teaching.  "We start now, first of all we get to go pick you out a weapon.  Have you used a weapon before?  Ever been in a fight?  Know where the armoury is?"


Right now was just about soon enough for Indira. "Weapon, no unless you want to count a butter knife. Fight, I had three elder brothers who couldn't stop watching over me, so they're the only ones I ever fought with, and armoury... how am I supposed to know where the armoury is? they stuff us in that there Tower and expect us to learn thing when there's so much more to learn out here." She let out a frustrated huff. "So no, I don't know where the armoury is. What kind of weapon do you think I should use? I'm not picking up a katana, if that's what you're going to suggest, because Katana's are for boy-lovers and prissy girls."


"That’s true, but that’s also very bad language."  Big Mac smiled nevertheless, he didn't like the ones who made use of the Katana's, they tended to be sword jockeys and usually hailed from Shienar for that matter.  All honour bound and woefully suffering in silence over some girl or point of honour that they'd never quite been able to address.  As far as Big Mac was concerned, there were far more versatile weapons, and personalities, to be found.  "But for now, we'll go to the armoury.  I want you to tell me a bit about yourself, anything you feel that is important."


A blush spread on Indira's cheeks when her trainer said something about her language. Growing up among big brothers hadn't done that a whole lot of good, and surprisingly, living among novices and accepted hadn't either. "Well, I'm Indira, and I was born in Ghaeldan. My parents were reasonably well off, which meant that I spent most of my childhood feeling terribly bored because my brothers got to do all the good stuff, and I was just expected to sit by and look pretty. My parents never seemed to understand that that profession required more patience and natural beauty then I possess. Then there was an Aes Sedai and a bunch of Tower Guards, and I really wanted to become a Tower Guard, but the Aes Sedai had to go and discover I could learn to channel instead. Not that I mind now, but back in the day I was pretty upset." She glanced up at the Tower guard for a moment. "What about yourself? why did someone like you end up here instead of in a smithy?"


"Sort of embarrassing, actually."  Smiling, Big Mac didn't actually mind talking about it, it was known well enough after all.  "Didn't know my father, but my mother is one of the Macarda's in Arad Doman.  They got worried as I got older, I was growing bigger than everyone else around me and they thought something was wrong.  I came here to get healing, they said I was fine, just unusually large.  So I stayed here as a trainee while I finished my growing, just to make sure everything was alright.  By the time I was done, I decided I didn't want to leave.  Personally I think I'm the normal one, the rest of you are the odd ones out.  Seriously, tiny, all of you, its disconcerting to be surrounded by hundreds of midgets at any one time."  Grinning at her, Big Mac added.  "Funnily enough I worked in a smithy before I came here, can still work metal a bit but never be a fine craftsman with these hands."  Big Mac held a hand up for her to look at, his fingers were so large that they resembled sausages.


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Well, now that he mentioned it... "I suppose those do make it a bit harder. Then again, they'd make anything hard. Except wielding warhammers and the like." A broad grin spread on her face as she thought of Mac running around swinging a giant hammer and a giant axe at trollocs. Who needed skill when you had bulk like that? Her frown returned again when she thought of her own training. "I suppose I'll have to work pretty hard before I get into any kind of shape. I mean, right now if I get into trouble, all the Mistress of Novices has to do is exhale with force and she'll send me flying through the halls." A bit of an overstatement, perhaps, but there had certainly been bigger Accepted in the past. At least some with more bulk. "What kind of weapons do you use?" she asked, trying to form a picture of what kind of weapon she herself would be wielding.


"I like halberds, spears, that sort of thing.  I'm strong enough that I can use them pretty well, can also use a couple of blades at once, or hammers, axes.  Whatever gets the job done really, don't have any particular preference."   It was more of a job for him, he liked training and building himself up but he didn't enjoy killing people as such.  In fact, he liked to just imagine they were straw dummies, or blocks of wood waiting to be chopped.  Made it much easier that way.  "As for your size, we'll fix that up.  With the exercise you'll be doing, you're going to bulk a bit and put on some more weight.  No good teaching you how to swing a weapon if you can't even lift it.  How did you get that thin anyway?  Don't they let you eat?"


"Rarely." she drawled out, giving him her special look of mock-Aes Sedai scorn. "Of course they let me eat. They stuff me full every day, and again, and again, and again. I've just got a quick metabolism. I went to Fayth Sedai, and she said so too. People worry too much. We can't all be round chested and round hipped and eager to wear fancy dresses." The sound of steel hitting steel got louder the closer they came to the armoury. At least, she assumed it was the armoury. What other place could produce so much noise? "So, what do you recommend?"


"Something light, you'll only ever need your weapon against other people and speed will be your asset with your light frame.  If you bring me a warhammer I'm going to make you take it back."   Smiling as they entered the armoury, Big Mac patted the girl on the back as she looked shocked at the sheer selection to be found.  "Pick something sensible, and make it a melee weapon.  You can learn about bowmanship later.  Also, you're getting extra meals from now on, we're spending at least twenty minutes at the end of your training sitting down and having a meal.  Now go and pick something."  Big Mac gave her a light shove forward.


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How in the name of the light was she supposed to find something sensible in this array of death and destruction? Pants were sensible. Horses were sensible. Gray sisters were sensible. From what she could see, weapons were nowhere near what she would describe as sensible. They were sharp and pointy and not a single one of them looked like it would like to be wielded by a woman her size. "Okay..." she muttered, letting Mac push her further into the armoury. "Sensible." as she walked past the weapons, she immediately began dismissing weapons. The Longswords were the first to go, as they would just tangle with her legs as she walked. Axes and warhammers and maces were dismissed because she wouldn't have the strength for it. Soon enough she found herself standing in front of a weapon that her sense of logic approved of. "A staff. Staffs aren't odd. Everyone can carry one. I've seen women fight with them before, so I'm sure that brute strength is the only prerequisite for this weapon. Staffs have a long reach, which is good because there are people taller than me out there. I think this will do nicely." she finished, smiling at Big Mac.


Frowning melodramatically, Big Mac looked the weapon up and down and mused over it thoughtfully before vocalising his thoughts.  "Its bigger than you are."  Unable to keep the grin off his face as Indira looked up at him, he nodded.  "Its a good choice, very practical too.  Useful for something other than smacking people on the head, take it outside, going to grab a couple of things for you."  Walking past the Accepted as she left the armoury, it didn't take long for Big Mac to locate what he was after and he emerged with a flask of oil in one hand and a rag in the other.  "Your new best friends, you'll be using these to keep your staff in good condition.  Pour a bit of oil on the rag, start working it into the wood.  You never want your staff to become brittle because although it might harden, its more likely to crack and you're going to look a little silly if you go from holding a staff to a stick."


Indira took the oil and the rag from Mac with a bit of a wry smile on her face. "For best friends they're not really talkative." she mused. Still, what had to be done had to be done. She rubbed some of the oil into the staff, showing Big Mac that she was taking the chore quite seriously. Meanwhile she pondered on what her real friends were doing. Darienna would have loved weapons training no doubt, even if she was a peace adoring ninny at times. "So I do this every day? or just once a week? How will I know if it's gone brittle after I haven't tended to it enough?" She shrugged at the look she received at that. "Not that I intend to neglect it, but things happen. I might turn into a stuffy old Brown sister who can't be pulled away from her books by team of horses... Stranger things have happened."


"You do that and I'll take the staff off you myself, its a good staff.  It doesn't need to be done everyday, but you'll want to do it at least a couple of times a week to make sure it stays in top condition.  You leave it longer and the wood will dry, it'll start to splinter from use and eventually it'll break.  It'll still splinter and such if oiled, but it'll last quite a bit longer."   Smiling, Big Mac poked her arm as he added.  "We're also done for today, this was just to get to know each other a little and pick you a weapon.  Tomorrow we'll start the training properly.  And take good care of that staff, I want to see it in good condition tomorrow."


"Already?!" was Indira's sullen reply when Mac decided their training was over. "But we've only just started... I'm not tired yet, shouldn't we actually do things that involve teaching me how to defend myself?" Mac merely nodded at the staff. "So you've taught me how to treat my staff... can't we do more?" Whatever pleas she uttered fell on deaf ears. Soon enough she found herself in her room again, by herself. As always, the walls seemed to close in on her instantly. Without the sounds of other people around her, she instantly focussed on her own breathing, which was a little too fast and shallow for someone looking as calm as she did. Light, what she wouldn't give to share a room again. Even when Darienna had been quiet, she had still made little sounds. Her breathing, small movements, the occasional sigh. Little things that Indira could focus on, which would remind her that she wasn't trapped in some place that intended to keep her small the rest of her life. She sat down in front of her bed, clutching the staff. Without really thinking about it, she picked up the rag and the oil Big Mac had given to her. Humming to herself in order to dispel the silence, the worked the oil into the staff. By the time she was done the sound of her own breathing was no longer as overwhelming, and the staff was properly oiled.



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