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En guarde! (Attn: Maev)


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An execution, a precise stroke that was two-fold.


When she made herself most vulnerable she was also strongest. Sweltering slowly in the courtyard, the Taraboner readjusted her sash and tensed her muscles, grimacing from that familiar pain in the small of her spine. She, tested, whose passion for the combat had given way in face of the harsh, jutting gashes she had to deliver in the battlefield, she no longer could admire the graceful slashing of a scimitar, her weapon of choice in physical engagement, without the blood that associated with it. Her mind shuddered at the imagery of trolloc blood on her hands, but did not balk as she accepted the feeling, the revulsion. Each emotion that was encountered, she embraced, and those comprised the fear-flecked motivation which had driven her here. Tapped into the Spring, that flow which induced so much of her creativity in the past, Saline pivoted on her toes, stepped back two paces, and perused the group surrounding her, confronting the present.


Here was the congregation, bustling people, trainees rushing about on tasks for their respective Mentors, keeping their eyes to themselves, training their gazes on the cobblestones, the sky, anywhere ‘cept at her. This was the way the Taraboner had liked her welcoming back to the Yards, and she intended for all intensive purposes to keep things the way they were, inconspicuous.


She no longer wore the outfit she wore the last time Lyssa trained her. That was to say, she outgrew her breeches, not physically, as demonstrated by the tights she wore as she drew herself up, and once more crossed over with a surprising agility, taking up the position with one foot, now retreating, readily unsheathing the fan and then, raising her scimitar she balanced, an out-flung arm exposed her thrust chest to the Yard. Again, nobody paid her mind as she glided into that balancing exercise, heron wading through the rushes, and she was able to stare at the people as they went about their businesses.


Not that one.


He, a cocky boy who reminded her too much of Rory’s teacher Aran, did caught her eye, yet did not earn a re-assessment as her gaze swept across the courtyard, dismissing heights and gender alike in its inspection. It sought for somebody built somewhat like her, preferably a woman, although a man would do if he was but a trainee. She knew well the extent of her skills and mastery, and could not very well pit her strength against anybody two years or more at the Yard without relying on luck, greater risk and her opponent’s mistakes, which, fortunately for her, the minions she fought seemed to spawn plenty of.


On the field Saline had embraced those, as well. Finally, she settled for a slim, taller trainee in black and white whose reach would be to her advantage, but Saline would enjoy setting up a challenge, for within her heart there kindled a desire to test herself against somebody endowed in more strength, and wits than she herself.


“Heads up!” Sheathing her scimitar into her sash, she chucked a bundle at the young woman from across the courtyard. “You, love, are to meet me here at sunset for a friendly spar.”


“Oh, and bring the lathe.” Grinning broadly, she made a sharp turn, and jogged toward the private garden, elated. By sunset it would be cooler, and she at her most vulnerable. Saline embraced this, as well, for the Spring was familiar; it assuaged the turmoil that had gathered within.


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  • 3 weeks later...

The day was warm, and sweat beaded down the back of Maev's neck as she went through several of her excercises. It always seemed so monotonous, doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes she wasn't quite sure whether all of the repetitive motions was really helping her. Had she not trained more in Shienar than she was here?


Shrugging her shoulders and shaking her head, she finished her last push up and decided to head to the barracks for a moment. Perhaps she might stop for a drink of water or something.


As she headed towards her room in the barracks, someone shouted. “Heads up!” And a bundle came flying at Maev. Arching a pale eyebrow at where the voice had come from, Maev was only slightly surpised to see the ageless face of an Aes Sedai staring back at her.


“You, love, are to meet me here at sunset for a friendly spar.” What? Maev frowned. Did the Aes Sedai think she could just order people around? What if she had something else she had to do?


“Oh, and bring the lathe.”


Before Maev could answer, the woman had turned away. What were the rules for Tower Trainees and following orders of Aes Sedai? She would have to ask her Mentor when she saw him. If she saw him.


Instead of heading to the barracks, Maev had to stop off and do something with the bundle that the Aes Sedai had thrown at her. The nerve of that woman! Turning on her heal, she headed towards the Armoury.



Maev Kiyosa

Tower Trainee

Soon-to-be Mentee to Aran



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  • 2 weeks later...

"Hey Kiki!"


Grinning as he saw the woman's back stiffen, Aran managed to smooth it to a smile when she turned around to him.  He'd observed the exchange between the pair from a distance, and while he hadn't been able to hear anything, he was fairly certain that Saline had managed to overstep herself a touch.  Not that he objected to the idea of giving trainees things to do in principle, but he had an intense dislike of women from the Tower doing so when they were being nothing more than lazy wenches.  An Aes Sedai might have been able to get away with it, but an Accepted most certainly was not.


Besides, he had something to tell his little Aiel girl.


"I have some wonderful news for you.  You see, your mentor is on assignment, and that means that his duties as your mentor have been passed on to another."  Aran's smile grew wider as the implication began to dawn on Maev, while she was thinking 'oh no!', Aran's look was saying 'oh yes!' and she knew it.  "Thats right sugar plum, from now on I am going to be taking care of your training.  Essentially, as of this moment, I am the Wheel and you are the Pattern, you do what I spin for you."


He wondered if she thought her day couldn't get any worse, Aran was fairly sure he was going to disabuse her of that notion before the day was done.  But first, he wanted to satisfy his curiosity in regards to the exchange that had just taken place between Saline Westrel and his newest acquisition.  "So, we'll start off with what I just saw from across the Yard.  What did Saline say to you and why are you carrying something for her?"




Tower Guard

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