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Post-near death enlightenment (attn: Lillian)


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For over a century anyone, who had cared to, could have been certain that if they needed Arette Nenatiar for something, she could be found from her quarters or the Library. That state of matters was about to change, and the thanks or the blame for that could be laid on the shoulders of an Accepted. Arette still wasn't certain how to feel about the whole thing. The only thing that she was certain of was that almost dying disturbed a normally perfectly peaceful and content life. She had begun to question the value of such life and the value of herself. After merciless self-reflection she had come to the conclusion that if she really was dead, the world wouldn't have lost much. Also the list of people, who would have genuinely grieved for her, was sadly short.


Lists were useful tools and she quite enjoyed making them. They helped you to organize your thoughts and prioritize things. Lists also made sure that she didn't forget things like she was prone to when she got submerged into an interesting topic. Friendships and cultivating them was another field she had been neglecting and it had gotten added as the second top most item on her to do list. It was stupid that she even had to write things like that down, things that most people handled as naturally as fish breathed water, but that was how she worked.


More important was that she had come to realise her inattention in the first place and had decided to do something about it. That was why she was in the White Ajah quarters today, standing behind a familiar door. Her other hand was poised to knock and the other one held a plate of cookies and pastries. She hadn't been able to remember what kind of bakeries Lillian liked the best, sweet or salty, so she had secured both. But she would find out that and other things today and remember them from now on. Maybe she would even make a literal note of it, she thought with a sardonic smile directed at herself.


The door opened and she greeted the younger Sister with a friendly beam. "Welcome back to the White Tower. I hope that your travels have went well. Er... these are for you." Arette handed Lillian the plate. "A welcome gift of a sort. Can I come in?"


Arette Nenatiar

Brown sister

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  • 1 month later...

Opening the door, Lillian was surprised and not by the person who was on the other side of the doorframe.  Arette, there with a plate of cookies no less that were in her hands within five seconds.  The big smile and the cookies, Lillian was almost tempted to believe that Darienna had said something and it was only because she hoped that it wasn't the case that Lillian bit her tongue.  There were a few times that she really just wanted to be alone, and this was definitely right up there with them.


Rory.  That girl, that stupid bloody girl.  Lillian was still raging inwardly over what had happened, not only because of what had been said but because it had been so unwitting on the girl's part.  There was no malice in it, simply unknowing anger and it was frustrating because she couldn't blame Rory for that.  She wanted to so badly, a terrible thing that made her even more upset because that should never have been something that had entered her mind to begin with.  But it was there, such a stupid and wasted emotion, she could put it aside if she absolutely had to but she didn't, therefore she hung onto it as it burned.


But, at least it was all something that could burn underneath the surface while Arette was there beaming at her.  It wasn't as if she could simply slam the door in Arette's face, especially with Arette's part in all of this.  It was Arette who Rory had pranked and almost killed in the process, part of the reason that she had been so furious with Rory to begin with.  To think that Rory had almost killed her friend and it had been due to something so stupid as a prank, it was part of why she'd been so upset that she'd gone off at Rory to begin with.


But, Arette was waiting for an answer.


"I'm sorry, I just got back not too long ago and I'm still a little out of it.  I would have come and seen you sooner otherwise, I heard what happened."


Stepping back, Lillian held the door open for Arette as she said.  "Come in."



Lillian Tremina

Sister of the White Ajah

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The smile faded and became a slight frown at Lillian's words. Arette hadn't even come to think that Lillian might be weary from her journey - very bad of her - and she didn't want to impose her company. The White had invited her in but it could be just because she had heard of the incident or because she was polite. "I could always come back later when you are rested. This is hardly urgent. I just wanted to chat." Not the most elegant thing to say but being social just for the sake of being social wasn't exactly her forte.


"No, no, I wanted to talk to you anyway, come in."  It was tempting to simply ask Arette to go away, but Lillian did want to talk to her and make sure she was alright.  It just meant she was going to have to set aside everything else for the meantime.  At least until Arette was gone again.  "Come in and have a seat, I'll get some tea."


A polite retreat had been offered and refused, so Arette entered and seated herself. She didn't want to overextend her stay so she'd have to keep an eye on when Lillian would want her to leave. "Thank you, tea sounds lovely. So, where all did the Wheel take you this time? Do you always go somewhere according to a plan or do you travel by fancy too? I've started considering it myself too, I just don't know where to start. It has been a while since I was last out of Tar Valon."


"A while?"  Her tea set out, it was a simple matter of heating the tea and serving it.  Easy enough to do as she mused on what Arette said and answered the questions.  "There is always work to do, if it isn't mine then there are always others.  I just see who needs things done, and while I travel about I get them done as I can.  But when did this thought come to you?  I don't recall you ever seriously talking about leaving except to muse that you might further your studies in astronomy."


Lillian hadn't likely meant her words as an admonishment, to imply that Arette hadn't been doing her work properly as she had cloistered herself in the Tower. But that was how it felt now. That she hadn't done enough as a Servant of All. "I have actually been out of the Tower", she said defensively. "Well, once. Right after I had been Raised. I visited my family - my brother's son was getting married - and the Libraries and I helped to test young women. After the thing happened... it got me thinking. I could do more and I should. My studies have been just to humour me but they have been of no real use to the world. I just don't know where to start. Maybe I could find more novices, I seemed to be decent at that."


"There are a few questions I would pose."   Setting the pot down, Lillian served Arette's tea to her before claiming her own.  Sitting down, she took one of the biscuits as she spoke.  "Why are your studies no use?  Why do you feel useless?  What do you think would be useful that you want to do, apart from find Novices.  What is there in the world out there that you want to try your hand at?"


This was likely the second reason why Arette had come to Lillian. She was bright and asked good questions that forced the other to think. She received her tea mug with a nod of thanks and pondered on her reply. "I have always believed that all knowledge is worth having. And I still do. When we study and make new innovations, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and made research. But surely some knowledge must be worth more than others, the kind of knowledge that would benefit the people immediately. I have been teaching here in the Tower, but maybe I could do the same out there. Just who and what to teach is the question. I just know that I want to do something, something that feels immediately important. Maybe I should just travel and see where there is need."


Listening as she bit the biscuit, it was easy to extrapolate what had happened now that she had put her own thoughts aside.  Arette was rattled, the way she was talking she sounded like she doubted herself, maybe even depressed.  When people began to question their purpose, but had no clear idea of where to go instead, that was a clear indication.  "Maybe you should be asking why you feel like this when you haven't for a long time.  Or perhaps you already have?"


Arette could see where Lillian was aiming at but she hadn't become entirely addled by the experience and she wouldn't bother the White with her ramblings if she wasn't certain about it. "Why I haven't felt like this is because I simply haven't thought on it before. I have been content and drifting in life without any real direction. Now that lack is bothering me because the experience forced me to stop and look. And I don't like what I see. Too many years spent without any real results and goals reached. Because I haven't set any goals for myself. Traveling might not be the answer but at least it will give me something useful to do while I muse what that goal will be."


There was something about the way that Arette spoke that was slightly unsettling, maybe because Lillian heard that level of doubt in the woman that was becoming more and more apparent.  Still, it was fixable, Arette just needed to think about it.  "Traveling won't help.  Figure out your goals and you'll know what to do.  What are your goals?  What do you want to achieve?"


It was getting quite frustrating because she really didn't have the answers. "I am a Brown Sister and I am good at gathering information, academic things, teaching. I want to continue doing that, I just think that I might need a new specialty, something that feels more immediately useful. I also want to start applying the knowledge that I already have practically. And that is what is my problem with the stars, they can't help anyone. Navigation certainly, but what don't the sailors already know? But if we approach it a little different way, can you state your own goals and what you want to achieve? I'm sure that you know where you want to go but can you put it to words?"


Arette & Lillian

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