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Taking Flight


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There was something to be said for picking up Aes Sedai as opposed to those who wandered north to swear themselves over. Having had to play the beggar or the vagrant became old quite quickly, not to mention the unreasonable cold of the Borderlands. Not that he couldn't block it out, there was an easy enough trick to do it available to him, but he'd always considered that cheating. There was a reason you could feel whether you were hot or cold in the first place.


In the third room on the right of the second floor of The Dove, Michael Daemeau was checking himself in the mirror. A dark red shirt of cotton and black woolen breeches that matched the good boots he wore, he was rather content with the garb he had. Having arrived in the city but a day earlier, he had little doubt that the chit of an Aes Sedai knew he was already here. But still, there was the waiting to be done which meant he'd had to keep himself busy. Seeing as there were few whores to be had in Tar Valon unless paid alot of coin or swung by the Tower, Michael had settled for getting steadily drunk throughout the day and was only a bit tipsy several hours after nightfall which was the time now.


Shaking his head until his brown curls settled the way he wanted them to. The bath had been good after the past few days of travel, even if the tub hadn't been as large as he was used to. But, he had a role to play, and so he played it. Sitting on the bed, Michael waited.


And he waited.


Two minutes went by and he found his earlier annoyance returning. Light but the woman he had been sent to bring to the Fortress, Nyssa Deschain, was wearing on his nerves and he hadn't even met her yet! She'd have to be ridiculously good looking, willing and inventive if she were to allay his ire. As Aes Sedai didn't fit those criteria as a rule, there was little doubt that she would receive the rough side of his tongue for her trouble. Well, truth be known, he would anyway, but now he would feel justified when he made his jibes.


Laying down on the bed, Michael let his mind wander as he waited for his target to arrive.



Michael Daemeau

Ashan d'ma Shadar

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Though her visit to the fortress, and the Pit of Doom itself was long overdue, Nyssa found she wasn’t looking forward to it as much as she had expected. After all she had heard, and seen in the faces of others… Let’s just say that she didn’t feel a grand desire to change herself. She was quite content, if not for Lanfear’s watchful eyes on her dreams. Eyes that would see if she shirked her duties. Lanfear was not a very patient mistress, or so Nyssa had found out the night after her meeting with Rasputin. Her visit to the fortress hadn’t been scheduled soon enough to satisfy her mistress. As usual, Lanfear had expressed her displeasure in a very painful matter. It got rather boring, after a while. But of course, Nyssa grovelled and begged like the good little servant. There really was no point in getting killed by Lanfear just because her pride got a few kicks.


With a satisfied little smile on her lips Nyssa made her way out of the White Tower. Her dark cloak covered the deep red dress of fine silk she was wearing, which was a good thing. Tar Valon might have been a place where all cultures mingled, it was still as prudish as Caemlyn. The dress she was wearing now had earned her a few frowns within the White Tower itself. She had to admit, the neckline was rather low. She doubted the First of Mayene would think it revealing though. It was good to wear something that reminded her of home. It was reassuring. Rasputin’s words about the bore had played through her mind often after she had talked to him, and the more she thought about it, the smaller her desire to actually see it up close became.


These worries were cast aside as she arrived at the Dove inn though. It was an inn used by the Gray Ajah, to allow certain allies to rest, while they were visited by their contacts. No Gray sister would ever mention who she had seen there. Nyssa often made good use of this unwritten law. No one would wonder about people channelling in there either. Then again, channelling was common in Tar Valon. So many weak spots to the city, and yet they waited, never allowed to take advantage. It was frustrating at times. “Focus.†She muttered to herself. There were other times for such thoughts. First the meeting with her guide, and then the Fortress.


The innkeeper of the Dove was a round bellied man, who merely nodded at the sight of Nyssa. He wouldn’t mention her arrival or her departure to anyone. That was part of the bargain. Nyssa nodded back, and walked up the stairs slowly and gracefully. The second floor, the third room on the right. She entered without knocking. On the bed in the centre of the room she saw a man, her guide she presumed. Curly haired, with dark eyes, she assumed. It was hard to tell, when he had his eyes closed. “I take it you are my guide?†she asked, removing her cloak. She doubted she’d need it in the fortress.


~Nyssa Deschain

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Opening his eyes as the woman finished speaking, Michael looked over at Nyssa Deschain and found himself looking her up and down with a smirk. Well, she wasn't bad looking by any means, and if he had to guess he'd place her as Mayener. One of the advantages of being so well traveled that he could make rough guesses, yet it wasn't just her looks but the way she held herself which said as much. Though as easy on the eye as the dress was, it did bring a few inward laughs.


"I do be told that I be meeting someone of duller apparel, perhaps you do be having the wrong room? Though if you do be wishing to stay I no be objecting, there do be room beside me if you do be needing any help with the dress." Illianer brogue, it was terrible but it was for that same reason it was fun to inflict on other people.


For some reason Nyssa hadn’t expected the reply she got. It startled her for a moment, but she regained her composure soon enough. Childish. Not someone she would have expected Rasputin to send. And an Illianer too. She had never felt any particular dislike towards that kind, she had to wonder if that worked the other way around as well. "Tempting." She said, raising her eyebrow. "But I’m quite sure we have other places to visit first."


Well, she had something resembling self control, that or she'd be keen for it with a bit of work. Laughing, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, stretching as he spoke. "Well, since you do be so keen to be leaving. You do be needing to be skimming us outside of the city, somewhere where we no be disturbed and where there do be soil."


"Very well then." Nyssa turned slightly, facing in the direction she intended to skim. It wasn’t necessary to do so, but she found it easier. No need to make things more complicated than they already were. A glance at her guide as she embraced Saidar told her that he definitely felt it. She hid her smirk by turning to the wall, and opening a gate. "After you." She gestured for him to step through.


The platform was large enough for both of them to stand side by side comfortably. Not that that was very important, because the trip was short. Soon enough they stepped through another gate, and onto a small clearing in the Grove.


Nyssa closed the Gate behind them, and walked over to a tree, by which she’d hidden a bundle of things she would need during the week. When she returned to her guide her lips quirked in a little smile. "Do you have a name? I can’t keep calling you ‘guide’ the entire time."


Embracing saidin as he stepped into the Grove, he watched her as she retrieved her things. She did have a certain sway to her hips he'd give her that, but Aes Sedai were always annoying, even if she was proving to be less painful than the ones he normally dealt with. On the otherhand, if not for her he wouldn't have had to leave the Fortress in the first place. Well, Rasputin might have sent him on another mission, but that wasn't certain!


"The name I did be known by once was Con Stepaneos. Be staying there for a moment." Reaching for a pouch at his side, he opened it up and from it withdraw a small ball of earth. Tossing it on the ground, he proceeded to feed into it a thread of spirit before releasing saidin and stepping clear of it. Proceeding to sit himself against the nearest tree, he looked up at her and shrugged. "Now we do be waiting. I do be told that you do be going to the Fortress to be learning. What do there be left for an Aes Sedai to be learning?" The last could have easily been called sarcastic, if the blank look on his face didn't create a little doubt.


Nyssa arched an eyebrow at ‘Con’, showing him that for now, she was nowhere near impressed by his decision to act like a toddler. Stepaneos. She had almost frowned at it. This wasn’t the White Tower though, and ‘Con’ was not a novice to be sent off to the Mistress of Novices. Unfortunately it seemed like she needed him for the time being. "Well, Con, as you may know, the White Tower is the centre of all that is wholesome in this world. They do frown so very disapprovingly upon certain uses of the One Power." She said with a hint of mirth in her voice. "My Mistress is convinced that I will be a more useful being after a visit to the Fortress." She glanced at her guide, making a show out of looking as though she felt nothing but disdain for the thought. "I think her faith in the Fortress may be a little misplaced though."


"And that do be why you be just a Black Sister and no be a real Dreadlady." Smiling whimsically up at her, he knew that she was cottoning on now if she hadn't already, but it amused him to continue for the moment. "The Fortress do be standing for longer, and unlike the White Tower its halls still be full. But, you do be finding that out for yourself when we be arriving there. No be supposing you be up for a frolic while we wait? You do be looking the sort."


There it was again. The arrogance of a dreadlord, thinking he was better than a Black Sister. Spineless. None of them had the dedication to go under cover in the centre of the fight against the Great Lord of the Dark. Nyssa had been hiding her true nature for over a hundred years. After a hundred years, the insults from arrogant weasels like ‘Con’ did little more than irritate her. Instead she smiled sweetly at him. "I’m sorry darling, but Illianers just don’t do it for me." She turned her attention on the cloth of dirt. "How long is this going to take?"


"As long as it do be taking for someone to be answ-" Falling silent as a silver light erupted into the air above the clod of earth he'd dropped, he got to his feet as it spun itself into a doorway. "Well, there we be. No be dawdling either, I do be having better things to do than being your wetnurse, and the fact I do be stuck with you for the week do be bad enough. Come now." Slapping the side of his right thigh twice as if calling a dog to heel, he walked through the gateway.


Emerging on the other side onto red carpet, Michael continued forward a couple of steps before sidestepping and kneeling before Rasputin as Nyssa came through. Around them were four pillars that supported a high ceiling, and behind Rasputin large double doors that had a pair of guards standing to either side that were heavily armoured in mix of plate and chain mail. Interestingly, one's chain links carried a deep red tint, whereas the other's was dark purple. All around them, the walls and the pillars were of the purest black.


The light that made all of this visible was not born of flame, at least not the sort that fed on oil. Rather, a globes of light that were wrought with the one power lined the walls, leaving no shadow large enough for a Myrddraal to come through. It was this same light that made Rasputin's face partially visible under his cowl, a slight smile on his face as he gestured for Michael to stand. "You fool, you know full well I do not require such."


"I do be simply showing my res-"


Holding up a hand was all it took for Rasputin to silence him. "You can amuse yourself in your own time, Nic this time? Or is it Anestis?"




"Ah." Turning to Nyssa, Rasputin inclined his head. "As you can see, we were a little shorthanded, he was the best we could provide on short notice." His smile growing slightly as Michael protested, the M`aeshadar continued. "Nevertheless, as unfortunate as it may seem, you are stuck with him for the week. As irritating as he'll be, try to restrain yourself to slapping him occasionally at most. Also, I forgot to mention when we met earlier. The Fortress in Tel'aran'rhiod also comes under the same law."


"Now, is there anything you wish to ask of me while I have time?"



Michael Daemeau

Ashan d'ma Shadar


Rasputin Felar

Scourge of the Light

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