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From Past to Future (Attn. Matalina)


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Seheria sat comfortably on a bench in the hall of the Yellow Ajah reading a copy of When Herbs Don't Work, a book written by one of the most adept Aes Sedai healers from a time long before her own. She tried to look interested in the work but she was on edge. She had watched one of the Aes Sedai, who had been raised just weeks after her, enter the study of the Ajah Head and Seheria had a feeling she knew what they were discussing. When the doors opened only a few moments later Seheria tried to stay as still as she could and look as engrossed in the book as was possible. She was close enough to hear the Head's voice as she spoke to the plump Sister who had been in the office with her, "Now remember dear, the Hall sits directly at mid day today; do not be late for your first sitting." The girl nodded curtly as the Head turned to leave, noticing Seheria on the bench for the first time. She let the smile she had for the other woman fade from her face and shifted her gaze off of Seheria almost as quickly as it had found her, as she retreated to her study.


Seheria quickly placed the tip of a finger in the book she had been reading as she lowered it, nearly closed, into the full skirts of her low necked olive dress and watched as the plump woman walked past her with a smile that covered her face. Seheria's hands shook with the rage she was holding inside. So it was decided then. That woman has just been named Sitter. That wretched woman who can't even keep her own self at a healthy weight is taking the position of Sitter for the Yellow Ajah. How can she represent the Ajah that makes people healthy when she can't even take enough care of herself! How can she be named Sitter? I was here longer, I have worked so much harder than she has. That position should have been mine!


Seheria rose from the bench, tucking a lock of her dirty blond hair behind her ear as she fought to keep a serine face, but the anger was so hard to hold back. She tried to calm herself as she made her way to her rooms. When she got to her door she decided not to go in, she had to get away from the Yellow halls for a while. She didn't know where she was headed but she stormed through the Tower, the more she walked the more she thought and the more she thought the quicker her steps became and the more she let her emotions show on her face.


This was my time! After all I have done for this Ajah for the last six decades I still have nothing to show for it! I studied harder than any other novice. I did better in my classes than any other Accepted in them with me. I have read every book in all of libraries that have anything to do with healing. I have done everything that fish-brained Head has asked of me, and I've done it more quickly and thoroughly than any of my sisters ever could! And what do I get for it? Ignored, that's all, I am all but invisible to everyone in this Tower! I spend two days sorting through piles upon piles of paperwork, staying up past the sun rising the next day putting it all together and she barely looks up when I walk in to give it to her saying, "Thank you, Seherai, put the report on the table and I'll get to it."


Her mind swirled with memories of all the things she did for her ajah as she unconsciously stormed through the Tower and out to a distant garden that most people didn't take the time to walk to. Years of hard work that she never seemed to get full appreciation for streamed through her mind fueling her rage. By the time she made it to the far garden she was all but shouting, her Aes Sedai calm not even being attempted. She had spent years doing what she could to be seen as the perfect Yellow and for what? She should have gotten that position, she should have gotten more than a smile and a wave at everything she did, but no matter how hard she tried to impress these people no one seemed to even acknowledge her. She tried to sit on the small bench beside the pond, but she was too filled with emotion to sit so she rose and paced as she let her anger out by ranting.


"I've had to fight with her every time I've wanted to leave the Tower, convincing her that I need to go, finding someone to take over the works I had been slaving away with in the infirmaries, and keeping her posted on where I was going to be and when I'd be back. I have spent years out there in the real world, saving lives. People would be dead now if it weren't for me. Important people. Thousands of people! I started a babe breathing who was all but lost, and he became a Lord! I single handedly healed all the people who were caught in an inn that caught into raging flames as I was just passing through a town. I didn't need to stay, I didn't need to help, but I did, and I saved every person! Sure the inn was small and it wasn't full at the time, but I went in to the inferno and carried each one out to the grass outside. I sent the people standing in the streets for supplies and I almost surely set myself to the brink of burning out healing those people, but still when word got back to the Tower I didn't get so much as a nod of acknowledgment. My dress had been ruined, I had nearly killed myself, and for what? I didn't get so much as a ‘Good work Seheria.' I should have at least gotten the tale chattered about through my ajah, if not a full on cheering at my return, but no. I got a letter saying I can't save everyone and I need to be more careful not to push myself so hard."


"I have gone through the land helping to teach local healer women how to better use the herbs they have and I have given them access to ones they never would have gotten on their own. I set up sick houses with the basic tools and necessities in many towns that had none and found people to watch over the sick and taught them how to care for the people who need help.


I have stood at the side lines of battles healing wounded soldiers so they could go back in and fight for their land and their families. I have healed mental illness in anyone who has come to me where it was possible to do so. And still I am ignored by my sisters. I thought that by coming back to the Tower to work directly under the eye of the Head she would see me, and finally appreciate me. I thought I would perhaps gain the respect that anyone else who did half the things I've done would have. I've spent the last two decades of my life trapped in these bloody walls yes ma'aming every bloody challenge that woman set on me, running myself ragged keeping the warders in the training yard properly cared for when they need it. I've taught classes for the Yellows, taught the Accepteds weaves and saved them from disaster when they go wrong. I've let those inexperienced novices experiment on me to make them learn the weaves! I've stayed up for days and days in a row to keep constant eye on people who would die without care. And when they walk out the only thing I get for it is a new patient to care for."


"Finally there was an opening for that Sitter position and my time had come. They must have been waiting for this, I thought. I had put in the time, I had put in the work. I know what life is like out there, I've lived it. Finally I would get some sort of compensation, some recognition for all I have done in silence. It was my time to be given back to, and in the blink of an eye that useless lump of a woman who has not even seen the world outside the city since she was signed into the novice book gets chosen as Sitter? Was I even considered? No, if I were considered I would have been chosen, I've done too much for this Ajah to be passed over by a girl who has been Aes Sedai for less time than me, and who barely challenge half as much as I can! I wonder how long it would take anyone to notice if I just left? Hah! If they did notice how many of them would even care. Well, they would find out when this place started falling apart, then they would see all I have done for them, but it would be too late."


"I could do amazing things if given the chance! I could change the world if given the chance. I work too hard doing your work and am too good for you unappreciative people! I gave up being one of the most well know, respected tailors, one of the most respected people in many villages, to come here to be something even more than that! I am Aes Sedai! I can Heal anything short of Death itself! I demand respect and acknowledgment for all that I do for you undeserving fools! I would have been the best Sitter our Ajah could produce. I would have given more to that position than anyone else could devote to it! I will show you all what you passed up when you passed me over for this position! Somehow I will. I will find a way to make you see how unworthy you are of my years of hard work for you!"


Seheria all but collapsed on the bench. That tantrum had taken more out of her than she had noticed. She sat silently for a moment as she gazed into the pond, hoping she hadn't been venting too loudly. She noticed a tree move at the edge of the garden not too far away and she paled as she realized that she was not alone.


~Seheria Mori

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah~

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Alicatia sat in the garden wishing things would not be so boring in the Tower. She'd only recently come back with one goal in mind - to find another like minded soul. She hadn't expected to hear someone's rant about what life could be, what it should be. But this much venom in a soul could easily be tainted towards the Dark One. This woman was surely not already a pawn of the Dark One. There were few and far between if she were she would not be ranting and venting in the open, she'd have done something about the problem particularly if she were so adamant about this issue she'd over heard. Anger was always a good tool to the Dark One, but could Alicatia tempt her with out revealing her true face? She was not a kindred soul in the terms of being evil, but maybe she could push her off the edge to follow in her own path of the Dark One.


Alicatia made her presence known, a shifting of the near by tree would alert the soul to her triad being heard. And it had the desired affect. The woman paled and Alicatia got up from the bench she'd been sitting on behind the tree. She hadn't been intentionally eaves dropping mind you. She was not the most pleasant of people but she could put on a show if necessary.


"We all have days like this, where the world gives us nothing but lemons." Alicatia smiled. "We need to make lemonade, or maybe something a bit stronger!" This woman was much older than her and there were proprieties to respect she couldn't treat her as a child, but she had to be a friend in order to see if she really could tip this woman to the dark side. "A little bit of wine to the lemons can take the edge off of the bitterness of the day." She was speaking both metaphorically and in reality. "Perhaps you need a new way to look at the world. One that is far more forgiving." That shouldn't have been too much. But enough to peak her interest.

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As the younger woman rose and made her way closer to the bench Seheria was sitting on she held the blush from forming on her cheeks.How could I have missed her? Oh Light, she heard the whole thing! Well, at least someone finally heard me. Why should I stand up for those who call me Sister, when they don't even acknowledge me? No, what I said was true, and its not like I could take it back now. I said I was done being their pawn and now I am. The Yellow Ajah is far from perfect, I won't pretend that it is. Seheria's face smoothed out, as if the tantrum her heart was still racing from had not happened at all, as Alicatia came closer and sat on the bench.


As the younger woman began speaking it didn't take Seheria long to wonder if there was more to what she was saying than pleasantries and consoling. There was something in they way the woman spoke that made it seem more, but what more could there be to it? Part of her wanted to change the subject, but part of her wanted to be heard for all she had bottled up. She knew she should hold her tongue, but what good would that do now, the woman had already heard her thoughts and it would be good finally feel like someone around this place wanted to hear about her. And if she were to continue talking about this she could maybe cover her back on some of the things she said. She had to continue to seem as shaken as she had when she was venting, showing how calm she truely was would only add suspision to this woman's thoughts and Seheria didn't know who this woman would talk to. As much as she wanted recognition she did not want recognition as a complaining, tantrum throwing, lunatic as she must have came off as to this woman. Her annoyance at what had just happened in the Yellow halls still bit at her and the rage deep within her still bubbled, that would help to keep up the rouse.


She tried to keep a pleasant face and a lighthearted way of speaking, but she didn't try as hard as she knew she should have to hold her tongue. "I suppose it is true that everyone has these days, though I think I've seen enough of them to stop an entire village having days like these for years. Light, I think I'd have enough lemons to supply Tar Valon for a year- not that I'd get a 'thank you' for that if I did." She let out a forced laugh. It was hard to keep up the farce of being jovial, but she felt she had to at least try. Still she wanted to know where this woman was going with this conversation. Perhaps she was just trying to relate to Seheria, or perhaps she felt she had to say something after overhearing the outburst, either way Seheria didn't want to make more of a scene fighting it.


"Perhaps I need another way of looking at world, but right now I think its the world that needs another way of looking at me. Not that either of those could happen. I could put on my jaded glasses and pretend that the work I'm doing that is going unnoticed is all well and good for just being done, but I've spent decades doing just that and I'm getting to a point where its not enough to suffer though and think that someday my reward will come. I don't want to feel like I am working for nothing, and pushing myself half to death for people who barely even know I exist. But its not as though there really is some other way to live life. I am Aes Sedai, and I chose the Yellow. Its not as though I could go back and take up the tailor shop again. I don't really know what I'm whining about out here. Its been the same for years, I don't know why I thought it would be any different today.


I guess I'm just tired of working so hard to do things that don't seem to have any real affect. I push myself to do my best to get some sort of appreciation or recognition and no matter how hard I work it never seems to come. I don't mind doing to the work, but I am sick of doing the work for nothing. So I saved some people I'll never see again, they will say thank you and then forget about the life I gave them one week later. Who would have thought that Healing would be such depressing work! I'm sure I'll be fine again soon, I'll suck it all up and go back to the grind." It was not what she wanted, but there was no other choice. She hoped that would satisfy Alicatia's tensions if the woman had only come over out of the necessity to ease the tension of her overhearing Seheria's break down.


"I don't mean to sound so depressing, and I know that I have done a lot of good work in the world, it just seems sometimes as if there should be more to life." She laughed, a little more from the heart this time, "Though here I am, Aes Sedai, someone most people only ever dream of being complaining that I have nothing to show for my years. Perhaps I am better off out of the Tower, where I can make my own decisions and do choose which people I save. I'm tired of Healing people who only take their lives for granted and who take my help for granted. Perhaps I do need a new outlook, but where would I begin? And what could I really get out of a new way of thinking? I'm sorry to be so vocal, I usually am not so loose with my thoughts, but it seems you have caught me at a very rare time and I'm not quite watching my words. I figure after what you must have heard there is not really any use to censoring now."


That wasn't quite true, she was Aes Sedai, and Aes Sedai always watch what they say, and always speak with purpose. She was talking to an Aes Sedai and anyone with more than a flea's brain watched what they said around Aes Sedai. It was all in perception. This woman had seen her as distressed and ranting, she had to think that was all there was to it. She didn't want to the woman to know how much she had meant every word. The Sister would know that Seheria hadn't lied, but there are different degrees of truth. If the woman had known how much truth was in the statement it would be a cause of alarm. It should be a cause of alarm. She was not about to go back to the grind and settle for life of being used with no reward if there was any other way.


~Seheria Mori~

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah

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Alicatia listened to the woman rant. It was sentiment that could be forged into the back bone of a member of the secret society known as the Black Ajah - something most people only spoke of in whispers if at all. They did not exist, but Alicatia knew better, they had found her, found her when she was just raised. She had peaked the ears of a Sister of the Dark and upon her raising she was also raised to another purpose. And found kindred spirits as well even though she knew very little about them other than the one who had found her. Identities were kept secret for the safety of the whole. That was good. But Alicatia needed to find souls like her those who wanted to be more than what they were. She believed this woman was one.


"I know there are woman in this Tower that would appreciate your skills and your hard work. Rewards you can only ask for might be granted, but it will always come with a price." She was treading too close to blasphemy, she had to be careful. "Not all Aes Sedai believe what the White Tower does is all good in its own right. Healers are always welcome amongst them, they are few and far between in most cases."


Alicatia tried to play on the woman's need for acceptance and appreciate. She continued to talk vaguely of things that could be with out ever mentioning the methods and the how tos of the whole thing. If she peaked the woman's interests it might be worth while to take this to a place a bit more private - someplace where things could be discussed a little more freely. There were things she needed to ask, things that needed to be done properly if she was to turn this woman from good to dark correctly and not as a cause for a friend but because this soul truly wanted to serve the Dark One. That was always the hard part in turning someone, they believed the Dark One was evil, how could they be evil. Alicatia knew that she was evil the moment she could learn to channel, it had been simple for her, but most people didn't believe they could ever be evil. It was not something fathomable and it had to be approached correctly.

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"I know there are woman in this Tower that would appreciate your skills and your hard work."


Seherai took a minute to consider what the woman was saying. What could she mean? She knows of others who would appriciate my skill and hard work? Does she mean the women of her ajah? True the Greys wouldn't have much strenght for healing, but they also wouldn't really need it. Perhaps a Green would appreciate it more, being able to heal wounds on the battle field, as I've done before. But what good would a few more friends in other ajahs really do to make any difference in being noticed in the one I chose?


"Rewards you can only ask for might be granted, but it will always come with a price." What was this supposed to mean? What reward does she think I want? She knows people in the Tower who would appreciate my work, but what kind of reward is she implying I ask for? And who does she expect me to ask for my reward from? The Head? the Amrilyn? Does she want me to join another ajah where the woman would appreciate me more? Do the Gray's really have use this demanding of a healer to be recruiting Aes Sedai of other ajahs? Are they really so desperate for Healers that they would ask a Sister to renounce her ajah and choose to join the Grays? No, that is unheard of! If they wanted a Healer that badly then they would just ask to take a Yellow along when they needed it or find a well taught Accepted to petition to them. Perhaps this woman has such a mission and is trying to convince me to help her. But what reward would I get in helping her with a cause I don't care about? And shouldn't she be the one paying the price to for my help?


"Not all Aes Sedai believe what the White Tower does is all good in its own right. Healers are always welcome amongst them, they are few and far between in most cases." What is she talking about? Of course all the Aes Sedai believe that the White Tower is good. Well, I suppose not everything is as good in it as we make it out to the world at times. But what is she saying? That she knows of a group of Sisters who all doubt the workings of the White Tower and how its used? That these women have somehow found a way to work together get what they want when the Tower won't give it to them? I know the Grays have the line of right and wrong held tightly in their arms and can twist it when they want to, but surely they Gray Ajah believe that the work of the Tower is good, even if they have to twist the preception of some of the missions to see it that way.


She can't mean the Grays, but then who? A whole group of people who question the good of the Tower? They couldn't come out in public chattering about that, it just isn't done. Then what? A secret group of Sisters all banded together working to get what they want when the Tower wont give it to them? Light, but now I'm making them sound like the stories of the Black Ajah! But what could she mean? Perhaps this group is close with the Amrilyn. Who else could grant them the rewards they ask for? Does this woman really have so close a connection with the Amrilyn to gain rewards when asked?


"If there are such women as the ones you say would appreciate me, how would I join them? How are they joined? And these rewards you speak of, how great could they be? Surely the one who grants them has limits. And what kind of price would be asked?" She knew that once she asked these questions there was very little chance of going back. If the woman gave her answers Seheria would know too much about this secret group of the Amrilyn's pets, but how could she turn down a chance to have the life she was entitled to? Unless that price was death Seheria would do anything her oaths would let her do to get the rewards that she should have been getting for decades, and perhaps if the price were death at a later date she would still be willing to get the rewards she deserved before that date.


~Seheria Mori~

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah

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It seemed she might be interested but was she willing to sell herself to the Dark One. There is no turning back once both of these woman make the choice to declare that the Black Ajah is real to each other. To tell her that life is not as we beleive it nor is it as clear cut as it was when we were children. Alicatia smiled. "Come with me I have something to show you."


Alicatia had been preparing for this particular moment in time, when she would test the person's mettle against their real visions in life. But it still had to be subtle enough to insure that it was not something she didn't understand, that she was capable of disregarding her oaths and following in her own footsteps. Was she ready? Reading the correct story in this context could be a tale-tale sign of readiness and acceptance.


Alicaita lead the way to her quarters, it was rare any but the Gray were in the Hall, but it happened when one worked together, it wasn't nearly as common but it did happen. And it really wasn't of any suspect anyway, it was just a moment of passing on a good book.


Alicatia opened the door to her room and bade the woman to enter. "I am Alicatia Sunoma. And I have a book I'd like you to read." Alicatia pulled a well worn book from her desk and handed it to her. The letters were worn and faded but Alicatia knew it said The Faust Tradition. "This is a collection of histories, legends and stories that might shed some light on my meaning. Do not judge it first before reading. Keep in mind your feelings of today as you read and my words. You can come back to me and we can discuss more if you like."


Alicatia was taking a big leap of faith that she would not turn her in or make her name known to anyone save herself. It was a leap of faith, but she seemed interested.

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Seheria followed the Gray as they made their way back toward the Tower and into the other womans rooms. She tried to make it look like two friends out for a casual stroll and she tried to stop herself from searching the face of every Aes Sedai she past to see if they had witnessed her storming though these halls earlier. The shame of her outburst brought back the pain of what had caused it and as hard as she tried to let go of her anger and dissapointment she knew there was not going to be an easy way to just let it go this time.


When they arrived in the Gray's rooms the woman went straight for what she had come for. Alicatia handed her an old book and told her that it would clear up the meaning behind her words on the bench. Seheria knew the basic message of the book but that message caught her very much off guard. I guess I shouldn't have laughed off that group of woman being Black Ajah, but..but the Black Ajah isn't real. She glanced down at the book in her hands and back into the eyes of the woman who gave it to her. "Do not judge it first before reading. Keep in mind your feelings of today as you read and my words. You can come back to me and we can discuss more if you like." Seheria's heart sent out a flutter of fear. She wasn't sure if it was because of the thought of the Black Ajah being real, or if it was because she was actually considering joining them if they were.


"Thank you for this book, Alicatia. I have heard some of these tales before, but I've only heard them in the way a mother would warn her children not to play outside after dark for fear a Fade may come and take them. I will read it with an open mind and I will return it to you when I have finished it. Seheria let herself out and made her way back to her own rooms, careful to hid the title of the book as she walked.




Three days later she found herself standing outside the Gray halls peering in at Alicatia's door, book in hand. She had read it through the day she had gotten it and spend the next two days concidering all it meant, and how she would deal with it. Clearly this woman believed that the Dark One was capable of making dreams come true, and that he was willing to use his abilities to help. If trollocs and Fades were not the bedside tales she had once thought they were than perhaps the Black Ajah was not the imaginary tale others thought. The Gray would not have put this idea out there if she were not a Black Sister herself.


Seheria had thought long and hard trying to find another meaning from what the woman had said and the message in the book, but it was clear that it could only be that Alicatia was of the Black Ajah, and the Black Ajah would help Seheria get all that she was due in life. That she could finally be the person she had worked so hard to be. To be the person she deserved to be with the all the rewards that came with it. If the price truely was giving herself to the Dark One in death, well everyone had to die sometime. And if giving herself to him in life meant she would finally get paid back for her hard work then she could see no down side.


She knocked on the Gray's door and waited for her to let her in. "I have come to return your book." She said as the door closed behind her. "I think we have much to discuss." Seheria took a seat when it was offered and she paused a moment trying to think of what to say. She was sure that she had gotten the right message, but how to approach it in case she was wrong? "It seems these tales are just that, tales. I know you said that a new way of thinking would benefit me. I see how that could be true. However, one should not throw oneself into a new way of thinking before knowing that there is truth behind it. I could begin to believe the sky is orange before I open the curtain, but it doesn't make it any more true just because I drew a picture of an orange sky in my brain. And if I were to open the curtain and find the sky was orange, I should like to know the concerns that would come of it before I opened that curtain. All I am saying is that I know what I used to believe, and even though it isn't getting me where I want to be, I don't want to through stock into a new way of thinking before even know if it is more than just a dream."

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Three day's past before she saw the book returned. That in and of itself meant she was willing to listen willing to not go straight to the authorities on her knowledge. It was her word against Alicatia and there was no proof she was of any Ajah other than Gray. She was careful in her transgressions as were all of her kind. "My friends are real and the rewards are as well." She hoped that was enough proof for the woman, that she was sitting her speaking to her of the one thing you just didn't do.


Alicatia had done her duty as well and did as much research as she could on the woman in her room. She knew she had a lot of venom built up inside her for her to snap like that in public. And that anger could be put to use in a better form under the Dark One's tutelage. He was a hard master but it was true. "I cannot guarantee you will get everything you want. But my friends will appreciate your talents, and look for you to help them reach their goals."


"I trust you with this secret. I know you did not go to anyone else or I wouldn't be sitting her right now." Alicatia didn't smile. "The truth of the matter comes down to how willing you are to take the next step. Many many things can come to you from this one step, but it is not for the light of heart or the faint of heart. It is painful. But the rewards are great and true to coming even after just this first step."

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Seheria calmed as the Gray responded. Yes, she had received the right message. It was odd to feel so calm when talking about such a thing, but she had thought about it in depth for the last three days and all she felt now was the calm of a decision made. "I have spent the last few days really taking in all this will mean. Just to be sitting here talking about this means my mind is made up. I have spent too many years doing works for people who do not appreciate it. I work too hard and have nothing to show for it. You say your friends will appreciate my talents, and if so I will gladly help them reach their goals. It will be good to work for a purpose again. To get some satisfaction in my works and to help people who need it and won't take my actions for granted. I have dealt with pain before, but if the rewards are as great as you say they are than I am willing to do whatever needs to be done. I would sooner end my life now than continue living the way I have been. I need a change, one that will give me what I want. I have never run from fear or pain. When I set my mind I follow through, and my mind is set or I wouldn't have stayed and you would be strung up instead of speaking here with me. What must I do? What is my next step?"


~Seheria Mori~

Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah

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Alicatia smiled she hadn't judged her wrong. "The next step is swearing new oaths ones that will break all others before it. This is painful but it is worth the rewards."


Alicatia wove a small ward around the two woman, not large enough to gain attention but enough so others could not hear their discussion. Alicatia went into the small details of the up and coming ceremony. There was no turning back now for her new found friend. It was either take the new oaths or die.


Alicatia would make the arrangements for one night hence, there were things that needed to be prepared before the new oaths were sworn. "One night hence you will swear to the Great Lord. One night to think about your other options, mind you failure to come with us will only lead to imminent death. I will see you tomorrow night."


Aliciatia released the ward and they would part ways, this was the end and the beginning for her new friend.

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She spent much of that night after leaving Alicatia's rooms reassuring herself that she had made the right choice. It was clear that there was no turning back now, it would mean death. She had assumed this would be the case before she went there that day, and she had decided that joining the Black Ajah and working for the Dark One was the path she wanted to take. The girl had promised that she would get magnificent rewards and she would be a vital part of something bigger than herself. How could she say no to that? If the Dark One was really capable of bringing her what she wanted than she would do whatever he asked of her to pay. Her life was about to get much better.


She spent the next day puttering around, nerves coming and going. She hated waiting. She wanted it done. She started looking at everyone who passed wondering if they may be Black Ajah too. She wondered how she would keep up appearances as well as the others did. Until a few days before the Black Ajah was nothing more than a terrible rumor that she didn't really believe could exist within the Tower. Would she be able to stay as hidden as the others? People had surely seen her going to the Gray's rooms, would they be talking? Of course they would, a Yellow suddenly befriending a Gray. People gossiped about any two sisters meeting, especially when they are of different Ajah's. Still speaking with a Sister of a different Ajah did not make them Black. No one would have that as their first accusation. She must remember that while she now knew just how real the Black Ajah was most of the Tower did not. They will not assume it, so I must not put the idea out there, or act as if everyone knows.


As the day drug on Seheria became more and more impatient. Not that she was looking forward to the pain she was about to go through, but she was looking forward to the new things that would come after the pain. She decided to wait away from her rooms, it would be better not to be seen following a Sister from another Ajah out of her own halls, so she went to the garden where she first met Alicatia. She figured if the Gray couldn't find her in her rooms then she would check where they first met. Sure enough Alicatia came to the garden not long after Seheria arrived there. They walked together looking as much like two friends out for walk as they could as Alicatia lead Seheria down to the bowels of the Tower.


Seheria followed the protocal and ceremony as she prepared to take her oaths. She could sence a number of witnesses, but she could not see faces in the shadows. One person stepped forward and asked, "Do you Seheria Sedai pledge under penalty of torture and surety of death that the Dark Lord is your Master?"


Seheria paused for only a moment. Yes, she thought, I must. It is not only my only chance to survive the night, but it is what I want. "Yes, I pledge that the Dark Lord is my Master." She almost shuddered as the words left her mouth. She really did mean it. She hadn't been certain that she would really be able to devote herself to this until she spoke the words, but the Oath didn't stop her, and she knew it was true.


With that said the ceremony continued and Seheria felt a surge of pain she could not have imagined. It felt as though her bones were screaming and she couldn't even try to hold of the gurgling cry as the Oaths were removed. Agony was not the word for the pain she felt. Agony would have been a welcome embrace compared to this, but she would get through it.


As she held the Oath Rod she tried to stop her tears. She shook from the pain but she made the weave and spoke her new oaths.


"I shall swear to serve the Great Lord of the Dark as my true and only Master. Him above all others shall I obey.


I shall never reveal the identity of any Black sister to someone not sworn to the Great Lord of the Dark, knowing that my failure in this shall lead to death.


I swear that I will never reveal plots, nor plans, that may endanger my new Ajah or any of its members."


She could feel each new Oath sink into her and take effect. It was an odd sensation but one she had felt years before when she took her original oaths as Aes Sedai.When they were set she stood before the one who had handed her the Oath Rod and finished the ceremony, “The Great Lord is my master, and most heartily do I serve Him to the last shred of my very soul. Lo, my Master is death’s Master. Asking nothing do I serve against the Day of his coming, yet do I serve in the sure and certain hope of life everlasting. Surely the faithful shall be exalted in the land, exalted above the unbelievers, exalted above thrones, yet do I serve humbly against the Day of his Return. Swift come the day of Return. Swift Come the Great Lord of the Dark to guide us and rule the world forever and ever."


With that it was done. There was no going back, she was one of them, she was Sister of the Black Ajah. A few days ago she could not have imagined that she would be standing in the depths of the White Tower, free of three oaths that made her Aes Sedai and sworn to serve the Dark One himself. A few days ago she did not believe the Black Ajah existed and now she was one. Seheria stood tall as she made her way back up to the main level of the White Tower. She was no longer the Yellow sister she once was, she was now something much much more. She was too much of a mess and far to awake to go to her rooms so she found herself moving back that far garden, where it all began.

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