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If At First You Don't Succeed... Petition, Petition Again


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Loraine smiled at her reflection as she adjusted the tiny sword dangling between her brow and double checked the intricate knot that bloomed from the back of her head. She lifted the oldest of her shawls from its storage case, her finger caressing the embroidered edges and long fringe that still swayed just the same as it did the day she got it. The tiny swords and Aes Sedai symbols seemed to dance along the edge of the shawl, as if sensing the little joy she held inside. It was always a great day when a Sister was finally accepted among them and today, she'd see another added to their ranks.


She draped her shawl, a gift on her second petition, over her shoulders. She paused by the door, turning to smile behind her. These quarters had been prepared for her the same day she'd been given this shawl. Right now, Kathleen's things were being moved into a set of rooms down the hall. She smiled again, thinking about how bare these rooms were when she'd arrived here so long ago.


She hummed lightly under her breath as she made her way to the Hall of Swords and the gathering room just beyond. She tucked a box under her arm as she moved down the hallway.




Amena buttoned the last button at the top of her collar and adjusted her shawl before stepping out of the room and into the hallway. Days like today are always among her favorites. A day when another Sister joined their ranks. A day where the Green Ajah received another soldier in the fight against the Dark One. Each one of those days was a gift from the Creator and she prayed a silent thanks for getting to see another one of these.


She paused by the box she'd had delivered and took a deep breath as she picked it up. The box only seemed to grow each time they had one of these ceremonies. It was a little dose of reality in light of the momentous day that was to come. She made her way through the Hall of Swords, pausing often to lay a rose from the box in front of a painting. She whispered, "thank you for making today possible," with each rose, giving thanks to those who weren't coming to this ceremony and leaving a trail of roses for the newest among them to follow. It was a habit she'd picked up since she'd returned from her last mission, bringing home the bodies of two sisters whose paintings were smiling back at her now.


She finally laid the last rose in the doorway of the gathering room beyond with a little tag that read, "To Kathleen, remember those who came before and honor their sacrifice. You are among the best the Tower has to offer. Never forget your past, but always plan for the future. No matter what comes, keep your chin parallel to the ground and never let it drop. Amena."



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Rasheta got ready carefully, today was going to be Kathleen's second petition. Rasheta remembered her second petition, it had been so scary she had thought she would faint. The whole Ajah had come out to stare at her and judge her answers to Jaydena's questions. She had thought if she had answered badly she would have been kicked out of the Ajah, or worse. She'd looked at the sisters and steeled herself she'd be one of them if it had killed her. Rasheta pushed her own memories aside and fixed her hair into her braids, then took her shawl and wrapped it around her shoulders. She was ready to go, or was she? No she remembered the present for Kathleen. She'd had a small dagger made for the girl. Rasheta had the Aes Sedai symbol worked into the hilt in Green. The dagger was more decorative then for actual use, but Rasheta thought it would be appropriate for a new sister to the battle Ajah. She had it in a box with a small tag. "to Kathleen. Always remember to never give up a fight." It wasn't the most inspirational Rasheta had ever been but it would have to do for these purposes. Retrieving the box rasheta walked down the hall remembering the previous night. the poor girl had started her vigil badly, but when Rasheta had given Kathleen her instructions she had been better.


Night before:


"Tomorrow morning you will return to the Hall of Swords for your second petition. While there you will be asked again why you wish to join the Ajah. I hope you have prepared a good answer." Kathleen seemed a little afraid, but she was steeling herself well. Rasheta was proud of that the girl would do well after a few years. She added "If you need anything between now and then you may come see me. I would suggest you continue to sit in meditation of your answer to Jaydena's question however, and no you are not allowed to ask me what I think of your answer." That caused a look of dismay to cross briefly over Kathleen's face. Rasheta almost laughed but restrained herself. "It will turn out well if you are determined." She add then she left her.




Rasheta joined the others gathering in the Hall's receiving room and waited looking as cool and serene as the others. She noticed the other newer sister, Taia, was looking as serious as she ever did. Taia was not usually serious, but for this she was putting up an effort. It pleased Rasheta to see everyone took this as seriously as she did. Rasheta turned toward the door and waited for the Accepted to appear.


Rasheta Ardashir

Green Sitter

waiting for Kat

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Kathleen knew she'd be tired later, but even though she had spend the night awake she didn't feel a moment of it. She had gone through so many thoughts, so many emotions, throughout the night that she didn't feel anything anymore. She had prepared all she could, there was nothing left to do but walk into the Hall of Swords and petition one last time.



She stood up and began to go through the motions of getting herself ready. She slowly made her bed and looked for other things to tidy before she would leave. She knew it was pointless. After her petition today she wouldn't be coming back to this room. If she was accepted into the Ajah she would have a new room in these halls. Her own rooms, where she would make her life. If she was not accepted on this second petition she didn't know where she would be going, but it would not be this room.


She looked through her closet unsure of what to wear. Today could be a day of celebration to stand proudly as a Green, or today could be the day her life was ripped away from her. And she would be a shame to the Ajah she loved so dearly.


I cannot go in there defeated. No matter what Rasheta has told them of my weakness last night, they will see my strength once again today. I am Aes Sedai. I was unsure if I could find the White Tower, but I found it. I was sure I could not channel, but I became a Novice. I was unsure if I could conquer the Arches, but I became Accepted. I was unsure if I would survive the Hundred Weaves, but I walked in with confidence and I fought through my uncertainties and fear and I walked out confident. I am Aes Sedai. I chose the Greens, and though they said no, I did not just walk away. I have jumped through every hoop they have put in my way. I have learned every lesson they have taught me in my time as Initiate. I have earned this, and today I will be a Green.


Kathleen smiled as she laid eyes on her best quality emerald dress. Today she would be an Aes Sedai with a home. A true member of the Green Ajah, and this was a moment to be celebrated. She slipped into the dress and pulled her hair into a loose bun, then took one last look at herself in the mirror before she walked out the door and began the walk down through the halls to meet her fate.




Kathleen smiled as she noticed the roses leading the way to Hall of Swords. She wanted to stop at each picture and take in those who made this walk before her, but she knew that the others would be waiting on her, and she refused to keep them waiting long. She had waited long enough for this moment, and she knew the women on the walls would forgive her for rushing past. The roses calmed what was left of her nerves. She knew they were meant for her. That they went to the trouble of placing each one for her meant that someone thought enough of her to go out of their way to make her smile. These women may be the hardest working, bravest and strongest sisters in the Tower, but that is what they were, her sisters.


Kathleen stopped outside the door to the Hall of Swords. She straightened her back and took a deep breath. This was it. The confidence she had worked up in her room shook as she stared at the door. She was walking to in a room that would change her life forever. No matter what happened when she left that room, she would not be the Initiate she was walking in. One last glace at a rose left close by steadied her and Kathleen knocked on the door and waited to be called to her fate.


Kathleen Sedai

Initiate of the Green Ajah

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Kathleen heard the call to enter and her whole world went still. The wait for the battle was over, it was time to ride in and fight. All doubt or fear left her and she was a wild force with one focus, one goal, and she would achieve it, here and now.


She entered the room filled with the sisters of the Green Ajah. She met each woman's eye, but didn't try to read them. They wouldn't be showing a thing, and it didn't matter now. She walked purposely up Jaydena and bowed her head slightly willing the other woman to challenge her. It wasn't a forceful or arrogant challenge. It was a determined and expectant challenge. They all knew what they were doing here, and Kathleen was ready to be judged.


Jaydena spoke quickly and was quite to the point. She reminded Kathleen of the first time she was had petitioned and how she had been refused, and challenged her to explain why she now felt she was worthy of the station they had refused to give her then. Kathleen calmly spoke, addressing the women in the room as a whole. It was her one chance, but it didn't feel like a plea. She would not beg these women to accept her.


"I have changed in many ways from the day I was raised Aes Sedai. I have grown, and I have learned much. But there is much that has not changed from that day. The day I took my oaths I knew the Ajah I wanted to join was the Green. I had spent years weighing out that decision. I knew what I wanted for my life. I wanted to solve conflict in the world and stand strong for those who could not stand for themselves. I wanted to use my abilities to help where they were needed most, where they could make the most difference in the world. I wanted to be part of an Ajah that worked together to make the world a better place for everyone. I wanted to be part of the group that rides in and pushes on to do what is needed when all others ride out. I knew that by joining the Green Ajah I would have the best chance to really do these things, to really make a difference. I spoke of all of this when I first petitioned.


My purpose and drive in life have only been strengthened during my time as Initiate. When I first petitioned, I knew of what I wanted, but did not have the skills and knowledge needed to truly make that difference in the world. With the help of all of you in this room today, I have learned what is truely needed of a Green Sister. I have learned not only the Battle Weaves and strategies that will keep me alive in battle, but I have learned countless other lessons that will prepare me for life as a Green Sister. You have taught me to carry on when I feel I have lost it all. You have taught me that a battle lost is not a war determined. You have helped me learn that through loss and heart ache I can carry on. And that while my life will present me day after day with challenges and changes, I am more then capable of adapting, pushing on and coming out on top.


Very few things in my life have gone exactly as I planned them to go. I can only plan so much, and then the time comes when I need to just let go and let the wheel weave what it will as I go along with it. I may not know where it is going, but I know I will be able to handle whatever comes at me, be it as joyous as the moment I was raised, or as heart wrenching as being turned away by the Ajah I had worked so hard to able to petition that same day.


My greatest achievements and my worse days were spent with you, the sisters of the Green Ajah, and I would not have it any other way. I stand here before you today a stronger woman than when I stood here last, because of my time as Initiate of the Green Ajah. I am stronger in sword, mind and heart. I am ready to join you, as a true Sister of the Green Ajah, if you will have me."


When she had finished making her case Kathleen stood calmly, head held high. She looked the perfect calm an Aes Sedai always held, but the emotions flooded back into her, like a dam released. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She had done all she could do. What came next was decided by the women around her, and Kathleen truly did not know what their decision would be. She just hoped she had said enough.


Kathleen Vandiar

Aes Sedai of the White Tower

Iniate of the Green Ajah

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  • 2 weeks later...

Amena listened as the girl spoke, nodding silently in her head as she noted the strength in her voice. The woman she would become in slipping that shawl on her shoulders still had much to learn, but at least she was well prepared for what was coming her way. Jaydena took a few moments to answer, but then, what came next was always well worth the wait.


"Let it be known," Jade said, her voice cutting through the silence in the room like a hot knife through butter. "That as of this day, the Green Ajah has among us a new sister. She has been trained, tried and tested and has been found worthy. In battle we stand together and it will be my honor to stand by you, Kathleen Vanidar, Sister of the Green Ajah." She turned and pulled a box from behind her, opening and drawing from it a formal shawl in deep emerald green with fringe trailing the ground at her feet. "If you would, Sister..." she said, indicating for Kathleen to turn around and face the other sisters. She draped the shawl over Kathleen's shoulders and finally smiled. "Welcome home, Sister."


Amena waited until Jade stepped away and made her way to the newest Green's side. "Welcome, sister. I pray you remember this day, the trials, the butterflies in your belly and the elation I see shining in your eyes every day until the Mother welcomes you home. With every blade you draw, with every weave you twist, you are of us and we are of you. It will be an honor to fight beside you, Sister." She stretched her hand towards Kathleen, a long thin box laying flat across her palm. Inside was a thin rapier-bladed dagger, the blade of which was formed out of the stem of a long rose that twisted around an ivory handle, ending in a brilliantly enameled red rose that bloomed at the end. Knowing Kathleen would make the connection between the blade and the roses that lined her path to the door, she nodded and backed away, silently making her way among the sisters gathered for this celebration.





Loraine smiled as she watched Amena walk away. The woman was a tough old bird, but had a special soft spot for new sisters. At least until they gave her a reason not to trust them. She wondered idly if her long absence was the reason why the woman seemed distant since she and Kyn had returned. Ah, well, she thought, those are thoughts for other days.


She moved to Kathleen's side with a glass in one hand and a box in the other, her smile widening as she stopped in front of her. "Quite a long way since Battle Weaves, isn't it?" She looked around at the gathered ladies hovering, waiting on their chance to welcome the newest sister. "You'd never guess it was a party from the looks on some of these old ladies' faces! Don't forget to try the punch." She grinned and offered Kathleen the box in her hand. Inside was a thin gold chain with a small dagger dangling from the center. Kathleen would find out fast enough that there was a very small stone in the hilt that was really an angreal in disguise. She'd found it while cleaning out an old dusty box in her closet after being raised so long ago. Some of those battle weaves had been difficult for the Green and this would make them just a little bit easier.


"Sometimes, the best of us need a little concentration point, after all." She said softly before turning her eyes back to the Greens surrounding them. "My advice is the same today as it was after your first petition, Kathleen. Remember, every woman looking at you today has been where you are today. We all know exactly what you're feeling and we've all lived through it. There is a world of experiences that you're going to stumble over every day from here until the day you die. You'll find them easier and more difficult all at the same time. I will add this, though." She turned and looked Kathleen directly in the eye. "Remember to forgive yourself. Aes Sedai are among the most powerful women in the world, the Greens carry another layer of responsibility even beyond that. You are going to make mistakes and those around you are going to suffer for it. That's part of being human, I'm afraid. I've found it nags a bit more given this gift we were cursed with. Just remember, Aes Sedai, Green Ajah... it means nothing if you forget that you're a woman, and a human woman, at that. Stay the course and forgive yourself and you'll make it to be the thorn in the Dark One's foot that we have all pledged to be."


She smiled and offered Kathleen the glass in her other hand, with a wink. "Now, I suggest you celebrate, for tomorrow, the assignments and traveling begin! I hope you're prepared to get dirty!" She nodded deeply and stepped away, molding into the crowd around them.



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Taia dressed formally for the occasions seriousness. She couldn't smile throughout the ceremony which was a real shame Taia liked to smile. It hadn't been that long ago she had undergone this ceremony she could feel for the new girl, it was tough to handle. Taia studied herself in the mirror, she had pulled her red hair back and secured it behind her head with a bit of string, it brought out her eyes a little better. She wasn't trying to impress anyone today, but she was a little vain and still liked to look as good as she could. She picked up a necklace and put it on her ring was the only one on her hand now, and she dressed in a gown of dark green, she studied herself in the mirror and nodded it would do. She picked up her shawl and the present for Kathleen, it was a bottle of very fine beer to remind Kathleen to have some fun, she had also included a small dagger that you could slip into your boot or wherever. The knife was to remind Kathleen to always be prepared for anything.


Taia left her room and nodded to the other Greens who were heading to the Vault. Taia didn't like the Vault as much as some of the other Greens, it was just to spooky that many Green Sisters had fallen in battle, it was intimidating to stand among them. She didn't allow the calm she had learned to slip however and just stood with the other Greens behind the Ajah head. She noticed that Rasheta was giving her a strange look. Taia and Rasheta were opposites and they didn't get along as well as Taia did with some of the others in the tower. Rasheta thought Taia too frivolous and enjoying the comforts of being an Aes Sedai too much. Taia thought Rasheta was too uptight, and needed to relax. Taia smiled across the room in Rasheta's direction. The other sister turned her head with a frown. Taia nearly laughed but stopped herself because of the occasion and the looks the other sisters were giving her. She turned her full attention to the door to the room and waited for Kathleen to enter.


Shortly after Kathleen did enter the room she was asked again why she wanted to be Green. Taia was impressed with Kathleen's answer, she had clearly thought long and hard about it. Jaydena spoke next


"That as of this day, the Green Ajah has among us a new sister. She has been trained, tried and tested and has been found worthy. In battle we stand together and it will be my honor to stand by you, Kathleen Vanidar, Sister of the Green Ajah."


Now Taia smiled brightly, this part was always the best part of any of the ceremonies, when it was all done and it was time for the presents. Taia waited her run and then hugged the new Green Sister and said "Welcome home sister, I hope you remember to have some good times while balancing the work. Never forget to smile when you can, and laugh long and loud." After these words she did just that and earned another disapproving look from Rasheta who was standing across from her. Taia kissed Kathleen's cheeks and then handed over her present. "May they both serve you well." she smiled again and backed away


Taia Misna

Green Aes Sedai






Rasheta listened with pride as Kathleen delivered her answer to Jaydena's question. Rasheta knew that the last night had been hard on Kathleen. Especially because Kathleen had spoken so rashly and had to be set down by Rasheta. It had not been the smartest thing to say and Rasheta knew the stress of the day might have had something to do with it. However, the Greens were a bunch of hard women who had been tested in both battle and by the tower, well besides Taia who was new and was learning how things were done.


Rasheta wanted to smile Kathleen had given a good answer and now Jaydena was delivering the speech to accept her. After Loraine, Amena, and Taia had given Kathleen there presents it was Rasheta's turn. She hugged Kat and said "Welcome home sister we have waited long for you." It was a little more formal then the others, but Rasheta didn't care. She handed Kat her present and added, "Remember that you should never give up a fight. Not even when you want to there is always a way to win. You only surrender in death." She backed away and allowed the next Sister to speak.


Rasheta Ardashir

Green Ajah Sitter.

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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  • 2 weeks later...

Jaydena's words boomed in her head. Kathleen could barely hear them over the sound of her heart pounding in her ears, but even so she knew these were words that would stick with her for years to come, "Let it be known that as of this day, the Green Ajah has among us a new sister. She has been trained, tried and tested and has been found worthy. In battle we stand together and it will be my honor to stand by you, Kathleen Vanidar, Sister of the Green Ajah."


Kathleen's nerves crashed in on her and it was all she could do to stop herself from crying out in joy and dropping to her knees. She let the breath she had been holding out and she couldn't stop the smile from covering her face. She didn't want to stop it. As Jade turned her back Kathleen tried to steady herself. If it wasn't for her years of training herself she would have been shaking. The captain general turned back with a box and Kathleen watched in awe as the woman took out the deep emerald green formal shawl. She had waited so long for this moment, and even with so many years of anticipation this moment was everything she had imagined it out would be. Kathleen couldn't speak as the head of her ajah continued, "If you would, Sister..." Jaydena said, indicating for Kathleen to turn around and face the other sisters. As the shawl was draped over Kathleen's shoulders she scanned the eyes of her sisters. "Welcome home, Sister." She heard Jade speak over her shoulder and Kathleen ran her fingers through the fringe of her shawl.


Staring out at the faces of the Greens it was hard to believe that she truly was one of them. No longer an Initiate. She was a real Sister of the Green Ajah. She was filled with same emotion that had filled her on the day was raised. Finally she had reached her goal. She could truly start her life. In that moment she was complete.


Kathleen barely noticed as Amena made her way to her, but Kathleen gave her her full attention when she began to talk. "Welcome, sister. I pray you remember this day, the trials, the butterflies in your belly and the elation I see shining in your eyes every day until the Mother welcomes you home. With every blade you draw, with every weave you twist, you are of us and we are of you. It will be an honor to fight beside you, Sister."


Kathleen stared for a brief moment in shock when the woman held her hand out and presented her with a box. A gift? She must have known I wouldn't be turned away. Kathleen glanced around at the other's who had all begun to fetch packages of their own. That's when it hit Kathleen; there had never been a chance she would have been turned away today. This was all set up to have her worry over this day and they had planned to end it just like this from the start. Kathleen had a sudden urge to slap each one her sisters for putting her through all of this, but she took a deep breath and smiled at Amena, as the woman's words settled into Kathleen's head. She opened the gift and found the thin rapier-bladed dagger, with the blade formed of the stem of a long rose that twisted around an ivory handle, ending in a brilliantly enameled red rose that bloomed at the end. Kathleen looked the woman in the eyes. The flowers in the hall had been placed by those who came before her. This woman, and all those in the room had gone through this same emotional roller coaster. They had been put through this as well, and they never meant it to hurt her. This was done to strengthen her, and Kathleen knew that by going through all the extra trials, not only was she stronger, but this moment was sweeter.


As Amena stepped away Loraine. As if reading her mind Loraine both loosened the mood and reaffirmed the truth that they had all been there and done this, and that while she was at the end of the trials of a new sister, that was exactly what she was, a new sister, just starting her journey. There was still much to learn, but for now she would celebrate. Kathleen wasn't sure if she should open each gift as she got them, but she had always loved to see the look on other's faces as they opened the gifts she gave them, so she did open the others as they came. She thanked Loraine for the beautiful chain with the dagger as she eagerly put it on.


Loraine carried one and Taia, no longer the newest Green Aes Sedai came forward. Kathleen's smile widened when Taia gave her advice. It was good advice. Kathleen knew it would be easy to lose her sence of humor and her joyful nature being in the Green ajah, but she was determined to keep it. She laughed as she opened Taia's gift, it would certainly help her keep fun for a little while anyway.


Kathleen's smile left as Rasheta made her way up to her. "Welcome home sister we have waited long for you." Rasheta spoke more formally than the others, but Kathleen knew that even if it wasn't simply her nature, she had given Rasheta reason to a lot more cold than she was being now. Even after all she had done the night before Rasheta still seemed genuine as she spoke, "Remember that you should never give up a fight. Not even when you want to there is always a way to win. You only surrender in death." Kathleen wanted to say something to her, but even if she had words to say all she needed to to make things right, Rasheta had backed away too quickly for Kathleen to have been able to say them.


If she hadn't felt bad enough about her blunder the night before, realizing there had never been any fear of being rejected made her feel worse than she ever had before. As the other sister's of the Green Ajah approached her Kathleen's spirit rose again. What was in the past was in the past. She was no longer the silly Initate who spoke off at the tongue. She was now, and for every breath onward, Kathleen Vandiar, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. She shifted her shawl on her shoulder with a smile as she mingled around the room, feeling as though she were floating on air for the rest of the party.



Kathleen Vandair

Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah

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