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A Shaken Thread (Solo rp)

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Ay'Lira sighed and closed her eyes as she sat at her desk. She had just been informed that one of her students had used too much of the Power and killed herself with the effort. It was far from her first class. And she knew that some girls would experiment on their own. It was a given. And she had just given the class involving the long list of women who had burned themselves out or died from doing just what she had. She remembered Ellai. It took her a while to remember names and faces, but she remembered Ellai because she asked questions in a way that said she thought she knew everything simply because the Aes Sedai who had brought her had told her a few things about the One Power. The girl had been a wilder, too, which didn't help in her thinking she was better prepared for the trials of Saidar than the rest of the class. And now her class was one less because of a tragedy that could have been prevented.


They were called "children", but the truth was these women in white were normally old enough to understand their limits and realize that rules were in place for a reason. That was what the White who had delivered the news had told her.


But, Ellai was one of her students. If only for a while. She felt like she could have helped prevent it further than she had. But she had given these lessons before, and every other time, nothing had happened. She had been her responsibility. The novice's actions reflected on Ay'Lira, no matter what she herself was told. She felt like she failed her somehow.


The very first item on her lesson plan read "Announcement." She would have to work through this...somehow, and tell her students in a way to scare the fear of the Light into them while not scaring them away from the White Tower. And there were arrangements to be made. The White Tower would have to send Ellai's body back to her family in Arad Doman. She wouldn't be a part of that, but she would still have to explain it to her students, and still teach the class as if nothing happened. Would these novices be able to touch Saidar while so sad?


Breathing in and letting out another sigh, she continued to write on her lesson plan.

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"You all did well today," Ay'Lira said as she walked to the front of the classroom. Accepted were expected to behave as if they had already sworn the Three Oaths. And that was not a lie. A few had faltered, but it seemed that the incident had steeled a few to do their best. She was sure that those were beginning to feel others embrace Saidar were frightened out of their wits last night. "I want you all to remember Ellai as an initiate of the Tower as we all are. Do not think of her as an example. This can happen to any of us, no matter how much we think we can handle." The scene of her Second Arch had been plaguing her since she heard word of the incident. Luckily, Ange Sedai was well, and actually didn't have a Talent for Cloud Dancing. She had taken on another novice helper since Ay'Lira had been raised to Accepted. And that was good. She had to learn to deal with her own problems without someone help her sort them out. "Think of her as your contemporary as she is laid to the Mother's Last Embrace." The Borderlander novices in her class nodded, a bit of passion in their eyes. They knew what it meant, and they would explain. Ellai had not been a Borderlander, either, but the same sentiments applied.


"Tomorrow is our last in this series of classes," she said, beginning to wrap up her speech. "We will practice in Earth and Fire. Tonight, think of Ellai as you knew her, the good and the bad. She was as much a thread in the Pattern as we all are. You are dismissed."


Today, for the first time, no one came up to her and asked questions. She wasn't expecting that. Tonight was a night of contemplation and mourning. For everyone. She collected the rags and the bowl where they practiced wringing out rags with Water. She returned the supplies and walked to the Library. She wouldn't read any books of histories, of wars, or strategies. She would likely find a book that was something insipid that would let her mind wander...she had to accept this somehow. She had to work it out without the help of Ange Sedai. She had to take her own advice to her students and take this not only as a lesson, but as something that could happen again...to anyone.


Ay'Lira found some sort of romance tale too implausible to actually happen, but it was something that helped novices adjust to their lives in the Tower...


An hour later, Ay'Lira felt oddly anew. She saw her student in the romantic heroine in the book. Too lost in herself to see the world. But by the end, she peeked out of that world enough to see her lover for who he was, and accept him. Ellai would have done that too...eventually. That was hitting the nail on the head. She was sad for losing her student, and she was sad that she felt she had failed her...but she also mourned for the lack of potential. Ellai could have made it to the shawl, had she learned that all-important lesson just a little sooner.


But that was a lesson Ay'Lira could not have given her.

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Ay'Lira took her supper after finally doing actual research. She slowly headed back to her room. After she realized that where Ellai faltered had been part of a lesson that Ay'Lira could not give her, coping was a little better. She felt like Ange Sedai would have been proud of her. She worked through her problem and found a solution without exploding on anyone, and she still taught her class without faltering. Something strange had happened, though. She felt as though she were a different person than she was just this morning. She saw novices in a new light. It seemed as simple as reminding yourself that you were once a child too when children bothered you. She was once a novice with dreams of becoming strong and excelling. The Blight had taught her that much-needed lesson that Ellai had lacked before she came to the Tower, though. There would be things that she had no control over, there would be limits that she would not like. So, she did not act on those dreams. Maybe that lesson coupled with the newest addition to the list would help teach those girls. Maybe.


"There you are, child."


Turning around, Ay'Lira found Ange Sedai had fallen in step with her. The small sister looked straight ahead. Ay'Lira wondered what her reaction would be to her Second Arch, but it was something that she would never tell anyone. Something that she had to keep to herself. Something that was just for her.


"Good evening, Ange Sedai."


"I heard of that poor child that perished last night. I heard she was one of your students. I know that as an Accepted, you keep your worries sorted out now, but old habits die hard. How do you fare?"


It felt good to explain to the Yellow that she had fought back her fear, her worry, her guilt, and even that bit of anger, and found herself again. That level head behind the spirit, is what Ange had always called it. She had always known it was there, she had always believed in her. That was another lesson, but she could give that one to her students.


She chatted with the Aes Sedai, telling her about how her classes were going, how were studies were going. Ange Sedai seemed to think she would make a good Blue, Red, Green, or even a Gray. She had to laugh at that. Those were the Ajahs she had been considering, but it was far too early to decide just yet. She was curious about why she had mentioned the Gray. That was one she had not considered. Ange Sedai laughed.


"Child...the fact that you accepted the White Tower as part of your life after Malkier fell is reason enough," she said. "Many sisters left to avenge it...many girls with potential shunned us because we were just too late."


Ay'Lira shook her head. "The fact that the White Tower sent a party, the fact that sisters had tried...that is what matters to me."


Ange looked her in the eyes and smiled. "And that, Ay'Lira, is why you will always have a place in the Tower."


Ay'Lira made it to her room with a small smile on her face. It was a tired smile, and she moved slowly, but she smiled. She smiled for the changes in herself, she smiled for the progress she had made, and she smiled for at least having known Ellai before she went back into the Pattern.

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