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Chaos Theory [Sirayn & Nyssa] - 999 NE


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Lazy afternoon shaded somewhat toward evening in a display of subtle scarlet tones. The dying light fell hazy and rich across gardens dappled in shadow; where a chill breeze wandered it set all the bushes to whispering in their foreign plant tongue. Coolness gathered beneath shady trees and stamping out the urge to shiver instead Sirayn drew her drab shawl more tightly about her shoulders. This afternoon she had a meeting here … with a complete stranger to discuss intimate political matters pertaining to her Ajah. Not an ideal situation. Impassive, she waited until footsteps crossed the ground behind her. A quick cool glance surveyed the younger woman. “Good afternoon, Sister.â€


Near silent footsteps marked the path that Nyssa followed, through the hall, down the stairs, to the garden of Sirayn Sedai’s choice. Acting surprised as she received the summons was not hard at all, as she had been genuinely surprised. There had been talk, about her infiltration of course. Talk of who to approach. Yet to receive an opening so soon… she smiled slightly. It was fortunate that some sisters within her Ajah still knew how to work efficiently. As she stepped into the garden the small pebbles of the path creaked softly under her feet, and the grass reached up to touch the hem of her dress. Not purely white this time, as the humour of such a choice would surely be wasted on Sirayn. Instead she wore a deep indigo gown that was almost modest. Almost. She was a young sister after all. The signs of her Mayener heritage still showed in her sense of style. She also wore her shawl, not because she was intimidated by Sirayn Sedai, but because the elder Sedai would expect it. Sirayn noticed her as she approached, which ruined the element of surprise a bit. Not that it mattered, Opportunity would come. “Good afternoon, sister.†She echoed Sirayn’s greeting. “I am here, as you requested.†She shifted slightly, and pulled her Gray shawl a little closer. Ever the insecure young sister, if she had to be.


Dark haired, dark eyed and beautiful; a graceful sway and a height to tower over her. Nothing new there then. Briefly she examined the touches of some foreign culture about the other woman’s garb … by the accent perhaps Mayene or one of its southern relatives. This choice intrigued her. The name Nyssa Deschain was not entirely new to her, though they had never met directly before, and perhaps through a little gentle discovery she might ascertain what motives the Gray Sitter had had in recommending her in the first place. If she was sharp enough a new player in this great game they all played might show her identity this afternoon. “You are most gracious.†Her tones remained cool, not coloured by any feeling, and Sirayn contemplated the distant swirl of a fountain in seeming detachment. “I have requested your presence on behalf of the Gray Ajah so that we may discuss certain matters of interest. Not to put too fine a point on it I may have a task for you soon. Has anybody told you anything?â€


Nyssa kept her face as expressionless as Sirayn’s as the elder woman spoke. Not a great effort, but she had to keep in mind that Sirayn was not yet fooled, and would probably not be fooled easily either. The woman had survived a long time, after all, and unlike some of her sisters, Nyssa chose to think it wasn’t all because of sheer luck. “I am most grateful for the opportunity you have offered me Sirayn Sedai.†She said. She didn’t quite curtsy, as that would be a little too obvious. She turned too look at the other Aes Sedai’s face though. Then she looked away for a moment, before returning her steady gaze. Every move was well practised. Well thought through. She didn’t survive this long because of sheer luck either. “little was told to me about the reasons of out meeting. I can only guess. Perhaps the tensions within the Green Ajah? Perhaps a different matter of politics? I must confess I can not read your mind, and pluck the cause of our meeting out of it, even if I might wish it.â€


Most grateful was she? She wasn’t quite certain whether to take this at face value. Sirayn did not ordinarily consider herself easily swayed, but if there was one weakness she had, it was for civil and properly courteous people … but then again, the Gray Ajah was not best known for its honesty either. Registering movement from the other sister, but nevertheless moving not a fraction, Sirayn contemplated the delicately lit gardens with something like regret. Half the time Daes Dae’mar was the only fire that burned for her in this world, the only possible replacement for everything she had lost, her hand and her pride and her soldiering days; and half the time it irritated her to bits. “I see you have already heard a little.†A cool grey glance as she calculated the possibilities: what this smooth young woman might have heard, what she might have guessed, who was friendly with who. Half a hundred might want to pluck all sorts of knowledge out of her mind. That particular half a hundred Sirayn intended to hunt down and bring before the Amyrlin Seat in chains before her career was done. “I fear that my beloved Ajah is having some … difficulties, shall we say … adjusting to the current political situation? Perhaps you might lend a little Gray Ajah expertise to our … tribulations.â€


Nyssa didn’t bother to hide her smile, as a smile was quite appropriate in this case, this… act. Ajah troubles. Of course she’d heard. Even before her path had turned darker, she had made it her business to know as much as possible about as many people as possible. Her face turned solemn, as if she only now remembered that she was not here for pleasure, but for business. “Perhaps there is somewhere we can sit?†she asked, already moving over to a bench, situated close enough to the fountain to hide their words from eavesdropping. Not that she didn’t expect Sirayn to pull up a ward if she really feared the secrets of her Ajah would become public knowledge. “You must tell me more of these difficulties if I am to shine my light upon your… situation.†She said, her eyes locked on Sirayn’s face. She wondered if it would unnerve the woman.


Dark eyes so steady and intent brought back a host of unwelcome memories for her. Always the past waited with her, only a shadow’s weight away, and an instant could bring it back vivid to life. Despite the sudden chill that visited her prickling in warning Sirayn kept an iron calm about her. “Perhaps there is indeed somewhere we can sit.†The smallest trace of irony upon the words as Sirayn moved to join her young companion on the bench; straightening her skirts with a careless gesture as she sat beside the Gray Sister, two pictures of serenity on the same bench. “The Green Ajah is not so … artless as some might like to think. Not all conflicts end with a swung fist among our corridors. Some among us have a little more penchant for subtlety than that.†Ordering her thoughts, she considered the necessity of the eavesdropping ward she herself could not create; not that she would make that plain in so many stated words unless she had to. Protocol was not for her to craft it in the first place. Making her tone light she concluded: “I will speak more. Will you make us private, sister?â€


Seemingly effortlessly Nyssa created the weave that Sirayn herself could not. So effortlessly in fact that it seemed as though she was making a show out of ease. Nyssa was in no way the most powerful Aes Sedai within the Tower, but she was strong enough to make Sirayn look pitiful, except when it came to Earth weaves. Still, Nyssa also made a show of apologising for her rudeness. She had broken protocol, after all, if deliberately. Sirayn didn’t seem to feel the need to make an issue out of it. “I suppose I’m not as immune to the… stereotypes that cling to Ajah’s as I had hoped, Sirayn Sedai. I must admit I had thought that the Green Ajah stayed clear of the politics that we Grays are known for.†She sighed, as if the stereotype that clung to her own Ajah bothered her. “But I stray from the task at hand. There is strife within your Ajah. Does this come from but one person, or are there actual factions?â€


An apology scarcely served to ease her suspicion that she had been deliberately mocked in some way. It was rare to find somebody her equal in terms of basic intelligence and Sirayn found it no less disturbing to contemplate that this smooth, beautiful deceiver might be twice as sharp as she herself. “Ask a hundred people and you would gain as many answers as to where the blame lies. I like to think that no one person has brought about this … awkwardness … but rather a multitude of factors. The rise of the Dragon Reborn has put many pressures upon an Ajah dedicated toward Tarmon Gai’don. I suspect that most if not all of my sisters will not survive another five years … and they feel it as close as I do.†Distantly she recalled how close she had come to the Dragon in Tear, stalking her black sisters amid corridors and chaos, how immediate she had felt the Pattern at work. “All of us are responsible. There are, let us say, certain people who are more responsible than others. I fear the problem lies more in that some people feel that their faction, for want of a better word, has been shafted … perhaps for lack of the political skills needed to win their own war? I am not qualified to judge, not sharing their views, but I suspect there is some resentment from the … losing side.â€

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