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  • Birthday 10/07/1976

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  1. I <3 old skool. This is the bestest MumsyKat! *sighs happily*
  2. Yovela pressed her lips tightly together as she listened to the witch speak. Lies and more lies. She opened her mouth to tell her so at one point, but the witch pressed on, not letting Yovela say her piece. Yovela wasn't surprised. From what she had learned witches always thought they were more important than anyone else, so of course they thought their words were more important too. After that she stayed silent, knowing that even if she did break in to say her piece, the witch wouldn't listen. Yovela listened, however, and what she heard concerned her. The witch insisted she could channel. Insisted that they wanted to teach her control, keep her from hurting herself or others. It was rubbish. But there were a few things Yovela understood below the words. "Once you are considered safe...." Considered safe by the witches' standards, which she suspected would be much different from her own. She considered herself safe now. "You will be free to leave." Meaning she wasn't free now. Meaning she could protest all she liked, but this woman or others like her would keep Yovela from leaving until they were done with her. When the witch baldly sat looking at her waiting for her to give her name, age, and place of birth, Yovela had a moment in which she was determined to resist. She would say nothing. She would force them to call her some stupid name like "girl" and give them nothing to write in their book. Then she realized the ridiculousness of it. The witch already knew her name. She would find out any other details she wanted. Witches could pull information right out of your mind. Instead she clasped her hands in front of her to keep them from shaking, pulled her shoulders back and her chin up, and said in a voice that she wanted to believe was unwavering, "Yovela Umika, 17, Bellon, Amadicia." She said nothing more, but stood watching the witch carefully scribe her name in the book. The witch may have won this battle, but Yovela wasn't anywhere near done fighting. Yovela Umika Stubborn Novice
  3. Yovela was spiritually downtrodden. She knew the glow surrounded her just as it did all the others in the room and she knew what it meant. She was letting them teach her to be a witch. She was lost to her family, lost to her home, lost to her beliefs. All she had now were the other witches and this place she had never wanted. Them and the Source with its sweet, seductive joy that filled her so completely that she almost forgot her shame. If only she could hold Saidar every waking moment of every day. Then perhaps she wouldn't feel so broken. Saline Sedai (Yovela was shocked to discover she no longer thought of her teacher only as "the witch") was admitting she enjoyed teaching them almost reluctantly. She then went on to describe the that Power was split into different elements, an idea that had never occurred to Yovela, but that made sense when she considered all the different ways she had seen the Source used since she came to the White Tower. She took Saidar when directed to and watched Saline Sedai create her blue flame of air and fire. For a split second she felt an urge to do just what the Aes Sedai said not to -- to try and unravel a weave and blow them all to smithereens. But the moment passed quickly and she reminded herself that killing herself and others would only make her more of a witch and not less of one. Instead she followed Saline Sedai's next instruction and observed her draw an element out of a glass of water. Yovela was pretty sure the thread had the green tint her teacher said was associated with water, but she wasn't entirely sure. Then the Aes Sedai flicked the water across the room at another Novice. The Novice jumped and then stared at the liquid on her dress. "Water is all around us, in the air. Learning to pull threads of water from the air needs a certain knack, but with effort you can do it. Now everybody, I want you all to pair up and toss water at each other. No shrieking, please." Yovela drew a deep breath in. Pair up. Not words she wanted to hear. She didn't know any of the other Novices, having avoided joining in on any aspects of life she could avoid since she joined the White Tower. There was a friendly looking girl across the room, but before Yovela could move towards her, a big girl nearly as wide as she was tall stepped in front of her, a malicious gleam in her eyes. "I hear you don't want to be here," she said in a low voice. "You're too good to learn, too foolish to understand. Least I can do is make your time a bit more interesting." And with that a flow of water caught Yovela straight in the face. The girl certainly seemed to have a grasp of how to pull water from the air to the point where Yovela wondered if she was getting a little assistance from some friends sending their own weaves towards Yovela. But certainly the teacher or her assistant would have seen that and put a stop to it? Nevermind. The important thing was focusing on the rosebud, finding the source, and getting the girl wet. Yovela was able to open herself to the source quickly and when the serenity of it filled her, she suddenly didn't care if she was wet. It really wasn't as much water as it seemed, or maybe the girl was just slowing in her use of it. Yovela went to pull some water of her own out of the air, but was only able to produce a trickle. There was quite a bit of water on the floor now though, since there were girls dripping everywhere, so Yovela started pulling water from there. The thread that caught her opponenet between the eyes was particularly satisfying. Then Saline Sedai called a stop to the water fight and showed them how to funnel the water out of their dresses. There were quite a few threads of water needed to form the weave and it took Yovela a couple of tries, but eventually she was on the drier side of damp rather than dripping. She left the class with the rest of her classmates, many of them chatting and laughing about the lesson. The big girl, Yovela still didn't know her name, was glaring at her and she was pretty sure that if they had been allowed to use the Source, she'd be considerably less dry right now. It was this thought that triggered the guilt again. She had used the Power to fight with someone, even if it had just been throwing water on her. They had already taught her to use the Power aggressively and she was relatively new here. How long before they sent her into battle? How long before they threatened towns with her abilities? How long before they ordered her to destroy villages with what they had yet to teach her? How long before she would become a monster, a true witch?
  4. For two weeks Yovela had attended class and diligently formed her rosebud in her mind, just as all of her classmates had. She saw the sunlight on the petals, felt the joy, then as it faded she told herself that touching the One Power was not the same as using it. She wasn't a witch yet. Everyone could probably touch Saidar if they tried, but only witches could use it to do things. Evil things like she'd heard of back home. And she would go home as soon as they figured out that she couldn't do those things. Then came the day when the witch teaching the class broke her routine. She told the class to nod when they felt ready to move on. Yovela wasn't ready. Her heart told her she wasn't, but her body had been forcibly reminded only this morning that she wasn't here to do her own will and with her mind clouded by the euphoria of Saidar, she nodded without thought. Saline Sedai said, "I want you to imagine the sun and its warmth touching you, the rosebud." That was easy enough, since they'd been imagining the rosebud all along, but Yovela noted that they had gone from picturing a rosebud to being the rosebud. She wondered what the change signified. "Let that light fill your senses, pull more light toward you. As you bathe in the sunlight, the rosebud begins to open, embracing the warmth." Yovela let herself feel the light. Before she had pictured it as a weak morning light coming through the window pane, but today she let the light be a high sun blazing down, its warmth flooding the petals of the rose, flooding her. "I want you to release the Source, do not hold on to it." Yovela let the light fade and followed the instruction to open her eyes as the last of the warmth trickled out of her. As the witch brandished a real rosebud and asked how it felt to draw more from the Source, Yovela was forced to quash her panic. What did she think she was going to learn here, in this place where they teach witches to use the One Power? Of course they were going to teach her to use it. She had tried to leave, but had she tried hard enough? Her backside thought she had, but what was physical suffering compared to the scarring of the soul that she would face if she continued on here and let them teach her? How would she live with herself if one day they taught her enough to make her one of their ranks? Would she use Saidar to partake in all the evils the Amadacians spoke of? Would she be one of those who broke the world again? The whisper in her mind told her that she didn't need to fear these things. None of them would come to pass if she simply stopped using Saidar. But in the two weeks she had spent picturing her rosebud she'd also come to realize that those moments when the warmth filled her, she felt more right than she ever had in her entire life. It was that feeling she really needed to fear because it was that feeling that would seduce her into learning more about Saidar and into using it. The Aes Sedai turned the lesson over to the Accepted, who told them to keep practicing the technique she called pulling. Yovela would build the image of the rosebud in her mind, herself at the center, and then allow the petals to feel the warmth of the light and open to it. She herself would feel a rush of joy and serenity which would be overtaken by a rush of shame and remorse when she let go of the Source as instructed. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, but it felt so good. Perhaps that was why the Mistress of Novices had been so insistant that Yovela take this class. Perhaps she had known Yovela would be too weak to resist the pleasure. She shoved off a larger weight of guilt each time she tried to bring back the rosebud, but she still tried to bring it back each time she was instructed to because it felt so good. The Aes Sedai took charge of the class again, prepared to teach them something else new. Yovela followed the lesson, her stomach fluttering from the agitation of all her opposing emotions. She opened herself to the light, feeling the joy overtake the guilt, and held herself in the sun. Then she imagined her cloud and led it to gracefully float in front of the sun. She felt the joy dimming and for a moment her instincts took over and she banished the cloud just as Saline Sedai was saying, "Do not do that too quickly, as snapping it back can hurt." She herself experienced the pain and the surprise of it snuffed out her connection to the Source. She took a few deep steadying breaths before tentively reconstructing the rosebud in her mind and bringing it back into the sun. Saidar filled her and she sat for a moment, letting the joy bathe her, before she formed her cloud again, a small one, and let it drift in front of the sun. She felt her hold on the source dimming, but it was still there. She sent the cloud floating out of the way again and the light filled her. Practice became easier after that inital attempt, but it wasn't long before Yovela was feeling more than a little tired. When Saline finished the class, Yovela stood with the others and walked back to the Novice Quarters. It wasn't until she was in her room on her bed that the full import of what she had done today hit her. She had not only touched the Source, she had controlled how much of it she touched. She had used it. Not to break the world or destroy something or someone, but it had still tainted her. There would be no going back now. She was a witch, a fledgling witch perhaps, but still a witch. She hid her face in her pillow and wept.
  5. OOC: Holy long writers' block Batman! I'm sorry for the extended delay. :( I've been less than stable lately and kept thinking about this but not actually DOING it. Take as long as you like replying as I'm clearly in no hurry. :) IC:Winifred laughed at her questions and Talulah felt both a flash of embarassment and anger. What did she say that was so funny? Then she tensed as Winifred patted the wolf's head and he growled. Was he less tame than she thought? Would he attack now? But Winifred didn't seem afraid as she looked back up at Talulah and answered. Talulah listened carefully and thought about what Winifred was saying. She felt her mind drifting a little as Winifred said, "The moment you think you have total and complete control over them is the moment they prove you wrong." It was an interesting idea to consider, especially when she realized that until her escape from the house was discovered, her mother would have believed that she too had complete control over Talulah. She shook her head slightly and tried to refocus on Winifred. Once again she had to pull herself back to the moment when her mind started to fly away to consider who all Winifred was referring to when she said, "A term we use..." There were more people out there like Winifred? Like her? She noted Winifred's introduction of Midnight and their relationship. Companion. What exactly did that mean? she wondered, but she stifled the question for later. At least Winifred sort of explained why she found Talulah's questions so amusing -- she was suddenly glad that it seemed Midnight didn't understand speech. But then, how did Winifred talk to him? "The one next to you hasn't given me a name yet. However, that is your Companion. The one that brought you here to meet me. Do you wish me to ask for a name?" Winifred waited expectantly, but Talulah was at a loss. This wolf was her Companion? How did he become her Companion? Why her and not someone else in the village? She would have denied it outright, but there was something that felt right, that seemed to click into place, when Winifred said he was her Companion. She only reinforced that feeling when she said that the wolf had brought Talulah here. He had. She had heard him in her head. Maybe if she could hear him, he could hear her? She looked at him and thought as hard as she could the words, Hi, can you hear me? He just stared back at her, his tongue still lolling out of his mouth. Then she remembered how he "told" her to come here -- she saw pictures in her mind of herself running here to meet him. So she tried again, thinking real hard the picture of herself waving hello to him. This time she got a response. In her mind she saw an image of him running towards the waving her, tail wagging. He circled her once, then stopped, facing her. Now she had to consider the question of how you could ask someone for their name without using words. She pictured herself in the woods again, alone and calling out for the wolf, trying to infuse a questioning into it, and tried to capture the emotional flavor of "if I were to call you, what would you answer to?" It felt awkward and rediculous, but she was rewarded with what she thought was an answer. There was a gentle rain falling in a rich, green forest that smelled of earth and leaves. In the center of a small glade was her wolf, twigs snapping beneath his feet as he lept into the air to playfully snap his jaws closed around raindrop after raindrop. Talulah understood that the image was supposed to be a name, but how did that translate to words? She hesitated before she stated, almost questioning, "He's named Rainlark..." but it sounded right when she said it, so she nodded and tried to look self-assured. Another image filled her mind. She was walking through the woods, the sunbeams and tree shadows casting strange shapes of light and darkness around her. When she walked through the light she was smiling, alive and vibrantly happy. When she walked through the shadows her face was blank and she was nearly transparent. She could not change her pace or direction to linger in the brightness or avoid the shadow. Talulah understood that this was a picture of how the wolf identified her, the name he had given her, but it was even harder to translate. She wanted to cling to the part of her he had shown in the light, to give herself a shortened name that represented just that portion of the image, but she knew it didn't fit. She would be ignoring a part of herself. But she couldn't define herself by the shadows alone either. Woodwalker. It didn't neglect or focus on either aspect and in a way it pleased Talulah more than focusing on the happy side of herself would have. Her mother had drilled into her that one's actions mattered and in the image she was doing the walking, even though she couldn't control where or how fast. Talulah realized that Winifred and Midnight had just been standing there the whole time she worked on these personal revelations. She felt the heat in her cheeks as they flushed a rosy scarlet and she stammered, "I'm sorry, it's been quite some time since I've met anyone new and I've never met a wolf before, at least not one I wasn't afraid would eat me, certainly not one who could talk to me, or not talk really, but think at me I guess. Is that what it is? Thinking? Well, not in words, but in pictures. Are there words eventually? And will he read everything I think or just what I think at him?" Her eyes widened and she gasped. The silence lasted a whole two seconds before she blurted out, "You can't read my mind, can you?" Talulah fervently hoped that Winifred couldn't or it wouldn't be long before she would find herself embarassed at every turn by her own thoughts.
  6. Grats Mirsh! *snuggles* *runs around tying gray ribbons on everyone and everything in sight*
  7. Talulah was so startled by the woman's appearance that after her initial outburst about the woman's eyes, she just stayed bent over, her hand resting unmoving on the wolf's head. The woman's response was odd, but it did stem the whisp of embarassment Talulah felt creeping through her dazed mind. Her mother was often scolding her for blurting out the first thought that came to her head, especially with strangers. Talulah didn't even notice the woman was with another wolf until she turned and addressed it... him... directly. Then, in an action that defied all that Talulah knew about animals, the wolf looked straight at her and nodded in response to the woman's question. Did he understand her? And why, of all things, did she think he was feeling a bit irritated? The furry head below her hand gave her palm a nudge that helped her regroup. She blinked and gave her head a little shake. Then she ran her hand across the first wolf's head one last time before slowly pulling back to her full height. She stood facing Winifred and trying to look calm and composed. In a flash Talulah realized she had never met a stranger without her mother's presence before. It was unsettling and she wasn't exactly sure what she should do. Her mother would have told her to say nothing and just run home. But then, if she was listening to her mother, she wouldn't have left the house. She'd still be in bed with her mother fussing over her, biting her lip every time she looked into Talulah's changing eyes. Will my eyes be that color one day? she wondered, still gazing at Winifred's golden eyes. She didn't know if it was the eyes or the wolf that decided her, but she replied, "I'm Talulah," managing to keep her voice even and light. She tipped her head and looked down at Midnight. "He is a wolf, isn't he? How did you get him so tame? Oh, and is he yours too?" the last said with a gesture towards the wolf still at her side. "I've never heard of wolves acting like them before."
  8. The part of the lesson Yovela had been dreading came. The Accepted, Salandrian, was asking them to do something beyond just listening to the lesson. What made no sense to Yovela at all is how exactly closing her eyes and imagining a flower had anything to do with touching the Source. It was just a flower, right? Just a rosebud. She closed her eyes. Her uncle had brought her aunt roses once and it had been fascinating to watch the small buds open into big full flowers. They were a soft lemony yellow and smelled faintly peppery. On the first day they had been tight like little walnuts and each day the bloom swelled until a week later it was as big as her palm. Yovela thought about those roses, choosing one to focus on when Salandrian said to feel the sun on the petals. Her aunt had placed the vase of roses near a window and she could still remember being the first one downstairs one morning and seeing the dawn's light touching the soft petals. It was a moment of beauty, one quickly ended by her uncle's appearance on the stairs and his harsh demands of why she wasn't in the kitchen boiling water already. Today she didn't have to let the memory of her uncle ruin her enjoyment of the memory of the rose. She ignored the Accepted droning on and on and kept her mind on the roses and the way the sun made their petals almost glow. The thought filled her with contentment and a certain kind of joy, something she was certain she would never find in the halls of the White Tower. The tiny reminder of where she was ended the happy memory and her image of the rose was overtaken by her fears. She tried to bring the memory of the rose back, but she was tired and frustrated by her circumstances. Oh, and there was the singing. These other novices made no sense to Yovela. What was there to sing about here? Not that the girl didn't have a pretty voice, but she seemed almost happy to be learning to be a witch. Yovela was beginning to suspect that everyone here was insane. She started when she heard Saline Sedai say, "That was good touching the source, Maryam." Is that what they were doing? Is that what this rose talk was about? But how did visualizing a rose have anything to do with touching the source? And the Aes Sedai seemed to be implying that they all had done it. Even me? Yovela wondered, trying to ignore the small part of her that felt the truth of it. She listened to Saline's comments about Saidar and its addictive properties with only half her mind as the other half reviewed the moments when she had focused on her own rosebud. She was brought back into the moment and let out a squeak when Saline began to glow and then shot violet flames from her hand. Would she ever see someone channel without that feeling of ants crawling down her spine? She was afraid she wouldn't and she already knew that they intended to keep her here for years and years. Could she survive it untainted? She was beginning to suspect she could not. She followed suit when her classmates stood and filed towards Accepted Salandrian. She took the paper with her name on it when it was given and meekly followed with the group headed to the library. Books she could handle, even if they were about channeling and women who could channel. She looked at the first name on her list and opened a book.
  9. Yovela flinched when the Aes Sedai's response to her story was sympathy and, if she was not mistaken, a desire to comfort. It had to be a trick. This woman was one of the witches of the White Tower. People back home whispered all the time about how the witches stole young girls to take back to their Tower. Well, maybe not all the time since most people were afraid of them, but enough that Yovela had heard it from more than one source. She had also heard that the witches didn't lie, though they could twist the truth like a snake in a knot. Still, relief filled her when the Aes Sedai said directly that arrangements would be made to return her to her family. There wasn't a way out of that was there? No, she'd said it clearly. Yovela could go home. Then the witch pulled a palm sized green gem out of her desk. She held it with some level of respect and that scared Yovela. What would the stone do to her? She tensed as the woman rounded the desk and came to kneel before her. Wasn't that odd? Why did she kneel? What did the witch want from her? "Fear not child, I shall not channel anything, and you will not be harmed. All you need do is focus on the stone. That is all." Her words were simple and she made the process sound safe, but Yovela didn't trust what she heard. She picked apart the phrases in her mind trying to hear what the woman wasn't saying. That got her nowhere. She looked at the woman's smiling face, then sighed and looked at the stone in her hand. Hearing the woman's words of encouragement just after her eyes touched the stone made Yovela harden. She didn't want the witch telling her that she was doing a good job or that she just needed to relax. She didn't want to be doing a good job for an Aes Sedai. Yovela nearly ripped her gaze away from the stone right then, but then she reminded herself that she couldn't leave until after she took this test to the witch's satisfaction. She sighed again and did her best to relax. A flash in the stone startled her. What was that? She didn't have much time to think about it because it was then that the Aes Sedai stood and spoke. "Well well, it appears you can learn to channel after all, Yovela." Yovela's mouth went dry and her breath caught. The tension built in her body until she let go of her breath in a huff of air. "No," she choked out. "It was you, not me. You just want to keep me here. You want to trick me. You witches steal girls. Everyone knows it. But you can't steal me. I won't stay." Each phrase was cut off by a pant of air being sucked into her lungs. Her knees shook too hard for her to stand, but it probably didn't matter since the witch could clearly stop her if she tried to leave the room. She settled for setting her face in a determined glare and declaring, "I cannot channel" as firmly as her shaking voice would allow.
  10. Yovela looked at the chair the woman had gestured towards doubtfully, but she felt a little politeness couldn't hurt to get the process moving, so she sank into it with as much grace as she could muster. Her calm facade was shattered as soon as she realized the woman was making tea without a fire or stove. Her hands started to shake. She tried folding them tightly together to make them stop. Though it helped, she was still shaking when the witch set the tea down in front of her. Yovela kept her eyes on the tea as the woman rounded her desk with her own cup and took her seat. "It sounds as though you haven't had the best of journeys. Drink and tell me all that happened. We can deal with testing later." Yovela heard the words, but she couldn't reconcile what she knew about the witches with the kindly voice this woman was using. Maybe the tea water had been warm all along. Maybe.... no. The woman was waiting for an answer and Yovela was pretty sure she didn't want to know what would happen if she refused to give it. She needed a sip of tea to loosen her dry tongue in her mouth, so she reached for her cup, concentrating on controlling her shaking arm. She brought the cup to her mouth and sipped, letting the calming mint soothe her as much as it would, which sadly was not much. For a moment she considered holding the cup to warm her hands and keep the smell of the mint closer to her face, but reluctantly she returned the cup to the table. She wouldn't risk burning herself if she were startled somehow or if her shaking worsened. The woman was waiting for her to speak, so Yovela cleared her throat and started. "My uncle sent me to the market. We live in Amador. That's in Amadicia. Anyway, I went to market for him often, so that was normal, but before I got there, a cart passed by me and a man in the back of it yanked me up into it. He tied a cloth around my face before I could get a good look at him and that cloth stayed until last night. There was always someone watching me, so I never could take it off. Even when I was sleeping. They would tie my hands for a day each time I tried. They even fed me themselves so that I would have no reason to put my hands near my face. I heard their voices though. There were three of them, all men and all without accents so they were most likely from Amadicia as well. I was taller than one of them and about the same as the other two, I think. One of the taller ones was rather wide as well. "Yesterday the three brought me to another man, the one who brought me here today. He owns an inn in town. I stayed in a room with no windows in his inn last night. They locked the door and let me sleep alone without the blindfold and gave me food. When I woke up in the morning they fed me again, not bothering to hide themselves from me. Then the innkeeper led me out of the inn and his two men grabbed my arms and hauled me here. I didn't want to come," she added defiantly. "They lied about why they brought me here," she continued. "I can't channel and if the men who nabbed me were merchants, then I was their only trade for this trip. The woman who brought me here said you'd send me home?" She tried to be firm and keep the question out of her voice, but she feared the White Tower and its inhabitants and saying it directly sounded demanding. There was no telling whether or not this woman was currently unstable, but Yovela wasn't going to risk irritating her and finding out. "My uncle's business hasn't been doing as well as he would like and he's probably missing my help sorely by now." She hoped she had said enough that the woman would send her home soon. She would have the whole voyage to figure out what to tell her family, but for now, all she needed to do was convince this one woman not to keep her.
  11. Yovela followed the woman in the banded dress down the hall at a fast clip. She repeated the woman's words in her head like a mantra. If your story is true and you cannot channel, then there is no harm in being tested. Come girl, it is simply a formality that will take only minutes. Those who do not test true are sent home if that is what they wish. It was that last part that she cared about. She wanted to go home, though there would be quite a lot of explaining to do once she got there. She was a good Amadician, raised in the truths cast by the shadow of the Children of the Light, and just being in the White Tower was enough to send fear flying through her soul. The witches were going to test her somehow, a thought that was chilling enough, but there was a greater fear implied in the woman's words -- that they might not let her go depending on what their test revealed. Yovela shook her head, the action sending her chin-length dark curls flying. She wouldn't think of that. She needed to concentrate on how she could explain her absence once she got home. She didn't think she could admit she had been kidnapped because then everyone would want to know how she had escaped and why she had been taken. She couldn't answer the second question herself. She could try and make up the answers, but she never had been a very good liar. She was still pondering her options when the woman leading her stopped and rapped on a door. A voice called from inside, "Enter." Yovela followed the woman into the office and stopped two paces behind her. "This girl was brought to the front gate by some men claiming she could channel and needs to be tested," the woman said. "It's not true," Yovela burst out. She immediately wished she had held her tongue, but she charged on instead. "They kidnapped me, hauled me all the way here from Amadicia in a bumpy wagon bed, blindfolded, then dragged me here this morning. I've never channeled in my life and I wouldn't if I could!" She was unable to keep the disgust out of her voice at the last phrase, but she hoped the witches would let it pass. The woman in the banded dress cleared her throat and continuted, "Yes, well, I told the girl that I'd bring her here to be tested and if she truly can't channel, we would send her on her way if that is her desire." The woman behind the desk dismissed the one who had led Yovela here. It wasn't until Yovela was alone with the ageless woman that she realized that this was the person who would be deciding her fate and she had no idea how exactly the woman would do that.
  12. Yovela stood outside the classroom door with her eyes closed, her hands at her sides clenched in fists. She breathed in to calm herself, hoping that when she opened her eyes, this would be the time that she woke up and that all her nightmares about coming to the White Tower would be over. If only this were a dream. She knew it wasn't, so she steeled herself for the despair she would feel when she did open her eyes. She heard footsteps on the hard floor coming towards her, so she opened her eyes and entered the classroom without a look anywhere but in front of her. The less she saw, the better she felt, though she had no doubts by now that they wouldn't allow her to return home until they were finished with her. These Aes Sedai were quite insistent that she be trained. They would have been her greatest fear if not for the fact that she feared becoming one of them even more. Other girls entered, but Yovela didn't really make any efforts to socialize. These girls wanted to be here, or at least seemed to. They hadn't been kidnapped and brought here without their consent. Okay, so there really was no way for Yovela to know that since she hadn't talked to any of the others at any length, but she thought her circumstances were unusual enough that no one else was in the same boat. At least no one else seemed to be Amadician. The Aes Sedai who was teaching the class entered and gave an introductory speech. Yovela listened as she spoke, but did not take notes. She found herself contrasting what this woman was telling her with the facts she had known all her life. The Aes Sedai made what the witches did sound natural, as if they had a right to touch the Source and use it for their own wills. Look what had happened when the men used the Source the way they wanted! This woman knew the story and yet thought there was nothing wrong with teaching a bunch of children to wield such a dangerous weapon. It was like giving a baby a butcher's knife to use as a teether. She gave her name to the Accepted when the woman requested it. Her seat was in the middle of the room. She felt there was no sense sitting in front, when she didn't want attention, or in the back where she might be considered delinquent or hiding and thus draw attention as well. The middle was the safest, but when the Accepted looked at her face, Yovela wondered if anywhere was safe. A simple seating choice wasn't going to protect her from what they wanted her to learn, what they wanted her to do. She tried to control the shiver of fear that shook her, but she was pretty sure the Accepted saw it.
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