A Diverging Point (Fanfic, WIP)

Tel'aran'rhiod and Portal Worlds
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Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

A Diverging Point (Fanfic, WIP)

Post by Leala » April 10th, 2016, 7:52 pm

((Contest entry))

Ri's heart beat in time with the explosions happening all around her. Her head floated in disbelief as she stared at the silver collar on the ground, open, exposed, and empty. She saw the delicate prongs and bits of metal that had held fast around her neck for five years. She followed the sleek metal length of the a'dam to her sul'dam's wrist. Lumanin was a picture of anger, but Ri could only stare in wonder as her sister demanded that she pick the a'dam and put it back on. Her bright orange hair was beginning to poof around her face like a candle flame as she stomped her foot and pointed dramatically at the collar. Two figures stood next to them: the woman bathed in a glow, wielding the same power that Ri had been made to use, and a man with the grace of a warrior with a cloak that changed at each movement. "Ri!" No. Not Ri. "You put that back on right this instant! Can you hear me? Have all these years made you that dumb?! Have I actually successfully made you a dumb animal? You do it right now, Ri--"

"No!" she shouted, filling herself with power, reveling in the absence of pain and control. She felt the flames in her eyes that she could not see herself. "I am not Ri!" she declared, using the power that filled her. Readying the weave, she watched as Lumanin's green eyes, the part of her that she could not change to make different from Ri's, widened in fear. "I am TORIANIN!!" She allowed the columns of Air and Fire to meet, creating the biggest lightning strike of her life. She felt stunned when she saw the body of her sul'dam lying there, unresponsive and singed. Had she killed her? She did not care for the moment.

She turned, and she saw the woman surrounded by the glow of Saidar hold out her hand. "Come with me. I can bring you to safety. I can offer you a much better life as Aes Sedai." The woman's dark eyes flicked nervously to the body of Lumanin for a moment, then back to Torianin. In that moment, she felt powerful. She had just taken down the woman who had sought to oppress her. In front of her lay a life of uncertainty. What was an Aes Sedai? And as for safety, well... She could see forced closing in, even if they weren't there. A sudden panic took her and she shook her head, backing away. She channeled again, but this time, she wove Spirit, a lot of it. She had seen this be used, but not many times. She thought of a place far from here, but not in Seanchan, and not with people. A forest, somewhere remote. A glowing white column appeared and quickly shot open, and Torianin threw herself into the woods. As she gateway closed behind her, she saw the woman throw her hands up before turning around. When the gateway closed, she wondered what she had just refused, but more than that, she wondered where she was.

~~~

Torianin must have sat under the same tree for hours, just running her hands over her neck, constantly reminding herself that she was free. There was no fear. There was no numbness. There was nothing. There was her, there was the woods, and there was nothing. She heard birds chirping and singing in the trees, she smelled the fresh grass, and she could see squirrels climbing the trees, and for the first time in five years, she was free to think what she wanted. And what she wanted to think was...nothing. She wanted to care about nothing. Not about the needs of her sul'dam or the Empire, not about the state that she left her twin in, not about the other life that she had turned down...nothing. This nothing made her tired, and she began to drift off, but before she did, she channeled once more and erected a shield of Air around her, just in case another denizen of the forest found her interesting.

~~~

As the days went on, she awoke more and more relaxed. She had trained herself to wake without flinching or too lounged before. Sleeping on the forest floor was uncomfortable, but being without the a'dam made up for it. She had been starving the first day without food, but she quickly hunted and prepared with Air and cooking with Fire. There were a lot of omens in the forest, but she began to ignore them. Most of them were telling her of regret anyway. She did not regret being free of the a'dam.

~~~

The family that took her in were very kind. They didn't seem to mind that Torianin was from Seanchan, just as long as she "walked in the Light." She agreed to it, but she would have agreed to anything if it would get her a bed to sleep in and some clean clothes. She had been wearing the same grey dress for too long. She had washed it in whatever water she could find, but it was rough and too loose now. The family's daughter had just married, and they offered some of her old clothes. She wore the borrowed dress with gratitude and kindly did what the couple said. She was quiet about her past, just relating that she had run away from a bad situation. She didn't want to think about her time in the collar.

Torianin stayed with Dethille and Calvar, happily helping the couple where she could. She learned how to cook from Dethille, and Calvar gave her advice about men. It was a bit strange, but it was better than the collar. Anything was better than the collar.

"Torianin, dear," Dethille said with a jovial smile on her face. "I have some wonderful news! Our daughter is coming tonight, and she's bringing her husband. She said that she has an announcement. Oh, I wonder what it could be!"

She had never met their daughter before, and the prospect of someone closer to these people than her was disheartening. She hesitated for a moment, but she showed the woman a bright smile. "That's wonderful!" She could hear in her voice that she didn't feel this happy, but she tried. Dethille heard it too and sat down next to her, holding her tight, reminding her of how the Light would protect her.

Dethille and Calvar spoke of the Light a lot. She assumed that "walking in the Light" meant that she behaved in a good way, a way that did not harm others. But, as she began to listen to her new family, she heard tones and saw postures that indicated she would learn soon enough. In the mean time, she would obey their word and look after them.
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