Actions & Consequences (closed)

The everyday life of the inhabitants of the Grey Tower. This board is for general daily roleplay around the Tower, in the corridors, rooms and halls that make up most of the building.
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"The Fires of Heaven"
Posts: 269
Joined: July 15th, 2015, 3:32 am
PC: Tamora el'Galina (Aes Seadi)
SC: Talithia (Accepted)
TC: Dianlinn (Ji'val)
Location: Essex Coast, UK

Actions & Consequences (closed)

Post by Lou » October 27th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Image Tala was standing in a brightly lit field, not from sunlight, as the moon was full and high in the sky, but lit from the candles and torches set about. The Camp was all set up, and people were finishing up with their dinners and settling down for a night to music and dancing. I get to dance the Tiganza tonight, though I am not sure who I want to dance it for yet. She felt the excitement bubbling up in the middle as she fussed with her shawl and skirts, not stopping until she looked perfect. When she heard the low drum neat begin, she smiled and began to head towards her big night. She was about to round the side of one of the Wagons, when something about the drum beat stopped her. That’s not the normal beat, it’s too fast, it does not sound right…more like a knuckle on the door.

A Door….?

Sitting up in bed with a gasp, Tala looked around her small white room, and noticed it was still in darkness. Frowning, and rubbing the sleep from her eyes, it took her a moment to realise that she could still hear the knocking coming from her door. It’s not even dawn yet! She groaned as she stood, the pain in the rear sending red flashes of pain in her mind as she shambled towards the door. I cannot believe the Mistress of Novices switched me! Like a small child! Forgetting that she was only dressed in her sleeping shift, she pulled the door open with an irritable yank, a glared fixed on her face for who ever had woken her at this un-holy time of the night.

As the door opened, revealing a very unhappy looking woman, Tala just managed to keep the glare from her face, and lowered her eyes, but not before the ageless face and the yellow fringed shawl burned themselves into her mind. She did not know the pale blonde woman before her, but she did recognise the look of displeasure on her face. Light, I wish I had woken up quicker. Standing there, in only her sleeping shift, she gave a deep curtsy and opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by an impatient hand gesture from the older woman.

“Not only did you leave me standing here rapping on your door, you have not even done your morning chores yet, shame on you child.” Her voice was a harsh whisper, and Tala flinched back like she had been scolded by the voice. If the woman noticed Tala’s flinch, she did not make voice to it. “The Mistress of Novices was right about you, I think. Though why I have to help administer your punishment is beyond me.” Tala could hear in the Aes Sedai’s voice that she did not want to do this anymore than Tala did (not that she knew what she was to do yet) and she knew that was going to be bad for her. The woman before her looked lost in thought for a moment before turning back to Tala, and fixing her with an icy glare. “Well, unless you are coming to the Infirmary dressed in your sleep shift, I suggest you run, and wash and dress. I am not going to stand here and wait much longer for you, child!” She sniffed at the end of the sentence, and folded her arms over her small chest.

Tala quickly nodded and dashed back into her room, pulling at her shift as she went. She knew she did not have time to wash, or to clean her room properly, and she knew that meant that she would have to do it when she was released from the infirmary, when ever that would be. Pulling open her small cupboard, she reached in and pulled out a clean and fresh Novice dress, and a fresh pair of white slippers. She pulled the clothes on quickly, not even sparing a glanced in her faded and marked mirror until she began to run her brush through her long dark hair. I should not have to be treated like this, not for just trying to touch Saidar. She still felt like her punishments for being caught were more than unfair, but she knew better than to voice that opinion. Grabbing a white ribbon, she quickly tied her hair back, and smoother her slightly sweaty hands down her skirts. Ready, well, ready as I’ll ever be.

The infirmary was somewhere that Tala had not needed to visit in her short time in the Tower. It was bright, clean and smelled of bleach and cleaning herbs, and not a surface had a mark of a flack of dirt on it. Tala followed the unnamed Aes Sedai, (as she had not been brave enough to ask her name yet) through the hallways, past the closed room doors, and the open wards. It was larger than she had expected it to be, and that surprised her a little. What could they possibly want all these rooms for? Why when the Aes Sedai can Heal almost anything.

As they passed a tired looking Accepted, a man from Andor by his colouring, stepped out of their way, and he offered a bow and a mumbled “Morning, Saffron Sedai.” So that’s her name! Tala saw the look on the man’s face, and when he met her eyes he made a small wincing expression. Tala pouted a little, and continued to follow the now named Aes Sedai down the hall. Where am I going, and what is he expecting me to do?

Saffron Sedai suddenly stopped before a door, and turned to look at Tala, she almost bumped into her, and luckily came up just short of doing so. She watched as the woman folded her arms over her chest once again, but this time she had a small smile on her think lips. “This morning we had a recruit brought in with wounds he had suffered from a mission out of the area. We could not save his limb, but we saved his life.” Her words sounded croaked like she blamed herself for not being able to save the limb. What limb? What recruit? Tala did not know any of them here, so she did not fear for any of her friend’s lives, only the life of a poor recruit that may never fulfil his or her training.

Tala must have looked confused, as Saffron nodded towards a cleaning station off to the left, which was full of mops, buckets and herbs. “I expect the room to be clean thoroughly; do not miss a single spot. And when you are done, you may leave for breakfast, if you finish in time that is.” The woman then walked off, and Tala was sure she could hear more than a hint of humour in the woman’s voice.

Once she was sure the woman was out of ear shot, she sighed and moved to pick up a broom, a mop, and other items she thought she would need for the tough job ahead. And all this just because I touched the One Power without permission and with some meddling Accepted or Aes Sedai. It’s just not fair!

Tala lay in her bed, feeling every lump and bump of her mattress, her sole cover feeling itchy against her skin. She had been awake for a little while now, knowing she would soon have to get out of bed to go for her next trip to the infirmary. She still found it unfair that the small amount of time she had to herself, which she had to use to sleep, was now being taken over as well. All I did was touch Saidar alone, it is not like I had done anything to drastic. She still did not understand why her punishment was in the Infirmary, and under the supervision of the insufferable Saffron Sedai. The woman has the vision of a hawk and a tongue as sharp as a dagger. She pouted a little, and sighed as she pushed herself from her bed.

Standing in the darkness, she pulled on her fresh Novice dress, the one she had left out last night to make the morning a little easier. She sat on the bed and pulled her woollen stockings on, and slipped her feet into white and clean slippers, and stood to run the comb through her long dark tresses. I wonder for how long am I going to be doing this?

Once she was dressed and ready, she left her small room, and began the long walk to where the Yellow Ajah spent most of its time, the Infirmary.

Standing outside of the office door where Saffron told her too, she could hear raised voices inside. I wonder what is going on inside there. She had been told to stand and wait for the woman who was prescribing her punishments, and she was not about to make her time here worse, no matter how long she was told to stand. She did not know who was in there with Saffron, but by the tone of the voice she knew it was a man. She could not hear what was said, but the fact there was raised voices did not bode well for Saffron’s mood when she finally did emerge to deal with Tala.

She had arrived not long before, found Saffron Sedai sitting by the bed side of a young man from Kandor, her hand resting on the lad’s brow. Tala had stood to one side, and waited for the woman to notice her, not wanting to interrupt anything she may be doing. While Saffron sat with her eyes open but glassy, obviously seeing things that were not there, Tala looked the Kandori man up and down.
His dusky skin looked feverish, and his dark hair was stuck to his head with sweat, but that did not detract from his strong handsome face.. His eyes were also closed, and she bet to herself that they were dark pools where she could lose herself in. I cannot resist a darkly handsome man. She let her eyes roam over his blanket covered body, as she followed the lines of his body. She continued to look down, until her eyes hit the area where both his legs should have been. She could follow the lines of his left leg, though the other seemed to stop just below the knee. She frowned and took a step closer, and realised that the right leg was missing from the knee down.
Trying to suppress a gasp with both her hands to her lips, she looked up into the watching eyes on the Aes Sedai. Saffron raised a finger to her lips in a gesture which told Tala to be silent, and stood quickly and silently. She had crooked a finger at the Novice, which told her to follow, and she had. She felt shaky, seeing that poor man laying there with one of his legs missing. She knew better than to ask why she was here, and just simply followed.

And there she still was, standing outside the office, where raised voices were coming from, as she nervously fidgeted with her hands, not meeting the eyes of any of the Novices or Accepted’s that passed her by. She bobbed a curtsy at the Aes Sedai that went past, as they eyed her as if she had sprouted trolloc horns or something. I am not evil, and surely not the first Novice to be caught in trying to touch Saidar?

The door next to her suddenly came open, and Tala had to blink as the blonde haired Aes Sedai came storming out of there. She could not describe it any other way, other than storming out. She quickly followed, not needing to be told to do so, and moved her legs quickly to keep on the older woman’s heels. Where is she taking me this time?

They moved through the halls of the Yellow domain, and after a while Saffron stopped outside of a closed door. She turned on her heels so quickly that Tala had to do everything she could not to trip over the woman before her. The woman’s face still looked like thunder, and her voice was as chilling as a storm wind.

“Novice Talaitha, you will be working in this room today.” Tala nodded an answer, not wanting to interrupt the woman as it looked as if she was not finished speaking yet. “Why I am to take time out of my schedule to supervise your punishment is beyond me, but the First Weaver had decreed it so, it seems we are both being punished.” She paused as her eyes softened and she looked away, as if trying to fight the memories that were ghosting in her eyes. “Inside this room is a Novice, Shiela. She will not answer you, but you can give her simple instructions, and guide her around the room.” Tala could hear a hint of sadness in the woman’s voice, and worried at what she would find in there.

“Shiela has not spoken or shown any signs of having her own mind since she was found messing with one of the ter’angreal we keep locked away. No one knows how she got in, and no one knows if her mind is simply destroyed or locked away in the necklace she now wears.” As she spoke the last, Saffron pushed the door open, and stepped back, letting Tala get a little closer to the opening, to see what was inside. I don’t want to look, I don’t want to see this. She knew the Aes Sedai would not take that as an answer, and forcing herself to take a step forward, she did and peered around the door frame.

In the centre of the room was a bed, and in that bed a woman. She was older than Tala was expecting, as she looked to be in her thirtieth year, easily. She was pale, skinny, and had long, dark and lank hair that flowed over her shoulders and chest. She was dressed in a simple white robe, and the green cover sat loosely at her waist. Those eyes, light, those eyes. It was the woman’s eyes that drew a gasp of shock from Tala’s lips, as she stared into dark green and empty pools. The woman’s eyes were open and staring, but there was nothing behind them, nothing at all. She looked to Saffron as the Aes Sedai looked on with sympathy. With a shaky voice, she managed to ask, “How long…Aes Sedai, how long has she….”

“Fifteen years, child.” That was all Saffron said, and Tala felt the horror of her words sink into her mind. Nearly all my life! She wanted to cry, to run from the doorway, but she knew she would be forced back if she were to do such a thing. “Talaitha, you will go inside, and feed Shiela her morning porridge, and after that you shall dust and clean the room. I will not ask you to wash her this day, I believe the two chores I have set will be enough.” Tala looked at Saffron Sedai with a mixture of thanks and horror. She wants me to be in there with that…thing, alone, and feed her, and then tidy? How can I go near her, it looks like her soul has gone.

Tala was brought out of her thoughts by the impatient gesture from Saffron, and she took a small step inside the room, and moved to the side of the bed where a tray sat atop a small table. On the tray was a half full bowel of porridge, and Tala picked it up and looked at the woman before her. She had not moved, not stirred an eyelash at Tala’s entrance. I cannot do this, I can’t! As she stood there, before the bed with the mindless woman on it, she found she hated the Aes Sedai at that moment. She wanted to wail at them to send her to the kitchens, make her scrub floors, anything but this. But she knew she couldn’t, she must accept her punishment.

She studied the woman’s face, looking for some sign of a mind behind the large empty green eyes, and she found nothing. The woman’s skin was pale, too pale, and her dark hair held no sign of care of life. She had small wrinkles around her eyes, and she blinked the same as everyone else Tala had ever met. What could have emptied her of who she was? Tala let her eyes drift down to the simple gold chain that sat around Shiela’s neck; it held a simple blue stone in a gold setting. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it, and she found she wanted to touch its smooth surface. She did not, however, though she wondered if holding the bowel in her hand had helped in stopping her do so.

Picking up the spoon, she blew gently on the warm food, and after spooning a little, she raised it to the woman’s lips, the bowel sat under her mouth in case, and wondered how she was to feed someone who had no mind. Suddenly, she watched as the woman’s mouth opened, ready to take the food in. Tala almost flinched back, but quickly emptied the food into her mouth, and watched the mouth closed and swallowed what was given her. Light, the body is looking after itself, but there is no one controlling it. She suppressed the urge to flee, and continued to spoon the food into her mouth. Soon the bowel was empty, and Tala stood, placing the bowel back on the tray.
As she moved around the room, wiping and dusting, she kept glancing back at the woman in the bed; sure that she was watching her. It felt like her eyes were following the Novice around the room, but every time Tala spun on her heels, and faced the woman in the bed, she could see that she had not moved.

Light, what a fate to suffer!

The darkened air saw Tala walking her way towards the Infirmary once more, though this day she had woken with plenty of time and was on her way without any bidding or prodding. This morning she had woken at the needed time, and after dressing, she had begun to make her way to the next day of her penance. She was tired, she could not deny that, but she had decided that she need to bare the penance with a dignity that was expected of her. I never sulked when given a punishment by my Mother, so why should I start now? Just because these punishments are so much bigger than cleaning the dinner pot that I am used too.

She soon arrived at the infirmary, the predawn air still holding a slight chill to it, despite how warm the days were becoming. She wished she had brought her white cloak with her, but she also knew she would be toting it around with her all day if she had. She felt nervous about what this morning would bring, and even though she knew it was naughty of her, she hoped against hope that she did not have to feed Shiela again. I cannot be in that room with that woman…if she is still a woman! She felt bad for thinking it, but her dreams had been dominated with being trapped inside herself, but not being able to talk, move or tell anyone that she was trapped. Even thinking of the dreams now made her shake a little, and bring goosebumps out on her arms.

She made her way to the office where Saffron Sedai had told her to meet in the morning, and paused. She cast a quick look over her appearance; her dress was white and smooth, her white slippers were clean and ready, and her dark tresses were tied back in a braid, something she did not do often, with a white ribbon. Light, I hate wearing nothing but white! She missed her blue and yellow skirt, and her red and gold shirt, but the Tower had made her burn those once she had signed the Novice book. She had been glad to at the time, as the clothes made her think of the Rummys Rest, and what would have happened to her there, but now she just seemed to crave some colour back in her life.

She lifted her hand to knock on the office door, and as her hand was about to connect with the wood, the door suddenly swung in and Tala came face to face with Saffron Sedai. Her pale hair was as tidy and styled as she had ever seen it, her dark green dress, cut in the Andorian style, was smooth and clean. When does this woman sleep? She did not look as hostile to Tala this day, and she greeted the Novice with a small nod of her head. Dropping her still raised hand to her side, she bobbed a curtsy at the woman, and moved to one side of the door frame, so Saffron could leave the room without having to tell her to move.

“Good Morning, child. Bright and early, I see.” The woman’s voice seemed to have lost some of its frostiness, and Tala was glad of it. Maybe it is because I have not given her any reason to dislike me anymore since my punishment began. She followed the woman, as she began to lead her down halls of the infirmary she had never visited before. She wondered what was going to be her chore for this morning, and as they moved in the opposite direction to the room where Sheila was housed she released a breath she had not realised that she was holding. Thank you Creator!

When she gestured to a door on the right, Tala had a little warning, this time, that the Aes Sedai was about to stop. She slowed and stopped one side of the door as Saffron took a position on the other side opposite to her. She smoothed out her dress as she waited for the Aes Sedai to speak. I wonder what I shall find in there today. When Saffron began to speak, her words were in more of a hushed tone then what Tala had become used to from the Aes Sedai.

“Inside the room, Novice Talaitha, is a young man from Andor. He recently took the Three Arches test.” So he is an Accepted then, Tala thought as she waited for Saffron to continue to speak. “His name is Simonn al’Barr. And it seems that he will soon be leaving the White Tower.” Tala frowned as she looked at Saffron, and then to the white door, wondering what she would find on the other side.
“Simonn emerged from the Three Arches Stilled, child, he can no longer touch the One Power.” Tala gasped and raised her hands to her mouth to try and stifle the noise that she had made. Saffron simply nodded her head, and she was sure she could see a hint of sadness in the woman’s eyes.

“Yes, it can happen, but so rarely that we forget it is a possibility. He has been here for two days now, since the test, to see if anything can be done for him, but alas, so far nothing has.” She sounded sad, and Tala thought for a moment she could understand that. Being able to Heal, and a want to help, but then to have someone you can do nothing for, it must be hard. She was brought back from her thoughts as the Aes Sedai began to speak once more. “Child, you are to go and change his bedding, and see if he needs or want anything. He will not stand to have any Accepted in there with him, though we have not tried a Novice yet. Talk to him if he wants to talk, see if he needs anything. I know the hour is early, but it seems that he has not yet slept properly since the incident.” Saffron nodded to a small station on the opposite side of the wall which held clean bedding, and after nodding at Tala, she moved off.

The poor soul, no wonder he does not want to see any of the Accepted, as he was supposed to be one by now. She felt sad for the man inside the room, and after picking up the new sheets and bedding, she moved back to the door, and knocked. She waited to a count of five, and then entered the room.

The room was bright, full of candles all over the place. She looked to the bed, and saw a red haired man sitting amongst a pile of books, his dark brown eyes were intent on what he was reading, and his pale skin seemed to make his freckles stand out all the more. He did not glance up once to look at her, and for a moment she was glad. How do I address him? She waited there for a moment to see if he would address her, and when he did not, she took a few steps forward and after clearing her throat, she decided to speak.

“Good morning, Master al’Barr. I am Nov…I am Talaitha. I am here to change your bedding, and to see if you want anything.” She spoke confidently, but not too loudly, but if Simonn heard her, he did not react to her voice at all. She took another step forward, and waited, not sure what she was expecting from him. Is he ignoring me? Or maybe he just did not hear me. She opened her mouth to speak once more, and she got about as far as “Good Morning” when those dark eyes moved from the book in his hands and fixed on her. The look on his face was full of such venom that she took a small step back. Light, but it seems that he hates me.

“I did hear you Novice…” That last word was spoken with such disgust that she felt goosebumps break out on her arms again. “As you can no doubt see, I am busy, and do not want my bedding changed right now, so why don’t you scurry off and find someone else to bother!” His words were not unkind, but the tone in his voice was, and as Tala stood there, she felt her eyes filling up with tears. She had not been looked at like that since her Father had declared her Lost. No, I will not cry before this man, he suffering is worse than mine. She took a step forward, and frowned.

“Master al’Barr, I am going to change your sheets as that is what I have been ordered to do, whether you want me to or not, so please move!” She glared at him, her voice hard but not angry. He sat there, looking more than a little shocked at her tone, and to her surprise she watched as he pulled back the sheets, and moved to a chair by the bed. He took a number of books with him, and she tried to keep her eyes adverted from him in his simple nightshirt. She moved forward and after leaving the new sheets at the end of the bed, she moved the books he had left there. She caught a look at some of the titles and they ranged from “Mysteries of the Three Arches” to “Healing Stilling and Gentling”.

Light, he is looking into getting himself Healed, he wants to touch the One Power again. She felt a pang of regret for speaking to him as she had, but then she had a job to do. She got on with her task, though every now and again she heard Simonn muttering about Channelers, and how easy they had it. When he did, she would look over her shoulder, and catch his dark eyes staring at her with unmasked anger. She wanted to get out of the room, so she found herself rushing through the task until the bed linen were all changed and fresh. She collected up the used ones, and turned to face the man on the chair. He was pointed not looking at her, and she found that suited her just fine.

“I was told to ask you if you wanted anything.” She knew she should not be addressing him in such a way, but after his behaviour she found she did not care. When his eyes flashed up to hers, she wished she had not bothered asking at all. “I want to be able to touch Saidin again, can you do that?” She winced at the words, and moved to the door, her eyes filling with tears, and without another word in his direction.

Once outside, she leaned against the closed door, holding onto the sheets tightly to her chest, and let the tears fall. Why did they have me do that, put me in there with someone so full of hate.

Carrying the tray to the allocated room, Tala wondered what she would find in there today. She had asked Saffron Sedai the day before not to send her into the room with the troubled young man, Simonn al’Barr, who had come out of the Three Arches without being able to touch Saidin at all. He had been in the Infirmary ever since, as they tried to Heal him, and he tried to find a way to have himself Healed. There had been a way discovered recently, to Heal both Stilling and Gentling, but that was to repair what someone else had severed. Simonn, from what she understood, had suffered some event in the Three Arches test, and that was different apparently, and so far had been impossible to Heal altogether. As she carried the lunch tray, holding a glass of goat’s milk and a plate covered over with a metal lid, she thought on the fact that she really did not want to be a Yellow Sister.

When….If….I ever get raised, I do not think I can stand to be here. So much they cannot help with, it would break my heart every day to see someone and not be able to help them. She had wondered about becoming a Healer, if she had had the skill for it, though now she knew it was not something she was cut out for. She knew she was not supposed to be thinking of Ajah choice as of yet, but it was hard not to think on what she wanted to be when she was raised. If I am ever raised.

She reached the door she had been sent to, and moving the tray so it balanced on her arm, she raised her right hand to the smooth wood of the door and knocked lightly with her knuckles. She counted to five in her head, and after not hearing anything from within; she reached for the handle, and pushed the door open. Ready or not, here I am. Unsure of what or who she would find inside, she moved in slowly, letting her eyes adjust to the lower light of the room.

The room was small and painted white, with a single sized bed in the middle with the head against the far fall. There was a small desk next to the bed, and a small chair on the other side. In the bed sat a girl, who did not look much older than Tala herself. She had pale, unblemished skin, with large dark eyes and think lips. She had dark rings under her eyes, and her small bird like frame was hidden under a heavy blanket. She looked at Tala with those dark haunted looking eyes as she stood in the doorway, an odd expression on her face. She looks so frail and upset; I dare not know what is wrong with her. The though scared her as she did not want to know what ailed the girl, but she knew she had to do as she had been directed to do.

Fixing a small smile onto her face, she held the tray up to the girl, and took a few steps forward. Clearing her throat, she tried to keep her voice cheerful for the woman before her who looked like she had been crying most of the night. “Good afternoon. I am Tala, Novice Talaitha. I was asked to bring you some lunch.” She held the tray up a little more and moved forward to the end of the bed. The girl continued to stare at her, something passing through her eyes as Tala used her rank title, something she could not read.

“I am Nov….um….Sheriyan Mavainian.” Tala looked at the girl, and did not like the small raspy voice, or the fact she had not used her full title. What has happened to her? Maybe she is not a Novice yet. She found it strange that Saffron had not told her the girls name or what was wrong with her before she had come to her room, like she had on the previous days she had served and cleaned around patients. What is going on here? Trying to ignore the bad feeling she had in the pit of her being, she moved around the side of the bed, and placed the tray on the girls lap.

“Pleased to meet you Sheriyan, please call me Tala.” She grinned a little, and for a moment she thought she saw the girls eyes lighten for a moment before they darkened again, almost like she had forgotten something, and then had the memory come crashing back down. Tala stood there, next to the bed and lifted the lid from the plate. There was a salad with sliced honey roasted boar. It smelled lovely, and Tala smiled to see the girl looking down at the food hungrily. At least she wants to eat, that has to be a good sign. Tala moved away from the bed and to the small chair off to one side.

The pale girl said nothing, but began to pick at her food, eating a leaf here and a small slice of boar there. She did not seem to be enjoying it, but she was eating it. Tala watched her, wondering if she should ask the girl why she was here. I do not want to be too nosey, but I do want to know. She took a deep breath and waited, watching as the girl began to wind down her eating into just pushing the food around the plate. I guess now is as good a time as any. She sat up a little straighter on the chair, and took a deep breath before speaking. “Sheriyan, why are you here? What is wrong?” She kept her words soft, and wanted to add the girl did not have to answer if she chose not to, but she guessed the girl on the bed knew that already.

Tala watched as the girl tried to sit up a little, to steel herself against something, but as she began to speak, small sobs interrupted her words, as she just could not keep them in. “I…I was trying….to…to practise with….Saidar….” As Tala felt her heart begin to break for the poor girl before her, she felt a darker part of her mind begin to understand. No, she could not have! Please, Creator, do not let her say what I think she is going to say! She perched on the edge of the chair, her hands pressed to her chest. The girl seemed to take a deep breath, and force the words out, her sobs making her whole body shake. “I….I burnt myself….out….I was alone…and I took in….too much!”

Tala just sat there, the shock of the girl’s words going deeper into her mind. She burnt herself out, by touching Saidar alone. She will never touch Saidar again. I did not think that was possible, I thought that was something they just threatened us with! She sat and watched the girl crying for a number of heartbeats before getting to her feet. She wanted to run from the room, to flee to her bed, to hide and cry and not think of this poor girl laying here. But she did not, she instead moved to the girl’s side, and wrapped her in her arms, and rocked her gently. She made soothing noises as she stroked her hair softly, letting the girl cry it all out. This could be me, that is why Saffron sent me to this room. She continued to rock her gently until the girl finally stopped crying, and began to drift off to sleep. Tala laid her gently back onto her bed, and pulled the covers up to her chin. She had drifted off into sleep, and Tala did not want to wake her. Picking up the tray in a kind of a daze, she moved from the room, and out into the Hall.

She felt numb as she walked, not sure what she should be thinking of or feeling, but knowing how scared she was. If that Accepted had not caught me using Saidar without permission, could that be me in the bed? Burnt out and alone? She felt on the edge of tears, so she placed the tray of uneaten food on the racking and began her search for Saffron Sedai. I need to find her, to ask her why she sent me in there.

After twenty minutes of searching, she found Saffron Sedai sitting at the bedside of the young man she had seen earlier in the week, the man that had lost his leg in some accident. Finally, found her. Another accident in the White Tower, and they tell us it is a safe place to be. She bit back the comments that she had been thinking as Saffron looked up at her, her light eyes seeming to bore into Tala’s green ones. She held her hand up as Tala opened her mouth, and waved her to follow away from the man lying in the bed. Tala nodded her head, offering a curtsy, and followed the Aes Sedai. She caught the eye of the man in the bed, and when he flashed her a dark but brilliant smile, she found herself smiling back before she knew it. He does have very pretty eyes. She quickly followed Saffron from the ward, and out into the small garden attached to the Infirmary.

Saffron led them both to a small bench, where she sat down, and motioned for Tala to do the same. She did, reluctantly, folding her hands into her lap as she waited for the Aes Sedai to speak. Time passed them, and Tala wondered if she should start first. Is she waiting for me to tell her I know why she set me the tasks she did? Finally plucking up her courage, she took in a deep breath and spoke.

“Saffron Sedai, I know why you have been assigning me the people you have been.” She spoke softly, waiting to receive the backlash from the woman. It did not come; instead Saffron nodded and made a hand gesture for her to continue. Well, that is something at least! “I know you have had me see people who have suffered in the Tower, those who had suffered at the hands of the One Power and items of the One Power.” Tala watched as Saffron nodded her head slowly, waiting for Tala to continue to speak. She is not making this easy on me!

“I understand now that the rules are there for my protection, and not to keep us under control. I can see the dangers now, have seen them with my own eyes.” She could still feel the tears in the back of her eyes for Sheriyan, Simonn and the others she had seen this week. “I will swear any oath you wish that I will not do so unsupervised again.” She meant those words, with all her heart.
She watched Saffron sit there, looking rather pleased with herself. She stood, and motioned for Tala to stay seated as she looked down at her. “Well then Child, I guess your Penance here is done. I shall send a report to Candance on your behalf. I just hope you take this seriously, Child.” And with the last word barely from her lips, Saffron turned and headed back inside.

Sitting alone on the bench, she tried to get the thoughts of the people she had seen there this week, and instead tried to focus on how she would be a model Novice from now on.
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