View Full Version : The Flame to Cairhien, Part 3A

11-05-2009, 04:16 AM
A guard paused in front of the room that held Ven D’Vere and glanced at his companions, they nodded and he slammed the door open abruptly. The channelers immediately shielded him as they all entered. Four more men in plain workman's clothes came in bearing a simple wooden table and two chairs that took up most of the rest of the space in the room. As soon as they were in place, the guard dropped the tray loudly on the newly placed furniture.

"Get up and make yourself presentable," the guard ordered. "The Flame comes. You will remain shielded until the Flame decides your fate, I would suggest not causing trouble."

The guard turned to leave and then paused. "It is only at the Flame's sufferance that there is no forkroot with this. I would see you Severed for consorting with Darkfriends were it up to me, but the Flame knows best and I trust the Flame."

He left the room and another guard entered in addition to the three channelers who stood in three corners of the room cross-legged on the floor.

Sitting up, only half-awake, Ven D'Vere glanced around as the guard who spoke left the cell. At least there's no Forkroot in the tea this time. A small favor. He was still shielded, but that wasn't quite as bad as Forkroot Tea, somehow...

Trying to ignore the channelers who were watching him like hawks, Ven splashed some cold water on his face, and straightened his clothes, the unrelieved black of the Ashaman uniform.

Then, he gladly sipped the tea, and picked up a slice of bread, grateful, after the injuries, and Healing, of yeaterday, to have some food to eat...

There wasn't much more to do than that, he realized. She wants to talk to me...

On the one hand, this was the woman who had brought down the Light Tower. Although the loss of life had been minimal, a few Aes Sedai and Asha’man had left the Tower a bit too slowly, and died for their slowness, and the one woman who had been made up to look like her, the one Calliste had found, Ven remembered.

Somehow, that had felt wrong, [/i]someone else taking advantage of the situation?[/i] Somehow, Ven knew someone else had done that. Mordeth, most likely, in an attempt to sow yet more chaos.

But the Aes Sedai's deaths were the fault of the one who had brought the Tower down. Yet, something in Ven hesitated to call it murder. Manslaughter, or negligent homicide, definitely. But Murder? Not very likely.

I will need to find out everything I can about her. There's more to this than I know. I need to understand WHY she did what she did.


Danette and Phoenix left the room and headed towards where Kyra had said that Ven had been put the day before, she had a suspicion Dycin would be along sooner or later to accompany her, but didn't have time to wait for him. They moved through the corridors in silence and Danette saw the guard coming away from his room. As soon as he caught sight of her he bowed deeply. She spoke to him quietly for a couple moments and frowned at his response. "Have someone bring up some more food for him, he was Healed of serious injuries and I would not see him further harmed for lack of sustenance."

The guard looked suprised and then nodded. "As you command, the Light illumine you."

"And you," Danette said and covered the rest of the distance to the door.

She paused in the doorway and glanced over the spartan room and frowned ever-so-slightly, but not at Ven. Silently she entered and all of the inhabitants of the room bowed deeply. She gave them all a gracious smile, but her amber eyes were fixed on the Asha'man. "Give me the care of the Shield," Danette ordered the channelers. "I would speak with him with fewer ears in the room. Phoenix should provide enough of a guard for now."

She embraced the source and wove a Shield herself and then nodded at the others and the other Shield dissolved. They reluctantly left the room and shut the door behind them. "I do apologize for the quarters, I gave orders that you were to be treated kindly if carefully watched. There will be another tray of food coming up here shortly."

She took her time and arranged herself in one of the two chairs smoothing the vibrant red of her gown as she contemplated how to start their conversation. "I suppose we can start with introductions, though you obviously seem to know me," Danette finally said, she wanted badly to pretend that she knew everything, but any attempt would likely fall flat. "I know little but your name and I'm not even sure how I know that. So, please, your full name and rank?"

The Asha’man rose to his feet, and made a quick little bow. "I am Ven D'Vere, Light tower Ashaman of the Blue Order."

“Blues meddle in causes," Danette murmured the words almost under her breath, but not quiet enough the Asha'man wouldn't hear it.

She glanced up her amber eyes intent on him. "Tell me, Asha'man of the Light Tower, why have you not demanded that I return you to your… Towers?"

Danette couldn't help the slight twist she put on the word Towers.

"Well...Danette Sedai..." Van paused, then began again. "First of all, Danette Sedai, I wasn't given much opportunity to demand, or even ask nicely, about being returned to my Tower. People here seem to distrust me, and I don't even know what it is I've done to arouse such ill will. If I may ask...Why?"

Danette considered as he posed his question. "Because they are the Towers, because they are so-called followers of the Light banding together with the Shadow - the antithesis of all that those following the Light believe," she replied. "There are other reasons I'm sure, I just don't know them."

She shrugged her tiny shoulders, "As for returning to the Towers, you are correct about not being given a chance to make your request or demand."

"It wasn't done lightly," Ven D'Vere countered. "In fact, I do believe you were the one who made that particular decision. I believe it had to do with fighting Mordeth, who was more of a danger then, and still is now, I might add, than the Shadow was. But this was before my time, and I may have gotten my facts wrong."

The statement seemed almost true, but Danette's eyes went distant as if she were considering something else. "Sometimes decisions you make turn out to be the wrong ones," Danette murmured and then shook her head as if to bring herself back into reality. "Tell me, Ven D'Vere, what would you like to do if you are not permitted to return to your Towers at this time?"

Van paused, obviously deep in thought at how to answer the question. "I am an Ashaman of the Light Tower. My oaths have been always to the Light. If you wish to do the Light's work, then I suppose I could be happy working with you."

"Could be happy working with me, eh?" Danette couldn't help the wry smile that curved her lips at his words. "I suppose that could do for now, but I still do not know how far I can trust you. Trust anyone for that matter, except Dycin and maybe Kyra..."

The last sentence was pitched low so that it would be difficult to hear and her eyes flickered over the room. "I will not keep you from your Towers forever," there was the twist on the word Towers again, "just until something happens."

Danette did not specify what that something was or when it would occur, she herself didn't know when, but she did not wish him to store up too much resentment against her for keeping him from the Towers. Light knows there were enough people out there who resented her for things she couldn't even remember doing, but she knew that she wouldn't stop doing what she felt was right.

"Following the Light..." Danette murmured half to herself, "I wonder what kind of battlefield that is going to lead me through this time--Lights knows there's enough fields out there right now to begin with."

"Until something happens?"

Ven repeated her words curiously and Danette glanced at him through a screen of auburn bangs as if carefully considering her answer. "Yes, until something happens," she said, "I will not be specific because I don't know when it's going to happen and I would not give you false hopes of leaving sooner rather than later. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills and eventually it may weave you back to your Towers. Until then, I am faced with a dilemma."

She rose from her chair and Phoenix stepped out of the way. Momentarily Danette was startled she'd almost forgotten the other woman was there, but she quickly recovered. She began to pace the length of the room. There was a polite knock on the door and then it opened admitting Amber with a large covered tray. Danette paled slightly at her appearance and bit her lip, anger lightly staining her cheeks even as she avoided the doll-like eyes. "Whoever did that to her, I will kill," she growled, her hands clenched and her knuckles went white.

With difficulty she brought her mind back to the problem at hand, she would have to solve the mystery of Amber later. "I serve the Flame," Amber said brightly. "There is food now for you."

"Thank you, Amber, please see to the laundry Kyra asked you to do," Danette said gently and urged the girl out of the room.

The girl nodded even as the door closed and Danette focused her gaze on Ven. "Eat, I'm sure the Healing still has you feeling like you haven't had a crumb all day."

She went back to her pacing and Phoenix eyed her worriedly. Finally Danette came to a halt and turned to face him. "There are two possible solutions to the current problem," she announced and held up one finger. "First, I can leave you here and either shielded or dosed with forkroot until such time as I can allow you to return. Or..."

A second finger joined the first. "You can swear an Oath that you will not harm anyone unless I give you word that you can and obey and follow my direction until such time that it becomes possible to return to your Towers, which I swear to you by the Light and my hope of salvation and rebirth will eventually come."

After her words, silence reigned and she regarded Ven with steady amber eyes.

Ven D'Vere stared back at her, obviously trying to ignore the aroma of roast beef, beans, and tea, that arose from the covered tray.

As quick as thought, he dropped to his knees before Danette. "I swear, by the Light, by my hope of Salvation and rebirth in the Light, that I shall obey, not harming anyone unless at your behest, and follow your orders until I may return to my Tower."