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Gee, I wonder if this is going to hurt... *smiles* (Attn Sylos)


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#21 Nynaeve

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:26 PM

Evelyn arrived late. She had no real problem with letting Sylos wait. Let him wait. Let him drown his mind with thoughts of what she had in mind for him. He would never manage to find out what her plan was, of course. No. But the worry would no doubt burn a hole in his calm. And that's exactly what she was after. She wanted to make him nervous. She wanted to make him sweat.

When Evelyn finally made it she situated herself in front of Sylos, not saying a word. She wore a blank expression. Her forehead was covered by a thin bandage that circled her head. It seemed to be healing up nicely. She still got headaches here and there, but there was no avoiding that. A hot shower and some tea usually managed to help ease her.

"In our last session we got into the last lesson there is to learn. Balance. The exercise remains the same in its basics, so there is no need for me to repeat myself and be redundant. Take your place." Evelyn turned around, suppressing a small smile. She grabbed a bucket filled with stones and rested it next to her.

She spoke up, suddenly, regarding Sylos. "Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I'm afraid you will have to perform this exercise as nature ordained it." Sylos stared at her in confusion. But Evelyn never blinked. "Strip."



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#22 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:50 PM

"Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I'm afraid you will have to perform this exercise as nature ordained it. Strip."

Sylos stared at his instructor for a very long time after she finished talking- so long he had a feeling he was skirting insubordinance. But he wasn't exactly comfortable taking his clothes off in front of women he didn't know well- and that was without the bandage on Evelyn's head to remind him that the woman wanted her revenge. He supposed she could just be planning to hurt him more by removing the limited protection of his clothes, but he had an awful, sneaking suspicion that his wounded instructor had something much more vicious in mind.

He tried to run through all the possible scenarios in his head of what she might be plotting. It was still quite early, so it qas unlikely she would planning on gathering large numbers of the Children here to watch- and even if she was, he could pre-empt it by failing the test quickly. He hoped. After staring at her for a little while longer, he sighed and let the uniform cloak across his shoulders fall to the ground and began pulling off his shirt.

"I can see a certain amount of reason behind all this, though I suspect you haven't quite forgiven me for your self-inflicted head wound there, I have a question for you before we get too much more intimate. Is there any particular reason I have to be unclothed for this activity? And for that matter a particular reason why you don't? Equality is rather a large part of the Children's ethos, I believe."

#23 Nynaeve

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 03:24 PM

"I can see a certain amount of reason behind all this, though I suspect you haven't quite forgiven me for your self-inflicted head wound there, I have a question for you before we get too much more intimate. Is there any particular reason I have to be unclothed for this activity? And for that matter a particular reason why you don't? Equality is rather a large part of the Children's ethos, I believe."

Evelyn made an effort to avoid frowning, smoothing her expression to perfection. "The ethos of the Children, as you call it, is based upon obedience. When a superior commands, you follow suit. That's all your pretty little head need worry about." Evelyn caught herself before blinking visibly. Pretty? Where did that come from?? She decided to go on, ignoring the remark.

"I say jump and you ask how high, recruit. Any other response is a waste of time in your already pathetic life. So do yourself a favor and keep that chatter hole sewn shot. And hurry up, I don't have all day." Evelyn never looked away as Sylos undressed. He didn't exhibit any visible sign of discomfort by her order, but he did move a bit awkwardly at times.

"Oh, just in time." Evelyn smiled at the approaching recruit, which of course made her twice as nervous. She handed Evelyn a bucket and bolted away after being dismissed. The bucket was filled with ice. Squares and squares of ice. Picking one up, she smiled at Sylos as he finally finished undressing. "I just thought I'd make this a little more interesting. Assume the stance, I wish to start."



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#24 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:20 PM

Several thoughts ran through Sylos' mind as he undressed, not least of which was 'this cannot possibly end well'- followed shortly by 'maybe it can, actually', as a plan began to form in his mind. He had been briefly concerned  as the female recruit showed up, but she vanished so quickly he suspected she hadn't even noticed him. He finished stripping in time to hear Evelyn say she simply wanted to make things 'interesting', and felt fear grip him even before he turned around. The ice worried him when he first spotted it, but quickly came to feature prominently in his plan he set his feet apart and balanced himself, doing his best to ignore the fact that he was naked in front of his female commanding officer. He decided, as he thought about it, that it was probably for the best that she had told him to shut up instead of going along with him- this way was actually likely to be less embarassing in the long run.

There were three advantages to the ice- firstly, it was much less likely to injure him. Secondly, since he had rediscovered some of his old balance the first time around, it would be much easier this time. Thirdly, and following the second, it would be much easier to toss the ice back. And given the nature of her revenge, he thought it only appropriate to do his best and make use of the fact that he had very, very good aim at short range- not to mention long practice tossing ice cubes and then fleeing his sisters' vengeance.

#25 Nynaeve

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 04:30 AM

Evelyn smiled. "Oh, I almost forgot. Silly me." She walked towards Sylos and hopped up the log gracefully. Grabbing her water skin, she squirted water on Sylos, leaving him dripping and with a confused, and most of all surprised, expression. She jumped off the log, landing steadily on her feet and walked back to the ice bucket without saying a word. There was nothing to be said, after all. He was going to understand what she was planning at some point.

She picked up the first piece of ice and threw it. On she went, throwing the ice in a steady rhythm. Sylos had improved his balance from the previous attempt for sure, but her aim was implacable and Evelyn managed to strike him quite a few times. Of course, the wet surface his body offered meant that some of the ice she threw remained attached to his body, as sometimes happened. She learned that from a foolish childhood friend that she once had who found himself stuck to a frozen tree stump by his tongue. He was never really bright, that one.

Evelyn's rapid throws left little time for Sylos to clear the attached ice chunks and so he was left with the option of getting hit again by clearing them off his skin or ignoring the cold and concentrating on his balance. Either way he was going to end the day with quite a few frost bites and that was all that mattered.


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#26 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:09 PM

It didn't take very long for Sylos to get done with his surprise, and focus on dodging. The ice stuck to him, which he surmised to have been the point of the water- however, already being wet and cold, it actually had less effect even though it did stretch across more of his body as it slipped. His practice from the previous session had made him somewhat better; more importantly, howevver, he had taken the time Evelyn spent recovering from her injury practing his balance and convincing rather confused fellow recruits to throw rocks at him, which had made him much better. It allowed him to keep going for quite some time in spite of the added difficulty.

It was, however, an exceptionally task to manage, and as his body began to freeze up he began to consider just how unfair this whole situation really was. After all, not only had it been an accident in the first place, he had apologized. As the injustice of it all burned itself into his brain (related, perhaps, to the burning left behind as the air warmed his ice-trailed skin), he decided that he was going to have to take revenge of his own.

Much to the misfortune of his instructor, that revenge was close at hand. Perhaps because she wanted to see his displeasure up close, or perhaps because she hadn't really been paying attention, Evelyn was standing quite close to the balance set-up as she tossed ice at him. Desperately attempting to maintain his balance, a wicked thought ran through Sylos' head. Several minutes later, when he knew he could not possibly last much longer, he feigned tripping, and fell- directly on top of his vengeful instructor.

The ice had, as planned, had stuck to his body, and quickly melted caught between Evelyn's body heat and what was left of Sylos'. Less surprised and having had a cushioned fall, Sylos rolled and came to his feet, and took a few brief moments to wonder what the penalty was for an instructor of the Children skewering a recruit. That, and to consider the fact that Evelyn, being in uniform as required, was dressed entirely in white, and that his previous comments on equality were likely to get him in even more trouble.

#27 Nynaeve

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:19 PM

Evelyn was so shocked by what had happened that it took her the space of a few moments to move. Her expression was unreadable as she propped herself up, ignoring Sylos' stretched hand. She planted her feet on the ground and stood still until she was sure she found her footing. She took a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly.

Her uniform was crumpled and now stained from the mix of the melting ice with dirt. Her back felt bruised, but she ignored the pain. She was better than this. She was better than him. He was nothing. A mediocre trainee that would jump off the wagon soon enough. Or be pushed off. Whatever came first. He wasn't worth her time or her anger.

She felt better though. All those years of training and hard work taught her to silence her temper on command. She was in control of herself. This was just a test that the creator put her through to prove just that. Of course, that made perfect sense! And she was doing well, Evelyn was. She was holding it together. Air in and out. In and out.

Evelyn spun around to face Sylos, using a finger to wipe off a strand of hair from her dirt covered forehead. All her thoughts blanked out as her fist struck Sylos' jaw.




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#28 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

As Evelyn's fist made contact with his face, Sylos decided that perhaps his mastery of body language was not as complete as he had thought. It had seemed like his instructor, while not pleased, was not inclined towards doing anything about it. Then a wagon had flattened him to the ground, from which position he had time to consider that at least she hadn't gone for her sword.

He slowly stood up, the soreness in his legs from his recent practice for the balancing exercise making a nice counterpoint to the new throbbing in his face. As he stood he took a good look at his instructor who, soaked through and covered in dirt, looked a considerable mess. His first instinct on being punched was generally to return the favor. However, as he was naked and unarmed and his opponent was not so disadvantaged, he decided that discretion was the better part of valor.

Sort of. "Well, it's good to see that even in such deplorable circumstances you can keep a firm handle on your temper, sir."

#29 Nynaeve

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:01 PM

Evelyn never stopped to consider what she was doing. There wasn't even a thought process in the making. There was just anger. She moved, going through moves she practiced more times than she could count. She kept light on her feet, as she punched. Some of her thrusts found air as Sylos managed to avoid them. However, some did strike home. She could already see red marks decorating Sylos' stomach and face, no doubt soon to be purple and blue marks.

He wasn't attacking, though. Why wasn't he attacking? She was hurting him and he kept to defending. She fed her anger, thinking he was squirmish about hitting a woman. As if she was this fragile doll that he could break so easily. She grunted as she made a sharp move, her back starting to feel stiff from the earlier landing on the ground. Her head was throbbing, but none of it mattered.

He was going to learn his lesson, though. Oh, yes, he was. He thought himself all charming, did he? Well, he was going to learn that it wouldn't get him anywhere in the CotL. Aside from trouble. That, she suspected he would get plenty of. She managed to kick his flank, silencing a groan as muscles burned. There was no stopping now.




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#30 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:12 PM

Sylos couldn't help grinning a little as Evelyn kept battering him. He was quite sure it had been unintentional, but because he was still wet, it wasn't hurting nearly as much as he suspected it should. Then her fist caught him at the lower end of his rib cage and he doubled over into another hit to the face, and the grin vanished.

Sylos was not a brawler. He didn't have the raw strength for it. But he was agile, and he had gotten into too many bar fights not to know something about blocking punches. Doing his best not to hit back because he knew that so far, he hadn't technically done anything that could get him in trouble with the higher-ups, he found his resolve wavering as she just kept hitting him and hitting him. He wasn't sure what he was doing, but for some reason she seemed to be getting madder and madder the more he tried to just let her knock him around.

Another hit to the face later, and he just couldn't let it go. He swung back, struck Evelyn across the face in return, and froze in place as he realized just how much trouble he had just set himself up for.

#31 Nynaeve

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:40 PM

Evelyn's ears rang as she staggered back. Her vision was blurry and it took her a moment to realize what had happened. He punched her! He actually punched her back! Just below her cheek, the whole area feeling hot from the blow. Before she could even think straight, Evelyn found herself with a dagger in her hand. One that she retrieved from her right boot, no doubt, but she couldn't recall reaching for it. She threw herself on Sylos with the little strength she had left and fell atop of him,  pressing the dagger against his throat, her face intent on his.

She froze in her place, as the dagger left a small nick on Sylos' neck by the mere pressure of her grip. What am I doing? What in the light am I doing? Her mind suddenly got flooded with painful memories of the past. Memories of mean spirited chores, mockery and humiliation she had to undergo as a female recruit. She proved them all wrong, though. Every one of them. She got where she did using her claws and teeth. She walked over whoever she needed to, just as she was walked over so many times by others. She became what she needed to be. But at what cost?

Sense started to sip in as she let go of the dagger. What was it about Sylos that made her so angry, though? Recruits have irritated her plenty a time but never to the point of her getting into a fist match with one of them. Light, she could have killed him! That wasn't her. That wasn't what she joined the Children of the Light for. She was no assassin nor a thug. She was what her job required her to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

She stared at Sylos wide eyed and let herself stumble back on the dirt, hissing at the pain that climbed up her spine. She lowered her eyes to the ground, unsure what to do next.



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#32 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:59 PM

Sylos slowly returned to regular breathing as Evelyn staggered back, though he could still feel every nerve ending in his body. He had been expecting trouble when he lost control and hit back- he had not expected to find himself at the end of a knife. He prided himself on knowing when a conflict was escalating to far, and mis-judging this one so badly- in addition to almost dying- had shaken him badly.

Looking across at the madwoman his instructor had turned into, he was startled to find that, rather than looking like a demon from the depths of hell, but rather simply looking confused. Rubbing his neck- he would have sworn under the Light that he could still feel the point of the dagger there- he tried to figure out something to do that wasn't going to end in violence.

"You know... I realize that I'm probably the last person you'd care to hear this from, but as nobody else seems to be around to ask... Are you alright? Sir?" His voice was very shaky, and he added the honorific very belatedly, hoping she was too disoriented to notice.

#33 Nynaeve

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:55 AM

"You know... I realize that I'm probably the last person you'd care to hear this from, but as nobody else seems to be around to ask... Are you alright? Sir?"

Evelyn couldn't manage to find the inner strength to look up at him. She was embarrassed. "Get dressed." That's all she trusted herself to say. She wasn't sure what tone she used but Sylos obeyed her without arguing. It was possible she just looked so pathetic that he did it out of pure pity. She didn't need a mirror to know she probably looked like a rag doll. At least sending Sylos to get dressed gave her enough time to get up awkwardly without humiliating herself further.

She leaned against the log, letting out a sigh as Sylos finished dressing and turned to face her. Her thinking felt sluggish, but she had to figure out what to do next, forcing her brain to work quicker. What she did... was wrong. The only way to solve the situation was to go to the Master of Irons and report to him. She would be punished, of course. Perhaps even demoted. That pained her but those were the rules she vowed to obey when joining the Children. There was no escaping responsibility, after all.

She stood stiff, trying to sooth herself as tears threatened to overtake her. But she managed to speak, her voice hardly trembling. "After I get cleaned up I will go to the Master of Irons. To report myself. I assure you that my actions will not go unpunished. You're dismissed. I assume your training will be picked up by someone else." She fell silent after that. There was nothing more to add, really. She wanted to apologize verbally, but she couldn't. Her punishment would have to do.

Evelyn took a deep breath and began walking away awkwardly. Before she managed to take a third step, though, she slipped. She never hit the ground, though. Opening her eyes, she found Sylos' eyes, looking back at her. His brow was wrinkled. It usually did when he was worried. Why do I know that? She hung on to him, trying to find her footing but she realized that her grip never loosened even after she managed to steady herself.

Don't do it, was her last thought before she kissed him.




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#34 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 12:33 PM

Sylos had gotten his clothes on quickly, planning to leave quickly in the hopes that there would be no further trouble stemming from this- and more than a little relieved to be alive. He was confused as to why his instructor just wanted him to leave, especially after beating him within an inch of his life, but was more than willing to let it go and hang on to that particularly important inch. Then he heard her speaking, and turned about to figure out why, and how fast he was going to need to run.

"After I get cleaned up I will go to the Master of Irons. To report myself. I assure you that my actions will not go unpunished. You're dismissed. I assume your training will be picked up by someone else." Sylos just stared at Evelyn, completely bewildered. He'd expected anger, or at the very least annoyance, and certainly had expected to be handed off to another trainer. He had not, exactly, been expecting guilt- particularly since, from his point of view, the entire matter was his fault.

He was just about to explain that too her, as well, when she slipped, and his first priority became ensuring that her injuries didn't get any worse. Catching Evelyn right before she hit the ground, he helped her stand, feeling slightly alarmed that she needed help with it at all. After all, professional soldiers were supposed to be able to shrug off this sort thing, weren't they? Opening his mouth to make some witty comment to that effect, he found himself unable to when, against any kind of odds he'd ever seen calculated, she kissed him.

Sylos thought, very quickly, about how to react. Then, remembering how much good this sort of thinking had done him so far, he gave up on logic and kissed her back.

#35 Nynaeve

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

At that point Evelyn was rather convinced that she was completely off her axle. She was kissing a trainee. A trainee that drove her up the wall.  A trainee she nearly killed only moments ago. It was clearly one of those days where she would have been better off staying in bed. All thoughts evaporated, though, as she sunk into Sylos' arms, strangely, feeling comfortable. The pain curled up into a ball at the back of her head and she was surprised to realize how easy it suddenly was to push it away.

The moment stretched for a long while before Evelyn pulled away. She felt flushed as she worked to catch her breath. Sylos was dumbstruck and she suspected she had a matching expression herself. She had to say something, though. Something. Anything. An apology? A sentence? Perhaps a syllable? She opened her mouth but then closed it without saying a word. She just turned around and walked away.

The next few hours were a lot more soothing. She was relieved to peel off her dirty uniforms, take a long bath and put on a fresh set. She cleaned her boots and brushed her hair and then proceeded to the infirmary. She was told off by the plump woman that ran it about ruining her body and what a shame it was because she was easy on the eyes. Evelyn was covered with bruises, as expected. Nothing broken, though, which was a relief. She was sent off with a few ointments, quite a few lectures about skin care and some herbs to help with the pain.

Soon enough, though, she ran out of tasks to do and all that was left was to make her way to the Master of Iron's study. She kept herself from thinking about what happened with Sylos. She suspected her punishment would keep her occupied enough to manage just that. She didn't want to think about it. She was afraid to.

When Evelyn arrived at the study, she knocked once and entered upon being invited in. She saluted and then froze as she realized that Sylos was sitting in the room. Her jaw dropped. What in the light!?!?!




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#36 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:29 PM

Sylos stood stock-still for some time, dumbfounded in the wake of both recent events and his instructor's silent departure. Trying to figure out what exactly had transpired, he decided that he would be better off sleeping on the matter and headed for his quarters. Upon reaching them, he stripped off his clothes once again and took some time to examine the damage his training- and subsequent battering- had done.

He sighed as he gazed over the bruises that were in the early stages of developments, knowing full well he was going to be very, very sore for at least a few weeks. But he wasn't about to go the infirmary for help; there wasn't any serious damage that he could tell, and he wasn't about to risk running into his instructor there. It would also be particularly unmanly, but that was only a concern because he had plenty of other reasons not to go, naturally.

It was only after this inspection that he realized he hadn't actually said anything about this whole disaster being his fault, and not Evelyn's. Which meant that, in all likelihood, she was still planning to report herself to the Master of Irons and get herself punished on account of actions not at all her responsibility. Or at least, not much so. Cursing his distraction, Sylos quickly found one of his clean uniforms, wincing as he pulled it on over all of his bruises, and headed for the Master of Irons' study with as much haste as he could.

Entering the study, he found the man he was looking for sitting behind a large desk filing paperwork. He saluted as he entered, both showing respect and catching the Master's attention. "Sir, I am here to report myself." He said, noticing from the lack of surprise in the Master of Irons' expression that this was not only common, but expected of the Children. The man gestured for him to sit down and explain himself, and he was just settling uncomfortably into a chair when his instructor walked into the room, her expression betraying her shock at finding him there first.

#37 Nynaeve

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 06:53 AM

Evelyn closed her mouth as soon as she noticed it was hanging open. She had to keep herself from blinking as she openly stared at Sylos. What is he doing here? I don't understand. Is he here to report me? Is he that anxious to bring me down? That thought saddened her. Maybe he was unsure if she was really going to go through with her promise to report herself and wanted to make sure. It seemed like he really did develop a resentment towards her. Not that she could blame him, but part of her hoped...

"Unless it's urgent, Evelyn, I'd rather finish off with this recruit first." The Master of Irons was a hard man and he didn't take to being kept waiting, but Evelyn took a long while to respond, hesitation taking over reason. "His business here is my own. He is one of my Basic Training students and the reason of his presence matches my own."

Evelyn took a deep breath. This was the point of no return. "We had a little mishap during one of our exercises. Things went a bit south and tempers were flaring and I stepped out of my role as instructor and acted in an unprofessional manner, which is unbecoming for a member of the Children of the Light. I take full responsibility in the matter and request a penance to rectify my error."

Evelyn cleared her throat and took extra care to stand upright, despite her aches. She was going to receive her punishment with her head up high.



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#38 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:32 AM

"We had a little mishap during one of our exercises. Things went a bit south and tempers were flaring and I stepped out of my role as instructor and acted in an unprofessional manner, which is unbecoming for a member of the Children of the Light. I take full responsibility in the matter and request a penance to rectify my error."

Sylos cursed furiously in his head, as he was now in exactly the situation he had been hoping to avoid by coming here. Now that she had claimed the responsibility herself, the best outcome likely was that they were both going to be punished. He briefly considered letting her take the blame, but it went too far against what he believed to be right, letting someone else be punished for his actions.

Clearing his throat to get the Master of Iron's attention, he put in his side of the story calmly. "Actually, sir, the matter was my fault. Throughout the training I acted with less than the respect an instructor deserves, and deliberately goaded the Lieutenant. My insubordination was the cause of the issues during that particular exercise."

He sat and waited after he finished speaking, hoping that the matter would not end too badly for either of them- or that if it did, he was the one to recieve the brunt of it. He still didn't understand why Evelyn felt it was her fault; he had been acting well beyond the bounds of his rights as a recruit, and her reaction to that was- to his mind- more than appropriate. At least, up until putting a dagger to his neck, but she hadn't actually killed him, so he was willing to let that go.

#39 Nynaeve

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:06 AM

Evelyn wrinkled her brow, feeling more confused than she did before at Sylos' presence. He was a buffoon! She already took on the responsibility of what occurred. What did he think he was going to accomplish by this!?! They were both going to end up slapped with a penance. No, she couldn't suffer that to happen.

She cut off the Master of Irons before he could speak. Probably not the wisest of movies, but at that point she didn't care. "Don't pay any attention to him, Ramus. I might have hit his head too hard and he's babbling. If you could excuse him we can sit down and discuss this further?"

Ramus opened his mouth only to be cut off again, this time by Sylos. "My apologies, sir, but the Lieutenant is the only one of the two of us recently in the infirmary for a serious head wound. I am in full possession of my faculties, and I assure you, this is my fault and not hers. There really is no need to keep Lieutenant Evelyn from her duties any longer." Sylos replied mere moments after Evelyn finished speaking, determined to shift the blame to himself.

"How DARE you....", this time Ramus cut Evelyn off. "ENOUGH! I don't want to hear any more of this. Get out. Both of you." Evelyn's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak. "No. I don't want to hear it. If and when you get your versions straight you may return. Now out. I don't have time to waste on you two." Red spots appeared on Evelyn's cheeks as she reluctantly walked out of the study, followed by Sylos. The door slammed behind them.

She made sure to walk away from Ramus' study, so he wouldn't overhear, before she spun around to face Sylos. "What under the light were you thinking!?!?!".



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#40 Erathian Avenger

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:29 AM

"What under the light were you thinking!?!?!" Evelyn's furious voice intruded into Sylos' thinking, as he tried to determine precisely how they had ended up with neither of them being punished, when he had been so sure both of them would be. Nonetheless, he turned to face his furious instructor, and his response had more than a little of his own anger behind it.

"I was thinking, sir, that I was not about to let you take the blame for a situation that was not your fault! I acted rudely and insubordinately throughout the entirety of that exercise, and for you to take punishment solely on yourself for the results is not only unfair to you, it is insulting!" Sylos paused to take a breath, and immediately continued, not bothering to give Evelyn a chance to respond.

"While holding a knife to my throat was well beyond what you should have done the rest, from my point of view, was entirely appropriate, and there are more than a few armies where the fact that I struck back would have put you well within your rights to have actually killed me. Since you didn't- which, by the way, I do appreciate- The responsibility for the entire fiasco is mine." Finally done, he watched Evelyn, waiting to see how she would respond, and hoping that she wouldn't insist on returning to the Master of Irons.