Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:00 PM
ooc: Sorry for the wait you two. Hopefully this post makes up for it a little!
Clouds of reddish brown dirt were left in their wake as two black stallions raced south, lather beginning to gather on their dark coats. Astride each was a grim faced rider, reins held tightly in their hands, eyes focused on the horizon. Behind one, a color changing cloak flapped in the wind, occasionally blending in with the background. Behind the other, a dark blue cloak also shifted, as well as a pair of dark brown braids with tiny silver bells at the end. The travelers appeared not to notice, or care about, any of the surroundings. There was one purpose, two possible outcomes, and not a moment to lose, so they galloped on.
Noticing her death grip on the reins, the woman relaxed her grip slightly and released a bit of rein. It would not serve any purpose for her to irritate the stallion. They had rode for days and had hours to go still. Shifting in the saddle, the Blue forced her mind to slow down, grabbing the thoughts that tried to flit around and shoving them into a more measured pace. Her mind cooperated, though her heart did not. The bloody thing felt like it was going to beat out of her chest. She knew that Grisham could feel the anxiety in her – for it was rising in him too - but he wisely said nothing. Perhaps he is learning after all...
As she stared out at the horizon, thinking about it for the first time, the Blue realized she could not explain the sudden fear that had appeared in her chest days ago. They had crossed the border into Kandor when a piercing feeling had taken root in her sternum. It had stopped her in her tracks, a crippling sense of dread, leaving Grisham to knot his eyebrows and stare at her with curious worry. She had blinked, feeling the dread settle into her and immediately snapped back into motion – only this time heading south. Giving the bare minimum of words to her Warder, the Aes Sedai had instructed him to head toward Andor as if their lives depended on it.
As they had hit Andor, the feeling had grown heavier, as if it was soaking her very bones. A quick trip to the city had proven that the menagerie, and Taia, had already moved on. Almost as if the other woman was North on a compass, Miahna felt drawn to the South. Grisham found a few men that had worked for the show while it was in Andor and they confirmed the direction. The menagerie had set out toward Murandy. Flaming woman. If you get yourself killed...I swear I will kill you myself. They had set out that same day.
Different movement to her left brought the Blue back to the present. The Gaidin had quickened his stallion slightly, moving ahead to scout the path. Not that there would be much time between what he found and when she arrived there, if he did indeed find something, but she supposed it was better than being ambushed. It was also something normal for the Warder to do, something calming and routine for him as she sped them into unfamiliar territory. Staring at his back for a moment, Miahna realized that she was becoming used to having a Warder again. It was a strange habit to get back into, but as his form became smaller and then disappeared in front of her, she found that she was more comfortable heading toward this danger with someone at her side.
Annoyed at the lack of scenery change, the Aes Sedai embraced Saidar. Colors leapt at her from all around as each Sense improved from holding the One Power. She narrowed her eyes toward the horizon, yearning to see more, but nothing ever changed. The road, hills, trees, remained the same.
Until it didn't.
Grisham galloped back to her, the lather on his stallion thicker. Glancing down, Miahna realized that that was true for Tai'Mahdi as well. A thin layer of white foam had long since appeared on his neck, and was becoming thicker with every long stretch of road. She felt terrified for a moment, so much was relying on these warhorses, but she grasped it firmly and strangled the thought. Do not get ahead of the moment, she scolded herself. She prepared a Healing weave, when the Warder said something. The sound of a human voice startled her – had it really been that long since they had spoken to one another? Looking up, she cocked an eyebrow and stared at him. He yelled it again. “The camp is right over that hill!”
And so it was. As they crested the hill, the capital of Murandy was displayed in all its glory. The menagerie camp appeared small next to the city, but was splayed on a stretch of land to the northwest corner. Miahna sucked in a breath as she saw smoke and the orange of flames licking into the sky. Next to her, Grisham nodded and together they leaned over the necks of the stallions and rode at a neck breaking speed toward the tents. She took another moment to pat Tai'Mahdi's neck and promised some Healing and lots of apples to follow their arrival.
The camp was in chaos as she and Grisham halted their horses and hopped down onto the ground. Ignoring the dark feeling within her, Miahna strode up to the closest person and asked for leader of the menagerie. Surely he would know where Taia was, as the Green was unlikely to travel unnoticed with the group. “The easiest way for her to stick around without inquiring minds would be to become a patron,” she relayed to Grisham as the Warder cast a puzzling glance, “and the owner would know where his or her patrons are.” The woman was hysterical, and pointing around at the fires. She pleaded for Miahna to put them out. Miahna gave her an exasperated look, pulled some water out of the air and dropped it on the fire. She stepped away for the woman could say anything. She needed to find Taia.
They walked up to another person. He was calmer, but still had no idea where the owner was. Miahna forced her face to stay serene as they asked another, and another. Finally someone claimed they saw him head toward a copse of trees to the east, trailing after the Lady Sienna. “That has to be her,” she told Grisham. People were screaming around her and Miahna weighed her choices momentarily. I cannot ignore this any longer, she thought with grim determination. I will fix this and then find Taia.
Calling the attention of those around her with a simple amplifying weave, the Aes Sedai ordered the people to split up into groups. The group on the left would get water to put out the fires, the group in the middle would check for those wounded and take them to a centralized location, those that were animal handlers would go comfort their animals, because they would be more confused and upset than half of the humans and the rest would serve to begin getting everything back in order. As she ended the weave and dismissed them, the groups set out and the tension dropped. Grisham opened his mouth to ask about something when Miahna spotted Taia. Relief washed over her, so strongly that it nearly whited out her vision for a moment. The Green waved toward her and she waved back, careful to keep appearances and not appear too eager on the outside, but bouncing with excitement on the inside. She's fine. She's okay. Why the dread then?
The next moment seemed to go in slow motion. Taia began walking toward Miahna and Grisham when someone stepped into her path. Knitting her brows, the Blue took a few steps to the left and toward the man between her and her friend. As her foot hit the ground on her third step, she saw the glint of a blade and heard Taia scream. Nearly screaming herself, she ran toward the Green. The assilant took off due west and Miahna screamed incoherently at Grisham to go after him. She didn't realize that he'd already took off after the man.
Swearing under her breath, the Blue dropped heavily to her knees next to Taia's unconscious body. Someone was talking to her, but she ignored him. She Delved her quickly, aware of the dark stain that was spreading too fast on the green fabric. The slice was deep and had punctured an organ. Gritting her teeth to keep the tears away, Miahna wove Air, Water, and Spirit together in a thick rope and fed it through the slice into Taia's body. The strands wrapped around the edges of the slice, repairing the flesh as they did so. Several heartbeats later, the Blue sagged in relief as Taia's pale skin was once again whole and unmarred. With a quick kiss on the Green's forehead, Miahna stood up and raced toward her Warder. She knew Taia would have understood. And done the same thing herself.
Mimi found Grisham a moment later, grappling with two large men. One carried a long dagger; the other a sword. Though the Warder had trained for multiple opponents, the man with the sword seemed evenly matched in skill. He and the Gaidin circled each other as the man with the dagger snuck in for a few strikes on Grish's side. Growling in anger, the Blue snatched him up in Air and forced a thick block down his throat, through his esophagus, ribs, lungs, and out. His body crumpled to the ground, blood seeping from the gaping wound. She glanced at the body as it fell and then turned her attention to his partner.
The Warder was holding his own, but the small cuts the dagger had caused were slowing him down. The Darkfriend circled him, a smirk on his face, energy and body hale. Miahna narrowed her eyes and sharpened a thread of Air. She prodded it toward him, blood blossoming on his trousers from said cuts. She called out for him to stop, only to no avail. When another request was denied, not even acknowledged, she wrapped the razor thin piece of Air around him and snapped it taut. Bright red blood dribbled out the corner of his mouth as he collapsed.
Grisham stared at the body and then whipped his head around to stare at her. She felt admiration, surprise, and a little horror through the Bond. He scrubbed a hand over his face, sheathed his sword, and walked toward her, still silent. Miahna mulled over his emotions in her head as they walked back to the center of camp. Weariness began to set in as the adrenaline wore off. Her steps were slower, shorter, as they walked, until eventually she was leaning on the Warder. He supported her easily; she noticed that the horror was gone as soon as she needed help. They would have to talk about that later. They needed to talk about it later, but for now rest was in order.
The camp was well in order as they returned to the center. Wisps of smoke still rose occasionally from a blackened wagon or tent, but there were no more flames. Miahna sighed tiredly as Grisham guided her to the steps of a wagon and she bent to sit. A deep voice rumbled behind them, however, and the Blue stood up. A large man looking a bit worse for wear, introduced himself as Nico. He thanked the Aes Sedai and her Warder for their assistance, but requested that she provide one more act of kindness if she was able. There was a young girl, someone he thought of as a daughter, that was dying in another wagon. “I saw what you did for the Lady Sienna. Please, Aes Sedai, Heal Tensleigh. Irene and I could never have children...she's so young.”
Closing her green eyes and opening them slowly, Miahna nodded tiredly and motioned for him to take her there. Grisham tightened his hand on her upper arm in warning, but she gave him a stern glare and he made no vocal argument. Together they crossed the camp center to find a wagon with a young girl laying on the bed, flesh almost white and chest barely rising. A withered old woman sat in the corner, chewing on her nails. She jumped up as Mimi climbed into the cabin. “Peace old woman,” was all Miahna said. Stepping to the edge of the bed, the Blue drew on the remaining strength she had and Delved the girl. Internal bleeding and pierced lung left her with only another hour at most to live. Gritting her teeth, the Blue once again wove together thick strands of Air, Water, and Spirit to Heal. She laid them on the girl and as she repaired her to full health, the Aes Sedai stumbled backwards, catching herself against the door. “Make sure she has plenty of sleep, and she will be ravenous when she wakes up.” With that, the Blue stepped out of the cabin and nearly fainted with exhaustion in her Warder's arms.
“That's it. I'm commandeering a wagon and you are sleeping.” He told her forcefully, one hand wrapped around her waist and the other holding her arm over his shoulders.
For once she didn't protest.
Blue Aes Sedai
You don't want to get her mad
Tensleigh felt pain, and then nothing. Shifting on the bed, blankets soft beneath her, she opened her eyes. The ceiling was a beige color, not the dark blue that she'd painted hers long ago. Perplexed, she shifted her head to the side and looked around. This wasn't her wagon. Her blue eyes blinked rapidly, trying to rid of the blurriness of sleep when they latched onto something, well, someone in the corner. Viktor sat on a stool, dark eyes staring straight at her. He jumped a bit when her eyes connected to his and he stood up, knocking over the stool in the process.
No longer fatally injured