Channelers and the Men Who Love Them: Season Two
Episode Four – This Time
Rand was bound and determined to avoid having a job, and thus he fulfilled his promise to himself and went to Tar Valon to join Thom. The old gleeman had taken up residence in a dingy, and rather nasty in Rand’s opinion, inn on the docks. True, in Tar Valon “nasty” was pretty damn good considering, but he had certain standards to be met. As far as he could tell Thom hadn’t actually done anything productive in his time on the island, aside from visiting the Tower to talk with Nynaeve. Why anyone would want to talk with Nynaeve was a mystery to Rand. Mostly he hated finding out Cadsuane had been right about Nynaeve not being dead. Stupid woman was always right!
But Thom and his new buddy Nana were the furthest things in his mind. He had discovered Asmodean was living in the Tower. No one wanted Rand in the Tower unsupervised because he might break something or Bore a new hole or some such nonsense, but a Forsaken could walk around like a happy daisy! It was with this mind set that he arranged an appointment to meet with Egwene.
“Egwene, um, Mother, I am afraid I must tell you that your resident gleeman is in fact the Forsaken Asmodean. I am more than happy to kill him for you.” He smiled to show he was friendly. She didn’t respond. “Well, um, you see, Mother, he is a Forsaken and they are the kinds of channelers we good Lightfriends execute. Painfully, might I add. That’s part of the perk of being a good guy: killing bad guys!” She stared at him blankly. “Egwene-!”
“That’s ‘Mother’ to you.”
“Mother! Please! Let me kill him! Please?”
Egwene sighed softly. “No. I don’t know how much Nynaeve is paying you to say this silly thing-“
“She does not pay anyone!”
“-but this is going too far. Really. Is it because Jasin claims to be Cadsuane’s lover? Oh you poor boy. Killing over a woman. Tsk.”
Rand stopped listening to her lecture him and began muttering under his breath: “Cadsuane…and…Asmodean…Asmo and Cad, Cad and Asmo…!”
Moiraine was a very angry Cairhienin. Thom had whisked off to Tar Valon without a word–if he was sharing his bed with some twenty-year-old she’d have his hide–and Cadsuane was being a serious, major, pain in the ass.
“Listen you old bat! I do not like your spying on me–oh yes I know you were spying! Not to mention those games you played on me about the dead people. Now that was just mean of you.” Cadsuane shrugged her shoulders and continued her sewing. Sewing! Only crusty spinsters sewed! Moiraine did not like being ignored. “Listen to me! I said listen!”
“Oh please, stop throwing tantrums.” She didn’t even look up at Moiraine. “It can’t be called spying if there is nothing to spy. It is basic logic.”
“Basic logic in senile land!”
Flabbergasted and hating it, Moiraine stood there and fumed for a good minute before leaving with as much grace as she could muster. Siuan standing outside grinning like an idiot didn’t help her mood.
“I thought I told you to go back to Tanchico.”
Siuan’s smile faded a touch. “I feel I am of more use to you here, than all the way over there.”
Moiraine pursed her lips, but arguing with Siuan was pointless. Instead, she made a grand show of leaving to return to the palace proper. She was only mildly disappointed to realize Siuan wasn’t even watching her stalk away.
It didn’t take a lot of thought to realize Rand was the source of Mat’s current problem. He usually was in some way. Thom had hid his running away to Tar Valon well enough, but Rand enjoyed bragging too much about his “good idea” for it to stay secret for long.
Unfortunately, and surprisingly, it really was a good idea. Mat wasn’t going to step foot near the White Tower if he could help it. At least Thom was away on an island away from his wife.
That still left the problem of Lan; the old Warder had apparently abandoned his Whitecloak ways and was now roaming Cairhien chatting it up with Moiraine. In fact, Lan seemed to get some evil pleasure out of tweaking Mat’s nose and openly flirting–flirting!–with Moiraine. Why Moiraine put up with it boggled his mind. When he confronted her about it she brushed it off as pure imagination on his part. Even if it was, it still wasn’t right!
Cadsuane was of no help in this situation. She too claimed Mat was imagining things, and said his true fear should be Siuan. The idea that Moiraine and Siuan had ever been anything more than friends seemed so ridiculous, yet Moiraine was a little too mute on the subject for his comfort. Siuan in turn seemed to enjoy describing Moiraine naked to him as if to prove she had seen Moiraine in her skin.
He was fast becoming frustrated with life.
But then, a thought occurred to him, one as good as Rand’s brilliant idea: he would write to Tar Valon about their escapee.
Elaida watched Moiraine walk around the palace gardens seemingly lost in thought. Her and that fool Matrim’s daughter trailed after her. The girl looked too much like her father for Elaida’s comfort. Behind them Moiraine’s sisters walked in a sea of ladies-in-waiting and behind that circus Siuan and Cadsuane trailed behind. Cadsuane. Burn that hag! But there was no Mat to be seen: a first, and a sign the Creator favored her.
Stepping out into the pathway, Elaida was almost run over by Moiraine. Not that she minded; bumping into someone had its benefits.
“Oh! Eladia? What are you doing here?” Oh, how Elaida loved the voice like silver chimes descending from the moon itself!
Before Elaida could answer her sweet little dove, Cadsuane crackled like a madwoman as Siuan landed a punch square on Elaida’s nose.
“What are you doing here following me?! Don’t act innocent! I know you were following me!” Siuan seemed to think punches counted as periods.
A petrified Innloine said someone should break the fight up, but no one seemed all too eager to volunteer.
Finally, Moiraine put a hand on Siuan’s arm which seemed to settle the beast. “Siuan, please stop. You will get blood on the flowers. Now, Elaida, why are you here?” Everything she had wanted to say flew out of Elaida’s mind. Moiraine bit her lower lip before continuing. “I suppose it doesn’t matter; you are here now. Just stay out of the way and no more fights with Siuan.” With that, she walked away.
Siuan followed with the rest of the attendants but not before making clear she planned on killing Elaida in her sleep.
Romanda was absolutely delighted! She had received word from Cairhien that Siuan Sanche was avoiding her sentence by hiding in the royal palace. She had already began to gather herself a little Aes Sedai welcoming party for the stubborn Blue. Fun times were ahead. Fun times.