Stard's Last Stand
At nine o'clock, at midnight, at a quarter after three, Lone Wolf walked into the hall and bumnped into a shapeless obstruction. He looked, but there was nothing there. A gray man!
He drew his Heron Markô sword and swung, cutting through empty air.
A hand fell down on his shoulder and spun him around.
A face materialized from nowhere. "Hello. My name is Stard. I'm a grey man, and I'm here to inventory your place and see if it is up to White Tower standards."
"What? Of course it is. And what kind of gray man inventories people?"
"Well, I failed my gray man test at Shayol Ghul. Shadar Haran told me to get lost, the big poopie head, so I went to the auditing companies. I figured they are the next best thing to being pure evil." Lone Wolf nodded his head.
"That's.... terrible. Really, it is. I'm sorry."
"It's okay. Can you show me to your room please?"
"Sure, right this way."
They walked back down the hall, and saw an Aes Sedai running in the opposite direction, crying.
"What's wrong with her?" Stard asked.
"That's Therva. She recently lost her Warder." At that moment, another Aes Sedai went running by, also crying.
"What's wrong with that one?"
"Oh, that's Blackthorne. Her Bondholder ran off without her."
"I see." Yet another Aes Sedai walked by, this one also weeping.
"Did she lose a Warder too?"
"No. That's Rowan Sedai. She bonded Sathinar."
"Oh, that explains it." Stard said quickly. He understood perfectly.
"LONE WOLF!!!!!" The voice rang out through the hall, and he froze in his steps. Oh no, he thought.
He turned an ingratiating smile on his face. "Yes, Mother?"
The Amyrlin Seat approached him and stopped before him, not saying a word. He waited for a couple minutes to hear her speak.
"WELL?????" She demanded. He jerked back a step, surprised.
"AREN'T YOU GOING TO BOW AND KISS MY RING???????" He looked down at her hand.
"You're.. uhh... not wearing your ring, Mother." She looked down at her finger. She laughed coquettishly.
"I knew that. I know everything. I'm the Amyrlin Seat. AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!!!!!" Even Stard took a step back this time.
"No, Mother. I would never forget that. Ever."
"Good. See that you don't." She stalked off. Lone Wolf had no idea what that was all about.
"You have weird people in this Tower." Stard observed.
"Yeah, no joke." Lone Wolf responded.
They came to his quarters and began to go over everything.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Lone Wolf went to the door and opened it. Roland Broadcloak came barging in.
"I love her, man... It's driving me crazy. I have to have her! Tell me how I can do it!!!! How can I get her to love me back???"
"Ummm, you can't. Get over it."
"I DON'T WANNA GET OVER IT!!!!" He grabbed Lone Wolf by his tunic and lifted him off the ground. "I WANT THE AMYRLIN!!!!!" Something akin to insanity was danicng in his eyes.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Lone Wolf looked at Roland, and said "Excuse me, I need to go and answer that."
"Oh right, Of course. Sorry." Roland put Lone Wolf down and leaned against the wall. Lone Wolf straightened his tunic.
"Thank you." He said and answered the door. Nyneave Sedai burst in and wrapped her arms around him and kissed him passionately.
"Oh Wolfy, be my Warder!!!"
"NO! Get lost!!! For the last time, I don't want to be your Warder!"
"Yes. You do!"
"No, I don't! Where did you get that idea??"
"You asked me to bond you a week ago!"
"No, I didn't! You have me confused with someone else!"
"No, I don't. I could never mistake your beautiful blue eyes."
"'Scuse me," Roland interrupted, "But Lone Wolf and I were discussing somthing rather important. Could this possibly wait until later?"
"Mr. Wolf," Stard called from the kitchen, "Are you almost done there? I need you in here. I have a few questions."
"Yeah, just a few seconds." He yelled. "Nyneave, I am very flattered that you want me to be your Warder, but I am already bonded, and I-"
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
"Excuse me again. Let me go and get that." He opened the door, and the Amyrlin came storming. He noticed she had her ring on. She stood looking him in the eye. He bowed and kissed her ring.
"Very good. I am very proud of you Lone Wolf. I have a-" The question froze in her throat as she caught sight of Roland. Embarassment colored her cheeks as she remembered the last time she had seen him. The incident with the filmy dress and the grapes had been quite enough, thank you.
She grabbed Lone Wolf by the collar and dragged him into the hall.
"I need you to find out something for me." She said in a conspiratorial whisper. "I need to know which came first, the chicken, or the egg or the sock. Get back to me as soon as you can, it is most important."
"Right. Of course."
She nodded and turned and walked away. There goes one messed up Aes Sedai, thought Lone Wolf.
He turned and strode back into his quarters. Stard was in deep conversation with Nyneave, and Roland was sleeping on the couch, a runnel of drool coursing down his cheek on a collision course with the new leather couch. He watched in helpless horror as the drool made its way down, hung over the couch by a mere thred of saliva, and then dropped, falling with a splop! on the leather of the couch.
"NOOOOOOO!!!!" he yelled. Roland jerked awake, and looked around wildly.
Stard and Nyneave didn't even notice; they just stayed deep in their conversation.
"Stard." Lone Wolf said.
He woke as if from a dream. "Uhhh, yeah?"
"What did you want to ask me about?"
"Hey!" Roland said. "You haven't finished with me yet!"
"No, I haven't, Roland. Weíll finish in a minute. I promise."
They went into the kitchen first and went though the silverware drawer. "Okay, lessee here... Heron Markô butter knife, Heron Markô steak knife, Heron Markô soup spoon, Heron Markô oyster fork, Heron Markô dishcloth... What's with all these Heron Markô things? Where did you get them all?"
"Oh, the Heron Markô store."
Roland clapped his hands together. "Yes, that's where I got my sword." He drew it and showed it to everyone. They all oohed and aahed over it appropriately.
"The Heron Markô store?" Stard asked.
"Oh yeah. Everything in there is Heron Markedô. Hats, shirts, can openers, popcorn poppers, sponges, videotapes, backpacks, boxes, stickers, swords, butter knives, pens and pencils, paper, lamps. You name it; it's Heron Markedô."
"Itís located in the Two Rivers. We think thatís where Tam got his sword."
"Oh, yes." Stard said. "I have to inventory his stuff next. Well, that's all I had a question about. You can go back to your conversations. Oh, but Nyneave, could you stay here please?" She smiled at him, and winked at Lone Wolf.
"Sorry hun, you lost your chance."
Lone Wolf pretended to be hurt. "Dern it all. Maybe next time..." Still, he was happy that Nynaeve had found a Warder, even if it was a gray man....
He walked back into the living room and there was Roland.
"Okay. Ready to continue?"
"Let's go, amigo." He said.
Roland again picked him up by the lapels, lifting him bodily off the floor, and then looked him in the eye.
He set Lone Wolf down. "Sorry, this is out of character. Just a sec." He got control of himself and then lifted Lone WOlf again.
"I WANT HER, MAN!!!!!"
"Well, why are you telling at me about it? I can't do anything about it!!!"
"I know... I just thought, since you were her theorist...."
"Well, it doesn't work that way. Sorry."
"Oh. Okay. Just asking. Sorry to have bothered you."
He walked out, just as Chissa walked in. "Who's threatening you?"
"What? No one!"
"But I felt burst of saidar and saidin from here, and I felt that you were in danger."
"The saidin was just Roland going wacko again, and the saider was Nynaeve bonding her new Warder."
"New Warder? That's great!"
"Not really. He's a gray man, and he works for an auditing agency."
She claped a hand over her mouth. "Thatís horrible! That's like bonding someone from Shayol Ghul!"
"I know, I know. But, it's her life...."
"Let's just let it go."
"Yes, let's. I think I'm done now."
"With the story?"
"Why not put a nice happy ending, with some sort of wrap up of all the loose ends?"
"Because I'm tired of writing, and I wanna finish, and I couldn't think of one. So I'm just going to end it. Just cut it off. Nice and abrupt. No 'the end', no 'they all lived happily ever after', just going to end it."
"Just like that? Can you do that?"
"Sure. Like i could"