Her Magnificence, The Amyrlin
Seat, Watcher of the Seals, Flame of Tar Valon, carefully scraped
the bottom of her pudding cup. Ever since Demandred had pulled
his nasty trick and nicked her pudding she had been forced to be
much more concerned with eating every trace of the pudding she
had been given.
But today had been a good day, and was about to get better. A note had arrived that morning from Demandred himself saying that he was going on vacation for a while and her pudding ration for the time he was gone was to be delivered that afternoon by wagon.. Just the thought of a wagon load of pudding was enough to make her happier than she had been in a week. There was a knock on the door.
"Enter" The Amyrlin said expectantly, much as she hated not having a Keeper to take care of admitting people and she would have preferred to make the visitor wait a bit, exceptions could be made for potential pudding procuring peasantry.
The door swung open and a woman in a brown dress with brown hair and a brown fringed shawl entered. "Oh, it's you." The Amyrlin Seat settled back against her chair and offered her ring to be kissed.
Yveva knelt and kissed the Amyrlin's ring; really the Amyrlin must be in a bad mood if she was requiring ring kissing. Usually she let that pass. Oh well, this conversation had waited long enough and Yveva had decided that today was the day for her discussion with the Amyrlin. "I came here to ask you something important, mother. Do you have the time to listen to my request? I realize you are rather busy with Black Tower White Tower negotiations, figuring out how to keep the Novices busy and other stupendously important tasks but this question has really gone unanswered for way too long." Yveva paused, partly to allow the Amyrlin time to answer and partly because she was completely out of breath.
The Amyrlin was caught by surprise as Yveva stopped yattering. At first she had been looking around the room for another pudding cup, then she had looked at Yveva giving her the patented Amyrlin Look™. Which in essence is simply The Look™ given by all females at one point or another to all males at one point or another. But this one had special variations that were passed down from Amyrlin to Amyrlin. In fact it was one of their most closely guarded trade secrets. Yveva was used to the look and within a few moments of staring the Amyrlin found that all of the brown that Yveva was wearing only served to remind her of her beloved chocolate pudding. Consequently the Amyrlin had been wrapped in a dream of a vat of chocolate pudding and.... Yveva was awaiting an answer.
"Of course hun, ask what you will."
"Well Mother what should I call you? Specifically what nickname? I mean, Lone Wolf is Wolfie, Ender is Endy, everyone calls Sathinar Sathy, Serafelle is Sera, Ishamael is Ishy, or Ish the Fish if no one else is around, Sam is Ani, Joe was Joe, which was short enough but then he changed to Josef, but as far as I can tell, he is still Joe.. Right, Joe?"
Josef al'March, the Amyrlin's Warder nodded from his position behind the Amyrlin Seat's Seat.
Yveva continued, "I even got Demandred's permission to call him Dem as long as I never actually used that nickname in public.. I really want to expand on that and get permission to call him Demo though. Anyhow, we arrive again at my point.... What can I call you? Mum? Mumsy? Seaty? I personally don't like that one much though, Ammo? Yo! Mo!? I've gone through all the books that might be of assistance in determining the precedents for something such as this and have found nothing....."
Yveva was cut off as another knock sounded on the door.
"Enter!" the Amyrlin called out quickly.. Oh please be pudding. The door opened and Slaughterville entered.
The Amyrlin Seat Looked at Slaughterville. Slaughterville Looked® (similar to a Look™, but an Aiel version of it) at the Amyrlin. Yveva scowled at a corner, apparently her question wasn't to be answered that afternoon. Josef Gaidin readied himself to protect the Amyrlin, this yes, this was what he had been preparing for, any sort of attack.. And here was an Aielman who rumor had it could channel. Right here. Well... kinda on the other side of the desk.. anyway.. Close enough.
Slaughterville started to sit down. The Amyrlin loudly cleared her throat in the way that said "I am not ill and have no reason to clear my throat but you had better watch out mister, this is my place and you'd better watch your manners as my gaidin would be more than happy to stick his scimitars in you if I asked him to politely." Slaughterville rose quickly; it had really been a bad day, usually he would not have forgotten himself like that.. But ...it was all so complicated."Now why are you here?" The Amyrlin asked.
Slaughterville cleared his throat in the way that said "I am not ill and have no reason to clear my throat but this is all reeeeeeeeaaaly weird and I am reeeeeeeeeeeeaaly uncomfortable, but I came here to say something so I guess I had better get it said." "Well.." and here he paused.. What should he call her? Your Amyrlin Seatness? Your Majesty didn't work. Miss Amyrlin? That wasn't too good.. What if she was someone who preferred Ms.? Amyrlin Seat just sounded weird.. "Well." Well maybe he could get away with just not addressing her by any of her titles... That just might work!
"Well I was wondering if you had seen Phoe.. I mean Jarro..,, I mean well, you know who around. Jarron and I were just resting up after a huge battle and then Phoenix disappeared for a bit because his computer wasn't working and now I have no idea where he is except that there are rumors about him and a woman and well, this Tower has the highest concentration of women in Dragonmount and... well.." He was back to well again, "I was wondering if you might have seen him." Slaughterville stopped talking to catch his breath.
"No." The Amyrlin Seat, The Flame of Tar Valon, The Watcher of the Seals said simply and got back to her daydream of the vat of pudding with...
"No?" Said Slaughterville. He knew that Aes Sedai could not tell a lie.. But they had a way of twisting the truth sometimes. He tried to think how she might have dodged his question. @*$%@#*&!
Callandor was in heaven. He had been hunting down his broomstick for weeks but it was always just out of reach, he would get somewhere only to find that it had just been taken somewhere else. That was not why he was in heaven. The Black Tower was desperately in need of cleaning he knew, because boys never could seem to take care of themselves and the Black Tower was all out of Comet®. And you'd better believe that if there ever had been any other broom than Callandor's had found it's way to finnland long long ago.
That was not why Callandor was in heaven either. The room he stood in was full of light, it was also full of shelves, and those shelves, oh bliss! were full of cleaning supplies. He pinched himself to see if he was dreaming, he didn't awake from this heaven, but he was in such an enraptured state that he didn't feel the pinch either and moments after the pinch he had forgotten it so entranced was he by the cleaning supplies.
Along one wall were racks of brooms, mops (wet and dry!!), dusting wands and even a few ter'angreal which required a small flow of Air and they actually sucked up dirt and little scraps of paper! Callandor had heard of such ter'angreal, va'cume they were called, but he had never been in the presence of one before though. Yes this was oh so most definitely heaven.
"Boo!!" Kaylie jumped out from behind one of the supply shelves. Callandor didn't flinch, so awed was he by the variety of tub and tile cleaners. Kaylie sighed. She needed to keep up her image of Kaylie the Scary, but this black coated stranger was paying no attention to her at all! She would have to try something else.
Gently, tenderly, Callandor lifted a carton of WiteCloak Tile Cleaner™ (Guaranteed strong enough to clean even a Darkfriend back into the Light ©) from the shelf. A bald man with a brilliant sun emblem embroidered on his white t-shirt smiled up at him from the box and he smiled back. Oh it was heaven indeed! To his happy surprise, he found Wolfkin Floor Wax®, The Blight® bug spray (Kills bugs. Dead.©), Amyrlin's Choice™ dusting spray (How do you think we keep the White Tower White?©) and Warder's Woolite (Dirt? Pudding? Blood? Warder's Woolite gets out even the toughest stains©). Carefully he stacked the precious boxes and bottles in a pile by the door.
Then he walked to the back wall to begin the most important part of his search. He reached out and took hold of one of the brooms. He hefted it and lightly swung it along the floor. The balance was good, but the weight was all wrong. It had been made with a novice in mind and would be perfect for one of them, but he had to be choosy. The broom he picked would become a part of him, and he would settle for nothing less than the best. Well the best was his cuendillar broomstick, but it was best not to think of that, as it always caused him to tear up.
Several broomsticks later, Callandor was still not having any luck. Oh they were all expertly crafted and if he were a little weaker he would have been proud to carry one of them, but he just couldn't settle for an imperfect broom.. Yes, he had become accustomed to the best and might even accept second best, but there was no way he would stoop so low as the third best. He looked back at the rack of brooms just as the sun shifted another degree in the sky. Sunlight came pouring through the skylight illuminating the already well lit room. A stray sunbeam tumbled through the air and reached its mark. In the sudden brilliant lighting the green painted broomstick looked like an elongated emerald and the straw brush of the broom became strands of gold. Enraptured Callandor reached toward the magnificent treasure, afraid that if he touched it the broomstick might dissolve into the air.. or that perhaps it was only a hallucination, an effect of the Taint on his mind. But surely something so beautiful could not have been caused by the taint.
His fingers touched the broomstick and slid around it. At first contact, he knew that this was the broom with which he would spend the rest of his life, well at least the rest of his life until he caught up with the cuendillar one again. He and the emerald broom were one, always had been one. With this broom he had the power to sweep nations and bring their dust into a pile at his feet.