"HEY DARK ONE! WHATS THE MATTER? TOO
SCARED OF A LITTLE GIRL? HUH? CMON! I COULD TAKE
Yveva looked nervously at Kaylie. Slaughterville had his hands over his ears, trying to block out Kaylies thoughts, as if by doing that he couldnt be accused of being party to what was going on. Daelin muttered something about respecting those with more power than yourself and minding your elders. The NPC Novice grumbled about being replaced in the story as the token Novice. Joe was keeping a sharp eye on everyone, not to determine if they were about to attack but rather to try to determine if they might have a little pudding stashed away somewhere on their person. The Amyrlin concentrated on Kaylie... She wanted to be ready to confront the Dark One as soon as his presence was made known.
There was a knock at the door.
"Enter!" said the Amyrlin reflexively, really it was no use trying to keep everyone out now that so many people were inside anyway. Josef looked at the door hungrily.
Arik was very familiar with the White Tower. Opening his gateway in the center of the Keepers room, he knocked on the door. And opened it even as the Amyrlin was bidding him to enter.
"Arik? What do you mean barging in here like that?" the Amyrlin asked, rather peevishly.
Arik seized the opportunity to explain his problem. "You must take Sathinar back! Hes in the process of changing the Black Tower into a chicken coop! He must be stopped! Take him back!"
The Amyrlin Seat gave Arik The Look™ but he was too upset to notice what was going on. Kaylie stopped her thinking out loud to stare at Arik as everyone else was. "Well Arik, we had our own problems with Sathinar when he was here... and since he left there have been records of numbers of pigeons in the dovecote. Drea has been most happy about that. I cant force Sathinar to come back here, he sounds happy with where he is, making new friends and so on. I couldnt rob him of that happiness."
"But you must!"
"I am The Amyrlin Seat. I must do whatever I please."
"OK. I CAME AT THE FIRST AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL BREAK." There was the sound of munching on a peanut butter sandwich. "I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THIS AGAIN, LITTLE GIRL."
"Ill make you a bet, okay? Loser takes Sathinar, okay? Please??"
"Only if we can get an impartial judge."
"HELLO? WHY DID YOU DARE DISTURB ME??"
The Amyrlin Seat smiled, she had an idea. "Well DO hun, it seems Arik would like to have a little contest.... Would you be willing to be the unbiased judge to determine who wins?"
There was the sound of knuckles cracking. "SURE, WHAT KIND OF CONTEST?"
The Amyrlin did not look surprised, The Amyrlin could never be surprised. Arik however looked at the Amyrlin as thought she was crazy, which perhaps she was. "I... I.... dont r..r...really k..k..k..know... w..w...w..."
"What the boy is saying is that we havent decided yet. Hmmmm" and here she thought for a moment. "Well I suppose we could have teams of three.... Daelin, Yveva and I versus Callandor, Slaughterville and Arik...."
"OOH OOH OOH!! I KNOW!! WHAT ABOUT A TRIVIA CONTEST!! ID BE REALLY GOOD AT MC-ING THAT!"
"Sounds fine to me. Arik?"
Arik nodded rather reluctantly.
"OK, HERES HOW IT IS GOING TO WORK. I WILL ASK THE WHITE TOWER TEAM TO ANSWER A QUESTION ABOUT THE BLACK TOWER, I WILL ASK THE BLACK TOWER TEAM SOMETHING ABOUT THE WHITE. THERE WILL BE THREE QUESTIONS FOR EACH TEAM. THE TEAM WITH THE FEWEST CORRECT ANSWERS KEEPS SATHINAR. UNDERSTOOD?" Everyone in the room nodded. "THEN LETS GET IT ON!"
Daelin and Yveva went to stand next to the Amyrlins seat. The Black Tower men went to stand with Slaughterville. Kaylie, the NPC Novice and Josef Gaidin stood along the wall to watch.
"ALRIGHT, FIRST QUESTION, WHITE TOWERS ANSWER. WHAT IS THE BLACK TOWER FAMOUS FOR?"
The Amyrlin smirked. Oh that was too easy. "Its huge chicken population."
"COOORRRRRRECT!" The Dark One said in his best game show host voice. This really was fun. "BLACK TOWER, YOUR ANSWER. WHAT IS THE GREEN AJAHS FAVORITE BEVERAGE?"
Oh that was too easy. Arik had sampled a bit at the last slumber party and been knocked out cold. But what had it been? His memory of the night had been severely impaired after that... "Tea?" he asked. "AAANNND.. WILL THE JUDGES ACCEPT THAT AS AN ANSWER?? NO!! WE WILL NOT! SORRY, BLACK TOWER.. THAT SHALL BE YOUR FIRST WRONG QUESTION. WHITE TOWER? YOURE TURN! WHAT TYPE OF BROOM DOES CALLANDOR USUALLY CARRY?"
Callandor looked challengingly at the Aes Sedai. "Yeah! What type of broom to I usually carry?!?"
Kaylie put her hands over her mouth to keep herself from saying anything.
"A Cuendillar one" Yveva answered confidently, she had just finished researching it for her story.
"COOOORRRRRRECT!" the Dark One boomed. "BLACK TOWER, YOU HAD BETTER GET THIS ONE OR YOU WILL BE OUT OF OUR LITTLE GAME. WHAT IS THE AMYRLIN SEATS FAVORITE TYPE OF PUDDING?"
Slaughterville remembered her scraping at the bottom of a pudding cup as he entered, but what type had it been? He recalled the slight smell in his room as he entered. "Chocolate."
"COOOORRRRRECT! AND THE BLACK TOWER MAKES THE SAVE FOR OOOOONNNE POINT!" The Dark One said, sounding more like a sportscaster. "WHITE TOWER. WHAT WAS HAWKWINGS FAVORITE BREW AT THE SPRING OF THE MORNING INN?"
The Amyrlin thought for a moment. Hawkwings ooc persona was Scottish, was it not? She prided herself on knowing everyone... "Scotch?" she asked.
"OHHHHHH! AND THE WHITE TOWER FAILS TO CLAIM THE LAST POINT AND VICTORY! THE CORRECT ANSWER IS MINT BEER. BLACK TOWER, FOR THE TIE, WHICH AJAH IS FAMOUS FOR WEARING FILMY DRESSES AND CATERING TO THE WHIMS OF MEN?"
Daelins face turned the same colour as her shawl. How dare he bring that up again. The Reds were just gaining their respectability again.
"The Red Ajah." Arik answered confidently.
"AAAAANNNNNDDDD LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A TIE!! ON TO THE DEATH BY DARK ONE ROUND! EACH TEAM WILL BE ASKED ONE QUESTION THE TEAM WHICH ANSWERS THEIRS CORRECTLY WINS, THE ONE WHO ANSWERS INCORRECTLY LOOSES. SIMPLE AS THAT FOLKS. IN THE EVENT OF ANOTHER TIE, I GO BACK TO MY TV SHOW AND YOU WORK IT OUT AMONG YOURSELVES."
Daelin was furious. There was no way that question had been fair. "How about we raise the stakes a little, boys? Or are you afraid to?"
"Sure!" Callandor said glad to get in on the action. "We win and you get Sathinar and... erm... oh, bugger hell!" "And the chickens. You win and well feed you grapes and do whatever else you want us to." Arik interjected.
Daelin smiled, she liked the sound of that last bit.
"Thats the best you can come up with? Sathinar and the chickens?" The Amyrlin Seat looked at the men incredulously. "Well fine by us. We are going to win this. Id bet the Tower on it."
"Youd what?" asked Arik.
"Yeah! Ill bet the White Tower on it! And I cant lie remember? You win, you get the Tower. And as we all know that will never happen you may as well give up now, boys."
Aldazar popped his head through the door. "Wait a minute. This could never happen in the books. For one thing, channeling men would never be allowed in the White Tower..."
Everyone in the room made "shhh" noises and silencing gestures toward the door without really looking. Josef left the wall and walked over to the door shutting it. "Are you sure about this?"
"Of course Im sure!" the Amyrlin said stubbornly. Stubbornness was one of her endearing qualities.
"Youre on." and Arik offered his hand to the Amyrlin. She shook it to seal the deal and they both returned to their teams.
"FIRST QUESTION. BLACK TOWERS ANSWER." The Dark Ones voice boomed through their minds. "WHAT IS THE TITLE THE AMYRLIN SEAT USED TO USE FOR HER FIRST WARDER."
Oh this was tough, this was very tough. Callandor wrung his hands, Arik scuffed his foot on the floor. "Banefall, the silent, but deadly." Slaughterville answered.
The Amyrlin grimaced. The Dark One continued. "WHY IS THE BLACK TOWER CALLED THE BLACK TOWER?"
"Because it is full of male channelers which we all know are a thing of the Dark One. It is called Black after the colour of their souls!" shouted Daelin. This was her personal argument rationalizing why male channelers ought to be severed.
A loud buzzer sounded through their minds. "WRONG. NOW I AM GOING BACK TO MY SHOW." The voice disappeared along with the accompanying static.
The Amyrlin hid her face in her hands and groaned. Everyone knew that the Black Tower was called that because all of the men there wore black jackets and most bought the rest of their clothing to match. Daelin thought and thought and thought, but she really couldnt see how her answer could be wrong. Yveva thumped her head against the wall... Anyone who had done their research knew that it had been called the Black Tower because.... Well because..... Well, she hadnt really done the research... But someone must have!
The men were all bouncing around in the center of the room exchanging high fives and low fives and even a few twenties. Thrilled with their victory, they started singing "We got the Tow-er, We got the Tow-er" in very, very loud voices.
Joe walked over to the Amyrlin and patted her on the shoulder, not really sure what to do. Yveva stopped whacking her head on the wall, no use giving Matalina a headache. Arik suddenly stopped bouncing and walked over to the Amyrlin. "So, when can we move in?"
Daelin looked over at the Amyrlin. "You didnt really mean that did you? Of course, you didnt" Daelin forced a laugh.
"She made a bargain, if she falls through on it, then she shows that Aes Sedai can lie. And she owes us toh" Slaughterville answered.
The Amyrlin sighed, why couldnt her pudding have come. Oh, why in her hour of misery could she not have pudding to help her through. Josef dashed to his room connected to her study and came back with a pudding cup. He waved it under her nose hoping the smell would give her strength. The Amyrlin sighed again. "Well move out today." She instructed the NPC Novice to go tell everyone to pack and be ready to go in half an hour. Really, this all would be much easier if she had that PA system. Heck, none of this would have happened if she had that PA system. The NPC novice scurried off glad to be doing something at last.
Half an hour later, a long train of people and packhorses made its way through a large Gateway formed by linked channelers. The Black Tower men all put on sad faces to hide their glee and waved at the departing Aes Sedai. Arik shifted his Black coat, the uniform his Tower had been named after and pretended to wipe away a tear. Slaughterville looked around himself wondering how many of the men had joined the Tower because they thought it was affiliated with the Dark One. Callandor smiled a secretive smile, he knew why they called the Black Tower Black.
"Its Filthy!!!" exclaimed Alosha. "I cannot in good conscience expect my novices to clean this!" The Amyrlin Seat sat on the roosting bars in the "presidential suite, listening to Aloshas complaints and sighed again. Everyone had complaints, the old henhouse, now the warders barracks were too small, the layer of grime over everything was too thick, the air was too smelly. Matalina had even been in asking how to get Yveva off her horse because she refused to walk anywhere near a chicken. The one thing she was grateful for was that there was no Keeper of the Chronicles to record the days events. But then again if there had been a Keeper maybe none of this would have happened.
The man had had a long day. A wheel had been broken, a band of thieves had tried to rob him until they saw what his cargo actually was and he had come a long way. So he was not pleased at all when he reached his destination and was told that "The Amyrlin Seat no longer resides here, I can give you her current address if you wish." and found himself on the road to Andor with a load of chocolate pudding instead of in bed at a nice Inn after having consumed large quantities of ale. Oh yes, it just wasnt his day at all. Some lucky people with town and country houses had no appreciation.